The Dutch PM had some nice words to say to America on 9/11.
‘9/11 was a day of death and destruction. But also a day of boundless courage’, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said at a commemoration of the attacks of 11 September 2001.
‘It is with deep respect that we commemorate the victims who fell five years ago. Our thoughts are with all those who grieve for their loved ones’, said Balkenende at the ceremony at the American Embassy.
‘Words fail us in the face of their pain.’ But, he added, 9/11 was also a day ‘of passionate faith in the power of freedom. And of love that never fades.’
People all over the world have fallen victim to terrorism in recent years, Balkenende said. ‘People from many different countries, of all possible backgrounds and beliefs. Terror affects us all. Terrorists preach hate and violence. Their house is built on fear. We preach freedom and tolerance. Our house is built on respect for others and on dialogue. Our foundation is stronger. The instinct for freedom can be threatened, but never destroyed.’
‘We stand side by side in this struggle which unites all people of good will’, he said. ‘Let us remain resolute in striving for peace and security.’
The prime minister also referred to his recent visit to the Dutch troops in Afghanistan. ‘They go resolute into danger to rebuild and bring security to a scarred country’, he said. ‘A country whose people long for a better life. That is how, side by side with your country and many others, we are sending a message of hope and confidence in the future.’
‘Hate is not the answer’, the prime minister said. ‘The answer is openness. We must join together with all who believe in life, freedom and justice. With people of all cultures and creeds, all over the world.’
I wish other EU leaders woud listen to NATO Generals, though.
NATO failed yesterday to find the urgent reinforcements that its top generals have demanded to strengthen operations against the Taleban in Afghanistan.
Well, France is only sending 200 troops over to Lebanon. I’m sure they could spare some for a jaunt to Afghanistan.