Friday, March 19, 2004

U.S.: VDH on Spain's appeasement of terrorists

In this FrontPage interview, Victor Davis Hanson is his usual retiring self.

Well, even before the terrorists' communiques were fully disseminated the Spanish electorate voted for appeasement and a socialist government that would distance itself from the United States. This is the most profound example of capitulation since Daladier and Chamberlain and sets a truly awful example: will British, Polish, Italian, and American elections now be presaged by mass murder on the assumption that decadent, affluent Westerners can be intimidated in fear of attacks?

Worse, this was not panic from a fickle leader but an overwhelming expression of public fear and intimidation. I am afraid it confirms what most of us have thought for some time about the Europeans: they want our bases and troops, but only in the shadows and with avenues of distance and denial, as a last guarantee only of their safety in extremis. I wish the Spanish had voted to expel our soldiers as well--but perhaps that will be in the next terrorist demand. And note that the Greeks, who slurred NATO in the Balkans, did nothing for it in Aghanistan, and trashed the US over Iraq, find a bomb at a Citibank office and suddenly are talking of NATO help in their Olympic security-even as the hated Americans are offering our commandos for joint practice operations with them against potential terrorist-like incursions.

As for Spain-and I say this with real remorse given their suffering and national catastrophe-not since Theodosius and the late Romans paid their annual bribe money to Attila have we seen such success in bullying and terrifying a Western nation. It is right off the pages of Gibbon in his discussion of how weak, wealthy, and fearful Westerners paid Goths and Huns before Adrianople and Chalons.  And this is the beginning not the end of it, as we shall soon see.

All Americans feel terrible about the Spanish mass murder, but how can we express our solidarity when the reaction is to repudiate both us and Spaniards who were allied with us? And contrast the American example: 26 days after 9-11 we were in Afghanistan attacking the Taliban and al Qaeda; the Spaniards n 48 hours were turning out to apologize. A sad day for the West.
Ooooh! The interview is priceless. Read the rest of it.


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