aka the Nation Formerly Known as Spain
23 March 2004
Even ordinary extortionists, when they get paid off, always want more.
I am not a Spaniard.
Somewhere, on March 12, I saw the headline, “We are All Spaniards Now.” It was an allusion to the Le Monde headline from 9/12, “We are All Americans Now.”
As we now know, that initial French (and German) sympathy for America was
short-lived. In no time flat, the Old Europe of France and Germany sought
to appease Islamist terror, and to hurt America, through claiming to be our
allies, while betraying us at every step of the way.
Not so, the Spaniards. The 1,300 troops they sent to Iraq were largely a symbolic matter, but the symbolism was powerful.
After 9-11, when so much of Europe was making mischief at our expense, many
Americans assumed that Europe would react differently, if it were hit. I
was one of those Americans. But on the Sunday after 3-11, a majority of Spanish
voters -- who pre-3-11 had supported the ruling, America-friendly Popular
Party, voted it out, on behalf of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist
Workers’ Party. It was as if to say to the Islamists who had attacked them,
“See, we’re not your enemy.” It was the worst sort of collective cowardice
imaginable, because not only did it hurt America, but it did nothing for
the Spaniards. Do they think that Muslim suicide bombers are now going to
consider Spain their friend?
In a calculated slap at the U.S., Zapatero said that he looks forward to
enjoying a “magnificent” relationship with France and Germany. In another
slap at the U.S., Zapatero now says that he will not bring the Spanish troops
home, if George Bush surrenders control of American troops to the U.N., a
position less honest than his pre-election promise to bring home the troops,
period. If Zapatero can mange to be so “courageous” towards the U.S., why
is he such a craven coward towards al Qaeda & Co.? And what sort of message
is he sending to his own, home-grown, Basque terrorists at ETA?
Let’s see. The last time U.N.-led troops pacified a war zone was … never.
Zapatero claimed, "Fighting terrorism with bombs, with operations of ‘shock
and awe,’ with missiles, that does not combat terrorism, it only generates
more radicalism. The way to fight terrorism is with the rule of law, with
international legislation, with intelligence services. This is what the international
community should be talking about."
Speaking to the New York Times, David, the world’s most quoted window
frame maker, translated Zapatero’s true sentiments into clear Spanish: "Maybe
the Socialists will get our troops out of Iraq, and Al Qaeda will forget
about Spain, so we will be less frightened. A bit of us died in the train."
Zapatero’s decision to recognize gay marriage or civil unions, will surely also warm the hearts of Muslim terrorists everywhere.
Those Spaniards who changed their votes, spat on the graves of the now 202 dead.
But let us not forget
the millions of Spaniards who stayed the course. To them, I tip my hat. (Sticking
to the neocon party line, on March 16, David Brooks wrote in the New York Times,
that the Spaniards had betrayed the Iraqi people. As if this were about the
Iraqi people! Claims by Brooks & Co. to be “for the Iraqi people” ring
as hollow as domestic advocates’ claims to be “for the children.” In fairness
to Brooks, however, much of his column does stand up to scrutiny, and he
was the first writer to observe that the Spaniards who switched their votes,
sought “a separate peace” with al Qaeda.)
Even ordinary extortionists, when they get paid off, always want more. But as some clear-eyed observers, such as Mark Steyn
have pointed out, Muslim terrorists are no ordinary extortionists. Whereas
the ordinary kind live to get paid, Muslim extortionists live to kill and
be killed. And al Qaeda didn’t just attack Spain due to its alliance with
America, but as Steyn also pointed out, due to its expulsion of the Moors
(Spanish Muslims) in 1492. As far as al Qaeda (Islam?) is concerned, Spain
is the property of Islam.
Since Spain expelled the Jews the same year, do I also get to wage war on it, and declare it a Jewish state?
New York-based freelancer Nicholas Stix has written for Toogood Reports, Middle American News, the New York Post, Daily News, American Enterprise, Insight, Chronicles, Newsday and many other publications. His recent work is collected at The Critical Critic.
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