The adolescent Socialist government in Spain is demonstrating its immaturity by barring U.S. troops from the military parade that marks Spain’s Fiesta Nacional commemorating the day Columbus first spotted land in the Americas.
American soldiers have marched in the parade since 2001 when the government under Aznar invited them as homage to those who died on 9/11. In their place, French troops have been invited to march through Madrid on October 12.
The International Herald Tribune reports on the undiplomatic reasoning of Spain’s new Defense Minister, Jose Bono,
Bono said on Cadena Cope radio that Oct. 12 "is not the national holiday of the United States, and no one is under any obligation to see the flag of another country in the parade, though it is a friend and an ally for sure."
"This is in no way an insult nor a sign of contempt toward the United States," the minister said, adding that Spain was "no longer subordinated and kneeling" before Washington.
Last time I checked, Columbus Day was a holiday in the U.S. And certainly nothing insulting about that “kneeling before Washington” line.
For a government borne of appeasement, you’d think the minister of defense would be a little more conciliatory toward the most powerful military force on earth.
He must surely know that if American troops really wanted to march through the capital of Spain they could do so at any time.