Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Diverging views on Spain

The recent events in Spain -- the ascension of the Socialist Party to power and Zapatero's proclaimation to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq by June 30 -- are getting spun in two entirely different directions.

From one end, the Spanish are becoming appeasers who are unwilling to fight the terrorists. By precipitating an abrubt change in Spain's stance vis-a-vis the Bush-led war on terror, Bin Laden's crew has won a victory.

The other argument is that these developments indicate that the Spanish are waking up to the fact that the war on Iraq, while marketed as part of the war on terror, was actually a foolish and costly sideshow -- an endeavor that only promises more blowback for Spain's citizens.

Coincidentally, David Brooks and Paul Krugman typify these contrasting viewpoints in the NY Times today.