bingo
March 14, 2004 12:35 PM   Subscribe

opposition party wins spanish elections. democracy can be somewhat irritating when decisions made against the will of the majority come back to haunt you. especially when trying to fool your people with baseless arguments, such as moral convictions that eta were behind the attacks. ever more curious about those wmd, or imminent threats, or, er, the intent of developing nuclear capabilities, in november.
posted by coyroy (192 comments total)
 
my spanish is a bit rusty, any change you're translating the first link for us ?
posted by swordfishtrombones at 12:41 PM on March 14, 2004


this should give you a taste (gee, perhaps this qualifies my for "special skills")
posted by coyroy at 12:45 PM on March 14, 2004


with over half the votes counted the results give a clear general election victory to JLRZ. with 76.82% of the votes counted, PSOE has gained 165 deputies, the PP has dropped to 146.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:11 PM on March 14, 2004


Good to see the turnout went up so much. I wonder what Blair's thinking.
posted by carter at 1:13 PM on March 14, 2004


great news! Hopefully, our lying bastards will be the next to lose (but without the horrible tragedy).

Here's the babelfish translation of the El Mundo page.
posted by amberglow at 1:22 PM on March 14, 2004


But...but...but... socialist leaders don't get invited to the ranch!

Spain does want to be invited to the ranch, doesn't it?
posted by stonerose at 1:23 PM on March 14, 2004


Part of their platform was the immediate withdrawal of all Spanish troops in Iraq, wasn't it?
posted by amberglow at 1:27 PM on March 14, 2004


The BBC article.

I for one welcome our... oh wait, doesn't quite work does it?

sigh.
posted by knapah at 1:35 PM on March 14, 2004


There's an old saying in Spain, maybe they have it in the US, it goes: "Fool me once shame, shame on me, fool me twice, fool me, fool me, uh, won't get fooled again."
posted by 2sheets at 1:37 PM on March 14, 2004


I for one welcome our... oh wait, doesn't quite work does it?

What? You welcome your new al Qaeda overlord?

Put better than I could have:
A Win for Al Qaeda

It appears reasonably clear that al Qaeda was responsible for the train bombings in Madrid last week. Norway's Defense Research Institute has noted documents found on an Arabic web site last year which suggest that al Qaeda's intention was to try to influence Spain's national elections:
The Norwegian newspaper VG quoted one document as stating: "We must exploit the approach of the Spanish elections in March. Spain will not be able to sustain more than two or three attacks before they pull out of Iraq." This refers to Spain's military participation in the US coalition.

The insitute's Thomas Hegghammer told the paper he initially understood the document as referring to attacks on Spanish soldiers in Iraq, but in view of Thursday's atrocity it must be seen in new light.
Until today, I would have assessed this as another example of the Islamofascists' failure to understand Western cultures, and their consequent inability to predict the effects of their own actions. I never would have imagined that Spaniards would be such quislings as to knuckle under to terrorism and reward al Qaeda for its mass murder, especially after the huge anti-terror demonstrations on Friday.

But that appears to be exactly what has happened. News reports are conflicting; some exit polls show the Socialists winning, others show Aznar's Popular Party suffering major losses, but clinging to a slight majority. Whatever the result turns out to be, it seems that al Qaeda's goal of influencing the Spanish election in favor of the Socialist Party has been realized.

The election that al Qaeda really wants to influence, of course, is our election in November. Indeed, it is possible that the bombings in Spain may have been a dry run to see how Westerners would react to a major terrorist attack on the eve of an election. The only sensible conclusion that al Qaeda can have drawn from its Spanish experience is that it may well be able to deliver our election to John Kerry with a terrorist attack timed for the weekend before the election. I think it is safe to predict that the Islamofascists will make a major attempt at such an attack.

Is it possible that Americans would react as spinelessly as the Spaniards have apparently just done? At one time, I would have felt confident that the answer was No.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:44 PM on March 14, 2004


I'm not terribly happy the ruling party lost it's majority, but frankly, ever since I observed the way they handled that oil disaster freighter disaster a while back, they didn't have any crediblity anyway.

Lets just hope they don't pull out of Iraq: they would be symbolically bad.

Viva La Liberation de Iraq!
posted by ParisParamus at 1:47 PM on March 14, 2004


Liberacion!
posted by ParisParamus at 1:48 PM on March 14, 2004


The only sensible conclusion that al Qaeda can have drawn from its Spanish experience is that it may well be able to deliver our election to John Kerry with a terrorist attack timed for the weekend before the election.

If only they could enlist the help of the evil Klinton, then our liberal/terrorist/antichrist agenda could reach full fruition. I love the deaths of innocents!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:49 PM on March 14, 2004


Is it possible that Americans would react as spinelessly as the Spaniards have apparently just done? At one time, I would have felt confident that the answer was No.

Spinelessly? 90% of Spaniards didn't want to go into Iraq, but Aznar went in anyway. Now the result is that terrorists are targeting Spain. Would it be courageous (less spineless) for Spaniards to vote for a party they disagree with just because al Qaeda disagrees with them too? That's completely ridiculous.

As for the United States, I don't like Bush and don't intend to vote for him. If al Qaeda pulls off a terror attack around November 3 this year, will I be spineless by voting for Kerry?
posted by crazy finger at 1:53 PM on March 14, 2004


Is it possible that Americans would react as spinelessly as the Spaniards have apparently just done? At one time, I would have felt confident that the answer was No.

Because obviously if you don't vote for Bush then you support the terrorists. There can be no other reason.
posted by milovoo at 1:53 PM on March 14, 2004


quislings.

Way to win friends and influence people.
posted by squealy at 1:54 PM on March 14, 2004


Make way for quislings!

Al Qaeda wants us out of Iraq. The Spanish people didn't want to go to Iraq, and paid for their government's actions with blood and death. Spineless? Not at all. They took the only course of action open to them--they voted.
posted by amberglow at 2:01 PM on March 14, 2004


I think Al Queda will definitely think that they won the election. Just days ago Aznar's party was slated to win the election easily, right? Then Al Queda bombed Madrid and the Spanish voted against Aznar's party. If Spaniards so disagreed with Aznar before the bombing, why was his party supposed to win? It seems a nasty precedent to has been sent. I don't look forward to future elections.
posted by superchris at 2:08 PM on March 14, 2004


If there's a terrorist attack in the US between now and the election, I think it would have the effect of assuring a second term for Bush. The difference is that the Spanish, for better or worse, are not serious world players. They really don't care about foreign policy because they know, deep down, they're to minor to exert any effect anyway.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:10 PM on March 14, 2004


Europe cowers again... All Quaeda decides Spanish election...Mission accomplished...
posted by Durwood at 2:12 PM on March 14, 2004


(can't vote for Kerry: he's on the record as being even more hawkish towards Iraq than Bush; the only conclusion to draw is that he's a fake-phony-fraud--too bad: he almost had me fooled there for a few minutes)
posted by ParisParamus at 2:13 PM on March 14, 2004


Is it possible that Americans would react as spinelessly as the Spaniards have apparently just done? At one time, I would have felt confident that the answer was No.

Wow.
posted by fullerine at 2:18 PM on March 14, 2004


As a Farker said,

Message to Al Quaeda: Terrorism works.
posted by MidasMulligan at 2:18 PM on March 14, 2004


Waitaminute....

I thought that Al Queda didn't like Saddam because he was secular... so, why would they bomb the Spanish for taking out someone they didn't like anyway?

Sounds like some people are trying to have it both ways.

The surest way to make a monster leave you alone is to pledge never to bother them, never to hamper them. Please, please, please eat us last. We're neutral, I tells ya.

Why, that worked very well for the Netherlands. It saved Rotterdam from being bombarded in 1940, surely it will work this time!
posted by hadashi at 2:22 PM on March 14, 2004


Paris, I also would prefer not to have the choice be Kerry, but I absolutely will do anything in my power to get rid of Bush. Although you may not agree with my first choice, Howard Dean, a neat thing happened recently. I saw Howard Dean hanging out in a VT bar wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. Casually talking to people and laughing and having a good time. At that moment, I cursed the media and Kerry.

Superchris, after this years primaries you still take polls and projections seriously?
posted by crazy finger at 2:23 PM on March 14, 2004


I think Al Queda will definitely think that they won the election. Just days ago Aznar's party was slated to win the election easily, right? Then Al Queda bombed Madrid and the Spanish voted against Aznar's party. If Spaniards so disagreed with Aznar before the bombing, why was his party supposed to win? It seems a nasty precedent to has been sent.

As I noted in an earlier thread, it's because the logic is the opposite of that in the U.S.

Spain wasn't for the Iraq war, but it's prime minister supported it. Islamic terrorism as a result of Spain's interaction in a war that most Spaniards didn't want to enter anyway means anger at the prime minister for provoking the bombings. Unlike the U.S., the Spanish electorate actually addressed the entirety of events leading to the bombings instead of reaching the conclusion that terrorists merely "hate freedom."

Considering how users like Durwood and FreedomParamus are suggesting that this is a "victory for terrorists," perhaps they'd like to explain how, considering bin Laden's true desires included the formation of Islamic nations' sentiment against the West and the removal of secular rule from Iraq, they haven't been thanking Bush for giving bin Laden everything he's asked for? Oh, that's right, that would sound stupid.

It's ironic that the Bush-hardliners demand to have it both ways: when Spain votes against the ruling party for a clear case of failing to protect Spain against terrorism, it's a sign that the "terrorists have won." Yet these are the same people who will use "there hasn't been an attack on America since 9/11" as a sign of Bush's anti-terrorism success. So which is it? If terrorists attacked the U.S. again (god forbid) is it a sign that Bush failed to fight terrorism adequately? Or would it be a sign that we merely need to support Bush more for failing to protect us?

The truth to that answer explain's Spain's vote. And it's a sign that Bush should be very wary of the pathetic and bottom-feeding strategy of suggesting that voting against him is a vote for terrorism.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:26 PM on March 14, 2004


can't vote for Kerry...
so Paris, you're going with Nader? ; >

Message to Al Quaeda: Terrorism works.
Of course it does. From hijackings in the 60s and 70s thru the 72 Olympics thru Iran hostages thru the Intifada thru Lockerbie thru 9/11 to 11-M...Maybe we could start actually fighting it smarter, instead of bigger? For all the talk of "Now the world is a safer place" there's very little evidence of that.
posted by amberglow at 2:26 PM on March 14, 2004


I'm having a hard time seeing the jump from "the socialists won" to "this is an obvious and bad result of an act of terrorism, shame on spain". Can anyone give out some direct reasons why? If they had kept the incumbents, wouldn't people be decrying the spanish for voting out of fear? I'm admitting that I don't exactly know a lot about spanish politics, but from all I've been reading here in meta, I'm certainly curious and feel a need to know more.

on preview: thanks XQUZYPHYR, thats a good starting point for me.
posted by fillsthepews at 2:28 PM on March 14, 2004


A Win for Al Qaeda

bullsh*t linwood ... asnar blew it by going against public opinion along on bush's war on the iraqis, then his clownies tried to pin the attacks on eta for their own political reasons and as paris notes.. the debacle with oil tanker as well - and the spanish people called them on all three.

just like right-minded americans will do to bush this fall, and blair as well.

what goes around comes around.

the spanish people has spoken in a democratic election -

go someplace else with such hideous talk.
posted by specialk420 at 2:30 PM on March 14, 2004


Maybe we could start actually fighting it smarter...

How? By giving in to them? Appeasing them?

Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
posted by jonmc at 2:32 PM on March 14, 2004


jonmc - YES! That's exactly how!
posted by crazy finger at 2:34 PM on March 14, 2004


How? is the million dollar question...I know for sure that invading Iraq without taking care of Osama first was not at all smart.
posted by amberglow at 2:34 PM on March 14, 2004


I think it's safe to say a terrorist attack before the U.S. Election would have the opposite effect.

Because bush managed to convince a sizeable portion of U.S. voters that Saddam had something to do with Al Qaeda and 9/11, they will (spinelessly, natch) just vote for the guy who is willing to go to war with any arabs or muslims at the drop of a hat.

On preview: hadashi, al qaeda does a pretty good job claiming to speak for all arabs, this doesn't prove anything other than Iraq is another convenient excuse for them to point to and say "see? the west hates all muslims and arabs". I'd love to hear how you think this proves saddam was working with al qaeda.

All that said, the NYT article offers some more insight:
"I was never a fan of the current government," she said. "But I never would have gone into the streets for a demonstration like yesterday except that I felt like they were not telling us everything. The prosecutor said that ETA was to blame, but they never said why. I just want the truth."

