Freedom Fries, Indeed

Monday, March 14, 2005

Freedom Fries, Indeed

No surrender monkeys these. Of course, they're not called "French" here anyway, but Vlaamse Frites, or Flemish Fries.

Can it be a coincidence that a nation that consumes such virile spuds is not only part of the Coalition of the Willing but has also decided to take part in a U.S.-led terrorist hunt in Afghanistan, brushing aside concerns over getting involved with torture? Though the assurance that the Dutch won't be handing prisoners over to international-law violators doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Although the majority parliamentary support means that the soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan in the coming weeks, MPs remain concerned by that fact that any suspects arrested by Dutch troops will be sent to the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba....

Foreign Minister Ben Bot also told MPs that he had reached an agreement with the US deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz that Dutch experts would enter into discussions with US authorities about Guantanamo Bay.

I can just see Wolfowitz now: Gee, Jaap, I used to think waterboarding was a great idea, but now that you and Femke have explained your point of view, I've completely changed my mind.

If any Dutch MPs actually were reassured by the promise of "discussions," their odd perception of reality might be explained by the tolerance with which Dutch politicians view drug use.

By the way: Doesn't it make you star-spangled proud that a credible politician in one of our closest and oldest allies can credibly object to even the idea of a joint military mission with the U.S. on the grounds that it would "break from a tradition in which the Netherlands always operated within the bounds of international law?"

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