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Mark Steyn: The Spanish dishonoured their dead
The Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 03/16/04 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 03/15/2004 4:14:39 PM PST by Pokey78

"When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, naturally they will like the strong horse." So said Osama bin Laden in his final video appearance two-and-a-half years ago. But even the late Osama might have been surprised to see the Spanish people, invited to choose between a strong horse and a weak horse, opt to make their general election an exercise in mass self-gelding.

To be sure, there are all kinds of John Kerry-esque footnoted nuances to Sunday's stark numbers. One sympathises with those electors reported to be angry at the government's pathetic insistence, in the face of the emerging evidence, that Thursday's attack was the work of Eta, when it was obviously the jihad boys. One's sympathy, however, disappears with their decision to vote for a party committed to disengaging from the war against the jihadi. As Margaret Thatcher would have said: "This is no time to go wobbly, Manuel." But they did. And no one will remember the footnotes, the qualifications, the background - just the final score: terrorists toppled a European government.

What was it all those party leaders used to drone robotically after IRA atrocities? We must never let the bullet and the bomb win out over the ballot and the bollocks. Something like that. In Spain, the bombers hijacked the ballot, and very decisively. The Socialist Workers' Party wouldn't have won, except for the terrorism.

At the end of last week, American friends kept saying to me: "3/11 is Europe's 9/11. They get it now." I expressed scepticism. And I very much doubt whether March 11 will be a day that will live in infamy. Rather, March 14 seems likely to be the date bequeathed to posterity, in the way we remember those grim markers on the road to conflagration through the 1930s, the tactical surrenders that made disaster inevitable. All those umbrellas in the rain at Friday's marches proved to be pretty pictures for the cameras, nothing more. The rain in Spain falls mainly on the slain. In the three days between the slaughter and the vote, it was widely reported that the atrocity had been designed to influence the election. In allowing it to do so, the Spanish knowingly made Sunday a victory for appeasement and dishonoured their own dead.

And, if it works in Spain, why not in Australia, Britain, Italy, Poland? In his 1996 "Declaration of War Against the Americans", Bin Laden cited Washington's feebleness in the face of the 1992 Aden hotel bombings and the Black Hawk Down business in Somalia in 1993: "You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew," he wrote. "The extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear." To the jihadis' way of thinking, on Thursday, the Spaniards were disgraced by Allah; on Sunday, they withdrew. The extent of their impotence and weaknesses is very clear.

Or, as Simon Jenkins put it in a hilariously mistimed cover story for last Thursday's Spectator arguing that this terrorism business is a lot of twaddle got up by Blair and Bush: "Bombs kill and panic the panicky. But they do not undermine civilised society unless that society wants to be undermined." And there's no chance of that happening, right?

Jenkins's argument, such as it is, is that a bomb here, a bomb there, nothing to get your knickers in a twist about: that's one thing we Europeans understand. But what he refuses to address is the shifting facts on the ground.

Europe's home-grown terrorism problems take place among notably static populations, such as Ulster and the Basque country. One could make generally safe extrapolations about the likelihood of holding Northern Ireland to what HMG used to call an "acceptable level of violence".

But in the same three decades as Ulster's "Troubles", the hitherto moderate Muslim populations of south Asia were radicalised by a politicised form of Islam; previously broadly unIslamic societies such as Nigeria became Islamified; and large Muslim populations settled in parts of Europe that had little or no experience of mass immigration.

You can argue about what these trends mean, but surely not that they mean absolutely nothing, as Sir Simon and the Complaceniks assure us: nothing to see here, chaps; switch back to the Test and bring me another buttered crumpet; when Osama vows to avenge the "tragedy of Andalucia", it's just a bit of overheated campaign rhetoric, like Kerry calling Bush a "liar", that's all.

For the non-complacent, the question is fast becoming whether "civilised society" in much of Europe is already too "undermined". Last Friday, for a brief moment, it looked as if a few brave editorialists on the Continent finally grasped that global terrorism is a real threat to Europe, and not just a Bush racket. But even then they weren't proposing that the Continent should rise up and prosecute the war, only that they be less snippy in their carping from the sidelines as America gets on with it. Spain was Washington's principal Continental ally, and what does that boil down to in practice? 1,300 troops. That's fewer than what the New Hampshire National Guard is contributing.

