Saturday, March 17, 2007

Contra la guerra en Irak

Spain also had demonstrations against the Iraq War on Saturday: El mundo vuelve a decir 'no a la guerra' cuatro años después de la invasión de Irak por EEUU El Mundo 18.03.07:

En Madrid, unas 400.000 personas, según la organización, convocadas por el Foro Social de Madrid, con el apoyo de PSOE e IU y los sindicatos UGT y CCOO, recorrieron distintas calles del centro de Madrid, bajo el lema 'Por la paz. No a la guerra. No a la violencia. Por el fin de la ocupación de Irak. Por el cierre de Guantánamo'. En la protesta participaron artistas como el cineasta Pedro Almodóvar y el actor Juan Diego Botto.

[In Madrid, some 400,000 persons, according to the organization [heading the march], gathered in front of the Foro Social de Madrid, with the support of the PSOE [the ruling Socialist Party] and IU [United Left party] and the unions UGT and CCOO, proceeded along various streets in the center of Madrid behind the slogan, "For peace. No to the war. No to violence. For an end to the occupation of Iraq. For closing Guantánamo." Artists like the filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar and the actor Juan Diego Botto participated in the protest.] (my emphasis)
Americans should pay attention to the "For closing Guantánamo" element of the protest.

It's important to remember that Spain continues to maintain troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO force there. And in addition to Islamic jihadists - who still consider Spain a prime target not only because it was once mostly Islamic territory but more immediately because of their NATO role in Afghanistan - Spain still has to deal with attacks by the separatists terrorist group ETA. (On the latter, see
Chaos Reigns by Sarah Wildman The American Prospect Online 03/08/07, "Chaos" being the name of a high-profile ETA prisoner.)

The accusations of cowardice and caving to the terrorists and blah, blah, that we heard from our Republican war fans when the current government was elected and withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq responding to the overwhelming opinion of the Spanish public were grotesquely unfair. Not that our war cheerleaders ever cared.

El Mundo also reports 10,000 demonstrators in Barcelona by a police estimate and 15,000 according to the organizers, and smaller demonstrations with hundreds in Sevilla, Pamplona, Valencia and Gijón. The demonstrators in Barcelona called in particular for Dear Leader Bush, Tony Blair and former Spanish President José María Aznar of the conservative People's Party to be tried by the International Criminal Court. Presumably, that latter position is not currently shared by the ruling Socialists; the article mentions their co-sponsorship of only the Madrid demonstration.

See also
Miles de personas exigen en Madrid que el 'trío de las Azores' pida perdón por la guerra de Irak Cadena SER 17.03.2007, which notes that the Socialist Party candidate for mayor of Madrid was part of the protest.

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