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igloo

Open letter to the people of Spain

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Open letter to the people of Spain

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Posted: March 16, 2004

By Laura Mansfield

The terrorist attack that massacred 200 of your countrymen, and injured over a thousand, was a horrific act. The world grieves with you. We all know it could have happened to our people in our countries just as easily as it happened in Madrid last Thursday.

But no matter how tragic and horrible that act was, it was not a victory for the terrorists.

The victory for the terrorists in Spain came on Sunday.

The professed goal of the attack, according to numerous al-Qaida communiques, was to punish Spain for its support of the United States in the war against Iraq.

Sunday, in your free elections, you voted to place the Spanish Socialist Workers Party in power. This morning your new leadership announced that it would withdraw the Spanish troops from Iraq, and in effect abandon the coalition.

Your actions proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to al-Qaida that if they kill enough people in a mass-casualty attack they can swing the popular vote. You've proved they can influence elections.

You have just guaranteed that the United States will sustain a mass-casualty terrorist action on our soil before our November elections. After all, maybe we too can be frightened into a policy of isolationalism. You probably also doomed Tony Blair's government in England to the same fate. How many will die in terror attacks in the United States and England in order for the terrorists to try and intimidate us?

In 1937, your countryman Pablo Picasso created a masterpiece depicting the horrors of wars in Guernica. That same year, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made this statement:

We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.

He entered into a policy of appeasement with Germany, instead of taking a stand and drawing a line in the sands of time. The end result was that Adolf Hitler had more time to strengthen his hold on power and perpetrate a holocaust not just on the Jews of Germany, but on much of Europe.

At the same time, your countrymen were giving their lives in a struggle for freedom in Spain.

You were not afraid in 1937. Where is the courage of 1937?

The message you sent to al-Qaida yesterday was clear: "Please don't threaten us; please don't kill our people; we'll do what you want us to do."

Why are you allowing the terrorists to intimidate you now? Why do you let them win?

What happened?

I leave you now with the words "Hasta la Vista." Call us when you need us. You will be calling – your actions in response to the Madrid terrorism attack guaranteed it. And when you call us, we will come and help. Even if al-Qaida threatens us and attacks us. We don't let fear cower us into appeasement or surrender. That's the kind of people we are.

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Laura Mansfield is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience dealing with Middle East issues. She is fluent in written and spoken Arabic, and has an excellent understanding of the complex cultural, religious and historical issues of the region. Her experience includes nearly seven years living and working in the region for a wide range of private and government clients.

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Originally posted by igloo

Open letter to the people of Spain

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted: March 16, 2004

By Laura Mansfield

The terrorist attack that massacred 200 of your countrymen, and injured over a thousand, was a horrific act. The world grieves with you. We all know it could have happened to our people in our countries just as easily as it happened in Madrid last Thursday.

But no matter how tragic and horrible that act was, it was not a victory for the terrorists.

The victory for the terrorists in Spain came on Sunday.

The professed goal of the attack, according to numerous al-Qaida communiques, was to punish Spain for its support of the United States in the war against Iraq.

Sunday, in your free elections, you voted to place the Spanish Socialist Workers Party in power. This morning your new leadership announced that it would withdraw the Spanish troops from Iraq, and in effect abandon the coalition.

Your actions proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to al-Qaida that if they kill enough people in a mass-casualty attack they can swing the popular vote. You've proved they can influence elections.

You have just guaranteed that the United States will sustain a mass-casualty terrorist action on our soil before our November elections. After all, maybe we too can be frightened into a policy of isolationalism. You probably also doomed Tony Blair's government in England to the same fate. How many will die in terror attacks in the United States and England in order for the terrorists to try and intimidate us?

In 1937, your countryman Pablo Picasso created a masterpiece depicting the horrors of wars in Guernica. That same year, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made this statement:

We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.

He entered into a policy of appeasement with Germany, instead of taking a stand and drawing a line in the sands of time. The end result was that Adolf Hitler had more time to strengthen his hold on power and perpetrate a holocaust not just on the Jews of Germany, but on much of Europe.

At the same time, your countrymen were giving their lives in a struggle for freedom in Spain.

You were not afraid in 1937. Where is the courage of 1937?

The message you sent to al-Qaida yesterday was clear: "Please don't threaten us; please don't kill our people; we'll do what you want us to do."

Why are you allowing the terrorists to intimidate you now? Why do you let them win?

What happened?

I leave you now with the words "Hasta la Vista." Call us when you need us. You will be calling – your actions in response to the Madrid terrorism attack guaranteed it. And when you call us, we will come and help. Even if al-Qaida threatens us and attacks us. We don't let fear cower us into appeasement or surrender. That's the kind of people we are.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Laura Mansfield is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience dealing with Middle East issues. She is fluent in written and spoken Arabic, and has an excellent understanding of the complex cultural, religious and historical issues of the region. Her experience includes nearly seven years living and working in the region for a wide range of private and government clients.

:clap2:

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