April 08, 2004


The world record seemed almost unbeatable, but no more:

Prime Minister-elect José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who is due to take office on April 16, has stuck by his campaign promise to pull Spain's 1,300 troops out of Iraq at the end of June unless the United Nations has taken control of the occupation by then. This pledge was made before 10 coordinated bombs ripped apart four commuter trains and killed 191 people on March 11.

But now, many in Spain say they do not think about a UN mandate when they talk about the need to withdraw troops. They say they think about avoiding more terrorist attacks, leaving the new government's motive for a possible pullout uncomfortably out of line with views on the street. It also makes it more vulnerable to criticism from abroad, notably from some Americans, that Spaniards are appeasing terrorists by demanding a troop withdrawal.

In an opinion poll conducted last week for the Spanish radio broadcaster Ser, 38 percent of respondents wanted Spanish troops to stay in Iraq if a UN resolution was passed. Forty-two percent said they wanted troops to come back even if the UN took control of the country.


"This is all the fault of the United States; they got us into this," said Santiago Ruíz, a 55-year-old electrician who lives in suburban Leganés, a block from where the four suspects killed themselves and a police officer on Saturday. "The way to combat terrorism isn't the way Bush has done. Spain is paying the consequences of its solidarity with the United States."

In the city center, Alejandro Rodríguez, 36, agreed: "We should withdraw from Iraq right now. Why wait until June? Do we want to wait for more attacks?" Pointing to the bloody clashes in Iraq between Spanish troops and local Shiites in recent days, Rodríguez said Spanish soldiers were creating enemies.

As Allah Himself says, "Spain's anger at Aznar for initially blaming the Madrid bombing on ETA sure does have a long shelf life, doesn't it? Why, it almost sounds like . . . naaah."

Yeah, naaah.

(this post title is shamelessly inspired by one of Allah's commenters)

UPDATE. And, via Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch, one clear and direct example why the Spanish appeasement -even assuming, just for the sake of the argument, that it may work- immediately transfers the danger to others. Good way to make friends, Zapatero!

[Posted by Franco Alemán from HispaLibertas]

Posted by Tim Blair at April 8, 2004 04:54 AM

I think Alzheimer's is being missed in its early forms, big time.

Posted by: Joe Peden at April 8, 2004 at 06:18 AM

I really don't get this reaction. After 9/11 you could have handed me an M-16 and pointed me at some terrorists and I'd be good to go. I guess it's different when you actually see the towers go down first hand and worked in them.

Still though, I bet a lot of Americans had the reaction of "Somebody find out who is responsibe so we can kick their ass"

If I were in charge of Spain I'd quadruple Spanish forces in Iraq in response.

Posted by: Dash at April 8, 2004 at 06:54 AM

What do you expect of the 55-year-old electrician? Like most people in the country he grew up under fascism and didn't mind it too much. It's better to keep your head down and go about your business. Fortunately, the Anglo-Saxon countries are made of sterner stuff and a little more fond of freedom. Canada was too until its recent slide into idiocy.

Posted by: chip at April 8, 2004 at 07:00 AM

Good point Chip but it still doesn't explain Santiago's dress

Posted by: Hudson at April 8, 2004 at 07:51 AM

Kerry gave his two cents today, saying Bremer should be replaced by a legitimate leader and that the June 30 deadline should be reconsidered.

Think about this for a second. At the same moment that US troops are fighting and dying in Iraq, Kerry effectively sides with Sadr in saying the current government is illegitimate. And then he suggests delaying the handover, which would give Sadr all the ammunition he needs to say the US never intended to leave.

I'm rubbing my eyes at the sheer stupidity of this man.

Posted by: chip at April 8, 2004 at 09:52 AM

i don't recall where, but somewhere on the net, i saw a great cartoon: a bull took the red cape away from a shaking matador, put it up & said " i'll take your pants too!"

Posted by: niels at April 8, 2004 at 11:07 AM

Well, it looks like a whole bunch of Spanish citizens have bought into the theory of feeding the crocodile in hopes that he'll eat you last.

From what I've read, it appears that every time the Spanish government-in-waiting makes a concession, the time limits for nastiness by the terrorists shorten. I guess they'll figure it out eventually .................. maybe even in time to save themselves.

