Attacks in Spain
terrorism on the offensive
by Matt Solomon, Staff Writer
A major victory in the War on Terror has been won. By the terrorists! The recent bombings of train depots in Madrid on March 11 hold implications far beyond the emotional trauma and disruption that accompanies any large scale attack. This attack has already had enormous ramifications, with many potential effects yet to come. The success of this attack nearly guarantees future attacks.
The short-term goal of terrorists is to make people scared and to make a person focus on his own safety rather than the greater good. In theory this will lead to governments losing the support of the people and consequently withdrawing from whatever activity it is that made their country a target. This has occurred in Spain with record speed. The election of a new Prime Minister in Spain that took place on March 14 had results far from what were expected. The current Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, has been a steadfast ally in the War on Terror, despite the fact that roughly ninety percent of the Spanish population does not support Spain's involvement in Iraq. Prime Minister Aznar's second minister Mariano Rajoy was expected to follow. Yet due to the massive terrorist attack and the resulting fear, the population of Spain elected Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a socialist leader who publicly plans to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq as soon as possible and abandon Spain's role in the War on Terror.
The fact that the devastating attacks had such a quick and profound effect has chilling implications for the future. The attacks in Spain were a great success, so what is to stop terrorists from stepping up their efforts for greater attacks and similar successes?