Monday, March 15, 2004
In the wake of the Madrid bombings, the Spanish electorate has thrown the conservative party out of power and replaced them with the Socialist Workers Party. One of the key reasons listed was that people were angry that the government's support of the Iraq war resulted in this attack. One of the new Prime Minister's first acts will be to bring Spanish troops home from Iraq.
This is the stunning difference between the United States and Europe. After 9-11, our response was to show the terrorists that not only that they couldn't break us, but that they were the ones who weren't safe. Hence the invasion of Afghanistan and the denial of Iraq as a potential safe harbor. Spain suffers a devastating terrorist attack as well. Their response is to vote in a government that will acquiesce to Al-Qaeda demands and show that terrorism does work. In short, Al-Qaeda broke their will in less than a week. That is shocking and a bad sign. Will the rest of Europe similarly knuckle under to Islamic terrorism?
Europe needs to wake up to the fact that this isn't just about Iraq. This is about a terrorist organization that loathes everything about the West and will do everything it can to bring them to their knees. And if you show them that bombings bring results, the only thing you'll get in return are more bombings. Al-Qaeda has stated that one of their goals is to regain the territories that Islam has lost over history. This includes the Andalusian region of Spain. If more bombings occur, will the Socialists give them back Granada?
The only answer that terrorists understand is violence. That makes some people uncomfortable. But we are not dealing with people who are rational, who are willing to negotiate. They see that as a sign of weakness. They want to wipe us out. We have to be willing to respond in kind. The only way to defeat Al-Qaeda is to expunge it from the face of the earth, roots and all.
How is this done? We must first continue to hunt down and eradicate terrorist cells around the world. Not to imprison them, not to negotiate with them, but to kill them. That is the only way to ensure they don't come back. The next step is to confront the sponsors of terrorism. Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan. These nations are the hotbeds of radical Islam, the birthground of these vicious terrorists. They must be told in no uncertain terms that this must end. That we will not tolerate their support of these groups. If they refuse, we must be willing to take any action necessary to achieve our goal. Be that sanctions, assassinations of political leaders, support of rebel movements or limited invasions, these bases of support must be removed or this war will never end.
And it is a war. These terrorists want us gone from the face of the earth. We have to be willing to do the same with them, or else they will have a perpetual advantage in this struggle.
The United States responded properly in the wake of 9-11. In the aftermath of 3-11, the Spaniards blinked. The question is, what will the rest of Europe do?