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Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Speedball, Mar 14, 2004.
Good point. Strike my earlier remark about Albright being correct.
As an American, I'm deeply embarrassed at so much of the reaction coming from our right-wing Bush apologists. At least let a week go by before calling Spaniards "cowards" - even if it were true, which it visibly is not.
Albright's statement is incredibly stupid. Osama united this country, and the world, like no one in history. It was George W. Bush who labored month after month to break that unity.
That's why we owe it to the world, and ourselves, to unite behind John Kerry, the one man who can lead the war on terror.
Bush and appeasement? Or Kerry and victory!
Aw, they're just P.O.ed because this puts a big gaping hole in their "Coalition of the Willing" fantasy.
Bush is hoping that everybody in the U.S. votes out of fear. His entire campaign is based on you being afraid of Al Qaeda.
a good article on Aznar's response to the attacks:
Here is what I think Zapatero should do:
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero promised during his campaign to pull the Spanish troops out of Iraq. It is not his fault that the terrorists decided to 'help' him to win. He owes it to the people of Spain to keep his promise, so I don't grudge him that.
However, if he wants to show leadership and statesmanship, and if he wants to put to rest the idea that terrorists can manipulate elections, he should pledge to step up his help with the war on terror. He should offer to send as many Spanish troops as he can spare into Afghanistan to help in the effort to catch Osama Bin Laden and the other Al Qaeda leaders who, apparently, are responsible for the cowardly act which cost so many lives.
Spare the Anti-Bush rethoric, Mr. Zapatero. It is time for you to act against the terrorists who have attacked your country.
Ahhh, isn't this cute? Al Qaeda just rubbed Spain's nose in it. How does it feel, Spain...to be Al Qaeda's little beeeyotch?
Islamic Militant Group Claims Truce With Spain
CAIRO, Egypt - The Islamic militant group that claimed responsibility for last week's Madrid train bombings has called a truce with Spain to give the new government time to withdraw troops from Iraq (news - web sites), a London-based Arabic-language newspaper said Wednesday.
This from the same group that claimed responsibility for the blackouts this past summer.
Report: Group Claims Truce With Spain
We have to remember that Al Qaeda, meaning 'The Base', is just that - a loose affiliation.
In France, after the recent vote banning the Muslim head-scarf and other ostentatious displays of religious faith in schools, there has been a threat of retaliations against France.
The point is that this may have come from Al Qaeda... or it may have come from some loony-tune.
I used to work with an organisation that received the IRA's notifications of the planting of bombs. I never took one myself but it was standard form to take down any code words used and pass them onto the police as, otherwise, they couldn't be sure that it wasn't just some nut-case trying to cause havoc.
This is part of the reason this terrorist threat will be so difficult to stop.
Let's follow the logic trail here. The new Spanish PM says he's pulling troops out of Iraq. A letter surfaces from someone claiming to be part of AQ that if Spain pulls out of Iraq, AQ won't bomb Spain anymore. (Side note: millions of Spanish people said "wow, that's convenient" when they heard about this.) Ian says this proves Spain is AQ's "beeeyotch". But, the same letter says that AQ wants Bush to win in November.
So by the same logic, wouldn't voting for Dubya make us into AQ's super-bitch? We're not even getting anything in return for giving AQ what they allegedly want!
Don't let the terrorists win -- vote Kerry!
Axis of Appeasement
From Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, Thursday March 18:
Spain is planning to do something crazy: to try to appease radical evil by pulling Spain's troops out of Iraq--even though these troops are now supporting the first democracy-building project ever in the Arab world.
I understand that many Spanish voters felt lied to by their rightist government over who was responsible for the Madrid bombings, and therefore voted it out of office. But they should now follow that up by vowing to keep their troops in Iraq--to make clear that in cleaning up their own democracy, they do not want to subvert the Iraqis' attempt to build one of their own. Otherwise, the Spanish vote will not be remembered as an act of cleansing, but of appeasement.
My dream is that the U.S., Britian, France, Germany and Spain announce tomorrow that in response to the Madrid bombing, they are sending a new joint force of 5,000 troops to Iraq for the sole purpose of protecting the U.N.'s return to Baghdad to oversee Iraq's first democratic election.
