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Spain pulling out...

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Il Duce, Mar 15, 2004.

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  1. Il Duce

    Il Duce Member

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    New Spanish Leader Vows Iraq Pullout

    Monday, March 15, 2004



    MADRID, Spain — Spain's new Socialist leader vowed Monday to bring home the 1,300 Spanish troops now in Iraq, a move that follows the worst terrorist attack to hit the U.S. ally.

    "The Iraq war has been disastrous. It was a mistake," Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (search) told reporters in his first news conference after his party defeated conservatives in Sunday's elections.

    The drastic shift in Spain's presence in Iraq comes after a series of terrorist bombings Thursday on commuter trains in Madrid that killed 200 people and wounded some 1,500, 243 of whom remain hospitalized.

    "The Spanish troops which are in Iraq will be returning home," Zapatero told Cadena Ser radio before his news conference. He said the troops would be recalled once he puts together a government some time in mid-April and formally takes over as prime minister.

    However, a party spokesman explained to The Associated Press that Zapatero sticks by his campaign condition that the 1,300 troops would stay if the United Nations (search) assumed control of the peacekeeping operation in Iraq.

    Before Zapatero said definitively he would pull back the troops, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (search) said on "Fox News Sunday" that he saw a clear opportunity to get a U.N. mandate.

    "Look at how much we've accomplished," Powell said. "We now have an administrative law that has been passed by the Iraqi Governing Council which gives the Iraqi people for the first time a bill of rights. It puts in place an independent judiciary."

    But some analysts saw Zapatero's move as a direct slap at the United States.

    "It's a terrible message to send. It's very divisive," David Gergen, a former communications adviser to several U.S. presidents, told Fox News. "This weaken U.S. policy in trying to bring unity to the West as we try and fight terrorism."

    In Sunday's election the Socialists defeated the ruling Popular Party of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar (search), jumping from 125 seats to 164 in the 350-member Congress of Deputies. The conservatives fell from 183 to 148.

    "Aznar was like (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair for us. He was a stout ally. To have him soundly defeated at the polls was a big setback for us," Gergen said.

    The Spanish stock market shuddered over news that Socialists will take power, with the benchmark Ibex-35 stock index dropping 2.4 percent at the opening bell. It was down 3.2 percent shortly after noon local time.

    The conservatives' defeat was unexpected. Pre-election polls had projected the Popular Party, led by Mariano Rajoy (search), would win comfortably, and even some exit polls Sunday showed it might win.

    But when the ballots were tallied, the Socialists netted 10.9 million to the PP's 9.6 million. Turnout was 77 percent.

    Zapatero ran for the first time for prime minister against an entrenched government and won. "That broke a lot of precedents," party campaign manager Jose Blanco said Monday.

    The circumstances were exceptional.

    The train bombings were followed by nationwide street rallies against the attacks, smaller ones against Aznar's increasingly beleaguered government and the arrest of five suspects in the bombings, including three Moroccans, and a reported Al Qaeda claim of responsibility in a videotape.

    The tape raised the possibility that terrorists aligned with Usama bin Laden had changed the course of a national election. Spain's government has insisted its prime suspect in Thursday's rail bombings was the armed Basque separatist group ETA.

    Zapatero said Monday he would attempt to form a purely Socialist government, not a coalition with other parties.

    Late Sunday, Zapatero started his victory speech by remembering those killed in the railway bombings. "At this moment I think of the lives that were broken by terror on Thursday," he said, then asked the crowd to join him in a minute of silence.

    "My most immediate priority will be to fight terrorism," he said.

    The Spanish Socialist Workers Party ruled from 1982 to 1996 but ran afoul of corruption scandals and was voted out in 1996, when Aznar took power.

    Savoring victory again, outside Socialist party headquarters 1,000 jubilant supporters cheered and waved the party's red flag Sunday. But they, too, mourned those killed in the railway blasts. "Not all of us are here. Two hundred are missing," the crowd shouted.

