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Old 03-18-2004, 08:02 AM   #106
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Originally posted by STING2


The PP had consistent lead in the polls until the bombing. This indeed was a victory for AQ. Their goal was to scare enough Spanish people into voting instead for the opposition and they clearly succeeded. The facts speak for themselves. Al Quada understands this and is certainly doing whatever it can to possibly launch more attacks throughout Europe with the same results.

This new Spanish government claims Iraq is a total disaster and decides to withdraw its troops. If one supports democracy and human rights, the last thing anyone should be doing is withdrawing their troops from Iraq. There is important work that needs to be done to get Iraqi government and society on its feet and moving forward. Its sad that some people do not share that goal. Clearly, withdrawing the 1,300 Spanish soldiers currently helping the Iraqi people in variety of ways is not going to help the Iraqi people.

Its a fact that many people in Spain feel that their governments involvement in the Iraq war makes them a bigger target for terrorism. Voting in this opposition government that plans to withdraw from Iraq is certainly appeasement. Its an attempt to shield their country from further terrorism from Al Quada. This is precisely what Al Quada wanted to see in the elections and 41% of the people delivered, regardless of their individual reasons for voting for the opposition. Without the terrorist bombing, the polls show that the PP would have won the election.
OK, I'll tell you what has happened here in Australia in the last few days. We have an election this year. We, like Spain, sent a few thousand troops to Iraq for the main part of the Iraq war. We still have some there. The Australian people, like the Spanish, had massive opposition to the governments decision to do this. Not quite as high as Spain (ours was in the 70%+ 'against' range, Spains in the 90%+). We had the hundreds of thousands of people protesting in the streets (as did virtually every country on earth) against the war. Any democratic government who does something against the wishes of 70% of the country, something major like going to war, should expect a backlash. If it's 90% or above, they should consider themselves damn lucky to have another day in power.

It's a year since the Iraq war, and believe it or not, people move on. People return to voting on issues like health care, taxes, education etc. They have in the back of their mind "Ok, I'm pissed off with you still for Iraq, but to be honest your tax cut does effect me well, and I'm voting for me first, the conscience of my country second." Or something like that. An election one year ago would have ranked Iraq as voter priority one. In Spain before the bombing, I bit it slipped out of the Top 5, maybe out of the Top 10.

The bombs go off. The Spanish President/PM muddles his way through the aftermath. Is he lying again for political gain? Is this "War on Terrorism" doing anything, considering AQ just bombed our city? He's pointing fingers and giving us answers, but is his plan the right one, and should we trust him anyway? Suddenly terrorism, Iraq, WMD lies, blind support of the universally despised Bush, all these things have shot back up the charts to #1 on the voters minds.

When the Iraq war debate was at it's hottest stage, if there was an election in any of the 'Coalition of the Willing' countries, the UK PM, the Australian PM, the Spanish Pres all would have been booted out of office. 70%-90% of their countries disagreed with them. Do you understand?

When those issues are brought back up to #1, the people of these countries have a deep distrust of these leaders and their motives. The Spanish were not voting to appease AQ. They were not voting because they thought that pulling their troops out of Iraq will mean no more bombs. They were protest voting against a guy who has spun too much shit for too little results and has been caught out too many times.

Anyway, I started this with "what has happened in Australia over the last few days". Our PM, John Howard, was obviously shaken by what happened with the Spanish elections. There was a steady stream of Government leaders, and the PM, who spoke out about it being a terrible thing, this appeasement of AQ. It all sounds a lot like that line "If you are protesting agains the war, you are supporting Saddam". Either they can't think of new spin, or they are stupid. Everyone I think, was looking at Howard like, yeah, no one would vote to appease AQ. No one would believe that if we pulled our troops from Iraq at this stage that it would make a massive difference to our chances of being a target. But look at how scared you are. Look at the tail between your legs.

Then the head of the Australian Federal Police, meaning, the highest ranking law enforcement guy in Australia (head of the FBI equivelent) came out and said "Australia is more at risk because we sent troops to Iraq". Yes, we know. Pretty obvious. Everyone would assume that. A day later he retracted the statement. Odd. A day after that we find out that the Prime Minister forced him to. What the fuck? Don't treat us like kids, and don't make your attempts at propaganda so obvious. You are acting like someone who is scared and has something to hide.

