Friday, March 11, 2005

11-M, Lessons to be Learned

For the past several days, I have read numerous articles referring to the debate that is still going on in Spain as to the meaning of the March 11th attacks. However, some things still bother me tremendously as a result of viewing the Spaniards reactions firsthand.

Primarily, a large percentage of the citizens here still as feel as if another attack is very likely within the near future, which leads me to believe that many have not yet come to grips with the real meaning behind the attacks. Clearly, this is a misinterpretation of al-Qaeda's highly strategic goals.

So let me make this clear. Spain was a target because of their participation in the "Coalition of the Willing." The bombings occurred at a very selective time, three days before the election, in order to influence the voting. Now Spain, listen up. You need to realize, despite the fact that Aznar and the government withheld information, al-Qaeda succeeded in achieving its goal; Zapatero took power and yanked the troops. No matter how much you may try to convince me that you voted against the PP because they are a bunch of distrustful fascists, I don’t care… al-Qaeda won. Perhaps a revisiting of Israel’s policy on terrorism, established over sixty years ago, and eventually adopted by the majority of the democratic countries in the world would best do the trick, “Do not give into terrorist demands.” Immediately following the elections last March, I was shocked and terrified. Despite the massive war that the Coalition was fighting, Spain’s election signified a debilitating blow to democracy.

My second issue is with the blame itself. Some Spaniards point fingers at the United States for their lead in the Iraqi War, others at al-Qaeda itself (and rightfully so), but perhaps they have missed something. Spain has acted as a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists for the past decade, with little or no surveillance whatsoever. Now I am able to understand that the face of Islamic terrorism was not the first priority for the Spanish government; however, after joining the US in its fight, they should have immediately become aware of the inherent dangers of such actions. Nevertheless, to cower away from danger instead of remaining in arms with the international alliance for support of democracy and the ideals of liberalism, is purely shameful.

Third, Zapatero’s recent announcements about hopeful developments on the war on terrorism are absurd, and now insanely illegitimate. It’s blows my mind as to how you can withdraw total support for the United States, already further deepening the transatlantic rift, and then come back a year later to change your mind. It’s not fair to escape to your own little private corner where you can clear your head for as long as you may like, and then when you feel like it is time for you, despite the inconvenience that you may be causing to the rest of the world, make your “triumphant return.” Thanks a lot “Shoemaker,” but your help is no longer needed. We can do without you, as has been proven within the last year. The tide appears to be turning in the Middle East, and nobody likes a bandwagon.

Finally, I sincerely believe that most Spaniards do not appreciate the fact that the Coalition has provided for them an incredibly safer country now than what existed nearly a year ago. The chances that another attack will take place has been significantly reduced, and not only because you have withdrawn your troops and made yourself less of a target, but due to the fact those courageous countries have continued to fight and defeat terrorism by means of significant efforts.

So I finish this post with envy. It must be wonderful to sit in a garden of paradise, constantly convincing yourself that your actions are always in the best interest of humanity and the pursuit of peace. But that’s okay, although I know that you will never be willing to publicly acknowledge it, somewhere deep down in the depths of your soul that you never wish to touch, you know that owe a hell of a lot more thanks than you have been prepared to give.

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