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Old 03-15-04   #1
lazaruscorporat
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Spain to withdraw troops from Iraq

src: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3512144.stm

Spain 'to withdraw Iraq troops'
Spain's Socialist Party prime minister-elect has declared his intention to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: "The war in Iraq was a disaster, the occupation of Iraq is a disaster."

The Socialist Party won a shock poll victory after voters appeared to turn on the government over its handling of the Madrid bombings.

Spain, with more than 1,300 troops in Iraq, supported the US-led war on Iraq despite much domestic opposition.

Police are quizzing five men over the Madrid bombings, amid reports that one of them has links to a group blamed for attacks in Casablanca last May that killed 45 people.

Iraq pull-out

Mr Zapatero told Spanish radio that no decision would be taken until he was in power or without wide political consultation.

But the soldiers would be pulled out if there was no change in Iraq by the 30 June deadline for transfer of sovereignty.

"Wars such as those which have occurred in Iraq only allow hatred, violence and terror to proliferate," Mr Zapatero said.

Our world affairs correspondent, Paul Reynolds, says that the situation in Iraq may well have changed by 30 June, but whether that influences the new government remains to be seen.

By then the US and UK hope that the Security Council will have given UN approval to the handover plan.

In addition the interim Iraqi government will be asking foreign troops to stay as part of a UN-approved multinational force.

Outsider

Socialists won 42% of the vote, while the centre-right Popular Party won 38% in Sunday's general election, held in the wake of the Madrid train bomb attacks that killed 200 people.


The Socialist win means a change of political direction for Spain

The BBC's Chris Morris, in Madrid, says the bombings did more than shock Spain to the core; they proved to be the decisive factor in the general election that ousted the government.

Mr Zapatero was - until Thursday's bombings - considered an outsider for Spain's top job.

Despite his party's victory, however, there is expected to be much political horse-trading because the Socialists did not win an absolute majority.

While Mr Zapatero said his first priority was to tackle terrorism "in all its forms", he is thought likely to do it in a very different way than the outgoing government.

A larger than expected 77% of the electorate turned out to vote in the wake of last Thursday's attacks.

Our correspondent says the late swing to the Socialists raises one disturbing thought - if al-Qaeda was responsible for Thursday's attacks, it appears to have had significant influence in changing the government of a leading Western democracy.

Investigations are continuing into who was behind the bombings.

A videotaped claim of responsibility by a man identifying himself as al-Qaeda's military spokesman in Europe forced the government to change its stance on the most likely suspects.

The tape - claiming revenge for Spain's "collaboration with the criminals Bush and his allies" - was found in a litter bin on Saturday following a tip-off to a TV station.

'Suspect has al-Qaeda link'

Three Moroccans and two Indians are being held in connection with the attacks.

The three Moroccans being held have been named as Jamal Zougam, 30, Mohamed Bekkali, 31, and Mohamed Chaoui, 34.


The two Indians arrested were named as Vinay Kohly and Suresh Kumar.

Spain's El Pais newspaper reported that investigators had found links between Jamal Zougam and the Salafia Jihadia group held responsible for attacks in Casablanca last May in which more than 40 people died.

One of the targets of the Moroccan attacks was a Spanish cultural centre, where four Spaniards were among the dead.

Reports also linked Jamal Zougam to a Spanish cell of al-Qaeda which was headed by Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, also known as "Abu Dahdah".

Abu Dahdah has been indicted by the Spanish anti-terrorist prosecutor Baltasar Garzon on charges relating to the preparation of the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States.

El Pais said Jamal Zougam was cited at two points in judge Garzon's indictment, but was not charged.

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

So it seems that the US led alliance is starting to crumble, as people replace governments which ignored their views with ones who represent their views.

I think the next possible government to fall will be the Italian one - Berlusconi is in a similar position to the defeated Spanish leader Jose Maria Aznar - he's the head of a right wing government that supported the invasion of Iraq against the wishes of the people of his country. Anyone have any idea when the next Italian election is due?

Added to that, Berlusconi is a corrupt little snake and deserves to be ditched. In my opinion, of course.
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Old 03-15-04   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazaruscorporat
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So it seems that the US led alliance is starting to crumble, as people replace governments which ignored their views with ones who represent their views.

I think the next possible government to fall will be the Italian one - Berlusconi is in a similar position to the defeated Spanish leader Jose Maria Aznar - he's the head of a right wing government that supported the invasion of Iraq against the wishes of the people of his country. Anyone have any idea when the next Italian election is due?

Added to that, Berlusconi is a corrupt little snake and deserves to be ditched. In my opinion, of course.
Spain's election and the withdrawal of 1300 troops from Iraq, is hardly any death blow to the war against terrorism OR our efforts in Iraq.

If it signifies ANYTHING it signifies that a majority of people in Spain wanted a change in leadership and they took advantage of election day to effect that change.

I think it is highly speculative to credit Al Quada with being able to swing an election in Spain, but if that WERE the case, would you consider that good news, or nad news?

Do you think that people all around Europe should cast a vote one way or the other out of fear of what Al Quada might do?

I don't think the population of Europe is ready to capitulate to murderers. I think that the Euopean population ought to resist that sort of tyranny--don't you?
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Old 03-15-04   #3
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what will happen if more countries pull their troops?...i guess more americans will get sent over to die...

as selfish as this may sound, i'm glad my sister is stationed in alaska, i won't have to worry about her being sent over, at least for the next two years.
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Old 03-15-04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHawk
Spain's election and the withdrawal of 1300 troops from Iraq, is hardly any death blow to the war against terrorism OR our efforts in Iraq.

