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The Reign in Spain Goes Mainly Down the Drain

Commentary by Greg Lewis / WashingtonDispatch.com
March 23, 2004

A recently revealed Al Qaeda internet posting from December indicates that the terrorist organization fully intended to use one or more bombings in Spain to influence that country's election. The memo stated the organization's belief that "after these blows, the victory of the Socialist Party will be almost guaranteed."

There it is. The smoking gun. Proof that Al Qaeda cunningly and sagaciously terrorized the Spanish people into submitting to its will. With the election of socialist peace candidate Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to the position of Prime Minister, the terrorists got their wish. Apparently, at least. The irony that an act of war would precipitate the election of a "peace" candidate should not be overlooked. The people of Spain, although they don't realize it, sold themselves down the river. It's one of the first times in recorded history that a people has willingly chosen slavery — in the form of being held hostage by terrorists — over freedom, although, again, the Spanish people apparently do not know what hit them and may not for some years to come.

Spain did not react as America did to a terrorist atrocity. One can argue that, timed as it was within days of a national election, the bombing made it so Spain did not have a chance to collect its wits. Nonetheless, the country's willingness to give in to the terrorist equivalent of shock and awe is clear. Where within hours of the 9/11 attacks our President was rallying Americans to the cause of freedom and in support of defending our nation, Spain's leadership foundered for lack of firm and positive direction in its inability to rally its citizens against terror, and, finally, watching helplessly as the Terrorist/Socialist coalition swept into power.

What is Zapatera going to say to explain away the fact that he owes his victory to the deaths of more than 200 of his citizens at the hands of Islamist terrorists? Will this even be a question? Or have the Spanish people given up on the idea of the sovreignty of their nation and decided it's just not worth it to try to resist terrorism?

The problem is, of course, that to Islamist terrorists we're all infidels, those of us who don't happen to be Muslims. The term "infidel" is, by the way, also applied to Muslims who don't condone the terrorism being perpetrated by Islamist thugs in the name of their religion. And it is not the intent of Islamo-fascists to merely effect electoral change with their tactics. Infidels are to be killed or subjugated. Much as Stalin scoffed at liberal-leftist communist apologists by labeling them "useful idiots," terrorists scoff at appeasers The Spanish people have earned their "useful idiot-appeaser" stripes by meekly bowing to Al Qaeda's will.

We also need to ask, however, if America's listless support of her reluctant ally Spain is appropriate. Although President Bush spoke on March 19 with eloquence and sympathy of the loss of life that the Spanish people had endured, there was only one U.S. representative, Ambassador to the European Union Rockwell A. Schnabel, at March 11 commemoration ceremony for the victims of the terrorist attacks.

And we need to ask if the United States could have responded to the atrocity in such a way as to encourage Spanish resolve. The tepid American response, coupled with suspicions that then-Prime Minister Aznar's government had tried disingenuously to convince voters that Basque separatists were responsible for the bombings, were certainly important components in the outcome of the election. There are many even among Bush's supporters who wonder if it isn't long past time to begin to mend fences with former European Democratic allies in a more meaningful way than we have been able to achieve thus far.

Newly elected Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero's early comments about the United States' (and Britain's) role in the War in Iraq were scathing: "Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush must do some reflection — you can't organize a war with lies." This is hardly the rhetoric of an American ally, and Spain's defection from its support of the rebuilding of Iraq, symbolic as it has been, is imminent.

Of course, the bottom line is that Spain is no safer after caving in to terrorist action than it was before the bombings. They just don't know it yet. What is it about "Radical Islamists want to kill all of us because we're all infidels" that's so difficult to understand? The plague of terrorist activity that is spreading around the world is no respecter of national, ethnic, religious, or political boundaries. Al Qaeda has launched attacks against even the interests of the French and Canadians, whose reluctance to engage, or even criticize, them is legendary. Hussein Massawi, a former Hezbollah leader, explained it very succinctly: "We are fighting to eliminate you."

The goal of the terrorists in the Spanish commuter train bombings was not merely to influence an election; it was to strike another blow toward the total elimination of all infidels. They will stop at nothing until they have achieved their goal. Or until the world finally recognizes, as President Bush has, that waging constant and all-out war against them is the only way we will rid the planet of this deadly scourge.

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