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Terrorists Win Today

Discussion in 'Legal' started by goblue, Mar 14, 2004.

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  1. goblue

    goblue Member

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    First off, let me say that I do not follow Spanish politics closely, so my observation here may be overly simplistic. But as I am watching the results of today’s elections in Spain, I cannot help but to think that the terrorists (be it Al Qaeda or ETA) have won a huge victory today.

    It appears that Spain’s current ruling party, the Popular Party, and its Prime Minister, Jose Anznar just got a huge vote of no confidence. Early election results show that the Socialist Party has made unexpected gains in today’s election. Just 2 or 3 days ago, polls showed Popular Party would retain the prime-ministership, but the terrorist bombings March 11 changed the sentiment of a lot of people and mobilized many more people to the polls. Many more people voted to throw the Popular Party out than expected, as they blamed Anznar’s support of the war in Iraq and Bush as the primary reason that Al Qaeda terrorists targeted Madrid. Even if it turns out to be domestic terrorism from the separatist group ETA, many Spaniards are angry at the Popular Party’s hard-line stand against granting autonomy to the Basque and Cataloian regions and are angry at the fact that the Anznar government initially blamed ETA for the bombings.

    It is quite apparent that the terrorist bombing has changed this election and that the terrorists got what they wanted. I am not necessarily saying that the terrorists wanted the Socialist Party, but they wanted to impact the elections and that is exactly what happened. The Socialist Party candidate has said that if he wins, he will pull troops out of Iraq and that the country’s support for the war in Iraq will change. Granted, the vast majority of Spaniards did not support the war in the first place, but still it seemed until just yesterday that the Popular Party would retain prime-ministership.

    I do not know where Spain will go in its support of the US and the international war on terrorism, but it seems to me that Spain, through today’s elections, has stated that it wants to distance itself from the Coalition and in doing so hopes to not draw the attention of Muslim terrorists thereby avoiding another attack. No doubt about it, but today’s elections will weaken the international coalition, give anti-Bush people stateside more ammo to call for an immediate withdraw from Iraq, and strengthen terrorist resolve globally. Seeing the Madrid bombings as a victory, I now fear that terrorists may try to influence other elections, even our own, through very similar tactics as we saw in Madrid last week.
     
  2. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    I suspect that the Socialist victory probably had more to do with long-developing political trends in Spain than the terrorist attack. Maybe I'm being idealistic, but I don't think the Spaniards are that cowardly. Remember, there were huge anti-terrorist demonstrations. As in, "F--- the terrorists!" type demonstrations.

    Still, it is very troubling, because it creates the appearance that a terrorist attack altered the course of a national election. To wit:

    -Polls say one thing.
    -Attacks happen.
    -Election result opposite of poll result.

    And, of course, the Socialist foreign policy coincides with the desires of Al-Qaeda: get the "infidels" out of Iraq. Even if Al-Qaeda didn't do the attack, they would be happy with the election outcome, and be extremely encouraged by how it was seemingly caused by a single terrorist attack.

    In fact, if I was a terrorist, in any country, I'd be extremely encouraged by what happened.
     
  3. TBeck

    TBeck Member

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    I hope the Spanish people are satisfied with what they bought. From now on they can be sure there will be more bombings each time some Islamist wants to advance an agenda. Muslims have wanted to rule Spain since the sixteenth century. It looks like they may get their wish.

    The only way you can appease an enemy who wants you dead is to DIE!!!:banghead:
     
  4. M67

    M67 Member

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    I think you're wrong.

    I don't think Spaniards voted socialist because of this terrorist attack, and certainly not because they disagreed with the outgoing cabinet's hard line against ETA. Extremely few people in Spain, and that includes the Basque region, support those terrorists.

    I believe a lot of people suspect Aznar and his cabinet of lying to them. I'm not saying he did, I don't know. But the suspicion is that he kept insisting that ETA was behind the bombings even though he knew differently, because he thought that would increase his chances in the election, as opposed to if Moslem terrorists did it.

    I cant't think of many countries where a head of government is re-elected if the voters believe he has lied to them.

    I actually think the Spaniards are less likely to be swayed by a terrorist action than Americans are.

    It could simply be that the 43% who voted socialist, were unhappy with Aznar before this happened and had already decided to vote for the opposition. If so, they voted without letting the terrorists influence on their decision.
     
