The warblogosphere has gone into a predictably frenzy over the Spanish election results. In my previous post, I argued, from an antiwar position, that it was a mistake to interpret the result as punishment for Aznar taking a prominent stance in the struggle against terrorism. Now, following Micah’s advice I’ll present a couple of points that might be more convincing to those on the other side of the fence from me (or at least the subset who are open to argument of any kind).
First, it seems to be universally agreed, and was certainly believed by the PP government, that it would have electorally beneficial had it turned out that the bomb was planted by ETA. But the Aznar government was notable for its hardline stance against ETA. If the Spanish people were the cowards painted by their erstwhile admirers, this would make no sense.
Second (as far as I know), there has been no suggestion from the Socialists that Spanish troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan. If the Spanish people are terrified of bin Laden and want to appease him, it seems strange to show this through continued backing of attempts to capture or kill him and prevent the restoration of the only government that’s ever openly embraced him.
fn1. Of course, the same point applies to most opponents of the war in Iraq. The great majority supported the overthrow of the Taliban. Of the minority who opposed the Afghanistan war, most did not do so on prudential grounds but from a position of general opposition to US foreign policy (eg Chomsky).