Monday, June 07, 2004

Well, the Vanguardia's headline today is "Sixty years later", referring, of course, to the Normandy invasion. (Remember back when we called it "D-day" and considered it one of many battles in the war, one of the most important, sure, but not the only one? Not to disrespect the Normandy veterans in the least, of course, but we don't commemorate Okinawa or the Bulge or Guadalcanal or El Alamein with nearly as much pageantry. Or Stalingrad.)

Anyway, Bush and Schroeder and Chirac made kissy-face; who knows, maybe some kind of deal on Iraq has been worked out. La Vangua mentions that Chirac had a big dinner with the Queen and everyone there and the wines served were a '99 Sauternes and a 1996 Margaux.

The Vangua repeats a common Old European theme on page 7: the Allies bombed the hell out of the Normandy battlefields and France's transportation network, and as many as 20,000--though I bet not more than a couple of thousand, since most bombing was done away from large cities--French civilians were killed. So AFP has a report on how some of today's Normans are still bitter about--you guessed it, the Allied bombing. Not the Nazi occupation or anything like that.

Sebi Val has an absolutely disgraceful article on page 8 titled, "Reagan created Bin Laden". He proceeds to draw a connection between American aid to the various brands of mujihadeen and Saudi support for Osama Bin Laden, who to my knowledge didn't become active in the struggle for what was left of Afghanistan until the Russians pulled out in 1989. Also, since the Americans pulled out when the Russians did, in '89, and the Taliban didn't become prominent until 1994, it would be kind of hard for party A to have armed and supported party B. Oh, yeah, the Soviets started it, remember? Here's the Wikipedia entry for the USSR and Afghanistan. To quote Sebi:

The elegies destined for Ronald Reagan tiptoe around one very disastrous consequence of his Presidency. The late American leader's aggressive anti-Communism, his obsession with the defeat of the Soviet Union, helped create the monster of Bin Laden....he sowed the destructive seed that led to 9-11...establishing the connection between Reagan and Bin Laden is too subversive and disagreeable for the average American...

Alfredo Abián's signed page two editorial is just as bad:

(Reagan's) planetary legacy is more frightening and intolerant than the "evil empire" that he so efficiently fought and which was none other than communism...In 1978...(Carter's) Administration provoked an uprising in Afghanistan against Kabul's leftist government...Reagan even received in the White House, as "freedom fighters", a group of bearded men with turbans who said they were Allah's soldiers...the Alzheimer's disease that the weakened thought of today suffers from impedes us from seeing that Communism, despite its disastrous and cruel history, was at least a child of this civilization that fundamentalist barbarism is fighting against.

So wait a minute. We were wrong to support the anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan since most of them went local warlord and a few went far-out Islamic nutcase after the USSR collapsed? Uh, the collapse of the USSR liberated, what, 300 million people from Communist tyranny? The USSR had how many nukes and how big an army, compared to what Osama and Saddam can muster now? Mr. Abián seems to be nostalgic for the good old days of Stalin and Khrushchev.

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