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  • SPAIN

    Just thought I'd get a discussion going on this!

    In June they are pulling out of Iraq, making the terrorists believe that Terrorism works. 3/11 Spain has a terrorist act done in their country and a few days later they talk of pulling out.
    So they give in with one sucker punch! No wonder they are not the World Power they were in the 1500's.

    Spain! We need to stick by eachother!

  • #2
    Just thought I'd get a discussion going on this!

    In June they are pulling out of Iraq, making the terrorists believe that Terrorism works. 3/11 Spain has a terrorist act done in their country and a few days later they talk of pulling out.
    So they give in with one sucker punch! No wonder they are not the World Power they were in the 1500's.

    Spain! We need to stick by eachother!

    Comment


    • #3
      Of course, one should also add that Spain did have an election Sunday and the party which had opposed the war from the beginning, won. Thus, it is not like the pro-war party changed its mind but rather Spaniards voted for a change in government to an anti-war party no doubt due to the terrorist attacks.

      It is a difficult issue. One argument would be that Spain had no material reason for going to war with Iraq (as no country had). So having partaken in an illegitamate war, the only valid position is to remove oneself from it ASAP (regardless of the Madrid attacks or not).

      Another argument would be that, in the particular case of Iraq, once on has gone in then you have to finish the job, if one deems it can be finished.

      As I've said in other topics, one year ago, Iraq was a ruthless opponent of Islamic extremism. Now Iraq is fertile ground for Islamic extremists though it also has a large segment of what I might call secular Muslims (those who want a separation of mosque and state). Essentially, Iraq, thanks to the U.S.-led occupation, is (like other Middle East countries) a battleground in the War Against Terror. As I've said earlier, countries with politicians in power who opted for war should ask their leaders how much are they willing to sacrifice to stabilize Iraq. eg. Is the U.S. ready to put up, say, over the next 10 years, 1 Trillion dollars, 10,000 fatalities, and 150,000 casualties for Iraq. If yes, great, keep on going. If no, ask what is the alternative.

      Actually, the term battleground is not a good one because it evokes the ideas of tradional warfare. Ultimately, this is a war against an ideology combining the worst of religious and political extremism. In this kind of war, military might is only a secondary or tertiary tool. The other problem is that this ideology we are fighting is not geographically bound to the Middle East but has significant adherents, around the world, including Europe and North America.

      The big question is how do we battle this ideology. Any ideas?

      Comment


      • #4
        They are a democracy and if that is how the majority feel then that's their business.

        I do feel it does send the wrong message to terrorists. The timing of the attack was very shrewd. If it had happened a week earlier they may have had enough time to reflect on this and the result may have been different. In the end I feel they were makeing decisions based on emotion rather than rational thought. Of course it didn't help when the sitting government tried to pin it on the Basque seperatists. That made them look like they were trying to cover it up.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by hm0504:
          [qb]One argument would be that Spain had no material reason for going to war with Iraq (as no country had).[/qb]
          There were 5 countries that had very good reasons to go to war against Saddam's regime: Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel and of course Iraq. Each had sufferred unprovoked attacks by the regime in the past and had no reason to trust him in the future.

          There were plenty of reasons to take out Saddam's regime. The salient question is whether there was sufficient reason to spend our blood and fortune to do it on the behalf of those most threatened, including Saddam's favorite victims, his own countrymen. We (and Spain) were not seriously threatened, but they were.

          -Mark

          Comment


          • #6
            The majorty of people in spain where agains the war in iraq. It was the goverment that was for it not the people, and the new goverment did say they would pull out if the won. Yes the attack did have abit to do with it. it was 2.5yrs to the day of the 9/11 atacks. so i dont know if it was planed to have it happen right before the election. ALso the terorrist did say before the iraq war that they would go after anyone that backed the u.s. if the backed them in iraq. Also we have to think if there will be a attack on 6/11 and also right before the u.s. elections.

            Comment


            • #7
              So are you saying that the response was appropriate?

              How do you think the U.S. would react if, God forbid, another attack like this would occur right before our election?

              I think it would have the opposit effect here it would make us very angry and fill us with even more hate and a desire to get even with them. Not entirely the right response but understandable.

              One more thought this may very well set us up for a major attack as the terrorists will now see that this is a very good way to get us to dance to their tune. So we may have another reason to pay attention to the Spanish vote and it's aftermath.

              Comment


              • #8
                One viewpoint to be considered is that many countries that participated in the war against Iraq did so because the United States said Iraq posed an imminent danger with its weapons of mass destruction.

                Now that it is admitted this was a bogus claim, the result is that the war was started under false pretenses. With a political party now in power in Spain that always opposed the war, to continue with the war when it has a chance to get out, is very understandable. Frankly, I'm not even sure from a practical aspect, how a new government so vehemently against the Iraq war could continue to fully participate.

                Warring against Iraq has made the War on Terror much more difficult because one was a war against a sovereign country (horrible as it was) and one was a war against a social movement (Islamic extremism). Like it or not, warring against a sovereign country that is not an imminent threat is almost universally deemed wrong and the fact that the attacked country trys to defend itself is expected. Why wouldn't attacking countries expect to be attacked back, even in their homelands? The great problem with the war against Iraq is that it has obliterated the difference between warring against a sovereign nation and the War on Terror. In Afghanistan, this wasn't an issue because the Afghan government was part-and-parcel with Islamic extremism, unlike Iraq.