It's simple. If these right wing leaders want to stay in power, they have to learn to be honest about their motives, truthful in their facts and logic, respect the wishes of oh, say, 90% of their countries and stop treating their populations like dumb herds of sheep who will believe everything they say, jump everytime they use the word 'terror' and bow down to the god of "War on Terror".

It won't take a bomb on the eve of an election to get a "Coalition of the Willing" leader booted. All it will take is anything at all that puts those issues back at #1 on the minds of voters as they walk into the booths. They just want to hope that they can keep it to health care and tax cuts. Make populations of those countries vote on 'terror', 'war on terror', 'Iraq', 'WMD', 'our relationship with GW Bush' and they'll get booted.

That's what happened in Spain, and it will keep on happening in these countries till their leaders realise the original error of their ways.
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:42 AM   #107
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At any rate Spain only has about 1% of the total troops in Iraq. If there is a "loss" here it's mainly political, not numerical. This election, like other democratic elections, was most likely a mixture of things--Iraq was only one issue. They had domestic issues. There was the fact that the same party had been in power for eight years. There was even an article in my local newspaper about this vote being a "victory for Al Qaeda". I don't exactly think that the Spanish voters thought "OK let's vote for Al Qaeda". They had a turnout of 80%, something we can only dream of in the U.S. Remember, democracy did not come easily to Spain. They had to dismantle a fascist dictatorship less than thirty years ago. I am sure the Spanish people take their votes very seriously and did not mean to vote for a bunch of terrorists.
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Old 03-18-2004, 11:04 AM   #108
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There's a somewhat related article in today's Guardian.

Quote:
When terrorist bombs exploded at Atocha train station in Madrid on March 11, a date that resonated like a European September 11, politics on both sides of the Atlantic were thrown into turmoil. The ruling conservative Popular party and the Bush administration instantly staked the Spanish election on the presumed identity of the terrorists.
The Spanish government had supported Bush's war in Iraq against the overwhelming opposition of Spanish public opinion. March 11, therefore, must not be September 11. The culprits must be Eta, not al-Qaida. The then prime minister, José Mariá Aznar, repeatedly called Spanish newspapers to insist that Eta was responsible. Within hours of the attack, George Bush and his secretary of state Colin Powell helpfully pointed their fingers at Eta. A day before the election, however, alleged terrorists linked to al-Qaida were arrested. The credibility of the government was in tatters and it suffered a shattering defeat.
Full article at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/st...171937,00.html
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Old 03-18-2004, 04:15 PM   #109
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Originally posted by TylerDurden
It's simple. If these right wing leaders want to stay in power, they have to learn to be honest about their motives, truthful in their facts and logic, respect the wishes of oh, say, 90% of their countries and stop treating their populations like dumb herds of sheep who will believe everything they say, jump everytime they use the word 'terror' and bow down to the god of "War on Terror".
That would be lovely but remember we are talking about politicians here. and unfortunately, there is a large part of the population that are sheep. The politician's know that too.

and well said verte76.
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:10 PM   #110
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Old 03-18-2004, 07:48 PM   #111
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TylerDurden,

I don't think Iraq has necessarily slipped from the minds of Spanish voters. The terrorist attack was designed to scare enough people to influence the outcome of the election and it succeeded. Its a simple fact that the PP had been consistently ahead in the polls prior to the bombing. Without the terrorist bombing, the PP would have won. Instead, millions of Spanish voters voted for a government that would withdraw their forces from Iraq out of the feeling that the bombing occured because of Spanish participation in the operation there. The belief is, if Spain was not in Iraq, the bombing would not of happened. So they voted accordingly and handed Al Quada the election result they wanted to see. It is definitely appeasement, and its clear many Spanish people are forgetting the valuable work the 1,300 Spanish soldiers are doing in Iraq and how it helps the Iraqi people.

Al Quada launched this attack because they new they could influence the election if they could scare enough people. Appeasement is a common way people have responded to threatening crises in the past, it is not a surprise that some engage in it today. Al Quada is hoping they can influence more elections in the future with their success in completely reversing the Spanish election and knocking out a government that is more active and committed to fighting them around the world including in Iraq.

