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Spain is pulling out troops from Iraq

Posted by miguel on 2004-03-15 13:36:05
5 forum posts
Consider this post an update on that first big controversial Iraq post by phduffy in which he argued very convincingly that the war in Iraq was justified. He did this by saying that the most important thing to consider was the alleviation of the Iraqi people's suffering: " How can we be against a war that the people of Iraq supported?"

I don't believe I adequately responded, but after seeing what happened to an amazing country that is right besides my homeland, I think I can now bring up another point, using the bombings in Madrid as an example.

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: It is still not a 100% thing that an Al-Qaeda affiliated group carried out the bombing, but as of this post, the evidence is pointing towards that theory. Consider this argument significantly (but not totally) weakened if ETA carried the bombings out.

The Spanish people voted yesterday for a left-leaning government who will pull Spanish troops out of Iraq. They don't think that troops in Iraq are making the world safer. They think that troops in Iraq are making the world more unstable, and are getting Spain involved in a dispute that otherwise would have nothing to do with it. The Spanish now don't give a damn whether the terrorists declare victory or whether you've decided that the terrorists have won; all they care about are how these events will affect Spain.

If someone tried to use terror to make the Spain change its policy with regards to something they actually cared about or thought was important, they'd probably stand up to them; but why the hell should the Spanish populace soak up attacks like this in retaliation for a war they were against in the first place?

Now, let's just cut ahead in this argument. Some could say that "Giving in to tyranny only encourages it to make further demands",

First, from Spain's perspective, withdrawing troops from Iraq is not, innately, a material victory for terrorism in Spain. They do not think that removing those troops will give the terrorists any additional resources or power with which to assail Spain. They believe, credibly, that Iraq has failed to do any material damage to the terrorist cause whatsoever. Thus, withdrawing from Iraq will not make things any harder for Spain if later demands should force into a final confrontion with terrorism.

And secondly, one might say that withdrawing troops from Iraq, especially in response to a terrorist attack, is a propaganda victory for terrorists who want to encourage attacks against Spain; but again, from Spain's perspective, the simple presence of troops there in the first place is a propaganda victory for terrorists who want to encourage such attacks, and, unlike the act of withdrawing them, it is one could potentally continue for an extended period of time.

On the balance, it would seem that most people in Spain followed this logic and decided that it was less likely that they would be attacked by terrorists if they withdrew from Iraq. Furthermore, by refocusing the resources withdrawn from that war into genuine antiterrorist activity, the Spanish government can both blunt the 'propaganda victory' referred to above and provide more genuine and dependable protection for its own citizens.

In short, Spain is interested in keeping its citizens safe, not simply in kicking ass; and though kicking ass is occasionally an important part of such protections, it is equally important to make certain that one is kicking the correct asses. If you kick the wrong ones then you'll be making more enemies at the worst possible time, wasting efforts that ought to have been directed towards your real opponents, and in general just making a fool out of yourself.

And that last paragraph is the key point to consider in relation to the U.S led war on Iraq. Sure you've liberated the Iraqi people, but in the process you've increased the danger to the entire population of the western industrialized world. There were no terrorists in Iraq before this war (well there was one old Palestinian hiding out that recently died in a hospital) , but in a bitter irony, the U.S operation attracted foreign terrorists by the thousands to Iraq, and gave Islamic terrorist groups an excuse to carry out operations on American allies in the operation (of which my beloved Portugal is a very small one).

Never mind that Iraq is now on the brink of a civil war and that Iraqi security forces, civilians and coalition troops at dying at a daily rate and the U.S has no viable exit strategy for the country in the near future. Meanwhile, more troops die.

So fuck you George Bush and your unilateral "you're either with us or against us" bullshit, my fucking country is now one big bulls-eye because of you and the fucking Portuguese President of the Republic, who decided this was the only way he was gonna get photo-ops with Bush.
  5 forum posts