Monday, March 15, 2004

So, the Spaniards have turned out a government whose first response to a terrorist attack was self-serving political lies, thus proving that Spain as a nation is not serious about self-serving political lies about terrorism. Or something like that.

In the meantime, the lies did go beyond Spain -- shortly after the attack, the UN Security Council took all of five minutes to debate a resolution condemning the Basque group ETA, which to be sure has a very ugly past, before condemning them unanimously for the attacks. Now that it turns out that ETA has not resumed terrorist activity after all -- at least not yet -- can they get an apology?

At any rate, the new Spanish Prime Minister will try to maintain "cordial" relations with the U.S., whatever their differences on specific issues, and even though he has bluntly referred to the lies from Dubya's crew leading up to the war as, well, lies. There's that word again. That's the kind of leadership that's coming in in Spain. They aren't serious about lies. They don't respect lies. And when politicians stop lying, the terrorists have won.

Or something like that.

More: Of course, there's also fuzzy thinking on the left. There seem to be folks out there trying to spin this series of events like so:

If anything, this is a DEFEAT for al Qaeda, because it puts the lie to Bush's argument that Iraq had any connections to world terrorism. Defeating Iraq has made no difference and has only made things worse, in fact. The Bush doctrine has always been flawed and self-destructive from the start, but now the Spanish people and their government are free to pursue meaningful strategies that DO have a chance of working against terrorism.

(That's from the comments on this Billmon post, which is a great deal more sensible, even if I disagree with it).

So, in brief, al-Qaeda has managed to set off three simultaneous bombings with massive casualties in a major Western country without tipping off anybody in advance, and we are supposed to see the upshot as a defeat for their cause. Say what?


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