SP: cooperation with US ‘up for discussion’

12 September 2006

SP: cooperation with US ‘up for discussion’

SP foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel is urging Foreign Minister Ben Bot to summon the American Ambassador in The Hague in order to demand that President Bush's government apologise for lying about alleged links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The announcement that the longstanding, confident assertion that such links existed turns out to have been wrong should give the Dutch government occasion to call for formal talks with its American counterpart. The Netherlands should, moreover, demand that the US close its secret prisons, with the alternative being that we curtail our cooperation in Afghanistan.

The American admission concerning the relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden takes its part in a history of deception which includes assertions about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, uranium supposedly sold to Iraq by Niger, and denial of the existence of secret prisons in which human rights abuses are routine. Eaxh of these has influenced far-reaching decisions, dragging the Netherlands into the United States' wars - yet in each case the information given turns out to have been incorrect.

Harry van Bommel“How long will the Netherlands be willing to act as the US doormat and supplier of troops when we are treated like fools in this way? The Dutch government is making us an accomplice to human rights abuses and is acting against those clauses of our national constitution which oblige us to further the international rule of law," Harry van Bommel said.

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