"It's simple. If these right wing leaders want to stay in power, they have to learn to be honest about their motives, truthful in their facts and logic, respect the wishes of oh, say, 90% of their countries and stop treating their populations like dumb herds of sheep who will believe everything they say, jump everytime they use the word 'terror' and bow down to the god of "War on Terror"."

Al Quada feels its simple also. Many people in these populations do not support war or military action necessary to destroy Al Quada or bring democracy and stability to the Middle East. With bombing raids similar to the Spanish one right before an election, they feel they can knock out governments that threatened them the most and see the election of governments that will cut and run from difficult and complex political/military operations in the Middle East.

"It won't take a bomb on the eve of an election to get a "Coalition of the Willing" leader booted. All it will take is anything at all that puts those issues back at #1 on the minds of voters as they walk into the booths. They just want to hope that they can keep it to health care and tax cuts. Make populations of those countries vote on 'terror', 'war on terror', 'Iraq', 'WMD', 'our relationship with GW Bush' and they'll get booted."

Well, it did take a BOMB to get the PP booted. Al Quada knew it could work which is why they conducted the operation.

If these populations have no interest in verifiably disarming proven mass murderes and successfully combating Al Quada, and prefer a semi-nuetral position in the war on terror, then Al Quada will certainly exploit that factor in order to get a government in that they feel is non-threatening to their operations and existence.

Populations in Europe during the 1930s favored appeasement in response to Hitler's rise instead of military action and the world suffered the consequences.

The failure to remove and disarm the worlds most violent and unpredictable dictators would only lead to disaster. The failure to support democracy as the seeds are being planted will only create the potential for disaster. The failure to use all means necessary to combat Al Quada where ever it is located, will lead to disaster.

Spain's new government is abandoning democracy in Iraq with the removal of its troops. Iraq is recovering from 30 years of living under one of the most brutal dicatorships in history. Withdrawing Spanish troops only strenthens the hands of Saddam Loyalist, Terrorist, and those opposed to Iraqi democracy and longterm stability in a vital region of the world. The actions of the Spanish government are precisely what terrorist want to see. Look out for more bombings throughout Europe and other countries in the world as elections come near.
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Old 03-18-2004, 07:58 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
At any rate Spain only has about 1% of the total troops in Iraq. If there is a "loss" here it's mainly political, not numerical. This election, like other democratic elections, was most likely a mixture of things--Iraq was only one issue. They had domestic issues. There was the fact that the same party had been in power for eight years. There was even an article in my local newspaper about this vote being a "victory for Al Qaeda". I don't exactly think that the Spanish voters thought "OK let's vote for Al Qaeda". They had a turnout of 80%, something we can only dream of in the U.S. Remember, democracy did not come easily to Spain. They had to dismantle a fascist dictatorship less than thirty years ago. I am sure the Spanish people take their votes very seriously and did not mean to vote for a bunch of terrorists.
The building of Iraqi democracy is a difficult task and despite what others say, the role the 1,300 Spanish play is important. Notice that France and Germany have 0 troops to help the Iraqi people and the development of democracy there.

Regardless of what Spanish voters thought, Al Quada had a goal to change the outcome of an election, and they succeeded. They succeeding in scaring enough Spanish voters into voting for a government that would withdraw soldiers from Iraq which they believe were the reason they got hit. Thats appeasement and that is what Al Quada will try to achieve as more elections come around in Europe.
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Old 03-18-2004, 09:51 PM   #113
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Well, I am just really, really sorry that this horrible attack happened. Fk terrorists everywhere.
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:55 PM   #114
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Interesting protests today in Spain calling the new president the "President of al-Qaeda".
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Old 03-19-2004, 09:51 AM   #115
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Interesting protests today in Spain calling the new president the "President of al-Qaeda".
Well, it's democratic.
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Old 03-19-2004, 03:22 PM   #116
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more appeasemnet to Ai-Queda



Quote:
IN BRIEF / SPAIN
Same-Sex Unions to Be Legalized, Zapatero Says
From Times Wire Reports

March 19, 2004

Spain will legalize gay unions, although it may not call them marriages, Prime Minister-designate Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said. He set no timetable.

"We are going to present a bill to set gay unions on the same footing as marriage," he said in an interview on Spain's Telecinco television channel. Zapatero had made legalizing gay unions one of his campaign pledges.
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:22 AM   #117
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
I think it is wrong to not hold terrorists accountable for their actions and hold a governement responsible.