Posted by: ExRat at April 8, 2004 at 12:24 PM

Yeah well who needs them? But I gotta wonder who are they blaming this last little flare up on? And AlQaida's latest orders are to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan. You know what they say, OBL says jump and all Zapatero can think to say is how high?

As for Kerry he also called Sadr a "legitmate leader". Sadr says the attack on 9/11 was a gift from God and Kerry is givng the guy more complements than he gives Bremer.

Posted by: Terrye at April 8, 2004 at 12:52 PM

I note in the SMH today that Latham is going to bring the Australian troops home in June. That's going to be hard since he will not be Prime Minister in June. Or perhaps he will protest or break Howard's arm?

Posted by: allan at April 8, 2004 at 12:57 PM

Tim, that post heading wasn't shamelessly inspired by the comment on Allah's site. It was shamelessly stolen from it!

You've clearly been hanging around Phillip Adams for too long.

Posted by: ABC Al at April 8, 2004 at 02:36 PM

Post wasn't written by Tim, ABC Al.

Posted by: Matt Moore at April 8, 2004 at 02:58 PM

Of course George was right in invading Iraq.

That is how he eliminated AQ and now has Usama in gaol. how could the Spanish complain about that!

Posted by: Homer Paxton at April 8, 2004 at 03:29 PM

Who's hosting this blog, Basil Fawlty? One upon a time, the only thing little neo-con echo's like Tim wanted to talk about was the war. Now it's anything but. Come on bLIAR, there's this here little shooting thing happening over in Iraq. And a lonely neo-con nation is turning it's eyes to you. Tell us how it isn't really so bad, and how it's all an ilusion created by the liberal media and how it's all part of Rummy's grand plan. Or at least how if we just close our eyes and ears it'll all be better in the morning.

Having a lovely war, war-monger? Inciting international war crimes ought to be an indictable offence. Prime suspect: T. bLIAR. Their blood on your hands, armchair geo-political strategist!

Posted by: mifisk at April 8, 2004 at 04:07 PM

If I may quote Joe Katzman from the Winds of Change who puts it rather well:

"If a dead child as a result of America's war to depose Saddam is monstrous, what does one say about all of the children tortured, starved, raped, or worse under explicit, deliberate orders of Saddam's regime, because the U.S. Army was NOT there to depose him? Does this mean that if the war's opponents had succeeded, we could lay all of those consequences at their feet?

Because I'll happily take that trade.

Posted by: Joe Katzman on April 7, 2004 08:33 AM "

Posted by: Katherine at April 8, 2004 at 04:20 PM

mifisk sez Inciting international war crimes ought to be an indictable offence

During the invasion of Kuwait and Desert Storm I, Saddam Hussein engaged in war crimes, by the laws of war. There's circumstantial evidence that he ordered actions that are war crimes during the invasion last year. That makes Saddam a war criminal.

Since mifisk thinks that we shouldn't have invaded Iraq, and that Tim Blair is a war criminal, he obviously a supporter of Saddam Hussein, and is clearly inciting international war crimes, certainly after the fact.

Therefore, mifisk needs to whisked off to the World Court for immediate trial. With luck, he'll be sentenced to clean up expended DU rounds in Iraq. That would be ironic.

PS to mifisk: that's an example of your non-logic, applied to you personally.

Posted by: JeffS at April 8, 2004 at 04:35 PM

After reading "Or at least how if we just close our eyes and ears it'll all be better in the morning.", I have to ask.

Are you from Toledo or Barcelona?

Posted by: papertiger at April 8, 2004 at 04:43 PM

I wonder is Spain is going to replace France as the county filled with the most pussies.

Posted by: mateo_g at April 8, 2004 at 05:07 PM

I from Barcelona - I do not understand.

Posted by: Fiskmifisk at April 8, 2004 at 05:22 PM

It's hard to see the Thais cutting and running. They're pretty tough.

Posted by: David Gillies at April 8, 2004 at 05:45 PM


That's the funniest thing I've read in weeks. Thanks for the laugh. Get out much?

Posted by: hugh jorgan at April 8, 2004 at 06:03 PM

Hey Mifisk, to echo George Bush, "Bring 'em on!" This is the Tet of the Islamofascists - they are shooting their wad and losing. They are just as doomed as the Vietcong in 1968.