Seems like a lot of people might have been upset about the attempt to blame ETA at first.
posted by malphigian at 2:34 PM on March 14, 2004


Al Queda didn't like Saddam, but having US forces occupying Iraq and establishing a central base in the middle east is unacceptable on the arab street. Go ahead and ignore the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, but you won't be able to ignore the guerilla with a back pack bomb on any train in any city in Europe or the US. It's really quite simple - we can quit meddling in the affairs of the middle east or live in terror over the next decade or so.

"Viva La Liberation de Iraq!"
What a sad, deluded little man you are.
Here you go, this might come in handy.
posted by 2sheets at 2:41 PM on March 14, 2004


bullsh*t linwood ... asnar blew it by going against public opinion along on bush's war on the iraqis, then his clownies tried to pin the attacks on eta for their own political reasons and as paris notes.. the debacle with oil tanker as well - and the spanish people called them on all three.

If it was the case that the public was upset about those things, and it was not the terrorism that changed the vote: How was it that Asnar's party was in a confidant lead before the attack, and but losses the election in a landslide after the attack? What happened, a side from the terrorist attack, between the poll and the day of election to make such a MAJOR SHIFT in public opinion?

You are kidding youself if you think the results of the Spanish elections are anything other than a win for Al-Queada.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:41 PM on March 14, 2004


Steve at Linwood, FreedomParamus, mulligan etal:

¡IROS A TOMAR POR CULO¡

JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJAJAJAJA
JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJAJAJAJA
JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJAJAJAJA


¡UN GOBIERNO FACHA MENOS!


MAN AM I DRUNK!
posted by sic at 2:44 PM on March 14, 2004


I know for sure that invading Iraq without taking care of Osama first was not at all smart.

I don't think we should've neccessarily invaded Iraq at all, because the guy we wanted wasn't there and it was a big waste of time.

I thought that Al Queda didn't like Saddam because he was secular... so, why would they bomb the Spanish for taking out someone they didn't like anyway?

I'm basically agreeing with hadashi. If there's no connection between saddam and al qaeda, then why the hell would al qaida be pissed at us for invading iraq?

jonmc - YES! That's exactly how!

crazy finger, please tell me you're being sarcastic, because if not, then you make me sick.
posted by jonmc at 2:45 PM on March 14, 2004


Al Queda didn't like Saddam, but having US forces occupying Iraq and establishing a central base in the middle east is unacceptable on the arab street.

So Al Queda is the "arab street" now? As in Al Queda is a mainstream muslim group?


we can quit meddling in the affairs of the middle east or live in terror over the next decade or so.

Al Queda can quit meddling in the affairs of the West or they can live in fear of the 101st Airborne dragging their asses out of a cave in the middle of the night.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:45 PM on March 14, 2004


s@l:

Ok, so it's a major shift in public opinion. How is that a win for al queda?

....Just trying to understand, here.
posted by fillsthepews at 2:46 PM on March 14, 2004


¡Felicitaciones, sic!

and i think 2sheets has it right about Iraq.
posted by amberglow at 2:47 PM on March 14, 2004


Message to Al Quaeda: Terrorism works.


it sure does: I mean, it gave undeserved, winner-by-default status of Leader (and also a strong midterm election victory, and a strategy for November '04) to a corrupt President who:

1 - busted the budget (thus weakening his country)
2 - created a huge amount of additional and unprecented hate for the West (thus ensuring more and more terrorist attacks) in Muslim Countries (1.3 billion Muslims worldwide, some of them -- unstable, military-ruled Pakistan for example -- with nukes -- that's a lot of people)
3 - destroyed his government's international credibility and goodwill towards it in an era when international relations are (even more than in the pre-911 era) key to diplomatic success
4 - turned the possibility of seeing a viable Palestinian State into a virtual impossibility, thus increasing tension and anti-Western hate in Muslim countries
5 - caved in to various dangerous interest groups (energy multinationals, military-industrial complex, Arab-hating neocons) who have a huge interest in throwing America and the world into a state of permanent war
etc
etc

I agree, terrorism worked like a charm in the USA.
one hopes it'll cease to work, like it just did in Spain.
you know, for all the hate and contempt immediately spewed towards the good Spanish people by the usual armchair-warrior warbloggers and their avid bootlickers, one has to admit that the Spaniards just showed they had the balls to kick out the party who ingored their voice and lied its way to Baghdad with appallingly made-up and trumped-up evidence.
one hopes Americans will be as ballsy in November.
;)

Message to US right-wingers:
I guess it really would've hurt to wait until the corpses were really cold to insult their people with "quisling" and "yellow" calls?
I mean, even the most rabid and irrational anti-Americans Europeans waited until the post 9-11 funerals to resume their political rants
but I guess decency is not high on the American right wing's priority list

and remember children, if all you have to show to get your guy elected for the first time in November is a big "Osama Votes Kerry" sticker, you should be worried. really worried.
you'd better get to really work on the Diebold machine thing -- looks like your best chance, right now

memo to Linnwood:
Paris is his usual, Arab-hating, irrational self. but you owe to yourself not to venture into discussions regarding other nations' political situation -- a FoxNews/Warblog 1-hour crash course in Spanish Politics 101 clearly doesn't do the trick

now you can resume your gloating over those 200 corpses

;)
posted by matteo at 2:48 PM on March 14, 2004


You are kidding yourself if you think the results of the Spanish elections are anything other than a win for Al-Queada.

the spanish people have repudiated the bush/asnar approach to terrorism and the world in general - to call it a "victory for al queda" is a cynical, ugly necklacing of the spanish people's vote today.

it seems clear that the deciding issue was the attempt to pin the blame on ETA - the stench of which wafted all the way to minneapolis - more than anything else.

ill say it again - bring your ugly characterizations of the spanish people using their democratic right to hold their leaders responsible for a) involvement in iraq and b) the lies about eta, somewhere else.
posted by specialk420 at 2:49 PM on March 14, 2004


I never would have imagined that Spaniards would be such quislings as to knuckle under to terrorism and reward al Qaeda for its mass murder, especially after the huge anti-terror demonstrations on Friday.


You seem to forget that Spaniards are also facing the more pressing issue of local terrorism which the conservative party -that has just been voted out- shamelessly used as electoral ammunition against the opposition parties. They even attributed Thursday's massacre to the Basque terrorist group ETA when a substantial amount of evidence pointed at the possibility of other groups being behind it.


posted by blogenstock at 2:49 PM on March 14, 2004


Just days ago Aznar's party was slated to win the election easily, right?

Wrong. The polls 'just days ago' placed the two main parties within the margin of error. Aznar's decision to go against popular sentiment on Iraq has pretty much turned the PP from a shoo-in to a toss-up victor for the past year.

You are kidding youself if you think the results of the Spanish elections are anything other than a win for Al-Queada.

You really are quite pathetic, aren't you? That 'democracy' thing is such a challenge to your view of the world.
posted by riviera at 2:52 PM on March 14, 2004


Fuck you very much, Matteo.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:52 PM on March 14, 2004


If there's no connection between saddam and al qaeda, then why the hell would al qaida be pissed at us for invading iraq?

Because they don't want "crusaders" occupying what was once the heart of Islam's Golden Age. This fits into their ideology quite well, actually. To them we are the new Mongols.
posted by homunculus at 2:54 PM on March 14, 2004


Wow, riviera! Your name calling has made me see the errors of my ways.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:56 PM on March 14, 2004


¡FREEDOMPARAMUS!

¡No nos odies por querer la paz!
posted by sic at 2:57 PM on March 14, 2004


Spinelessly? 90% of Spaniards didn't want to go into Iraq, but Aznar went in anyway. Would it be courageous (less spineless) for Spaniards to vote for a party they disagree with just because al Qaeda disagrees with them too? That's completely ridiculous.

To our leaders here in the U.S. and their supporters, other countries are considered valid democracies only when their leaders do what *we* want. If their populations want something different then they must be painted as communists or lovers of terrorism or spineless cowards or whatever the propaganda du jour happens to be.
posted by boredomjockey at 2:58 PM on March 14, 2004


To them we are the new Mongols.

Where the fuck is Genghis Khan when we need him?
posted by jonmc at 2:58 PM on March 14, 2004


If there's no connection between saddam and al qaeda, then why the hell would al qaida be pissed at us for invading iraq?

The removal of Saddam allows al-Qaeda the opportunity to influence Islamic theocracy on Iraq. We're already seeing the interests of the liberated Iraqi people towards electing a ruling party that is far from secular. bin Laden hated Saddam for ruling Iraq as a secular leader; that doesn't mean he's not going to try and convince the several million Islamic Iraqis that the world is in a war against the Muslim people. As I've noted before, bin Laden is ecstatic at U.S. invasions into the Middle East because history has proven that the liklihood of U.S. interaction will ultimately lead to beneficial results for hardline Islamics seeking theocratic feifdom in their respective states.

Or, on preview, what homunculus said with a tenth of the words and ten times the clarity. ;)

You are kidding youself if you think the results of the Spanish elections are anything other than a win for Al-Queada.

Steve, do you believe there should have been elections in Spain at all? Why? I'm not asking it in some kind of "still beating your wife" thing either. I honestly want to know- if you feel that the only significance of this election was "victory for al-Qaeda," and that no other meaning or response was involved, especially in an overwhelming 76% turnout, then do you even support there having been an election when its sole purpose was, in your view, an endorsement of terrorism?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:01 PM on March 14, 2004


All politics is local. The voters rejected how the Spanish government tried to pin this on a political opponent.
A similar attack here could have the effect of re-electing Bush, most likely...which is probably what al Qaeda would prefer.
Al Qaeda wants the US isolated as something it can demonize (in other words, Bush policy) rather than a US that is actively engaged in diplomacy to isolate terrorist organizations.

Anyway, I'm convinced there will be another attack, if not on US soil then certainly against Americans, and I will hold this White House responsible for failing to prevent it. All of the security steps we've endured, from the patriot act to taking off our shoes in airports, have been pointless b.s. Our intelligence sucked before 9/11, it still sucks (evidence: Iraq wmd misinformation), and this administration continues to pursue the dual policy of a)failing to protect us while b) sticking its foot in various hornet's nests. Now a staunch ally has paid a price. Bush could have stamped out Al Qaeda, an imminent threat. He chose instead to leave that job undone and pretend Saddam was an imminent threat.
posted by Slagman at 3:02 PM on March 14, 2004


Wow, riviera! Your name calling has made me see the errors of my ways.

I sincerely doubt that. I fear that only a lobotomy will suffice.

Also: next time you consider making a snarky comment about the nose-poking interest of non-USAians in the outcome of the November election, think back and ponder just what fucking right you might have to class millions of people who used their democratic rights -- rights which extend less than 30 years in modern Spain -- as terrorist quislings.

Really, for people to talk about this being a vote for 'Islamofascism'? Thirty years ago, the Spanish were being ruled by a real, live religious Fascist. In a one-party state. Enough people casting their vote today remember just what Fascism feels like. And one aspect, at the very least, is having a head of government that disregards the views of 90% of the population in order to side with his foreign ideological pals.
posted by riviera at 3:03 PM on March 14, 2004


Fuck you very much, Matteo.

aw ... paris ... a little TRUTH from matteo (along with a democratic outcome you don't like in today's election) got under your skin huh? you can go sit in the ugly american corner with linwood for a while.

i can only imagine what jerks like you two will say when todays polls prove true and your man bush gets booted from the office his daddy's friends gave him, and you accuse the majority of americans of being al queda's stooges ...

shame you guys.
posted by specialk420 at 3:04 PM on March 14, 2004


I love it that my vote help to agitate Metafilter's right wing!

PSOE got 3 million new votes in this election! that's a big deal in a country with 34 million elegible voters. By the way, if the UN doesn't take over the running of Iraq by May 31 our new president Zapatero is pulling our troops out!

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION
posted by sic at 3:05 PM on March 14, 2004


As I've noted before, bin Laden is ecstatic at U.S. invasions into the Middle East because history has proven that the liklihood of U.S. interaction will ultimately lead to beneficial results for hardline Islamics seeking theocratic feifdom in their respective states.

All well and good, but what do you propose we do instead? Sit on our hands?

And I don't know what steve@linwood thinks, but as far as I'm concerned the Spaniards can elect anybody they want. What angers me is the suggestions that I'm seeing here and elsewhere that basically lay the blame for what happened at the US's feet. Sorry, but no matter what beef you might have with anybody, nothing justifies what happened on that train.

