Audiencia Nacional

Cable en el que la Embajada de EE UU en Madrid "pierde la paciencia" por el clima antiguerra de Irak que aflora en España

El 21 de marzo de 2007 la Embajada estadounidense se preocupa por la amenaza del PSOE y del juez Baltasar Garzón, que hablan de depurar responsabilidades por la guerra de Irak.

Date:2007-03-21 12:35:00
Source:Embassy Madrid
DE RUEHMD #0520/01 0801235
P 211235Z MAR 07

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000520



E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2017

MADRID 00000520 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: DCM Hugo Llorens; reason 1.4 (B) and (D)

1. (C) Summary. In a volatile political climate leading up
to regional/municipal elections in late May, the ruling
Socialist Party (PSOE) and far left political allies have
ramped up criticism of the war in Iraq, in part to
counteract opposition Popular Party (PP) attacks on the
Zapatero Government's controversial policies on the ETA
issue. The Madrid Regional PSOE joined the far left "United
Left" (IU), unions, and pacifist groups staged mass
demonstrations against the war on March 17 - though the
turnout was lower than for the anti-ETA march. On March 20,
high profile magistrate Baltasar Garzon published an
editorial in the left leaning "El Pais" saying that the time
had arrived to investigate "criminal responsibility" for the
war in Iraq, to include possible charges against former
President Aznar, PM Blair, and President Bush (Spaniards
frequently refer to the "Picture of the Azores" in 2003 of
the three leaders as the moment in which the decision to go
to war was made, thus linking Aznar not just with the Spanish
troop deployment, but with full responsibility for the war).
PSOE Secretary Jose Blanco said in a March 20 television
interview that "someone must pay" for the war in Iraq, and
that if someone could demonstrate criminal culpability on the
part of political leaders, Blanco said he was "all for it."
The Ambassador contacted National Security Adviser Carles
Casajuana on March 21 to convey his deep concern regarding
the direction and tenor of PSOE statements on Iraq, which
could only harm bilateral relations. Casajuana discussed the
heated political context of the statements and said he
expected them to abate soon, but assured the Ambassador that
he would convey the Ambassador's concerns to President
Zapatero immediately. The DCM is following up with PSOE
Secretary Blanco to insist that the PSOE avoid dragging the

USG into its domestic conflict with the PP. End summary.


2. (C) In the runup to May 27 regional and municipal
elections, the political environment in Spain has become
increasingly aggressive. The PP has not gained in most
opinion polls, but its criticism of President Zapatero's
controversial policies in the Basque Region has steadily
eroded electoral support for the PSOE. In a show of
strength, the PP led an anti-ETA, anti-Zapatero demonstration
on March 10 in Madrid that drew at least 1 million people.
The PSOE stormed back the following week, refocusing public
attention on former President Aznar's unpopular decision to
commit Spanish forces to the war in Iraq. The Madrid Region
PSOE, joined by the PSOE Secretary for International
Relations Elena Valenciano, organized a smaller mass rally on
March 17 against the Iraq war and against the U.S. detention
of enemy combatants at Guantanamo.

3. (U) The PSOE Parliamentary group joined the fray on March
20, negotiating a non-binding resolution with the far left IU
that sharply criticized the "illegal" war in Iraq. The
resolution passed with the unanimous support of all parties
except the PP. The resolution condemned the "illegal,
immoral, and unjust" decision to go to war in Iraq, for
having "destabilized the region, and encouraged jihadist
terrorism, which most affects the Iraqi people themselves."
The resolution further states that the war was launched on
false pretenses, "as has been recognized by President Bush
and Prime Minister Blair... the (mismanagement) of the
conflict has undermined the credibility of fundamental
universal values, in the face of brutal realities at Abu
Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the execution of Saddam Hussein."
(NOTE: The PSOE version of the resolution removed IU language
calling on the USG to hand over three U.S. servicemen accused
of killing Spanish TV cameraman Jose Couso. END NOTE).


4. (U) Judge Garzon published an editorial in the leading
daily "El Pais" on March 20 that lambasted Aznar for
declining to "heed UN inspectors... and instead lending
himself, along with a few other leaders, to provide cover and
support for this illegal action. Garzon went on to suggest
that the time had come to study whether "criminal
responsibility" should be assigned to Aznar, Prime Minister
Blair, and President Bush.Spaniards frequently refer to the
"Picture of the Azores" in 2003 of the three leaders as the
moment in which the decision to go to war was made, thus
linking Aznar not just with the Spanish troop deployment, but
with full responsibility for the war. Late on March 20, a
television news crew asked PSOE Secretary Jose Blanco
(effectively the number two PSOE leader after Zapatero)
whether Aznar should be prosecuted for having involved Spain

MADRID 00000520 002.2 OF 002

in the war in Iraq. Blanco said that "someone must respond
in the face of this horror, and if there are reasons and
grounds from the legal point of view, then I would be all for


5. (C) The Ambassador contacted National Security Adviser
Carles Casajuana on March 21 to express his concern regarding
the increasingly shrill rhetoric on Iraq on the part of the
ruling Socialist Party and its allies. The Ambassador said
that the PSOE was dragging the USG into Spain's domestic
political arena, a fact that could only harm bilateral
relations. The Ambassador said that he was aware of the
political context, but that he was running out of patience
with unfair Government and PSOE statements regarding the U.S.

6. (C) Casajuana said that the political environment was
"highly polarized" at the moment and blamed the PP for having
stirred the pot on the ETA issue in an inflammatory manner.
He acknowledged that the PSOE had judged that it could
counter attack by resurfacing the Iraq issue and going after
Aznar himself, particularly since the timing coincided with
the fourth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.
Casajuana said he understood that the "spillover" of the
debate had impacted USG sensitivities, but said he expected
the Iraq issue to run its course in the next couple of days.
Casajuana said he would relay the Ambassador's concerns
immediately to President Zapatero, emphasizing the Zapatero
Government's desire to keep this issue under control. The
Ambassador asked that President Zapatero act to tamp down the
matter and avoid fueling anti-American sentiment as the
political campaign continued.

7. (C) The DCM will follow up with a similar message to other
officials and has requested meetings with PSOE Secretary
Blanco and PSOE International Relations Secretary Elena
Valenciano to ask that they leave the U.S. out of their
political campaign.
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