Spanish premier fulfills campaign promise and orders troops home from Iraq
MADRID, Spain (AP) The prime minister ordered Spanish troops pulled out of Iraq as soon as possible Sunday, fulfilling a campaign pledge to a nation still recovering from terrorist bombings that al-Qaida militants said were reprisal for Spain's support of the war.
The new Socialist prime minister issued the abrupt recall just hours after his government was sworn in, saying there was no sign the United States would meet his demands for staying in Iraq United Nations control of the postwar occupation.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's party won the March 14 general election amid allegations that outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had provoked commuter-train terrorist bombing, which killed 191 people three days earlier, by backing the war in Iraq.
Zapatero pledged to remove Spanish troops in his winning campaign. But his announcement a setback for the United States was a bombshell, coming just hours after his government was sworn in, and as his foreign minister planned to travel to Washington to discuss the dispute.
In a five-minute address at the Moncloa Palace, Zapatero said he had ordered Defense Minister Jose Bono to ''do what is necessary for the Spanish troops stationed in Iraq to return home in the shortest time possible.'
Sunday, April 18
Coming Soon: "Freedom Rice," "Freedom Harlem" and "The Rain In Maine"
Spain now will join France and Germany as the wingnuts' new betrayer of America. This is huge.
Posted by Howard Hoffman at 12:51 PM