Back

February 2007 – Jose Maria Aznar Honored for Terrorism Fight

JINSA presented its first Global Leadership Award to former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on February 12, 2007. The new award recognizes those leaders on the international stage whose life work embodies the principles that are the foundation of JINSA’s mission: robust security for America and its allies and partners around the globe. As Mark Broxmeyer, JINSA’s Chairman of the Board explained during the evening’s opening address, “We live in a world where the most lethal threats facing us cannot be countered by one country alone – no matter how powerful that one country might be.

JINSA presented its first Global Leadership Award to former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on February 12, 2007. The new award recognizes those leaders on the international stage whose life work embodies the principles that are the foundation of JINSA’s mission: robust security for America and its allies and partners around the globe. As Mark Broxmeyer, JINSA’s Chairman of the Board explained during the evening’s opening address, “We live in a world where the most lethal threats facing us cannot be countered by one country alone – no matter how powerful that one country might be. International threats such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terror require a concert of nations working together to counter them, and it is in this spirit of international cooperation that we established the JINSA Global Leadership Award.” President Abraham Lincoln first spoke the words inscribed on the award: Important principles may and must be inflexible. It is this idea that guided Jose Maria Aznar’s actions as Prime Minister of Spain and later as President of the Spanish think tank Fundacion para el Analisis y los Estudios Sociales (FAES), which carries on his work.

During the eight years (1996-2004) he served as Prime Minister, Spain joined America in Afghanistan to prosecute the Global War on Terror following 9/11 and was an early member of the Coalition of theWilling in Iraq. Following the Madrid subway bombings in 2004, the Spanish public concluded that Spain’s participation in the Iraq conflict was the primary cause of the terrorist attack. Up for reelection, Prime Minister Aznar faced extraordinary pressure to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq, but remained steadfast in his commitment not to surrender to terror. In large measure because of his adherence to his principles, he lost a subsequent term as Prime Minister.

Senator David B. Vitter of Louisiana, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, addressed the Washington audience of JINSA members and officers, diplomats, and policy makers before joining Mr. Broxmeyer in presenting Prime Minister Aznar with the award.

When introducing Prime Minister Aznar, Senator Vitter asserted that he could think of no one more deserving of JINSA’s inaugural Global Leadership Award than the prime minister. He related that all politicians want to be recognized as statesmen and described the “simple test” that politicians need to pass in order to be accorded this distinction – When short-term political interests conflict with long-term security interests, the statesman honors the long-term security interests, and; when the verdict of the next election might conflict with the verdict of history, the statesman honors the interests of history and the long-term interests of the people. Senator Vitter stated emphatically, “Mr. Prime Minister, you have passed that test with flying colors.”

Diplomacy should always be the first choice in working out international disputes, but other means must be available when diplomacy fails, Senator Vitter said. The West must “stay on the offensive” with respect to terrorist threats and that a major part of that offensive is the “struggle to defend Israel,” he said.

The Senator also noted JINSA’s contributions to American security through its programs and publications: “JINSA truly recognizes today’s national security challenges including how international terror must be met by an international response.”

Upon receiving the award, Prime Minister Aznar dedicated it “to the memory of those who gave their lives fighting to defend our freedom, our prosperity and our way of life.” The former Prime Minister then urged America to recognize the seriousness of the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terror. Far from being pessimistic, however, he provided viable answers to some of the world’s foremost security challenges. Noting that throughout the Cold War, NATO successfully defended the West against Soviet Union hegemony, he suggested the transatlantic security organization could play a similar role against current threats.

Observing that NATO’s “Atlantic dimension” has already been surpassed by current threats and that the West is no longer a geographical construct but rather one defined by shared values, he called for greater NATO cooperation with likeminded allies outside of the treaty organization’s traditional sphere. Australia, Japan and Israel were the countries Aznar singled out, noting that the West needs an “Atlanticist Israel” to counter the threats we face today. The Prime Minister also noted that Iran, well on its way to becoming a nuclear power, might be deterred from fulfilling threats against Israel if it perceives Israel as an integral part of the West. An isolated Israel, on the other hand, increases the likelihood of an Iranian miscalculation on Israel’s importance to the West, emboldening Iran to strike. The consequences of such an attack would likely be a war engulfing much of the world – a NATO umbrella for Israel might prevent such a calamity.

Prime Minister Aznar noted that the West needs Israel to “fight the radical tide” of Islamic fundamentalism and that we must face terror squarely without appeasement. The prime minister ended his address hopefully, “I know we will win. I know the power of freedom will prevail.”