The notion that Spain can seperate itself from Al Qaeda's onslaught on Western civilization by pulling its troops from Iraq is a fantasy. Bin Laden has said that Spain was once Muslim and he wants it restored that way. As a frient of mine in Cairo e-mailed me, a Spanish pullout from Iraq would only bring to mind Churchill's remark after Chamberlain returned from signing the Munich pact with Hitler: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."
In the 1990s, we have seen the rise of a new type of terrorist organization. Al Qaeda doesn't have the narrow political objectives of the IRA, ETA, or even Hamas and Hezbollah. Al Qaeda's objective is a revolutionary overthrow of the nation-state system, the destruction of the Western world, and a Middle East united under an extremist Islamic caliph. Which of these objectives would you like to negotiate on?
Al Qaeda cannot be negotiated with and the only way to defeat them is to destroy them. The structure will have to be destroyed through both military and law enforcement efforts.
However, we will have to deal with the underlying problems of the Middle East that allow Al Qaeda to recruit its membership. These include the Arab-Israeli conflict, the repressive nature of many of these regimes, and the economic conditions in the region. So if that's what you mean by solving the problem non-militarily, I agree. If you mean negotiating with Al Qaeda, let me know how their objectives can be modified to something both sides can accept.
I just wanted to say that this is a disgusting comment and no better than those that celebrated when the Towers were hit.
This Spanish election has had a very positive effect.
My number one problem with the administration is that they don't argue their case enough. They make their sale, get their law or resolution then let the complainers continue the debate. The problem in the US is so bad that even though the President explicitly said we have to attack Iraq before it is an immanent threat, we now have two dozen threads that at one time or another some administration official used the word imminent or immediate or gathering. They then turn around and say the President lied because Iraq wasn't an imminent threat. . . . . . It's GWB's fault that these people still have some semblance of a soapbox to stand on.
Well what is so bad about that is that sooner or later this administration will leave office and be replaced with the next one. It may be this year or four years from now. When (not if) that happens, they will be elected on the premise that the WOT was done incorrectly. The first few years of that administration will be much like the first few years of the Clinton administration when Haitians sailed for the US because Clinton said that we should offer them safe harbor and troops got stuck in Mogadishu without heavy armor.
Maybe it's a fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats. Tom Brokaw (IIRC) was on the Daily Show and John Stewart asked him if the GWB administration was the most secret ever. Brokaw said no and John was shocked. Brokaw explained further that Republicans tend to have administrations run like businesses while Democrats tend to have administrations run like Universities. In the former arguments are made to the executive, as decision is made and action is taken with little looking back. In contrast, the Democrats tend to have gatherings of opinions inside the administration with the president kind of the department chair trying to keep all the cats in the herd. The latter tends to have a great deal of discussion with the press and there are constant leaks and counter leaks. From the republicans the press tends to get the straight company line from the official source and that's it.
Over the long term the Dems style is more conducive to changing the terms of the debate. While the Reps would like to stop arguing and get on with business, the Dems would like to sit around and talk.
If the vote in Spain causes Bush to get out there, explain and argue his side of the debate then that's a good thing. I don’t see the WOT moving in a linear fashion. There will be good days and bad days. One aspect of the WOT is that those who are inclined to take real action should be forced to make their case over and over.
Look who said it.
Yes, it has. The Spanish people have done more than anything our lapdog news media have done to point out the difference between the War On (Some) Terrorism and Bush's useless if not actually counterproductive dicking around in Iraq.
You might have had a case if the Bushies had put forth an internally coherent argument backed by facts. But that's not what they did. They profferred an ever-shifting series of excuses and rationalizations that have since been proven to be a steaming load of BS as predicted by the "complainers".
Sadly for you, the "complainers" weren't nearly as naive as those of you who swallowed the Bushie bull********** hook, line and sinker. They were right and you are wrong. The Spanish people have realized this and, unlike some Americans on the Right, aren't so stupid as to keep drinking the Kool-Aid long after it has been exposed for what it is.
The problem is that the only war Arab states may accept Isreal is that they suffer a military setback so severe that settlement is the only option.
The Arab communities are set in tribal communities. Most Arab states still see the tribe as important as the central government. Islamists are more than willing to take that out as well.
As for the Spanish election , it does givesome disturbing news. Any country that may even consider voting in a possibly pro-US government is a target. This is despite the fact that the government that may be pro-US are going to get voted in on anything else but foreign affairs matters.
