Often when hearing some of my fellow students’ opinions, I feel like I’m listening to a condensed and neatly-packed week’s worth of misleading rhetoric from Fox News. The lack of political diversity in some of these positions typically sounds like the children of Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity spewing neo-con banter, such as the view that because the Spanish people ousted the conservative party, terrorism won.
As an “impudent liberal,” as these people would call me, I feel it to be my American duty to respond to these brash, conservative contentions.
Why is every action outside of the extreme Bush agenda a victory for the terrorists? Instead of flinging around “terrorist,” let’s look at the facts regarding Spain.
The self-proclaimed Partido Popular was apparently not too popular after all. They had been defying the will of the Spanish people by allying with the Bush administration. In fact, only 13 percent of the Spanish people were in favor of the invasion of Iraq. I may not be a math major, but 13 percent doesn’t sound very Popular to me. One of Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s pledges during the campaign was to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq. Considering the support for Iraq, I’d have to guess that it was a popular platform.
Following the 3/11 attacks, Spanish government officials blamed ETA – dismissing the possibility that Al-Qaeda was responsible. As mounting evidence refuted the government’s claims, Spaniards criticized the Partido not-so-Popular for withholding information to prevent a foreign policy backlash. Voter turnout was high, especially among youth (what a concept!), at 77.2 percent, 9 percent more than in 2000.
The Spaniards didn’t hand the country over to Al-Qaeda; they were just tired of being lied to by their government. I can relate!
I’ll let Zapatero respond to my neo-conservative friends’ fear-inducing implications that “Socialist” is synonymous to unabashedly soft on terrorism: “My immediate priority will be to combat all kinds of terrorism…The terrorists must know that they will confront all of us together. We will win.”
Spain was combating terror Bush’s way, and look what happened. The fact that the people of a country formerly known as one of our closest allies elected a leftist, anti-Iraq party does not indicate a victory for Al-Qaeda; on the contrary, it does indicate a victory for the people of Spain, who sought to punish the Partido un-Popular. I share similar sentiments as I look forward to punishing the Partido Republicano in November.
Chris Fisher can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.