  5. SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI

    SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI Member

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    MADRID, Spain - Voters ousted Spain’s ruling party in elections Sunday, with many saying they were shaken by bombings in Madrid and furious with the government for backing the Iraq war and making their country a target for al-Qaida.

    Official results showed the Socialists leading the ruling center-right Popular Party by 42.7 percent to 37.7 percent with 96 percent of votes counted. That would give the Socialists 164 seats in parliament compared with the Popular Party’s 148, but short of an absolute majority of 176. The Popular Party had 183 seats in the outgoing legislature.

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    "According to the available data, the Socialist Party has won the general election. It is a clear victory,†said Jose Blanco, the party’s campaign manager.

    The Popular Party conceded defeat to Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who will take over from outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, a staunch supporter of the U.S.-led war in Iraq that most Spaniards opposed.

    “My most immediate priority is to beat all forms of terrorism,†said Zapatero, asking for a minute’s silence in honor of the 200 people killed in the bombings on four packed commuter trains.

    Angry electorate
    Turnout was high at 76 percent. Many voters said Thursday’s bombings was a decisive factor, along with the government’s much-criticized handling of the initial investigation.

    “The Popular Party has made me lose faith in politics,†said Juan Rigola, 23, a biologist in Barcelona. “It deserves to lose and to see the Spanish people turn against them.â€

    The electorate of 34.5 million included about 1.9 million mostly young voters added to the rolls since the 2000 general election.

    Until the bombing, the conservative Popular Party was projected by most polls to beat the Socialists, although perhaps without retaining their majority in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies.

    But the disaster, which the government initially blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA, threw the election wide open. The attack was followed by emotional rallies across the country.

    In Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell, asked what the United States knows about who might be responsible, told "Fox News Sunday", “Essentially what the Spanish know, and that is that they can’t yet place responsibility.â€


    March 14: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice says it’s too early to determine who was behind the attacks in Spain.
    Meet the Press




    Powell also told ABC's "This Week", “I don’t think the case has been made that this will cause Spain to step back from the war on terrorism."

    President Bush’s national security adviser agreed.

    “The events in Spain are just more evidence of the lengths to which these killers will go to try and intimidate free people,†Condoleezza Rice said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.â€

    Critics blast handling of probe
    Critics accused the government, which had trumpeted its crackdown on ETA, of manipulating the investigation for political gain. That struck a chord with voters.

    “I didn’t intend to vote, but changed my mind,†said Javi Martin, 30, who works for a TV station in Madrid. “And not because of the attacks, but because of the responsibility of the Popular Party. They gave out information drop by drop. It would have benefited them if it were ETA.â€

    Some voters were angry at outgoing Prime Minister Aznar, accusing him of making Spain a target for Islamic extremists because of his support for the Iraq war, despite the opposition of most Spaniards. Aznar sent 1,300 Spanish troops to Iraq after the conflict and 11 have died.

    “I wasn’t planning to vote, but I am here today because the Popular Party is responsible for murders here and in Iraq,†said Ernesto Sanchez-Gey, 48, who voted in Barcelona.

    Other voters, however, expressed support for the ruling party precisely because it endorsed the Iraq war, and for its crackdown on ETA.

    Mari Carmen Pinadero Martinez, 58, a housewife, said she “voted to help the government end terrorism†as she cast her ballot near the downtown Atocha railway station where trains were bombed.

    In El Pozo northeast of Madrid, site of one of the four blasts, a ruined train car was in clear view of the polling station as were flowers for the victims, signs stating “Paz†(Peace) and dozens of lit candles.

    Some of the voters, teary-eyed, held onto relatives and friends for support.

    Five people arrested
    The Interior Ministry has announced five arrests in the bombing, including three Moroccans, and discovery of a videotape in which a man speaking Arabic says Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network claimed responsibility for the attack.

    In Morocco, authorities said one of the five detainees had been under surveillance for months and was suspected of ties to Islamic radicalism.

    On Sunday, a Basque-language daily published a statement by ETA in which the group for a second time denied involvement in the attacks.

    A handful of young protesters screamed “murderer†at Mariano Rajoy, the ruling party candidate for prime minister, as he cast his vote in an elementary school outside Madrid. “We did not want to go to war!†they shouted.

