Dutch politicians and media are still falling over themselves to express their shock and outrage at being ‘lied to’ following Bush’s admission that the Americans had indeed kept terrorist suspects locked up in secret detention centres outside the US.
The Dutch government should thank its lucky stars it didn’t – officially – know about the detention centres. After all, what exactly could it have done if it had known? And are we really expected to believe that they didn’t know? At least foreign minister Ben Bot had the decency to admit that last week’s announcement did not come as a complete surprise. And not only that. Why the Dutch obsession with its role as an ally spurned? Rather than focussing on the core message of Bush’s announcement, the Dutch media revelled in their favourite pastime – picking at the scabs of Holland’s inferiority complex.
Surely the point is not that the Dutch weren’t informed (was any other country?) but the fact that the US has once again displayed a breathtaking disregard for international law. And remains unrepentant?
On the other hand, you can’t fault them for timing – or was it just coincidence that Bush’s announcement last week came just days before today’s commemoration of 9/11?