« crapfest | Main | Afternoon Mix: Zen, meat, Australians news, I'm Rick James, Bitch and An opening between the legs »

Stain of Mind

A bomb went off in Shea Stadium yesterday. Of course, it was a mock bomb, part of a mock drill to assess mock response to a mock terrorist attack. Everything may have been fake about that bomb, but I can tell you, the fear is real. Everyone I talk to, from the deli owner who is thinking about moving back to Trinidad, to the elderly couple on line in the movie theater, is afraid. Don't let them fool you. Don't let anyone tell you that the Socialists won in Spain because 90% of the people were against Spain's involvemnet in the Iraq war and they were voting with that in mind. This paragraph appeared in the March 11th New York Times - before the bombs went off on the trains in Madrid: bq. Spain goes to the polls on Sunday, and Mariano Rajoy, a 48-year-old lawyer, who has pledged to adhere to Mr. Aznar's policies, enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls. Even less charismatic than Mr. Aznar, he nevertheless has benefited from the extraordinarily well-disciplined machine of his center-right Popular Party and the country's strong economic performance. A comfortable lead. Obviously, the Spanish people were not voting with the Iraq war in mind. And then, the bombs, the deaths, the fear; al Qaeda. Terror struck Spain and a message was sent in the form of flames and explosions: We will kill you. It was blackmail of the worst kind and the payoff was the votes of the people of Spain. Unfortunately, their votes spell certain doom for other countries, other innocent people. It's not hyperbole, it's not some form of right-wing histrionics to cry that the terrorists have won, because they certainly did. They want the Popular Party out and the party that would deal a blow to the Iraq war in. And they won. So now the spotlight is on Bush and how Americans react. Will they blame Bush for not ridding the world of bin Laden and driving al Qaeda into the ground? I'm sure that's what the terrorists have in mind. They are hoping to sway the American voters with residual fear. And if the polls don't change and Kerry doesn't take a commanding lead soon, perhaps they will try to sway us with death. Maybe today people are waking up and thinking, hey Kerry will pull our troops out of Iraq. He'll make nice with Chirac and Schroeder. He'll use "vigorous law enforcement" to fight terror. For some reason, those things do not make me look at John Kerry as the man to keep us safe. Kerry also said:
At the core of this conflict is a fundamental struggle of ideas. Of democracy and tolerance against those who would use any means and attack any target to impose their narrow views. The War on Terror is not a clash of civilizations. It is a clash of civilization against chaos; of the best hopes of humanity against dogmatic fears of progress and the future.
It most certainly is a clash of civilizations and a president who cannot see that is a president who does not understand terrorists at all. Oh sure, he's right in that it's a struggle of ideas; they want to kill us, we want to live. "You love life, we love death," as the saying goes. They want us to worship their god and follow their religious guidelines to life. We like our freedom to choose. ...democracy and tolerance against those who would use any means and attack any target to impose their narrow views. I don't know about you, but the words democracy and tolerance, when used in the terms of dealing with people who want to kill you, strike fear in my heart. These people want us dead. Well, dead or wearing veils and facing Mecca. So, Kerry says Bush has done too little in the war on terror. Bush opposers say that al Qaeda striking in Spain is proof that that the war on terror isn't working because al-Qaeda is still alive and well. Which leads them to believe that if we had captured OBL two years ago, al-Qaeda would be dead as a doornail. al-Qaeda is just an umbrella organization for a host of terrorists, would-be martyrs, murderers and thugs. Even if OBL was hung in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on international television, these groups would still exist. From the closest offshoots of al-Qaeda to the fringe groups, they would act separately and together to fulfill their mission. Do you think it would really matter had bin Laden been captured already - or at least proven dead? I don't think so. It's likely that OBL stopped running the show soon after September 11, 2001. If he's not dead already, then he's holed up in a shabby hut somewhere, powerless and feeble. It's not like al-Qaida was formed on 9/10/01 and then struck with force the next day. They've been around a while. And before them were other groups and other factions hell bent on turning the world into one giant Muslim playground. As it will always be. The war on terror probably can't be won anytime soon. But we can play the best defense we know how and hold them off from scoring again. For every OBL that bites the dust, another one rises in his place, spurred on by dreams of heavenly virgins and martyrdom. It's our job to strike these self-appointed leaders of murder down as they appear, and just keep hacking at them until either their numbers are diminished or they get the hint that we don't want to live under their law, their religion, their rules, and we will fight them every step of the way. So no, the capture of OBL months or years ago wouldn't have mattered. It might have been a moral victory for us and a moral letdown for them, but, like cockroaches, they would gather up again and look for the crumbs of fear to prey on. They'll move out of Spain and into places like Poland or America. They'll once again try to sway elections with fear, driving cars laden with explosives into crowded buildings, sending out signals that it's time to submit or be killed. Of course the terrorists have won. They've been emboldened and strengthened by the Socialist win in Spain. Fear wins. Terror works. So they pat each other on the back for a job well done and start planning the next. I'm no longer sitting around wondering when the other shoe to drop. I see its shadow hovering above us. It's not the mock shadow of a mock attack. Any minute now.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stain of Mind:

» Hopefully not Shaq sized from Inoperable Terran
Michele's waiting for the other shoe to drop.... [Read More]

» Fear Mongering and "Winning" from Dru Blood - I believe in the inherent goodness of all beings.
According to Michele (and probably according to many other right-wing bloggers, I'm honestly too sickened and afraid to check), the terrorists have won, because the people of Spain democratically chose a president who opposes the war in Iraq. A sociali... [Read More]

» Fear Mongering and "Winning" from Dru Blood - I believe in the inherent goodness of all beings.
According to Michele (and probably according to many other right-wing bloggers, I'm honestly too sickened and afraid to check), the terrorists have won, because the people of Spain democratically chose a leader who opposes the war in Iraq. A socialist... [Read More]

