Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Speedball, Mar 14, 2004.
Al Qaeda now knows that they can really screw us in November. This is all about perception. Osama can now spout off to potential recruits about how he changed a western election whether he did or not. His marketing campaign will leave out the Spanish government's incompetance in being too quick to label ETA responsible. I think that the chances are now 100% that AQ is going to try a terrorist attack on US soil right before the election. It is Bush's responsibility to protect us from an attack and a failure to do so would hurt him severely in the poles. Regardless of whether or not Kerry could win outright, IMHO a successful attack on US soil would hand the election to Kerry. This would be a huge recruitment tool for AQ and Osama if they can gain the perception that they swung the US election to a poltical party with a stronger willingness to appease and negotiate. In hindsight, it may have been a mistake by AQ to give this action a test run in Spain to tip us off to the danger. Regardless, at this time, I just want a smooth election that everyone can except so that our nation can just get on with it.
I've read in papers over here that a newspaper reported on the Saturday, (i.e. the day before the election), that the instruction went out from Aznar's government to say that ETA was responsible almost regardless of the information that came out.
It's pretty clear to me that he was being punished for lying at a time of great national trauma as much as anything else.
In any event the people of Spain were heavily against any support of Bush long before the bombs.
People are now just talking past each other here.
Of course the bombings affected the elections on Sunday -- they couldn't have not done so. They were a massive news story and voters had to take them into account whether they wanted to or not. The only issues are whether the bombers carried this out in the way that they did specifically in order to punish Aznar right before the elections, and whether or not they "won" by having the Popular Party voted out.
On the first issue -- it's possible, but to date there's little evidence of it (Ian's discovery of a MB post notwithstanding). And logically there are a lot of holes in this theory. The bombers had to know that the immediate blame would go to ETA, which would have helped the PP because they are generally perceived as more hard-line against ETA. And they probably didn't count on the perception of a government cover-up happening so soon after the bombings. There are too many things that needed to fall perfectly into place for this to be completely logical.
On the second -- As I've said earlier, I think this idea is a complete load of horseshit. Everyone outside of Dubya and his Kool-Aid drinkers knows that the war in Iraq has diluted the fight against terror. AQ shouldn't support a party who stated that their #1 and #2 goals would be to fight the real terrorist threat and get Spain out of Iraq. If anything, AQ should want more Western troops in Iraq since their presence erodes support for the West among Muslims. For someone to say "screw this Iraq occupation, we're focusing on Al Qaida" sure doesn't sound like a great plan for Al Qaida. And this is the primary reason why I think that if AQ has a favorite in the November elections, it's Dubya. Bush has been the AQ equivalent of Gingrich and Hillary -- the best possible recruiting and fundraising tool for the opposition. Allah forbid that the US gets a President that the rest of the world might somehow possibly like. And conversely, Bush is going to run more against AQ than he is against Kerry, and try to ride fear of terrorism to his re-election. AQ and Bush need each other right now.
Except for the fact that the big swing in opinion happened immediately following the attack. How can you not relate that to AQ and the political impact their attacks have had. Their "punishing" Aznar serves to give AQ a sense of empowerment. Scary.
Immediately following the attacks, Aznar's government also blamed the Basques with no proof, even though they said they were certain it was the Basques. So people might just as well have been angry that Aznar & his government so quickly tried to use the attacks for political advantage.
by not electing the leader that has taken the strongest stand against terrorism - they have empowered AQ. Immediately following the election - the new leader indicates the desire to withdraw from Iraq. And so AQ feels stronger.
If the new Spanish leader feels so strongly about AQ they should immediately join US forces in the mountains of Afghanistan - but you know they won't. When will people learn that weakness does not work?
their is no doubt that crediblity of Aznar's govt was at play - but there is also no doubt that he took a much stronger stand against terrorism than other European leaders did - such as France and Germany.
but you cannot deny that with the announcement by the new leader that they will withdraw from Iraq - that AQ feels that their goals were achieved.
So when we pulled our forces out of Afghanistan to fight a war of choice in a country with no clear ties to AQ, did we also empower them?
France and Germany supported (and continue to support) our efforts in Afghanistan, a country that harbored terrorists who actually attacked the United States. How is that not a strong stand against terrorism?
What does Iraq have to do with AQ exactly?
Aznar did NOT have a stronger stand against terrorism. He supported the Iraq sideshow instead of focusing on terrorism. He had a weaker stand on terrorism. He's like Bush in that.
maybe AQ viewed the whole bombing as an experiment in leading up to the US election?
sure they knew the issues with blaming the ETA - but you don't think that investigators would sooner or later track the cause to the AQ? Sure they know - in fact - they want the publicity - it is part of the operation.
the government's waffling on causes in the 24 hours following the bombing were just icing on the cake.
AQ will not support any party - they will simply support their long term goals - remove all western influence from the Muslim world and move the states of that area - from Morocco to Pakistan - towards religious fundamentatlism. AQ does not need Bush or Kerry - they simply will do what is necessary to sow discord and terror in this country. The more problems there are in Iraq - the more the world denies the need to solve the Iraq situation - the more successful they are. If that means bombing subways in Manhattan or some other horrific act - or attacking economic and govt institutions in Casbalanca or Riyadh or Baghdad or Malaysia - then they will try to do it. Bush is just another lightning rod for them. If Kerry is elected - the first thing you ought to ask yourself is how aggressively will he go after AQ.