You wanna hate Bush, that's fine with me, sometimes I hate him too. But I hate Al Qaida a hell of a lot more.
posted by jonmc at 3:08 PM on March 14, 2004


S@L:"How was it that Asnar's party was in a confidant lead before the attack, and but losses the election in a landslide after the attack? What happened, a side from the terrorist attack, between the poll and the day of election to make such a MAJOR SHIFT in public opinion?"

Check out the results. The landslide was the result of 10% more voters. Had the votes that Aznar lost, and only these, been diverted to the Socialists, the PP would still have won. This victory was the result of disaffected voters on the left, that wouldn't bother to show up to support either candidate (because, let's be frank, in terms of economic policy and hypocricy its tweedle dum and tweedle dee over there) suddenly realized after the bombing, that the only significant difference those parties have (namely getting Spain the hell out of Iraq), was indeed significant enough for them to get out and vote! Did I miss anything sic? Oh yes! Palacio, knowingly insisting on and spreading misinformation to everyone concerned, while the bodies we're still warm, didn't help one bit and must have reminded some of the*admirable* way that the Aznar gang of Franco nostalgists hnsled that other liitle crisis with the oil spill a while ago.

sic: PSOE+CiU+? (who's the other coalition partner, IU?)
And how the heck does 5% give 5 MPs while 1.64% gives 7?
posted by talos at 3:09 PM on March 14, 2004


Where the fuck is Genghis Khan when we need him?

Long dead, but some of his descendants are helping us rebuild Iraq. I love it when history is this surreal.
posted by homunculus at 3:11 PM on March 14, 2004


Fuck you very much, Matteo.

Not much of a comeback, Paris. Frankly, I'm not surprised, you've never had a rational argument to support your views. Matteo was right on in what he said. I think you know that, deep down, hence the lack of a coherent argument in response.

The Aznar government have treated the citizens of Spain like children over the past few days.

This past year, they've behaved much like the Irish government here at home, ignoring the will of the people and assisting in the US war effort - a war effort founded on vague and fuzzy claims about "weaons of mass destruction". I haven't heard of any been found yet Paris - have you? I thought Saddam was a threat to the West? What happened? Where are the weapons comprising this threat?

Tonight, they got what they deserved - to get booted out of office.

It's just a tragedy it took the deaths of 200 people and the maiming of thousands more (both physical and psychological) to remind people of the costs of supporting an illigitimate war.

We, like most Spaniards, didn't want to get involved in Bush's nasty little war in Iraq (a couple of hundred thousand protested in Dublin alone!), but we did, thanks to our government, facilitating hundreds of flights and thousands of soliders at Shannon Airport, I pray we're not going to be next in line for a terrorist attack. It would be all too easy to perpetrate one. If we are, I will be holding my government responsible for any deaths and any destruction.
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:12 PM on March 14, 2004


I'm angry right now. Apologies for the badly worded post, but I meant every word.
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:13 PM on March 14, 2004


Message to US right-wingers:
I guess it really would've hurt to wait until the corpses were really cold to insult their people with "quisling" and "yellow" calls?
I mean, even the most rabid and irrational anti-Americans Europeans waited until the post 9-11 funerals to resume their political rants
but I guess decency is not high on the American right wing's priority list


I see. So when US left-wingers politicize the event for their purposes, it is because they are noble, while when the right wing responds, they are "indecent". Interesting perspective.

I feel horrible for the Spanish citizens that were killed, and their families. I was almost killed in our 9/11, lost many friends, and feel great sympathy with the people of Madrid.

I hate the fact that the event actually affected the outcome of the election (and you'd better fucking believe Al Qaeda is counting the event as a success). I hate the fact that the left-wing in the US is climbing all over the thing, and even using it as part of their partisan taunts ("great news! Hopefully, our lying bastards will be the next to lose (but without the horrible tragedy)" ... and "But...but...but... socialist leaders don't get invited to the ranch!").

If you on the left-wing do want to politicize this, use it as evidence for the righteousness of your cause, or use it as yet another invitation to take cheap shots at Bush (and Blair, and anyne else that doesn't fit your socialist vision) ... go for it. But don't try to pull this sort of punk-ass guilt-tripping when people on the right respond to your tastelessness ... you long ago lost the moral high ground you still apparently believe you occupy.
posted by MidasMulligan at 3:15 PM on March 14, 2004


It would be all too easy to perpetrate one. If we are, I will be holding my government responsible for any deaths and any destruction.

Why not hold Al Qaeda responsible?
posted by jonmc at 3:16 PM on March 14, 2004


All well and good, but what do you propose we do instead? Sit on our hands

That's pretty much what the Bush administration has done . They've only recently decided to step up the search for Osama bin Laden. What were they doing before?
posted by destro at 3:16 PM on March 14, 2004


There are but two posts on this subject I agree with. And 4 that I partially agree with. But I can't rmember which they are.
posted by Postroad at 3:18 PM on March 14, 2004


destro, I stated in an earlier comment here that I wasn't in favor of invading Iraq or a supporter of the Bush administration, but I've yet to hear any real pragmatic suggestions on what to do about terrorism from anyone else either. I've heard some talk on how to prevent creating future terrorists and that's good, but I've heard little practical talk on what to do about bringing existing ones to justice.
posted by jonmc at 3:20 PM on March 14, 2004


they are "indecent". Interesting perspective.

even more interesting how you change the subject: please tell me when those evil US, or european "lefties" insulted America 48 HOURS AFTER 9-11. please do.
I don't particularly have a problem with the argument per se (it's an old McCarthyite tactic -- ie "you guys re aiding and abetting the enemy!") I have a problem with the timing.

btw I don't remember you complaining about GWB running on a platform of politicization of 3,000 corpses, btw, Midas. too busy with the Gordon Gekko impersonation, I guess

if this is a small test to what would happen in the US after a (second consecutive) Bush defeat in November, then I'm genuinely worried for Kerry. I'm serious. Republicans own a lot of guns and if many of them are really convinced that a win for Kerry is a win for Osama, well, all bets are off. let us hope Allah assists Kerry in his choice for VP -- he or she could get a promotion, thanks to some "Osama won the elction" nut.

Wow, riviera! Your name calling has made me see the errors of my ways.

drop the "name-calling" whiny thing-- or somebody will end up linking to one of your very many Tourettian episodes of MeFi "fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou" trademark tantrums.
lose the whining -- you'll get hurt. it'll take very basic google-fu to embarrass you out of this line of, ahem, "reasoning" very soon. you could join FreedomParamus in UsenetLand intellectual irrelevancy very soon.
posted by matteo at 3:21 PM on March 14, 2004


You know what right wing idiots that supported the war remind me of? That scene in Ghostbusters, where the EPA guy is telling the Ghostbusters to shut off the containment field, and they kept telling him, "Don't do it, you don't understand just how bad this will be..." but he gets it turned off anyway. Then later, at the mayor's pad, he tries to blame them for his idiocy. Nice job, guys. Take out from Iraq the single force that was holding all those insurgents back. Occupy the Middle East with our godless soldiers. Let loose the floodgates.

Well, this is what you get. If al Qaeda wanted to start making friends in the U.S., they could start by targetting the right-wing megalomaniacs who got us into this.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:23 PM on March 14, 2004


you long ago lost the moral high ground you still apparently believe you occupy.

Surely it's hard to tell, Midas, when from your moral perspective, six feet of earth lie between you and surface level.
posted by riviera at 3:26 PM on March 14, 2004


and you'd better fucking believe Al Qaeda is counting the event as a success)


well, IraqAttaq has done wonders for terrorist recruiting, and hate for the US and the West is at record levels.
if Bush gets elected and invades Iran or Syria or goes on pursuing some other crazy neocon wet dream of imperial power, Al Qaeda would be very, very happy.
it takes two to fight a Crusade, you know?

I mean, how sad must they be that Bush confiscated all those Al Qaeda WMD's in Iraq, right?

ps you can resume your gloating-over-corpses now
posted by matteo at 3:26 PM on March 14, 2004


2sheets wrote:

but you won't be able to ignore the guerilla with a back pack bomb on any train in any city in Europe or the US. It's really quite simple - we can quit meddling in the affairs of the middle east or live in terror over the next decade or so.

So, what you're saying is that there is a moral justification for what McVeigh & company did in Oklahoma? That the feds (in the USA) should have simply "left them alone"? I'm suspecting that you don't agree with that...

So, what is the tipping point where someone goes from being a bunch of murdering savages and becomes glorious fighters for the people? Of course, you'll claim that you never said they were "glorious fighters"... and I'll continue suspect you've never lost someone you care about as a result of these types of monsters.

For your sake, I hope your gamble pays off and they eat you last.
posted by hadashi at 3:36 PM on March 14, 2004


Talos: That's the big question that I'd probably not like to consider right now, because I'm too happy.

Basically PSOE has two choices: lean right which would mean a pact with CIU (11 seats), maybe PNV (7) and Coalición Canarias (3) or go left, which is much more complicated and probably less politically astute, with ERC (8) and IU (5). I don't think they will be able to mix and match left and right wing parties.

IU lost a lot of votes to PSOE, these are voters that were convinced that the most important thing was to take away the PP's absolute majority, but ERC, this is the famous party of Carrod-Rovina, went from 1 to 8 seats from the last election!

Spain uses weighted votes, which means if you have more votes in a region you get more seats. This really hurts a national party like Izquierda Unida (IU) which gets 400.000 more votes in all of Spain than CIU, but CIU's votes are concentrated in one place, Cataluña, and thus they gain more seats. I'm conflicted about this system.


The Aznar government have treated the citizens of Spain like children over the past few days.


Make that the past 8 years.

What you assholes who are crying about the results of this election don't know (and don't care about) is that the last 8 years have probably been the worst in the history of Spanish democracy, politically speaking, thanks to the Partido Popular. Aznar has not even SPOKEN to the the President of the Basque Country in 4 FUCKING YEARS! How are we going to deal with ETA with zero dialogue even among the non-terrorists? He has not met with the other presidents of the Autonomous communities where the PP wasn't in power in 4 FUCKING YEARS! He's systematically abused, insulted and marginalized all other political parties. This government has criminally mismanaged every major problem it has faced, not the least of which was the ecological Prestige disaster in Galicia. He criminalized the ecological platform Nunca Mais who were demanding justice for the Prestige disaster. He has turned public radio and television into a Goerbels wet dream of propaganda and manipulation. His ministers are a collective joke, arrogant dittoheads and well-connected half-retards of the worst possible sort. He's reintroduced mandatory relgion classes in public education, he has heavily restricted civil rights like the freedom of expression, he has sabotaged the freedom of press. The list of malfeasance is long and sordid.

I'm sure Steve, Midas and FreedomParamus think that is just fine and dandy as long as Aznar follows Bush's orders no matter how unpopular they are for the Spanish people, but it is evident that the Spanish voters have had enough of a semi-fascist government, muchas gracias.

Y que os joden.
posted by sic at 3:38 PM on March 14, 2004


and you'd better fucking believe Al Qaeda is counting the event as a success

As they get more desperate, I fully expect that we can count on the current US administration to also be pushing this bullshit line. The moonie stooges at the Washington Times already started with this brilliant poll apparently demonstrating that a vote for John Kerry is a vote for Al Qaeda.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:39 PM on March 14, 2004


Why not hold Al Qaeda responsible?

Believe me, I will. But I'll hold my government responsible for inciting them to attack Ireland, not to mention assisting the US in their achievment in recruiting who knows how many people to their cause, in driving the levels of hatred of the west beyond levels not seen before.

I'm pretty certain that if we hadn't gotten involved assisting the US in the war in Iraq, the chances of them attacking Ireland would be considerably less.
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:41 PM on March 14, 2004


From the IHT:

Security was heightened on the streets, and leading politicians, including the outgoing prime minister, cast ballots to applause and jeers. Protesters taunted him during a morning appearance with his wife at a local school with the chant: "Your war, our dead," a slogan that others sought to drown out with shouts of "Viva Aznar!"

'Your war, our dead'. Succinct enough for anyone. And don't presume that those out in the streets of Spanish cities putting on a show of strength against terrorism (of all strains) then went and voted en masse for the PP.

