Tuesday, March 16, 2004

If I Didn't Laugh...

Not that it was unexpected. After reading various accounts of why Spaniards voted out Aznar's Popular Party, after hearing wingers say that Sunday's vote was an al Qaeda victory, I was ready for just about anything. So the following paragraph in an Editorial in today's Wall Street Journal(subscription) was not a surprise:

The war in Iraq and Afghanistan is about taking the battle to the terrorists so that we have fewer attacks on our airlines and railways at home. In Iraq especially, Spanish soldiers are helping drain the terror swamp by building a democracy at its Middle East source. To his own and his country's great credit, Mr. Aznar was far-sighted enough to see that if this effort succeeds the entire world will benefit. The emotional wave that elected Mr. Zapatero will soon fade, but the wisdom about terrorism that motivated Mr. Aznar will remain.
As the defender of all things Republican, I suppose I cannot fault the Journal for printing such drivel. Repeat the lie until it is the truth; "Iraq is a central battle in the never ending war on terror." But what is scarier, although no less expected, are these two paragraphs:

The temptation will be to over-interpret all of this as a sign of general anti-terror fatigue in the West. Certainly the terrorists will see it that way, helped along by Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. In a radio interview yesterday, Mr. Zapatero declared that the 1,300 Spanish soldiers serving in Iraq will now "obviously" be called home. "The war in Iraq was a disaster, the occupation is a disaster," he said.

So the terrorists will conclude that, with an investment of only a dozen backpack bombs, they were able to rout a major power. They are sure to try the same thing elsewhere in Europe, and almost certainly between now and the November elections in the U.S. We doubt that an America that has already endured 9/11 would react as the Spanish have, but now is the time for President Bush to begin preparing the public for the worst.
It seems that reading the Wall Street Journal has become like reading Izvestia or Pravda used to be in the former U.S.S.R. We must look through editorials and stories carefully reading for vague - or not so vague - hints about the intents of "The Party." According to the Journal, "now is the time" for us to be "preparing...for the worst." Are we to read that as prediction? As warning? As policy? As bluster?

Such an attack, either in the US, or - more likely - as a friend said to me this morning, a massive, coordinated attack on troops in Iraq and/or Afghanistan would potentially be seen as helping BushCo. But the arguments have been made more cogently elsewhere that just the opposite would entail. I'm not sure. But I really don't want to find out.

I told my friend this morning that what I really wish I could do is to crawl in a hole somewhere and come out just in time to pull the lever in November.

But really, if I didn't laugh about it I swear I'd cry...

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