Is Prime Minister Aznar right to let U.S. forces use Spanish bases for Iraq

SPAIN has had an agreement with USA since 1953, in Franco's time, to have American bases on Spanish soil, and these are in Rota and Moron.
This agreement has been ratified since the instigation of democracy, both accepted by the central party, UCD and later by the socialists, PSOE, since they were the ones who encouraged the country to vote in favour of Spain's entry into NATO. That step was in fact something that the socialist public did not understand since they had thought their party was going to recommend staying out. But politics is politics and Spain is in NATO as well as the UNO. Now, we have the risk of war on the horizon, with Jose Maria Aznar taking the stance that every effort must be made to try and settle the problems with Iraq in a peaceful way. However, he is also very open in his support for Blair and for Bush. Now the Spanish socialist opposition are bleating about the risk if the American bases in Spain are used as the departure point for planes with missiles to attack Iraq. The socialists did nothing to remove the bases and presumably the country does benefit economically for this “rental”. In which case surely the politicians must be consequent with their decisions. If you rent out your property for a particular use, you cannot start complaining when the day comes for that use to be effected. Similarly, if Spain has been letting USA use its territory for hangars, landings and take offs of large “warrior” planes, surely now is not the time to start complaining and saying that this permission must be removed. After all, you can't have your cake and eat it.

Anne Kay

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