» 200 PEOPLE DIED IN VAIN: TERRORISM WON LAST WEEK from The Galvin Opinion
Obviously, liberals do not want to let it be known that their policies and beliefs have walked straight into a terrorist trap. After all, if it weren’t for the terrorist attacks in Madrid, the socialists would have gone down to defeat. [Read More]

» Does biased News have unSoundbites? from Who Tends the Fires
Hrmmm.... CJR is telling Jane Galt that she's not a REAL political blogger [wha... [Read More]

» A few more thoughts from Cold Fury
Michele said something very important yesterday: al-Qaeda is just an umbrella organization for a host of terrorists, would-be martyrs, murderers... [Read More]

» Big ole jet airliner ... from Arguing with signposts...
Tomorrow, I fly for the first time in over two years. That's right. I haven't been on an airplane since before that day. You know the one. The one that cleaved the world into two time zones: B911 and A911.... [Read More]

Comments

France and the UN must be happy as pigs in shit right now. the incoming prime minister says he'll pull spanish troops out unless the US hands over Iraq to the UN. you gotta be fucking shitting me. the same assholes who, if they had their way, Saddam would be in power torturing and killing still? put THEM in charge?

I hope and pray that you are wrong about that other shoe. The problem is that I believe you are right.

I keep thinking of that dumb Tim Robbins saying, "a chill wind is blowing" except this time for real and for real reasons.

Good for Spain. Regime change begins at home, it seems.

It's war; what did everyone expect, no retaliation? You invade a country without cause, you become the aggressor, payback is going to happen from someone. Creating a swamp is risky business. Why is everyone surprised the Spanish people acted the way they did? Appeasement? Gimme a break.

Vince:

Okay, you just proved it, you're with the terrorists. F**K YOU

"Bush arguably has committed the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory. To put it bluntly, he attacked the wrong target. While he boasts of removing Saddam Hussein from power, he did far more than that. He decapitated the government of a country that was not directly threatening the United States and, in so doing, bogged down a huge percentage of our military in a region that never has known peace. Our military is being forced to trade away its maneuverability in the wider war against terrorism while being placed on the defensive in a single country that never will fully accept its presence. The reckless course that Bush and his advisers have set will affect the economic and military energy of our nation for decades. It is only the tactical competence of our military that, to this point, has protected him from the harsh judgment that he deserves."

- James Webb, secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration in a Washington Post op-ed piece several weeks ago.

It seems Spain understands this.

No, JFH, fuck you!

I love the smell of a terrorist sympathizer in the morning!

Vince, UBL was pissed at France because they kicked out the Moors in 1492. If you want to say, hey, that's legit, fine. But make it clear, you are not for peace, you are for the other side.

Michele, one thing about this bombing is that I do not believe that getting Socialists elected in Spain was the reason. Spain would be a target, regardless, because of Ferdinand and Isabella. Look at France, they are clearly against us, and they have been the target of AQ, too. That tanker that was blown up, the ricin in the Metro.

The public opinion would not have switched so quickly had the Spanish left not pushed the "Aznar is using this for politics" line, which was enabled by the government first pursuing the ETA angle rather than AQ. I don't think the AQ guys could have predicted the pursuit of ETA, and unless the Spanish left is working in concert with them, I don't think they have could have predicted the political push.

Worse yet for the Spaniards, ETA just learned if they make a big enough mess, they can achieve a political change. Screw the warning calls before hand, the penny ante assassinations of interior ministers. Kill hundreds of civilians, the voters will respond!

Spain will get more terrorism, not less.

And the rest of us will have to be on higher alert, because this is the first bombing outside of the Muslim world since 9/11, and we have made a huge deal about how successful it was.

Oops. They were pissed at Spain.

If this is Al Queda's retaliation for the invasion of Iraq, doesn't that justify the war, Vince? Doesn't it proove, rather unequivocally, that there is, in fact, a strong connection between Saddam and terrorist groups?

It's attitudes like yours, Vince, that the terrorists will be hoping to capitalize if they decide on a late October attack on the U.S.

Here is the clue you all so richly deserve:

1. The people of Spain did not want to be part of the illegal invasion of Iraq, because invading countries without provocation is wrong, is an act of war and sets yourself up for retaliation.

2. Spain’s government leads them to war anyways.

3. While Spain is embroiled in an illegal war, the terrorists attack their vulnerabilities. The people of Spain realize the Iraq war was a sham, they’ve neglected the real terrorists, the real terrorists are more pissed then ever and Spain says no to America’s colonial misadventure. Good for them.

4.Why do the righties think Spain will abandon the fight against Al-Qaeda? Because they won’t fight Iraq! Or so the stupid righties tell us.

5.Cava will be poured down the drain, and we will all be taking Freedon Fly soon enough.

The Spanish bombings prove that Al Quaeda was connected to Saddam? WHAT?? That's just a non-sequitor.

The situation in Iraq today is obviously different than the situation while Hussein was in power. Today, American troops are facing a mix of enemies including both Baathist loyalists and radical Islamic fundamentalists. The radical Islamists presence can be explained by any number of factors. For one thing, we've provided them with thousands of inviting targets. We've also destroyed a state that oppressed religious expression and replaced it with a much more permissive regime. One of Al Quaeda's gripes against the U.S. is our support of a corrupt Saudi regime and our stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia. Now we're constructing a state in Iraq and (apparently) planning to base troops there for the forseeable future. We don't have to endorse Al Quaeda to admit that this is likely to raise their hackles.

Does any of this show that Hussein didn't support Al Quaeda? No. What it shows is that Al Quaeda's opposition to American Iraqi policy does not provide any evidence of a pre-war connection between Hussein and Al Quaeda.

Which, by the way, leaves the idea of the Hussein-Al Quaeda connection on pretty shaky ground, since there wasn't any evidence for it to begin with.

I, too, share Michelle's sense of dread. They could bring OBL out of a cave in shackles later today - would that make everyone feel at ease? Not me.......I think this just solidifies that something will happen here during the last week of October.