The other day, the editor of Le Monde, writing in the Wall Street Journal, dismissed as utterly false the widespread belief among all Americans except John Kerry's campaign staff that France is a worthless ally: "Let us remember here," he wrote, "the involvement of French and German soldiers, among other European nationalities, in the operations launched in Afghanistan to pursue the Taliban, track down bin Laden and attempt to free the Afghans."

Oh, put a baguette in it, will you? The Continentals didn't "launch" anything in Afghanistan. They showed up when the war was over - after the Taliban had been toppled and the Afghans liberated. And a few hundred Nato troops in post-combat mopping-up operations barely registers in the scale against the gazillions of Americans defending the Continent so that EU governments can blow their defence budgets on welfare programmes that make the citizens ever more enervated and dependent.

The only fighting that there is going to be in Europe in the foreseeable future is civil war, and when that happens American infantrymen will want to be somewhere safer. Like Iraq. There are strong horses and weak horses, but right now western Europe is looking like a dead horse.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: election; madridbombing; marksteyn; marksteynlist; spain
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1 posted on 03/15/2004 4:14:39 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...

2 posted on 03/15/2004 4:15:47 PM PST by Pokey78 (Steyn: Leftists demonize Wolfowitz because his name begins with a big scary animal and ends Jewishly)
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To: Pokey78
thanks pokey
3 posted on 03/15/2004 4:18:18 PM PST by petercooper (Florida 2000: Bush 2,912,790 - Gore 2,912,253)
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To: Pokey78
If you live in a major US city, you may want to be out of town in November.

Thanks for nothing, amigos

4 posted on 03/15/2004 4:19:32 PM PST by rageaholic
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To: Pokey78
Can we make Mark Steyn the White House press spokesman?
5 posted on 03/15/2004 4:19:53 PM PST by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: Pokey78
Spain: More al Qaeda links found [doc shows Qaeda plan to promote Socialists]-CNN
6 posted on 03/15/2004 4:20:26 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (When the going gets tough, take a siesta?)
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To: Pokey78
The last line is priceless. LMAO!!
7 posted on 03/15/2004 4:20:26 PM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: B4Ranch
steyn ping
8 posted on 03/15/2004 4:20:59 PM PST by glock rocks (molon labe)
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for the ping, Pokey!

Steyn nails it again, on a much more serious topic.
9 posted on 03/15/2004 4:21:12 PM PST by alwaysconservative (JF'nK has invisible friends. Does he hear voices too?)
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for posting before you-know-who.
10 posted on 03/15/2004 4:22:09 PM PST by Roscoe Karns
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To: rageaholic
Actually if an attack happens this year in the US, it will likely come sooner, rather than later. They know that after any attack their will be a reactionary bounce in support of Bush, but over time such bounces fade as the media and Dems find holes, excuses, and myths to pound.
11 posted on 03/15/2004 4:22:44 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (When the going gets tough, take a siesta?)
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To: Pokey78
Put a baquette in it!
He is such an excellent writer.
12 posted on 03/15/2004 4:23:29 PM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and Benedict Arnold.)
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To: potlatch
Ping. Steyn hits another one out of the park.
13 posted on 03/15/2004 4:23:45 PM PST by ntnychik
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To: Pokey78
Right on the money per usual. The WOT is looking more and more like the prelude to WWII. The appeasers are winning and the butcher's bill will be that much worse.
14 posted on 03/15/2004 4:24:00 PM PST by don'tbedenied
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To: Pokey78
The only fighting that there is going to be in Europe in the foreseeable future is civil war, and when that happens American infantrymen will want to be somewhere safer. Like Iraq. There are strong horses and weak horses, but right now western Europe is looking like a dead horse

No one says it like Steyn. And he's dead on.

