After a terrorist attack by al-Qaida that left hundreds of their fellow countrymen dead, Spanish voters immediately voted to give the terrorists what they want ? a socialist government that opposes America's war on terrorism. Al-Qaida has changed a government.
Until the bombings last week, the center-right Popular Party of outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had been sailing to victory. But then the al-Qaida bombs went off and Spaniards turned out in droves to vote against the government that had been a staunch Bush ally in the war on terrorism. (I guess it's OK for a Spanish socialist to "politicize" a terrorist attack just to get elected.)
In a videotaped message, the al-Qaida "military commander" for Europe claimed credit for the bombings, saying that the terrorist attack was meant to punish Spain for supporting the war in Iraq. The message came as a total shock to liberals who have been furiously insisting that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with al-Qaida.
Apparently al-Qaida didn't think so. After the Madrid bombings, it looks like liberals and terrorists will have to powwow on whether there was an Iraq /al-Qaida link. Two hundred dead Spaniards say there was.
The New York Times called the Spanish election "an exercise in healthy democracy." And an ATM withdrawal with a gun to your head is a "routine banking transaction." Instead of vowing to fight the people who killed their fellow citizens, the Spanish decided to vote with al-Qaida on the war. A murdering terrorist organization said, "Jump!" and an entire country answered, "How high?"
One Spaniard who decided to switch his vote in reaction to the bombings told the Times: "Maybe the Socialists will get our troops out of Iraq and al-Qaida will forget about Spain so we will be less frightened." That's the fighting spirit! If the violent Basque separatist group only killed more people, Spain would surely give them what they want, too.
After his stunning upset victory, Socialist Party leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero vowed to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq if the United States does not turn over Iraq to the United Nations. He also vowed that all of Spain's remaining trains will run on time.
Zapatero said the war with Iraq had "only caused violence" and "there were no reasons for it." One reason for the war, which would seem to be a sufficient reason for a more manly country, is that the people who just slaughtered 200 Spaniards didn't like it.
Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army | Michael Barone