Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Spain, Terrorism, and Appeasement

Just days after the terror attacks that killed 201 and wounded 1,500 in Madrid, the Spanish people voted out the pro-USA and pro-war Popular Government led by Jose Maria Aznar. The new Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (they’re all called Jose over there), is a Socialist. He has called the US-led war in Iraq and the subsequent occupation “a disaster” and vowed to bring home the 1,300 troops Spanish troops currently serving there. This is a victory for terrorism. The terrorists (Al Qaeda or ETA or whoever they turn out to be) have frightened a nation away from the war on terror. An increase in terrorist attacks is inevitable.

It is indeed fortunate that Spain is not an important country in the war on terror – the small number of troops it sent were largely symbolic. At the same time, look how Spain’s reaction to a powerful terrorist attack differs from the United States': The US fought, whereas Spain has announced it's intention to run away. Spain and the victorious Socialists are unfortunately representative of most of Continental Europe (brave countries like Poland are excepted); they show that the prevailing mood over there is not only decadence, but cowardice. The majority of Europeans have run away instead of facing and fighting the enemy. They have appeased the enemy.

The word appeasement conjures up memories of Munich in the fall of 1938, where France and the UK betrayed Czechoslovakia in an attempt to prevent war, and instead made war inevitable. They failed to understand then, and are failing to understand now, that dictators, tyrants, and terrorists do not respect weakness.

To illustrate this point, suppose there is a school bully who grabs you by the collar and demands your lunch money. You are afraid of him, so you give him the money. Do you think that by giving him the money, you will deter him from ever attacking you again? Of course not. You know that the “bad guy” got what he wanted without repercussions, and you can be sure that he knows where to get a snack the next time he’s hungry.

Terrorism is being appeased, just as Hitler was. Today there are appeasers like France and Germany and now Spain; but who are the appeasers in our country? To answer this question we can just ask Spain’s new Socialist Prime Minster Zapatero. “We’re aligning ourselves with Kerry,” the Prime Minister Elect said, “Our alliance will be for peace, against war, no more deaths for oil, and for a dialogue between the government of Spain and the new Kerry administration.”

Remember then that while appeasement never works, we have appeasers in great numbers in Europe and in the USA. This means that the work of fighting terrorism is being made even harder. What can you do about this? If you are a weakling, a coward, or a terrorist, vote for Kerry. Otherwise, stick with GWB.

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