"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Sunday, March 14, 2004


Some Spaniards seem to be suffering the same conspiracy-theory fever-swamp sickness that afflicts those in this country that claim BUSH LIED!!!

From today's New York Times:
"We cannot vote without knowing who are the assassins," [Madrid protesters] cried. "The government is hiding information. They think we're idiots."

"Look at this," [a bystander] said, gazing toward the [train] cars. "This is an election and the government pretends that they don't know anything about who really did it. They've been lying to us and we won't know the real truth until after the election."
Now, a certain degree of irrationality is to be expected after such a national trauma. But didn't the Spanish authorities shortly before the bombing arrest some ETA terrorists who had a plan to attack trains and possessed the same type of explosive material used in the attacks? Was it not reasonable for them to name ETA as the primary suspects? I agree, though, that it was ridiculous for the U.N. Security Council to vote to condemn ETA before there was conclusive evidence.

These protesters are claiming that the Spanish government had instantaneous knowledge of who committed the attacks and it suppressed the information, perpetrating the "lie" that it was ETA because that would garner support for Aznar's party. The Popular Party has taken a tough stance against Basque terrorists. It has done the same against Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Apparently, the former position is favored among a majority of the electorate, and the latter is not. Thus, the charges of mendacity.

From the Associated Press:
Critics have said Aznar invited the attention of Osama bin Laden's terror group by allying Spain with Washington in the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

"I wasn't planning to vote, but I am here today because the Popular Party is responsible for murders here and in Iraq," said Ernesto Sanchez-Gey, 48, who voted in Barcelona.
Ernesto's logic, which is shared by many in Europe, is this: Al Qaeda's beef is not with us, it's with the U.S. If we just keep our heads down, the terrorists will leave us alone. Therefore, the blood of the victims of terror is on the hands of our leaders who support the U.S.

This is exactly the kind of thinking that the terrorists are trying to engender. If more people begin to think as Ernesto does, then (to use the hoary cliche) the terrorists indeed will have won.