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Homeland Insecurity

2
Aaron LarsonPerson was signed in when posted
03-15-2004
07:39 PM ET (US)
There are a number of interests who accuse the people of Spain of "giving terrorists what they want" by voting out the government which... insisted that the ETA, and not Al Qaeda, was behind the attacks. On the other hand, some analysts have suggested that it was in part a reaction to that claim, and the flagrant disregard of evidence of an Al Qaeda connection, which caused the voters to reject Aznar.

Given that, by most accounts, what Al Qaeda wants is to force a showdown in the Middle East between the Muslim world and the Western world, it seems like pulling Spanish troops out of Iraq is not giving Al Qaeda what it wants. But really... in the minds of those who, um, mindlessly support Bush, doing anything but mindlessly supporting Bush seemingly amounts to "letting the terrorists win".
1
Parma Y.
03-15-2004
12:57 PM ET (US)
What struck me about the attacks in Madrid was the response of the electorate. Rather than reflexively "staying the course" or sticking with a "tough leader for tough times," Spanish voters tossed out the government that was there when this dreadful event occurred. Now, it is very possible that the same result would have pertained without terrorist intervention, but nonetheless I find it stirring, even gratifying, that the voters expressed themselves in such a fashion. How refreshing to see what is in effect voters' high expectations of their government and demands for accountability played out in a national election. I don't want to overstate any comparisons between Spain and the US, but shouldn't the American "new normal" be about ridding ourselves of failed leadership rather than accommodation?

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