Monday, March 15, 2004

This quote pretty clearly spells out the party line on the Spanish elections:

"This event rivals 9/11 in terms of a victory for al-Qaeda," says homeland security consultant Randall Larsen. "They just influenced an election. That's a frightening development because it's only going to encourage them."

Kevin Drum, surprisingly, said much the same thing over at Calpundit:

The goal of terrorism is to affect public opinion and to scare people into not opposing the terrorists' aims. If (if!) the Spanish electorate was punishing Aznar solely because they perceived his actions as being anti-terrorist enough to provoke an al-Qaeda attack, the terrorists have accomplished their goal: the Spanish public has shown that if they are attacked they will vote against a politician who strongly opposed the terrorists.

To be polite to Kevin, let me just say I vehemently disagree with this viewpoint. There are all kinds of holes I see in it, but what it really comes down to, as far as I'm concerned, is that any successful exercise of a country's democratic freedoms is a blow against terrorism and tyranny. It's when we start becoming more like our enemies (hel-lo, Patriot Act, I'm looking at you) that the terrorists 'win'. The conflict is one of ideologies, after all. We win when we remain true to our ideals even in the face of terrorism, not by compromising them.

Had the Spanish election been postponed to "deal with the crisis" or some such, that would have given victory to the terrorists. Not a free and fair democratic vote.

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