Myths of Madrid
In "Myths of Madrid" Anthony Dworkin examines the debate over the terrorist bombings in Spain and their political aftermath. Was the unexpected ouster of the pro-war ruling party a vindication of democracy and multilateral foreign policy? Or did it hand terrorists a victory and set a dangerous precedent?
It is not a win for the terrorists, but a loss for the Spanish people. Yet another European nation with strong opinions and weak constitutions. I extend my greatest sympathy to the people of Spain for the atrocity in Madrid, and unfortunately it may happen again since history has shown that if you ignore terrorism, it will fester and grow (see the Clinton administration). Terrorists are bullies that pick on those that will not fight back, and Spain just placed themselves squarely in that category.
john , Uxbridge
The bombings in Madrid were a victory not only for the terrorists, but for France and its policy of facing up to the USA. Spanish voters went to the polls with fear in their hearts and opted to blame the ruling party of Mr. Aznar. This was exactly what the terrorists wanted to accomplish. To elect a government that is pro-arabic and pro-europe instead of pro-USA. Spaniards tend to forget their history. Ever since the treaty of Westfalia, the French have always worked to undermine and weaken the power of Spain. During the last 8 years, Spain has become more and more assertive in European affairs, playing even a bigger role in the world, specially latin America. This is not what the French like. So now, the new government of Mr. zapatero is going to return to the original postion of being a servant of French and German interests and bring Spain to the usual position of a mediocre third rate power. Congratulations France! and congratulations Al-quaeda!
The socialist there and here(DNC) have no backbone when it comes to war...The will let the enemy in to try an understand the Islamic facists and will get there cut throats..Do we treat this war like a law enforcement problem, like Kerry proposes with arrests and courts or do we do it like Bush proposes and just kill them...I say better them than me...We have gone over 900 days without an incident in this country..Thanks to Bush!
The Spanish People hate terrorism. ETA has killed many. The reaction is street demonstrations, with citizens holding thier palms in the air, showing distain for killers. The trains were full of brave commuters the morning after the bombing in Madrid. When American Politicians call the Spanish cowards, they exibit their ignorance for the world to see. Aznar blamed ETA, went to the UN and condemned ETA, even after it was clear this was most likely Islamic terrorism. The Spanish people had enough. The stakes are high, and the truth and bravery is what they voted for. It is that simple.
Chris B, Huntington Beach
It shows how fear can subdue a people. It clearly shows Spain giving in to terrorists. It's amazing that europeans, after giving in to Hitler, he could not be subdued. Why would terrorists be subdued? Terrorists don't want peace, they want to kill, that is their sole agenda. Appeasement never works.
Boston Resident, Boston
The terrorists timed the bombing to coincide with the election. Their goal was achieved by pushing a country with no resolve over the threshold. Soon after 3/11, the new government promised to withdraw troops according to the terrorists' demands. Good ol fashioned european appeasement, we've seen it before!
Jim , Newton
It sends a clear message that a government that manipulates the truth to its people should be prepared to step aside.
Basically, its Munich 1938 all over again. The European Socialists are cowards. Appeasement never works. For them to say that we need to understand their problems of the terrorists is utterly rediculous. These Muslim Fundamentalists hate Christians and Jews. They want to kiil us all and turn the world into a 6th century Muslim culture. These terrorists love death whereas, we love life.
Appeasement in 1930s Europe was profoundly different from what happened in Spain. The British and French leaders who abandoned Czechoslovakia had behind them a lot of powerful people - including Americans - who sympathized with fascism and antisemitism, and were glad to use the Czechs to draw Hitler to the east, toward the USSR. There is nothing remotely like that today vis-a-vis Al Qaida. Our country attacked Iraq without provocation, and Spain's government joined in. This was a crime based on a lie. What kind of courage does it take to persist in crimes and lies? When we allow criminals and liars to act in our name, we reap the consequences. That's the real lesson of appeasement. Compared to the world's outpouring of sympathy to us after 9/11, our country showed a shameful indifference to the tragedy that struck Spain. Now our politicians heap scorn on her for her democracy, her courage and her maturity. Disgusting. By rejecting machismo and appeasement in the midst of tragedy: Spain has lit a beacon of honor for the whole western world.
I believe the particular terrorist responsible for the Madrid train bombing were already planning an attack in retaliation for the arrests of al Qaeda members that have taken place since November 2001; a sustained crackdown on Syrian, Algerian and Tunisian born suspected terrorists who have immigrated to Spain and operated there predating the Iraq Invasion in 2003. The war in Iraq merely added an opportunity to maximize the political damage the terrorist could do by fracturing a weak alliance. Spanish voters have a right to vote as they please, I support that. However, the new government has a duty to send the right message to the terrorist or they and other countries will be the victims of terror-blackmail on an unprecedented, bloody scale.