Monday, March 15, 2004

Realpolitik Redux

I've toned down the majority of the political commentary in my blog of late, but I can't help but comment on the recent events in Spain.

While the terrorist attacks there were a tragedy, the blogosphere is up in arms over the fact that it seems to have influenced the election. Aznar is out and the socialist party is in; Eugene Volokh notes that if the terrorists interpret this (as they are likely to do) as meaning they can influence elections, then we need fear not only terrorist attacks during our own election season but also veto's from cowed nations amongst our allies.

Others point out that the new ruling Spanish party has been quick to speak out against the attacks, and Zapatero has said that terrorism is at the top of his list of priorities; some claim it is doublespeak.

I'm not tuned in as well as most of the blogging pundits, and I've never been to Spain nor do I know anyone who lives there, but the situation as a whole brought a quote by the famous orator, Demosthenes, to mind:

"Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master."

There are two responses to terrorist attacks. The first is "We provoked them, so let's stop doing whatever it is that pissed them off." The second is "These are some evil bastards, and we must exterminate them." There is no compromise with evil, only war, or appeasement, which inevitably leads to enslavement and death. The Bush adminstration may have been heavy-handed and tactless in its response to 911, but it was a damn sight better than sticking our heads in the sand, in my opinion. I just hope Spain hasn't seen it the other way.

Sometimes I wonder if the people who argue for appeasement realize that if al-Quaeda et. al. could set off a world-wide nuclear holocaust, they would.

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