    "I think the party won because of people's frustration people about the Popular Party getting us into the war in Iraq," said one of them, housewife Loli Carrasco Gomez, 36.

    Of the troops in Iraq, she said: "I hope they all come home and never go back."

    Aznar chose not to seek a third term, saying he wanted renewal in government and his party.


    -------------------------

    Sad to see...

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. Iain

    Iain Member

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    slight derailment - I'd have expected it to be higher coming the Sunday after the Thursday bombings.
     
  3. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    Aljazeera news had a bit more of the new PM's comments that seem to have been left out of the US sources I've seen.

    "Although he has not yet been sworn in as prime minister, Zapatero felt no hesitation in telling US and UK leaders to "engage in some self-criticism".

    "You can't just go ahead and do things. You can't bombard a
    people just in case they pose a perceived threat. You can't organise a war on the basis of lies."

    His comments made a strong allusion to the insistence by Washington, London and previously Madrid that the conflict was justified by their belief Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction."

    In an attemp to keep their news "balanced" - they had this from Jack Straw (isn't that the title of a Grateful Dead tune?)

    With British elections in 2005, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has already reacted to a possible Spanish withdrawal from Iraq.

    Speaking to the BBC on Monday, Straw said: "No one should get the idea that, somehow, if you were a country that was opposed to military action in Iraq, you are less of a target of al-Qaida and these terrible Islamic fanatics.

    "Unless you are 100% with the terrorists, you are seen to be 100% against them."
     
  4. Boats

    Boats member

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    Save for brief moments, Spain has been internationally impotent since the mid-1600s. From the quotes in the story you get a sense of why that is.
     
  5. DonP

    DonP Member

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    Ah, the famous Spanish "Please don't hit me again" tactic

    Is the cultural rift that wide that I can't even understand their response to this attack?

    A group kills almost 200 innocent citizens, proudly takes credit for it and makes it clear that it's payback for supporting a war on terrorism.

    Your response as a people is to basically say; "please don't hit us again and we'll be good little Europeans and not fight terrorism anymore with the great satan."

    Sounds like they are virtually asking Al Queda to take up residence in Spain and feel safe and secure. Because we're sure not going to do anything to piss you off.

    My study of history, not to mention what I learned on the playground of my misspent youth, says that you don't succeed by appeasing a bully and hoping that he beats you up last or less.

    Bottom line: They hit Spain and they won, getting exactly what they wanted.

    My bet is that the next stop on that train is Italy.

    Very sad to find a country born without a spine. They will come to regret this emotional outburst, just as we should regret Clinton not taking the first WTC attack seriously.

    But what the heck do I know. I'm just another imeprialist war monger from the great satan.
     
  6. gburner

    gburner member

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    My fear is that another attack here in the US similar to 9/11 before November will cause a similar reaction here. I'd like to think that we, as a nation, would not turn our hindparts up to the terrorists but I wouldn't bet on it.
     
  7. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    Terrorism often works. This will be interpreted by the jihadis correctly as a sign of weakness, just as US withdrawals from Somalia and Lebanon were.
    The citizens of Indonesia, Australia, Morocco and Turkey have also been targeted for slaughter despite their opposition to the war, so if Spain thinks this will buy them any favor with the terrorists they've got another thing coming. What's interesting is that the new President says that he will consider sending troops back in under UN auspices, as if that would appease the terrorists. Al Qaeda hates the UN too.
     
  8. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    I think the American culture (as diluted and perverted as it has become), would not stand such an action without consequences. GW would win in a landslide and the missles would fly (hopefully against the sponsoring states).

    In fact, even without another major attack on U.S. soil, the American people are not going to put a northeastern liberal/socialist in the WhiteHouse. This race has been run before, and the democrat lost. Remember Du-ca-cas?
     
  9. TheEgg

    TheEgg Member

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    Trial Run

    Is this a test, a trial run of a tactic? Influence elections with terror?