When a group of people allow terrorsits to influence a political change then the terrorists have claimed a small victory. Apparently the election was going to re-elect the powers that be according to polls days before. I wonder how it would have played out without the attack. If the Spanish people were being dragged kicking and screaming, the election would not have been as close as the polls were indication prior to the 11th.

al-Qaeda is not the champion of the poor...And again, if Iraq were the issue, Britain has a much bigger bullseye.
Absolutely, terrorists should pay for their actions.

So should governments when they lie and go against public will.

It now seems Iraq was the reason as those claiming responsibility declared a truce in Europe when Zapatero indicated he would pull out his troops without a UN mandate.

I didn't realise those Afgansistan training camps were full of Saudi playboys. But that is another thread I think.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:00 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
iacrobat,

"The vote is NOT an attempt to appease the terrorists, to suggest so insults the people of Spain who have democratically elected a party that reflects and reflected their desire NOT to participate in the war against Iraq which they felt was unjust."

The PP was about to win the election according to polls until the terrorist strike. Clearly, the terrorist strike influenced enough people to vote for this new government which plans to abandon Iraq and democracy in the middle east with its planned withdrawal of Spanish forces from Iraq. Many people in Spain clearly feel that their association with the USA caused the terrorist action last week and believe that by disassociating itself with the USA, they can avoid another terrorist attack of this magnitude. Appeasement indeed.

"Sting2, this is not a question of IF it was right or not, but a question of the will of the people."

No, it is a question of the will of a plurality of the people. Its unfortunate that their choice is appeasement.

"Your suggestion is also insulting because the response to the attack here has been incredible. Madrid was not empty the day after, it was full with 2.5 million people in mourning and in defiance of what happened. They refuse to live in fear. Nobody called for war, nobody called for hot headed vengeance. I am in awe and amazed by the clear headed determination of the general public. People here want to fight terrorism, but not in the way Bush has chosen to do so. Come and look these people in the eye and tell them they are appeasing terrorists. This country has 800 casualties from ETA, and a long history of dealing with terrorism."

I imagine a large number of those people who marched the day after voted for the PP and not the appeasement policies of this new government. I dare any of those people who voted for this new government to look into the eyes of Iraqi people and tell them why the Spanish troops who have served them so well along soldiers from dozens of other nations are now being sent home. How will withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq help the situation there or combat terrorism?

"The terrorist actions did not produce the outcome the election, what produced the outcome were the actions of the PP. Their actions clearly went against the will of the people of Spain when they signed on to Bush's war. As many people demonstrated in anti-war protests, as did in the demonstrations this past Friday. The bombing only drove the point home. The final blow was when the PP tried to hide the evidence pointing to al-Qaeda and tried to blame ETA. If it was ETA, the PP would have won the election, which is why they lied. They knew the attack was because of Spain's participation in the war."

The PP can't lie about what is has not been established as unquestionable fact yet. The bombing occured 3 days before the election. Its absurd to believe that the government covered anything up in such a short period of time.

The PP was ahead in the polls prior to the Terrorist Bombing. It appears that if it is Al Quada that they indeed planned this bombing to influence the outcome of the election. 41% of voters gave Al Quada what they were seeking, a government that withdraws from Iraq and plans to fight terrorism the way it was fought in the 1990s prior to 9/11.
Regardless of what you say, Zapatero is keen on fighting terrorism and keeping his troops in Iraq with greater UN involvement, as are the Spanish people. Don't lecture these people on how to fight terrorism, they have been doing it for a long time.

We agree, it is absurd to say the government "covered up" anything. They were insisting that it was ETA when it was plain to everyone and their dog that it wasn't. They knew it would better for them if it was ETA, so they kept insisting. The public television, TVE, here was still showing politicians denouncing ETA, when other stations were reporting the dentention of thew 5 suspects the night before the election. This station is under investigation for being to close the PP, it is 24 hour propaganda for the Partido Popular indeed. The PP lost for their blantant sefl interest and disregard of reporting the truth.