    Rajoy declined to comment on the arrests or videotape. “These elections come at a time of great pain,†he said.

    Emotions run high
    As Aznar voted in Madrid, some bystanders cheered him while others shouted, “Manipulator!â€

    “All Signs Point to al-Qaida,†the country’s largest circulation newspaper, El Pais, said in a front-page banner headline Sunday.

    RELATED STORY
    Complete text of videotape statement




    The videotape was recovered from a trash basket near a Madrid mosque after an Arabic-speaking man called a Madrid TV station to say it was there, Interior Minister Angel Acebes said.

    The political campaign was bitter between Rajoy, 48, a veteran Cabinet minister under Aznar, and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, 43, a lawyer, member of parliament and the Socialist party’s general-secretary.

    Before the attacks, polls gave Rajoy’s party a 3-5 percentage point lead over the Socialists in the race for the 350-seat Congress of Deputies.

    Aznar did not seek re-election, complying with a pledge to not seek a third four-year term.

    The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

    Sounds to me like intimidation won. Spain just blinked. This Al-Qaeda success will encourage more of the same throughout Europe.
     
  6. Mark Tyson

    Mark Tyson Member

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    Terrorism is effective when it reinforces an already existing political movement. There was already opposition to Spanish foreign policy in Iraq before the bombings. I get the feeling that the new government will cut and run.

     
  7. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    That seems backwards. If everybody is about equally anti-ETA, that isn't a discriminator in choosing a party... it is a wash. An ETA attack would help nobody, since everybody would agree on the response (more or less), since almost nobody there supports the ETA anyway. It would seem to make more sense that most Spaniards do think it is the ETA, and so the attack doesn't change their voting because they belive that either party is strongly opposed to ETA terrorism. This of course assumes that the attack would affect voting either way.

    Many of the anti-terrorist demonstrators' actions would seem to support this (e.g. having "NO TO ETA" written on their heads).

    On the other hand, if they thought Al-Qaeda did it, and the attack had a strong impact on how they voted, then more Spaniards would logically vote for the party with the strongest anti-Islamic-terrorism record... which would probably NOT be the Socialists.

    Hmm... of course, if everybody is equally anti-terrorist, and it seemed like one party was buggering up the investigation based on general stupidity, then voting against that party would be logical. However, the obvious appearance of the Spaniards being intimidated into voting a certain way by the terrorist attack is extremely unfortunate, regardless.

    Based on what? Their inherent ethical superiority to Americans? Or the fact that only about 1/10th as many people got killed in this attack as were killed on 9/11? :confused:

    The relative popularity of Kerry would seem to put the lie to that notion anyway, given his inconsistency on just that subject.
     
  8. Malone LaVeigh

    Malone LaVeigh Member

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    The Socialists ran on a platform of getting out of Iraq. In that, they reflected the desires of the vast majority of Spaniards. So it should come as no surprise to anyone if they pull out. That means the will of the Spanish people wins, not the terrorists.
     
  9. glocksman

    glocksman Member

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    From the feedback I've heard from Spaniards on another board that I post on, a lot of the anti-PP (Partido Popular) vote comes from Spain's involvment in the Iraq war. Over 80% of the Spanish people opposed the involvment, and terrorism aside, the PP was going to bear the brunt of Aznar's decision to get involved.

    What the terror attacks may have done were to motivate some of the fence sitters to vote Socialist because of the clumsy way Aznar was trying to pin the blame on the ETA.

    If our elections had been held 3 days after 9/11 and the Bush adminstration was clumsily trying to blame Iraq while the news was reporting increasing evidence that al-quaida did it with Saudi backing, how big a loss do you think he and the Republican party would have suffered?

    The PP got caught blatantly trying to use the incident to manipulate public opinion and they got smacked in the teeth by the voters for doing so.
     
  10. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    This is SICK. Is Spain filled with the progeny of Chamberlain? "Oh, please don't hurt us again, we will do what you want." Sounds like sKerry's campaign theme.
     
  11. HunterGatherer

    HunterGatherer member

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    That would be accurate even for the liberals in this country.

    Here is what we know. For at least as long as I have been politically aware (just over 3 decades), death-cult barbarians have been running suicide missions and murdering innocents.

    The President(s) of the United States, Prime Minister Jose Anznar, and others may have lied about/misconstrued available info about various death-cult organizations.

