Sunday, May 02, 2004
CUT & RUN
This afternoon I watched the new Spanish Prime Minister, Mr. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero deliver an address to his parliament, justifying his decision to pull out Spanish troops from Iraq. C-SPAN is great, and I'm so lucky to be able to see it all the way over here - albeit on weekends only.
The proceedings were complete with on-the-fly translation, and I have to say that Zap (as he's known to Spanish headline writers) sounded dry and tedious, reading a rather strained (to my ears) defense of his lack of solidarity with Spain's coalition partners and with the Iraqi people, his capitulation to terrorists, and especially the violation of his promise to condition the move upon the UN's ability to enact a new resolution on Iraq before June 30. He explained why he just couldn't wait, and why Spanish troops needed to be protected from all dangers and brought home quickly and safely right frickin' now.
The leader of the opposition Popular Party, Mariano Rajoy delivered a stinging rebuttal of the Prime Minister's justification of his actions. It was the first time I'd seen Rajoy in action, and I'm certainly not surprised at his popularity since taking over the party leadership from Jose Maria Aznar. It's easy to see why he was expected to easily win the election and become the next Spanish Prime Minister - until it was all thrown up into the air after the Madrid bombings on March 11. Rajoy was passionate and articulate, and absolutely right in my opinion, in his rejection of the Socialists' new policy on Iraq, their desertion of the Iraqi people, the satisfaction all this will bring to terrorists and those who oppose a new, democratic Iraq, and the shame it brings upon Spain itself.
Well, the universe unfolds as it should - as Trudeau used to say - and tonight Europe has a very new face. I have a feeling that the new Europe will show a firmer commitment to its responsibility toward freedom, as those new member countries have already demonstrated individually. When the memory of living under totalitarian rule is still fresh, the genuine commitment to freedom and democracy can be expected to remain strong. Much of old Europe has gone weak and flabby, clutching to the old thinking and some tired old ideologies. I hope the new blood will shake things up a bit. Zap and his socialists, and that general brand of political correctness, just does not seem at all progressive to me any more. In the age of terrorism and the current struggle between civilised ethics and Islamic fascism, that particular politics seems old and outdated, and really would be a bit of a joke if it weren't so dangerous.
Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that Zapatero bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Bean?