15 posted on 03/15/2004 4:24:11 PM PST by Nonstatist
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To: Pokey78
In his 1996 "Declaration of War Against the Americans", Bin Laden cited Washington's feebleness in the face of the 1992 Aden hotel bombings and the Black Hawk Down business in Somalia in 1993: "You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew," he wrote. "The extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear."

This should be extremely publicized.
16 posted on 03/15/2004 4:24:16 PM PST by Old Grumpy
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To: Roscoe Karns
;-D
17 posted on 03/15/2004 4:24:46 PM PST by Pokey78 (Steyn: Leftists demonize Wolfowitz because his name begins with a big scary animal and ends Jewishly)
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To: My2Cents
Can we make Mark Steyn the White House press spokesman?






We sure need a better WHPS.
I wish POTUS would ask Newt.
18 posted on 03/15/2004 4:24:58 PM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and Benedict Arnold.)
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To: Pokey78
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the slain.

How does he do it?

19 posted on 03/15/2004 4:25:06 PM PST by Ichneumon
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To: rageaholic; Berliner Baer
We will not tire,we will not falter,we will not fail.

BUSH/CHENEY..'04..for the sake of our nation
20 posted on 03/15/2004 4:25:35 PM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: Roscoe Karns; Pokey78
Thanks for posting before you-know-who.






LOL-LOL-LOL
Ditto RK.
21 posted on 03/15/2004 4:26:14 PM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh and Benedict Arnold.)
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To: Pokey78
America under Bush dared to topple a fascist meglomaniacal dictator and now try to make Iraq into a civilized state for the first time in 500 years. THAT is why the war will never be forgiven by the Left and Europe.
22 posted on 03/15/2004 4:27:44 PM PST by Democratshavenobrains
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To: Pokey78
"Oh put a baguette in it, will you?"

great article by Mark Steyn bump

Hoppy
23 posted on 03/15/2004 4:28:09 PM PST by Hop A Long Cassidy
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To: Pokey78
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the slain.

Sad that I have gone from sympathy to disgust for the people of Spain in 3 short days.

I still have sympathy for the slain and their family, but for the people of Spain who voted for the Socialists...you have my total disgust.

24 posted on 03/15/2004 4:29:08 PM PST by BushisTheMan
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To: Pokey78

He's brilliant. (Steyn, that is.)

Patton was right all along...


25 posted on 03/15/2004 4:29:23 PM PST by Fintan ( 1950)
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To: Pokey78

26 posted on 03/15/2004 4:29:42 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Space Available for Rent or Lease by the Day, Week, or Month. Reasonable Rates. Inquire within.)
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To: Pokey78; Grampa Dave; NormsRevenge; Dog Gone; RusIvan; bogdanPolska12; Matthew Paul; White Eagle; ..
The only fighting that there is going to be in Europe in the foreseeable future is civil war, and when that happens American infantrymen will want to be somewhere safer. Like Iraq. There are strong horses and weak horses, but right now western Europe is looking like a dead horse.

Priceless!!!

27 posted on 03/15/2004 4:30:10 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: MEG33
As opposed to the Spanish motto.....Let's Roll-over!
28 posted on 03/15/2004 4:30:55 PM PST by OldFriend (Always understand, even if you remain among the few)
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To: Pokey78
In his 1996 "Declaration of War Against the Americans", Bin Laden cited Washington's feebleness in the face of the 1992 Aden hotel bombings and the Black Hawk Down business in Somalia in 1993: "You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew," he wrote. "The extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear."

Steyn's evocation of Bin Laden's "leadership" assessment of Bill Clinton should be front page news and a reminder of what Kerry's America will inevitable be like should he win.

29 posted on 03/15/2004 4:33:37 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: Pokey78
Wow, Mark Steyn doesn't look anything like what I imagined from his voice. In fact, he looks a LOT like a friend of mine. Are you related to anyone from Baltimore who now lives in LA, Mr. Steyn? By the way, this essay totally nails it. The Spanish people are like, 'oh, the terrorists killed our people, oh well, lozim gayin. whatever.'
30 posted on 03/15/2004 4:33:52 PM PST by Cinnamon Girl
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To: Pokey78
But even the late Osama might have been surprised to see the Spanish people, invited to choose between a strong horse and a weak horse, opt to make their general election an exercise in mass self-gelding.

