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madrid

And in Spain, a shocking victory for terrorism that could have disastrous ramifications, as the Socialist party swept to power, ousting the centrist Popular Party who, before the Madrid terrorist attacks, was virtually assured of victory:

Spain’s opposition Socialists have swept to power in a sensational election upset sparked by popular anger over the government’s handling of a suspected al Qaeda attack on commuter trains that killed 200 people.

Voters ousted the center-right Popular Party (PP), which until Thursday’s coordinated attacks had looked certain to win a third consecutive term in power in Sunday’s poll.

Spain’s next prime minister will be 43-year-old Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who has criticized outgoing premier Jose Maria Aznar for his unswerving support for the United States and has threatened to pull out 1,300 Spanish troops from Iraq

[ . . . ]

Controversy over the government’s handling of the bombing of four commuter trains three days before the election clearly helped swing the election Zapatero’s way.

“The government has paid the price for its involvement in the war in Iraq, for Aznar’s relationship with (U.S. President George) W. Bush and (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair. The vote has been a reaction to this,” said Carlos Berzosa, rector of Madrid’s Complutense University.

Incredible.

This is a much, much bigger story than many people even realize. It is a sweeping victory for terrorism. Damian agrees:

If the Spanish people have ousted their government because of a major terrorist attack, I really fear we’ll see an attack on the scale of 9/11 in the United States before the Presidential election. If the people of the West are going to blame their leaders for terror instead of the people actually committing the attacks, why wouldn’t Al-Qaida try it again?

That’s the thing. They will try it again. And again. And again. As long as people keep reacting out of fear, and keep supporting the notion that they somehow deserve to be attacked for standing up for what’s right, we will see victory after victory for terrorism. Al Qua’eda must be throwing a big party tonight.

But where is the world’s conscience? Where does this end? Will any country, any democracy, any government or people have the courage to stand up to the terrorists rather than capitulating to them?

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Terror in Madrid

03.12.04

It’s been more than a day since the horrible bombing in Madrid that killed over 200 people who happened to have been unfortunate enough to have been taking a commuter train yesterday… and I’m only posting about it now. For the most part, I’ve been observing the story with an odd sort of detachment – a sense that this is stuff for the major news outlets, and that I don’t really have anything particular to add to the coverage. Not that the blogosphere’s been quiet on the story, mind you. Just the opposite. Damian has some thoughts on the finger-pointing going on for responsibility (ETA? Al Qua’eda? Someone else?) and a very telling picture. LGF reports, among other things, a subtle shift in language used by the media. Imshin has the bizarre rationalization of why the Islamist terrorists would consider Spain a “legitimate” target, and also some poignant words of caution for everyone in the world who thinks terrorism is someone else’s problem. There’s lots more, of course.

But it wasn’t until I read what Lair had posted, that I really felt that someone had managed to put my thoughts into words:

I wake up early, I check a few headlines, and I read about some boom-booms.

Want to know what my first thought was?

“Thank God they weren’t in Israel.”

You don’t see the United Nations creating agencies and commissions and special assemblies concerning the “Basque Occupied Territories.” Where’s Kofi’s statement demanding that Spain return to the bargaining table with the ETA? Where’s the global shunning of Spain’s legitimate government while welcoming the Socialists meeting with the ETA as distinguished guests, potential partners with which to write Madrid Conventions calling for a new land-for-peace territorial surrender?

I have yet to hear the European Union demand the granting of a Basque state (or the acceptance of credentials of a “Basque Observer Permanent Mission”), or President Bush declaring that he’s come up with a Roadmap for them. Mexico and Venezuela are too busy propping up their corrupt crypto-democratic regimes to pay for arms smuggling into Spain with their oil revenues.

Where’s the separate telephone codes? Where’s the top-level two-letter Internet country code? Where’s the cheese-flavored chips with the ETA leaders face on them?

Instead, the battle cry is unanimous: kill the ETA. Obliterate the ETA. Protect Spain’s sovereignty.

Feh.

I certainly don’t want to belittle the tragedy that has occurred. But whether or not it was the ETA (and it’s looking less and less likely), Lair’s point is a good one: why is it only terrorism when it happens somewhere outside of Israel?

Then I saw this headline:

Millions of grieving Spaniards poured into the streets crying “cowards” and “killers” on Friday as Basque separatist group ETA denied responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed nearly 200 people.

As darkness fell, two million in Madrid alone joined a mass protest, whistling, banging drums, carrying black crosses or candles, and waving placards saying “No More Killing.”

I’m heartened to see millions marching against terrorism in Spain. But where are the millions marching in Israel? Where are the millions of Palestinians taking to the streets marching against terrorism? Where are the millions marching in Europe for the over three years of incessant terror that Israel has been facing? In North America? Anywhere?

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