    It seems to me that we might expect a similar or worse attack some short time before our own election in November. After all, this tactic has just worked in Spain -- why not in America?

    (And no matter how it is spun, the terrorists will look at Spain's election results as a clear win for their terror tactics -- even if the people voted the way they did for other, more complex reasons).
     
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    COWARDS! Run, hide, cry and whine, the only differance will be you will be buried upside down so the whole world can see the broad yellow streak down your back! Get thee hence, and annoy us no more!:fire:
     
  11. Mr. Kook

    Mr. Kook Member

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    This just goes to show that threatening the weak can get the bad guys what they want. This attitude of appeasement is the same thing good liberal victims advocate for women being raped, families being robbed, and towns being ravaged by gang warfare.

    This is the same kind of thing the League of Nations practiced in the lead up to WWII, appeasing Germany, rewarding it for its aggression.

    America has (excepting the Clinton years) never made it a policy to appease the aggressor. We make it a point to beat the aggressor down, to end their miserable lives for the betterment of the world.

    Another attack in the U.S. would only harden the resolve of the people to end terrorism. However, if Kerry were in office I shudder to think how quickly we would get down on our knees for the bad men with box cutters. Consequently I do not expect a terrorist attack before the election. It would only ensure Bush's victory. One afterwards though might be answered by the capitulation of Kerry.

    As long as we have a strong President who is willing to take the fight to the enemy America safer from terrorism. Spain is going to find that by giving in to the demands of Al'Quida they make themselves an easy an reliabl victim, one who will acquiesce to the demands of those who are trying to kill them.
     
  12. TaurusCIA

    TaurusCIA Member

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    gburner,

    Don't worry! We have the UN:what: to protect us.



    :banghead:
     
  13. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    Actually, I think a second attack might be blamed on Bush. The first attack is seen as a "bolt from the blue", a real sucker punch.
     
  14. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    The vulnerability of the West has been exposed. Cower them and they'll run. This will only embolden OBL and his terrorists to heightened activity.

    BTW, if the Liberals had it their way, we'd pull out of Afghanistan too and we'll have to wait until Al Qaeda hits us again before even the Liberals will wake up.
     
  15. TheEgg

    TheEgg Member

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    I wish I could believe that a second major terror attack in the US would harden the public's resolve ---


    But I don't. Look at the polls, read many of the comments on this very board. I am sorry to say that I believe that given half an excuse, the majority of Americans will follow Kerry and Spain into appeasment mode.

    I don't think that the American public has the attention span to stick with a policy that is working, but does not provide instant gratification (ie., war on terror).
     
  16. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    This country is waiting to spawn its own Putin.

    For better or worse.
     
  17. Jonesy9

    Jonesy9 member

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    lets see. Spanish people were against the war in Iraq, which many people outside of the US remember has nothing to do with the war against Al-Q.

    A bombing brings the past opposition that the government disregarded to the forefront. The Popular Party then trys to obfuscate and save thier collective buts by hiding some evidence and trying to keep the blame on their own terrorists the ETA. Popular Party's strategy blows up in their face at a time of high emotion and costs them the election.

    So they can have their 1,300 troops back, are they even doing anthing anyway? Have they lost one soldier?

    So while all eyes are on Iraq, Al-Queda is able to pull off another stunning attack with little or no knowledge by world intelligence agencies. No mention of increased chatter, no raised alerts anywhere.

    Bush's sideshow in Iraq is diverting resources we should be using to fight terrorists. Attacks like the one in Spain shows how Bush has weakened our protections against terrorists with the adventure in Iraq instead of pursuing the actual terrorists.
     
  18. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    Something I can't understand with the "War on Terror" is people like the Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad. The Sheikh operates this website which displays a photo of the US Capitol building on fire and has an ad for a talk radio show which reads "The obligation of inciting religious hatred" is allowed to remain free and spout his hatred. The Skeikh operates out of England, and has followers here in the US.
    Think back to WWII, and imagine what would have happened to a German sympathizer who had decided to do something similar.

