Home  |   Jihad Watch  |   Horowitz  |   Archive  |   Columnists  |     DHFC  |  Store  |   Contact  |   Links  |   Search Wednesday, January 24, 2018
FrontPageMag Article
Write Comment View Comments Printable Article Email Article
Spanish Lessons in Appeasement By: Aaron Hanscom
TCS Daily | Friday, March 23, 2007

In response to the latest Islamist threat against Spain, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español - PSOE) thought it appropriate to assure Spaniards that "Afghanistan is not Iraq." PSOE officials told news agencies that while the war in Iraq was "illegal," the mission in Afghanistan is being supported by the UN and includes 37 countries. It turns out Islamic terrorists don't care all that much about the distinction.

In a video issued this month by the Global Islamic Media Front, a hooded man warns that the presence of Spanish troops in Afghanistan "exposes Spain again to threats." The terrorist also delivers a message to all those Spaniards who flocked to the polls to elect the Socialists after the March 11 Madrid bombings: "The Spanish people have been tricked by a Socialist government which withdrew troops from Iraq and sent 600 to Afghanistan." So much for Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's assurances that the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq would make the country safer.

The video was shown on "Voice of the Caliphate," a weekly video magazine launched by Al Qaeda in 2005. Titled "Messages for the Governments of Germany and Austria," it advises those two countries to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan and to cease helping the United States and the UN. The references to Spain's presence in Afghanistan are not new. Terrorism expert Javier Jordán notes that the March 11 cell referred to Afghanistan in their communiqués. In fact, the terrorists' very last message called for the end of the supposed "truce" earned after Spain's withdrawal from Iraq. Spain's continued military commitment to Afghanistan was reason enough to continue the jihad in Spain.

In fact, the danger facing Spain is greater today than it was on March 11, 2003. Fernando Reinares, former terrorism advisor to the Interior Ministry and senior analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute, told the Los Angeles Times, "It is undoubtedly true that Spain is much more of a target today than before." One reason for the increased threat level is that Al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, has been calling for the reconquest of Spain about as much as Hamas leaders call for the destruction of Israel. Last month he exhorted Islamists in the Maghreb -- the northwestern part of Africa where 80 % of the 300 terrorist suspects arrested in Spain since March 11 come from -- "to once again feel the soil of Al Ándalus beneath your feet." Previously Zawahiri had called for liberating Muslim land "from Iraq to Al Ándalus."

Gustavo de Arístegui, author of The Jihad in Spain: The obsession to reconquer Al-Ándalus, explains that Muslims don't only want to reclaim Andalucía (the southern part of Spain.) European land that is "occupied" includes 4/5 of the Iberian Peninsula, some parts of southern France, half of Italy, the Balkans, and all the islands of the Mediterranean. But calls for the liberation of Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves on the North African coast) have been the most effective jihadist recruiting tools of late. In December of 2006, 11 Islamist radicals, ten Spaniards and a Moroccan, were arrested for planning to stage terrorist attacks in Ceuta. (Zawahiri responded to these arrests by referring to Ceuta and Melilla as occupied cities.)

Jihadists call the Madrid bombings the "blessed attacks of Madrid." The Madrid cell members who blew themselves up rather than be captured by police are portrayed on jihadist websites as "heroes" worthy of imitating and "avenging." Spain is never referred to on these sites as a country not to be attacked again because it pulled its troops out of Iraq. Nations like Germany and Austria should look on these facts as evidence that appeasement doesn't pay. Caving in to terrorists' demands only emboldens them and doesn't even earn you a respite from their threats of violence.

Click Here to support Frontpagemag.com.

Aaron Hanscom is a freelance writer in Los Angeles.

We have implemented a new commenting system. To use it you must login/register with disqus. Registering is simple and can be done while posting this comment itself. Please contact gzenone [at] horowitzfreedomcenter.org if you have any difficulties.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Home | Blog | Horowitz | Archives | Columnists | Search | Store | Links | CSPC | Contact | Advertise with Us | Privacy Policy

Copyright©2007 FrontPageMagazine.com