Take pleasure in Aznar’s political downfall if you must. But don’t misinterpret the message Spain’s electorate has sent. Right or wrong, still-mourning Spaniards came to the conclusion that Aznar’s support for Bush’s foreign policy made them a target. That, in their minds, was what led to the horrific bombing that killed over two hundred of their fellow citizens.
This was not a sober calculation on the part of Spanish voters that Aznar had failed to protect them from the forces of terror. Nor was it a demonstration that Spaniards fail to grasp the significance of the threats arrayed against them.
It was an emotional decision in the wake of unspeakable tragedy.
It’s too early to tell whether or not the incoming socialist leader will actively engage terrorists outside of Iraq – he seems pretty clear about his future intentions inside Iraq – but, the unfortunate and inescapable consequence of this upset will be that terrorists can claim victory for having affected the course of leadership in a Western power. The victory denied them on Sept. 11 in the United States, could be found in Europe.
What someone like me takes away from this is not that Spaniards don’t take seriously the threat of terror, but that they misunderstand the implications of a less than stalwart approach in dealing with it.
Voting the way Al Qaeda would have preferred will not quench the terrorists’ desire for fundamentalist change. It will only whet their appetite more.
(Cross-posted at Velvet Hammers)



  1. Dave J

    What continues to boggle my mind is the apparent perception by all would-be appeasers of totalitarian barbarism that if they just surrender “enough,” then things will somehow be OK. But there is never any such point: there is no “enough” other than total oblivion.
    Enough for Hitler would’ve been the Thousand-Year Reich stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals (at least), with a pacified Britain and an isolationist US. Enough for al-Qaeda would be a world ruled by Sharia, all Jews dead, and everyone else converted or reduced to dhimmis at best. Even in short-term, before getting anywhere near to that, “enough” would consist of their “taking back” the Moorish kingdoms of Andalusia.
    Part of the problem seems to be that the appeasers never take those who they are hoping to appease at their word. The appeasers are too “sophisticated” to be honest in their own dealings, so they cannot imagine anyone else being so. They regard all rhetoric as merely posturing rather than expressions of genuine intent. Yet the enemies of civilization have never denied their intentions.

  2. Musings of a Techno-Geek

    So what does it really mean?

    This, then, will be the ultimate legacy of the Spanish election. We must ensure that this legacy is short-lived. Should there be attacks in Great Britain, the US, or any other of our allies in this war, we must recognize them for what they are: attem…

  3. Steve

    I only hope that “just surrender enough” does not become the political phrase for this century.
    (Either this software has taken a strong dislike to Macs, to the Safari browser in particular, or ??. But I shall launch Mozilla or Firefox in the future as a peace gesture.)