Spanish Pundit (II)

diciembre 31, 2005

And now we have here how the "pacifist" Zapatero acts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nora @ 3:07 pm

One of my first posts in this blog was about the lie of the pacifism of Mr. Zapatero. He based all hie elctoral campaign in accusing the Aznar Administration of being in Iraq fighting an “illegitimate, unjust and illegal” war. The Socialist party had even issued a law that only authorises to enter in a foreing war with either of one permissions: that of the Parliament or that of an international organization like UN. Well it looks like he had sent a ship to Iraq war: the best -and more modern one- of Spanish war frigates, Alvaro de Bazan (F 101).

TRCSG Sailor Reenlists Aboard Spanish Ship Alvaro de Bazan
Story Number: NNS051013-06

Release Date: 10/13/2005
4:52:00 PM

By Journalist 2nd Class Kimberly R. Stephens, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (NNS)
— USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Operations Specialist 2nd Class Keison Hunt reenlisted aboard the Spanish ship Alvaro de Bazan (F 101) in the Persian Gulf Oct. 2.
Hunt is currently part of the U.S. Communications Assistance Team (CAT) that has been assigned in the integration of Bazan into the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG).

Bazan is the first European ship with the Aegis weapons system and is assisting the TRCSG with Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf.

“I decided to reenlist on the Spanish ship because I knew that I would be the first U.S. Navy Sailor to do it, and it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Hunt. It was also a first-time experience for many of the Spanish Sailors and officers on board Bazan to witness this type of ceremony.

“It has been an honor for me to preside over this ceremony on board my ship,” said Bazan Commanding Officer Cristobal Gonzalez-Aller La Calle. “We don’t have this kind of act for re-enlisting in the Spanish Navy, so it has been an interesting experience from which we can learn and maybe apply in a similar way.”Hunts dedication in working with Bazan’s CAT team has been an essential part of TR’s Operations Departments endeavor to meet the challenge of joint operations.

“In spite of the language ‘barrier,’ the interaction has been good, especially with our communications team,” said La Calle.”I thought that it was a good experience because not many U.S. Sailors get the chance to be a part of another military. The Spanish crew was very friendly, and I enjoyed every moment of being on this ship,” said Hunt.

Alvaro de Bazan is currently working with TRCSG in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf. MSO sets the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. [continues here…]

When the launching of this ship (May 6/2005) Bono played hommage to the US flag: (I have underlined the Zapatero’s words when he did not play any tribute to the US flag).

Bono pays homage to US flag

Defense minister José Bono yesterday paid homage to the US flag at a military ceremony in Virginia. Bono said, “We pay our deepest honor to your flag, which respects the Spanish people and stands for the value of freedom.” Bono thanked the US for rendering tribute to the Spanish flag and therefore, in the name of the Spanish people, he wished to return the same tribute. He added, “In Europe we cannot forget that it was the United States who helped in the triumph over totalitarianism.” Bono’s attitude is in notable contrast to that of former opposition leader and current prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who at the Spanish armed forces day parade on October 12, 2003, whas the only invited guest who did not rise in salute to the US flag when it passed by the reviewing stand. Bono’s words were equally surprising because he had previously stated, in order to justify Zapatero’s scorn for the American flag, “Here we do not kneel down, we are just as sovereign as the US, though we may be smaller and not as powerful,” and added that “Spanish soldiers are not at the disposition of the US government; shaking hands with the US president for us cannot mean turning our backs on the Spanish people.” Yesterday, in the hangars of the US aircraft carrier Roosevelt, Bono attended the launching ceremony of the Álvaro de Bazán, the first new Spanish F-100 class frigate, and its addition to the Roosevelt’s carrier group. Aboard the Roosevelt, anchored at Norfolk, Virginia, Bono addressed the ship’s crew and declared that it would show the Spanish flag around the world. Concluded Bono, “The flag evokes feelings of equality and solidarity, and together we can do more and we will, because we want what the Constitution says.”

The Alvaro de Bazan is the first European ship with the capability of forming part of a US carrier group thanks to its combat potential and radar system.

Of course, as a Spanish citizen (and a very proud one of being so), I think that we have to remain sovereign but not to be idiots. I mean, you can just state your reasons for not entering in a mission in a trustful and honest way. What you cannot do is to scorn on the others, commit every possible wrong in exterior policy and afterwards think you are the smartest in town.