To Spain - If 40 years of the Generalissimo taught you to back down in the face of danger then you have no right to freedom. Good luck being Moorish vassals again - just don't ask for Uncle Sam's help in bailing you out. However, we'll ship you plenty of Arabic-Spanish textbooks - you're going to need them.

Posted by: Tommy Shanks at April 8, 2004 at 06:06 PM

"This is all the fault of the United States; they got us into this..."

Sooner or later some bright person HAD to figure out that the US, in collaboration with the JOOOS, has been behind all the Islamists' attacks/wars in various nations in the world. Yep, Bush and the 'world-wide Zionists' arranged 9/11,Bali, and all the other countless actions of the Islamists' world-wide (Phillipines and Sudan, just to mention two).

"The way to combat terrorism isn't the way Bush has done. Spain is paying the consequences of its solidarity with the United States."

It's SOOO obvious. The way to combat terrorism is to yield to their demands. They threaten your country? Agree to whatever they want hoping they will just 'go away'. It's worked sooo well for Israel, who have tried to negotiate for years with terrorists. Why, the ONLY reason it's not worked for Israel is that Israel is being very stubborn and non-cooperative.

The Palestinians want EVERYTHING. Israel is being very obstructionist in NOT YIELDING to these demands. Had Israel yielded, the terrorists would leave Israel alone. How hard is this to understand?

The Islamists are offended by many of our countries' cultures, laws, and beliefs. We have offended Allah by the way we act. The Islamists merely want to appease Allah by ushering in a new Golden Age, where all nations will be ruled by the Quran and Sharia law will be imposed.

The Islamists have had a difficult enough time as it is among the Muslims. They tried to usher in 'Paradise on Earth' in Afghanistan. The Muslims in Afghanistan didn't seem to appreciate this. Now we see the Iranian Muslims revolting against their Islamist leaders. The Islamists only mean the best for all of us and must feel terribly disappointed when fellow Muslims reject what they offer.

So of course, if the Islamists are upset with fellow Muslims you can imagine how upset they must be with non-Muslims who fight against them. Spain realizes the best way is to placate the Islamists. Give them what they want. Keep on giving every time a new request is made. This is the ONLY way to ensure the Islamists' fighters (aka terrorists) will leave you alone.

The only way to ensure peace, and not become involved with nasty wars where people are killed, is to yield to the Islamists' demands. Spain has the foresight to realize this fact. Spain will soon become one of the first Western countries to be part of the new Caliphate.

But, isn't living in the wonderful world of the Caliphs better than war? People are dying in Iraq. We have terrorists in our countries who may blow up more trains, sporting arenas, shopping malls, etc.. What's the harm in just yielding to the terrorists demands? I bet living under a Caliph isn't that bad. At least our soldiers won't be dying any longer.

Thinks of the many pluses the Caliphate will usher in. Women will save thousands of dollars wearing head to toe burkas, with the piece over the eyes. Since nobody, outside family and female friends will see the women, who cares about cosmetic surgery, beauty parlors, etc.. NOBODY CAN SEE YOU. Isn't that a very freeing idea?

Women will never have to travel alone. They'll always have a male relative with them. NO MORE LONLINESS.

No longer will women have to 'do it all', trying to juggle a home and professional life. They will be free to devote all their time to the home.

And crime? Shria has a very good way to ensure thieves will think twice about bothering anyone. Cut off a hand or two and I bet re-offenders will be few. Think of the money we'll save in our prisons.

All the fighting amongst our various political parties, disgusting. Sharia will put an end to that as well. We will no longer have to listen to the fights between left and right. Left and right will no longer exist.

Spain may be way ahead in its thinking. It may have realized the benefits of just giving up and yielding to the inevitable. Spain has realized all the benefits to be had under the world-wide Caliphate using Sharia as the ONLY law.

(Do I have to point out sarcasm for the impaired?)

