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Spanish election: capitulation or repudiation?

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  • Spanish election: capitulation or repudiation?

    Some interesting Letters to the Editor (in today's Post Dispatch) concerning the recent Spanish election:

    Spanish election: capitulation or repudiation?

    Democracy at its purest

    Your March 16 front-page article and editorial about the election results in Spain were insulting to the Spanish people and to the intelligence of your readers.

    The vast majority (80 percent or more) of Spaniards opposed the ill-conceived, preemptive invasion of Iraq. They continue to oppose the unilateral and incompetent administration of the post-war occupation. They took to the streets in truly unbelievable numbers after the terrorist bombings and forced their government to recant "misinformation" (lies) being circulated that blamed the Basque separatists.

    This is democracy in its purest and most effective form. And your writers call it "appeasement."

    These actions taken by the Spanish people sent a powerful message to their government officials (soon to be out of office) and to the Bush administration that they have chosen a tragic and ineffective way to "fight terrorism." The message to Spain's government, our government and al- Qaida is that the Spanish people will accept neither the violence of terrorism nor manufactured wars that promote the hatred that leads to more violence.

    Jerry King

    End of appeasement

    The "Vichy, Spain" headline on the March 16 lead editorial is accurate, but it is attached to the wrong party. The people of Spain overthrew Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, who was the puppet of a foreign master.

    Polls show that 80 to 90 percent of the Spanish opposed this war. That did not change as a result of the horrible bombings in Madrid. What changed is the government will now listen to its people, not appease a foreigner.
    While I would never accuse the Post Dispatch of being soft on President George W. Bush, this editorial is soft-headed in falling for the Bush propaganda that the only way to oppose terrorism is the Bush way. All the lies about connections between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and have not made us safer. Al-Qaida is undaunted, Iraq is in rubble and our largest cities remain at Orange Alert.

    This monstrous act of terrorism in Madrid on March 11 unified Spain, just as the murders on Sept. 11, 2001, unified the United States. Incoming Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who has said he will pull Spain's troops from Iraq by June 30 unless the United Nations comes in, will contribute Spain's resources to fighting terrorism, not collaborating with powerful foreigners to fight for oil.

    Richard Buthod
    St. Louis

    Triumph of democracy

    "Vichy, Spain"?

    Has Spain betrayed itself, as you imply, and cravenly capitulated to terrorism?

    The Spanish people a year ago overwhelmingly opposed joining the American war in Iraq. Their prime minister, however, ignored them. The election may indeed be seen as a triumph of democracy, as belatedly putting a deep-felt grievance right. Spain will now almost certainly withdraw from Iraq.

    Does this mean, however, that Spain will be any less energetic in fighting international terrorism? Of course not. That is a matter that the Spanish people perceive to be quite separate from Iraq. Why, then should they not disavow the task, imposed against their express will, of helping tidy the epic American muck-up in Iraq? We alone can (perhaps) do that.

    J. M. Haas

    Don't pull out

    I was troubled to say the least when I heard that newly-elected Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero plans to pull troops from Iraq in the wake of terrorist attacks. The Madrid train bombings were tragic and the Spanish people have every right to want immediate action, but withdrawing troops under threat is a fatal error.

    By giving in to terrorist demands, the Spanish government demonstrates that terrorists possess the ability to shape Spanish policy. I fear where this policy of appeasement will lead, and I pray that Zapatero reconsiders his decision.

    Chris Brown
    Des Peres

    Won't get fooled again

    I have long and close personal ties with Spain and I can assure you that the general elections last Sunday had nothing to do with a surrender to terrorism, and everything to do with Spanish anger at ex-Prime Minister Aznar's dishonesty in attempting to blame the terrorist acts on ETA (Basque separatists).

    That's where Cal Thomas (March 17) misses the boat: he gives no weight to the responsibility of the politicians for the way they handled the situation. Eric Mink (March 17) gets it right, and the Republican politicians would do well to understand why he does. Americans are no less informed or democratic than Spaniards and the saying goes in both languages: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    Glenn Palen Pierce

    Who do we bomb now?

    Now that al-Qaida has struck again and punished the people of Spain for being our friends, what country should we bomb?

    Maybe someday we will run out of countries to blame and bomb and realize that terrorism isn't tied to a single country and that bombing and killing innocent people only serves to give the terrorists more reason to terrorize.

    I know, this always brings the question-"Then what should we do?" The realistic but unpopular answer is : Build up our defenses and security, pray and, when we can catch guilty individuals, punish them severely.

    Terry Brady
    East Alton

    Friends no more

    I would suggest to incoming Prime Minister Zapatero of Spain that he minister Spain instead of meddling in the affairs of the United States. He's not averse to knuckling down to terrorist threats.

    I don't think the American people need or want his help in deciding the future of our country. The next time a catastrophe occurs in his country, I hope he remembers to go to his friends for assistance, because I'm sure we will be busy helping our friends.

    Marie Eckert

    It's not capitulation

    I don't understand your accusing Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the newly elected leader of Spain, of "capitulation to terrorism" (March 16). The plan of action he is following is one he had promised well before the terrorism occurred. The fact that the terrorism occurred does not turn his plan into one of capitulation.

    Mark Owings

    A dishonest war

    I lived 5 years in Spain, married a Spaniard and keep abreast of Spanish affairs by reading the Spanish press everyday. I take exception to your editorial "Vichy, Spain" and its indictment of Spain as cowardly for buckling to the terrorists. Spain has a long and proud history of standing up to terrorists, long before 9-11.

    The Bush administration would like nothing more than to have this story be about Spain and how it buckled, instead of about how George W. Bush's lies about weapons of mass destruction lured Spain into the Iraq war and the effect that had on the Spanish elections.

    In March of 2003, long before Bush's WMD claims were completely repudiated by our country's chief weapons inspector, David Kay, George W. Bush used his trumped up WMD charges and war propaganda machine to convince Britain's Tony Blair and Spain's Jose Maria Aznar to join the U.S. in its first-ever preemptive war.

    At that time, Mr. Aznar put his political neck on the line because 80 to 90 percent of Spaniards were against the war. The opposition Socialist party ran on a platform that this was an illegal war based on misrepresentations, and vowed to bring the Spanish soldiers home unless the United Nations took over the operation.

    As the election approached, the voters still gave Prime Minister Aznar's party the edge. Then "M-11" (March 11) happened. One out of every four Spaniards marched in the streets. When it appeared that, for political reasons, the government was slow to point the finger at al-Qaida, the reaction of some voters was swift and enough to tip the scale.

    The Spanish election results are not about Spain's courage or willingness to stand up to terrorists. Rather, the Spanish election results are just another consequence of George W. Bush's dishonest, reckless and dangerous war, only this time it was a friend that got hurt.

    James M. Dowd
    Webster Groves
    ================================================== ====

    Dicey situation for Bush, to say the least!
    Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

    "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

  • #2
    They had polls before the war that 90% of the population was against their sending troops to Iraq, they sent troops anyway, well they have spoke back.
    Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.