Tom Neumann, JINSA’s Executive Director, in closing the evening, expanded on Senator Vitter’s point about statesmanship, agreeing that former Prime Minister Aznar is a statesman, but adding that there is one other quality that true global leaders possess and that is vision. He observed that the Mr. Aznar is both a statesman and a visionary. Neumann remarked that the world would be a better place if there were more people like Jose Maria Aznar.

Publications

This Is What Happens When the Basic Rules of War Are Ignored
Published on April 10, 2024
The day after: A plan for Gaza
Published on March 7, 2024
Ground Truth: The Disconnect, Context and Challenges of Israel’s War against Hamas
Published on February 29, 2024
‘Rules of War’ are Complicated, not only in Gaza
Published on January 9, 2024
Watch Now: Gaza & The Law of War
Published on November 7, 2023
The IDF Faces an Enormous Challenge in Gaza | Opinion
Published on October 28, 2023
The Disproportionate Confusion About Proportionality
Published on October 26, 2023
The Fallacy of Equality of Condemnation
Published on October 20, 2023
How US Marines Can Protect Commercial Shipping in the Gulf
Published on September 12, 2023
Iron Dome Is Not Enough to Make Israel Safe
Published on April 18, 2023
The United States and Iran are in an Armed Conflict, and it is Time to Act Accordingly
Published on March 28, 2023
War Accountability and the Elusive Objective of Objectivity
Published on July 2, 2022
LOAC and Legitimacy: When Combat Becomes a Support Effort to Information
Published on January 18, 2022
New proof that it was Hamas — not Israel — that committed war crimes last May
Published on November 15, 2021
Congress’ Path Forward in a Post-JCPOA World
Published on November 1, 2021
How the Afghan Withdrawal Impacts U.S.-China Competition
Published on September 17, 2021
Beyond Iran, the US and Israel Must Work Together to Counter China
Published on September 9, 2021
With the Election of Iran’s Raisi, the JCPOA Is in Hot Water
Published on July 8, 2021
FOXNews interview with JINSA Senior Policy Analyst Erielle Davidson on U.S./Israel tension...
Published on June 1, 2021
NewsMax interview with JINSA Senior Policy Analyst Erielle Davidson on Hamas
Published on May 24, 2021
No, John Oliver, Israel Isn’t An Apartheid State
Published on May 20, 2021
The Illegitimate Instinct to Delegitimize Israel
Published on May 19, 2021
Biden’s Iran Deal and the Politics of Desperation
Published on May 18, 2021
The Truth about the Sheikh Jarrah Eviction
Published on May 12, 2021
Conditioning Aid to Israel is Flawed Foreign Policy
Published on April 30, 2021
It’s Time for President Biden to Get Tough on the International Criminal Court
Published on April 26, 2021
President Biden Must Aggressively Push to Reform the UN Human Rights Council
Published on April 8, 2021
China’s Iran Deal Is Just the Beginning
Published on April 6, 2021
Sudan’s Normalization With Israel Is a Win for Everyone
Published on February 26, 2021
America Must Reform Approach to Innovation Within US Defense Sector
Published on February 12, 2021
If Biden Wins, He Should Continue to Put ‘Maximum Pressure’ on Iran
Published on November 2, 2020
Hassan Rouhani Wants the US to Surrender, but the Pressure is on Tehran
Published on October 22, 2020
Would Sanctions Relief Help Ordinary Iranians, or Go to Terrorist Groups?
Published on October 16, 2020
The EU Needs to Fully Designate Hezbollah as a Terrorist Group
Published on August 31, 2020
Don’t Buy Into UN Fearmongering on the Iran Deal
Published on August 20, 2020
It’s Time to Invoke Snapback Sanctions on Iran
Published on August 15, 2020
Jordan Will Gain Nothing From Confrontation Against Israel
Published on June 30, 2020
What Happens When the Prosecutor Is the War Criminal?
Published on February 14, 2020
Switzerland’s Universal Jurisdiction Constitutes Legal Overreach
Published on August 8, 2019
Is There a Values Crisis in US Special Forces? Our National Security Could be at Risk.
Published on July 26, 2019
The Flawed Human Rights Watch Report on Gaza
Published on June 26, 2019
Framing Israel: The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on the Spring 2018 Gaza Border Confrontatio...
Published on March 18, 2019
Hezbollah’s Tunnels Offer Sneak Peek at Looming Major Conflict with Israel
Published on February 25, 2019
Israel’s Next Northern War: Operational and Legal Challenges
Published on November 3, 2018
Use of Force at the Gaza Border: A Hybrid Approach to Tactical Challenges
Published on June 20, 2018
It’s Not Just Israel’s Challenge
Published on September 6, 2016