Lisa Fabrizio
March 17, 2004
Spain's deadly disconnect
By Lisa Fabrizio

In scenes mixed with equal parts confusion and nauseating carnage, the world got its latest reminder last week that the War on Terror continues. Two hundred men, women and children in Madrid were blown to smithereens and thousands more wounded by what inevitably appears to be the handiwork of homicidal Islamists.

Many are puzzling over the exact motive behind the attacks. Were they in retaliation for Spain's support in Operation Iraqi Freedom or are they an attempt to redress the humiliations of Islam's defeat during the Crusades? The answer is of little importance when compared to the message Spain will send in her response to the atrocities.

Sunday's victory of the Socialists does not bode well for the rest of Europe. They have allowed foreign terrorists to determine the outcome of their elections and by extension, their foreign policy, which was their explicit intent. Exit polling revealed that many Spaniards blamed the attacks on Prime Minister Aznar's support of the Iraqi War.

This is a strange reverse disconnect for those who continue to maintain the canard that there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and terrorism. President Bush long ago made that connection. What many of his detractors fail to understand is that the War on Terror is a war against all global terrorists and not just Al Qaeda. They also fail to see the importance of a free Iraq in that war, but our enemies see it clearly.

The aim of the terrorists is clear: to divide and conquer through fear and intimidation. In Iraq, Al Qaeda agents attack the Shiites and blame it on the Sunnis hoping that they will foment civil war and turn on Coalition forces thus thwarting democracy in its infancy. But as terror thug and Al Qaeda associate Abu al-Zarqawi pointed out in a recently captured letter, their window of opportunity is fast closing; "How can we kill their cousins and sons and under what pretext, after the Americans start withdrawing?"

Many believe that the Iraqi liberation itself caused the infiltration of Al Qaeda into that country. This notion is puerile and utter rubbish. Al-Zarqawi himself has been in Baghdad at least since May of 2002, as was noted international terrorist and murderer Abu Nidal until his "suicide" that same year. Ansar al-Islam, another Al Qaeda affiliate, has trained for years in Northern Iraq.

In a country under totalitarian rule, these types of groups do not easily move about without detection. Think of Chicago during prohibition or the era when New York City was ruled by the "Five Families" of The Godfather fame. Does anyone seriously believe that Iraq's own Al Capone would allow Osama's boys to operate in his territory without his permission, support and cooperation?

Or are we to assume that the current terrorizers in Iraq suddenly sprang from the earth in the midst of one of the most intensely occupied areas of the world without pre-established contacts, safe houses, arms, equipment and money? There are foreigners getting in to be sure, but they need support already in place to thrive.

Those who claim that bin Laden's hatred of secular rulers such as Saddam would preclude his accepting the Butcher of Baghdad's support might try to reconcile that with his hatred of the Royal House of Saud and the bankrolling of Al Qaeda by same.

Iraq is now a main battlefield in the War on Terror though there are and will be others. As the primary goal of the Islamists is to crush secularism and replace it with the rule of Sharia law, the prospect of many millions of Muslims living in a democratic society would be a crushing blow to their cause.

And as al-Zarqawi points out, they are losing; "We can pack up and leave and look for another land, just like it has happened in so many lands of jihad. Our enemy is growing stronger day after day, and its intelligence information increases. By god, this is suffocation!"

One of the lands they used to occupy long, long ago is now feeling their hatred. During his trial, Zacarias Moussaoui, the "20th hijacker" often prayed for the destruction of America and "to Allah for the return of Andalusia, Spain." Last week's bombings may have been the first salvo of the next phase of the War on Terror-the reclamation of former Muslim lands-and the capitulation of the Spanish electorate its first casualty.

Legend has it that when the last Moorish king fled Grenada, he looked back, sighed and then wept. His mother admonished, "Do not weep like a woman for what you could not defend like a man." Let us hope that Spanish mothers may never have cause to repeat those words.

© Lisa Fabrizio

 

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Lisa Fabrizio

Lisa Fabrizio is a freelance columnist from Stamford, Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.

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