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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Whose Side is Spain On?


"We've come to arrest you for human rights violations."


The recent flap over a Spanish prosecutor's attempt to issue arrest warrants for 6 members of the Bush Administration for war crimes underlines a deeper problem that is going on in Spain. Strangely, that country seems to feel it has world-wide jurisdiction for any alleged war crime, act of torture or human-rights abuse-whether it involves Spain or not. There is also a similar case going on in Spain which involves members of Israel's government.

A Spanish judge is working double-time trying to prosecute 7 Israeli officials for their alleged role in the targeted assassination of Hamas military leader Salah Shehadeh in Gaza in 2002. Judge Fernando Andreu of Spain's National Court is reacting in the wake of a notification by the Israeli Embassy in Spain that no charges will be brought against Israeli officials in the above case (in Israel).

Spain is not the only country in Europe that has somehow felt that it had world-wide authority. Belgium has also tried to stick its foot into international "human-rights violations" by the US. Part of the problem is loose-cannon judges and prosecutors who try to latch onto a big case and run it on their own. But the laws that enable them to do that are cause for concern.

One might ask whether these attempts have no meaning outside of Spain, but theoretically, they could require other EU countries to arrest the so-called violators if they entered Europe and turn them over to the Spanish.

In the case of Spain, it really begs the question of whose side are they on. This is the nation that suffered a horrific terrorist attack in Madrid in response to Spain's participation in the Iraq war-and responded by voting the government of Jose Maria Aznar out of office and bringing in a prime minister (Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero) who promptly pulled Spain's troops out of Iraq. Whether you think Spain should have participated in the Iraq war or not, the action by Spain in response to the terror attack was cowardly.

Now Spain turns against Israel in an effort to curry the favor of the Islamic terrorists who threaten their own country by going after Israel. When will the Europeans wake up and realize that Israel's enemies are their enemies as well? (I could ask the same question of many Americans.)

Centuries ago, there was a time when Spain was a great imperial and colonial power. Those days are long gone, thankfully. If this once-great nation wants to stay out of the war on terror, that is their prerogative, I guess.

Just stay out the way, damn it!

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