Posted by: Chris Josephson at April 8, 2004 at 06:58 PM

Rats in the Ranks?
Something's got me thinking and looking around and wondering. The other day I got into a stupid argument with some moonbat (or some seriously dumb clown anyway - I couldn't work out what the fuck he was trying to say - probly not helped 'cus I'd had a few brews, heh heh...). Anyway, he thought the war was all a big fucken joke or something. Yup, war is a barrel of fucken laughs. Real funny. But, bygones and shit, whatever. Anyway, this whole "courage of one's convictions" thing got me thinking about the recent Spanish Elections:

Before the little Spanish bomb, the PPP Government would have won by a comfortable margin of about 60%, and the (token three-and-a-half) Spanish troops would have remained, asleep probably, but in Iraq. Walking-the-walk, in their fuggin' sombreros.

Then, the bomb goes "bang", and suddenly, something like 60% vote for the "Socialists" (the communists, basically) instead (!). The socialists (commies) win, and their troops are outa there!

Here's my question: Where did that extra support come from? Thin fuggin' air?

Bingo, Shoppers: the "new" socialist "converts" were a sizeable chunk of the group that were formerly going to vote for the PPP. Exactly: A chunk of folks who were formerly behind the war suddenly jumped ship, when the going got tough.

When push came to shove, it was PPP voters who lost their fuggin' nerve, not the socialist voters. Sure, I admit that the socialist anti-war wackos never had any nerve to lose, but is it fair to blame them for something they didn't do? Sure it is, but that's not my point!

I ask myself, "What's worse, some limp-dick anti-war pansy who doesn't want to fight, but says so upfront, (despite being proven wrong and a fucken wimp), OR some guy who is all-cock until the shooting starts, and only then shows his true colors and runs-the-f*ck-away? There's gotta be a special place in hell reserved for f*ck-knuckles like that surely? If someone says they've got your back, they better not piss-off just 'cus things get hot back there. No fuggin "grey area" here, am I right hombres?

But this couldn't happen here could it? I mean us Aussies are tough. You fuck with us and we'll rain pain on your shit right? Run away? Not fukkin' likely!

But then I remembered this guy I used to know, called Bill. A few years ago in a pub in Brunswick me and some mates were throwing back schooies, playing pool and minding our own fucking business, when a bunch of bikies started wailing at us because my mate was playing back from the "D". Now my "mate" Bill starts shouting back at the bikies and calling them girls and shit and the next thing they want us outside. Now Bill, who started it, runs-the-fuck-away, and me and my other mate (Paul) have to finish off these bikies ourselves.

I never forgave Bill for that. But we probably all know someone like Bill. All tough talk about how they are "for" the war and how they think it's all a joke and shit like that, but no real guts. Backstabbing sons-of-bitches.

So today, in front of you all, I pledge this solemn vow: Throw all the bombs you want, Osama, you turd, but I'll continue to support any wars our government fights, and the brave men and women who fight the war for us, whatever the cost, until we win the war. If you know anyone like Bill, ask them if they can say the same thing...

We are coming up for an election, and these terrorist fucks are probably going to try to "do a Spain" here - Hint: aim for Bill's house, Mohammad! - and as much as we need to be ready for Osama, we need to be ready for the guys like Bill, our "fair-weather friends", maybe a bigger danger to freedom than the Osama himself.

Posted by: Endgame at April 8, 2004 at 09:41 PM

OK, guys, a little reminder.....

The Tet Offensive was a battle that the Viet Cong lost. Unfortunately, they won the war.

But, the key point is that they won the war because useful idiots -- like mifisk --helped them.

Let's keep that in mind everytime some useful idiot -- like mifisk -- opens his mouth and spews his hate.

So, mifisk, you are entitled to your opinion. It's just too bad that you waste it babbling like a drug crazed baboon.

Posted by: JeffS at April 9, 2004 at 12:59 AM

Show me your example of a imperial conquest that has succesfully won over a hostile nation?

Well, you know, Germany and Japan circa 1945 were pretty similar to what's being done in Iraq now. Anticipating your next response, I'll point out that yes, if the current situation is one of "imperial conquest", then certainly WWII was one, too. (Hey, it's your logic, not mine.)

At any rate, if the Islamists ever get even close to winning (cheered on by useful idiots like you, no doubt), there's always the solution so aptly demonstrated in the third Punic War. That's what empires who feel threatened do. But I guess you're the type who would gladly sacrifice all Muslims if it means you'd be able to say, "See, Bush is an Evil Emperor! I told you so! Nyah-nyah!"