The best thing of course is that the Socialists now are saying that they have not send that ship to “make war”… but it has continued to make impact in the Gulf:

“I am extremely proud of the 7,000 Sailors in our strike group, each one of whom makes a vital contribution every day to our success, whether at sea fighting terrorism or helping to set the conditions for security and stability in this region,” said Rear Adm. James A. Winnefeld, commander, Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. “Together, we’re all determined to carry this important mission through, until our last day underway.”


CVW-8’s Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 led the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group’s first combat flights in support of OIF, when it began flying combat sorties Sept. 24. Since then, aircraft from CVW-8, which consists of Fighter Squadron (VF) 213 and VF-31; Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87 and VFA-15; Sea Control Squadron (VS) 24; Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124; and Helicopter Squadron (HS) 3; have conducted strikes in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while protecting coalition ground troops.

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group includes the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, with its embarked air wing, CVW-8; the Norfolk-based guided-missile cruiser San Jacinto; the Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyers Oscar Austin and Donald Cook; the Spanish frigate SPS Alvaro de Bazan (F101); and the combat logistics ships USNS Mount Baker (T-AE 34) from Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., and USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) from Norfolk.

Also it has helped the Operation Steel Curtain:

Operation Steel Curtain is an offensive aimed at preventing cells of Al Qaeda from entering Iraq through the Syrian border. Coalition ground forces consisting of 1,000 Iraqi Army Soldiers and 2,500 U.S. Marines began the offensive Nov. 4 near the town of Husaybah near the Iraq/Syria border.

And now THE photo:

051203-N-4154B-008 Persian Gulf (Dec. 3, 2005) – The Spanish Navy frigate Alvaro de Bazan (F101) sails alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during Alvaro de Bazan’s departure from Carrier Strike Group Two (CSG-2). CSG-2 is currently underway on a regularly scheduled deployment conducting maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Matthew Bash (RELEASED)

So EL MUNDO, one of Spanish newspapers, asked the Governement what was the role of this ship. (To me it’s very clear, ejem). And it published the news (that were nothing new, ejem). And informed that the TRCSG threw 2.500 kilos of bombs in Iraq with the protection of the Spanisg frigate. USA has confirmed that the frigate was in all these operations.

The Governement said that the “integration in the group of the USS Theodore Roosevelt has been the result of a very large progress of preparation, whose negotitiations began on November 24th, 2005, when Aznar was the President of Spain. It also has said that the Almiral of Spanish Navy has express orders of not joining war actions.

The problem is that the “Naval Review”, one of the Official Spanish Navy publications, informed, on April 14th, 2005, that it was in that moment that the “integration” was signed between Sebastián Zaragoza Soto, Chief Admiral of Spanish Navy, and Michael G. Mullen, Admiral and Chief Commader of the US Naval Forces in Europe.

So Mr. Rajoy, the oppostion leader, has asked Mr. Zapatero to explain the role of the frigate in Parliament. And Llamazares, the communist leader, that intended to accuse Aznar of genocide in Iraq, has also asked Zapatero about the mission of the frigate.

But the success of the integration is a reality and the role of Spanish sailors and officers, have been praised by USS Theodore Roosevelt. I am very proud of it, and with me any Spanish proud of being so.

Lastly, but not least a cartoon appeared in EL MUNDO:

The true mission of the Spanish frigate in the Gulf:
ZAPATERO: My fellow irqais, remember that smoking can kill you.
Boommmmm

(Spanish Parliament has just now passed a law forbidding to smoke in public places)

Chamberlain: la política del apaciguamiento

Filed under: Sin categoría especial — Nora @ 12:08 pm

Cuanas se refiere en su blog a un post encontrado en The Belmont Club:

Justo antes de dejar Londres para visitar Paris esta semana, el Primer Ministro Neville Chamberlain dijo a la Casa de los Comunes que otra vez está apelando a Adolf Hiler para continuar así su política de apaciguamiento en general. Haciendo esto, se ha revelado, y puede probarse como el más importante hecho internacional desde Munich, los esfuerzos del Gobierno británico para encontrar una casa a los Judíos de Alemania. Habiendo buscado entre todas las colonias, reveló qeu el Gobernador de Tanganica había puesto a su disposición 50.000 acres de terreno para asentar allí a los judíos, y a sus familias…

Este artículo fue escrito hace 67 años en la Revista Time Magazine, titulado “después de Munich” y fechado en noviembre de 1938.

