12 FEBRUARY 2003

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Toon this week: Missileship or partnership?

Dr Sant’s silly comments

As the days go by the campaign has only become sillier and more bizarre. What in heaven’s name led the Labour leader to show distress in front of the media about the passage of missiles over the Maltese Islands? Nothing could be more far-fetched, and yet we are still expected to take him seriously.

He spoke surrounded by his usual entourage at the foot of the Valletta bastions. That he can keep a straight face while making the proclamation is a feat in itself.

The setting was chosen to remind us what could happen to us in times of conflict, with the crumbling bastions standing in the background of the serious crowd.

Never has the man been so pathetic.

Indeed, in the media, Dr Alfred Sant’s antics have been compared to those of a prankster.

The Labour leader on this occasion, conveniently ignored any references to Germany and France - two great nations that are constantly referred to as the big brothers in the EU of 15 states.

Strangely, all the other nations, with few exceptions, have taken a rather pro-US stance on the Iraq issue, proving once again that the question of foreign policy and sovereignty is in no way under threat in the European Union.

Dr Sant should remind his audience that France and Germany have unilaterally chosen to be more cautious about Iraq - whereas the US and Britain are anxious to break Iraq’s back, even if it means sending the European Union’s economy and that of the world into further turmoil.

The common sense in France and Germany

The Germans, French and Belgians have opposed the transfer of military technology to Turkey, a Nato member country.

The US is surprised at their stance.

But why should they be?

Over the last 70 years the three nations have suffered more deprivation and death from war than any other nation.

Russia perhaps is the only other addition. But then it too has suffered millions of dead in wars that changed boundaries and killed cultures and their people. The position shared by the US and Britain is understandable only if one where to believe all that is said about Iraq.

There is little to lead one to believe that Iraq contains more secret weaponry than meets the eye.

The fixation on Iraq will lead to a war but it will lead us nowhere else. It will contribute to putting more strain on a shaky world economy and will serve to deflect attention from the problems that many individual economies face.

Weapons of mass destruction are today found in Israel, North Korea, some ex-Soviet states, Pakistan, India and probably South Africa. There may be others and yet Britain and the US continue to believe that the way forward is waging war at all costs.


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Editor: Saviour Balzan
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