SALAMANCA, Spain – There is no doubt that the terror attack week and a half ago affected the election here in Spain.
Almost everyone predicted that the Partido Popular, the more conservative party, was going to win the elections handily.
I know several people here who supported Bush’s friend, now-former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, less than his primary rival but who, until the events of the weekend, were not going to vote because both candidates are power hungry, truth-bending… well, politicians.
But when it became clear that the PP, even though it had evidence to the contrary, continued to blame the Basque terror organization ETA for the attacks in an attempt to avoid the political backlash, the voters decided that they had had enough of the current government.
This, along with the fact that Aznar went to war when more than 80 percent of Spaniards were against it, is what led to the upset.
It is not fear, not spinelessness, and not giving-in to the terrorists. The people here elected a new government because they were unhappy with the current one.
But thinking about all of this has led me to an interesting question: Why should we, in the United States or as residents of the West, worry about what any group of terrorists think their effect is? Does it make a difference if members of Al Qaeda have a victory party or go straight back to work planning the next attack?
I thought we were fighting them by killing them, not by reducing their morale.
Furthermore, terror attacks dominate news media for days and weeks, torment the loved ones of every victim, and have become the alleged motivation for a war in Iraq.
Pretending that they have no effect is not only futile and stupid, but it won’t make them stop.
If you doubt this, take a look at the terror attacks between Israel and Palestine – decades of death and destruction and they are still holding strong on both sides. Is this what we want the whole world to look like?
Electing a president because he claims to be the one who hates Al Qaeda more is bowing to the influence of terrorism much more than electing a president based on his policy and his politics.