    If we're at war why don't we get serious and start taking appropriate measures with the enemy? The fellow running this website is clearly not on our side and he is openly advocating attacking the US. This same enemy attacked our Nation and killed almost 3000 innocent people and it's time to take the gloves off. I hope we're not waiting for another horrific attack to get serious with these people.
     
  19. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    Ho, hum. Al Qaeda racks up another BIG win. Europe is lost. The Islamic terrorists have put them in "fear" mode. Spain is tha last to fall. I hear Blair is in similar hot water in GB.

    The people of Spain voted on a number of complex issues. Thet were Socilaist from way back through 1996, then Aznar untiol now. Back to socialism. Their stock market crashed this morning. Go figure :rolleyes:

    No, the Spaniards know what they have done, but they are betting that we (USA) will win the WoT before they are significantly affected. They get to play both sides of the fence on this one: appease the terrorists abd pull out of Iraq, and wait til Daddy beats up the bullies.

    A nation without a spine. Are we there? Lord, I hope not. :scrutiny:
     
  20. lapidator

    lapidator Member

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    While i certainly agree that the level of their effort has been minimal, it should be noted that Spain and Italy have in recent years been trying to nice up to the US and UK (through NATO), especially since France has been turning yellow again. The Spanish Navy in particular has been spending lots of time and money working with the US Navy effecting WMD inspections in the Persian Gulf.

    This is indeed a sorry blow for both Spain and the US. I would expect to see Greece, Poland, or Italy as the next victem of a major terrorist attack. I doubt they'd hit the US until November.

    Lapidator
     
  21. Il Duce

    Il Duce Member

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    Where's w4rma??? :confused:

    :p

    C'mon, what is it this time? Did Bush plan this terrorist act to intentionally put the socialists into power? Or did Karl Marx come back from the grave to free the Spanish from the influence of G.W.?



    :D

    Il Duce
     
  22. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    It is a clever attempt by BUSH to install the socialists in power in Spain to further obfuscate the problems here in the US and to further show that the world is against us further driving the left wing into Bush's arms, which BTW, was all choreographed at Halliburton when Cheney was King.

    :confused: :eek: :scrutiny: :barf:
     
  23. 316SS

    316SS Member

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    Spain has entered into a social contract analogous to that between an armed robber and his victim: "If we give you want you want, promise not to hurt us." The problem is that this contract is both abhorrent and unenforcable; what's to stop the robber from putting a bullet in your forehead once he has your wallet?

    Spain will endure further attacks, I predict, but without the dignity of standing up to terrorsist like they had a pair. Oh well.

    316SS
     
  24. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    That's quite a diatribe, jonesy9, but it's misinformed....

    10 Spaniards have been killed on duty in Iraq

    IIRC, the Spanish President (Prime Minister) also recently visited his troops in Baghdad.

    Our President showed traditional American leadership in his decision to invade and occupy Iraq, thereby taking the fight to the terrorists. There have been no attacks on American soil since 9-11. You would rather sit comfortably in Massachusetts waiting for Al-Q to come to you?

    Invasion, occupation, deposing a murderous dictatorship and replacing it with something approaching a democracy, is hardly a "sideshow."
     
  25. Nighthawk

    Nighthawk Member

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    Let's look at this logically.

    Al Quida bombs Spain. Spain pulls its troops out of the Middle East. So what's Al Quida's next move? Are they going to un-bomb that train now?

    Had the U.S. withdrawn all naval operations in the Pacific, would Japan have un-attacked Pearl Harbor?

    Had the U.S. withdrawn all support for Isreal and pulled all its troops out of the Middle East, would Al Quida have un-attacked the World Trade Center?

    I could go on and on, but I hope the point is made.

    Just remember the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt (and I'm going to very embarassed if I've miscredited this quote): In politics, nothing happens by accident.
     
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