Anti-War, Anti-NATO Mobilization Shakes Spanish Government
Jan. 26, 2022 (EIRNS)—Last week’s decision by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez that Spain would immediately send one of its Aegis missile-equipped frigates to build up NATO’s anti-Russia forces in the Black Sea, followed by four or six Eurofighter jets in February for NATO deployments in Bulgaria, met with a swift public rejection from within Sánchez’s governing coalition. Statements issued by Unidos Podemos, the Socialist Party’s leading coalition partner, and from leaders of eight smaller, also leftwing parties in the coalition, called for Spaniards to mobilize a “No to War!” campaign modeled on the 2003 mobilization against Spain’s participation in the Iraq war, which succeeded in bringing down the then-ruling Popular Party of George Bush’s buddy José Aznar, and forcing the withdrawal of Spanish military forces from Iraq.
Sánchez is acutely aware that the Socialist Party regained power in 2004, precisely because it had led that 2003 “No to War!” campaign, as many in the party’s base remember.
Podemos issued a statement on Jan. 20, whose anti-war, anti-NATO tenor was echoed in declarations issued by several cabinet ministers from Podemos and its allied parties. Titled “On the Increase in Military Tension in Ukraine,” the statement declared:
“We reject the increase in troop movements and the dispatching of ships and fighters to the area.... we are heading toward a conflict difficult to resolve, if we do not aim for détente and strategic autonomy in order to defend our own interests and values.... To speak of NATO, is to speak of the Cold War. This era has passed. We cannot go back to recreate it, because we would all lose. In this 2022, in which the world continues to face the pandemic and the climate emergency, we opt for cooperation between countries, peoples and persons. It therefore makes no sense that NATO is now extended into Ukraine and Georgia for U.S. interests, something which Russia sees as a military threat, adding more tension to an area which has already suffered too much....
“The ‘no to war’ which swept the entire world in 2003 still resonates in the streets of our country.”
Spain’s Atlanticists, who until now have had little to fear from Podemos, this time reacted with fury. Leading rightwing daily, ABC (the voice of the fascist government under Franco), editorialized on Jan. 25, under the headline, “With NATO or with Podemos,” that Sánchez must expel the cabinet ministers and factions within his government that are undermining his authority by opposing his NATO policy, or it will be further isolated by President Biden. Spain “cannot play the Atlanticist trump card with a Government infiltrated by apologists for Vladimir Putin,” ABC moaned.