ME and Ophelia

Thursday, March 18, 2004


Neutrality is not an option

BBC news report Spain to re-join 'Old Europe' extract: "Along with Spain - the closest European allies of the US over Iraq and its strategy against terrorism - are Britain, Denmark, Italy, Poland and most of the other eastern European countries - which will join the European Union in May.

The winner of the Spanish general election, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has promised to end Spain's close alliance with the US over Iraq and to revive its traditional ties with France and Germany. The political landscape of Europe may again be split in two.

Within hours of the election result, Mr Zapatero condemned the Iraq war and its US-led occupation as "disasters". He said President George Bush and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair should engage in "self-criticism" for their mistakes."

IMO the new Spanish government - and others - must not appease the terrorists. Neutrality is not an option. Take the long view. US President Bush and UK Prime Minister Blair and their European allies will be vindicated.
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And Schanzer's Garage blog

Here's a copy of my recent comment to Pauly:

Pauly, I hope Schanzer writes a piece in his blog on the recent elections in Spain and what happened in Madrid.

I'm trying to understand the logic of people's varying opinions, and figure whose side they are on.

Would those who were anti the war in Iraq prefer that Saddam Hussein was still in power, committing atrocities, posing a threat to the region and future oil supplies?

Recently, the Spaniards voted out their Conservative government because it supported the US-UK led war against terrorism.

Instead, they've voted in a Socialist government that announced - on day one in office - its top priority will be to fight terrorism.

Maybe I've not read enough background information on this. If voters read even less than I do, what hope is there that they are understanding the issues?
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By a British Blogger in Australia

John Rowbottom is English and lives with his wife in Australia – in Mandurah, on the Indian Ocean about an hour south of Perth in Western Australia. In a few months time, they'll get Australian citizenship.

John immerses himself in UK culture as he still works in the UK. It was his homeland for some forty years. One of his jobs is writing quiz questions for pubs in England. He keeps abreast of news, TV, sport etc. in the “mother country” where his children still live, and tends to blog mostly about English things (politics, English cricket, Sheffield Wednesday etc).

He has an interesting point of view on terrorism and the terrible bombing attacks in Madrid, Spain.
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In Madrid, Istanbul and Iraq

BBC News reports that al-Quaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks in Madrid, which killed 201 commuters last week, and bombings in Istanbul and Iraq. A statement, claiming to come from al-Qaeda, has warned of imminent terrorist attacks in Britain and other countries.

The statement e-mailed to Arab news organisations on Wednesday night was signed by a group which said it carried out attacks in Madrid and Istanbul. It warned the UK, Australia and Saudi Arabia that a "brigade of death" was targeting them and other countries.

But it also said it was freezing its operations in Spain as a reward for the new government's stance on Iraq. Spain's prime minister-elect, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has said he will pull Spain's 1,300 troops out of Iraq unless the UN intervenes.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 3/18/2004
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