Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
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Published on March 13, 2004 By Draginol In International

The terrorist attack in Spain may or may not be the work of Al Qaeda or some other Islamofascist terrorist network. But based on what's coming out of Europe, one thing is clear: The Europeans are starting to "get it".

As France's Le Monde put it:

"If she did not know it yet, she knows it now: Europe is part of the battlefield of hyper-terrorism ... Nothing, evidently, no cause, no context, no supposedly political objective, justifies this kind of [large scale] terrorism ... If the trail back to Al-Qaeda is confirmed, Europeans should rethink the war against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, as did the United States after the attacks of September 11, 2001."

Many Europeans before this incident quietly believed that while 9/11 was a tragedy, that really, America deserved what it got. That various unspecified "American policies" directly led to 9/11. They were wrong, of course, for no one has ever been able to articulate a specific set of US policies that could possibly justify the carnage of 9/11. But one can almost forgive Europeans who felt this way for their views. After all, America is far away to them and the two towers, seen on TV, just look like a couple of buildings, not the city sized structures they actually were in reality.

Terrorists, generally speaking, are not the brightest bulbs. They may have a few intelligent people in their ranks but by definition terrorists tend to be zealots of a lost cause. And there is usually a reason why they're losing so badly that they have to resort to attacking civilians with bombs. But the real indication of the idiocy of terrorists is that they never seen capable of learning. 9/11 was not a triumph for terrorists, it has spelled their doom. Afghanistan is no longer a save haven. Iraq will be relatively westernized, secular, and democratized. And the US now has a long term permanent presence in the region that the likes of Osama Bin Laden could only have imagined in his nightmares.

And the result? The terrorists then went after Australia over in Indonesia cementing the public's support behind the war on terror. And now Spain. One of the major newspapers there has boldly claimed that they are "99%" sure that this was the work of Islamic based terrorists in retaliation for the government's support of the US. The newspaper, aligned with the opposition socialists, apparently thinks that this will somehow harm the government in the upcoming elections. Perhaps I'll be proven wrong but I suspect the opposite will happen. The Spanish are not cowards. They will not be cowed by terrorists. They will want to strike back with fury. Democracies, historically, are quite predictable in how they react to sucker punches. Perhaps history courses should be required for journalism majors?

When even Le Monde is recognizing the reality of terrorism you know things have changed. Perhaps they have realized what Americans realized on 9/12/2001 -- imagine if we let this go on in the long term? Imagine these same terrorists with nuclear weapons? Weapons supplied by say someone like Saddam Hussein either today or in the future when sanctions get lifted? We can't wait for that day. We must act now lest we suffer far greater carnage in the future. That path led us to Afghanistan and later Iraq. So to the Europeans who have suddenly woken up to this new reality I say, "Welcome to the party, pal!"


Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 13, 2004
i congradulate you on this article..very well done....but one thing you might have also added which i think bears stating...is that many are divided over weather this is al-queda or eta act of terrorism....one thing that has begun to make the rounds is that spain and in a small part the u.s. may well be facing an extremist splinter goup of eta working in conjunction with al-queda and that does pose an even more alarming scenario.....its not far fetched that al-quedas part may have been in the planning phase and a eta splinter group part would most certainly have been in its operational phase, i.e. in implementing it...but who knows...knowing the lefts conspiracy nuts...we might hear that the real culprits were bush/rummy....because everyone knows bush is responsible for everything wrong....where they get that info is lost on me
on Mar 13, 2004
I would like to think that this will open some eyes, but I expect it to turn into a "See, we told you not to make them mad!!" type thing. I have already seen a few people say that the reason this happened was because they sided with the US on Iraq. They might decide that terrorism needs to be squashed, or they might decide that if they mind their own business they'll be safer. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
on Mar 14, 2004
Good article, but my personal conclusion from it is that government are not harmed by hyper-terrorism, but gain a strategic advantage from it by straying the attention from their practices and allowing them easily to change the system in a way, that propagadates security and protection, but instead is directed to harm civil rights. So we are likely to see more and more polititians secretly rubbing their hands after each major attack, proposing the bills and actions that would be accepted by the masses due to their affected judgement. Welcome to the future of government-appreciated terrorism.
on Mar 14, 2004
oh well... Tape trumpets al-Qaida role in Spain blasts
" A confirmed Islamic extremist involvement in the Madrid bombings could play into the hands of Aznar critics who opposed sending 1,300 peacekeepers to Iraq. "If it was al-Qaida, this was a reprisal for sending troops to Iraq, where we have no business being," said Damian Garcia, whose 86-year-old father died in the bombings."

Terror attacks mar image of outgoing leader who stood with U.S. and Britain in war in Iraq.

Probably every third report I am seeing now eludes to the fact they 'asked for it' by siding with the US. Sickening point of view.
on Mar 14, 2004
I think this was not nicely said Wardell. The Europeans are starting to "get it". And you are wrong if you think many Europeans before this incident quietly believed that while 9/11 was a tragedy, that really, America deserved what it got. (It has never cross my mind to think like that NEVER and you should not tried to put those dirty though in to USA mind when you write something like this, behave of the a Americans you make them look naïve which they of course are not) Remember Europeans lost many people on that horrible day 9/11. And to say that you can almost forgive Europeans who felt this way for their views. After all, America is far away to them and the two towers, seen on TV, just look like a couple of buildings, not the city sized structures they actually were in reality. (Who said they did have that point of view, I don’t know anyone who did) Don’t forget that the American roots are from Europe and that we to are hurting when terrorist attack is done against freedom, we wish American people nothing but good thing. Wardell do some more research before you come with a statement like this against European people.
If the terrorist attack in Spain is the work of Al Qaeda or some other Islam fascist terrorist network. Then it is of cause related for the support of the Iraq war.
on Mar 14, 2004
I don't want to disappoint you, but the Europeans are not "getting it", not at all, not even remotely.

