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Old 03-15-2004, 10:10 AM   #1
AresProphet
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Default Spain.

In light of the recent bombings, are the election results such a surprise?

Also, what about the promise to immediately withdraw from Iraq ? By all accounts, Spaniards didn't support the war anyway, yet the government fully supported the U.S. invasion.

So what about all this? Do you think it's related to the terrorist bombings? To what extent?

I'm interested in opinion on this. If possible, keep the flaming to a minimum. It's not constructive; we know that the posters on this board are more polarized than the Earth's icecaps. Semi-intelligent, thoughtful response is preferred.
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Old 03-15-2004, 10:39 AM   #2
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Just my opinion with no facts or anything. I think ETA wanted an "event" just before the spanish elections and they allied with Al Queada to do so in a coordianted attack. The motive on both side was to teach the former govt not to agree or help the Great Satan.
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Old 03-15-2004, 10:42 AM   #3
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:20 AM   #4
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I don't think the Spanish election is any surprise. I think it is plausible that many Spaniards viewed the terrorist bombing (apparently the worst of its kind in Europe since Lockerbie) as retaliation for the former Spanish government's support of the US in the war on Iraq.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:22 AM   #5
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It's sad really because all Spain has done is send a very strong message to Al Qaeda that terrorism works and wins. There is shame in cowardice, and Spain he just reached a defining moment that will cast quite a bit of shame on itself in the future I feel.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:40 AM   #6
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Trith, I don't see the vote by Spaniards as a lack of courage. The new Spanish government wants to spend it's resources domestically; rather than support foreign wars.

It actually makes sense. If the US spent a fraction of the money now being spent on the Iraq war to secure our borders and ports, and on domestic intelligence gathering, we would be much better off and safer. It is far easier to police one's own country, than to try to chase bad guys across the globe.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:43 AM   #7
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I don't think the Spanish election is any surprise.
The same things happened there that happened in our early primaries. The polls were not accurate because voter anger brought a greater turnout to the booths. Spain had 77% turnout. That voter anger is going on again. Jobs is the issue.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:52 AM   #8
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Trith, you are not the only one I've heard say this. However, I'll ask you to consider the following:

The bombers are looking to make statements, not just kill people randomly. They will gain the most (politically) by attacking a country who is vociferous in their support of America. If Spain only became more staunchly entrenched in Iraq after the bombings, any subsequent attacks would only make a stronger statement. That means more innocent victims.

Do you see the problem? Spain could not do anything else. You can't sacrifice your innocent citizens just to make a show of pride; that's tantamount to murder. By electing a party that is viewed as slightly more sympathetic to the ETA, and by withdrawing from Iraq, Spain is mitigating further damage.

This is distinctly different from 9/11. It wasn't just a foreign terror cell, it was collaboration between Al Qaeda and ETA. When you have a domestic group that is known for using terrorist tactics (the IRA is similar) you cannot ignore their presence; it must be acknowledged, and the damage controlled. Otherwise you just set yourself up for more deaths, more destruction.

I don't see it as cowardice, and neither does most of the world. I wouldn't think most of the millions of protestors in Spain feel ashamed, either.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:59 AM   #9
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Trith do you honestly believe that it shows courage to go to war and cowardice to avoid it? Have you ever heard of something called common sense? Try using some of that instead of testosterone.
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Old 03-15-2004, 12:39 PM   #10
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bumbler-oot, this isnt a schoolyard brawl or a catfight. this is about real world issues and how terrorists use fear to control things. no need to talk 'common sense' when you are totally missing trith's basic point.
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Old 03-15-2004, 12:42 PM   #11
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Spain elected a leader who would pull them out of involvement in the fight against terrorism. They have loud and clear just sent a message saying that the murder of innocent civilians WORKS for terrorist, and that Spain has no stomach to defend it's own people. You DO NOT beat terrorism by giving in to it, which Spain is doing. They are cheapening the lives of thir own citizens, and emboldening the terrorists to keep murdering until they get their way. It's cowardice to the worst degree, and doesn't bode well for the rest of the world at all.

