SEVERAL READERS -and V-Man- have sent me the link to the inaugural address by Spain's former Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, in Georgetown University where he'll be tenuring this year.
While there's some points I'm not sure I wouldn't have put a bit differently, I think he makes a very powerful speech, which makes even more painful the pathetic address by current premier Zapatero at the UN General Assembly a couple of weeks ago.
And the Socialist government-friendly media, which is to say virtually all the media in the country, are keeping their politics of personal destruction against Aznar in full throttle, even about this. Not satisfied by blaming him for everything under the sun (notably -and most perversely- the responsibility for 192 killed in March 11 terrorist attack; their logic is that if he hadn't joined the coalition that toppled Saddam, nothing would have happened. Apparently it doesn't matter that we positively know that the bombings had been prepared for two and a half years, according to the Italian police, that is, since October 2001) they were having a field day about this particular passage in Aznar's speech:
[A]s we learned later on, the atrocities of 11th March in Madrid began to be plotted back in October 2001, long before the campaign in Iraq was initiated or even prepared. However, there is more. If you take the trouble to focus on what Bin Laden has written and stated in recent years - and let me point out again that Bin Laden writes about what he aims to do with striking clarity - you will realize that the problem Spain has with Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism did not begin with the Iraq Crisis. In fact, it has nothing to do with government decisions. You must go back no less than 1,300 years, to the early 8th century, when a Spain recently invaded by the Moors refused to become just another piece in the Islamic world and began a long battle to recover its identity. This Reconquista process was very long, lasting some 800 years. However, it ended successfully. There are many radical Muslims who continue to recall that defeat, many more than any rational Western mind might suspect. Osama Bin Laden is one of them. His first statement after 11th September - I repeat, the 11th September - did not begin by referring to New York or Iraq. His first words were to lament the loss of Al Andalus - Moorish Medieval Spain - and compare it to the occupation of Jerusalem by the Israelis.While it could be argued that some choice of words was not too fortunate (the word "Moors" maybe is not too PC, though he probably was using the Islamists and Osama's own rhetoric to make the point), that's something that few of the most distinguished scholars of Islam would argue.
But the leftist press did; proving their own inability to see the big picture of the fight we're in, or simply revealing their partisanship that won't stop at anything, the "newspaper of record" in Spain, El País -you know, the one who uses the 9/11 imagery in a sick ad- editorialized that "in this remaking of the past, and in this reivindication of the Crusades between Islam and Christianity, there is a disturbing similarity between Aznar and Bin Laden." Sick, and without a clue of what's at stake.