Reader Mail

The Neoconquistadors

Have the Spanish fled? The Continent fights back. Plus more, including hot popups and redheads.

3.16.04

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MAJOR LEAGUE POPUPS
Re: J. Adams' and Rudy Mercado's letters ("A Small Price to Pay") in Reader Mail's To Die in Madrid:

J. Adams and Rudy Mercado, I feel your pain. It'd be nice if Mr. Tyrrell would write a book about Monica Crowley or Laura Ingraham, wouldn't it?
-- Mark Hessey
Belmar, New Jersey

HAVING A GOOD DAY
Re: Reid Collins's Spanish Flee:

You just forgot to mention one thing: 90% of Spaniards opposed the Iraq war !!!! 90%, don't forget -- so it's not as simple as you seem to imply.

By the way, I see once again, that insult serves as argument when people don't agree with America and its new found guru Georges W.

I am French and I only hope this will strengthen the E.U. and give us all a little more weight in negotiations with the US.

I am still very much convinced, like a lot of Europeans, that this war is about oil, and nothing else.

Have a good day,
-- N. Ziener
Grenoble, France

From what is a reasonable article by Mr. Collins, the line -- "Before the bombings, opinion polls had indicated a comfortable margin of support for the conservative Popular Party of prime minister Aznar." If memory serves, the Spanish pollsters were indicating a 4% favorable for Aznar, with a 3% margin of error. If true that is pretty much a toss up in the race is it not?

The strategic impacts are dire. But the Spanish are not out of the woods yet. What will the Spanish populace do if the attacks continue? Might their attitude change?

"It is bitter to lose a friend to evil, before one loses him to death." --Mary Renault
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

I hope nobody is surprised that Spain is just the latest piece of the Eurocenter to back down when the going got tough. As Solzhenitsyn wrote, "You only need to show the whip to a dog that's already been beaten." The vision, the courage, the fortitude that once made Europe great have long since been exported or EU-thanized.

What's left? Don't ask. And especially don't ask them to do anything serious.
-- Martin Owens
Sacramento, California

"It works! Terrorism, that is. When applied in the right place."

Well that is one view. But recalling that the idea of the war was rejected by 90% of Spaniards in the time leading up to it, I say:

It works! Democracy that is. When it is exercised in an electoral system where it is a practical possibility.

Meanwhile, back in the land of the free, the options are between warmongers who tell bald-faced lies and "go it alone" or the other side who ratify the war and use euphemisms to support it.

There would be a lot of work to be done in the U.S. before we try to teach anyone about democracy -- least of all the Spanish.
-- Pablo Liebner
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

President Bush eloquently spoke of a war unlike any other that we had ever seen. In that context, I believe that what we saw in Madrid is nothing less than the asymmetrical defeat of one of our allies "on the battlefield." It was particularly disappointing to hear Spaniards voice the sentiment that they hoped their surrender would remove them from the list of potential Western targets. This is the dangerous European philosophy of appeasement that has led to millions of innocents' deaths. Historically it has ranged from Chamberlain's pre-war activities to the indifference of Christians to Jews being dragged away to their deaths to the attitude of the Greeks during the hijacking hey-day of the 1970s (we won't check your bags too carefully as long as you promise not to pull out your weapons until you have cleared our airspace). The day will come when, yet again, Europe calls on America to save its rotten soul.
-- Rick H.
Long Beach, Maryland

On 3/16/2004, Reid Collins wrote: "Rather than vent their anger in the direction of terror, the Spanish electorate ousted their own conservative government in favor of socialists who promise a more benign attitude toward terror! For starters, the removal of the token force of 1,300 Spanish forces sent in as an earnest of support for the Bush administration's preemption in Iraq."

This is just wrong. Spanish voters did not vote a government with a benign attitude toward terror. The Spanish voted against a government that lied to them for political ends. Aznar's government based its policy on its campaign against ETA. It was this government that decided that the truth did not serve its ends or the ends of the people. It made a grave miscalculation when it decided to go as far as calling Spanish newspaper editors, as it did with El Pais, to insist that the culprit was ETA before any solid finds in an investigation would back this up. How different this might have been if the Aznar government told the truth -- that it did not know who they were from the very beginning. Once again, this was not a victory for the terrorists. It was a clear expression on the part of voters that they want the truth.
-- A. Scott Dupree

Reid Collins's distortion for the reasons behind the upcoming Spanish withdrawal from Iraq was pretty funny. How could the Spanish be so unenlightened? Gee whiz. Too much paella eating, perhaps.