How would you feel if someone broke in to your home and wanted to kill your family and you called the police to stop them and the police told you "No way..that guy is way to dangerous..just let him do what he wants..". That's what Spain is doing exactly here.
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Old 03-15-2004, 01:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Trith
Spain elected a leader who would pull them out of involvement in the fight against terrorism.
Do you mean that if they don't support the US war in Iraq, they have pulled out of the war on terrorism? Trith, their new government made it perfectly clear that they want to use their resources to end terrorism in their own country. How does that equate to not being involved?

In fact, I think such a move makes better sense. It is far easier to secure one's own borders, and strengthen domestic intelligence gathering than it is to scour the globe for terrorists.
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Old 03-15-2004, 02:11 PM   #13
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Spain has had what, 900 people killed in the last 20 years by ETA? Suddenly fighting terrorist within their own border is a priority? Thats a cop out.

If they want out of Iraq, leave. But trying to paint it as a way to deal with internal terrorist after 20 years of neglect is just cowardly and a disservice to every victim of ETA.

Al Queda won in spain.
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Old 03-15-2004, 02:21 PM   #14
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I'll ask you the same question as I asked Trith, Kiebler. If Spain doesn't support the war in Iraq they have pulled out of the war on terrorism? Can you explain how that is so?
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Old 03-15-2004, 02:26 PM   #15
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I believe they think Spain was all gung ho for Iraq before this election. They werent, the leadership was. the people voted the leadership out but before they could, they got a terrorist attack. The point is those voters already had it in their head to vote the old leader out becuase they didnt approve of Iraq the terrorist attack was just "icing on the cake" in a sense.

Though if Spain had any balls they would stand up strong with the US against terror (it doesnt have to be in favor of Iraq) instead of trying to brush their tragedy under George Bush's desk.
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Old 03-15-2004, 02:59 PM   #16
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This is an aside but I think it's relevant for this thread.

Historically, the more desperate a people are, the more easily they are swayed into the hands of extremists. Look at Russia at the turn of the 20th century. Look at Italy and Germany in the 1930s.

What happened in Spain doesn't surprise me in the least.

Now what's really been skimmed over in the news is that Spain's incoming government hasn't really said they were going to immediately yank troops out of Iraq, but are instead going to wait and see how the transitional government looks on June 30th. If it all goes to hell on July 2nd they're outta there.
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Old 03-15-2004, 03:01 PM   #17
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There are parallels that can be drawn between Spain and Britain regarding it's experiences with terror campaigns and their involvement with the 'Coalition of the Willing'.

Both Spain and Britain have suffered from attacks from it's 'own' terrorist groups for around 30 years. (ETA and the IRA respectively, of course) and both countries leaders supported Bush in the US-lead attack on Iraq, even though the vast majority of the public were against it.

My own personal opinion is that the Spanish public eventually had their say on the matter by getting rid of the previous leadership. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is Tony Blair's last term as UK Prime Minister. The UK public simply do not trust him since going to war with Iraq, as any published 'trust ratings' will tell you.

However, I do not think that Spain or Britain is turning it's back on the war on terror. You have to appreciate that the majority of the Spanish and British public regard the War on Terror as a legitimate cause, whereas they feel the War on Iraq was improper and under false pretences (ie the WMD which have yet to materialise etc, etc) and are therefore two different entities entirely.
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Old 03-15-2004, 03:12 PM   #18
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I hate to say this..but I find the actions of Spain to be "typical continental European" reaction. Apathy, indifference, opportunistic, spineless, and lacking in foresight. I was hoping to see this miseable Continental European mentality end in WWII..but it seems I was probably just dreaming.
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Old 03-15-2004, 03:16 PM   #19
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Xantharr hit the nail on the head. Spain as with most European countries whose governments helped or are helping out in Iraq, showed for a long time a majority (90% in some polls) against the war in Iraq. This result is no more than a protest against the governments involvement against their (the peoples wishes). A similar thing may well happen in Britain although Blair may have time until the next election.

In my own country (Ireland) there is a serious amount of anger among the electorate with the Government for allowing America use our airports as stop off points for troop planes on the way to the Gulf. The governemt simply went boldy against the obvious wishes of those who elected them and I feel it will rebound on them soon enough.

