Stop the invasion! Delay the blockade! Postpone the war over the Falklands as long as possible. We need time to pack. There are Americans who want to join this war.

Well, not precisely Americans. Some of them are English expatriates, but we shall count them as Americans anyway. They have discerned in this mess over the Falkland Islands great matters of principle, all of which are worth dying for. They feel, passionately in some cases, that the Falklands must be freed from the grip of the slimy, tango-loving Argentine generals lest--brace yourself-- Antarctica goes next.

A virtual war fever has gripped this country. Some of its best writers and keenest minds are calling for a thorough thrashing of the Argentines. Even the respected Mary McGrory was so outraged by Argentinian perfidy that she cheered on the British. "Bash 'em," she says. The sentiment is not only understandable, it is well-nigh universal.

Not to be outdone is Henry Fairlie, an expatriate Englishman, who, it should be pointed out, has chastised me for saying that the Falklands are not worth one drop of English blood. He says they are and I propose, in all fairness, that the blood be his.

I know he will not shrink from the task: "There is Prince Andrew, leading the avenging armada in a helicopter," Fairlie writes. "How can we not follow him?" Having written that, though, Fairlie managed to stay here. The man has incredible self-control.

Fairlie goes on to say that "there is a call to the service of the empire which no Briton will, in his heart, find it easy to resist." But alas and alack for the empire, they have. In fact, the latest opinion polls show the English a bit chary about dying for a collection of islands off the coast of South America where the sheep outnumber the people and the people have named themselves after the local seaweed. It has occurred to the English that this collection of bogs, sheep and some scattered people is a relic of the old empire that remains English because of the stubbornness of the aforementioned Kelpers. Up until recently, the English were actually trying to unload the islands.

Oh, but there are grave matters of principle at stake here. I keep forgetting. You cannot let yourself be pushed around even, ahem, ahem, if you have control of the islands because you once pushed someone else around. No matter. That was a long time ago and now, if the Argentines are not treated to a show of proper backbone, the Spanish could take Gibraltar or, for crying out loud, the Scots Scotland.

But Gibraltar is a different matter entirely. It is of strategic importance to both England and the NATO alliance. Surely statesmen can discern the difference between places that are of strategic importance and places that are not. Surely, they can tell the difference between something worth fighting for and something not worth fighting for. After all, in everyday life, you do not fight every jerk who questions your manhood.

Do not misunderstand me. I hold no brief for the Argentine government. They kill, kidnap and torture their own people. They are a haven for Nazis, some of them German, some of them locally bred. They are and have been one of the world's foremost anti-Semitic regimes. One need only read Jacobo Timerman to hate the Argentine regime. One need only visit England to love both the place and the people. If it could be guaranteed that in a war between the two countries that only Argentine fascists would die, I would be glad to join Fairlie when he sets sail for the pampas. Unfortunately, there can be no such guarantee.

So in lieu of war, I propose that we overfly the Falklands and drop ether on it, putting all 1,800 Kelpers to sleep. Then we could scoop them up and fly them to the Outer Hebrides where it is just as rainy, damp and cold as it is in the Falklands, and where there are just as many sheep. When the Kelpers wake up, they will not know the difference.

But if that will not work, I suppose then we must have war. There are, I now know, grave matters of principle at stake. The bad guys have picked a fight with the good guys. Something must be done about it. Smash 'em. Bash 'em. This country, for one, has the proper spirit. We will fight this war--to the last drop of British blood.