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salimma's Journal: Spanish bombing politicizing backfires on Partido Popolare 9

Journal by salimma

Socialists took over the Lower House in Sunday's parliamentary election in Spain, after two terms in office for the People's Party, which was previously expected to win the election.

The PP was criticized by Basques for politicizing the bombing, for instance by immediately blaming the ETA even when evidence to the contrary mounting up, until the announcement that Moroccan terror suspects have been arrested in connection with the terrorist act. The PP-organized marches employed banners promoting the constitution, instead of democracy, which was perceived to be an attack on moderate Basques promoting peaceful means of achieving constitutional changes.

It should also be noted that the outgoing PP government sent troops to Iraq from the beginning, despite over 90% of the population being opposed to the invasion; Turkey, in a similar position, refused to allow US ground troops to invade from its territories. This might just be a delayed backlash; the socialists certainly ran on an anti-war platform, promising to pull out troops by June.

Regardless of whether war in Iraq is justified (I believe an invasion is justified, lying to get one is not, on the other hand), this election provides an inspiration to democratically-minded people everywhere: politicians, lie and ignore public opinion at your own perils.

If only I could be this optimistic about the upcoming Indonesian legislative elections...

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Spanish bombing politicizing backfires on Partido Popolare

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  • It should also be noted that the outgoing PP government sent troops to Iraq from the beginning, despite over 90% of the population being opposed to the invasion; Turkey, in a similar position, refused to allow US ground troops to invade from its territories. This might just be a delayed backlash;

    Unlikely: right up until the week before the voting - when opinion polls are banned by Spanish law - they showed a substantial lead in the PP's favor. Attributing a swing of 18% in the space of a week to events of

    • The events are connected, the Spanish support for the invasion apparently serving as al-Qaeda's casus belli in this case.

      Still, it was PP's election to lose; being so intent on blaming the ETA and Basque nationalists in general probably played a greater role in their loss than the initial bombing itself.

      Note that Spain is not alone in appearing to acquiesce to al Qaeda; US troops were recently pulled out of Saudi Arabia as well, one of the terrorist group's aims. And in any case, Spain might not pull out
      • Note that Spain is not alone in appearing to acquiesce to al Qaeda; US troops were recently pulled out of Saudi Arabia as well, one of the terrorist group's aims.

        Techically, yes Al Queda wanted the US (and UK and French) troops out of Saudi; they didn't want them leaving because their mission was over, though!

        And in any case, Spain might not pull out of Iraq should a transition plan gain UN backing. Which is likely considering the US wants out before its own presidential/congressional elections....

        Unl

        • Why delay that and give the UN an opportunity to mess things up, just to pander to the new Spanish PM?

          No delay would be involved; the Spanish deadline was June 30th, the handover date set as a deadline by the White House.

          And this is not just pandering to the Spanish PM. More troops are needed to secure Iraq, even now; even more so after US troops are reduced in number - tying down one-third your active force permanently in one country is unsustainable.

          I should think a lot of Spaniards would feel rather

          • No delay would be involved; the Spanish deadline was June 30th, the handover date set as a deadline by the White House.

            The White House plan is to hand over power directly to the Iraqis. The Spanish wish appeared to be for that handover to be to the UN instead.

            And this is not just pandering to the Spanish PM. More troops are needed to secure Iraq, even now; even more so after US troops are reduced in number - tying down one-third your active force permanently in one country is unsustainable.

            The Spanish

            • If the US needed or wanted more troops, why are they reducing the total non-Iraqi forces instead?

              Because they still insist that more troops are not needed? There have been arguments on whether this is true or not; ret. gen. Shinseki AFAIR stated quite openly that an occupational force numbering in the hundreds of thousands would be needed to pacify Iraq.

              If there are no troops left to send, and your allies are not likely to supply them in anywhere near the required number, one might as well pretend that

              • Because they still insist that more troops are not needed? There have been arguments on whether this is true or not; ret. gen. Shinseki AFAIR stated quite openly that an occupational force numbering in the hundreds of thousands would be needed to pacify Iraq.

                Such as the two or three hundred thousand currently present, and rising? Already the bulk of the ground work is done by Iraqi troops, with less work for the coalition troops every month - hence the falling death toll, and hence the reduction in force

                • hence the falling death toll

                  Death toll for Americans, or for Iraqis? Those bombing attacks against Kurds and Shi'ites look rather nasty. Not to mention the death tolls.. and the fact that they seem clearly designed to foment discord between the various factions. But no matter, as long as the troops could go home..

                  "No troops left to send"? Where did the remaining 1.3m troops disappear to?

                  Well, the army only had half a million people to play with, I believe. Already, troops participating in the invasion la

                  • Death toll for Americans, or for Iraqis? Those bombing attacks against Kurds and Shi'ites look rather nasty. Not to mention the death tolls.. and the fact that they seem clearly designed to foment discord between the various factions. But no matter, as long as the troops could go home..

                    The troops are being replaced, not removed, and yes the death toll for Iraqis is down dramatically too - by a factor of six from pre-war levels. The security situation isn't ideal, but it is certainly is improving - and so

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