Nobody will wonder that, in their usual way, the journalists from the independent newspaper (Jean-Marie Colombani himself and Martine Silber) ask Zapo, indeed lead him with, safe and positive questions that favor Paris's foreign policy ("Can one say that the alliance between José María Aznar and Tony Blair went too far towards an abusive excess that was nearly anti-European?").
Strangely, neither in this issue nor in the pevious or following days, there is nary a word on the information du jour, that is, the major diplomatic crisis between Madrid and Canberra.
Australia aggravated a diplomatic row with Spain yesterday by accusing the socialist government of encouraging terrorists. Brushing aside the furious response to earlier comments pointing the finger at Madrid, Alexander Downer, the foreign minister, said he would not apologise.I hope that Australia's ambassador answered that he did not see why the smug Spaniards (like the French) should have the right to haughtily disdain coalition members as poodles, and this from their passive, non-interventionist position where they risk nothing (any more); and why the Australians, who, like their coalition allies (i.e., those who have not pulled out their troops from Iraq), face blackmail and terrorist threats (because actively engaged, with troops on the ground) should not have the right to voice their opinion, notably on the threats in question and what these have accomplished among their (former) allies.
He said that Spain and the Philippines needed "to face up to the truth" that by withdrawing their contingents from Iraq they had allowed themselves to be exploited by terrorists.
"There is no point in trying to scurry away from the truth," Mr Downer said. "I am sensitive about the fact that terrorists use the examples of Spain and the Philippines to put pressure on Australia. If you accede to the demands of terrorists, they will exploit the acceding to their demand . . . We are not going to apologise. We shall let bygones be bygones."
The comments caused great offence in Madrid. Australia's ambassador there was summoned to be told that the comments were "unacceptable".
But in the meantime, we're back to the fact that while the spat is important enough to have made front-page headlines continuously in both Spain and Australia, France's newspaper of reference has published hardly anything about this event, and certainly nothing that in any way shows that it has turned into a diplomatic spat unfavorable to the positive image of their hero.
It is true that as far as opinions are concerned, we're back to double standards. (We never left them, did we?) One has the right, even the duty, to ridicule and castigate America and is allies, but let noone even think of putting into doubt the good intentions, the rationality, the humanism, the vision, the love of peace, and the lucidité (as well as le courage) of the members of the peace camp.
Indeed, back in March, Le Monde wrote an editorial explaining how indecent, even despicable, it was to even entertain the idea that Spaniards may have voted for Zapatero out of fear (or cowardice) or that the election results may be compared to a new Munich. A scornful thesis, harrumphed the independent daily, without the least ambiguity (I thought the Americans were supposed to be the simplistic (non-)thinkers, incapable of "complex and sophisticated" reasoning). But to treat Australians, Yanks, and Brits, as poodles and liars, that, oh that is entirely normal, isn't it? That is in no way a scornful thesis, n'est-ce pas?
As always, Iraq the Model is back in form. Let's see what Mohammed (reacting to the murderous attacks on Baqouba) has to say on this diplomatic crisis as well as on the position and the policies of the members of "the peace camp" (my emphasis).
Tens of victims in a barbaric action committed by those terrorists leaving pain, sorrow and a deep wound in the heart. Once again, civilians pay the highest price and once again terrorists show how cruel they are, reminding us of their hateful presence and their lust for killing and destruction.Concerning the numerous polls indicating that the populations of various countries (Spain, the UK, etc) were massively against the war:
What hurts more than this daily terror is the soft way the world is using to deal with the situation.
I believe that the presence of this terror is just a matter of time, as hatred and deception can’t last forever, but the reactions of some parts provide it with the support it needs and give it a second chance. Yes, all we need is the will and determination to crush a company that is so close to bankruptcy but the disgraceful doings of some parts postpone it once again, like what Spain, Manilla and Egypt lately did.
What’s even worse and disgusting is that these governments smugly come and ask the admirably determined nation Australia to apologize while it’s them who must apologize to the whole world for their awful mistakes that encouraged terrorists and reassured them that their criminal tactics can work.
These countries have found excuses for terror and gave the terrorists the motives to carry on with their plans as long as these plans can make "sovereign countries" yield in front of a true criminal action.
They’re cooperating with the criminals and they make it easier for terrorists to increase their activities in Iraq and elsewhere. This is the goal of terror and this is what these countries offered the terrorists on a gold plate. They’ve said clearly "do more of your work, as it will definitely bring an outcome that satisfy your sickness and illusions".
Perhaps it’s become obvious that the failure of terror is getting closer, and tightening the control over its resources is what made terrorists adopt this new strategy of asking for millions of dollars as ransoms for each hostage saying that this money will be used to pay compensations for the victims in Fallujah.
This reveals the fact that the terrorists’ resources are no longer sufficient to their expenses and this is what made them seek financial support through these criminal operations.
…There’s a deal to fund terror in a different way than before and there are groups and countries who support this and maneuver to override the obstacles.
Negotiating with those thugs provides them with legitimacy let alone submitting to their demands and funding them.
This is totally rejected and it must be dealt with firmly while those who submitted to the terrorists must apologize; they gave a broke company a new chance.
What happened today is a crime and these countries are partners in this crime whether they accept this fact or not. No can make us believe that these governments care about their citizens more than the governments of the USA, Italy, UK, Australia and other coalition members. Can anyone answer the question why those governments didn’t submit to the demands of the terrorists in their own lands, like Abu Sayaf in Philippines?! The same applies to Egypt when dealing with the Islamic groups. Why was the sound of gunfire the only sound we heard when dealing with terror in their own lands? I believe the answer lies in the hypocrisy of these governments. They don’t care a sh*t about the lives of their citizens but they do care and A LOT about their individual and partisan interests. They follow the mob instead of leading them to what’s better for their future.
A good and wise government should be able to see farther than the average simple citizen and also to share this vision with him and let him see where his/her interests and security lie. What these governments are doing is the opposite, as they use the simple and instant reactions of the crowds to strengthen their position saying "we have fulfilled your demands and acted just the way you wanted" However what the people want, and especially when they are faced with a shocking and a threatening situation, is not necessarily what they need.
Can you answer the question what will be the response of Iraqis towards these horrible attacks? I’ll help you; These victims came to volunteer to serve their country as IP members and this is not the 1st time this happens and the response of Iraqis to such attacks was always more volunteers and longer lines. What does that tell you Philippine and Spanish government? If this is bravery and wisdom, then how should your actions be labeled? Maybe it’s not your business? That would’ve been a more honest answer had you said it, but you’re not just cowards or stupid, you’re also hypocrites. This include all the "anti-war" crowd with all the clowns there such as Michael Moore and George Galloway and their likes. You make me SICK when you support the "Iraqi resistance" and call these killers a revolutionists. Did you watch your "resistance" today? This is what you support and this is how history will view you; supporters of murderers and criminals, and for what? Fame and money! Enjoy it. It won’t last, as the truth will soon be revealed and you'll be exposed to all as the disgusting parasites you are.
I doubt that we can forgive you all for your cowardice, stupidity and hypocracy just as we’ll never forget the sacrifices and the help of the Americans, Australians, British, Italians, Japanese and all the other coalition members.
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(Merci à Jeffrey Schreiber)