TCS Daily


Spanish Lessons in Appeasement

By Aaron Hanscom - March 19, 2007 12:00 AM

In response to the latest Islamist threat against Spain, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español - PSOE) thought it appropriate to assure Spaniards that "Afghanistan is not Iraq." PSOE officials told news agencies that while the war in Iraq was "illegal," the mission in Afghanistan is being supported by the UN and includes 37 countries. It turns out Islamic terrorists don't care all that much about the distinction.

In a video issued this month by the Global Islamic Media Front, a hooded man warns that the presence of Spanish troops in Afghanistan "exposes Spain again to threats." The terrorist also delivers a message to all those Spaniards who flocked to the polls to elect the Socialists after the March 11 Madrid bombings: "The Spanish people have been tricked by a Socialist government which withdrew troops from Iraq and sent 600 to Afghanistan." So much for Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's assurances that the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq would make the country safer.

The video was shown on "Voice of the Caliphate," a weekly video magazine launched by Al Qaeda in 2005. Titled "Messages for the Governments of Germany and Austria," it advises those two countries to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan and to cease helping the United States and the UN. The references to Spain's presence in Afghanistan are not new. Terrorism expert Javier Jordán notes that the March 11 cell referred to Afghanistan in their communiqués. In fact, the terrorists' very last message called for the end of the supposed "truce" earned after Spain's withdrawal from Iraq. Spain's continued military commitment to Afghanistan was reason enough to continue the jihad in Spain.

In fact, the danger facing Spain is greater today than it was on March 11, 2003. Fernando Reinares, former terrorism advisor to the Interior Ministry and senior analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute, told the Los Angeles Times, "It is undoubtedly true that Spain is much more of a target today than before." One reason for the increased threat level is that Al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, has been calling for the reconquest of Spain about as much as Hamas leaders call for the destruction of Israel. Last month he exhorted Islamists in the Maghreb -- the northwestern part of Africa where 80 % of the 300 terrorist suspects arrested in Spain since March 11 come from -- "to once again feel the soil of Al Ándalus beneath your feet." Previously Zawahiri had called for liberating Muslim land "from Iraq to Al Ándalus."

Gustavo de Arístegui, author of The Jihad in Spain: The obsession to reconquer Al-Ándalus, explains that Muslims don't only want to reclaim Andalucía (the southern part of Spain.) European land that is "occupied" includes 4/5 of the Iberian Peninsula, some parts of southern France, half of Italy, the Balkans, and all the islands of the Mediterranean. But calls for the liberation of Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves on the North African coast) have been the most effective jihadist recruiting tools of late. In December of 2006, 11 Islamist radicals, ten Spaniards and a Moroccan, were arrested for planning to stage terrorist attacks in Ceuta. (Zawahiri responded to these arrests by referring to Ceuta and Melilla as occupied cities.)

Jihadists call the Madrid bombings the "blessed attacks of Madrid." The Madrid cell members who blew themselves up rather than be captured by police are portrayed on jihadist websites as "heroes" worthy of imitating and "avenging." Spain is never referred to on these sites as a country not to be attacked again because it pulled its troops out of Iraq. Nations like Germany and Austria should look on these facts as evidence that appeasement doesn't pay. Caving in to terrorists' demands only emboldens them and doesn't even earn you a respite from their threats of violence.

Aaron Hanscom is a freelance writer in Los Angeles, California. He studied at the University of Sevilla.


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23 Comments

But wait!
I thought if you cut and run that those nasty terrorist types would leave you alone!

Zapatero and his party used fear and the promise of appeasement to gain power and now those idiots will provide the rest of us with a lesson on how NOT to provide security for the people you govern.

Watch and learn Democrats.

Moreover
"I thought if you cut and run that those nasty terrorist types would leave you alone!"

Moreover, if the U.S. retreats to within its own borders, there will be peace in the world, especially if people stand along public avenues waving slogans and beating pots.

No Subject
Appeasement is never enough.

Appeasment might work sometimes...
Appeasment might work sometimes. I honestly believe that radical muslims would be less hostile if only the western world would subordinate to sharia courts, restrain free speech, get rid of offensive culture such as not wearing the Burkha when on television, stop meddling in the middle east (means "permit us to get rid of the jews once and for all"). It might work.

The question is, is it worth it? A few thousand lives the terrorist might claim for all the gains our forefathers offered millions to reach? For a society that brings prosperity, hope and deliverance for most? Those advocating appeasment fail to grasp how far we have come since the Dark Ages.

no appeasement at all
The author and the commentarys as well, show no kind of knowledge about spanish politics and the last general election in particular. Withdrawal from Iraq was in the program of PM Zapatero months before the terrorists blew those trains. Forme PM Aznar dragged us in a war 92% of the spanish people din't want (according to the National Institute of Statistics. What you saw in Spain had nothing to do with appeasement, was democracy in action. People didn't want the war and expressed so in election day, period. It turns out they were just so right about that... just watch the news.

