And Down Goes Blogger!
I think most folks are having a time with Blogger today, so I'll try to post this then I'll take a break. Mary had this link to Legal Fiction--a superb analysis of the Spanish election, which furthermore linked to Juan Cole. It's nice to know I'm in agreement with the professor:
After nearly four years of White House rhetoric stolen from old Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns, the determination in this speech to pursue anti-terrorism with an eye to establishing social peace and creating the conditions of human development hits me as a gale of fresh air.
So this is what al-Qaeda was going for with the train bombs? To create a "grand alliance" of democracies against it? Zapatero's speech is a victory for Bin Laden?
No, it is a defeat only for the Bush administration and the Neoconservative philosophy of Perpetual War...
Earlier in the post, Cole gave a nice bitch-slap to morons like Andrew Sullivan, who's simplistic, pea-brained view of the situation in the Middle East needs to be shown for what it is: bullshit, pure and simple.
There is not and cannot be such a thing as a "war on terror." Terror is a tactic. There can be a global counter-insurgency struggle against al-Qaeda and kindred organizations. But a large part of such a struggle must be to deny al-Qaeda recruitment tools and propaganda victories. The way the Bush administration pursued the war against Iraq, as a superpower-led act of Nietzschean will to power, simply made it look in the Middle East as though al-Qaeda had been right. Bin Laden's message was that Middle Easterners are being colonized and occupied by the United States.
There is no evidence at all that the Spanish public desires the new Socialist government to pull back from a counter-insurgency effort against al-Qaeda. The evidence is only that they became convinced that the war on Iraq had detracted from that effort rather than contributing to it. This is not a cowardly conclusion and it is not a victory for al-Qaeda.
Already, the faith-based purveyors of the "Merukun Way" are trying to use 3/11 as a means of somehow pasting together the last shards of Bush's shattered credibility. In doing so, they're flailing wildly, trying to somehow spin the idea that a Kerry presidency will farm out anti-terrorism to Deputy Barney Fife. Which is horseshit, and a sure sign that they're desperate (along with, of all people DICK CHENEY pressing Kerry to "come clean" regarding just which overseas leaders told him to kick Bush's ass. Hell, DICK, tell me which ones DON'T want that--it's a much shorter list. And while we're on the subject of coming clean...no, this post is getting pretty long already). No, the fight against terror is simply something that demands a little more than a knee-jerk reaction, especially when you're either so stupid or evil that you let the TERRORIST go scot free for two years while you manage to bog down against the WEAKEST country in the Middle East, namely, Iraq--which, for all its brutality, HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11 or 3/11.
No, Spain, as I posted below, did not present Al Qaeda a resounding victory--they presented Bush with a resounding defeat. Dolts like Andrew Sullivan, who seem to view the world through polarized lenses--there are ONLY two possible solutions to everything--are the ones who whine about what a shame the election is, when in fact it's a good sign that the Spanish feel the need to apply grown-up solutions to anti-terrorism efforts--and don't want a leader who plays dress up pilot and stages photo op landings on aircraft carriers--nor do they want his junior partner.