[Marxism] Spain rejects Kerry's request to keep troops in Iraq

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 18 22:53:29 MST 2004

(There will be some people who will say, oh,
Zapatero, he's just a reformist faker of the
social democratic type. He cannot be trusted.

(Fidel Castro, however, isn't approaching him
in that spirit, as shown in his greeting:


Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
tonight rejected US Democratic presidential hopeful
John Kerry's call for him to reconsider plans to
withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq. 

Zapatero, the Socialist who won Sunday's general
election, noted that he had campaigned on a pledge to
withdraw those 1,300 troops unless the United Nations
takes charge in Iraq, and did not devise the plan
simply because of last week's terrorist bombings in

"My commitment is my commitment," Zapatero said in a
television interview.

He added that he wanted "the best relations with the
United States".

Kerry yesterday joined other politicians in the US in
expressing alarm over Zapatero's insistence on
bringing home the troops by June 30 when their mandate
runs out unless the UN steps in.

Some Americans said Spain would be appeasing
terrorists if it went ahead with the plan.

"Maybe John Kerry does not know - but I am happy to
explain it to him - that my commitment to withdraw the
troops goes back before the tragic, dramatic terrorist
attack," Zapatero said.

"If the United Nations does not take over the
situation and there is not a rethinking of this
chaotic occupation we are living through, in which
there are more dead in the occupation than in the war
phase, the Spanish troops are going to return to
Spain", Zapatero said.

He also pledged to be relentless against terrorism.

"Terrorists have to know that (in Spain) there is
going to be a government that is inflexible with
terrorism and that wherever they are, they will be
hunted down. This has been my policy since I was
leader of the opposition."


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