War is only desired by the Islamists
A majority in the USA didn't want World War I and McKinley ran on an anti-war campaign. We got war.

Western Europeans didn't want War with Germany, Italy or Japan in 1939. They agreed to do literally horrible things trying to appease the *****. They got war regardless.

FDR ran on a platform that stated he would not send any American sons to any foreign war. Then we were attacked on December 6, 1941.

No one in their right mind wants war except the Islamic Radicals and they believe it is a holy calling.

A country cannot chose peace by doing everything to avoid war, especially appeasing one's sworn enemies, just the opposite happens. A country that tries to do everything to avoid war will get exactly that, WAR but sadly not on by their terms!

Also, no one should forget that the Fascists and Communists practice war in Spain prior to the start of WWII. History has a strange way of repeating itself. Still people think this time, this time, it will be different.

This site gets worst
That fact that Spain is in Afghanistan is reason enough they want to fight terror. Also Spain has it's own terrorist non Islamic by they way, so it knows how terror works much better then you arm chair jockeys. This is the problem with you guys if someone doesn't agree with you chuck a tiny tot tantrum. The US became fixated on Iraq and not where the terrorist actually are. I want the American people to keep voting for G.Bush just so everyone can see just how bad the idea is. Alas the Dems will get in and the GOP will be able to blame them for the mess.

Spanish Appeasement
Carlos, the media -- at least the American media -- was reporting that Asnar was slightly ahead in the polls when the terrorists struck. The fact that he then lost in a landslide suggests to some of us that the Spanish were attempting to appease the Islamofascists by voting Asnar out. Now it may be that the American media just got it wrong (what a surprise!) or that your countrymen were following the path that Europeans have so long traveled over the centuries -- attempting to buy off the barbarians. It didn't work with the Vandals and it won't work with the Islamists. You suggest that the appeasement worked ..."just watch the news..." What will you say when the Islamofacists attempt to reclaim Iberia as part of the Califate? Better dust off your prayer rug.

So that others may be free
Spaniards can be a brave and proud people who willingly shed blood for their own freedom. Maybe things in Iraq might be better if Spain had tripled up on their forces rather than retreated.

Term limits
Bush can't run again.

Details...
We are not going to leave the Iraq-Afghanistan theatre. We will stay there in substantial force for the next 50-100 years just as we have stayed in Okinawa and Germany for the past 60 years.

We will certainly stop policing their streets after the current push to clear Sunni and al Qaeda fighters with al Sadr waiting patiently in Iran. When we hand the country back to the Shiite government al Sadr will be their strong man and our adventure in "nation building" will be at an end.

Thereafter, we should revert to the Powell Doctrine and pound the living bejesus out of any nation that is found to be complicit regarding terrorist attacks until they all learn to cut that sort of thing out. (It might take a while.) When we do this, let the morons pick up their own pieces.

Trying to impose democracy over there (after we beat Saddam) was stretching a standup triple (going for an in-the-park HR) and we got thrown out at the plate. By a mile. So we'll know better next time. When the third base coach puts his hand up...stop.

Ask yourself this, Dave
Who did Aznar initially blame for the bombings?
Who did he incorrectly pinpoint as the terrorists in a cynical manoevre to make political capital out of a human tragedy?

Answer: ETA.

Anyone who has any understanding of ETA knows that a bombing like that didn't remotely resemble their tactics and targets. It had all the hallmarks of Islamic terrorists. Flying in the face of the evidence, Aznar pursued the ETA line to attempt to finally nail them and to take electoral advantage of it.

Significant numbers turned against Aznar precisley because of this exploitation. He miscalculated big time!

"Now it may be that the American media just got it wrong (what a surprise!)... " etc etc

Not being an American, I couldn't say. What I do know is that the blaming of ETA was widely reported in Europe. Whether the American media didn't report what Aznar said then that's a problem with those media outlets. I'm not convinced they omitted it though. I suspect your letting your 'appeasement' line run away with you.

Also, Carlos is correct in saying the PSOE and the vast majority of the Spanish public were against the war in Iraq prior to the bombings, not as a result of them.

Right
I can't disagree with you, Forest. In fact, I've been saying on this board that we should and we will stay for decades to come. I predict a re-deployment to the border areas with strong, quick-reaction forces.

I will disagree with you on al Sadr. He has the full potential of overplaying his hand. I believe there is still a warrant for his participation in the murder of a rival imam. Maliki's successor may enforce the law and call Sadr to account.

