Tuesday, August 03, 2004

THE DIPLOMATIC ROW between Spain and the UK over Gibraltar's 300 anniversary (see my previous post on the issue) is reaching to the US' participation in the festivities:
Gibraltar's government yesterday accused the United States of a craven retreat before Spanish pressure after Washington cancelled a naval visit to celebrate the British colony's tercentenary celebrations.

The USS McFaul was due to call at Gibraltar to take part alongside the frigate Grafton in the 300th anniversary tomorrow of the Rock's capture by an Anglo-Dutch fleet on Aug 4, 1704.

[...] The US embassy in Madrid appeared to admit yesterday that it had caved in to Spanish pressure: "We do not want a US ship visit to be perceived as upsetting sensitivities, so no US ship is scheduled to visit Gibraltar during the ongoing commemoration.

"US policy towards Gibraltar is unchanged and we feel hopeful that our two great friends and allies, Spain and the UK, can resolve any differences between them. We appreciate the welcome our men and women have always received [in Gibraltar]."
If this is true, this is a weasel attitude by the State Department and/or the Pentagon (yes, you guys; from this site's statistics I know you're reading this!). It'd be a real shame caving to any pressure by a government which has proven not to be a friend during a crucial moment of the war on terror, by pulling the troops from Iraq in advance from the pledge issued during the electoral campaign (which was to withdraw only if on June 30th there was no UN Security Council resolution).

Clearly, the UK's gestures are a way to show displeasure at the Spanish government attitude, which beyond quitting the Iraq war alliance includes such niceties as then Zapatero's team official and current Defense minister, José Bono, calling Tony Blair a "complete dickhead" inadvertedly on live TV, and in general the Spanish rapprochement to the Axis of Weasels in all matters related to international affairs, breaking the tacit alliance between Blair and Aznar.

No wonder why Blair, during Zapatero's one-day official visit to the UK (the first after taking office), spent only slightly more than one hour with him and sent him home without dinner: Blair cancelled the programmed banquet which was supposed to be celebrated before the Spanish PM took the plane back to Madrid. It was an unmistakable diplomatic gesture which, by the way, was hidden by the Spanish media.

So, my humble advice to the US and the UK over this controversy is: hey, guys, why not holding one of these days a Blair-Bush Summit in Gibraltar?