If it signifies ANYTHING it signifies that a majority of people in Spain wanted a change in leadership and they took advantage of election day to effect that change.

I think it is highly speculative to credit Al Quada with being able to swing an election in Spain, but if that WERE the case, would you consider that good news, or nad news?

Do you think that people all around Europe should cast a vote one way or the other out of fear of what Al Quada might do?

I don't think the population of Europe is ready to capitulate to murderers. I think that the Euopean population ought to resist that sort of tyranny--don't you?
I don't think the Spanish voters' position has got anything to do with capitulating or fear of Al Qaeda - that wasn't what I was suggesting - 90% of Spanish people opposed the invasion of Iraq before it happened, but the right-wing government went ignored their wishes, and has been thrown out as a consequence. There were, of course, other factors involved - the perception that the government's intial (unfounded, it seems) blaming of Eta for the bombs was an attempt to make political capital out of the tradegy.

The incoming Spanish government has already made some remarks about separating the two issues of the "war on terrorism" and the invasion/occupation of Iraq - it's happy to support the former, but not the latter. (sorry - no source - heard this on the TV as I was leaving for work this morning).

The withdrawl of 1300 Spanish troops would mean that they either have to be replaced by more troops from one of the remaining members of the coalition, or that the coalition is forced to scale down its operations and/or speed up the process of handing Iraq back to the Iraqis.

More significant is its effect on Europe politics as a whole from a UK point of view, which will be interesting - Blair has lost one of his two main European allies on the invasion of Iraq, leaving just Berlusconi in Italy, whose future may also be in doubt.
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Old 03-15-04   #5
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The Spanish were against the war because they feared the wrath of Islam.

The Spanish have declined since the days of El Cid.
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Old 03-16-04   #6
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Old 03-16-04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazaruscorporat
I don't think the Spanish voters' position has got anything to do with capitulating or fear of Al Qaeda - that wasn't what I was suggesting - 90% of Spanish people opposed the invasion of Iraq before it happened, but the right-wing government went ignored their wishes, and has been thrown out as a consequence.
Nice theory, except the facts say otherwise. The Popular Party was comfortably ahead up to the day before the bombing -- a scant 4 days before the election. Every poll and every political observer predicted a safe victory for the PP. Now, if the voters were planning to fling the incumbents out, why was that fact carefully hidden only days before the polls opened? Clearly, the war position was of little importance to the Spanish voters, otherwise they would have already made that decision and the polls would have reflected that.

To go from a safe lead only days before an election into a landslide defeat is obviously not the result of any deliberated thinking. The voters panicked and punked out.

The terrorists took away a clear, unmistakable message: terrorism works and can affect the elections of Western democracies. God help us.
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Old 03-17-04   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgg9
The terrorists took away a clear, unmistakable message: terrorism works and can affect the elections of Western democracies. God help us.
Are you referring to Spain? Or America?
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Old 03-17-04   #9
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Originally Posted by Denalay
Are you referring to Spain? Or America?
Everyone living in a civilized democracy.

The lesson of the past decade is that terrorism works. Civilized countries lose their nerve and eventually buckle under.
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Old 03-17-04   #10
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The Spanish voted for a party which doesn't want to engage in a war with Iraq.

Thus proof postive that democracy works.

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Old 03-17-04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonwraith
The Spanish voted for a party which doesn't want to engage in a war with Iraq.

Thus proof postive that democracy works.
An obviously incorrect remark since all polls indicated that same party (the Popular Party) was safely ahead with only days to go before the election.

So the "they were expelled because of their war views" line doesn't hold water.
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Old 03-17-04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHawk
If it signifies ANYTHING it signifies that a majority of people in Spain wanted a change in leadership and they took advantage of election day to effect that change.
God bless you RedHawk...god bless you.
I've been saying that for a bit.
And hey..even the article hints at it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarusthingy
over its handling of the Madrid bombings
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Old 03-17-04   #13
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Even Kofi Annan came out and stated he thought that the handling of the Madrid bombings (immediately blaming it on ETA) led to the overthrowing of the administration. The high turnout was in DEFIANCE of terrorists, or didn't you guys notice the millions of people in the streets?
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Old 03-17-04   #14
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Originally Posted by SirVLCIV
The high turnout was in DEFIANCE of terrorists, or didn't you guys notice the millions of people in the streets?
1. Again, all polls showed the incumbents safely ahead days before the election. Note that the Popular Party IS the party that defies the terrorists.

2. What defiance of terrorists? Voting for the party that is candid in their plan to cravenly appease the terrorists is "defiance?" That doesn't even begin to make sense.
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Old 03-17-04   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Preston
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarusthingy

over its handling of the Madrid bombings
Lazarusthingy?

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Old 03-17-04   #16
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The desired file was not found. Please try the index page.

If you are looking for something just ask.

Some areas of the site are securely protected against prying eyes.

We log all traffic to all sites we host, Anyone trying to hack in will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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Old 03-17-04   #17
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And please leave your baseless propaganda (aka lies) out of this section.
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Old 03-17-04   #18
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Satire is funny. Try Jonathan Swift. That's satire.
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