The terrorists will try for the next domino - probably in Europe. They'll come for us close to Nov. 2.

Spain's support for the coalition is cited as the reason for the attacks. Iraq must mean something to them.....

WG

Vince - you are Michael Moore in real life, aren't you? Every time I read what you write, I think about Bugs Bunny saying, "What a maroon."

The war in Iraq is not illegal. It is not unprecedented. It is not without merit. It is not without problems.

It is, obviously, what you don't agree with. The problem with not agreeing with the war in Iraq: if you are not agreeing with it, then you are saying to your own coountrymen that you think it is OK for terrorists to blow up the WTC. You are telling the terrorists, yes, America is weak and we deserve it.

Vince, you are an enemy of your own country. How does that feel?

Sooner or later we're going to have to admit the Bush strategy just isn't working.

Vince:

Gaze.

Michele, you don't know nothing, absolutely nothing about Spain's politics. Not even about my country. You have only become interested in Spain after the attacks. Did you know about the Prestige? Did you know about ETA? Did you know about our unemployment rates, about the corruption, the arrogance of Aznar, who didn't respect our Constitution and sent us to war without consulting our "Cortes Generales" (Congress & Senate)? Did you know that he tried lying to us and insisted on saying ETA was to blame, even when he knew otherwise? Do you care about anything, apart from your own convenience and safety? Because terrorism has only become an issue to you after 9/11. We have been enduring terrorism since 1968. To judge, you have to read and know first.

This attack has influenced our vote, in urging people who doesn't usually bother to vote, to go and say what they want. Nobody I know has changed his vote from the right to the left; but many people who wasn't going to vote, did it in the end.

So, Vince, let's get this straight: are you hoping that AQ kills hundreds or thousands of Americans to prove that we were wrong about Iraq?

Stop feeding the troll.

FYI, almost every war was started and ended by a democrat. They know how to fight wars.

Admit it, Iraq was the wrong target. I am not saying we are not safer with Saddam out of power, because he was evil and I don't feel bad at all for him being tossed out, however, this whole time we've been focusing on Iraq, Al Qaeda has been regrouping in Afghanistan or some other stan. We need to get out of Iraq ASAP, but not to rush things, we still need to finish the job in Iraq, but we need to put the focus on AL QAEDA again.

Before anything, sorry about my bad english.
I'm Spanish, and I can assure to you that people in Spain have not decided a change of government only thinking in the attack of 11-M, but for many other reasons that equal to Bush and Aznar in a same frame of dominance, manipulation(they wanted make to believe to the people that the attack was made by ETA), bad management after crisis like Prestige), imposition of laws and ideas against the majority opinion of people(LSSI, LOU, etc), and other many reasons(like the one that produced General Strike, etc).
Aznar and Bush make sick to me and I hope that the death of so many innocents weighs in their consciences.

"Aznar and Bush make sick to me and I hope that the death of so many innocents weighs in their consciences."

Not the the conciences of the people who did the killing, eh? What's wrong with you people?

In Spain million people were pronounced against the war of Iraq. Spanish troops will be back at home.
The new government will continue fighting against the terrorism, but without fucking the innocents.

People Wins, Aznar-Bush-Blair Lose.
Patriotism Sucks.

-Patriotism Sucks.

Ah, the heart of the matter, the looney left's belief that there is something inherently wrong with being proud of your nation.

OK, about getting out of Iraq.

What are the strategical advantages of pulling out of Iraq? Pulling out of Iraq doesn't make sense. Period. If the US pulls out of Iraq, we leave a job half-done, and how is that good?

Besides, everyone knows that the war in Iraq was a vicious right-wing conspriacy to rid the world of a brutal dictator, improve life for an oppressed people, and spread democracy, and I LOVE vicious right-wing conspiracies.

Kronen,

If you think your governmant was the problem, you have every right to vote them out. The only problem, is that they were not the major problem, Islamofascism is, and sticking your head in the sand will not make the problem go away. All you have done is to pay the Dane.

You will get what you deserve.

BTW, I recommend life insurance. Of course that only does your family any good if they don't get killed at the same time.

Besides, everyone knows that the war in Iraq was to operate? Iraqian petroleum.
Where are the massive destruction weapons?

OK, now about Spain.

At least they can vote, right? I mean, you can't fault the Spanish people for voting how they did, no matter what their reasons were. Paraphrasing Bobby Brown, It's their perogative, they can do what they want to do.

In my mind, a vote is like an opinion, right? So everyone has got one, and their can't be a wrong one. It's just unfortunate that the way the vote turned out can be perceived that the terrorists had an effect. Michele's post says the NY Times reported that there was another politico in the lead. It wouldn't be the first time that the NY Times blew a story.

The important thing, I think, is that we accept and support Spain's choice for government, really, what else can we do?

>>Not the the conciences of the people who did the killing, eh? What's wrong with you people?

Of course not. It will NEVER weigh on their conscious. They don't think they're doing anything wrong, and so it's pointless to try to make them feel guilty. It'd be like trying to ask General "religious zealot" Boykin to feel bad about going into the middle east. It's just not gonna happen.

I've gotta ask something. 2.3 million people marched "against the bombings" in Spain the other day. Would you all 'march' against bombings in America? I don't think most of you would. Why not? Because, who marches? The crazy hippies march. The activist left wing marches.

So of those 2.3 million, how many do you think were left wing? I'm willing to bet a lot. Their march wasn't 'against the bombings'... their march was against what caused the bombings... involvement in a war that 90% of those people had previously marched against. I could be completely wrong, but this is the way it all shakes down in my head. I don't know any conservatives here at home who would march or protest for anything.

Wiseacre, yes. The election was legit, and we have to live it with. The people have spoken, the bastards.

That said, people who actually assign moral blame for the 3/11 attacks to Aznar or Bush absolutely puzzle me. Kronen, do you really think the cold-blooded murder of 200 of your countrymen was a justified response to the policies of these two?