I think Spain reacted, in OBL's point of view, in a more natural Western manner. The volcanic reaction on the part of the US to 9/11, *that* surprised him. An understandable mistake on his part.

31 posted on 03/15/2004 4:34:16 PM PST by rightwingcrazy
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To: Pokey78
Yet another gem. But I don't understand the reference to civil war. Since the Euroweenies are in the process of complete capitulation to Islam, the only conflict I can see is between the Muslim victors over how to divide the spoils.
32 posted on 03/15/2004 4:35:39 PM PST by omniscient
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To: BushisTheMan
I totally agree with you.
33 posted on 03/15/2004 4:35:46 PM PST by Old Grumpy
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To: Pokey78
"At the end of last week, American friends kept saying to me: "3/11 is Europe's 9/11. They get it now."

So did a bunch of the effeminate dramaqueens here at FR.

"I expressed skepticism."

I wasn't a skeptic...I said straight out that it wasn't true. I called them cowards and said they'd flee from conflict.

They did.

34 posted on 03/15/2004 4:36:54 PM PST by VaBthang4 (-He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps-)
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To: Pokey78
A melancholy masterpiece...

This capitulation by the Spanish has temporarily taken the wind from my sails...their dead will be unavenged...

35 posted on 03/15/2004 4:37:32 PM PST by Damocles (sword of...)
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To: onyx
That's an excellent idea! We need someone who is not afraid to rip into the morons in the White House press corps on occasion.
36 posted on 03/15/2004 4:38:38 PM PST by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: onyx
I think I know who you are referring to. LOL!
37 posted on 03/15/2004 4:38:42 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: MEG33
...for the sake of the world.
38 posted on 03/15/2004 4:40:24 PM PST by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: Diddle E. Squat
OK then, I think I'll take my vacation in September
39 posted on 03/15/2004 4:45:07 PM PST by rageaholic
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To: Democratshavenobrains; JohnHuang2
America under Bush dared to topple a fascist meglomaniacal dictator and now try to make Iraq into a civilized state for the first time in 500 years. THAT is why the war will never be forgiven by the Left and Europe.

Nominated for "Quote of the Day"

40 posted on 03/15/2004 4:45:12 PM PST by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: My2Cents
I almost added that...for the sake of the world.
41 posted on 03/15/2004 4:46:16 PM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: omniscient
I think the reference to civil war in Europe is to the inevitable clash between a growing Muslim population and traditional Europeans.
42 posted on 03/15/2004 4:47:04 PM PST by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: Pokey78
So much for the Spanish machismo. The next running of the Bulls... the bulls just might interested in mateing not running.. Poor Spaniards.. they just became FRENCHMEN...
43 posted on 03/15/2004 4:48:10 PM PST by hosepipe
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To: MEG33
We're on the same wavelength, then.
44 posted on 03/15/2004 4:49:00 PM PST by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: Pokey78
There are strong horses and weak horses, but right now western Europe is looking like a dead horse.

Steyn hits the nail on the head again.

45 posted on 03/15/2004 4:51:18 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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To: Pokey78
Most excellent.
46 posted on 03/15/2004 4:53:20 PM PST by Jaded (My sheeple, my sheeple, what have you done to Me?)
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To: Pokey78
Steyn says what we all would want to say, if only we were talented enough to say it.
47 posted on 03/15/2004 4:54:01 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Pokey78
BTTT

48 posted on 03/15/2004 4:54:08 PM PST by Gritty ("Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants"-William Penn)
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To: Dog Gone; Gritty; Pokey78; BOBTHENAILER
See this:

The New Spanish Peseta (Currency for the "Coalition of the Wilting")

49 posted on 03/15/2004 4:59:51 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Pokey78
The entire country of Spain is now an OJ Jury.
50 posted on 03/15/2004 5:00:03 PM PST by Wild Irish Rogue
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