Just to follow up on what sic said: had Tony Blair dealt with Sinn Fein in the same way that Aznar treated Batasuna, chances are that the IRA would still be leaving bombs in shopping centres and office complexes. It means that Aznar is the more consistent (and unsuccessful) in his approach to terrorism on both domestic and international levels; it means that Blair is a paradoxically successful hypocrite.
posted by riviera at 3:44 PM on March 14, 2004


For your sake, I hope your gamble pays off and they eat you last.

I'd rather be eaten first.
posted by homunculus at 3:50 PM on March 14, 2004


johnmc: What angers me is the suggestions that I'm seeing here and elsewhere that basically lay the blame for what happened at the US's feet. Sorry, but no matter what beef you might have with anybody, nothing justifies what happened on that train.

What I'm hearing are suggestions that the U.S. unnecessarily provoked a group of people who are known to be dangerous, and did so for reasons unrelated to diminishing that group's power (probably adding to their power, in fact). I say "unnecessarily" because Hussein had no tangible connection to al Qaeda and in fact was an enemy of theirs.

Imagine me knocking on the door of the Mafia thug next door (because we want to fight the Mafia of course) and telling him, "johnmc and I are going to kick your ass, and by the way we banged your wife, too." This is no way excuses the Mafia thug's actions when he comes later to kill us, and it doesn't make us responsible for what he does in any sense other than that my incompetence in fighting the Mafia has caused you and me to become unncessary targets and to get killed for no reason. I wouldn't blame your family if they were pissed at me for doing this, even though the thug's actions are his own moral responsibility.

The preferred approach should be to find effective ways of fighting the problem without creating more risk than is necessary (and certainly without using the threat as a lame cover for expanding empire).

Why not hold Al Qaeda responsible?

One can (and should) do that while still analyzing whether Aznar's support for our unnecessary invasion of Iraq made Spain an unnecessary target for al Qaeda. Apparently the Spanish think so, and I respect their conclusions given that they were dragged into this mess against their will.

(On preview, what tomscograve said more succinctly.)
posted by boredomjockey at 3:50 PM on March 14, 2004


And to be clear, I'm making a distinction between the situation I describe above and one in which people become targets of nasty people because they're actually doing something noble to defeat those people. We can't go after nasty people without becoming targets for revenge, but at least that's a risk we're accepting for some reason.
posted by boredomjockey at 3:53 PM on March 14, 2004


If you don't like it, you can always invade Spain, kill their leaders, and convert them all to Christianity.

Oh. They already did that in the 15th Century. And then they invaded America, killed their leaders, and converted them all to Christianity!

This could go on forever...
posted by GrahamVM at 4:10 PM on March 14, 2004


homunculus writes:

I'd rather be eaten first.

Hehehe. I was wondering who would bring that up...
posted by hadashi at 4:27 PM on March 14, 2004


Wow, riviera! Your name calling has made me see the errors of my ways.

Just as your frequent name calling has made us see ours, my dullwitted unfunny friend? Riviera, at least, is concise, cogent and coherent.
posted by y2karl at 4:31 PM on March 14, 2004


ps you can resume your gloating-over-corpses now

And you can resume using them for your own left-wing agenda.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:35 PM on March 14, 2004


And you can resume using them for your own left-wing agenda.

Oh, I just love hearing such nuanced arguments from the 'moral high-ground'. Bloodied shirts ahoy!

Are you including ten million Spanish voters in that 'agenda'? Just make it clear for us, won't you?
posted by riviera at 4:44 PM on March 14, 2004


Don't worry about him. He's just objectively anti-democracy.
posted by GrahamVM at 4:46 PM on March 14, 2004


Harsh, but fair.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:55 PM on March 14, 2004


"So Al Queda is the "arab street" now?"

Where do you think Al Queda, Al Aqsa or Hamas get new recruits? It's not like they create them in some lab with funding from evil left wing socialists.

I don't justify the actions of terrorists murderers, nor would I suggest we "give in" to them. I don't care if their cause is just, and sometimes it is just. I think those who perpetrate such acts of horror should be hunted down like dogs.
But it's pig ignorant to perpetuate a wrong just to spite a lowly gang of thugs. That's playing into their hands and everyone loses.
posted by 2sheets at 4:57 PM on March 14, 2004


Your self-righteous rhetoric has always been full of shit matteo... like so many these days, you've figured out that being a loud hypocrite works well, as long as you are louder than the other hypocrites. Sure, the Arab haters and the imperialists are here. You, conversely, hate a vast portion (if not the entirety) of Jews and Americans, as evidence by the plethora of insulting, one-sided ravings you've posted on Mefi to date. Arguing with you is pointless - only your own body parts, unexpectedly separated from each other by terrorist explosives, can ever serve to shake your hypocrisy. At least if you cared enough to ever act in support of your militant bullshit. By then, however, it will be too late - and another raving hippie will take your place to disrespect *your* corpse by hoisting it up on the battlements of his political agenda.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:13 PM on March 14, 2004


Of course, we all know Al Queda are a bunch of raving, tree-hugging, left-wing pinko socialists, don't we? That's why they would consider this attack such a "success"!

Come, the fuck, on!

If they consider it a success, it's because they managed to kill a shitload of innocent people. That's what they're about, friends. Al Queda and their ilk couldn't give a shit who's in power. Tony Blair's socialist party in England appears just as dazed and confused as George Bush's conservative party in the US when it comes to combating terrorism. A socialist party in power in Spain will be little different from a conservative one, aside from vague promises regarding whether or not to go to war in Iraq (it's very easy to make promises like this from the opposition benches).

Anyone who thinks Al Queda had the installation of a socialist party into power in Spain as a key aim of their terrorist campaign is placing a little too much importance on local politics. As others have said, a pre-election bombing in Spain inspires the population to consider the government a failure on counter-terrorism. An equivalent attack in the US would inspire the population to fear changing government. I doubt the right-wingers here would consider the re-election of Bush post a hypothetical terrorist attack in the US a "victory for Al Queda".
posted by Jimbob at 5:16 PM on March 14, 2004


Arguing with you is pointless - only your own body parts, unexpectedly separated from each other by terrorist explosives, can ever serve to shake your hypocrisy.

Have you considered switching to decaffeinated Sanka?
posted by y2karl at 5:24 PM on March 14, 2004


Have you considered laying off that joint, y2karl?
posted by Krrrlson at 5:35 PM on March 14, 2004


Has anybody considered a nice big bowl of Quisp?
posted by jonmc at 5:36 PM on March 14, 2004


And you can resume using them for your own left-wing agenda.

Oh, I just love hearing such nuanced arguments from the 'moral high-ground'. Bloodied shirts ahoy!

Are you including ten million Spanish voters in that 'agenda'? Just make it clear for us, won't you
?

They are as nuanced as the crap I listen to here daily from the left. I've pretty much given up constructing actualy nuanced arguments here - because the result is generally several childish one-liners and little else.

And no, I'm not including ten million Spanish voters. And no, I'm not "anti-democracy" (it is pretty amazing how anyone that speaks freely in support of a position other than the politically correct one is branded "anti-democracy"). Guess what fuckwit, democracy means right-wingers get to have, and express, opinions too. I realize you'd prefer that we all just retreated, and contented ourselves with creating the jobs you need to survive, the profits you need to tax to support your noble causes, and humbly let your "diplomacy" and negotiations work with Al Qaeda

I was specifically pointing out that the left-wingers here, of MeFi, saw fit to start using the event as yet another excuse to take their cheap little shots at Bush, and any world leader that supports Bush in any way ... before anyone from the right brought it up. But when the token right-wingers responded, they were accused of politicizing the event - by the very people that started using it for their own purposes in the first place.

I realize you are used to getting away with this shit on a daily basis. And understand you'll try to change the subject, and in fact do anything other than take responsibility for your own politicization of the event. But attempts to do so will not work.

You don't even need to look at this thread. The day it happened ... 3/11 ... before anyone had any idea what happened, the sixth post of the FPP about the event opined: "They're saying on tv that it doesn't fit ETA's bombing methods and history at all (they always warn beforehand, and do small car things usually)...could this be bec of Spain's support for the Iraq war?", and the 12th post read "yet another sad day for humanity, however onward in our war against terror, till we all drown in a reservoir of blood."

The left wing started politicizing this event before the smoke had even cleared. "Democracy" means the right wing can respond. Harsh, but fair.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:38 PM on March 14, 2004


Well, I guess those italics showed them!
posted by y2karl at 5:56 PM on March 14, 2004


"I realize you'd prefer that we all just retreated, and contented ourselves with creating the jobs you need to survive, the profits you need to tax to support your noble causes..."

Tell you what Midas, I know this is OT, but if you right-wing fucks can actually create some jobs I'd think about not hating w any longer.

I think the mafia analogy above holds and is true. I truly feel for the terror that awaits the people of Ireland and Britain (and Morocco too, didn't they send monkeys?).
posted by jmgorman at 6:03 PM on March 14, 2004


I guess the terror has already befallen Morocco. That is a damn high price to pay for monkeys.
posted by jmgorman at 6:16 PM on March 14, 2004


And you can resume using them for your own left-wing agenda.

Oh, I just love hearing such nuanced arguments from the 'moral high-ground'. Bloodied shirts ahoy!

Are you including ten million Spanish voters in that 'agenda'? Just make it clear for us, won't you?


karl, be patient: until tonight, Midas didn't think that those nice and laborious Spanish-speaking brown people who usually mow his lawn had the power to actually kick out of power a Bush-loving political party. that's all. how dare they! no invitations to Crawford anytime soon for them!
;)

Krrrlson, I am not surprised by your desire to see me physically crippled -- I mean, since the best you can do is call me a America-hating and -- of all things! -- a Jew-hating hippie, you'd hardly had the balls to try to hurt me yourself.
if you change your mind, I'm available for a little face-to-face chat -- then, you'll be able to try to hurt me as bad as you can without waiting for a bomb to do the dirty work your bloodthirts craves so badly.
of course, I'll be able to defend myself then. I guess that's the part that scares you, doesn't it?
any reader of this site with reasonable intelligence and a modicum of decency (you're excluded of course -- you lack both qualities) knows I hate neither America nor the Jews -- the opposite is true. I don't even hate _you_ -- you just deeply sadden me

the offer still stands. wanna see me harmed? come and try to do it with your bare hands. if you can.
posted by matteo at 6:18 PM on March 14, 2004


Midas didn't think that those nice and laborious Spanish-speaking brown people who usually mow his lawn...

Dude, Midas lives in New York. Even rich people don't have lawns here. The Spanish-speakers you speak of would be washing his windows. Or stealing his Mercedes.
posted by jonmc at 6:23 PM on March 14, 2004


After reading this thread, I firmly believe that the US is headed for a bloody civil war. Instead of South vs North, this time it will be Right vs Left.

Everyone here needs to take a deep breath and calm down. Please. This has to be one of the nastiest threads I have seen in a while, and no one is really getting anywhere.
posted by Quartermass at 6:25 PM on March 14, 2004


Why not hold Al Qaeda responsible?

Because Al Qaeda's probable reaction to the invasion of Arabic lands by Spanish troops was a well-known factor prior to the sending of said troops?

They knew when sending those troops what the possible consequences were and - surprise! - those consequences reared their ugly little heads and bit the former adminstration in the ass.

All this would be perfectly fine, however, if only the Spanish people supported the initial action - but they didn't. The people of Spain wanted no part in the war on Iraq, but they were the ones forced to pay the price in the inevitable backlash - and their own government is responsible.

Today should be a proud day for any Spaniard - as a people they stood up and told their government "You ignored us, you were proven wrong on EVERY level (both justification for participation in the invasion as well as regarding the consequences thereof), our loved ones payed the ultimate price for your stupidity and disregard of the will of the people - and for that you are relived of the burden of running our country."
posted by Ryvar at 6:27 PM on March 14, 2004


Because Al Qaeda's probable reaction to the invasion of Arabic lands by Spanish troops was a well-known factor prior to the sending of said troops?

But the members of Al Qaeda still made a choice to do what they did. However much I might disagree with the Bush administration's policies, the terrorists are still the ones who must take the lion's share of the blame here.
posted by jonmc at 6:31 PM on March 14, 2004


steve_at_linwood, ParisParamus, MidasMulligan:

Are you guys going to be this mad when they hold free elections in Iraq, and a fundamentalist Muslim gets elected?
posted by interrobang at 6:39 PM on March 14, 2004


Flawless logic as always, matty. Why, you've refuted my statements about you with one swift stroke by pointing out that I must obviously lack testicular matter. And the idea of a brute force confrontation resonates very well with your argumentative tactics. After all, anyone with reasonable intelligence and a modicum of decency is only someone who agrees with you, eh? I suppose the reason you didn't suggest a chat wherein logical, reasonable arguments are weapons is because you feel more confident in your ability to pummel someone with your paws.