And by the way - the unsung heroes in all of this are the shadow warriors of special ops and the tireless work of employees of three letter govt agencies trying to track down and dissect AQ. They are overwhelmed with Iraq and AQ - but they were overwhelmed before the Iraq war - welcome to the 21st century.
Can we stop with this question, please. It's about the changing of the culture in the Middle East. The region needs a breath of fresh air. They're getting that now in Iraq. Not as fast as you would like, of course, so you'll go on crying "failure.". But others in the area will notice the benefit over the long haul.
it is been a while since I have been on this board - sometimes I just wonder about the common sense here - the Iraq "sideshow" is part of the focus on terrorism - I know it is hard for some of you to believe - but the "out of towners" were in fact populating Iraq before we attacked - and we are talking more than just Ansar El Salaam .....
Just because the intelligence services of Spain and the US are not broadcasting their daily work on BS - does not mean that they are not aggressively working the task continuously.
Perhaps you should differentiate between international terrorism and domestic (ETA) terrorism becuase Aznar did a great job on the domestic side.
It's a legitimate question, so no.
I'm not sure it is, but OK.
I'm not sure what that means, but OK.
I'm not sure I agree with you, but OK
Show me where I said that.
Already the Saudis are noticing that we didn't attack them even though it's becoming increasingly likely that they bankrolled the terrorists who actually attacked us, so yeah, I guess others in the area are noticing the benefits of our foreign policy.
As the president said yesterday:
"It's essential that we remain side-by-side with the Iraqi people. Al Qaeda understands the stakes. Al Queda wants us out of Iraq because Al Queda wants to use Iraq as an example of defeating freedom and democracy."
They got to Spain. We won't let them get to Iraq.
yea right - France and Germany have really gone out on a limb to help us out in the mountains of Afghanistan .....
Funny how there's no proof of this assertion (hint: the only place in Iraq we've confirmed an AQ presence prior to the war was in northern Iraq which was not under Saddam Hussein's control. By that rationale, the we should have bombed ourselves because AQ operatives were "populating" the U.S. prior to 9/11).
I don't even know what this is supposed to mean.
this would be a nice point to discuss if it were true - but we never did pull our forces out of Afghanistan - less than 60 days ago I was working with soldiers who are currently in the mountains of Afghanistan. I assure you - they are not empowering AQ - hopefully they are killing them.
Yes and I find it truly ironic that the same people that attack Bush for not doing enough about the "root causes" in other areas turn right around and advocate just fighting the individual Islamic AQ terrorists rather than Islamic terrorism as a whole.
I just don’t see how one can advocate taking a defensive stance to terrorism if one accepts that it will be a decades long war.
You were saying?
You don't have to take my word for it - the fact that I have talk to people in country frequently who tell me exactly what they are up against is good enough for me. There are people I trust and have known for up to 20 years. I am not getting this info from any news or web site.
In Iraq presently we are fighting three general groups:
(1) criminals that Hussein released in large numbers prior to our invasion to cause problems - they are just attacking anybody and stealing and looting for themselves.
(2) Baathist remnants - paying others and conducting dirty work themselves - as they are running out of money their attacks are diminishing slowly. They are "dead enders". Remember Richard Gere in Officer and a Gentlemen - "I've got nowhere to go".
(3) Islamic militants - Syrians, Saudi Arabians, Iranian, Afghanis, Ansar Salaam, ..... generally AQ. The third group poses the most problem because their strategy is just to screw everything up and kill anybody to achieve their goals - at least group #2 is focused on primarily American soldiers - Group 3 just does not care - they want the Sunni's and Shiites to kill each other and cause a civil war. Group 1 can be easily handled over time by Iraqi police.
Guys I talked to said Group 3 was their before the war - but has clearly increased since the wars conclusion - so would you rather fight Group 3 with American soldiers in Iraq or would you rather fight them with the FBI in New York? You are going to have to fight them somewhere, sometime, someplace.
I think it's an absurd proposition to believe that OBL in a cave somewhere deciding to attack 3 days before the vote specifically to help get Zapatero elected for AQ personal gain.
I look at AQ making a statement, that's all. Where it went from there was unpredictable, the results indicated more success than AQ probably anticipated.
Think of it this way: on Sept. 11 OBL hoped the towers would collapse from ABOVE the points of impact and that's it (as if that's not enough). They got more than they hoped for by having the whole structures collapse.
I will fault Bush on one point. He has NOT articulated the policy well enough. Rather than muck about everyday arguing with liberals who distort what he said then claim he lied, he focuses on the business of running his presidency. Unfortunately, getting down in the muck of political discussion and arguing for his policy over and over (an over and over) is exactly what a president is supposed to do. Clinton was a mater at this and Bush has fallen short here. I think that once Bush had congressional approval, he was happy to let the Dean's of the world complain and moan. Perhaps he thought that once we won in Iraq then everyone would come around.
He really does need to let Rice run the show and spend his time arguing his side.