While the stunning landslide defeat of Spanish Ruling Party candidate Mariano Aznar is a clear defeat for President Bush and his illegal wa in Iraq, the election results in Spain are a victory for the real war on terrorism.
Aznar went into last weeks’ election with a solid lead, but his campaign collapsed when terrorists detonated a series of bombs in trains and stations in Madrid days before the election, killing 200 and wounding more than 1,500 others.
Aznar, whose party has ruled Spain only since 1996, was defeated by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, which had ruled Spain between 1982 and 1996.
Bush is asserting that the elections were influenced by the terrorism, and that terrorist hijacked the elections. And he is correct. But the election results clearly demonstrated that the people of Spain do not accept the president’s assertions that the War in Iraq is in fact a war on terrorism.
Spain has contributed a token 1,300 soldiers to the so-called Coalition led by the United States and Britain. It’s less of a coalition that a collection of countries that are either subservient to American foreign policy funds or are from Central American banana republics influenced by the U.S.
Zapatero and his supporters have said that they believe that instead of defeating terrorism and violence, Bush’s war in Iraq has encouraged more violence and terrorism, and has done nothing to undermine the terrorists.
And that’s true. Because the war in Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism, and everything to do with President’ Bush’s personal politics. Bush attacked Iraq, not because it was a threat to the United States or engaged in supporting the terrorism of September 11th, but because of his desire to avenge his father’s disdain for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The real war on terrorism remains unprosecuted and on hold. Afghanistan. Osam Bin Laden, intelligence officials have said, continues to operate in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yet Bush has committed hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and lives to Iraq, which was not involved in the terrorism at all.
There is even a suspicion that Bush is saving the arrest and/or killing of Bin Laden for a periods closer to his re-election bid. The Iraq war remains one of the most politically manipulated wars in recent world history.
Worse, in justifying the Iraq war, Bush and his cabinet officials lied about the evidence, misled the American people and certainly probably misled those nations that joined the narrow coalition.
What happened in Spain will probably also happen in the United States in November, when American voters direct their anger at Bush’s lies and their frustrations with his failed policies to fight the real terrorists.
Just like in Spain, a new American president will reassess the American commitment in Iraq which instead of undermining terrorism, has only fueled rebellion and violence. The number of American soldiers killed has exceeded 560 and continues to increase by leaps and bounds. Thousands of American soldiers have been disabled, scarred for life and seriously injured in the war. News about this less successful side of the Iraq war is being carefully managed and censored by the Bush White House and compliant American media.
Sadly, if the United States fails to change course soon, the Iraq war will eventually metamorphose into a bi-product of the originally al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism. If it wasn’t al-Qaeda related on September 11th –” as the facts certainly and convincingly demonstrate –” the Iraq war will transform in exactly what Bush claimed in his enthusiasm to avenge his father’s honor.
That was something that could have been avoided. The expansion of the terrorist front because of inept foreign policy is something that threatens to be a greater tragedy than the one Americans experienced on September 11th.