Believe it or not, I don't want to see you harmed. For if a dedicated keyboard soldier such as yourself may fall into harm's way on account of terrorism, I shudder at what could happen to me, since I do go outside once in a while.

Sorry, son. We can talk more the day you come up with an "argument" that at least *tries* to cover more than one facet of an issue. An unequivocal presentation of facts instead of loud rhetoric can help as well. Too bad, but somehow I don't see that happening. But hey - surprise me!

Want to pummel each other? Be my guest, though I am not the type to physically attack someone for a poor argument. However, if you should ever choose to stop hiding behind your self-righteousness and begin spewing your hate propaganda overtly - believe me I'll be the first to kick your ass.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:40 PM on March 14, 2004


But when the token right-wingers responded...

some of the clowns from the right (or wrong as clearly has been evidenced by the BS posted by linwood and friends in this thread who then ran for their hidey hidey holes when rightly criticized by matteo, sic etc... ) have really shown their true colors today...

if their exalted leader george bush had pulled his head out of his *ss and while reading kiddy books (or later running scared to wherever it was he scurried off to in air force one) while planes were crashing into the towers on 9-11 - and blamed the attacks without a shred of evidence on white separatists from idaho - you jokers would have saluted and signed up for carpet bombing of cour d'alene without a second thought ... and not hesitated to voting for him again when it was later proven to be a lie cooked up for political gain.
posted by specialk420 at 6:48 PM on March 14, 2004


WOAH WOAH WOAH... Did everybody miss this post?

"Are you including ten million Spanish voters in that 'agenda'? Just make it clear for us, won't you?


karl, be patient: until tonight, Midas didn't think that those nice and laborious Spanish-speaking brown people who usually mow his lawn had the power to actually kick out of power a Bush-loving political party.
"

That's "ten million Spanish voters." From this post, it sounds like somebody is mixing up Spanish for Latinos and painting them stereotypically as well. Or am I just reading this wrong? If I'm not wrong, "Spanish-speaking brown people" describes Latinos better than Spaniards and I think that both of these groups hate to be confused with each other.

GAME ON!
posted by crazy finger at 6:54 PM on March 14, 2004


OT, but can someone direct Krrrlson and matteo to the Quake Deathmatch server they accidentally diverted their flamewar off of?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:55 PM on March 14, 2004


An unequivocal presentation of facts instead of loud rhetoric can help as well.

You mean like:

Your self-righteous rhetoric has always been full of shit ... like so many these days, you've figured out that being a loud hypocrite works well, as long as you are louder than the other hypocrites. Sure, the Arab haters and the imperialists are here. You, conversely, hate a vast portion (if not the entirety) of Jews and Americans, as evidence by the plethora of insulting, one-sided ravings you've posted on Mefi to date. Arguing with you is pointless - only your own body parts, unexpectedly separated from each other by terrorist explosives, can ever serve to shake your hypocrisy. At least if you cared enough to ever act in support of your militant bullshit. By then, however, it will be too late - and another raving hippie will take your place to disrespect *your* corpse by hoisting it up on the battlements of his political agenda.

Um, there's still a dab or two of foam there on your chin from that last, ah, equivocal presentation, fact free as it was...
posted by y2karl at 7:01 PM on March 14, 2004


In case it's unclear in all that smoke, my post was an expression of frustration at someone, y2karl. At least that foam isn't drool.

And sorry about that XQUZYPHYR, I sometimes forget this is all make-believe.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:08 PM on March 14, 2004


"But the members of Al Qaeda still made a choice to do what they did. However much I might disagree with the Bush administration's policies, the terrorists are still the ones who must take the lion's share of the blame here."

Yes. Members of Al Qaeda and the group as a whole are each responsible for their actions, and I won't contest that.

However - the Spanish government knew going in how little was to be gained by preemptive action against Iraq, what the Al Qaeda reaction would be, and what risks it forced upon all of its citizen as a result of said.

The Spanish citizenry have declared that in their opinion, their own lives are not, in fact, so worthless. You asked earlier what the correct way to deal with terrorism was, jon, and I can't say that I've got the Golden Answer here, but I do have at least my answer - and that is the prisoner's game.

Basically put - I start out with a nice attitude towards any given external entity, and from that point forward I reflect said entity's attitudes and actions towards me back upon it. By my thinking, this is the standard that needs to be applied when dealing with terrorists - respond to preemptory attacks with lethal force, but do not go out and make preemptive attacks.

It's one thing on an ethical level if Al Qaeda is slamming planes into skyscrapers in an unprovoked attack - that is an offensive terrorist act. It is another thing entirely if we send an occupying army into their backyard without provocation, and they merely react to this with lethal force - anybody of any culture put in that position would do the same thing regardless of religious fanaticism.
posted by Ryvar at 7:09 PM on March 14, 2004


I realize you'd prefer that we all just retreated, and contented ourselves with creating the jobs you need to survive, the profits you need to tax to support your noble causes, and humbly let your "diplomacy" and negotiations work with Al Qaeda

'Ah, yes, massah, yo' plantations sho' do keep us in work.'

(Apologies in advance; but Midas has never more sounded like a slave-master berating his human property for their lack of gratitude than he did just now.)

So: don't forget adding 'backing the pointless wars that get us killed' to that laundry list, Midas. Did you buy Halliburton low and now expect to sell high?

You'd think that after an event that showed you - gasp! - that not even stockbrokers and CEOs are immune to actual, real, terrorist threats, you might think twice about backing a bait-and-switch policy that decides, rather than tackling the problem that actually exists, to send lots of working-class kids out to Iraq to take bullets for the team (and for the contractors, of course) just because there's a nasty nasty country to be kicked.

But heh, democracy spoke today. And that's something that terrorists never, ever actually have control of. Because no-one put a gun to the heads of those who voted in Spain today. In spite of what you, Midas, and your wingnut compadres might imply. Impute. And insult.
posted by riviera at 7:22 PM on March 14, 2004


This has to be one of the most patronizing and parochial threads (re: The Spanish Voting Public) I've read this year. Of course it's only March, so that might change.
posted by signal at 7:25 PM on March 14, 2004


After reading this thread, I firmly believe that the US is headed for a bloody civil war. Instead of South vs North, this time it will be Right vs Left.

Oh god.. please don't say that.

After reading hundreds of threads like these, I figure I'll end up dead because I didn't delcare my blind allegiance to any of these loonies.
posted by Akuinnen at 7:39 PM on March 14, 2004


You know what? Europe has never, EVER liked American foreign policy. Why start now?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:41 PM on March 14, 2004


Blow to Bush: Ally Rejected At home, Mr. Bush's associates, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, are already using the Madrid bombings to reinforce their case that the world remains a very dangerous place, and that it would be enormously risky to depart from Mr. Bush's strategy.
On Sunday, Mr. Cheney cited the railway bombings in Madrid to attack the strategy of the presumptive Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

posted by amberglow at 7:51 PM on March 14, 2004


Great. Now no one can vote for the left without being accused of appeasing terrorists. It's the only thing that matters anymore. We are either with the right-wing or we're terrorist agents.

I am utterly sick of the hardcore right's attempt to portray everyone who disagrees with them as traitors. It's beginning to sound more and more like the anchlauss argument people made in Germany after WWI.

We're in more danger from those who would make such arguments then we are from Al Qaeda. We need to fight BOTH of them.
posted by pyramid termite at 7:59 PM on March 14, 2004


and that it would be enormously risky to depart from Mr. Bush's strategy.

the election in spain today was a little preview of november 2004

buh bye dick cheney.
posted by specialk420 at 8:03 PM on March 14, 2004


Instead of South vs North, this time it will be Right vs Left.

Sounds good to me. I doubt the world will shed too many tears if these narrow-minded, short-sighted, self-serving fools start getting special deliveries in their mailboxes. What's that? You mean you didn't order the bouquet of plastique and nails?

Thank goodness they pushed so hard for keeping guns legal. Bring it on.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:13 PM on March 14, 2004


Wrong. For better or worse, the more terrorism, the more likely Bush is to win reëlection.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:16 PM on March 14, 2004


Quartermass: Everyone here needs to take a deep breath and calm down. Please. This has to be one of the nastiest threads I have seen in a while, and no one is really getting anywhere.

Amen. Civility, please.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 8:21 PM on March 14, 2004


Jimbob: I doubt the right-wingers here would consider the re-election of Bush post a hypothetical terrorist attack in the US a "victory for Al Queda".

I'm not so sure. The value -- and the long-term health -- of democracy is not just the product but the process. If AQ or anyone else can use terror to manipulate and corrupt that process, then it diminishes us even if I favor the immediate outcome.

Obviously I'm displeased that the Socialists won today's election, any election. But beyond the immediate issue of Who won the election, there's the larger issue, Can AQ sow fear to influence a democratic election -- In essence, can AQ control free people using fear? If the answer is yes, or if AQ perceives the answer to be yes, that's a dangerous precedent.

Even though I support Bush in 2004 (unlike in 2000), I can imagine a scenario in which fear stampedes US voters to the right, and that'd be a shame. But enough hypotheticals: Tony Blair continues to be shaky. What if AQ were able to stampede UK voters into firing Blair, whose war leadership I admire, and electing a Tory who was weaker on the war? Blair is Labour, so a righty like me should be happy, right? Wrong. It'd be a disaster.

Spanish voters' responsibility is first and foremost to themselves. They did what they thought they had to do, and I'm glad they have that ability -- I remember when they didn't. But a vote can't help but send messages to outsiders, too. To me, an outsider, it looks on first impression as if Spanish voters lost their nerve -- as if they allowed themselves to be manipulated by fear. (I could be entirely wrong, and as a well-wishing, sophisticated fellow citizen of another democracy, I am open to reasoned persuasion.) There is another outsider, AQ, who is not well-wishing, and not open to reasoned persuasion. If it looks to outsider #2 the way it looks to outsider #1, then Spanish voters inadvertently set a dangerous precedent.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 8:33 PM on March 14, 2004


To me, an outsider, it looks on first impression as if Spanish voters lost their nerve.

you are kidding ... right?

jesus h. christ.
posted by specialk420 at 8:39 PM on March 14, 2004


Amen. Civility, please.

Fervent wishes for one's opposites' death and dismemberment are unsettling and an embarrassment.
posted by y2karl at 8:42 PM on March 14, 2004


For better or worse, the more terrorism, the more likely Bush is to win reëlection.

Couldn't that go either way, though? You can make an argument that if there is a upsurge in domestic terrorism, some people will rally behind a president that is seen to be unrelenting in his punishment of "evil-doer's". But then look at what happened in Spain. Clearly you're dealing with different temperments and a different mentality, but it was precisely because the attack was on their front doorstep that the country rallied against the individual they see as responsible for getting them into the mess in the first place.

If there's another act of terrorism on U.S. soil before the next election, Bush will have a hard time convincing people that we're safer going with him. To be clear, this is not how I hope a Democrat wins.

As for the absurd claims I keep reading that al Qaeda "influenced" the Spanish election -- look, events happen. Many of those events are outside of your control. Sometimes these things are important to people, occasionally enough to change their minds. To say, "Oh look, you're cow-towing to the terrorists!" is deliberately misleading. Can AQ control free people using fear? No. They can certainly influence them, but then, if I get fired from my job the day before an election, is my boss influencing my vote?

Give the Spanish people a little credit. Even Europeans have free will.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:46 PM on March 14, 2004


Your continued failure to actually read my posts is embarassing. Your one-liners, by contrast, are an excellent means to get your point across. If only you had one...
posted by Krrrlson at 8:48 PM on March 14, 2004


Don't be embarrassed. Nobody reads your posts.

And nobody has read the
the full "al Qaeda message"

The whole thing is fishy when you consider the same group took credit for last august's blackout.