    So, faced with people who will actually attempt to hunt and kill the death-cult barbarians, the liberals will side with said death-cult barbarians out of a sense of outrage over being lied to, or perhaps mislead, or just... well... because.

    That sounds like every liberal A$$____ I know.

    Personally, I don't care anymore. I pity the fool that would come after me and mine, and if the liberal sheeple want to stretch their necks for the butcher's knife, so much the better. I hate the SOBs anyway, and Allah only knows the herd needs thinning. As far as I am concerned, the more of them that get whacked, the better. More food, water, air, space for me, and fewer welfare scumbags to support into the bargain.

    :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire:
     
  12. mountainclmbr

    mountainclmbr Member

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    The terrorists and the socialists hate freedom. They both got what they wanted.
     
  13. Iain

    Iain Member

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    We should also remember that elections promises are one thing, fulfilling them is quite another. The socialist govt may find that pulling out of Iraq may have certain consequences for Spain's relationship with the US and Britain. Who knows, early days.
     
  14. Malone LaVeigh

    Malone LaVeigh Member

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    Iraq <--> Terrorism

    S**t <--> Shinola
     
  15. HunterGatherer

    HunterGatherer member

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    Gee Glocksman,

    If your theory is correct, and the socialist swine wanted ETA to not get the blame, then why, oh why did every euro-socialist under the Sun - from the leftist news organizations, to our very own uber-socialist agricola - try to pin the blame on them? Every other word out of their mouths was "ETA tried this just a few weeks ago" or "It wouldn't be unlike ETA to do a thing like this" etc...?

    Which is it?

    Oh, I forgot. We are talking about liberals and socialists. It's not supposed to make any sense. :banghead: :banghead:
     
  16. HunterGatherer

    HunterGatherer member

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    Yeah Malone, I kinda see your point. Supporting the world chaos that terrorism brings to the world is beneath even the contempt of kindly ol' unka Sodom. :scrutiny: :fire:
     
  17. Iain

    Iain Member

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3511180.stm

    I suspect that this will annoy some of you (not that it doesn't annoy me)

    quotes:

    "There seemed to be a collective desire in the intelligence community not to accept that a new Islamist front might have been opened up in Western Europe."

    "First, there is the issue of whether governments will change their policies to try to placate the bombers or whether they will continue as before."

    "A third consideration is security and how far the citizenry will accept disruption of ordinary life."

    HunterGatherer:

    On the other thread the other day someone used a Dr Cox-ism 'If you hear the sound of hoofbeats then go ahead and think horses, not zebra'. Which is a fair point, imagine for instance that a large bomb was planted in London (and the Madrid bomb had not happened) we would would probably go ahead and think of our homegrown horses (the Real IRA) as well as the zebra (al-Quaeda)

    Trouble is, I'm getting confused as to which are the horses and which are the zebra. I'm getting to the point where, despite my knowledge of ETA, my first thought on Thursday was al-Quaeda.
     
  18. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    A lot of Spaniards just "don't want any trouble." That's how I read it. I suspect they'll get all the trouble they can handle--and more.
     
  19. Trigger

    Trigger Member

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    I don't check this part of the forum much but I had to after reading about the Spanish elections. It's unfortunate that the Socialists got in. If the terrorist act effected the elections as I suspect, they are a weak minded nation. In America we stand firm and remain convicted. To cower, run, and hide is pathic.

    I hope I'm wrong but in todays world with terrorism reprisal should be a badge of honor and not turned into disgrace.

    If Al Quada was involved and the indications so far support that, the Spaniards bowed to terrorist pressure and tossed out a government that was good for an evil one.

    A sad state the world is in. I'm just proud to be an American.
     
  20. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Trigger,

    We are THAT close to emulating the Spaniards. Every liberal I know--and there are many, from my checkered past--thinks we're at fault for "sticking our noses where they don't belong" and letting Hitler II "steal" the '00 Election.

    Sometimes civilizations just reach a crossroads. I think we're there.
     
  21. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    If we are considering the election's effect on terrorist movements in general, it really doesn't matter what the intent of the Spanish voters was in giving the party in power an upset.

