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Spanish Withdrawal

  1. Mar 15, 2004 #1

    FZ+

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    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1-1038946,00.html

    Here's the thing - what Senor Zapatero proposes is to withdraw Spanish troops in the case where they would in fact be most needed, if the US plan to hand over power falls through. IMHO, this is a case of very blinkered policy making...

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2004 #2
    My thoughts are that these election results are a score for terrorist. They accompolished exactly what they wanted.
     
  4. Mar 15, 2004 #3

    Nereid

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    Like the erosion of civil liberties in the US, post 9/11?
     
  5. Mar 15, 2004 #4
    To a point, yes. No country should bend to terrorism. After 9/11 I found most heartening to hear people say "I'm going to keep living my life just as I would". In spain, this should have been the mantra. If the existing government were going to get voted out anyways, that would be one thing, but the spanish people made a knee-jerk reaction in response to terrorism. The terrorist won in this case.
     
  6. Mar 15, 2004 #5

    kat

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    I think it's a very short sighted policy. Many countries have learned decades ago that appeasement doesn't work when your dealing with fanatics. It would seem that this particular political party has forgotten those lessons OR don't feel that they apply to them. The email, if it's been found to be legit did not just refer to Iraq, it also referred to Spains past history which would seem a reference to destruction of muslim rule there.
    Of course, I also think that rulers have an obligation to carry through on their countries obligations. This is something, whether you agree or disagree with the origional order, Spain obligated itself to see through. Good governance demands completing something you've begun and although I believe it's somewhat of a token force, it does allow Spain input into how Iraq is developing. I would think that in the end that would be a positive thing for their country.
     
  7. Mar 15, 2004 #6
    It makes perfect sense...are those 1300 troops anything besides political?
     
  8. Mar 15, 2004 #7

    Nereid

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    Here's how I heard it:
    - Spanish troops will be withdrawn from Iraq at the end of June, at the end of their committed period
    - the Spanish voters punished Aznar for a) his unpopular decision to send troops to Iraq in the first place, and b) blaming ETA for the train attack when his security people either had doubts or already knew it wasn't
    - Saddam did NOT support UBL! I thought this lie had been put to bed long ago; quite a few countries have supported the efforts to hunt UBL in Afghanistan (for example) without supporting the US invasion of Iraq
    - it would only be 'giving in to the terrorists' if the terrorists' aims were well known; IIRC, UBL's aims are vastly broader than just 'Spanish troops out of Iraq'
     
  9. Mar 15, 2004 #8
    The main issue with the Spanish troops is that 90% of the Spanish people opposed sending them to Iraq in the first place. With those kind of numbers, what self-respecting democratic governement would keep them there?
     
  10. Mar 15, 2004 #9
    It wasn't enough of an issue to oust the current party before the bombings. This was all a knee jerk reaction. :(
     
  11. Mar 15, 2004 #10

    Njorl

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    Everything I heard about those elections indicated Aznar was doomed even before the bombings.

    Njorl
     
  12. Mar 15, 2004 #11
  13. Mar 15, 2004 #12

    Njorl

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    I hadn't paid much attention to it. Evidently, while his Iraq policy was unpopular, his economic success had more than made up for it.

    I think I heard it from some yelling pundit. I feel so... so... betrayed! How could a pundit have been wrong?!?!

    Njorl
     
  14. Mar 15, 2004 #13
    hehehe.
    See, that's my point. Iraq was a big mistake, but up until the bombing, the center-right party was favored in all polls by an easy 10%. Then the bombings happen and people jump 20% in the opposite direction. I just really think this sets a horrible precident.
     
  15. Mar 15, 2004 #14

    Monique

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    Actually, in the regions hit hardest by the bombings, 10% more voters showed up at the booth, most of them voting for the socialist party. So yes, it definately had an impact, but is it really all that bad?
     
  16. Mar 15, 2004 #15
    It is most certainly that bad. It is a clear indication that terrorist attacks will work, atleast in Spain. The people can't say that this is over Iraq, or they would have been looking to vote out the center-right party in the first place. This bombing was timed to intrude on spain's democratic process, and it gained the desired result. I just hope this doesn't show ETA that the new government will bend to their bombings as well.
     
  17. Mar 15, 2004 #16

    Nereid

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    With respect, it's too soon to say how much of a 'victory' this is for UBL et al, even assuming we could divine their specific aims.

    For example, if, partly as a result of this atrocity, Spain works with the rest of the EU to develop a plan whose implementation results in the comprehensive defeat of UBL, the complete isolation of this brand of ideology within the Muslim world, etc, then the fact that Spain has left the US-lead 'coalition' will be seen as a very positive thing.
     
  18. Mar 15, 2004 #17
    Obviously the Spanish public doesn't believe the Popular Party is adequately protecting them from terrorism, and they have a good reason. Plus 90% don't want to be in Iraq. Plus unemployment is quite high.

    Looks like good reasons for a new government to me.
     
  19. Mar 15, 2004 #18
    none of that was enough to convince the public until the bombings. Then knee jerk away!
     
  20. Mar 15, 2004 #19

    Nereid

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    Or, before the train bombing, the people believed the Aznar team when they said they were winning the war on terrorism, were delivering public safety, (and whatever else the PP were saying ... maybe a PF member can fill us in?), and then came an event which showed, unambiguously, that they were NOT delivering on their rhetoric.
     
  21. Mar 15, 2004 #20

    selfAdjoint

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    Plus the PP tried to spin the atrocity on the eve of the election. And as usual with parties in power that try to spin things important to the people, it backfired. The people are not mocked.

    There's another dimension to the vote. There was a big turnout. Something way over 70% of those eligible voted. And the socialists had a majority among "all voters", they just hadn't been able to turn it into votes. The atrocity did that for them.
     
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