Ok, you are all smart and aware of what has been happening in the world. I pose a question to you.

Imagine that inspectors had gone back to Iraq for 30 or 60 days and found nothing major to report. The UN votes to drop sanctions.

Now what do you think the world would look like in 5 or 10 years under that scenario??

Ok, for all you insisting that Spain's change in power was about more than just Iraq, explain something to me. How is that the party in power held a commanding lead in the polls right up until the bombings and then SUDDENLY loses the election? Looks to me like the Spanish people were casting their ballots with a pretty narrow vision of what they wanted. The socialist party seems to be all about appeasement.

This whole situation is like if someone in your family is murdered and in response you go and elect a sherrif that promises to do all he can to make sure the ones who did the crime go unpunished and untouched because you're afraid they might come for another family member.

Was a response to the policies of these two, NOT Justified, but was a response to the ACTIONS of a president which 90% of spanish people was against.

Mayor jimmy, you should inform before talk. PP was losing votes with respect to PSOE enough months ago.
Another very strong reasons have been: Euskadi has realized that they didn't have a dialog with the government, the critics on the part of PP towards recently formed Catalan government. There are numerous reasons that have caused the change.

_____________________________________________

My reasons, my vote.
http://www.dtremens.net/arxius/000466.html

PSOE has won and I'm happy, not because no longer are going to take place a terrorist atack in Spain, which they will be continued producing, if it is not by Al Qaeda will be by ETA, but because now we have a government that promises to listen people, what PP didn't in 8 years.

"Did you know that he tried lying to us and insisted on saying ETA was to blame, even when he knew otherwise? "

Not true. I was following the news, and 3 hours after the attack there was already speculation Al Queda was involved, and 12 hrs later that was all over the news. There was never any sign that Aznar was trying to cover up anything. If he had immediately said Al Queda did it, the same people would accuse him of "racism" and "paranoia" and vote him out for that reason. It was prudent for him to at first attribute it to ETA.

"people in Spain have not decided a change of government only thinking in the attack of 11-M, but for many other reasons that equal to Bush and Aznar"

Aznar's party was leading in the polls right up to the attack.

"Besides, everyone knows that the war in Iraq was to operate? Iraqian petroleum. "

If this simplistic reasoning is typical of the people who voted down the PP, then God help us all.

"Not true. I was following the news, and 3 hours after the attack there was already speculation Al Queda was involved, and 12 hrs later that was all over the news."

???????? Lol, then why this? -> http://www.abc.es/abc/pg040313/actualidad/nacional/nacional/200403/13/reacciones.asp

Michele,

Every time I resolve to break myself of my addiction to your blog because of your "way-to-the-left-of-mine" social views, you write something like this and reel me back.

Your views on terror and combatting same seem to me to be spot-on. I am amazed at the the sporadic critics who drop their drivel in your comments section. Are their heads completely inserted into a dark place? I share your despair that many countries and people are unable to grasp what should be intuitively obvious - that the islamofascists want to kill us or convert us.

The US is basically going to have to combat terror on its own. Fortunately it seems we still have the will. Let's keep that will and reelect Bush.

Yehudit like the other guy, you should inform before talk.
The Secretary of State sent a fax indicating to the ambassadors in other countries to say when they had occasion that ETA caused the attack. Another person within the PP called to the credited foreign journalists in Madrid telling them that everything pointed to ETA. Many of these journalists have shown publicly their rejection about such manipulation.
The same day 11-M was confiscated a van where there was a tape with Islamic versicles...
This was made public 2 days after.

Yehudit, I think the point that Kronen is trying to make is that while everyone else was looking at evidence that al Queda was involved, Azner was insisting that it waw ETA up to and beyond the point when evidence overwhelmingly suggested otherwise. This is not the first place I've read where Azner made this blunder.
I get the feeling that to the Spanish, this Azner is a bit of an asshat. Arrogant is a word I've seen many times to describe him. We want him to win because he is not Socialist, and he probably would have. But like the left here, the Socialists in Spain don't have a monopoly on asshats and the events of the past few days turned the general opinion to "Anyone but Azner".

And for what it's worth, if the Spanish pull out of Iraq and divert their forces to Afghanistan and the hunt for OBL, with the support of their citizenship, then I would feel no loss off their support for our cause at all.

A different bill, "Anyone but PP", because Aznar was not going more the general secretary of PP.

Ups, I meant Aznar wasn't going to continue like PP general secretary, but Mariano Rajoy. Aznar after 14-M was out of spanish policy.

"We want him to win because he is not Socialist"
Who are "we"? :). What's wrong with socialist?

My mistake. But Azner did put the PP in a horribly bad light.
We are those who don't see any value in the Socialist Party's ideas. Socialism take power and choices out of the hands of the people and places it in government. That is never a good thing. Given a choice, the people can always find a better deal that what the government will offer them.

We all knew that the majority of the Spanish population were against Spain's involvement in Iraq, and therefore that Aznar was going against the will of his people in supporting the US. It's very probable that this is true in Britain as well. We (who support the war in Iraq and the war on terror) were hoping that the people would see their leaders' reasons and come to agree with them. What this vote shows is that that is not true. The people of Europe (majorities anyway) in all the Western European democracies would prefer to fight terror the way they have done, for so long and so well (they do keep reminding us of this experience they have dealing with terrorists): prostrating themselves to their oppressors. This is very depressing. The tradition of Danegeld is alive and well.
America can certainly carry the fight without Western Europe, but it is sad to realize that the countries who many of us claim as our cultural heritage are being shown to be such spineless nothings.

I feel more American than I ever have before right now and I say that in a proud but resigned way.

And await the next attack.

"Socialism take power and choices out of the hands of the people and places it in government"

No, that was what "the right" has done these last 4 years, because PP obtained the absolute majority, so they could do what they wanted without opposition and they did: They haven't listen to the people.
And Bush hear people there? Lol, I won't talk about Bush.
A socialism governmente is a people government.