If the bombing was because of Spain's involvment with Bush's war on Iraq, and people disagreed with that policy, how is that appeasement. Zapatero is still committed to fighting terrorism. There were more issues than than the Iraq war on the election agenda. Spain's economy prospered under Aznar, and for this people let the war take a back seat to this more imminent issue. Then when Spain faced retaliation, the issue was driven to the front. Thus far, Spain had not faced any consequences for it's illegitiment war with Iraq (as viewed by people here). War is a political act, it has political repercussions in multiple ways. To view the elections as simple appeasment strikes me as rather simplistic. People want an alternative to Bush's view of the world.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:16 PM   #119
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iacrobat,

"Regardless of what you say, Zapatero is keen on fighting terrorism and keeping his troops in Iraq with greater UN involvement, as are the Spanish people. Don't lecture these people on how to fight terrorism, they have been doing it for a long time."

How is Zapatero committed to fighting terrorism besides just saying that he is? The war in Iraq has been over for a year now and Spanish troops did not actually fight in the war. How is withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq going to help anything except perhaps make Spain a less likely target for Al Quada?

"We agree, it is absurd to say the government "covered up" anything. They were insisting that it was ETA when it was plain to everyone and their dog that it wasn't. They knew it would better for them if it was ETA, so they kept insisting. The public television, TVE, here was still showing politicians denouncing ETA, when other stations were reporting the dentention of thew 5 suspects the night before the election. This station is under investigation for being to close the PP, it is 24 hour propaganda for the Partido Popular indeed. The PP lost for their blantant sefl interest and disregard of reporting the truth."

Most experts around the world initially believed it was ETA so the fact that Aznar's government did as well is not a surprise. There was only 72 hours between the bombing and the election. There was not enough time to make any confirmed conclusions about who was responsible.


"If the bombing was because of Spain's involvment with Bush's war on Iraq, and people disagreed with that policy, how is that appeasement. Zapatero is still committed to fighting terrorism. There were more issues than than the Iraq war on the election agenda. Spain's economy prospered under Aznar, and for this people let the war take a back seat to this more imminent issue. Then when Spain faced retaliation, the issue was driven to the front. Thus far, Spain had not faced any consequences for it's illegitiment war with Iraq (as viewed by people here). War is a political act, it has political repercussions in multiple ways. To view the elections as simple appeasment strikes me as rather simplistic. People want an alternative to Bush's view of the world."


Its very simple, Spain's PP was going to win the election hands down. Al Quada wanted to see if they could reverse the election by scaring people into voting for a government that would withdraw from Iraq. Al Quada succeeded. With a mass bombing killing 200 people, enough Spainards were scared and convinced that the solution to preventing another attack was to vote in a government that would withdraw the troops from Iraq!

That is appeasement. When you do something someone else wants as a way to prevent them from doing certain things to you. This is what happened in the Spanish election and it indeed is a victory for Al Quada.
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Old 03-22-2004, 04:07 PM   #120
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After Madrid

One down, three to go?

Mar 18th 2004
From The Economist print edition


Governments come and governments go, but the fight against terrorists must be stronger than ever

IF YOU carry out a well planned atrocity, killing more than 200 people and injuring more than a thousand, and three days later the government that supported an invasion to which you object is unexpectedly defeated in a general election, you are entitled to consider the venture to have been a success. So although Spain's high voting turnout on March 14th, and many Spaniards' apparent ire at the way José María Aznar's government had prematurely blamed Basque terrorists for the outrage, can be taken as healthily democratic signs (see article), there is no escaping the fact that the biggest triumph has been that of the terrorists. Assuming, as is likely, that they are indeed linked to or are members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, they scored another success when the new Socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, said he would withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq. This may only be a symbolic move, for that is a mere 1% of the American-led coalition's forces there, but symbols and emotions are what terrorism is all about.

To say all that is not to say that it is wrong to vote out governments that supported the invasion of Iraq a year ago. In some cases, such as Spain, they did so against a huge majority of public opinion. In all cases, their claims that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of dangerous weapons now look to be a blunder, a gamble or a deception. This year both George Bush himself and John Howard, Australia's prime minister, face re-election contests and next year Britain's Tony Blair is also expected to do so. There is now a real possibility that all three could follow Mr Aznar's party into defeat—though Mr Blair may be saved by the fact that his Tory opposition supported the war strongly, too. Such defeats would be natural, in democratic terms. But the tragedy of Madrid is that the terrorists in effect cast the swing vote, given that Mr Aznar's party had looked set to win a comfortable victory, despite opposition to the war, and that such success may now stimulate more terrorism during the other three electoral campaigns. The big question, if such defeats occur, is whether successor governments would be more effective in pursuing al-Qaeda and stabilising the regions within which its terrorists thrive—or less.

