Sunday, March 14, 2004
Rudyard Kipling And Spain's Danes

Rudyard Kipling - the more I read, the more I appreciate his insight. Here, he elaborates in verse on what Spain seems to have just done:

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
     To call upon a neighbour and to say: -
"We invaded you last night - are quite prepared to fight,
     Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
     And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
     And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
     To puff and look important and to say: -
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
     We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
     But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
     You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
     For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
     You will find it better policy to say: -

"We never pay any one Dane-geld,
     No matter how trifling the cost,
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
     And the nation that plays it is lost!"
Mader Blog elaborates.
The Spanish people today voted to pay the Danegeld. They do not want to fight against the terrorists, but instead are happy to comply with their demands. They will now run away from Iraq. And then? When they have done their best to appease the murderers? Will they then be safe?

Of course not. The enemy is not out to secure small concessions. Their goal is the destruction of Western civilization. They are not opposed to the war to liberate Iraq. They are opposed to freedom, to democracy, to rights for women, gays and other minorities.
I am disappointed for Spain, but there is still hope, for those of us who are optimistic. Perhaps the Socialists will follow through on their pledges to "beat all forms of terrorism." Perhaps they will set aside their previous position of withdrawing their support from the war on terror. Perhaps they will become a silent ally, but remain an ally nonetheless. Perhaps.

But whatever happens, that banner on the right-hand side is not coming down. It is not a sign of support for the Spanish government (whatever they may be), it is a sign of support for the Spanish people. And that support remains.
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