Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Appeasement 1.01

Never in modern history has terrorism been used so openly and blatantly to influence the course of politics of a sovereign nation. In one fell swoop, Spain has been made to alter its foreign policy, by killing large numbers of its citizens and, by implication, threatening to do more of the same.

America did not respond well after the bombing of the marine barracks in Lebanon. Neither did the French when they were attacked. There are other examples. But never was an attack timed so precisely to influence the upcoming elections, while at the same time designed to kill and maim hundreds if not thousands of people for maximum effect.

And it worked. Instead of blaming the murderers, the Spanish blame their government, whom they perceive as being responsible for putting them in harms way. It seems the terrorists themselves are not responsible in any way, according to the Spanish.

The attitude of the Spanish people has wider implications. The murderers have proven (if they needed any further proof) that apart from satisfying their psychotic maniacal needs, they can shape the policy of sovereign nations, and they can do so by using very limited resources. Lives are cheap in more than one respect for terrorists. And they are sure to be planning to "influence" public opinion in the rest of Europe. Thanks to the Spanish appeasement.

Monday, March 15, 2004

No anti-Semitism here

Recently two reporters from a decidedly leftist weekly magazine decided to test how serious the allegations of renewed anit-Semitism really are in Amsterdam (which used to be the home of a thriving Jewish community until the combined might of German arms and Dutch administrative bureaucracy put an end to that).

All the reporters did was put on a Kippah (a small round skullcap) and walk around the city for a day.
They stopped counting the number of times they were told to "fuck off and die" (closest possible translation from Dutch) or that they were "Kankerjoden" (impossible to translate literally, but it means the person uttering the curse wishes cancer on Jews). Without exception, the well-wishers were of either Moroccan or Turkish descent.
Most (if not all) of the time these people were youthful, sometimes little more than children. No one spoke up in defense. Sometimes the situation actually got threatening.

You don't want to be a Jew in Europe these days. Or at least have it known that you are one.
But there's no new or increased anti-Semitism here. Oh no.

The Spanish have voted.

Spain is a nice country. Very nice in fact. Good food, nice wine, agreeable climate,
interesting and diverse landscape.

Too bad such fucking cowards live there. Must be the Muslims right around the corner making
them so afraid.

If you did something that was morally correct, you intervened in a conflict on the street
between an elderly person and a bully, and you suffer some very negative consequences because
of it, should you be sorry? Would you wish you hadn't done it? Would you hesitate to do it
again, because the bully might again take offense, even though he's wrong and you are right?

Will these fucking murderers succeed in making everyone shut up, because you might get bombed
for taking the correct action?

Spain's case is all the more poignant. They were once occupied by Muslims. They are being
invaded again, not by whole armies this time but (much as the rest of Europe) by trickles,
coming over from Northern Africa. Spain does not have much time left to decide between
becoming part of the Muslim nation, or stay part of the civilized world. Yesterday's vote was
a step in the wrong direction.