Recall. Three days after the Madrid bombing, the conservative Spanish government, allied to Bush and Blair, was voted out of office. And Spain withdrew its troops from Iraq.
Had the Atlantic bomb plot succeeded, Republicans would be attacking Democrats for their naivete in nominating an antiwar wimp like Ned Lamont. The day the plot was exposed, Joe Lieberman tore into Lamont, saying that leaving Iraq "will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. ... It will strengthen them, and they will strike again."
Democrats are already saying Bush's war on Iraq was a bloody, costly, unnecessary diversion of America's attention and resources away from the real threat: Islamic terrorism.
Had the plot not been aborted, the War Party -- Newt and the neocons -- would have seized on the slaughter over the Atlantic to stampede America into a new war on Iran, as they seized on 9-11 to stampede us into the war on Iraq.
Already we are hearing that Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, North Korea and al-Qaida are all part of a gigantic Axis of Evil -- with which we are engaged in "World War III" in Newt's phrase, "World War IV" in the phrase of ex-CIA Director James Woolsey -- and, "Let's get it over with!"
Most of what we are hearing is propaganda. Everyone is using the Atlantic bomb plot as an excuse to mount his or her hobbyhorse and ride, ride, ride. What we need to know is the truth.
Was the Atlantic bomb plot merely inspired by 9-11, or actually supported or directed by al-Qaida? Was any nation-state involved? What caused second-generation Pakistani Brits to consider a diabolical mass murder? What was their motivation besides a massacre? What did they hope to achieve beyond the killing?
Was this mindless terror of the Baader-Meinhoff variety, or purposeful terror, like the ANC or FLN, to get us out of the Middle East, or perhaps to draw us into yet another war in the Middle East?
We need truth. We need answers. We are getting propaganda.