Bloemlezing uit de Angelsaksische media

General Alexander Haig
Het Belgisch-Frans-Duitse veto in de NAVO brengt het beste in de Britse pers naar boven. De scheldwoorden zijn niet van de lucht (zie verder). Maar we beginnen met het minst kwetsende en meest relativerende citaat, afkomstig van generaal Alexander Haig, voormalig opperbevelhebber van de NAVO, stafchef van het Witte Huis onder Nixon, en minister van buitenlandse zaken onder Reagan. Haig, die jarenlang in België gewoond heeft, zei gisteren op Fox News: Belgium has always had a tough time because of the configuration of the country and its political make-up; [about Chirac:] here's a guy that loves to pick fights with the United States, whether it's in doing business in the global marketplace or following our lead politically. The German [Schroeder] is a has-been, he's dead meat, his political days are finished. We have to be careful about all this: the problem is with the French and German leaders, not with the French and German people, they are friends of the United States. These leaders come and go, the people stay. Why do we get so excited? Why is the press all over this. Forget the excessive rhetoric that's coming from some of our officials. Forget about these three countries, let's go ahead without them.

En dan is er nog de Britse pers.

The Daily Telegraph:

"As France and Germany strike out by themselves - with only the soi-disant support of Russia and the worthless support of Belgium - in defiance of the settled will of America and its allies, one has to ask what they hope to achieve."

"As for Belgium, which even refused to provide ammunition for Nato's liberation of Kuwait in 1991, perhaps we should have just let the Kaiser keep the place in 1914, rather than sacrifice a generation to earn such loathsome ingratitude."

The Times:

"Can you hear the laughter? A low throaty guffaw emanates from a cellblock in The Hague. A rasping chuckle breaks the silence in Baghdad. And in a deep corner of Hell there’s a chorus of hilarity from ghosts who haven’t had anything to celebrate in decades. For Slobodan Milosevic, President Saddam Hussein and the spirits of politburos past, these must be the most delicious of days. The alliance which was their enemy is now fighting itself. Nato, the physical embodiment of the West’ s willingness to defend its values, is a squabbling, sundered, supine mess. The decision by France, Germany and Belgium to veto military aid to Turkey is more than just a signal of division and irresolution in the struggle to disarm Saddam. It may be the fatal blow which fractures one of history’s most successful alliances."

"Set against them are those who now practise pacifism, such as Schröder’ s Germany, which will not countenance any meaningful action against Iraq, parasite nations such as Belgium, which treats Nato as just another bureaucracy to keep its restaurants afloat, and the quintessential pirate nation, France. French elites treat foreign policy like sex, a sphere in which morality is never allowed to intrude. Just ask a Rwandan Tutsi."

The Sun:

"Three stooges. The weasels of France, Germany and Belgium play a treacherous game. [...] Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder and the pipsqueak Belgians put the future of Nato and the EU in question. What a shabby bunch they are."

Fred Kaplan neemt het dan weer op voor België in een artikel op de website Slate: Belgium isn't sabotaging NATO. Rumsfeld is.





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