"I feel more American than I ever have before right now and I say that in a proud but resigned way"

What there is to read...

Those who try to whitewash Saddam's record don't dispute this evidence; they just ignore it. So let's review the evidence, all of it on the public record for months or years:
* Abdul Rahman Yasin was the only member of the al Qaeda cell that detonated the 1993 World Trade Center bomb to remain at large in the Clinton years. He fled to Iraq. U.S. forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, that show that Iraq gave Mr. Yasin both a house and monthly salary.
* Bin Laden met at least eight times with officers of Iraq's Special Security Organization, a secret police agency run by Saddam's son Qusay, and met with officials from Saddam's mukhabarat, its external intelligence service, according to intelligence made public by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was speaking before the United Nations Security Council on February 6, 2003.
* Sudanese intelligence officials told me that their agents had observed meetings between Iraqi intelligence agents and bin Laden starting in 1994, when bin Laden lived in Khartoum.
* Bin Laden met the director of the Iraqi mukhabarat in 1996 in Khartoum, according to Mr. Powell.
* An al Qaeda operative now held by the U.S. confessed that in the mid-1990s, bin Laden had forged an agreement with Saddam's men to cease all terrorist activities against the Iraqi dictator, Mr. Powell told the United Nations.
* In 1999 the Guardian, a British newspaper, reported that Farouk Hijazi, a senior officer in Iraq's mukhabarat, had journeyed deep into the icy mountains near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1998 to meet with al Qaeda men. Mr. Hijazi is "thought to have offered bin Laden asylum in Iraq," the Guardian reported.
* In October 2000, another Iraqi intelligence operative, Salah Suleiman, was arrested near the Afghan border by Pakistani authorities, according to Jane's Foreign Report, a respected international newsletter. Jane's reported that Suleiman was shuttling between Iraqi intelligence and Ayman al Zawahiri, now al Qaeda's No. 2 man.
(Why are all of those meetings significant? The London Observer reports that FBI investigators cite a captured al Qaeda field manual in Afghanistan, which "emphasizes the value of conducting discussions about pending terrorist attacks face to face, rather than by electronic means.")
* As recently as 2001, Iraq's embassy in Pakistan was used as a "liaison" between the Iraqi dictator and al Qaeda, Mr. Powell told the United Nations.
* Spanish investigators have uncovered documents seized from Yusuf Galan -- who is charged by a Spanish court with being "directly involved with the preparation and planning" of the Sept. 11 attacks -- that show the terrorist was invited to a party at the Iraqi embassy in Madrid. The invitation used his "al Qaeda nom de guerre," London's Independent reports....

I heard a news blurb at 11 AM CST that ETA might have also been involved.

If true, the Spanish will just ignore it.

--"Besides, everyone knows that the war in Iraq was to operate? Iraqian petroleum. "

Hey, Kronen, then how come the Iraqis are profiting from the rise in prices and I'm paying more at the pump?

Have you been paying attention to how much more might be coming into their coffers? A few billion.

Of course, if frankenreich and Russia amongst others, didn't scam that minimum $5 billion from the Iraqi Oil-for-Palaces program.....

ETA always recognizes the attacks that commit, to vindicate their ideology and to press the government. Why would they say that they have nothing to do?.
From where have you escaped, sandy?

"But Azner did put the PP in a horribly bad light."

Rajoy said he'll continue the line marked by Aznar, so, it's not only Aznar it's all the right ideology which is in a horribly bad light...

And I don't want to talk about Bush...

Re Mayor Jimmy

You said:

"Ok, for all you insisting that Spain's change in power was about more than just Iraq, explain something to me. How is that the party in power held a commanding lead in the polls right up until the bombings and then SUDDENLY loses the election? Looks to me like the Spanish people were casting their ballots with a pretty narrow vision of what they wanted. The socialist party seems to be all about appeasement.

This whole situation is like if someone in your family is murdered and in response you go and elect a sherrif that promises to do all he can to make sure the ones who did the crime go unpunished and untouched because you're afraid they might come for another family member."

The party in power did not hold a commanding lead whatsoever. True, PP was ahead in the polls by 5%. But ALSO true, 40% of the people asked were undecided. As a Spaniard I've been in contact with friends and family in Spain, from what they tell me, and I can assure you they are not lefty loonies (or not all of them anyways), it was the handling of the aftermath that brought them down. If the PP had done the correct thing, which is to be transparent: i.e. not to blame ETA straight away (which can be understandable), and to admit that it all looked as if it actually wasn't ETA when all the evidence srated pouring in: koranic tapes with detonators, three morrocans and two hindus arrested, a letter AND a video linking the attack to islamist criminals; then, they would still be in power.

They lied. They used the State TV to lie. Unfortunately for the PP people have satellite dishes in Spain, and while the government and the Spanish TV stations were saying it was ETA; Sky News, CNN, Euronews, Televiçao do Portugal, French Channels and a looong list of news stations on top of that were actually saying that it was Al-Qaida. Not only that, but it took the government 5 hours to actually confirm that they had arrested 5 people. And they only did so when a crowd of 10000 had gathered outside the PP building in Madrid shouting "Who did it?", "Liars", "Manipulators".

It was the fact that the PP withheld information, and lied to all Spanish people by stubbornly saying that it had been ETA, contradicting all logic, that made the 40% of indecideds go out and vote against the PP.

As for your comparison: Zapatero, leader of the Socialists, right after giving his victory speech, said that a number one priority of the Spanish government would be to combat terrorism. Pulling out of Iraq is a fact, IF the US does not hand power to the UN in Iraq. If the US does just that, the Spanish soldiers will stay in Iraq. And if ever the US does indeed hand Iraq to the UN, Spanish soldiers will be the first in the line.

