I was reading Jim Henley last night when I came across this—
The Socialists have apparently won the Spanish elections. So! How many of those who were falling all over themselves with solidarity and compassion yesterday will suddenly discover, and unburden themselves on, deep weaknesses in the national character of our Spanish brethren? I haven’t felt savage enough to start looking yet. Maybe it’s already begun.
—and I immediately thought “Instapundit!” Sure enough, District Attorney Reynolds was already building the prosecution’s case, replete with all the obligatory amicus briefs from Jeff Jarvis, Andrew Sullivan, Mark Steyn, Tacitus, etc. And from National Review, here’s Denis Boyles and Canadian David Frum. The most hysterical–and strangely exultant– comment I’ve come across so far is this passage from the American Spectator:
The people of Europe are determined not to learn a thing. Spain was targeted by Al Qaeda long before the Madrid bombings, long before Iraq, indeed, long before 9/11. (See the many statements of Osama bin Laden.) The Islamic thugs still smart from the Ottoman expulsion from Grenada in 1492. Negotiation and appeasement will not change a thing, if Europe doesn’t realize it’s time to go kill those people.
[W]e had better visit Europe soon, and imprint on our minds and eyes and hearts the images of those gorgeous cathedrals and museums and public works of art, so vulnerable in a civilization that will not defend itself. The whole fabulous mosaic of Western civilization has moved a step closer to the fate of the Bamiyan Buddhas. These 1500-year-old giant statues, carved into a mountain in Afghanistan, were dynamited by the Taliban — in March, 2001.
There’s more than a little anticipatory schadenfreude in that, no?
One of the few lucid moments to emerge from all this expert warblogger analysis of an election they weren’t paying any attention to a week ago came from the Volokh Conspiracy:
[i]Say that Aznar’s party lost in the Spanish election partly because some Spanish voters (it need not have been a majority, or even close to it) thought the Madrid bombings were al Qaeda’s retaliation for the Spanish involvement in Iraq, and wanted to punish Aznar for it. Of course, this might not be the correct interpretation of the election results, in which case the rest of this post is beside the point; but at least right now it seems to be a popular interpretation, and a plausible one.
Those voters’ position would be understandable — perhaps not terribly sound in the long term, but understandable: The deaths were caused by Aznar’s policies, since if he had not supported the Americans (over the opposition of most Spaniards, as I understand), the bombings probably wouldn’t have happened; therefore, let’s punish Aznar, and send politicians a message to prevent this from happening again.[/i]
To which I offer a resounding, “No sh*t.”