I'll guess we'll find out soon enough.
posted by Slagman at 8:51 PM on March 14, 2004


and the analysis:

Commentary


The text of this statement includes linguistic usages and concepts that are incompatible with or alien to authentic Al-Qa'ida writings by Osama bin Laden, Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and others. The following are some examples, in order of appearance:


Following the Qur'an verses is the title "The Trains of Death Operation." This is uncommon in bin Laden's writing. Also, it is noteworthy that the phrase "Trains of Death" is not reiterated in the text as the name of the operation.
"Settling old accounts," both as a linguistic form and as a concept, is alien to authentic Al-Qa'ida writings.
The use of the concept of "agents" is taken from the vocabulary of nationalist ideology, while bin Laden and his followers relate to their enemies primarily as infidels.
The phrase "but you did not get the message" is not one used by bin Laden, who does not cast his operations in the light of "messages," rather, as acts in and of themselves to further the goals of Al-Qa'ida for the sake of Allah. Thus, it follows that:
The concept of conditionality, as in the statement "And if you renounce [fighting us], we too will stop fighting you" is not a bin Laden concept.
The term "The Tyrant of the Generation" was used in the previous statement of alleged responsibility by the Abu Hafs Al-Masri Brigades, for the August 2003 U.S. blackout – which was caused by a large-scale technical failure.
In authentic Al-Qa'ida writings, the September 11 attacks are not referred to as "events" but as "raids" (the early Islamic term ghazwah).
The announcement of an operation to begin at "4515 S.B." or reference to an operation that is "90% completed" is alien to bin Laden's scholarly Islamist style.


Thus, this statement does not seem to be an authentic Al-Qa'ida document. [6]

posted by Slagman at 8:54 PM on March 14, 2004


"Europe has never, EVER liked American foreign policy."

Heh. It's back to that moldy old chestnut.
Those ungrateful socialist bastards, with their human rights, health care and outstanding cuisine!
You tell'em Paris. Fuck Europe. Fuck the Arabs. Fuck the Chinese, the Koreans, the Africans, the Canadians, the Mexicans, and anybody else who won't play by our rules.
It's our game, it's all about us, and we'll just take our ball and go home.
posted by 2sheets at 8:54 PM on March 14, 2004


Slagman, that's old...there was a videotape released saturday from a morrocan group...claiming responsibility and in the name of Al Qaeda.
posted by amberglow at 8:55 PM on March 14, 2004


and one of the morroccans arrested has Al Qaeda links.
posted by amberglow at 9:01 PM on March 14, 2004


This thread is creepy.
posted by swerve at 9:02 PM on March 14, 2004


amberglow

The tape you refer to is "not yet verified" and has many of the same rhetorical problems as this text.
posted by Slagman at 9:04 PM on March 14, 2004


And of course they're going to round up people with Qaeda links. And good riddance. But I would just warn against jumping to any conclusions.
posted by Slagman at 9:05 PM on March 14, 2004


Hm, Slagman, just as no left or right-winger appears to listen to opposing viewpoints anymore... funny how hypocrites are overrepresented here.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:17 PM on March 14, 2004


You think this thread is creepy? Check out Crazy Mickey:


P.S.: Gaming the U.S. is easy compared with figuring out the situation in Spain. Let's assume that the Basque separatist group, ETA, would like the conservative government (which has been cracking down on ETA) defeated. If the bombings are blamed on ETA, the conservatives will almost certainly win--so it's in ETA's interest to have the public think Al Qaeda did it. That's one reason ETA's denial of responsibility, and even the discovery of a van with detonaters and Islamic tapes, can't necessarily be trusted. ... Bin Laden would have ETA's problem in reverse--if you assume he'd like the conservative party to win for contradiction-heightening purposes. But you can't assume that. It would be a coup for Al Qaeda, after all, if its attack brought down a government in punishment for an alliance with the U.S.. And Bin Laden can achieve that end by taking credit. In Spain, then, both suspect terrorist groups may have an interest in having Al Qaeda fingered as the perpetrator. ... 2:29.A.M.

posted by Slagman at 9:17 PM on March 14, 2004


"I'll continue suspect you've never lost someone you care about as a result of these types of monsters."

Not exactly, but I lost my Uncle in Vietnam and have siblings, an inlaw and a nephew who had to go to Iraq and Afghanistan.
And we know how well Vietnam turned out. We really gave'em the what fer, didn't we boy!
I just talked to my brother today, and he fumes about the pundits and politicians (and no doubt the chicken hawks here) who are still going on about WMDs. You've got a lot of explaining to do to the people getting shot at, and you'd better be glad you can hide behind a keyboard when you spout bullshit and propaganda to keep them over there.
Oh, and it looks like the few Bush supporters in my family have moved to the "anybody but Bush" camp, and seeing as how they are mostly military, I'd say that's an encouraging sign. But I guess they're traitors to the chicken hawk crew around these parts.
posted by 2sheets at 9:28 PM on March 14, 2004


*visualizes stavrosthewonderchickenhawk*
posted by y2karl at 9:46 PM on March 14, 2004


For better or worse, the more terrorism, the more likely Bush is to win reëlection.

Not necessarily. Terrorist attacks on American soil before mid-August are likely to help Kerry, because it will allow him to point out what will become the glaringly obvious fact that George W. Bush hasn't really done much of anything to impair al-Qaeda's ability to attack America.

Terrorist attacks after mid-September are most likely to help Bush, because the Kerry campaign won't have more than five or six weeks to convince people that Bush doesn't need to be put back in so that he can launch an extended counterattack.

Oh, and none of the words in your post has an umlaut in it when spelled properly.
posted by oaf at 9:53 PM on March 14, 2004


I've read this entire thread, and I'm honestly confused about what everybody is so inflamed about. These are the facts of the matter:

1) Spain participated in the war on Iraq
2) A majority of Spaniards disagreed with this action
3) A horrible mass murder was perpetrated in Madrid
4) The Spanish government blamed the murders on ETA
5) Al Qaeda declared responsibility for the murders
6) Spanish voters elected new representation

And in this thread Bush supporters would like to suggest that facts 3 and 5 resulted in fact 6, while deriding Spanish voters as cowards, while Bush antagonists would like to suggest that facts 1 and 2 resulted in fact 6, while cheering the Spanish vote as a democratic triumph. Logic would suggest that facts 1-5, along with quite a number of other facts that have not been mentioned here (except by sic), all led to fact 6.

The truth is that the voters in Spain are neither cowards nor paragons of democratic expression; they are people who each in their own way evaluated the assortment of facts, each one concentrating on the issues that meant the most to him or her, and collectively decided that a change was in order. Unless you were a Spanish voter, the specific items that you would like to see as decisively influencing the election are probably just reflections of your own stance on international politics... and, to paraphrase an earlier comment by slagman, all elections are local.
posted by taz at 10:55 PM on March 14, 2004


Random question: has anyone found a viable site to donate money to help the victims of this attack? I've done some Googling and found juan-mierda. Thanks to anyone that can point me somewhere.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:56 PM on March 14, 2004


Logic would suggest

Oh fine, ruin it for eveyone.
posted by homunculus at 11:06 PM on March 14, 2004


Not to mention everyone.
posted by homunculus at 11:08 PM on March 14, 2004


Thank you taz for a calm and helpful post. I'd just add two things:

First, this is not about Bush.

Second, I'd add a speculative item #7: "AQ concludes from 1-6 that terror sways elections, and decides to try more."
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 11:13 PM on March 14, 2004


terror sways elections, and decides to try more.

... william safire jr. offers more sage words on the yesterdays election in spain ...
posted by specialk420 at 11:18 PM on March 14, 2004


I've heard little practical talk on what to do about bringing existing ones to justice.

Oh, keerist. Nah, there really hasn't been much talk at all over the last couple of years about finding terrorists, trying them under the rule of law, and punishing them. Nothing practical about those ideas whatsoever, and pay no attention to their success against every day to day crime imaginable, throughout the world.

No. There really haven't been many other ideas. Absolutely the only idea on the table at all for years has been the incredible genius of invading sovereign countries with incompetent, frightened children playing with high tech gizmos.

And that one overarching idea has worked so well. Tell it to the American troops and Iraqi civilians dying daily in the streets of Baghdad. Tell it to the citizens of Bali. And now tell it to the citizens of Spain.

There are reasons for "terrorism" (just as there are reasons for the terror of American bombs raining down on other nations), and it is idiocy to talk about "practical" ways of combating terrorism without looking at the strange bedfellows and unconscionable actions that breed "terrorism".

Just days ago Aznar's party was slated to win the election easily, right?

Wrong (as usual):

"Spain's ruling party slips in polls
Giles Tremlett in Madrid
Friday March 5, 2004
The Guardian
Support for the Spanish People's party government is ebbing away as concern about terrorism and separatism dominates the general election campaign, according to opinion polls published yesterday."

And the New York Times had something to say about Bush and Madrid:

At home, Mr. Bush's associates, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, are already using the Madrid bombings to reinforce their case that the world remains a very dangerous place, and that it would be enormously risky to depart from Mr. Bush's strategy. On Sunday, Mr. Cheney cited the railway bombings in Madrid to attack the strategy of the presumptive Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.M

So what was all that absolute horseshit whining above about "the left" politicizing the deaths in Madrid?

"Democracy" means the right wing can respond.

No kidding? Pray tell which band of intimidating, patchouli-reeking, hippie chicks barged into your office and broke your typing fingers this time, will you?

Pray tell which little cowardly faction here on MetaFilter (and in this country) is the one continually bent on stifling any dissent from the status quo, will you?

Methinks a certain confusion lies heavy and embarassing upon some here...a confusion between your "right" to respond (which, as usual, nothing and nobody is preventing), versus wishful thinking that you have a "right" that a faulty response (or what amounts to no response, eg the unending lame, impotent, "nuanced" right-wing wailings about "bush-haters") will be well received.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:18 PM on March 14, 2004


although I am very worried about Al-Qaeda, I don't think it's wise to give too much credit to the hypothesis that is being presented in this thread. You'll have to know Spanish politics (thank you sic) to understand how upset were the Spanish electorate with the Popular Party. My cousin, who is 26 years old voted yesterday for the first time in his life and like him, many socialist voters that didn't vote in the last election, felt the need to overthrown Aznar and his successor.
posted by samelborp at 11:22 PM on March 14, 2004


hey, oaf, it's a diaeresis, not an umlaut. it's sometimes used in english words with double vowels as a matter of style.
posted by sklero at 11:24 PM on March 14, 2004


Hieronymous: To me, an outsider, it looks on first impression as if Spanish voters lost their nerve.

specialk420: you are kidding ... right?

No, I am not kidding. My -- admittedly -- outsider's first impression is that for a sufficient number of voters, the emotional torment of the last few days understandably got expressed as "We could have avoided this horror if we -- if Aznar -- hadn't gotten involved the way we did. No more Aznar, no more horrors." Am I unreasonable for thinking this? I formed those impressions reading the fascinating first-hand reports of our own sic:
"...they had found a van near Alcalá de Henares with detonators, bomb caps and a tape in arabic with verses of the Coran. There is also the letter that was sent to the Arabic newspaper in London. It looks like Al Quaeda is targeting Spain for our government's involvement with the attack on Iraq. Dear lord, now I am even more frightened."
posted by sic at 1:13 PM PST on March 11

"...if [it] is really was Al-Qaeda ... the blame lies directly with Aznar's choice to support the attack on Iraq. He's actually named in the threats, as well as Britain, Italy and Japan. This may tip the scale to PSOE, the spanish opposition, which was running a strong campaign up until today."
posted by sic at 1:57 PM PST on March 11

"We have to realize that we can't support Bush's preemptive attacks to steal oil from other nations and not expect to suffer from it. Hundreds of innocent people in my country just paid the ultimate price because our government supported that criminal and unjustified "war" against the wishes of the vast majority of the spanish. I have already spoken to many people and they have said the same thing, if Al-Qaeda is targeting us because of Aznar's war, he is going to be held responible."
posted by sic at 1:32 AM PST on March 12
We've angered the beast. It's not our fight. We should sit this out. Spain wouldn't be the first democracy to make this mistake -- Britain and America have made it, too -- and it won't be the last. It's a perfectly understandable human reaction. But it is a mistake, if that's really what's going on here.

Perhaps it's not. Perhaps I'm wrong -- hence my plea for reasoned persuasion to set me straight -- but the reality here is less important than the perception. What matters is not what I believe, but what terrorists believe. If AQ believes (rightly or wrongly) that Western voters believe (rightly or wrongly) that they can be "punished" for their governments' resolve, thus fracturing the anti-terror coalition, then the likelihood increases that AQ will use terror in that way.
posted by Hieronymous Coward at 11:27 PM on March 14, 2004


If al-qaeda were to actually claim responsibility for any incident, that would be a first. A tape, some months down the line, showing bin-Laden and his fellow criminals chatting away and laughing over the blood of the Spanish dead is considerably more in line with what their characters.

