Anorak News | A New Bambi

A New Bambi

by | 16th, March 2004

‘SPAIN’S new Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero and British PM Tony Blair have at least one thing in common – a nickname.

Blowing the coalition off track

For Senor Zapatero, the Telegraph informs us, is known as Bambi, a name that was given also to Blair on his arrival in Downing Street.

It is not clear whether they share another nickname, bestowed on Blair yesterday by Jose Bono, a senior colleague of the new Spanish PM, namely ‘un gillipollas integral’ (‘a complete dickhead’).

What is clear is that they do not share the same view of the war in Iraq, with Zapatero insisting that it would take a revolution in US policy for him not to bring the Spanish troops home by the summer.

What is more, he launched what the Telegraph calls an ‘extraordinary’ attack on Blair and President Bush, saying he would seek a ‘magnificent’ partnership with France and Germany instead.

‘Mr Blair and Mr Bush must do some reflection and self-criticism,’ he said. ‘You can’t organise a war with lies.’

But when the emotional dust settles on last week’s bombings in Madrid, the Spanish people should also pause for some reflection and self-criticism.

If they are so opposed to Spanish involvement in the war in Iraq, then how is it that Jose Maria Aznar’s pro-war Popular Party was heading for an easy victory until last Thursday’s bombings?

Writing in the Telegraph, Mark Steyn accuses the Spanish of dishonouring their own dead.

‘No-one will remember the footnotes, the qualifications, the background,’ he says. ‘Just the final score. Terrorists toppled a European government.’

The Guardian says that far from bringing Europe and America closer, the attack on Madrid ‘may have widened the strategic chasm’.

Most Europeans, it says, are not convinced that this war – as presently conceived – is winnable.

However, the Times believes that what Spain needs most at this time is stability and continuity, urging Zapatero not to be hasty in breaking up the US-led coalition.

‘President Bush will not be the only leader urging him to think again of the disastrous implications,’ it says.

‘It would, at the very least, be a betrayal of Iraqis who will need the security of international support to rebuild their country.”

Posted: 16th, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink