De Engelse krant The Guardian beantwoordt lezersvragen over nog te verschijnen documenten van Cablegate. Een lezer wilde iets weten over Geert Wilders. Simon Jeffery maakte er onderstaand commentaar van.
Het gaat deels over de opwinding rond Fitna. Balkenende, Verhagen en Hirsch Ballin waarschuwen in het najaar van 2007 en het voorjaar van 2008. Maar dat doen ze zo fervent dat ze eerder olie op het vuur gooien.
Wilders kan volgens Amerikaanse documenten geen vriend van de VS genoemd worden. Da’s opmerkelijk omdat Nederlandse opposanten van Wilders vaak van wel beweren. Opnieuw blijkt door de Amerikaanse documenten en het commentaar van Simon Jeffery dat Wilders voor anderen moeilijk te plaatsen valt. Zelfs voor Amerikanen:
Geert Wilders is a far-right Dutch MP most notorious for his 2008 anti-Qur’an film, Fitna – which juxtaposed verses from the Qur’an besides images of the 9/11 attacks. One cable reveals that the Dutch government had been discussing strategies for what to do if one of its citizens carried out such a provocative act “since the Danish cartoon crisis” of 2005, a foreign ministry official told US diplomats. A security committee had been meeting “intensively” since October 2007, when the Dutch government first learned of Wilders’s plans.
Violence was feared against Dutch interests abroad, and contingency plans were made for disorder in the Netherlands‘ four largest cities, though the same official said it was thought “Wilders fatigue” might blunt reactions at home. He said the justice, foreign and interior ministers had met with Wilders to caution him against the film, but the Dutch government believed it “critical to avoid the appearance [it] would try to censor the film”.
There was no date for the release of Fitna but in the run-up to it being put on a video-sharing website in March 2008, the US embassy in The Hague sent the state department updates on when the film might emerge. In January 2008, the state department sent an advisory marked as “secret” to all consular and diplomatic posts warning of anti-Dutch demonstrations and the possibility the film could “generate anti-European/anti-western protests”. It gave the diplomatic and consular posts a pre-cleared message to issue to US citizens in the event of demonstrations.
Wilders was evidently of some interest to US diplomats. His first mention in the cables comes after he was expelled from the centre-right VVD in 2004 and speculated that he might use the EU constitution referendum to build a political base. A later briefing on Dutch politics for Barack Obama notes Wilders’s new Freedom party was the Netherlands’s fastest growing and describes him as “no friend of the US”, especially in his opposition to Dutch military involvement in Afghanistan. It says the “golden-pompadoured, maverick parliamentarian Geert Wilders, anti-Islam, nationalist Freedom party remains a thorn in the coalition’s side, capitalising on the social stresses resulting from the failure to fully integrate almost a million Dutch Muslims.”
Foto: Geert Wilders in Nashville, Tenessee, VS; mei 2011