The Socialists do not want to stop fighting terrorism. They just want to do it in a responsible manner. Withholding International Law, and not trampling on the wishes of the Spanish people.

X

Re Mayor Jimmy

You said:

"Ok, for all you insisting that Spain's change in power was about more than just Iraq, explain something to me. How is that the party in power held a commanding lead in the polls right up until the bombings and then SUDDENLY loses the election? Looks to me like the Spanish people were casting their ballots with a pretty narrow vision of what they wanted. The socialist party seems to be all about appeasement.

This whole situation is like if someone in your family is murdered and in response you go and elect a sherrif that promises to do all he can to make sure the ones who did the crime go unpunished and untouched because you're afraid they might come for another family member."

The party in power did not hold a commanding lead whatsoever. True, PP was ahead in the polls by 5%. But ALSO true, 40% of the people asked were undecided. As a Spaniard I've been in contact with friends and family in Spain, from what they tell me, and I can assure you they are not lefty loonies (or not all of them anyways), it was the handling of the aftermath that brought them down. If the PP had done the correct thing, which is to be transparent: i.e. not to blame ETA straight away (which can be understandable), and to admit that it all looked as if it actually wasn't ETA when all the evidence srated pouring in: koranic tapes with detonators, three morrocans and two hindus arrested, a letter AND a video linking the attack to islamist criminals; then, they would still be in power.

They lied. They used the State TV to lie. Unfortunately for the PP people have satellite dishes in Spain, and while the government and the Spanish TV stations were saying it was ETA; Sky News, CNN, Euronews, Televiçao do Portugal, French Channels and a looong list of news stations on top of that were actually saying that it was Al-Qaida. Not only that, but it took the government 5 hours to actually confirm that they had arrested 5 people. And they only did so when a crowd of 10000 had gathered outside the PP building in Madrid shouting "Who did it?", "Liars", "Manipulators".

It was the fact that the PP withheld information, and lied to all Spanish people by stubbornly saying that it had been ETA, contradicting all logic, that made the 40% of indecideds go out and vote against the PP.

As for your comparison: Zapatero, leader of the Socialists, right after giving his victory speech, said that a number one priority of the Spanish government would be to combat terrorism. Pulling out of Iraq is a fact, IF the US does not hand power to the UN in Iraq. If the US does just that, the Spanish soldiers will stay in Iraq. And if ever the US does indeed hand Iraq to the UN, Spanish soldiers will be the first in the line.

The Socialists do not want to stop fighting terrorism. They just want to do it in a responsible manner. Withholding International Law, and not trampling on the wishes of the Spanish people.

X

XENMATE,

Then let's hope that the terrorists will be as logical; but I seriously doubt it... Independent to what YOU think, I fear the terrorists will believe it is they that turned the elections.

International Law? The rule of law only works if the other side will abide by it's tenets, our enemies do not.

By the way, how can you say the PP "LIED", no one still knows who committed this crime, therefore, it is impossible for you to make that charge.

It's interesting to me that, in a string about Spain, American readers responded to input from two Spanish nationals about what's going on in their country with arguments of fact ("commanding lead", etc.). It's also interesting to me that everyone who's all upset about the bombing and offering their "sympathy" to Spain and the Spanish people immediately started hashing on the two Spaniards who dropped in to offer their views.

"Yes, we bleed with you! We feel so bad for you! Now sit down, shut up, and do what we say."

Very comforting, I'm sure.

JFH, for a start, since when exactly have Islamist extremeists given a flying fuck about democracy? Certainly, it seems, as much as crtain individuals in this forum who criticize Spaniards for exercising their right to choose a leader.

Is it just me or the fact that attacks happened 911 days and exactly two and a half years after 9-11 had more to do with the timing of the attack than the elections? And what do terrorists gain with getting the socialists in power in Spain in the first place?

Someone please xplain to me why this aggression towards Spaniards. I don't get it.

X

For a millionth time, and I've been saying this since mid-morning on thursday:

ETA: seldom attacks civilians, never used more than one bomb, always claims responsibility, uses aluminium detonators, uses French made dynamite (they stole it from a mine two years ago), never uses mobile phones in detonating device.

Al-Qaida: attacks civilians, is an expert at well coordinated multiple attacks.

Facts: 14 bombs were planted in 4 crowded trains. Two of the trains were due inside Atocha station when they were meant to explode. One of the trains had a two minute delay which prevented the collapse of Atocha's infrastructure causing even more deaths. As soon as news broke out of the attack, Arnaldo Otegui, 'de facto' spokesman for ETA denied and CONDEMNED the attacks and pointed to the 'arab resistance', a van is found in Alcala de Henares, point of departure of the trains, with detonators and two tapes in arabic of koranic veses. After forensic analisys of an unexploded bomb, the police determine that the dynamite is Goma 2-Eco, Spanish made, and not Titadine, French made. Mobile phones are used as detonators. The actual detonator was made of copper, not aluminium. By tracking down the provenance of the mobile phone, three morroccans and two hindus are arrested. One of the morroccans had already been investigated in connection with 9-11 (coincidence I'm sure). A letter appears in London claiming responsability for Al-Qaida, although it is probably false, BUT, a video tape shows up in Madrid with an Arab claiming to be the leader of Al-Qaida in Europe claiming responsibility for the attacks.

JFH, it doesn't take a rocket scientist...

And even in the face of all this evidence, PP stuck to it's original hypothesis: it was ETA.

I mean, if they were just being cautious, why didn't they just say that they didn't know who did it? But no, they said time after time that ETA was the prime suspect. They even said it on friday. And saturday. And even on sunday, Ana de Palacio said it was likely to be ETA.

While all tv stations around the world were saying Al-Qaida, for some reason, the PP said it was ETA. Only they believed this. Or did they?

X

XENMATE,

Surely, you're not using crude numerology to be justification of evidence that the PP "LIED".

"And what do terrorists gain with getting the socialists in power in Spain in the first place?"