Europeans and their governments actually believe that they did get it quite a while ago and supported the war on terror wholeheartedly and completely (the invasion of Iraq is not counted as a part of the war in Europe; most Europeans think that a war against Islamic fundamentalism can be won without destroying the fundamentalists' infrastructure).

What you see in France now is not a change of mind but merely what the French believe is a continuation of their excellent participation in the war against terror.

(And yes, I am European, but no, I am not a supporter of the Francogerman position at all.)
on Mar 14, 2004
"Imagine these same terrorists with nuclear weapons? Weapons supplied by say someone like Saddam Hussein either today or in the future when sanctions get lifted?"

Sorry to disappoint you but the bombings in Madrid aren't, in my opinion, going to shift anyone into the pro-Iraqi war camp. Most Europeans are and were against the war. Most Europeans believe, as I believe, as Bush himself believes, that Saddam and al-Qaida had no connection.

The idea that al-Qaida could hit Europe is not new, it's been a fear in the background since 9-11, if not longer. As for the question of Spain being targeted for their support of the Iraq war, who knows? I'm no mind reader. Al-Qaida has attacked Turkey, whose government is anti-war. It has threatened France, the leader of the anti-war camp, because of the hijab in school issue.

Clearly being anti-Iraqi war is not a "get out of jail" card for countries as far as al-Qaida are concerned. They aren't single issue mass murderers. Having said all this, given the depth of hostility over the invasion of Iraq, it seems reasonable to assume that being part of Bush's "coalition" will get your country moved up in al-Qaida's list of targets.


on Mar 14, 2004
"The newspaper, aligned with the opposition socialists, apparently thinks that this will somehow harm the government in the upcoming elections. Perhaps I'll be proven wrong but I suspect the opposite will happen. The Spanish are not cowards. They will not be cowed by terrorists. They will want to strike back with fury. Democracies, historically, are quite predictable in how they react to sucker punches. Perhaps history courses should be required for journalism majors?"

I don't think you're being realistic. Of course this will affect today's elections! Before the attack, the Popular Party candidate, Mariano Rajoy, had a lead of 3-5 percentage point over the Socialist party candidate Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. But now Spaniards who were previously going to give their vote to the PP are changing it to Socialist. And those who were not previously planning on voting at all are throwing their support behind the Socialists. Spaniards have been saying all along that Aznar's support of the US effort in Iraq would backfire. Remember that approximately 95% of the population opposed the war. There was and still is overwhelming opposition to the war in the form of huge protests in the streets. Another thing to keep in mind is that Spaniards were furious with their own government , not with the US, for getting them into the war. It wasn't so much anti-American sentiment as it was anti-Aznar & the PP. They were able to forget temporarily about their anger at the government for ignoring 95% of the people's wishes in a democracy, but these brutal attacks (adn that fact that some are accusing the government of concealing the al-Queda connection from the government for fear of political fall-out) have rekindled that flame of anger and mistrust.
on Mar 14, 2004
It is just the opposite, it looks like this bombing may change the face of
politics in Spain, ordinary people actually believe that they never would have
been targeted by Qaida if it were not for Spain's support for the US led war on
terror, this may change Spains aggressive policy against Qaida to a policy of
capitulation, there is a communist Spanish party that advocate capitulation and
that may be what the ordinary Spanish people are coming out in droves to vote for
thinking it's the best course.
on Mar 14, 2004
Well, if making youre self look like the stereotype amerikan(killem'all and let god sort them out).
You have succeed. Just by looking at the israel tragedy, we see how quickly you get peace
when armys are involved. Do all terrorists deserve to die? Yes. Do we get less
terrorists (in the world)by bombing countries to rubble? I strongly doubt that.

It whould be so nice to live in a world where all things are so black and white.
(still not getting it)
on Mar 14, 2004
US hasn't been attacked since 9/11. Results speak for themselves.
on Mar 14, 2004
Qaida wins huge political victory in Spain,
exit polls show
bombing removes popular pro American party

on Mar 14, 2004
US hasn't been attacked since 9/11. Results speak for themselves.


An asteroid hasn't hit the United States since 9/11 either, but I wouldn't pat DHS on the back for it.
on Mar 14, 2004
I'd say Europeans are not getting it, despite Polish government support for the US invasion in Iraq well over 90% of the society oposed it in the fear of retaliation. Actually what I hear all around here is that Poland and Itally will be next. UK is well guarded, but Poland has 7 neighbours, some of them can hardly be labeled as "Western civilization" types, so actually people here are getting paranoid. "See, I told you! We're next!" paranoid and "what were they (govt) thinking when they were sending out troops to Iraq" paranoid. People here are different, they do not strive for retaliation, they are actually angry at their governments for supporting US and through this (as they see it) endangering its people with retaliation. Change of government in Spain could serve as one proof of that. The US supporting party was actually leading before the atacks. As much as ill minded (and misguided) as popular this thinking is in Poland and at least in Spain too.
on Mar 15, 2004
Winner in Spanish Election states that Spanish troops will be removed from Iraq!

Well it looks like Brad has got it completely wrong. The Spanish people have looked at themselves, thought about why they were attacked and decided that Iraq was wrong (well 90% already disagree with the war in Iraq). They voted in a new governement who have now stated this. To quote Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero "The war in Iraq was a disaster, the occupation of Iraq is a disaster."

He was very clear to state though that Spain still strongly supports the war on terror calling for a grand international alliance against terrorism. It looks like Spain will now join with France, Germany, Russia, China, and most of the rest of the world in the belief that Afganistan was justified as a war against terrorists while Iraq was not.

Not very surprising really from talking to any of my Spanish friends.

Paul.