El resto del artículo describe el Gobierno de su Majestad y sus esfuerzos para asentar a las 70.000 víctimas de los “progroms nazis en Tanganica o en 10.000 millas cuadradas de territorio británico en la Guyana británica.

Si el pasado parece una historia familiar con un final concebible, los que vivieron en él no tenían ningún presentimiento sobre el futuro. En 1938 Chamberlain pudo continuar sin ningún tipo de vergüenza por su parte con el “trabajo de apaciguamiento de Munich, y Time Magazine pudo pensar que encontrar la tierra para un estado judío en África y en Sudáfrica era una proposición viable. La invasión nazi de Polonia ocurrió menos de un año después y las instituciones antiguas que constituyeron el cuadro al que se refiere el artículo de Times no duraron ni otros 20. las colonias europeas desparecieron y America se convertiría en una superpotencia y la saga de Israel comenzaría.

Pero algo no deja de ser familiar para el lector moderno. Un comentarista de películas de Time lamentaba la tendencia de Hollywood a tergiversar la Historia.

60 gloriosos años (Imperator-RKO Radio) podría ser una experiencia interesant para los cine-adictos de USA cuyas nociones del siglo XIX pueden haber sido un poco confundidas por las últimas películas de las versiones Hollywood. Suez, por ejemplo, retrataban a Fernando de Lesseps, que actualmente tiene 2 mujeres y 10 hijos, como un joven soltero en busca de amor, y explicaban la participación inglesa en la construcción del canal de Suez como el resultado de una Elección General que nunca tuvo lugar.

Muy interesante para los tiempos que corren.

Chechen jihad

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nora @ 1:20 am

Article appeared on GEES:

