Zapatero and Neville Chamberlain: Peace in our time
He is trying to put a non-appeasement face on it, but it is doubtful that this will be seen by anyone as anything but appeasement: CNN reports that the incoming Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, is going to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq by June 30.
He says he’s going to fight terrorism at home. But now Al-Qaeda has adjusted Spain’s foreign policy with a bombing. Will they not be justified in thinking they can adjust her domestic policies — and religion, and culture — with a few more bombings? The greatest glories of fabled Al-Andalus may yet lie in the future.
ADDENDUM: The Spanish PM-elect is spinning his election as a referendum on Iraq. However, in the caves and highlands of Afghanistan, the Al-Qaeda leadership is not interested in the niceties of legality, disclosure and intelligence that are currently swirling in the West around the Iraq invasion. They see the war in Iraq as a jihad — indeed, as one segment of a global jihad — and they will not see Spain’s withdrawal from Iraq as anything but a victory for jihad and confirmation that terror works.
This fact remains quite aside from all questions of the validity of the Iraq invasion. Osama bin Laden, if he is alive, and other radical Muslim terrorists will see it the same way they saw Bill Clinton’s withdrawal from Somalia in the 1990s: as proof that the West is weak, unwilling to fight, and ripe for the plucking.