You're kidding right? I'm not even going to bother discussing that, even the tape from "AQ" found in the trash answers that if you believe it.

You are right however about attacking the Spanish for their election preferences

jfh, read the above comment please

x

Beware of the causality vs. correllation trap. Just because the center-right party was leading in the polls but lost the election doesn't mean that the attacks are the reason. Remember that Dean held double digits leads before any primary vote. The attacks may have been the cause of the discrepency between the poll and the election, but another cause may have been simply bad polling.

International Law? The rule of law only works if the other side will abide by it's tenets,

Sorry, I just have to point out that this is patently ridiculous.
One of the basic tenets of the rule of law is the supremacy of law. It's one of the cornerstones of democracy; it establishes all citizens (or, in the case of international law, "nations") as being equal under the law.

Look it up: http://www.ourcivilisation.com/cooray/btof/chap180.htm

It is precisely when "the other side" fails to adhere to the law that the rule of law becomes most relevant.

This is one of the basic arguments against the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan: if American civilians, acting without official sanction from the U.S. government, committed an act of terrorism in Afghanistan, against the Afghan people and their government, would it be legal for Afghanistan to form a broad coalition, invade the United States, provide direct military aid to U.S. paramilitary organizations seeking to overthrow the U.S. federal government, and install a new regime?

Now, most Americans find the idea of Afghanistan invading the U.S. too silly to even begin to take a question like this seriously. That distracts from the point. The point is, would it be legal for Afghanistan to do something like that?

If not, then the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan works against the rule of law.

A similar model can be applied to the invasion of Iraq.

And just so we're clear about consequences: international law provides remedies for the temporary suspension of the "rules of war" (Geneva Convention, Hague, etc.) in the face of "military necessity". The most common example is that if a commando team goes behind enemy lines for a specific operation and takes enemy prisoners during that operation, it may be legal to kill those prisoners (in spite of legal protections for soldiers who surrender), under the umbrella justification of "military necessity". This is the defense that prevents criminal prosecutions in, for example, the firebombing of civilian targets during World War II.
Consequently, a small country like Afghanistan may have license to employ a considerably wider range of tactics in a legal war than most Americans generally consider when they imagine a small country attacking a superpower.

For a more in-depth examination of the rules of war and the definition of a "war of aggression", check out:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0812902106/qid=1079387060/sr=8-4/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i4_xgl14/002-6043419-8263221?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Nuremberg and Vietnam, An American Tragedy
by Telford Taylor

What does the UN and their ‘International Law’ have to say about the billions stolen from the Oil for Food program? What do they have to say about all those Iraqis they starved?

The UN consists of unelected elites. It has always allowed genocide and terrorism to thrive, because their sympathies are with the leaders, not the general population. The UN’s goal is to preserve stability, prevent war, and preserve the status quo.

Should we really let a bunch of dictators and kleptocrats determine and apply laws that the world’s population must follow? Somehow, I don’t think that's what Aristotle had in mind.

Joshua, the 9/11 hijackers were acting with the active support of the Taleban. Had the situation been reversed and it was America actively hiding, training and supporting a group that had done the same to Afghanistan as was done to us, they would have been justified in acting the same way, provided they could have.
With regards to the Iraq invasion, complain that it was the wrong choice strategicly if you like. It was not illegal. The state of hostilities from Gulf War One never ended. As in Korea, there was never a peace treaty, merely a cease fire. Since Iraq violated the terms of that cease fire on an almost daily basis, that invasion was perfectly legal.
As for the election in Spain, I think they'll come to regret their vote. It's their mistake to make, though.

The UN consists (snip) ...Should we really let a bunch of dictators and kleptocrats determine and apply laws that the world’s population must follow? Somehow, I don’t think that's what Aristotle had in mind.

Did I say UN? No I did not.

There is a body of international law that predates the founding of the United Nations (and, for that matter, the League of Nations), which proscribes wars of aggression. Laws against killing prisoners are attached to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague. While the United Nations charter and successive resolutions incorporate some of the language of the various Geneva Conventions (which incorporate some of the language of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907), the two are not necessarily related.

Furthermore, for purposes of this discussion, we're not talking about "laws that the world's population must follow". We're talking about laws that the world's governments must follow. It's an important distinction.

In any event, an alternative to the UN as a legal body for trying cases relating to human rights and war crimes was established in the form of the International Criminal Court. The United States was one of only seven nations who voted against the Rome Statute of the ICC in 1998, along with China, Libya, Yemen, Qatar, Israel, and, hey look at that, Iraq. Of course, Clinton signed the treaty at the last minute in 2000, but Bush opted out rather spectacularly in May of 2002, when he formally renounced the ICC and effectively rendered Clinton's signature null and void.

There is a growing international movement toward the rule of law, flawed as that movement may be. The United States, as the most powerful nation in the world, has consistently refused to support such a movement. The current administration has strong ties to a political program with the expressed goal of establishing world peace through a kind of benevolent world domination, effectively replacing the authority of international governing bodies with the dubious security of a global pax Americana.

I, for one, find such a prospect completely abhorrent. I believe the evidence indicates pretty clearly that most of the rest of the world feels likewise.

Had the situation been reversed and it was America actively hiding, training and supporting a group that had done the same to Afghanistan as was done to us, they would have been justified in acting the same way, provided they could have.

So, for example, Cuba would have been within their rights to invade the United States after the Bay of Pigs? What's the expiration date on something like that? What about U.S. support of the Contras? And, oh, wait, the US trains and provides military aid to Israel, which holds land it acquired through invasion (against international law), in spite of UN resolutions demanding they pull back and in spite of the fact that Israel regularly carries out and claims responsibility for extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinian civilians both in Palestine and abroad.

Now, getting back to that question of military necessity, if a group as small and poorly funded as the Palestinians were going to war with a country as big and powerful as the United States, military necessity would require them to get pretty creative: suicide bombers and so on.

