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Thread: Commentary On The Madrid Bombing

  1. #1
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Herewith a summation of an American point-of-view by an improbable author; not too long:

    To Die in Madrid
    The nutty logic that says Spain provoked Islamist terrorism.
    By Christopher Hitchens
    Posted Monday, March 15, 2004, at 12:28 PM PT


    I can remember when I was a bit of an ETA fan myself. It was in 1975, when a group of Basque militants assassinated Adm. Carrero Blanco. The admiral was a stone-faced secret police chief, personally groomed to be the successor to the decrepit Francisco Franco. His car blew up, killing only him and his chauffeur with a carefully planted charge, and not only was the world well rid of another fascist, but, more important, the whole scheme of extending Franco's rule was vaporized in the same instant. The dictator had to turn instead to Crown Prince Juan Carlos, who turned out to be the best Bourbon in history and who swiftly dismantled Franco's entire system. If this action was "terrorism," it had something to be said for it. Everyone I knew in Spain made a little holiday in their hearts when the gruesome admiral went sky-high.

    The Basque country, with its historic capital in Guernica, had been one of the main battlegrounds against Hitler and Mussolini in their first joint aggression in Spain, and many European families adopted Basque orphans and raised money for the resistance. It is tedious to relate the story of ETA's degeneration into a gangster organization that itself proclaims a fascist ideology of Basque racial uniqueness, and anyway one doesn't need to bother, since nobody any longer argues that there is a "root cause" of ETA's atrocities. In the face of this kind of subhuman nihilism, people know without having to be told that the only response is a quiet, steady hatred and contempt, and a cold determination to outlast the perpetrators while remorselessly tracking them down.

    However, it seems that some Spaniards, and some non-Spanish commentators, would change on a dime if last week's mass murder in Madrid could be attributed to the Bin-Ladenists. In that case not only would there be a root cause—the deployment of 1,300 Spanish soldiers in the reconstruction of Iraq—but there would also be a culpable person, namely Spain's retiring prime minister. By this logic, terrorism would also have a cure—the withdrawal of those Spanish soldiers from a country where al-Qaida emphatically does not desire them to be.

    Try not to laugh or cry, but some spokesmen of the Spanish left have publicly proposed exactly this syllogism. I wonder if I am insulting the readers of Slate if I point out its logical and moral deficiencies:

    Many Spaniards were among those killed recently in Morocco, where a jihadist bomb attack on an ancient Moorish synagogue took place in broad daylight. The attack was on Morocco itself, which was neutral in the recent Iraq war. It seems a bit late to demand that the Moroccan government change sides and support Saddam Hussein in that conflict, and I suspect that the Spanish Communist and socialist leadership would feel a little sheepish in making this suggestion. Nor is it obvious to me that the local Moroccan jihadists would stop bombing if this concession were made. Still, such a concession would be consistent with the above syllogism, as presumably would be a demand that Morocco cease to tempt fate by allowing synagogues on its soil in the first place.

    The Turkish government, too, should be condemned for allowing its Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to visit the shattered synagogue in Istanbul after the latest mass murder (thus becoming, incidentally, the first Turkish prime minister ever to do so). Erdogan is also the first prime minister ever to be elected on an Islamist ticket. Clearly, he was asking for trouble and has not yet understood al-Qaida's conditions for being allowed to lead a quiet life. Not that he hadn't tried—he prevented the U.S. Army from approaching Baghdad through what is now known as the Sunni Triangle. He just hasn't tried hard enough.

    It cannot be very long now before some slaughter occurs on the streets of London or Rome or Warsaw, as punishment for British and Italian and Polish membership of the anti-Saddam coalition. But perhaps there is still time to avoid the wrath to come. If British and Italian and Polish troops make haste to leave the Iraqis to their own "devices" (of the sort that exploded outside the mosques of Karbala and Najaf last month), their civilian cousins may still hope to escape the stern disapproval of the holy warriors. Don't ask why the holy warriors blow up mosques by the way—it's none of your goddam crusader-Jew business.

    The other countries of NATO, which has now collectively adopted the responsibility for Afghanistan, should reconsider. As long as their forces remain on the soil of that country, they are liable to attract the sacred rage of the Muslim fighters. It will not be enough for Germany and France to have stayed out of Iraq. They cannot expect to escape judgment by such hypocritical means.

    French schools should make all haste to permit not just the veil but the burqa, as well as to segregate swimming pools and playgrounds. Do they suppose that they deceive anybody when they temporize about God's evident will? Bombings will follow this blasphemy, as the night succeeds the day. It is written.

    I find I can't quite decide what to recommend in the American case. I thought it was a good idea to remove troops from Saudi Arabia in any event (after all, we had removed the chief regional invader). But, even with the troops mainly departed, bombs continue to detonate in Saudi streets. We are, it seems, so far gone in sin and decadence that no repentance or penitence can be adequate. Perhaps, for the moment, it's enough punishment, and enough shame, just to know that what occurred in Madrid last week is all our fault. Now, let that sink in.

