Thursday, December 11, 2003

La Vanguardia, true to its Old European soul, has its nose terribly out of joint at the news that the Frogs and the Toads and their little tadpoles are going to be shut out of the Iraqi reconstruction pie our twenty billion dollars is going to pay for. One of the things the last Eurostat poll that they actually released said was that an absolute majority of the European Union public believes that the United States should pay for the reconstruction of Iraq and the United Nations should administer said reconstruction. I'm looking for the appropriate Donald Rumsfeld Clear English Reply. How about "You must be kidding." Or: "When pigs fly." Or "No, that's your ass. This over here is a hole in the ground." Or "And the horse you rode in on." Or "Squeal like a pig!"

Here is La Vangua's Editor-in-Chief Jose Antich in today's signed editorial on page two.

George W. Bush's administration announced yesterday the exclusion of the large countries that opposed the war in Iraq--France, Germany, and Russia--from the multimillionaire contracts for the reconstruction of that country, in an unmistakeable gesture of revenge for its attitude in the UN. It is difficult not to understand the decision as an attitude of arrogance and of unjust commercial reprisal. (The European response is that of weak, whining, whimpering weasels.) It does not seem that the situation Iraq is suffering, with the daily deaths of Western citizens (never known the Vangua to give a shit about Americans' lives before) and a postwar of which we cannot see the end, is appropriate for such arrogant gestures that demand recrimination from the international community. Spain has also suffered, in its own citizens, the pain of the deaths of compatriots in Iraq. (Which makes your attitude even less comprehensible. Spain is one of the countries that deserve, and will get, contracts.) It has maintained an attitude of support of the United States on the part of the PP government and its Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar. (With no help from you.) That support that Bush has praised and thanked him for should cause Aznar to raise his voice and demand generosity from the United States (why would he want to do that?) and solidarity from France, Germany, and Russia. (It's a little late for that.) The international community is waiting for an agreement on how Iraq is to be reconstructed (uh, the US and UK and the Iraqis are in charge of that) a believeable calendar for the transfer of power to the Iraqis (I thought we already had one), and that the debate before the warlike conflict should not emerge in all its bitterness. (Uh, right, Mr. Antich. That'll be up to France, I think. Now go back to your dark closet, put your "special glove" on again, break out the Vaseline Intensive Care, and return to frantic self-pleasuring.)

Here's Tammy Bruce's response in Front Page.

Italians also faced the horrors of death in Iraq. While the Italian people remain conflicted about the war, Italian leadership has remained with us, despite their losses and the debate at home. That is courage to the core. Spanish troops have also been lost, and they too, have stayed the course. These are friends worth having and being proud of.

I have no qualms whatsoever knowing that some of the tax dollars I pay will be going to winning bids for these countries to reconstruct Iraq. They deserve it, with every drop of blood shed by their brave citizens, we owe it to them. They have earned it with every tear shed by loved ones in their home countries. How dare the Old Europe, comfy in their cowardice, declare that they, too, deserve our money.

I’ll tell you what they deserve--to learn a lesson we should have taught them years ago: their free ride is over. They are not entitled to anything. There are repercussions to their actions, and self-absorption will not be rewarded. This is the new message from a new America—one which will not let the Old Europe attempt to destroy the world again.

Well, that last paragraph is a bit exalted in tone for my taste, but she's got a point. I vote we do France and Germany no favors for a very long time.

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