A lesson to be learned

March 16th, 2004 – 6:54 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

As they are wont to do, certain commentators on the right, who at first had nothing but sympathy for the Spanish people after the horrific bombings in Madrid, now apparently have nothing but disgust for them. They go so far as to accusing Spanish voters of “appeasing” Al Queda by voting out Prime Minister Aznar’s party. Of course, it’s a ridiculous charge, both because the new PSOE government has said it will redouble its efforts in the war on terror (though they don’t think having troops in Iraq has anything to do with that) and because Anzar’s party got voted out because they tried to manipulate the March 11th tragedy for their own political purposes:

So, the PP knew that their antiterrorist policy (against ETA) was one of its main winning cards, and they didn’t hesitate to blatantly manipulate the 11-M attack, suppressing information, calling people to demonstrate against ETA, knowing all the while that the Antiterrorist Information Brigade had as good as discarded ETA authorship a few hours after the attack. The antiterrorist police heads even threatened to resign at the madness of it all, and this was leaked to the opposition and the press. And all the while the state TVE showing documentaries about ETA activities right until late Saturday night, on the eve of the election, and failing to report live on Minister Acebes informing about the Al-Q line of investigation which he had been forced to acknowledge – forced by his own angered police heads and by the media which had all the information but was withholding it just long enough for the Minister to do the decent thing. This heartless manipulation of the dead for political gain clinched it – it was the last straw, it galvanised a portion of apathetic socialist voters who would have otherwise abstained, galvanised first-time voters, and galvanised Izquierda Unida voters (which include communists) who opted for heaping their vote on the PSOE for a higher chance of defeating Aznar (IU lost 5 seats because of that). In Spain, government change has always been heralded by a higher participation of voters. In a nutshell, many Spaniards felt badly abused, and acted accordingly. So, yes, 11-M influenced the vote, but not because we are overcome by fear, or because we think that we can avert further attacks, but because we will only put up with so much lying and manipulation, and especially not when it is the dead and their families that are being heartlessly and shamelessly manipulated.

You can read a good piece about all of this here, and another excellent one here.

[via Atrios and Sisyphus Shrugged]

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