Sadr
By all accounts Sadr is currently hiding in Iran.
If he is, the chances of his getting back in and setting up the power structure he had before are slim.

jihad
I support the deportation of all with expired working visas and forged passports from all arrogant arabist countries exporting illegal and anti-semitic, anti-Catholic, un-constitutional terrorism or "militancy" within the United States and any where else as the disgusting and disgraceful towel-headed jihad junkies are violating the Rights of Civilians and Military within the United States and Abroad and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the laws. I am The Nassau County Executive Committee Chairman of The Constitution Party and candidate for The United States Presidency 2008 and 2012 on any available party lines, in Iowa and NH and Super Tuesday and the "whole Enchilada" of CA, where my old Catholic Friend Peter Zakis of Ventura,CA showed me around to Father Serra's hill and rode bicycles around and I met his brother Mark and met Fighting Seabee Father and Mother, and another brother whose name I can't recall, and saw his wife Cristina Garcia Carreras of Stone MT,GA, and child Paul in Valley Stream,LI,NY just last year. Thanks for your time and patience, and I await your signatures on petitions and Federally Insured Bank Checks Drawn on US Banks for my Legal Fund and Political campaigns for The United States Presidency 2008 and 2012, as I have served Honorably over my Constitutionally required 37 Years and fulfilled the Age and Residency Requirements to be the Diplomat -in-Chief, Commander-in-chief, Leader of The Free World, The Boy Scouts of America, and Liberty Advocate Under The Law. Semper Fidelis, Sir Daniel M.J. Tobin, "Rabbi Daniel Shalom, All Patriot, NO Act" Professional Recording Artist to WHPC 90.3 FM, and co-Chairman of Blood Drive, June 16, 2003, and Malverne Synagogue August 15, 2004 with Rabbi Michael Singer. Yours In Grace and Strength, Your next President, Mr. Daniel M.J. Tobin

No Subject
Dave, when you write "you suggest the appeasement worked" you make it sound like I actually did, which is wrong... maybe my poor writing skills in english confused somebody... what I intended to express with "just watch the news" is that spanish people was incredibly wise electing a government that take the soldiers back. My older brother is in the military and certainly I have no desire to put him in harms way because of a war nobody wanted in this country. Everynight I watch the news and thank God my countrymen came back home before the mess was complete, and I feel sorry for the american and iraqui lives that are lost everyday for the sake of nothing, because worl is more dangerous today than it was when the first bomb hit Bagdad

So True
We cannot appease this enemy. The more their tactics seem to work by causing weak politicians to take their eye off of the real enemy, the more power they have. Words matter, and some who disagree on Iraq think that when we leave it will not matter. Even with the doves in power in our country, our troops will probably stay in Afganistan for some time yet. This will keep us as an enemy of al queda.
We had no troops in either place when they attacked us on 9-11.

So True
We cannot appease this enemy. The more their tactics seem to work by causing weak politicians to take their eye off of the real enemy, the more power they have. Words matter, and some who disagree on Iraq think that when we leave it will not matter. Even with the doves in power in our country, our troops will probably stay in Afganistan for some time yet. This will keep us as an enemy of al queda.
We had no troops in either place when they attacked us on 9-11.

Media matters
I am sure that the MSM in Spain is about as dishonest in reporting on Muslim extremeism and violence as they are in this country. They probably took an anti war stance and brainwashed the populace into an appeasement state of mind. Orwell at work.
The press loves Socialists anyway regardless of war issues.

What the hell are you blathering on about, bertly?!?
"I am sure that the MSM in Spain is about as dishonest in reporting on Muslim extremeism and violence as they are in this country."

Dishonest about reporting Muslim terrorism? In the context of the Madrid bombings and the Spanish or European media, what do you mean by this exactly? And give me a few examples from the Euro media while you're at it.
It was terrorism experts (and people with an ounce of common sense) that pointed the finger at Islamic terrorists IN THE MEDIA that undermined Aznar's attempt to blame ETA.
Strangely, it was Aznar - a conservative - that initially chose to ignore the Islamic responsibilty for the bombings.

"They probably took an anti war stance and brainwashed the populace into an appeasement state of mind. Orwell at work."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the gullible public. Yawn, yawn.
I presume the massive demos against ETA terrorism are due to similar brainwashing, huh? Shouldn't the media be siding with their socialist comrades in ETA?
And what's all this 'probably' cr*p? Can you not even be bothered to research it?

"The press loves Socialists anyway regardless of war issues."

Of course they do, bertly. Of course they do. Your letting your prejudices get in the way of looking at the issues.

Blathering
I guess that thru my lack of education and ability to convey a thought, my point was lost. The PC media worldwide has been reluctant to publish articles regarding the dangers of Islamic extremists to freedom loving democracies. Perhaps the fear of offending Muslims trumps the fear of being attacked.
When you consider that most newspapers are written on a reading level of an eighth grader, you could reasonably assume some gullability amongst the readership.
I hope that my post did not seem sarcastic in making my point like yours did.

Good post
" Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Where the terrorist really are
What about the car that pulled up to a checkpoint with two adults and two children in it in Iraq? The guards were less suspicious because of the children in the vehicle. The adults ran from the vehicle leaving the children inside and detonated the car. I would call the people who did that terrorists and probably something worse.

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