Topic: World View
The Bombing and then the Vote in Spain Explained: The Two Opposing Views of What It All Means
What to make of the vote in Spain, two days after the bombing that killed two hundred commuters? What to make of the folks tossing out the government that was with us in the Iraq war - in spite of the fact ninety percent of the population in Spain bitterly opposed that decision? It seems the voters are enthusiastic about installing a government more independent and less compliant with anything George Bush says. Perhaps they felt their former leaders simply made them a target for no good reason.
If you hadn't noticed, there are two schools of thought on this. Over at the Financial Times (UK) they run a wire item from Reuters.
See Authorities have no clear response for Madrid
Peter Graff, Reuters - March 14 2004 16:53
This in turn would point to more and more future elections around the world coming to be an exercise in punishing those who stood with Bush and his (our) idea that removing pesky, irritating governments was the best way to fix the problem with terrorists - and with "evil" in general.
Yeah, well, but on the other hand the conservative voice of Glenn Reynolds summarizes the view from the supporters of Bush, the Republican right.
See TERRORISTS HAVE SUCCEEDED IN TOPPLING THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT where he links to many, many people seeing the vote as a victory for the Islamic Fanatical Devils.
If you click on the Reynolds item he has links to all his sources and many, many more. Everyone on the right is appalled that majority of voters in Spain could be so cowardly, gutless, weak, craven and pusillanimous as to decide that siding with Bush and the United States was not in their self-interest, and in the interest of the greater good. I guess the idea that these Spanish folks just don't get it. They don't understand the evil of fanatical Islam.
They don't? I think the year was 711 when Muslim forces invaded and in seven years finally conquered the whole Iberian Peninsula. Their rule didn't end until 1492 when Granada was conquered. El Cid and all that. Glenn, they know. The center of Muslim rule was southern Spain -- Andalusia. They know. The French know too. If Charles Martel hadn't stopped the Islamic army at what is now Lyon the Rh?ne valley in 739 France would be even more Muslim than it is now. They know too.
So Glenn, maybe this is about Bush more than it is about Al Queda. The Spanish, it seems, don't want to stand with a madman who stirs up all this stuff one more time.
Ah, but what to I know?
And a bit of disclosure... One of my five surviving nephews is getting engaged to a lovely woman who grew up in New Jersey. I like her. But she's Muslim, and he's converting. On the 9th of next month I'm off to Orange County for a ceremony of some sort celebrating this. One would have to assume that Ashcroft and his guys will be watching the whole family from now on.
But I'm used to it. In the mid-seventies I was best man at my friend Phil's wedding. He married the daughter of the head of personnel at the United Nations. The father of the bride was... Chinese! There we were at this nice outdoor ceremony at the family's summer place in the green Hudson Valley, not far from West Point. And the government guys were across the road in their Ford sedans with telephoto lenses, taking pictures of us all. Oh well.
Hey, it's all part of being an American.