                To make things horribly more complicated, Iran's Islamic extremist government is obviously going ahead with building nuclear weapons. Despite the fact that there is a legitimate case for taking meaningful action against Iran, how easy is it going to be to build such a coalition given the fallout from the Iraq invasion?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think we also need to remember that most of the countries who joined with the USA in the coalition were bought and paid for by the Bush Administration. They promised all sorts of monetary and military assistance to virtually every country which ultimately allowed its name to be used in connection with the "coalition" forces.

                  How many of them actually contributed to the war or to the peacetime efforts? Three? Four? There certainly was no conviction on the part of the people in those countries that they should join us.

                  NudeAl, I'm afraid you are absolutely right about the reaction of the American public if any attacks were to happen in our country. The radical right wing dominates the Administration, and they can think of only one answer to such an action. Nuke 'em. Unfortunately, we don't know who to nuke. We, in essence, did that to Iraq, and it only made things a lot worse in our relationships around the world.

                  And notwithstanding what the Bush administration would like to believe, we can't fight an idea with bombs. It has to be done through the cooperative action of the united nations of the world. (Not necessarily the United Nations.)

                  The action of the new Spanish Government was exactly right, because it represents the democratic process of doing what the people want. A concept that is absolutely foreign to GW.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "I think we also need to remember that most of the countries who joined with the USA in the coalition were bought and paid for by the Bush Administration. They promised all sorts of monetary and military assistance to virtually every country which ultimately allowed its name to be used in connection with the "coalition" forces."

                    I've also found that very many of those coalition members have human rights records every bit as horrendous as Iraq's was. Ironic to say the least since Bush is now saying we went in there because of human rights violations.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Their timing is what will hurt/ kill even more.

                      A bomb goes off in their country killing 200+ people and then the election,and now the pull out.

                      If they decided to pull out before the terrorist act, I wouldn't blame them one bit. If they pull out 6 mos. from now, good for them.

                      I fear that because they are pulling out immediatly after an act of terror in their country, that'll give fuel to these extremists and their deadly ways! More acts will definatly follow in England , Polland , Ukraine , here.

                      What if we had said after 9-11, "O.K. We will pull out of Saudi and stop giving support to Israel, just don't hit us again!"

                      I shudder to think about it!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think people are missing the point about the Spanish election. I don't for a minute believe that the Spanish people were cowed into changing their votes by an act of terrorism. Unlike Americans, Spaniards have lots of experience with domestic terrorism, they are not about to change their government and public policies in order to appease terrorists.

                        What happened is that the Government, which was leading in the polls a week before the election and the train bombings immediately and repeatedly announced that the bombings were done by ETA (Basque) terrorists before the evidence was in, and they continued to make those claims even as contrary evidence was developed. Whether their haste and error was accidental or deliberate, the result is they mislead the Spanish public, who reacted as any free people would when their leaders are discovered to have lied to them.

                        They weren't rewarding terrorists, they were punishing liars.

                        There is a lesson here.

                        -Mark

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't think it would have been feasible for the new Spanish government to put off a decision, they'd always said they did not support the war; they have said they would stay in Iraq IF the UN is given substantial authority.

                          I do agree that terrorist will perceive the Madrid attacks as having been successful if they are viewed as having caused an election result favourable to them. But then what is a democracy to do. It certainly is not democracy if one has to vote *against* change because of fear of terrorism too. Should Americans have to vote for Bush in order to show they are united against terrorism?

                          Ultimately, the root problem is that the Whitehouse used false pretenses to get others to join the war. Any positives for terrorists due to the Spanish election result are NOT a result of Spanish politics but Whitehouse misrepresentations.

                          quote:
                          What if we had said after 9-11, "O.K. We will pull out of Saudi and stop giving support to Israel, just don't hit us again!"
                          Well, the U.S. has pulled (is pulling) out of Saudi Arabia because of terrorist attacks there and, I think, because of 9/11.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            quote:
                            They weren't rewarding terrorists, they were punishing liars.

                            There is a lesson here.
                            Hear, hear!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think that no matter what the case was before the invasion of Iraq we can all agree we are fighting terrorists there now. There is evidence of this almost everyday on the news. If I have a choice on where we battle these terrorists I am very much in favor of doing so in Iraq. We did run into a heavy contingent of foreign fighters right before we got to Bagdad so I believe they were there before the conflict started.(my opinion)

                              We may disagree about the decision to go to war that's fine. I was really hoping it wouldn't happen but it did and I think that in the long run that country will be better off. We are still in a long perhaps never ending battle against terrorism. Each and every decision we make must be carefully weighed to not allow the terrorists to think they will win. Anything that encourages them in this direction is wrong and we will pay.

                              Like it or not we are their sworn enemies the great Satan. We have been since the early 1980's. Wether or not you or I believe this makes no difference they hate us with a passion. Any nation that shows weakness will be attacked repeatedly until it is perceived to be under their control. They will be a nation ruled by terror.

                              I really see no alternative to not going after them (terrorists) unless we wait for them to come to us, again.

                              Comment

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