That being said, sometimes people change governments. The UK would have done as much last time had Labour faced any serious opposition. Not everyone can be made to "toe the line" by a wave of the flag and chest-thumping that "the country is at war".
posted by clevershark at 11:32 PM on March 14, 2004


Can someone please figure out the truth of the matter. I barely know what an umlaut is, let alone a diaeresis!
posted by Onanist at 11:43 PM on March 14, 2004


We've angered the beast. It's not our fight. We should sit this out.

No: it's more like: 'We have to deal with a virus. Our doctors prescribe lots and lots of antibiotics.... Hang on, antibiotics don't actually kill viruses and also may fuck up our immune system for when a proper bacterial infection comes along.'

(Make parallels as you will. I'm thinking of North Korea as a rather nasty bacterium right now.)
posted by riviera at 11:49 PM on March 14, 2004


Hieronymous, briefly, because I am hung over and have to go to work: the terrorist attacks definitely affected the elections and everything else here in Spain as is to be expected. However, as the polls showed before the tragic events in Madrid, the Partido Popular was dropping percentage points daily for a great number of reasons that I have (partially) explained in another post . They were most assuredly going to lose the absolute majority which at the time was the only thing I was really worried about. Now, one of the major problems the Spanish voters had with the Partido Popular was its (read Aznar's) connection to Bush and the war on Iraq, we simply want ed and want PEACE and we don't believe you can achieve PEACE through WAR, oddly enough. Never forget that 90% of Spain was against supporting that war. However, as often happens in vertiginous modern democracies, with time and assiduous media manipulation, that issue had been put on the back burner. The attack on Madrid, unfortunately, brought the issue back to the forefront, people began to think about how the misery and suffering produced by those bombs in Madrid would have to multiplied by, what, 1000x?, to even begin to understand what Aznar supported in Iraq. Partido Popular only lost 800,000 votes, PSOE won 3,000,000 new votes. This tragedy mobilized millions of new voters to vote, to vote against war and terrorism, to vote for peace. We had 80% participation in these elections, this was the real affect that this tragedy had on the elections: it made us care.

You may call it a loss of nerve, cowardice, a victory for the terrorists, but we see it as the Spanish democracy's proudest moment.

Un abrazo a todos...
posted by sic at 12:01 AM on March 15, 2004


Am I unreasonable for thinking this?

yes.

your readings of and derived assumptions from sic's posts are simplistic, and pathetic.

yet markedly similar how bush and company contorted the public response (and fear) in the US to 9-11 for their own political gain ...
posted by specialk420 at 12:24 AM on March 15, 2004


y un beso y abrazo a espana hoy ...
posted by specialk420 at 12:27 AM on March 15, 2004


MidasMulligan : 'Guess what fuckwit, democracy means right-wingers get to have, and express, opinions too. I realize you'd prefer that we all just retreated, and contented ourselves with creating the jobs you need to survive, the profits you need to tax to support your noble causes, and humbly let your "diplomacy" and negotiations work with Al Qaeda.'

You're not keeping up very well with that Metafilter Pledge of which you were so proud, there, Midas.

So, it's 'right-wingers' who create jobs that 'left-wingers' need to survive, then.

That's inane.

It's 'right-wingers' who 'make profits and pay taxes to support noble causes', is it?

Right, sure. You're really starting to look a bit silly, now, Midas. (And not the least of it being because of the astoundingly foolish idea that a set of political beliefs somehow aligns in any empirically proveable causative way with success in business, although given the corporate whoring of the current administration, the opposite may certainly emerge.)

And it's you and your 'right-winger' brethren who "humbly let your 'diplomacy' and negotiations work with Al Qaeda"?

Really, that seems an odd and indefensible thing to say when I don't know any 'left-wingers' like myself (again, I adopt your infantile shorthand so that I don't scare you with, you know, nuance) who want anything but the utter destruction of Al Qaeda, and Osama's nuts on a platter (though this scarcely matters, except in revenge fantasies), literally or metaphorically. You see, that's one of the thing that makes us 'left-wingers' so resentful of the course that Bush and his handlers have taken -- that it has been a complete failure in this regard, and has, if anything, made the situation worse. It's nothing about being from one 'wing' or the other, it's about making at least a cursory attempt to see things as they are, rather than as one wants them to be. And all the wishful thinking in the world about 'democratic dominoes' in the middle east or 'a free Afghanistan' appearing automagically in spite of a complete lack of aid after the bombs stopped dropping -- all the best intentions in the world do not a safer world for anyone make.

(I ignore out of regard for your oft-declared sensitivity to ad-hominem epithets any commentary on how well the adjective 'humble' marries up with the persona you present to us here.)

Express your opinions all you want, Midas -- and your whining refrain that your voice is shouted down becomes more tiresome each time you trot it out, particularly in light of a number of recent threads where you received praise for what you had written -- but when they are so stunningly full of shit, you can expect to be called on them, by people both civil and not.

So here's a fuckwit, right back atcha, pal.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:31 AM on March 15, 2004


And, because that left a bad taste in my mouth :

In the coming days, decisions will have to be made about how to respond to this attack. May God grant Aznar the strength and wisdom to do what's best and right for his people. As is unavoidable, the response will be politicized. That's human nature. Today, however, I grieve for the people of Spain...not as a Democrat or a Liberal, but as someone who fell in love with that city of politeness and passion and beauty and spirit. I pray God comforts them in all the ways he can.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:51 AM on March 15, 2004


superchris, durwood and midas mulligan you truly disgust me, such cowardly maliciousness, sometimes I really do wonder.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:36 AM on March 15, 2004


There are but two posts on this subject I agree with. And 4 that I partially agree with. But I can't rmember which they are.

What sort of bullshit comment is that, Paris? How does that contribute to the debate? That which you support is hollow and founded on meaningless blood and death - of soldiers, civilians and all for what?
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:01 AM on March 15, 2004


And all the wishful thinking in the world about 'democratic dominoes' in the middle east or 'a free Afghanistan' appearing automagically in spite of a complete lack of aid after the bombs stopped dropping -- all the best intentions in the world do not a safer world for anyone make.

You forgot to add a reference to the once-fashionable 'flypaper' theory, stav, which was celebrated by right-wingers, oh, a few months ago? The idea that gathering 'all the terrorists' in Iraq (as if there were a fixed number to gather) would mean they wouldn't be, y'know, doing bad things elsewhere, like a nifty videogame manoeuvre?

Funny how no-one, not even the armchair generals, talks about 'flypaper' these days. It's the puff-ball skirt of justifications for war.
posted by riviera at 3:06 AM on March 15, 2004


Zapatero is a man of his word...
posted by sic at 3:30 AM on March 15, 2004


This article is a pretty good summation of the election as well.
posted by sic at 3:47 AM on March 15, 2004


Is it a bad thing if the "terrorists win" (i.e. there's some kind of dialogue/negotiation going on)? It's the US's foreign policy that triggered this kind of terrorism in the first place and Bush's hardline stance has only made it worse. I can't believe there could not be negotiations if Bush wanted it to happen. He has his own ulterior motives for war. When you piss someone off, and they punch you in the nose, you want to adjust your behaviour so it doesn't happen again. If you are arrogant enough to think you don't have to change your behaviour, you'll get another punch sooner or later.

The Spanish voted out their old government precisely because they thought the government brought terrorism to Spain by supporting the US in Iraq (they're now pulling out of Iraq). With the IRA, negotiations stopped the bombs, not fighting fire with fire.
posted by SpaceCadet at 4:32 AM on March 15, 2004


After reading this thread, I firmly believe that the US is headed for a bloody civil war. Instead of South vs North, this time it will be Right vs Left.

*imagines foldy, riviera, drstrangelove, Eloquence, etc. and Midas, Seth, 111, Witty, Space Cadet, ParisParamus et al. tearing eachother to bloody shreds*

*sets up lawn chair, pops popcorn*

and it is idiocy to talk about "practical" ways of combating terrorism without looking at the strange bedfellows and unconscionable actions that breed "terrorism".


Foldy, in your usual pompous bombastic style, you managed to not answer my question, merely repeat what didn't work and manage to get in a personal dig accusing me of "idiocy." I know you like to tar anyone who would criticize the almight foldy with the same brush, but I've never had a problem with discussing or dealing with the root causes of terrorism or dealing with the strange by-products it produces. I just also want to deal with the practical realities of apprehending existing terrorists.

But never let that get in the way of your drum-beating.
posted by jonmc at 6:43 AM on March 15, 2004


You really have that tone of condescension down. You sure like to talk down to people.
posted by y2karl at 7:21 AM on March 15, 2004


Karl, if it helps, imaging me screaming it like a drill sergeant. You can call it condescension all you want. I call it frustration.
posted by jonmc at 7:25 AM on March 15, 2004


This is already too much a snitfest. This thread is on a par with Bubbadude's Iraqi Democracy Button Debacle now.
posted by y2karl at 7:28 AM on March 15, 2004


But on topic, this commentary from TPM is grim:

A couple points suggest themselves.

One of them -- discussed in this article in the Post -- is just how little Spanish or other Western intelligence services seem to have known about this. There was no chatter, no hints. The entire operation seems to have slipped through entirely unnoticed by anyone. That suggests the possibility that we're really flying blind on the actual terrorist threat, or at least that it's quite possible for al Qaida or affiliated groups to launch a major attack without our even getting hints that it's going to occur, let alone being able to stop it.

and this from Stratfor, via The Agonist is even grimmer:

The Islamists are thinking over their effect on the Spanish election. They are also aware that an election is coming in the United States and they would dearly like to bring down President George W. Bush. They must know that presidents always get a bounce after an attack, and that that bounce bleeds off over the course of months when no progress appears to be made. That would argue that an al Qaeda attack in the United States should come in the spring or summer. The mention of "Black Wind" in a militant communiqué clearly refers to a dirty bomb or chemical attack, but al Qaeda has rarely been kind enough to telegraph its punches. However, there can be little doubt now that we are in a new phase of the war. Having won the first phase, the United States is facing a sustained counterattack.
posted by y2karl at 7:41 AM on March 15, 2004


oops, linked the wrong WaPo article in the TPM quote, it was Al Qaeda Implicated In Madrid Bombings , to be sure...

For European leaders, the al Qaeda link is a chilling development, and security services across the continent are now scrambling to assess the likelihood of further attacks in Europe. Analysts said the method used in the Madrid attacks -- synchronized bombings apparently carried out by remote control rather than by suicide bombers -- suggested that Islamic extremists had become more adaptable and, therefore, even more of a threat.

Spanish officials, who initially insisted on attributing the attacks to the Basque separatist group, ETA, have contacted security services across Europe and in the Arab world -- including in Morocco and Saudi Arabia -- in an attempt to understand how the plot was devised and executed without even a general warning from intelligence services that Islamic militants were about to strike in Spain.

Officials said they believed the group that carried out the bombing was composed of Islamic radicals, possibly including Saudi nationals, as well as other North Africans besides the arrested Moroccans. The operation included residents of Spain as well as operatives who entered the country specifically for the attacks, said officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

posted by y2karl at 7:50 AM on March 15, 2004


The people of Spain have done the right thing. There was no chance al Qaeda would ever have targeted that country except for its support of the U.S. in Iraq. After all, the lack of strong support for the U.S. has always protected Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tanzania, Indonesia, Morocco, Singapore, and Turkey from being al Qaeda targets. People of Spain: You are safe now! You have pleased al Qaeda!

Vote against the party that maddened the terrorists, so the terrorists will leave you alone for a while – brilliant. It’s like sitting on a cooler of raw meat with tigers prowling around, and deciding to put down your rifle so you can throw some steaks at the tigers. If you throw hard enough, they won’t come back.

