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Wednesday, March 17, 2004


KLEIMAN IS OFF THE MARK 

In fact, friends, no one wants to see bad news in Spain

Here we go, again. Someone can’t lament the results of the Spain election without being accused of harboring hostility for the very people suffering through the worst massacre in their nation’s history. That is what Mark Kleiman would have you believe about what he derisively calls, "warbloggers." Contrary to his inflammatory rhetoric, no one has "contempt for a country now grieving for its dead." Many of the supporters of Aznar’s government, and detractors of the Spain election results, are upset because they fear that Al-Qaeda’s success is a harbinger of more terror that will result in the loss of even more European lives. People can’t spend time discussing, analyzing and debating the results of last week’s developments in Spain if they hold contempt for the Spanish people. If anyone held contempt for the Spaniards, they couldn’t care less what happened last week at the Madrid train stations and Spanish ballot boxes.

Kleiman’s citing of the now infamous Beautiful Horizons post, as the sole authority on what happened in Spain, is a dangerous endeavor. One person, "Maria in Barcelona," gave a highly charged and inflammatory opinion, there are many on both sides, and hers should not be accepted as gospel.

The fact is, it is impossible to determine that the Aznar government decided to lie within hours of the bombing. They may have rushed to judgment or mistakenly believed that ETA was to blame for the attacks. However, it would have been impossible to determine the real masterminds of this terrorist act within a few hours, no matter who it was. The only ones who knew who was responsible, during the first few hours following the attacks, were the terrorists themselves.

Kleiman asks, "why our government hadn't done more in the run-up to the election to make it clear to the Spanish people that acting in concert with the United States had direct benefits to Spain." That patronizing comment is the very reason that liberals give for criticizing American policy for many years. We would not like it if the Spanish told us how to vote in the run-up to our election this November. The voters of Spain had to decide for themselves. Subsequently, some of us then voiced our disagreement with the decision the Spanish voters had made.

President Bush has done all that he can to make sure that America is safer. Unlike Bill Clinton, who would rather enjoy a good reputation with the European chattering classes instead of tackling hard issues head-on, Bush has forsook popularity for doing what he feels is best for our country. The Spanish voters felt it was best that their country honor Al-Qaeda’s wishes and pull out of Iraq. Only time will tell, not any of us, who was right.

Update: Friends, I have a giggle-inducer for you. Take a peek and you'll see that Eschaton (Atrios) used the word "truth" with The New York Times in the same sentence. (pssst, Jayson Blair!) It's about the latest post-election spinning regarding Spain. And Brad DeLong seemed stuck in 1990s, making 10 foreign policy points without mentioning terrorism. At least by doing so, he achieved his goal of parroting Clinton policy. But, Dean's World makes an interesting point by taking an optimistic point of view and believes that, in time, certain situations will correct themselves.

Update II: Friends, Blogs for Bush gets it right, as usual (via Left Coast Conservative). What foreign policy is better at keeping your family safe, the Clintonian sweep-under-the-rug Way or the Bush Doctrine? The choice is yours.

Update III: Friends, Outside the Beltway discusses the Wall Street Journal op-ed piece by Jose Maria Aznar.

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