[Allan Topol / AllanTopol.Com]
Lightning paced thriller writer
of International Intrigue
National Bestselling Author

A Double Victory for the Terrorists
by Allan Topol, [IMAGE]2004


Photo Courtesy: Julie Zitin
[Allan Topol / AllanTopol.Com] On March 11 Muslim terrorists scored a major triumph on a very sad day for Spain and the rest of the world. In the election on Sunday, Spanish voters handed the terrorists an even greater triumph. They demonstrated that terror pays. It gets results.

It is no accident that the Spanish attacks occurred on March 11. Much is made of the significance of the date relative to September 11. But that's not the point. March 11 was three days before the Spanish election.

The issue was clear. The incumbent Popular Party and its candidate Mariano Rajoy had been steadfast supporters of President Bush, the American led war on terror, and the ouster of Saddam Hussein. The opposition Socialist Party and its candidate, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, were committed to halting support for the war on terrorism and bringing Spanish troops home from Iraq. He favored having Spain "take its rightful place in Europe," a euphemism for siding with Germany and France against the Americans.

Prior to the March 11 attack, Rajoy led by a comfortable margin and seemed destined to slide into victory. Then the cruel and sadistic attacks occurred on the Madrid trains.

Thursday night when I watched television footage of the attack and the carnage, I was horrified. It brought home all too vividly September 11. The world had become small. We are all vulnerable. No matter where we live.

I hoped that the Spanish people would turn out in unprecedented numbers to vote for Rajoy, sending a message to the terrorists that the vast populace is resolved to breaking their vicious trail of violence and will not bend. That the Spanish nation is committed to redoubling its effort to root out the terrorists, regardless of where they are operating.

Sadly, that did not occur. Instead, a nation in grief, by giving the Socialists an overwhelming victory sent a much different message to the terrorists. Their votes can be interpreted as saying, "we'll give you what you want. Just leave us alone." Since the terrorists aren't about to close up shop, implicit in the message of the Spanish voters was, "attack someone else." Americans, British, Italians and Poles are the obvious candidates. What a travesty!

This whole episode reminded me of high school when a bully demanded a quarter from classmates to avoid a beating. A number paid, and the bully had a good thing going. Then several other boys in the class got together and beat up the bully, making it clear to him that unless he suspended his blackmail game, he would get more beatings.

Utilizing appeasement and hoping that criminals in the world arena will bother someone else didn't work in Europe in the 1930s. It won't work now.

Shortly after September 11, I received a message from a friend in France. "I want you to know we are with you Americans in spirit at this sad time and in YOUR battle with the despicable terrorists," my French friend wrote. What the March 11 attacks establish is that it's not merely an American battle. The struggle belongs to the entire western world.

September 11 occurred well before the war in Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein. So that couldn't have been a cause. Europe refused to wake up to the fact that a group of hardcore Muslim extremists had declared war on the Christian world and its values. This was the next round in the crusades. For those who had any doubt, one of the messages last week referred to Spain as the "crusader nation."

Quite apart from the Spanish government's support for Bush and the war in Iraq, Spain is a logical place to hit in this new crusade After all, Spain was a predominantly Muslim country for nearly 800 years during a period of great intellectual enlightenment while the rest of Europe endured the dark ages. In the fifteenth century, uneducated hordes from the north swept down over the Pyrenees to conquer the Iberian peninsula. The Muslim population was forced to convert or to flee south into Morocco. Most stayed and watched the burning of their books. The destruction of their civilization.

Now five hundred years later, comes another round. Another clash of civilization. The roles have been reversed.

Fleeing into the arms of France and Germany won't solve the Spaniards' problem. Unless the entire western world increases its commitment to the war on terrorism, the next attacks could come at the French opera or a bunch of German beer halls.