    Edit: comment as to length of article.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Oh dear.

    Just another "If you don't agree with the way we do it you must be a supporter of the other side" diatribes.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    Originally posted by lynx
    Oh dear.

    Just another "If you don't agree with the way we do it you must be a supporter of the other side" diatribes.
    That is the j2k4 way...

    That whole article could have been summarised in one line.

    "The bombings had nothing to do with Spain sending troops to Iraq"

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
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    As ever I take an entirely simplistic view. Those who indiscriminately killed hundreds of civilians and maimed countless others are mass-murderers.

    Someone who attacks the army of an oppressor may have some justification for describing themself as a freedom fighter. The oppressor may consider them a terrorist, however I see both points of view as being valid (from their perspective)

    Someone who attacks totally civilian targets, who cares not whether he kills or maims men, women or children. They are a mass murderer and should be treated as such. They should be apprehended and tried. If guilty they should be sentenced appropriately, in the country which the crimes were committed.

    Everything else, every "justification" or "mitigation" which they present should be ignored. Freedom fighters do not set off bombs on trains which have no military significance whatsoever.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Originally posted by leftism+16 March 2004 - 19:25--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (leftism &#064; 16 March 2004 - 19:25)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin-lynx
    Oh dear.

    Just another "If you don&#39;t agree with the way we do it you must be a supporter of the other side" diatribes.
    That is the j2k4 way...

    That whole article could have been summarised in one line.

    "The bombings had nothing to do with Spain sending troops to Iraq"[/b][/quote]
    Just my opinion, lefty, but you do seem to think the 200+ dead and 1400 wounded are more directly attributable to America than Al Qaida.

    And no, I&#39;m not missing anything.

    As I am sure you will begin with your questions now, I will stop here.

    Please limit your inquiries to this post, and not the column, which I find merely ironic, given it&#39;s author&#39;s political leanings.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Originally posted by j2k4+--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (j2k4)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Just my opinion, lefty, but you do seem to think the 200+ dead and 1400 wounded are more directly attributable to America than Al Qaida.[/b]


    No I don&#39;t, and for the second time in 2 days I am forced to ask.. "please quote the relevant part of my post that led you to believe this.", and for the second time in 2 days you will fail to answer for obvious reasons. Keep your wild unsubstantiated accusations. oh sorry opinions to yourself, unless you wish to do the unthinkable and provide some proof (for a change).

    <!--QuoteBegin-j2k4

    Please limit your inquiries to this post, and not the column, which I find merely ironic, given it&#39;s author&#39;s political leanings.[/quote]

    You mean go off topic? No. If you don&#39;t have anything to say about the article other than "its ironic" why bother starting a new topic off with it? Because it&#39;s just another way for to attack the Spanish people for their heresy (disagreeing with the US), that&#39;s why.

    The article has been criticised and interpretations of it&#39;s content have been given. If you have nothing to say about this then this topic is at an end.

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Originally posted by leftism+17 March 2004 - 10:48--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (leftism &#064; 17 March 2004 - 10:48)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin-j2k4
    Just my opinion, lefty, but you do seem to think the 200+ dead and 1400 wounded are more directly attributable to America than Al Qaida.
    No I don&#39;t, and for the second time in 2 days I am forced to ask.. "please quote the relevant part of my post that led you to believe this.", and for the second time in 2 days you will fail to answer for obvious reasons. Keep your wild unsubstantiated accusations. oh sorry opinions to yourself, unless you wish to do the unthinkable and provide some proof (for a change).

    [/b][/quote]
    I meant by the tenor of your attitude toward me, lefty, as the ugly American.

    Anyone who reads your posting must note your contempt toward America, and towards me in particular.

    Other than your insulting level of intolerance for my opinion, you post from inside "Fortress leftism" is if you are immune to criticism.

    Now you denigrate the column and my intent in posting it.

    This smacks of typical liberal elitism.

    Anyone who reads your posting relative to the subject of the Madrid terrorism would agree that it contains more vitriol toward me than empathy for the victims of the attack.

    That is a fact, lefty, not a wild, unsubstantiated accusation".
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Jesus christ, enough is enough.

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Originally posted by ilw@17 March 2004 - 13:07
    Jesus christ, enough is enough.
    I agree.

    I am done with this.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    Originally posted by ilw
    Jesus christ, enough is enough.
    You&#39;re right. So instead of defending myself against j2k4&#39;s wild and still unsubstantiated accusations I&#39;ll just point out one thing.

    j2k4 still hasn&#39;t touched the topic. If this thread has gone down the drain it&#39;s due to his inability to handle conflicting viewpoints and his enthusiasm for off topic, personal attacks as a "backup plan".

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