Now, why does Collins seem to have a chronic problem facing and stating the truth? But what a dumb question. If he were any different, he wouldn't be writing for The American Spectator now, would he?

There's only so much brainwashing guys like Collins can do. My oh-so-humble suggestion: Collins should stop writing and start reading some more instead. How about Paul Krugman's "Weak on Terror" article that came out (I believe) today in the New York Times. That would be a good beginning.
-- Braulio Saholte

Wrong. Spaniards did not oust their conservative government out of fear. They live with ETA for long, as British live with IRA for long.

They ousted their government out of lies. Out of using electoral interest above truth.

A lesson that suit all democratic countries, A lesson that the American voters could well use, a lesson of dignity for all of us.
-- Soczka
Portugal

Your assessment is at best less than over simplified. Spaniards have been opposed terror, and are now probably more focused than ever on dealing with it. Certainly more focused than Americans have been. We have been hysterically flailing at everything we perceive to be connected to terrorism and not accomplishing very much in the process. You seem to confuse the fight with terrorism with the invasion of Iraq, which was based on lies and deceit and had nothing to do with al Qaeda. Bush's invasion of Iraq and incompetent occupation has spread the consequences of terror much further.

What 90% of Spaniards were opposed to, and still are, is the invasion and occupation of Iraq, not the fight against terrorism. Spaniards never wanted to be identified with the "new Europe" in the first place. We talk about bringing democracy to the Middle East and Latin America, but in Spain, which has been a democracy for over a quarter century, the opinion of the people doesn't seem to matter. What matters is that Aznar wanted to play with the big boys and pal up with Bush and Blair and victimized his own people in the process. Bush and sycophants like you could care less about the democratic wishes of the Spanish people. The Spaniards' fury at Aznar has more to do with his deliberate attempts to blame ETA and completely sidestep any association with Islamic extremists, at least until after the election. So what does this deception have to do with the Spanish caving in to terrorism?

You bring ETA up in your article, but seem to think that ETA could be working with al Qaeda. This is very simplistic and shows a lack of understanding of internal regional and political motivations in Spain. It is as lame as Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld telling us suddenly in mid-2002 that Saddam is a threat to the US and Europe and needs to be taken out right now. Most Europeans were not, and still are not, convinced that this was ever the case. I also was never convinced that Iraq posed an immediate threat to the U.S. or Europe after mid-2002, and have been proven to be 100% correct. You seem to be one of those writers groping for justification of Bush's disastrous foreign policy in the Middle East. If you had the ability to understand some of the complexity and interrelationships in foreign affairs, at least in your editorials, you would not contribute so much in the dumbing down of the American public.
-- Michael Rodenburger

WHINE COUNTRY
Re: Lawrence Henry's One Step Closer to Destruction:

Mr. Aznar and his party held power for over seven years, which includes the conception, planning and execution of last week's attack. It seems obvious that he failed completely in preventing a terrorist attack within his own country and it should be just as obvious that failure at this most fundamental responsibility may be the key factor that turned the Spanish electorate against his party; Aznar is fortunate that he apparently will not be held criminally liable for his failure.

Prevention of terrorist attacks within one's own country is and should be a far higher priority -- at least for those who truly do put the interests of their own country and its citizens first -- than the reform and rehabilitation of the failed and ignorant cultures and countries that make up the Middle East. Mr. Henry's long whine is both pathetic and hilarious.
-- Peter Jacobs

Lawrence Henry replies: Well, if I'm whining, I'm in very good company.

RED HOT
Re: Kelly Jane Torrance's Right Wing Cartoonery:

Excuse me, but all the hot anchor ladies on Fox News are not blonde. Brenda Buttner on the Neal Cavuto financial news show has her own show on the weekend and she helps define the word HOT, and for pleasure she rides her motorcycle (A Harley I believe). Anyone not considering Brenda hot either has no eyesight or no taste or both.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

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