Thursday, October 20, 2005

Helping Spain Grow Up

The blogosphere is rightly enraged by the Spanish judge trying to arrest a US tank crew. This follows an Italian judge posting warrants for CIA agents. Neither is going to get what they want, but it's part of a pattern of European ankle-biting that needs a quick whack with the proverbial rolled-up newspaper.

Report (my ellipsis):

A judge has issued an international arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers whose tank fired on a Baghdad hotel during the Iraq war, killing a Spanish journalist and a Ukrainian cameraman, a court official said yesterday.

(The same) judge...ordered the release of a convicted Basque terrorist who had served 18 years of a 3,000-year sentence for murdering 25 persons -- a decision later overturned by a higher court.

U.S. officials have insisted that the soldiers thought they were being targeted by Iraqi "spotter" when they opened fire.

The US and UK have their share of lefty judges, but don't let them persecute allies. The problem is that today's European democracies are immature - most only 50 years old and Spain just 30. Protected by the US, these fledglings have not had to actually fight in alliances, so don't know the rules. Americans owe them a speed-learning course.

I suggest the US places onerous anti-money-laundering restrictions on all Spanish banks that operate in or with the US, on the (justified) grounds that Spain is the:

key European gateway country and consumer for Latin American cocaine and North African hashish entering the European market; destination and minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin; money-laundering site for European earnings of Colombian narcotics trafficking organizations.

This will dent Spain's fat trade surplus with the US, and with10% unemployment, that's gotta hurt.

As soon as the judge is busted, call the dogs off - this is a friendly lesson, not a war.