When Mrs Thatcher heard of the beginning of the fighting at Goose Green she remarked, ‘Now that the battle has started on land, there will be an international demand for a ceasefire, which may include some of the countries that have hitherto supported us’. She added that the Commander-in-Chief should be told that ‘I can hold the political arena. There will be no political meddling in the conduct of the war. It is up to him to conduct operations as he thinks best’, though, she added in an important afterthought, ‘I would be grateful if he does not delay things longer than necessary’. [56, 17 Jan. 2002] The Prime Minister’s instinct was right: for there were many and good reasons, in the minds of the states and institutions observing the conflict why compromise might yet be tried again. Alexander Haig was anxious that Britain should not humiliate Argentina. The United States suffered strong criticism from the Organisation of American States. A meeting was called to consider the imposition of hemispheric sanctions on 27 May, and the United States had to use its influence to prevent the imposition of mandatory sanctions; but it did not vote against a resolution, which was passed by 17 votes to nil (with four abstentions) two days later, which condemned the ‘unjustified and disproportionate armed attack perpetrated by the United Kingdom’ on the Falkland Islands, and called for the United States to halt aid to Britain, and to lift its own sanctions against Argentina.
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