All right…this takes the cake.
By now you know that Spain suffered its worst terrorist attack ever, courtesy of al-Qaeda, most likely (though we can’t discount some involvement by the Basque nationalists at ETA). Over 200 were killed, and more than 1500 were wounded in a stunning attack on the train stations at Chamartin and Atocha in Madrid.
You also know that, shortly thereafter, Spain had its parliamentary elections, which squared off the incumbent party (the Popular Party, or PP), against the PSOE (the Socialist Workers Party). The current Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, belongs to the PP. He stepped down in favor of his deputy, Mariano Rajoy, who was squaring off against the PSOE’s leader, Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Through some spectacularly shoddy work, everyone from PM Aznar to Interior Minister Anibal Acebes claimed that ETA was behind the bombings. This despite mounting evidence that either al-Qaeda or a sympathizer group was behind the attack. The night before the elections, a number of people with ties to Arab terror groups were arrested.
Spaniards felt, rightly or wrongly, that the government misled them. So a large minority of them chose to vote the PP out of power, and instead voted for the PSOE.
Bear in mind that these were the same people who were saying only a few days ago things like:
“Now they get it! We must stand strong together! Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the Spaniards in this hour of horror.”
No wonder the “Coalition of the Willing” is composed of, well, just us, and whatever other countries we have yet to offend. I say yet, because, rest assured, we’ll probably find some way to lose a popularity contest to North Korea.
For what it’s worth, my apologies, thoughts and prayers go out to my Spanish blog readers. It’s worth noting that the above are all so-called “anti-idiotarians” (a term I’ve grown to detest), yet that hasn’t stopped them from being moral idiots and imbeciles in this instance. “Anti-idiotarians”, indeed.
UPDATE: Some have written me decrying my response. To which I say: So? Look, the people spoke. Rodriguez, who’ll be the new PM, has said that fighting terror is his top priority (which is more than can be said for our President). So it’s not like they’ll be doing muezzin calls from the minarets of Madrid anytime soon.
And, lest it be forgotten, Spaniards know a bit more about living under the shadow of terrorism than we do. We’ve only known it since 9/11; they’ve known it since 1958 (when ETA was formed), not to count the long dictatorship of Francisco Franco. So, let’s all tread easy here, okay, before we accuse the Spaniards of knuckling under to al-Qaeda, okay?