One year on

Some critics of the war in Iraq say that there is no such danger. There was no genuine link between toppling Saddam and fighting al-Qaeda, so to punish governments for what opponents claim was an illegal invasion is a quite separate matter. Mr Zapatero even appears to think that pulling troops out of Iraq will make things better, on the view that the occupation is itself the cause of terrorism. Yet that policy is irresponsible, because it increases the risk of civil war in Iraq. Even those who opposed the war should now want to help make Iraq secure enough for Iraqis themselves to take back their sovereignty. If other new governments copy Mr Zapatero and prove their anti-war point by withdrawing from Iraq, they will make everyone less safe as a result. And it is a delusion to claim, as Mr Zapatero does, that all would be well if the UN were to take over from the Americans. Few Iraqis think so. It is as well to recall the Dutch UN peacekeepers who looked on helplessly during the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995.

Moreover, withdrawal would put the rest of the Middle East at greater risk, too. For even if there was no direct link between Saddam and al-Qaeda, the connection was always indirect and much more long-term: that while he remained in power to threaten his neighbours and required bombing and sanctions to contain him, it would be impossible to move towards a wider peace and modernisation of that whole troubled region. To advocates of the war, including The Economist, sticking with the status quo looked a more dangerous option than toppling Saddam.

On that view, the stance taken against Saddam by Messrs Bush, Blair, Howard and Aznar could prove to have been politically suicidal but historically noble. But will it, really? One year after the invasion it remains too soon to say. Many things have improved in Iraq since Saddam's regime was removed, but the situation remains fragile and the danger of civil war real (see article). A new opinion poll this week suggested that Iraqis are rather more positive about the change in their lives than outsiders are, but attitudes vary around the country. The invasion itself, and the show of American strength that it entailed, has produced some promising changes in the surrounding region, too, in relations with Libya, Syria, Iran and Pakistan, and glimmerings of democratic reform in Saudi Arabia. Those moves have so far been modest, however, and this week the Saudi authorities underlined that fact by arresting some prominent reformists. Moreover, such modest gains have been overshadowed by the complete lack of progress in pacifying the region's most bitter conflict: that between Israel and the Palestinians.

The right grounds on which to criticise and even condemn the perpetrators of regime change in Iraq now lie in that slow or non-existent regional progress. They, especially the Bush administration, do deserve criticism for their mishandling of the post-war situation in Iraq, but the correct response is to strengthen the effort to rebuild and secure Iraq, not weaken it. They deserve much more criticism, though, for having so far failed to turn the strategic change represented by the fall of Saddam into a wider and more profound set of changes: notably, a restoration of full relations with Iran and the establishment of some sort of Arab-American alliance to persuade the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Such things could never have happened overnight and many a previous attempt, whether American or European, has foundered amid the blood of the Middle East. Yet as the terror in Madrid showed, time is on no one's side. In contrast to its urgency over invading Iraq, the Bush administration has shown little urgency in trying to achieve these wider goals.

Would new governments, led by John Kerry, Mark Latham (in Australia) and Michael Howard (in Britain), do better? It is premature, in all three countries, to judge. No doubt, all would find the reality of government tougher than the theory of opposition. What is clear, though, is that the challenge is the same whether these countries elect new leaders or stick with the old ones: it is to combine the immediate task of detecting and punishing terrorism with the broader, longer-term tasks of blocking weapons proliferation and persuading the Muslim world to modernise. That will require a greater effort to capture al-Qaeda's fugitive leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan, involving even more pressure on Pakistan's government to catch those terrorists and at the same time to prevent its own nuclear secrets from being sold to them or to other countries. It will require some new version of the tentative “Greater Middle East Initiative” for democratic reform just floated and then withdrawn by the Bush administration. And it will require a big new push on Israel and Palestine.

It is fashionable to argue that all this will require greater co-operation, on a multilateral basis, than the Bush administration has managed to achieve during the past three years, and more emphasis on the “soft” power of persuasion and influence. That is true, but it will also require military toughness, redoubled intelligence efforts and intensified security. This is no time for weakness or appeasement. That is the ultimate lesson from Madrid.
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