Observations on the world today.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Gracias, Senior 

Spanish Socialists Oust Party of U.S. War Ally (washingtonpost.com)
Spaniards voted Sunday to remove the party of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar from power, apparently blaming his staunch support of the U.S.-led war in Iraq for the bombings that killed 200 people in Madrid on Thursday.

While opinion polls taken before the attacks had given Aznar's Popular Party a comfortable lead, voters overwhelmingly endorsed candidates from the opposition Socialist Party, whose leader, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has promised to immediately withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq, redirect Spain's foreign policy away from the United States and restore good relations with such European allies as France and Germany that had opposed the Iraq war.
There are three possible reasons why the Spanish people shifted their allegience to the socialists. One is that the PP party had not protected them from Qaeda, another is that they feel the PP had lied about Qaeda's involvement.

Neither is a victory for al Qaeda, but will be spun as such by the right.

There is also a third possible reason for the shift, which (if it is the actual reason) would be a Qaeda victory. That being that people considered the bombings retribution, and that they knuckled under and voted socialist - thus playing right into Qaeda's hands. To me, this seems unlikely. If I thought Qaeda was attacking the US to get me to vote against Bush, it might actually inspire me to vote for Bush. Appeasement doen't work. Most people know that.

Also, because it is not likely that the socialists will be appeasers. They will find the people involved, and prosecute them. And they will not have the political baggage of trying to pretend that the people involved were not Qaeda. This means that they will be in a much better position to actually USE the prosecutions to aid in the fight against al Qaeda.

Thank you Spanish people. Thank you VERY MUCH.
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