Perhaps you ought to learn a few "lessons of history" before you regret hitching your wagon to the wrong side.

However, I'm relieved in knowing that chronic whiners like you would be the first ones up against the wall after the great Islamist world revolution, so it's not all bad.

Posted by: PW at April 9, 2004 at 01:36 AM

By the way, ever hear of a Phyrric victory? Thought not.

No, because you made the word up.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at April 9, 2004 at 01:37 AM

Phyrric victory

I wonder . . . this must be a pyrrhic victory with phallic overtones.

Posted by: dazed at April 9, 2004 at 01:46 AM

Hey Fisk - are you going to actually offer argument or just scream like a little frightened girl. The US lost Vietnam because they lost the political will to continue the battle, due to detractors not unlike yourself. The Us actually lost very few military engagements and had they been willing to attack the North, would have won. But of course the Chinese and USSR had some opinions on that too, please don't allow that to cause you to actually have to think. If your type wants to take credit for the loss, wonderful, I also hope you are willing to take the credit for the millions of people who were murdered in SE ASia after the US cut and ran away. That blood is on the hands of you and your philsophical forebearers. If you want the same thing to happen in Iraq, stain them again. Once you demonstrate some sign of intelligence, and provide some real counterpoints, I would be happy to explain what is going on, why bullets are flying, and why, if the US doesn't lose its nerve (listening to likes of you) this is potentially the last gasp of the ISlamofascists in Iraq, and the beginning of real change in the Mid East.

To all ... whenever I see Fisk writings I am reminded of that wonderful Monty Python skit about purchasing an argument!

Posted by: JEM at April 9, 2004 at 02:33 AM

Wonderful, just what I expected, you are ignorant. Try again and I would be happy to answer on Iraq, until then, scream away. I have read a number of books, articles, etc, and have been bombarded with more documentaries than you could imagine on the subject. We did very limited bombing north, because political considerations did not allow for it. Cambodia was an enemy staging ground and you know it, if you have read as much as you intimate. And Ho Chi Minh was a ruthless, murdering communist who helped destroy a country. What happened in Vietnam once we left - millions killed or "re-educated", I am sure those boat people were just out for a nice sail, right. And why has Vietnam begun to start very quietly asking for our assistance in their redevelopment - because after 30 years it is one of the poorer places in SE Asia - seems 30 years of communist ideology and "non-violent" interactions with its people and neighbors has left it somewhat behind the times. And that is what you want for Iraq?

In the words of another poster on this blog - "You are a twit."

Posted by: JEM at April 9, 2004 at 03:05 AM

Umm.. did Fisk just get Fisked??

Posted by: JEM at April 9, 2004 at 03:07 AM

Tim - Calling this "appeasement" gives the Spanish too much credit. Appeasement is something you do to avoid a war before it's started. There's been a war on for a few years now.
This is just surrender.

Posted by: ddd at April 9, 2004 at 05:14 AM

A Monty Python skit on mifisk would be HILARIOUS!

Posted by: JeffS at April 9, 2004 at 05:36 AM

I wonder if you all remember when I said, I wouldn't trade ten Euro countries for Australia in a pinch?
Spain is why.

Posted by: Papertiger at April 9, 2004 at 05:13 PM

Here's an Iraqi antidote to mifisk:


Posted by: Sergio at April 10, 2004 at 08:15 AM

Oh, Blogmire! How I luv ya, how I luv ya, my dear old Blogmire! eeek! it's like those geniuses of protest folk rock wrote all those years ago, in I was only 19: "The channel 7 chopper, it chills me to my feet!"

Posted by: Miranda Divide at April 10, 2004 at 09:22 AM


Posted by: JeffS at April 10, 2004 at 10:10 AM

Who let Miranda out of her cage? You know how she leaves bird crap all over the place. Well, I'm not cleaning it up this time!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 11, 2004 at 03:58 AM

Probably some Islamofascist opened her cage, intending to strike terror into our hearts, using an unusual weapon for that breed: logic and reason.


Sorry, couldn't resist that one.....

Posted by: JeffS at April 11, 2004 at 04:19 AM