Honduras rejoins international community
24 hours after Spain's Josй Luis Zapatero ordered the return home of the Spanish contingent from Iraq, echoing the will of the Spanish people, President Ricardo Maduro of Honduras followed suit, calling for the return of his 370 troops "in the shortest time possible".
The Honduran contingent is serving together with the Spanish, which are stationed between the British in the south and the Americans in the centre. This is an act of great political courage and integrity by the Honduran President, who follows Zapatero in reflecting the will of his people and not the dictates and orders from Washington, which likes to bully and cajole other countries into fighting its wars, or presenting as broad a coalition as possible, to mask the fact that the war in Iraq contravenes international law, contravenes the UN Charter, contravenes the Geneva Convention and contravenes each and every fibre of diplomatic norms.
President Bush was swift to react, chiding Zapatero in a five-minute telephone call yesterday, in which he insinuated that Spain was taking a hasty decision and playing into the hands of the terrorists. But who are the terrorists?
Did Iraq have anything to do with 9/11? No.
Did Iraq attack the USA? No.
Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction? No.
Did Iraq pose a serious threat to US security? No.
Did the USA attack Iraq? Yes.
Did US forces murder thousands of civilians? Yes.
Did US forces deploy cluster bombs in civilian areas? Yes.
Did US forces deploy tonnes of depleted uranium in civilian areas? Yes.
Did the USA have the authority of the UNSC to attack Iraq? No.
Did the USA even bother to consult the UNSC or its partners in the
international community? No
Who, then, are the terrorists and who, then is perpetrating acts of terrorism?
Spain and Honduras stand firm in the face of great political, diplomatic and financial pressure. The actions of Zapatero and Maduro will not go unnoticed in Washington and they know it. Nevertheless, these two great men have the fibre to stand firm with their convictions, draw the line between what is right and wrong, and follow the will of the people who elected them. This is Leadership with a capital L, this is Politics with a capital P, this is Statesmanship with a capital S.
This is called democracy, something George Bush and his regime like to speak about but do not, and never will, know how to put into practice. Basically, they could not care less about democracy or the will of their people or anyone else's. This is not a government, this is not an administration, it is a regime which serves solely and uniquely to further the interests of the corporate elite which surrounds the White House and the Pentagon.
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18