As for being against terrorism, most European countries to some extent have been fighting terrorists for a long time, whether it was ETA, the IRA, The Red Brigade, Bader Meinhoff or whomever. To say any country is giving into terrorism based on an election result is facile, and to call it cowardice is to ignore the full picture.
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:33 PM   #20
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Spain has appeased the terrorists, just as Clinton did in somolia.
That is what enboldened Osama to attack us.


What spain does not realize is that the terrorism will not end there
nor will it ever end untill they step up to the plate.
And nobody made little spain come to Iraq.
The only difference they made there was
a statement of their actions.


When appeasers and pacifists realize that the terrorists have no
actual cause other then to destroy the infidel, maybe they
will again stand up like real men and fight.

Untill then just let the feminists place their balls in the great hall
of irony...




GOD BLESS AMERICA
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Old 03-15-2004, 06:16 PM   #21
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I really doubt Spain will pull out. The Spanish president is new, and doesn't know what's really happening behind the scenes.

It was unwise for Spain to make a blatent attack on Bush. I'm sure reprocussions are in the works.

I do admire their courage for standing up for what they believe though.
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Old 03-15-2004, 09:22 PM   #22
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Mr. Maximus,
I really doubt Spain will pull out.
Not sure about that one. They only have about 1500 troops there.
If they do though, it would not be a good message. They need to
stand tall and face their enemies, then DESTROY THEM!
Us Americans are a good people. We understand and we will stand by them.

The Spanish president is new, and doesn't know what's really happening
behind the scenes.
Sure he does. America shares intelligence with them constantly.


It was unwise for Spain to make a blatent attack on Bush. I'm sure
reprocussions are in the works.
No. Trust me, no words can undermine the resolve of GWB. He can take it.
GWB is a forgiving man. And America will continue to support Spain.
I do, even though they elected a socialist. At least they can vote! Yes?
And next election? Who knows. If they want a Socialist government then
so be it. But the Citizens are the majority that place their leaders in power.
Amen to that!

I do admire their courage for standing up for what they believe though.
I Admire Men who have their ball's intact enough to protect their nation,
and not being a pacifist rat following the person playing the loudest flute.

The Voters of Spain have cast their vote. Do not think that the voters of
spain are under the influance of their new leader. Just as America votes
our leaders, so shall they decide which direction they shall go.

GOD BLESS THE CITIZENS OF SPAIN.. Their vote counts. We shall not infringe
apon their rights. And America will/shall protect them just the same against any terrorist/s.
No matter who their leader is. Amen to that.

Spain has suffered a great loss. Just as we did on 9/11, they have on 3/11.
The citizens of spain are suffering over this great loss of life. They will not forget.

My Prayers go out to the victims families.



GOD BLESS AMERICA
GOD BLESS DEMOCRACY
GOD BLESS THE 3/11 VICTIMS IN SPAIN, AND THEIR FAMILIES.
My prayers are with them all. Amen.

Zol.
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Old 03-16-2004, 04:59 AM   #23
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The citizens of spain are suffering over this great loss of life. They will not forget.
They already have forgotten..they forgot the minute they turned and ran away from the face of terrorism.
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Old 03-16-2004, 06:19 AM   #24
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Alright, I've got what I wanted out of this thread.

I know somebody on another board who has friends with family members killed in the attacks. He lives near Madrid.

I am going to email him your responses to his plight; accusations of "cowardice", "spinelessness", and "apathy". I will tell him to forward such responses to anyone he knows who has been affected by the attacks, and send me their replies to be posted here. Hell, I'll have him post them himself.

We can be armchair foreign experts all we want, but I'd like to see how that holds up when you have dead family.
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Old 03-16-2004, 06:37 AM   #25
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Good Idea AresProphet. The people of Spain should be well informed as to what they just did and what many Americans think about their cowardness. They might as well wear a sign now saying:
"Ok fine Mr Terrorist, you win, have it your way but don't kill any more of our people. We'll turn a blind eye to whats going on if you just leave us alone."

Yep, that about sums it up!
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