Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Spanish Appeasement, a chilling portend of Europe’s future?

David Frum thinks that the terrorists have won a mighty victory in Spain. Victor Davis Hanson agrees and makes a couple of things very clear: "Let me get this straight. Two-and-a-half years after September 11, on a similar eleventh day of the month, 911 days following 9-11, and on the eve of Spanish elections, Al Qaeda or its epigones blows up 200 and wounds 1,400 Spaniards. This horrific attack follows chaotic months when Turks were similarly butchered (who opposed the Iraq War), Saudis were targeted (who opposed the Iraqi war), Moroccans were blown apart (who opposed the Iraqi war) and French periodically threatened (who opposed the Iraqi War)."

"And the response? If we were looking for Churchill to step from the rubble, we got instead Daladier. The Spanish electorate immediately and overwhelmingly connected the horror with its present conservative government’s support for Operation Iraqi Freedom. If the United States went to Afghanistan in 26 days following the murder of 3,000 of its citizens to hunt down their killers and remove the fascists who sponsored them, Spaniards took to the streets with Paz placards and about 48 hours later voted in record numbers to appease the terrorists." Hanson thinks, in the end, we are alone, we have no allies in our attempt to save civilization. Drink some very strong European coffee, and ponder.

Andrew Sullivan is equally clear-eyed:"It’s a spectacular result for Islamist terrorism, and a chilling portent of Europe’s future. A close election campaign, with Aznar’s party slightly ahead, ended with the Popular Party’s defeat and the socialist opposition winning. It might be argued that the Aznar government’s dogged refusal to admit the obvious quickly enough led people to blame it for a cover-up. But why did they seek to delay assigning the blame on al Qaeda? Because they knew that if al Qaeda were seen to be responsible, the Spanish public would blame Aznar not bin Laden! But there’s the real ironic twist: if the appeasement brigade really do believe that the war to depose Saddam is and was utterly unconnected with the war against al Qaeda, then why on earth would al Qaeda respond by targeting Spain? If the two issues are completely unrelated, why has al Qaeda made the connection? The answer is obvious: the removal of the Taliban and the Saddam dictatorship were two major blows to the cause of Islamist terror. They removed an al Qaeda client state and a potential harbor for terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. So it’s vital that the Islamist mass murderers target those who backed both wars. It makes total sense. And in yesterday’s election victory for the socialists, al Qaeda got even more than it could have dreamed of. It has removed a government intent on fighting terrorism and installed another intent on appeasing it. For good measure, they murdered a couple of hundred infidels. But the truly scary thought is the signal that this will send to other European governments. Britain is obviously next. The appeasement temptation has never been greater; and it looks more likely now that Europe - as so very often in the past - will take the path of least resistance - with far greater bloodshed as a result. I’d also say that it increases the likelihood of a major bloodbath in this country before the November elections. If it worked in Spain, al Qaeda might surmise, why not try it in the U.S.?"

Discussions - 1 Comment

The fact that al-Qaida might have been behind the attacks in Spain is no proof (ironic or otherwise) that there was a connection between them and Saddam Hussein. Al-Qaida is simply anti-Western and anti-American, and it will use any pretext to atack the West. They now pose as "defenders of Islam" of sorts, but that does not establish connection between them and Iraq prior to the American-led invasion. They use the invasion of Iraq as an excuse for more attacks because it is "just another Arab country" being "invaded" by the West; however, that they had close connections to Saddam’s regime is entirely spurious. If this is any indication, let’s just remember that before 9/11 there were two Arab regimes on al-Qaida’s blacklist, following the "Crusaders and their Zionist allies". That was Saudi Arabia and Iraq--the latter because it was a secular, quasi-socialist regime savagely repressing any brand of Islam. Both Saddam’s Iraq and al-Qaida might have had strategic priorities, but they also have strong ideological commitments which are exactly opposite. Come on, would anyone in their right mind have thought in the 1980s that there was a collusion between the Soviet Union and Jerry Fallwell to overthrow liberal (i.e., social-democrat) regimes in the West? That is ridiculous, but it is the exact analogue of the claim, made today, that Saddam Hussein and bin Laden were conspiring together to inflict harm on the Americans. They were conspiring, but separately. Saddam was concerned about the Americans, but only insofar they were a threat to his hold on power in Iraq. Al-Qaida and affiliated groups have made it their mission to attack America wherever they can.

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