Sunday, March 14, 2004

Politics and culpability in Spain 

I've popped awake the last couple of mornings, eager to contribute some original nanothought to the discussion of the bombings in Madrid, but I have nothing to add, other than another emotional outburst. Yesterday, I was all hopped up to rant about the Spanish government leaping to the conclusion that the killers were Basque seperatists, and the Security Council going along. It seemed to be yet another example of the Europeans wishing to deny the magnitude of the Islamist threat. Then the blogosphere reminded me that Spain was holding elections today, and various articles pointed out that Spain's ruling party probably had an interest in blaming the Basques, at least until the polls close at 2 p.m. EST today.

Apparently Aznar's party, the Popular Front, has been very tough on the Basques, so voters might reward the Popular Front if the Madrid killings were the bitter fruit of that ancient struggle. However, most Spaniards opposed Aznar's support of the war in Iraq, so the received wisdom holds that voters will punish the Popular Front if the killers turn out to be Islamists.

All of this would trouble me more, except for my cold hope that the Popular Front wins today's election. So blame the Basques until this afternoon, and then let's get to the truth.

The truth, by the way, remains unclear this Sunday morning. As I write this, Kondracke and Barnes (yes, I'm actually watching Fox) are staking out opposite positions on the likely perpetrators of the Madrid bombings. Could they both be right?

In any case, here's the most recent A.P. roundup on the bombings and the elections. There is lots more where that came from over at Little Green Footballs.

UPDATE: It appears that the Socialists, and therefore the terrorists, have won in Spain. They both campaigned on a program to remove Spanish soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq, and they both won. Read the whole sad story at LGF, and drink in the analysis at Instapundit, which has an excellent round-up.


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