At least Spain knows what’s expected of them now. If they remove the Socialists from power some day, they can expect a few bombs here and there to remind them of their place.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:55 AM on March 15, 2004


From where I'm sat (i.e. in the same position of ignorance as 99% of the people in this thread) the Spanish seemed to be in a lose lose situation. For all the (pretty distasteful) claims of spinelessness, what choice did the Spaniards have? Go against their instincts and wishes and vote for a party they don't want just to stick it to Al Queda? How is that good for democracy?
I remain convinced that in the short term the only way that countries can deal with the terrorist threat is through good intelligence. This is actually one of the main reasons why I am so angry about Blair spending so many resources on the Iraq war, those resources could have been put to better use tracking down actual terrorists and actual weapons. To then claim that he is doing it protect us despite the fact that his own intelligence services claim that we will be in even more danger by attacking Iraq is just rubbing salt in the wounds. Good intelligence may not have stopped the terrorists' desire to blow up those trains in Madrid, but it may have prevented them from being allowed to carry out their desires.
In the long term, you have to swallow some bitter pills to prevent more deaths. For example, nobody in the UK liked seeing convicted IRA terrorists walk free from jail, but in the cause of stopping more innocent people dying were prepared to accept it. You have to decide what is more important, justice or preventing the deaths of innocent people. Then you have to work together with your enemy to manouvre both sides into a position where they can come to an "agreement" without losing face or be seen to be "giving into terrorists".
This won't happen if you have for example a "War" president, because the whole process requires a steady hand and an understanding of your enemy. I doubt Bush actually believes half the rhetoric he blurts out, it's probably just to make Americans feel better. But sometimes you do actually get the impression that he and his cohorts actually believe that they can kill every last single terrorist on the planet, and no others will spring up in their place.
I'm rambling and have work to do so I'll shut up now.
posted by chill at 8:07 AM on March 15, 2004


I don't think the Spanish voted to please Al Qaeda, ednopantz--it had more to do with the way the Aznar administration tried to instantly pin the attacks on ETA without any corroborating proof. The terrorists didn't win--the liars lost. And really, another links to Lileks? Not quite the road to credibility.
posted by y2karl at 9:27 AM on March 15, 2004


I realize you'd prefer that we all just retreated, and contented ourselves with creating the jobs you need to survive...

Thank goodness the left has the charity and goodness of the right to depend upon. My goodness, they'd be like lost and starving children wandering the vast wilderness, were it not for the kind benevolance of the right!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:48 AM on March 15, 2004


FYI - From my friend in Madrid:

'Over two million people Madrid came out to cry and
shout. And we shouted “ we are not scared”, “ we do
not kill” “ it is not raining, Madrid is weeping”, “
we were all on that train”, “ this is the way to
fight” ( raising our empty hands)
Half the people who were there came out too over a
year ago, to shout against the war. War is something
terrible. War always brings consequences. Death calls
death. It does not matter how far away you kill
innocent people, it strikes back.
Today we are voting. Our democracy is young, but
people are responding. More people are voting, and
everything is going on well and peacefully. We all
haver very clear that we need to fight to preserve
democracy, in spite of the disgusting manipulation of
the information from the politicians and the
government. If the attack was from ETA it was good for
the PP, if the attack was from Al-Qaeda it was good
for the PSOE. So, the party in the government has
tried to keep information and keeps reinforcing the
idea of ETA. But this time, behind all this, there are
two hundred dead people.
In the street, we also shouted “ This is not all of
us. There are two hundred missing”.
It could have been my family, my friends, me. It
could have been any of us.'

I am intrigued that both Al-Q and ETA could get some perceived benefit from Al-Q getting the blame. It is possible that ETA could use the Al-Q style of attack, or assist AL-Q in some way. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.

I would also like to second what riviera said about Spaniards having lived in a Fascist state for real within the living memory of the majority of the population.
'We can never go back.'
posted by asok at 9:50 AM on March 15, 2004


Totally off-topic, but that analogy from Lileks is one of the most bizarre and confusing that I have ever read. One of the problems of lording it over your own blog I suppose - there's no-one to tell you not to post when you've been drinking.
posted by bifter at 9:57 AM on March 15, 2004


Can someone please figure out the truth of the matter. I barely know what an umlaut is, let alone a diaeresis!

Umlaut comes from German (um- 'around, transforming' + Laut 'sound'—cf Umbau 'reconstruction, rebuilding' from bauen 'to build') and indicates a change in vowel sound, as in German Füsse, the plural of Fuss 'foot.'

Diaeresis comes from Greek (diairesis, from diairein, to divide : dia- 'apart' + hairein 'to take') and indicates that two vowels are to be read separately ("divided"), rather than as a diphthong. Some style guides prescribe a diaeresis in words like reëlection (I believe the New Yorker does this), most don't.

You may now resume your intense debate over the Spanish election, which I will abstain from, since (unlike everyone else here) I know next to nothing about Spanish politics and thus would fear making a fool of myself.
posted by languagehat at 10:23 AM on March 15, 2004


asok, let your friend know that most of us understand--especially those of us from NYC--and that we're with them. (except for Midas & PP)
posted by amberglow at 10:44 AM on March 15, 2004


Some style guides prescribe a diaeresis in words like reëlection (I believe the New Yorker does this), most don't.

Cooperation is a more common example. I have no idea how to actually get the diacritical over the second o, but I've seen it fairly regularly to indicate that the word does not mean "becoming a barrel maker."
posted by kindall at 10:53 AM on March 15, 2004


I know next to nothing about Spanish politics and thus would fear making a fool of myself.

has never stopped me.

Um. Look, the Spanish people voted for someone else and that is that. To insult them or call them names is not right IMO. (yes karl, im angry but not blind)

this is their right under a sysyem that is democratic in tradition for what that is worth. This bombing was horrid as are all deaths. But if Spain pulls her troops out, she has a right.

I see this a victory for people who vote weither another thinks it is right or wrong.
posted by clavdivs at 11:02 AM on March 15, 2004


I don't think the Spanish voted to please Al Qaeda,
Ageee, as if Al Qaeda's intentions were trying "to sway votes" only, why would they hit a major public route that is used by all of Spain. Seems a public bombing is intended to keep the public home which here would prevent voters voting. The larger voting % seems to show Al Qaeda lost as voting = democracy.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:35 AM on March 15, 2004


Ageee:Agree,
posted by thomcatspike at 11:41 AM on March 15, 2004


El Mundo's site publishes good infographics re the election


Look, the Spanish people voted for someone else and that is that. To insult them or call them names is not right IMO

The larger voting % seems to show Al Qaeda lost as voting = democracy.


heh. of course. but tell that to the always-polite Sully:

BIN LADEN'S VICTORY IN SPAIN: It's a spectacular result for Islamist terrorism, and a chilling portent of Europe's future. A close election campaign, with Aznar's party slightly ahead, ended with the Popular Party's defeat and the socialist opposition winning. It might be argued that the Aznar government's dogged refusal to admit the obvious quickly enough led people to blame it for a cover-up. But why did they seek to delay assigning the blame on al Qaeda? Because they knew that if al Qaeda were seen to be responsible, the Spanish public would blame Aznar not bin Laden! But there's the real ironic twist: if the appeasement brigade... (...)
The appeasement temptation has never been greater; and it looks more likely now that Europe - as so very often in the past - will take the path of least resistance - with far greater bloodshed as a result.


oh, and for the record, various representatives of Berlusconi's government have been reading the GOP playbook pretty well: they've been on TV all day today whining about the "victory for Osama". all we need now is a nice Photoshop of a turban-wearing Zapatero sitting in Pakistani cave
posted by matteo at 11:55 AM on March 15, 2004


we're really flying blind on the actual terrorist threat [...] it's quite possible for al Qaida or affiliated groups to launch a major attack without our even getting hints that it's going to occur

Well duh. There's only... what, a few billion people on the planet, most of which don't live under 24 hour surveilance. I laugh at the hubris of the intelligence community and the ignorance of the electorate if they really think they can do anything to stop this.

Face it: if someone's willing to blow themselves up to make a point, there's not a whole lot you can do to stop them. Stay home, maybe. And explosives are so ludicrously simple to make in large amounts with ordinary, untraceable materials that all you can do is hope the terrorists have a blog, or talk very LOUD with their window open.

Of course, we could talk about the reasons why someone would feel the need to blow themselves up... but all attempts so far have resulted in "If we do that, the terrorists win!" bullshit.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:05 PM on March 15, 2004


On another note, Juan Cole's comment about the Spanish election is worth quoting in full:

I was struck by the comment of a Spaniard in Charles Sennot's Boston Globe piece on the Spanish elections. He quoted a voter who was disturbed by the way Aznar had manipulated information and public opinion, accusing him of lying about the threat posed by Iraq. He said that these tactics reminded him of the ones the dictator Franco used to use.

It reminded me that most of the publics in countries with fascist pasts--Spain, Germany, Italy--rejected the way the Iraq war was gotten up by Bush and his European partners. They sniffed something wrong with the manipulation that was clearly employed. They had been sensitized to such techniques by their suffering under fascism in the past.

And, it strikes me that the techniques that they minded so much are those of the Neoconservatives. What does that say about the latter? Maybe they don't deserve Leo Strauss as an intellectual ancestor. Maybe their real genealogy is rather more sordid.

posted by y2karl at 12:55 PM on March 15, 2004


i love al quaeda, and support it fully in its quest to rid the planet of filthy, lying, theiving sons of bitches like the ones running amerika right now. viva bin laden!
posted by quonsar at 2:19 PM on March 15, 2004


y2k - sounds plausible, but countries with no fascist past also put millions of anti-war protestors on the streets, inc. the UK & the US.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:51 PM on March 15, 2004


quonsar, dear, it's a little late to troll this thread, don't you think?
posted by pyramid termite at 3:55 PM on March 15, 2004


filthy, lying, theiving sons of bitches

i think a few of those words might apply to the aznar administration and their now emerging attempts to bury the arrests of the suspected al queda related individuals until after the election - and thus unduly influence the election in spain ... disgusting.
posted by specialk420 at 4:32 PM on March 15, 2004


quonsar, dear, it's a little late to troll this thread, don't you think?

sigh. day late. dollar short.
posted by quonsar at 4:35 PM on March 15, 2004


President of La Mancha
posted by amberglow at 5:06 PM on March 15, 2004


Personally, I can't see how the outcome of the Spanish elections is good for us. Democracy's a bitch that way sometimes.

The only people that got any victory from this are those that want to see the fighting continue on their terms of an Islam v. West crusade.

Al Qaeda is going to take this as a victory, even if they had nothing to do with it. People think they have, and that's all that's needed. Al Qaeda is an opportunistic organization, an organization that is in evolution, in the way they think and the way they behave. And now that Saddam the secular dictator is out of the way they can jump all over the Arab discontent over the American-led occupation and claim it is theirs. Hell, they can jump all over an ETA attack and claim it was theirs. The story is now that terrorism can affect an election.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are going "wtf!?!" and bicker amongst ourselves.

That's the bad thing about this for those of us opposed to the war in Iraq. It's great to get those that supported the Administration's foolish war out of office, but this is a terrible way to do it, because it gives the terrorists legitimacy that they shouldn't have.

So the hawks are right that it is a victory for Al Qaeda. But it isn't a victory for the hawks. Although they will get a lot of mileage out of the "feckless Euros," "spineless Spaniards," and all those other worn-out and baseless overgeneralizations, if their goal is victory over terrorism this is a step in the wrong direction. Sadly, it is their own stupidity and miscalculation that has brought us to this point.

We've spent something like $200 billion on Iraq -- money we could have spent in Afghanistan, on the Pakistani border, in improving our intelligence services, our Homeland Security, our Special Operations Forces. Terrorism isn't the old game of state v. state any more, and blowing our cash on big 'ol field battles is fighting the last war in the worst sense.

$200 billion, and we've probably bought ourselves a rebellion, regional instability, and increased recruitment for those who would attack and co-op society for their own politico-religious ideologies -- that, I'm afraid, is what we've done (I hope I am so wrong about this). Spain is a symptom of this, and a warning sign of things to come.

This is a loss for all of us who are against terrorism.
posted by moonbiter at 6:28 PM on March 15, 2004


So was Manchester City's 4-1 win in the derby match on Sunday a victory for Al-Qaeda too? Because the way people are parsing things here, I'm just waiting for someone to make that claim.
posted by riviera at 8:46 PM on March 15, 2004




Hey, Civil_Disobedient, SpaceCadet essentially called me a back-stabbing skuldugger-er for not having posted this here sooner. Something you said yesterday got under my skin, and I posted a MeTa thread about it.

(Sorry about that; I posted from work and then went home.)
posted by Irontom at 5:45 AM on March 16, 2004


Weak on Terror
posted by homunculus at 5:08 PM on March 16, 2004


Yeah, that was kinda' the point. I thought I'd take the honest-to-goodness hate diatrabe by Krrrlson and put a slightly humorous twist to it. Let's compare:

"only your own body parts, unexpectedly separated from each other by terrorist explosives, can ever serve to shake your hypocrisy"

...versus...

"What's that? You mean you didn't order the bouquet of plastique and nails?"

Thanks for pointing out the thread so I at least have a chance to respond to it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:23 PM on March 16, 2004


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