And before the top of your head blows off, I want to make sure you understand what I'm saying here: I'm not saying that it's "okay" if Palestinians come over to the United States and start blowing themselves up in movie theaters. What I'm saying is that, by completely undermining international law, the United States effectively endorses political violence. I disagree with current U.S. foreign policy in part because I find political violence indefensible.

It was not illegal. The state of hostilities from Gulf War One never ended. As in Korea, there was never a peace treaty, merely a cease fire.

Look, Gulf War One was a U.N. mission. The ceasefire was with the U.N., and it was up to the U.N. to implement remedies for its violation. If you pick and choose when the U.S. goes to war to enforce U.N. resolutions without regard for the U.N. charter or the Security Council, you undermine your own argument.

Joshua, the 9/11 hijackers were acting with the active support of the Taliban

Document this for me, please.

Joshua - Programmers have an expression, garbage in, garbage out.

If the slaughter in Rwanda, the killing fields of Cambodia, Pol Pot’s ‘punishment’ (ie. his peaceful death from old age, surrounded by family), Adi Amin’s ‘punishment’, the genocide in the former Yugoslavia – if this garbage is the result of ‘international law’, then yes, you’re right, those laws are seriously flawed.

You’re arguing in favor of ‘international law’ while simultaneously arguing that the homicidal, terror-supporting Paleolithic Taliban should have stayed in power. Great example there.

You say you find 'political violence indefensible'. Why are you definding a regime that murdered tens of thousands of Afghans over tribal issues? Isn't that political enough for you?

If all political violence is indefensible, do you believe that the American Revolution was indefensible? How about the French Resistance? WWII?

You say - Furthermore, for purposes of this discussion, we're not talking about "laws that the world's population must follow". We're talking about laws that the world's governments must follow. It's an important distinction.

The world’s population has already suffered under these laws. Do hundreds of thousands of Rwandans, millions of Sudanese and millions of Cambodians appreciate your ‘important distinction?’ Well, they might if they weren’t so dead.

Those millions died as a result of judicious application of international law, which defends only rights of nations. These laws reward dictators while producing a mass of human suffering. That was obviously not their intent, but the fact is, they’re broke, and they need to be fixed.

Mary:

You’re arguing in favor of ‘international law’ while simultaneously arguing that the homicidal, terror-supporting Paleolithic Taliban should have stayed in power. Great example there.

I never said that. Don't believe it, didn't say it.

You say you find 'political violence indefensible'. Why are you definding a regime that murdered tens of thousands of Afghans over tribal issues? Isn't that political enough for you?

I didn't defend that regime. Didn't agree with it, didn't defend it.

If all political violence is indefensible, do you believe that the American Revolution was indefensible? How about the French Resistance? WWII?

In both those instances, people who had established self-governance under the principles of democracy were fighting guerilla wars to repel imperialistic invaders. The invaders were, effectively, carrying out wars of aggression. The guerillas were defending themselves. However, I'll grant that "indefensible" was the wrong word for me to have used. Abhorrent would have been closer to the mark. I also find physical violence abhorrent (even if I find it weirdly fascinating in movies and TV shows), but I recognize that there are situations where physical violence is necessary; the law provides remedies for the use of physical violence in certain situations.

The world’s population has already suffered under these laws. Do hundreds of thousands of Rwandans, millions of Sudanese and millions of Cambodians appreciate your ‘important distinction?’ Well, they might if they weren’t so dead.

You say as if most of the governments of the world were chomping at the bit, wanting to go in and save the Rwandans and the Sudanese and Cambodians, but it was only the law that prevented them. And I think we both know that's not true. But also; to suppose that the incidence of atrocities has increased and that it has increased because of international law is, I think, fuzzy thinking. Population density and technological intervention would be the culprits I'd prosecute first. International law has simply failed to succeed in shoveling back the tide.

That was obviously not their intent, but the fact is, they’re broke, and they need to be fixed.

Now there, we agree. But I don't think the way to fix them is to revert to a state of international vigilantism.

As usual, it comes down to a question of which is worse, war or terrorism + genocide.

The so-called international vigilates oppose terrorism + genocide. International law and the UN oppose war.

Until we can create laws or organizations that effectively prevent both war and genocide, we may have to make that choice over and over again.

WWII, France, and German agression. Imperialistic? Yes.

American Revolution? Imperialistic? No. They were citizens of an empire who decided the rule was unjust.

Dave: they weren't actually "citizens". Technically, they were "subjects" of an empire. "Empire". "Imperialistic"... See where I'm going with this?

No - I don't quite get it. You said they were fighting off imperialistic invaders. The English didn't think they were invading anything - they thought it was theirs. They had been there a while. They weren't invading, they were putting down an insurrection.

Yes, subjects of the empire was a better discription, although under English law at the time, nobility enjoyed "citizen-like" status (right to own property, beneficial treatment from the justice system, etc.)

(and yeah, I was splittin hairs with ya).

but to quit splitting hairs and get to the real point, do we disagree on whether violence is necessary, even "right", to achieve political results? You said "under the law". What court would the American revolutionaries appeal to? I think they tried negotiating.

If you mean abhorrent and not indefensible, we have no argument.

but to quit splitting hairs and get to the real point, do we disagree on whether violence is necessary, even "right", to achieve political results? You said "under the law". What court would the American revolutionaries appeal to? I think they tried negotiating.

American revolutionaries could, and did, appeal to various foreign courts-- and received weapons and troops in response to their appeals.

Until recently violations of international law were handled by improvised courts, foreign courts, or the Vatican. There were attempts, at varous times during the 20th Century, to establish a permanent international court. The last effort, in 2000, was the creation of the International Criminal Court. The U.S. has worked very hard to undermine the venture.

As to whether violence is necessary or even right to achieve political objectives; that's too broad a question. It depends on the violence. Depends on the politics.

Two examples were cited. Run with those.

Two examples were cited. Run with those.

Wait, which?