Monday, July 24, 2006

Aimless thoughts while not listening to Kenny Rogers:

José Blanco, the PSOE's organizational secretary (internal party boss), put his foot in it again; this has been a very bad week for the PSOE and the Zap administration in international affairs. Blanco said that civilian victims in Lebanon "cannot be considered collateral damage, but rather an objective sought by Israel." He added, "No objective justifies the destruction of a country." So the PSOE claims that Israel is intentionally murdering civilians. That'll look great when Moratinos shows up in Rome at this big meeting they've called in order to do nothing about the Israeli-Hezbollah war.

Moratinos, the foreign minister, is the same guy who accused Israel of "perpetrating a bloodbath" on Saturday. The Israeli ambassador, Victor Harel, called Moratinos's statement "unbalanced and biased," and added, "We don't need anyone to remind us that peace is unreachable with planes and tanks."

Deputy prime minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega chimed in on Sunday, calling on Spanish youths "not to feel ashamed to participate in demonstrations for peace like the one last Thursday in Madrid." Remember, they chanted "Israel genocide" over and over and carried banners with the Star of David, an equal sign, and a swastika.

The Zap government has no idea how deep a hole it is digging itself with this rhetoric.

In Spain it's big news whenever some Zap government official has any sort of contact with the Bush administration, since it's well-known that Zap is on the Bush administration's shit list. Therefore, Moratinos announced to all concerned that he had talked to Condi Rice on the phone. Woo-hoo.

Blanco also said that the PSOE condemned Hezbollah's terrorist actions as well as "Israel's disproportionate response and its indiscriminate attacks on the population of Lebanon." See, Blanco, this is why people around the world think that you are anti-Semitic. You spend much more energy condemning Israel than you do Hezbollah, and you criticize Israel for everything it does, while almost never saying anything negative about Al Fatah and Hamas and Hezbollah and Syria. Just like the entire Socialist government and most of the Spanish media and cultural crowd.

Don't believe me? Listen to Giaco Ventura, the president of the Spanish-Israeli Chamber of Commerce. Ventura is "concerned" that relations between Spain and Israel are "less fluid" than under the Aznar administration. He added that "foreign ministers in half the world have recognized the crisis in relations between the two countries," and that "the European Parliament points out Spain as the principal source of incitation against Jews in Europe." Ventura accused the Zap government of "not measuring Israel and Hezbollah by the same standard, which leads to anti-Semitism and Judeophobia."

Blanco didn't miss a chance to attack former PM Aznar, either, saying that he "works for an international arms corporation" and, literally, "He gets off on war." ("Le pone la guerra.") Blanco added, "Spain had a warlike government, that of Aznar and Rajoy, and now it has one committed to peace." That is, to the Triple A, appeasement, anti-Americanism, and anti-Semitism.

TV3, meanwhile, is reporting that Israel is deliberately targeting civilians with white phosphorus rounds; Catalonia is even more anti-Semitic than the rest of Spain, I think, and anti-Semitism is unfortunately common everywhere here for long-standing historical and cultural reasons. Most importantly, there are very few Jews in Spain, so few people personally know anyone Jewish; Spaniards love conspiracy theories even more than most Europeans, so they jump at the idea that Jews are disproportionately powerful; also, there are few pro-Jewish voices out there in the media and the cultural world, so nobody's opinion is ever challenged. Finally, the Franco regime's propaganda was surprisingly effective among Spaniards, and Franco liked talking about the Jewish-Bolshevist anti-Catholic and anti-Spanish conspiracy.

(Note: Jews were not persecuted under Franco, nor were Jews who escaped to Spain during WWII sent back to the Nazis. One of the few semi-decent things that hard, cold old man did.)

The other piece of big news around here is the Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of Spaniard Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed on the ground that his right to be presumed innocent had been violated. Ahmed was convicted by the National Court of membership in Al Qaeda and sentenced to six years in prison. The National Court ruled that Ahmad "with full knowledge of the terrorist nature of the group, joined Al Qaeda and traveled to Afghanistan with the proposition of becoming a mujihadin and practicing jihad." Here's the fun part: Ahmed spent more than two years at Guantanamo after being captured in Pakistan. We then shipped him to Spain. Now they're letting him walk; the Supreme Court ordered that he be immediately released from prison. I hope he and his buddies all move in next to you guys.

Of course, Spain depends on the United States for self-defense; right under the Vangua's story on Moratinos's verbal diarrhea, there's an article reporting that the US has authorized Spain to purchase Tomahawk missiles.

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