The Political Werewolf
If you know me, then you know I'm a big political nut. So, I've decided to add my own personal flavor to the realm of political discussion. We'll be talking about various issues - some of them having to do with current events, others perhaps more on a philosophical level. But in any case, you're free to respond to whatever you read here, either by E-mail or on the message board.
All righty, here we go.
If the events that occurred last week didn't shake everyone out of the complacency that terrorism isn't still a threat to this country, then those people should be kept as far away from a polling booth as is humanly possible come November.
In case you haven't heard, terrorists have struck again, and they struck hard. This time, instead of hitting us on our own soil, they turned their rage against one of our staunchest allies: a train station in Spain was bombed on Thursday, killing over 200 people. Evidence is accumulating that pins this attack on Al-Qaeda. Most importantly, this attack took place but three days before Spain's national elections, and it goes without saying that the bombing influenced the result of the elections.
In short, the terrorists won.
In the wake of the attack, the Spanish people decided to remove President Jose Maria Aznar - who eagerly joined our Coalition of the Willing when we invaded Iraq last year - and replaced him with a socialist. If that doesn't scare the living daylights out of you, then you ought to hear two of the things this new president has sworn to do in his early days in office:
1) Pull out all Spanish troops from Iraq unless the UN gets involved.
Now, let's just forget all the small little jabs that could be made here. I could make a lot of hay about this proving that the war in Iraq wasn't unilateral, and that Al-Qaeda did have an interest in keeping Saddam Hussein in power, but at this point all that stuff goes by the wayside. It's backburner to the single most frightening ripple that this attack caused: in bombing one of our few outright allies in the war on terrorism, we lost that ally. The people of Spain instead chose someone who comes right out and says that not only will he by-and-large surrender, but he will help campaign for someone in this country who will likely do the same thing.
In my last column, I described my biggest disagreement with the current President, and threatened not voting for him in order to get my point across. After what happened in Madrid, and the fallout thereof, I immediately decided that any quarrels I have with Bush's immigration policy can wait. This country must remain in Bush's hands. Neither I, nor any person who truly is interested in this country's safety, can let John Kerry win the White House at this point. As the attack in Spain reminded us, the stakes are much too high.
Let's not forget the whole point of terrorism: to strike fear in the hearts of its witnesses. The terrorists hope that in committing their acts of murder and destruction, it will make the people of that country weak and capitulating. In the case of Spain, it worked - they voted in someone who has already displayed a distaste for military action and has promised to get out of harm's way. This is the exact opposite message we need to be sending to the terrorists. If terrorism strikes, we have to meet it head-on and confront it. That's the only way we're ever going to get rid of it. They can't be negotiated with, they can't be contained, and they certainly can't be appeased.
The election of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will no doubt embolden Al Qaeda and other terrorists in two ways: first, this new president falls squarely in the category of an anti-military appeaser, who is likely to hesitate and make concessions when confronted with the threat of terror - his promise to pull troops out of Iraq only confirms this intent. But even more frightening, they have discovered that they have the power to influence presidential elections - a power that they might consider using when it's our turn to vote for president.
I think it's been in the back of a lot of people's minds that we might get attacked in the future. Now, I'm sure of it, and I have a sinking feeling that this attack will take place near the election. And once again we as a people will be forced to face the obvious: that there exist a group of people whose mission statement is to see this country, and everything it stands for, smoldering in flames. If we aren't willing to come to this realization - and keep it in the forefront for as long as it takes - then this country is doomed.
Mark my words. If John Kerry is elected president, this country will be a target for terrorism around the clock. Kerry has displayed no desire or intent to combat these terrorist groups. He lacks the leadership necessary to make concise decisions on how to act in the face of terror. If the man won't take a stand on low-ante issues like gay marriage or No Child Left Behind, then how can we trust him to make the difficult choices when our country is physically threatened? We can't.
At best, he'll defer to the socialists in the UN to tell him what to do. At worst, he will capitulate to the terrorists, like the battered wife who blames the abuse on herself. And it will be four long, horrifying years before the American people will be able to do anything about it.
What happened in Spain is a message that should come in loud and clear to the rest of the world: When terrorists try to stare you down, the worst thing you can do is blink. That's what they did in Spain, and I fear the repercussions of this act will be felt all over the world.
3/1/04: Why I'm Not Voting for Bush
2/22/04: The Natives Are Restless
12/17/03: Catching the Rat
12/9/03: Thank God for Freedom of Religion
10/8/03: We're Not Gonna Take It
8/27/03: Getting Rid of Splinters
7/14/03: Where's the Utopia?
6/30/03: Minority Reports
6/9/03: With a Capital D and that Rhymes With D and that Stands for Democrats
5/26/03: Where's the Harm?
5/12/03: The Ten Questions a Liberal Will Never Answer
5/5/03: Let The Fun Begin
4/21/03: It's My Money, Not TheIRS
4/14/03: Bush Won - Get Over It
4/7/03: Conservative Business 101
3/31/03: I'm a Celebrity - No War in Iraq!
3/24/03: Patriotism vs. Nationalism