Thursday, August 05, 2004

SINCE TAKING OFFICE, the new Socialist government has tried hard to prove that Spain is best friends with Morocco, the country where the direct perpetrators of the March 11 massacre in Madrid came from. Rabat was the destination of Zapatero's first official trip abroad; then a joint military operation in Haiti was announced; there's also been strong indications that Spain is planning to abandon its traditional support of the Baker plan for the former colony of Western Sahara (and therefore joining the position of Morocco, who is illegally occupying the territory after Spain left the place in mid 70s, and wants to keep it).

Some say all this is supposed to create a new climate in the bilateral relations, an alleged welcome change after decades of tensions and mistrust; others say its only another facet of the Chamberlainesque attitude adopted by Zapatero against anything that is remotely threatening and worrisome; others would prefer to see some investigation first in order to make 100% sure that there were no links, even remote, between the bunch of Morrocans who murdered 200 innocents back in March and the policymakers of the country where they came from, particularly when there's such a remarkable U-turn in foreign policy, from the US and the UK to Morocco as the main partner, benefiting precisely the country of origin of the guys whose attack on innocent civilians changed Spain's political landscape forever.

Well, you know what happens when you feed the crocodile hoping it eats you last: you're seen as weak. You're easy prey. Niceties don't work:
SPAIN has asked Morocco for information about agreements the Moroccan government has signed with British and Australian firms which could affect Spain's territorial waters, a diplomatic source said.

[...] Spanish newspaper Expansion reported yesterday that Morocco had given a concession to British oil firm Afrex and Australian companies Pancontinental Oil and Gas and Cooper Energy to prospect for oil on its eastern Mediterranean coast, from the Spanish enclave of Mellila to the Algerian border.

The newspaper said the 6457 square kilometres included "waters that Spain traditionally considers as its own: those surrounding Melilla, the Chaffarinas archipelago and Alboran island".
As Trevor at Kaleboel says, when you announce that nothing, absolutely nothing merits any violence, and when you excoriate the US for making war only for oil and that "no blood for oil", it's understandable when others start acting accordingly. Plus,
How does Zapatero expect to get Gibraltar back if he's not even prepared to defend Spanish territory? (Howls of laughter, cat rolling around on floor.)