Thursday, March 25, 2004

Here's what's going on in Spain. Again, we really don't have much that the American media doesn't have. Here's the report from CNN International.

Looks like in the European Union constitutional debate, Zap's Spain is going to bail and sign up with the French and Germans and accept a smaller slice of the power pie, leaving the Poles in the lurch.

They're making a big deal around here out of, get this, the humiliation of the Palestinian bomber boy who was intercepted by the Israelis, NOT KILLED, because the Israelis give a damn about human life and try to kill as few people who don't deserve it as they can. So they stripped him to his underwear and made him kneel down and pointed guns at him because, uh, HE HAD A BOMB. Jeez. If I'd been an Israeli soldier right there and then I'd have shot at anything resembling a suicide bomber. Thank God those guys were smarter and braver than me and held their fire. By the way, they've determined the poor kid is probably retarded. He will, of course, be well cared-for. The Israelis, unilke some of the regimes in their neighborhood, are basically decent.

Here's today's political cartoon by Toni Batllori in the Vanguardia. Batllori really does have his finger on local politics, though he's done some pretty awful anti-American and anti-Israeli stuff in the past. Anyway, Zap is a dwarf and Colin Powell is a giant whom we can only see up to the knees. Says Powell, "I've heard that you want to withdraw your troops from Iraq. Is that true?" Replies Zap, "If the UN doesn't take over, yes." Says Powell, "I'm not sure you are aware of the damage you could cause us, Mr. Zapatero." Zap replies, "Sorry." Powell asks, "What do you think about fixing something up with the UN?" Zap says, "No, 'Just plain No'." Replies Powell, "So 'Just plain No'?" Like you said about joining NATO?" Zap says, "No, at least for now we mean it."

The joke is that in the 1982 election, the Socialists ran on the anti-NATO slogan, "OTAN, de entrada, no," which I translated as 'Just plain No' but which has a fairly obvious double meaning in Spanish. Then they had a referendum on joining NATO, I think in '86, in which the Socialists flipped and supported Spanish membership in NATO. NATO membership won.

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