The connection between interna-tional terrorism and the “movement for independence” in Chechnya is substantial and explicit, but all too often ignored in the West. The popular assumption is that Chech-nya is a distant problem that need not be addressed by anyone outside Russia.
Unfortunately, the evidence sug-gests otherwise. Islamic extremists and their terror-tactics have been a central factor in the Caucasus more than a decade ago. From Iraq to Af-ghanistan, London to Moscow, Is-lamic terrorists have firmly imbed-ded Chechnya into the global web of terror networks.
A sparsely reported but highly sig-nificant development in the war against Islamic extremism in the Caucasus occurred on October 13 in the Russian republic of Astemirov-Balkaria. There, approximately 100 terrorists led by Wahhabi adherent Anzor Astemirov killed at least twenty-four police officers and civil-ians, though the Russian daily Kommersant reported the actual casualty count was higher than the official count. Chechens and a sig-nificant group of Arabs took part in the assault, and news reports sug-gested that radical Chechen leader Shamil Basayev may have been di-rectly involved in the operation.
Leon Aron, the director of Russian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, believes that foreign Is-lamic militants have fueled much of the violence in the Caucasus and “hijacked Chechnya’s struggle for independence.” There is much to support this claim as many Islamic fundamentalists who have a history of international terrorism have be-come involved in the Chechen con-flict. Osama bin Laden’s chief lieu-tenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, at-tempted to establish a base for Is-lamic terrorists in Chechnya in 1996.
By 1999, it was estimated that at least 100 Al Qaeda members joined up with Chechens in the Caucasus. In addition, Shamil Basayev is be-lieved to have trained in Afghani-stan in 1994. Basayev has claimed responsibility for – among other horrendous acts of terror – the Beslan school hostage situation that claimed the lives of 330, including women and young children.
This process of Chechen “Islamiza-tion” began in the mid 1990s as sig-nificant numbers of Arab fighters joined the fight of Muslims in Chechnya seeking to gain inde-pendence from the Russian Federa-tion. At that time, moderate Sufi Islam, long dominant in Chechnya, began to give way to Wahhabism. Money coming from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Af-ghanistan was paid to those who converted to Wahhabism and those who recruited others to join the mili-tant sect. As one Chechen convert explained: “I liked it that Arabs want to go on making war until they liberate the whole world of the [in-fidels]” and holy war should con-tinue “until all the Christians are converted to Islam.”
The influx of Arabs and Islamic fundamentalists soon changed the face of the conflict in Chechnya. The Middle East Quarterly accurately noted last summer that “A close ex-amination of the evolution of the Chechen movement indicates that Islamists and followers of Al-Qaeda have increasingly sought to co-opt the Chechen movement as their own.”
American and Russian intelligence services have found evidence sug-gesting that many of the same groups and individuals that fi-nanced al-Qaeda also provided support for Chechen leaders, such as the Saudi-born Ibn al-Khattab. Iran and Saudi Arabia are also be-lieved to have provided funding for Basayev and his followers. The ex-planation for this generosity is un-ambiguous: this diverse group of fanatics is united under the common goal of establishing an Islamic state in the Caucasus.
The events on the ground continue to suggest that the forces attempting to establish an Islamic state from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea are relatively weak. However, as the United States and our Iraqi allies crush the hopes of the Islamists in Iraq who seek to create a new ca-liphate, their efforts will soon focus elsewhere – as is already evident with recent terror attacks in Jordan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. An ex-tremely likely target will be Chech-nya and its neighboring republics.
Alexei Malashenko, an expert on Chechnya at the Carnegie Center in Moscow, stated recently that “The Chechen conflict is spilling into neighboring republics, escalating the process of destabilization” in the Caucasus and Central Asia. This poses an enormous threat to both the territorial integrity of Russia and the long-term interests of the United States in the region. The process has already started and is likely to pick up increasing steam as Islamists be-gin to lose hope in Iraq and Af-ghanistan. The second Chechen war began in 1999 with the invasion of Chechnya’s neighboring republic of Dagestan. This was an attempt to spread the conflict in hope of gener-ating a larger Islamic rising. Al-though Russian forces quickly drove the aggressors back to Chechnya, the Islamists have far from given up hope.
The Russian republic of Ingushetia has similarly experienced terror at the hands of the Chechens and their Islamist supporters. Repeated at-tempts to assassinate the pro-Moscow president of Ingushetia, Murat Zyazikov, have so far been unsuccessful. However, the em-ployed tactic of suicide car bomb-ings illustrates not only the same desired ends of the Chechens and their Islamist allies, but also the matching callous means. While the Islamists have failed to topple the Ingush leadership thus far, they did succeed in briefly taking the repub-lic’s capitol of Nazran in 2004. This operation was carried out by mili-tant followers of Shamil Basayev and concluded only after nearly 100 government officials and police offi-cers had been killed.
The influx of radical Islam and the expansionist nature of the aspira-tions of its followers have made it evident that Chechnya has trans-formed from a republic seeking in-dependence to one of the global cen-ters of Islamic jihad. Vladimir Putin described the danger of a widening conflict in a December 2003 televi-sion appearance: “they have com-pletely different goals – not the in-dependence of Chechnya, but the territorial separation of all territories of compact Muslim residence. It fol-lows that we should resist that, if we don’t want the collapse of our state. And if that happens, it will be worse here than in Yugoslavia.”
Unfortunately, Putin was not exag-gerating. London’s Sunday Express reported that British intelligence sources revealed that Chechen fighters were some of the last hold-outs in the battle at Tora Bora in Af-ghanistan. Chechens have also gone to Iraq to fight Americans and our allies. The same British intelligence source told the Sunday Express: “These are not just people dreaming of a homeland, they are key global terrorist figures.” The source added: “British forces in the Gulf during the initial phase of the fighting were finding Chechen bodies among the fanatics fighting along Saddam Hussein’s troops. A number of the foreign fighters confronting our troops in Basra have turned out to be Chechens.” Thus, Chechens are clearly gaining experience in guer-rilla warfare and terrorist operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and those that survive will bring their skills back to Chechnya.
However, to understand the scope of the events in Chechnya and its neighboring republics, one must also be acquainted with the global attempts to wreak havoc by the Chechens and their Islamist associ-ates not only in the Middle East and Central Asia, but in Western Europe as well. In 2002, Shamil Basayev engineered a plot to assassinate British Prime Minter Tony Blair at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Had it been successful, the attack would have killed several members of the killed several members of the Royal Family and certainly would have had just as great of a psychological impact on the people of Britain as the July 7 attacks. Terrorists from Chechnya and its neighbors have targeted Russian and Western inter-ests in Britain, France, Spain, and elsewhere.
Many of these plots originated in Georgia’s Shevardnadze Trail, a passage which runs through the eastern Georgia stretch known as the Pankisi Gorge and is described by former U.S. counterterrorism of-ficial Paul J. Murphy as a “lawless area that Georgia is unable to totally control and that has served as a conduit for financial and logistical support and fighter reinforcements into Chechnya since the early 1990’s.” The Pankisi Gorge has been the staging ground of alleged at-tempts to use ricin in London and bomb the Russian embassy in Paris. Chechens and members of al-Qaeda alike seek refuge and plot future attacks in Pankisi camps. Thus, it is clear that any attempt to combat terror in Chechnya and throughout the region will also have to attribute significant attention to the Pankisi Gorge.
The April 2004 expiration of the Georgia Train and Equip Program, a United States effort to assist the Georgian government in combating terrorism and to bring order to the Pankisi Gorge, signals a lack of re-solve on the part of the United States to alleviate the terrorist prob-lem in Chechnya and its surround-ing territories. This will have to change and the United States must re-dedicate itself – to a greater de-gree than previously displayed – to eliminating this problem. The up-coming November 27 Chechen presidential elections are certainly a positive step; however, without lim-iting the influence of foreign Islamists and subduing the radical-ized portions of the Chechen popu-lation, the new government is cer-tain to exert little control and may be just another artificial façade un-able to stem the tide of Islamic ex-tremism currently engulfing Chech-nya and its surrounding regions.
Robert T. McLean is a research intern at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.
You can continue reading this interview to a chechen jihadist leader who committed suicide this December 2005 (this page has also another very interesting links):

