NetWar: Zapatero or the anti-American single-mindedness

Contents Letter From Paris

Contents Letter From Paris

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Zapatero or the anti-American single-mindedness

Spaniards are known to give a lot of relevance to symbols. Therefore, the picture of Jose L. Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain’s picturesque prime minister, conspicuously seated while everybody stands to salute the American flag is very significant. That was during the National Day military parade last year in Madrid. He was there invited, in the VIP space, in his quality of chief of the opposition. He wanted to make sure that everybody could see what he thinks and feels about America, a matter of fishing a few votes. Not very pretty, but understandable. But now, one year and 195 Spanish commuters murdered by al Qaeda later, he is the prime minister…

Since 9/11 2001, a detachment of the US Marines had been invited to march with their Spanish colleagues at the Oct. 12th parade. Now, this time Zapatero was the prime minister, so It had been a little too freaky to indulge in his little leftist act of remaining seated in front of it. So he just didn’t invite the US marines and send invitation to a French Foreign Legion detail instead. Mr. Zapateros intellectual capability being what it is, the idea’s father, without doubt, was the (oh so special) minister of Foreign Affairs, Miguel Angel Moratinos, another professional US basher and a personal friend of Yassir Arafat, that renowned pillar of democracy in the Middle East.

MM. Zapatero and Moratinos are now angry at US ambassador Georges Argyros. He didn’t attend the parade, thus loosing the memorable occasion of señor Zapatero not remaining seated in front of the star-spangled because of the star-spangled not being around to remain seated in front of it… Most indelicate, Ambassador Argyros spoiled the fun of whatever anti-American signal they had in store to humiliate him and his country. An infuriated Mr. Moratinos phoned Colin Powell (who didn’t have anything better to do than talking to him about that) to tell him about how offended everybody felt in Madrid…

Being anti-American can be popular among the left-of-the-center European constituency. I can also understand that Mr. Zapatero wants to be as popular as possible with that sort of people. If we don’t care much about ethics, we could even find a some sort of cynical rationale for his public stance towards America: America is wrong root and branch. For him, every American action, both present and past, is an act of deliberate oppression and exploitation. America is an unmitigated evil, an irredeemable enormity. To be against America is to be on the right side of history; to be for it is to be on the wrong side (I borrow the phrase from Lee Harris seminal article on anti-Americanism).

Now, from the point of view of a balanced judgment of his performance as a (supposedly) mainstream politician in a democratic country, those rabid attitudes of his are more difficult to understand, let alone to make sense of.

Some very discerning friend writes to me from Madrid that Zapatero is perhaps the least cultivated political leader in Europe in many years and certainly the least intelligent. I won’t argue whether he is the kind to hide a sugar cube in a bucket of water or not, but I think that he is a fantasist day-dreamer and definitely quite ignorant regarding foreign relations.

My hunch is that this man lives in his own dream and can assemble only the most shaky relationship to the real world around him. But, then, he is perpetually insisting that his world is the real one, and in that process, he reduces the real world around him, and the people in it, to a theater for the enactment of his own private fantasies.

And well, had Zapatero been born in Latin America he probably would have been a Hugo Chavez of sorts… Since Spain is in Europe, he can’t really give free rein to his creative instinct and needs the advice of a cohort of dubious characters that still keep him in the belief that a tacit undeclared peace with the terrorists (be they Basque or Islamic) is a sensible alternative: he has just to negotiate with them and seek the friendship of say, Arafat, Fidel Castro and the Syrian regime, pay a salary to every Islamic self-appointed preacher in Spain and rely on an inexistent axis Paris-Berlin in Europe. The crucial question is to remain as anti-American as possible.

Meanwhile, in the real world, life goes on. In Paris everybody talks about the progress in the not so discrete negotiations of Nicolas Sarkozy with Colin Powell in order to repair the relations between Paris and Washington asap. French jurists debate what it would take to grant some ad-hoc immunity to President Chirac so that he could step down (his ailing health, bien sûr) without having to face the judges regarding his use of some public moneys and a few perks like ludicrously low-rent lavish apartments in the center of Paris for some of his family members and that sort of peccadilloes.

Sarkozy stands a very good chance to be the next president of France and he happens to be pro-American and said to have a very moderate enthusiasm about Mr. Zapatero political perspicacity.

And now, for the next post I have a tantalizing gossip about how Paris just sabotaged Mr. Zapatero’s stupendous plan to negotiate a truce with the Basque terrorist group ETA.

Worth reading: Diplomad's view of Zapatero

[Zapatero] A man who can only charitably be called a clown has replaced Aznar as head of government. A clown who came to power in the confused hours immediately following the horrid March 11 bombing of Madrid commuter trains by Islamic terrorists. A clown who rallied his supporters and tricked anxious voters with promises of putting an end to such terror by pulling out of the "coalition of the willing" that had liberated Iraq, withdrawing Spanish troops, engaging in some of the most strident anti-American rhetoric heard from a chief of government in Europe, and groveling to the French in the name of EU solidarity. His September 21 speech to the UNGA (excerpted above) was an unintended comedy classic (English translation; Spanish original) of breath-taking stupidity and vapidity....

Well, I do agree.

Woops! I almost forgot!

Let me quote again from Diplomad. They tell it so well...

The response of the Islamists to having their posteriors kissed [by señor Zapatero]? In sum, they undertook a wide-ranging plot to blow up Spain's high court, destroy court records, and kill as many judges as possible with a truck bomb containing between 500 - 1000 kgs (1100 - 2200 lbs) of explosives in order to "administer Spain the worst blow it has ever suffered." In other words, 200 dead commuters in Madrid were not enough. It appears the plotters were in contact with criminal elements as well as fellow Islamofascists in Europe, America, and Australia and possibly the Basque terrorist organization ETA (Basque Fatherland and Freedom) which has killed hundreds of Spaniards over the past 35 years.

So it would appear that the Madrid bombing was not really about Spain's role in Iraq or its friendship with the United States. No, not at all. Spain's "crimes" were and are that it is not Islamic and that in 1492 the Christians expelled the last of the Moors from Iberia. In other words, Spain and Spaniards must convert or die.

Again, I do agree.

Winds of Change

An example: this analysis of the March 11th attacks in Madrid, written 5 days later! Imposing.

Inspiring, passionate and decent

Iraq, the Model
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From Barcelona. I like it! And, by the way, it's getting better every day.

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Allah Pundit
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Bjørn Stærk's blog
In the NetWar since 2001, this norwegian wonderkid is just worth reading.

Norman Geras's blog
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Dan Darling
Excellent Open Source analysis of al Qaeda!

Bilingual (FR&EN) and passionate!

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His motto is:"...the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism." George Orwell

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Guerra Eterna en Oriente Medio
Reportero español polí­ticamente correcto, buena gente y suavemente partisano

Español residente en Parí­s, liberal, vasco, polí­ticamente incorrecto, reflexiona sobre la situación en Euskadi (Paí­s Vasco)

Carmelo Jordá
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Una Temporada en el Infierno
Interesante blog de Juan Pedro Quiñonero, escritor y periodista español que merece dos lecturas.

Location: Paris, France

I have been a journalist since I was 22. For a (long) while I worked as a reporter for the Swedish, Spanish (I was born in Spain) and American media, covering international affairs... After 1991 I recycled myself to the business press.

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