March 14, 2004

Eurocrat Watch

Will the carnage in Madrid be viewed as a pan-European event, a Euro-wide 9/11, of sorts?

Doubtful.

"While three days of mourning had commenced in Spain, the commission's spokesman, Reijo Kemppinen, conducted his daily noon briefing. He announced a proposed "directive on statutory audits in the European Union" as well as an upcoming press conference on "aid to cinemas."

Another spokesman said that the commission had "adopted a proposal which would help to make the Internet a safer place for children and for adults."

When it came time for questions about the attacks at the briefing, the situation in Madrid was described in the cold and technical lingo of Brussels.

Pietro Petrucci, a spokesman who specializes in judicial and police matters, said his boss, Antonio Vittorino, would soon "brief the college of commissioners, and the college of commissioners will have chance of discussing what is to happen."

There were mentions of committees like Coreper - a grouping of EU ambassadors - that most Europeans don't know exist."

That said, European security officials (yes, in France and Germany too) believe that further attacks are quite likely.

"The French counterterrorism official, speaking in an interview before the Madrid attacks, said that his colleagues around Europe were seriously concerned about a biological or chemical attack in the subway system or aboard a passenger train. "And we worry about bombs, too," he added.

Meanwhile, Bavaria's interior minister, Gunther Beckstein, said Friday that he believed Al Qaeda could be responsible for the Madrid attacks, and that Germany, like Spain, was especially vulnerable to a terrorist strike because German troops were now serving in Afghanistan."

Spaniards holding Aznar responsible for the March 11th attacks would do well to keep the Bavarian Interior Minister's comments in mind.

German involvement in Afghanistan, even in post-conflict multilateral NATO guise, in a war fought because the Taliban refused to hand-over the perpetrators of the mass slaughter of 3,000 invididuals, appears to constitute cause enough for the theocratic fanatics of al-Qaeda to slaughter wholly unconnected innocents a continent away.

Of course, much of the Euro-left will blame Aznar (read: Bush) for the Madrid carnage. And thus sadly evidence that they still don't understand the nature of the battle we are engaged in.

Posted by Gregory at March 14, 2004 06:11 AM
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