“Q. Some Muslims are hoping for a peaceful solution to this conflict, and to give heed to Western proposals and conditions for a cease-fire. How do you see the solution to this conflict?”
“A. Islamic issues can only be solved by Islamic means, namely through abiding by Sharia (Divine Law) and not Western proposals or United Nations conditions. Any resolution through non-Islamic means places the future of Muslims in the hands of tyrants who will never accept the rise of an Islamic state.”

“Q. Several Islamic populations are fighting defensive wars against aggressors. Yet some of them raise the banners of nationalism that may incorporate elements of secularism, ethnic nationalism or religion. How would you describe the war in Chechnya?”
“A. The fighting in Chechnya is a Jihad for the sake of Allah, a Jihad that aims to ensure that the word of Allah is supreme in this land. We consider most of the commanders and fighters as Mujahideen whose intentions are sincere and devoted to Allah Most high.”
“Q. The Russian military machine is massive and incorporates large numbers of troops and sizeable quantities of modern arms, yet the Russians are being decisively beaten on a daily basis by a small group of Mujahideen What are your comments in this regard?”
“A. All of the Mujahideen’s victories are attributed solely to Allah Most High… The jihad in Chechnya should serve as an example to all Muslims throughout the world that any Muslim rights that are forcibly usurped, including land, cannot be restored except through force. Negotiations only serve to lose one’s rights and honour. Let us consider Palestine as an example. There are a small number of Jews occupying Palestine. The Arabs outnumber them and have larger military forces, however, instead of fighting for the sake of Allah like their brothers in Chechnya, the Arabs (nationalists and secularists) chose to negotiate with their enemy. This has resulted in the humiliation of the Arabs, and has failed to restore Arab rights and territories.”
“Q. The complete victory of the Mujahideen is now in sight. What will happen once the war is over. Will we witness a recurrence of the tragedies that took place in Afghanistan, Bosnia and other Muslim countries that freed themselves from the yoke of crusader invasions?”
“A. Allah Most High has promised that those who glorify and fight for Allah in times of war, and who establish His Sharia in times of peace, will always have victory bestowed upon them… The Mujahideen will strive to ensure that the Muslims of Chechnya will continue to be united, and that the light of Sharia dispels the evil of disunity. It is only through Allah that success is granted.”
“Q. Many Muslims around the world have expressed their support and sympathy for their brothers in Chechnya. Most Muslims continue to support the Mujahideen through supplication to Allah, and by spreading awareness about the jihad in Chechnya. Has this support had any impact in Chechnya, if so, please give us some examples?”
“A. The supplications of Muslims and their financial support has played an important role in the victories of the Mujahideen. This support has helped mitigate the difficulties faced by the Mujahideen who are lacking adequate supplies of food and medicine. We ask Allah to accept the support given to us by our brothers, and remind the Ummah that coming to the aid of Muslims who are oppressed is a sacred duty that Allah Most High has confirmed…”

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