    What matters when considering the election's effect on terrorist movements is how the terrorists will interpret it. Since they consider the Spaniards (along with the rest of the halfway civilized world) despicable, they will make their interpretation in that light. They attacked a bunch of decadent, self-satisfied infidels before their election, and it caused them to panic and vote out the previously favored incumbents who had supported the anti-Muslim invasion of Iraq. Cause and effect. Better yet, positive reenforcement. The strategy is vindicated.

    Of course, the flipside of that is that the terrorists consider it a positive moral good to hurt us even when it DOESN'T contribute to their immediate strategic aims. They aren't like a rational nation-state in that respect. After all, 9/11 sure didn't keep the U.S. out of the Middle East, and ejecting foreigners from the Arab world is a major goal of Al-Qaeda... not increasing their numbers. But Al-Qaeda thinks it was a success, even though it was really a strategic failure, because they attach a spiritual and moral value to killing us above and beyond any strategic considerations. Being a martyr and sending infidels to hell is a positive moral good in and of itself, and Allah will sort everything out in the end anyway.
     
  22. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    Well Said, Sean.
     
  23. Malone LaVeigh

    Malone LaVeigh Member

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    With all due respect, you missed my point. Our going into Iraq, and hence Spain's support, did nothing to combat terrorism a la Al Qaeda. In fact, is several respects, it helped make the world a less safe place. But that point would be obvious to any Spaniard today.

    Sean: Then I suppose if you had been counseling the incumbent Spanish campaign, your advice would be to go with, "Yeah, we may have screwed up, but if you vote us out now, you'll be sending a bad message to the terrorists."

    Hmm... just might work for Bush...
     
  24. grampster
    • Contributing Member

    grampster Member

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    Quote:

    "With all due respect, you missed my point. Our going
    into Iraq, and hence Spain's support, did nothing to
    combat terrorism a la Al Qaeda. In fact, is several
    respects, it helped make the world a less safe place.
    But that point would be obvious to any Spaniard today."

    I keep getting frustrated by those on the
    left who continually seem to not understand the long
    view of things. You say the world is a less safe place, but
    you never, ever put it into context. You say by invading Iraq
    nothing was done to combat terrorism. Do you live in a vacuum? To continue
    to turn ones back upon those that would kill you is foolish at the best.
    Hussein supported terror and terrorists. The evidence is clear and
    obvious to those who reasonably consider the facts and are able to accept it.

    I submit we are engaged in the 3rd World War, the opening shot was
    made decades ago and became self evident on Sept. 11, 2001.
    It is a religious war, pitting certain sects of Islam and those
    who disguise themselves as Islamist, but are megalomaniacal narcisists
    against, well, the rest of the world. The trouble is a good deal of the
    rest of the world doesn't seem able to cope with defining evil
    and what is necessary to defeat it. Some can't seem to see
    the forest for the trees and sit idly by criticising from the safety
    of your armchair. I am continually reminded of the three monkeys
    when I see the reaction of the left to evil deeds done by evil people.

    What is so frustrating to me is the lack of solutions by the left in
    response to acts of evil or terror. All I hear is talk, generalities and criticism.
    Never any solutions. History seems to indicate quite
    obviously that to submit to evil is to be guaranteed more of it. Despots
    understand strength and power. The Middle Eastern culture has even a
    better understanding of it than most others. To be weak invites terror.
    Spain is weak in its resolve and would put its head in the sand as have other
    European countries. They have paid the price for that and don't even
    understand that they are despised for their weakness and subsequently preyed
    upon for it.

    The left is always braying that America's response to the threat that
    Hussein posed was/is about oil. You are partly right, but sadly for all the
    wrong reasons. Oil is the fluid that makes the world go round. Until
    some free capitalist finds a viable alternative that is plentiful, has
    easy access and stands to provide a lucrative profit, then oil is
    king. Unless you are willing to give up your car, the lights and heat in
    your house, food and your job and live under an abandoned viaduct
    dressed in the skins of whatever critter you killed to eat,
    then ya'll need to understand reality.
     
  25. glocksman

    glocksman Member

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    Could it be that those were merely guesses by people who weren't in a position to know the facts, whereas the Spanish .gov was aware of the facts that contraindicated the ETA accusation and yet continued to shout 'ETA'?

    Nah, why blame it on ignorance and speculation when we can blame the World Leftist Conspiracyâ„¢ :rolleyes:
     
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