Being able to fight terrorism with an iron fist is important. Chamberlain politics are unacceptable in this case.
The Spanish events have stimulated the War Party into new heights of hysterical righteousness. Amidst the loud gnashing of neocon teeth and the facile anti-European rhetoric of the new American nativists (the loudest of whom are, oddly, Canadians) the clear-eyed analysis of Middle East scholar Juan Cole stands out like a beacon of reason:
"I believe that the Spanish public just recognized the correctness of the 'opportunity cost' argument about the Iraq War and anti-terrorism efforts. Let's say you are in business. If you put your capital, which is limited, into expanding one part of your business ('X'), you may make money – say 7% percent on your investment. But you had another opportunity to put your money into expanding a different part of the business ('Y'), and that would have given you a 25% percent return (which you did not know at the time). Giving up the 25% return is an opportunity cost of doing X rather than Y.
"The Iraq War represents an enormous opportunity cost in the counter-insurgency struggle against al-Qaeda and its constituents," he continues. Instead of going after Bin Laden, in Afghanistan, the Bush administration went after Iraq, as Al Qaeda "struck at Mombasa, Bali, Riyadh, Casablanca, Istanbul, Madrid and elsewhere."
Re: Axis of Appeasement
Jesus, and the thing actually goes DOWNHILL from there!
Spain's. Voters. Voted. Out. The. Incumbents. Because. They. Lied. About. Who. Committed. The. Attacks. Dumbasses.
The willful, evil ignorance from the right-wingers here is really sickening. I expect it from people like, well, they're all posting. But anyone who's read a single article about this, and is running the "appeasement" line? I should go over to Friedman's office and take a crap on his desk.
Yeah, man, I hit Friedman on another thread. The "analogy" thread. His column today makes vastly more sense as a parody of rightwing nutjobs, or as definitive evidence of schizophrenia, than as the reasoned insight of an experienced journo on foreign affairs.
You didn't even mention the best part, when he mentioned the Axis of Evil (Iraq, Iran, NoKo) and then immediately whipsawed you by talking about Islamic terrorists. It's like he mambo baked in the sprickle fatch.
Re: Re: Axis of Appeasement
I actually agreed to alot of what his article says, not all of it, but alot.
I think he does mention the reason the PP was voted out, the. same. reason. you. have. above.
I think the critical moment of appeasement that Friedman is talking about is: ok the incumbents are out, fine, bu will the new guys (socialist) give AQ the reward of withdrawing support from the US and their efforts in Iraq for killing Spaniards?
Re: Re: Re: Axis of Appeasement
I think you've got your head up your own pitoot if you believe this is a legitimate question.
France is a target, UK is a target, Saudi Arabia is a target, Germany is a target, the Netherlands are a target, Indonesia is a target, Singapore is a target, Spain is a target, the Pope is a target, the UN is a target, etc.
They are less concerned with an anti-US position than with being anti-West, modern, secular. Al Qaeda wants to reconstruct the entire world order, not just defeat the US. Their target list goes beyond simply being seen as a supporter of the US. The are revolutionaries, revolutionaries don't care about minor details, they want to overthrow the entire system.
Re: Re: Axis of Appeasement
Not quite so fast, Dan. According to Spanish TV these documents should show that the information provided by PP was accurate and timely. They made the huge mistake of possibly guessing wrong, but with good reason to do so. ETA was recently caught trying to plant two bombs on a train at Chamartin, a couple weeks ago they were busted with 500 kg of explosives, along with a map of the Alcala de Henares-Madrid area, in a small town East of Madrid, the explosives used matched those used by ETA, and the bombers didn´t do a suicide run.
The real controversy may very well end up being the illegal campaigning by PSOE on the day before the election. I have no doubt speech made by a PSOE party head (name unknown) accusing PP of lying and causing the attack had an effect on the election.
Since the election at least one PP member has been beaten by angry citizens and Pedro Almodovar, the Spanish director who´s won one or two Oscar´s for best foreign film, has called PP murderers. The party filed a slander suit against him, which I suspect they will win. Hopefully they´ll get enough money from Almodovar to keep him from making any more crap movies.
If you want a good feel for how the election transpired go back and read the post from MadridForever. He got it right, as did Dmar earlier in the thread.