Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 16, 2004

Spanish election deals a big blow to war on terror

The Sun's article on Spain's election describes a seminal event in the war on terrorism that portends the unraveling of the U.S.-led global effort against it ("Voters reject Spain's leaders," March 15).

Clearly, one of our staunchest allies in this effort will be pulling back, as the Spanish electorate, for good or ill, has stated it has no stomach for the risks posed by such a policy.

In that respect, the terrorist attack has been sublimely successful.

Spain will likely now join Germany and France in making a less overt effort against terrorism, leaving the United States and the United Kingdom to pursue the current aggressive and pre-emptive strategies (unless either or both President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair's governments are similarly rejected in the next elections).

And based on the success of the Spanish attack, I fear that the next target will be the United States - in an effort to influence our coming presidential election.

The irony is that it can be argued strongly that the president's policies have resulted in stunning achievements in the Middle East. However, the United States apparently has not been able to convince the majority of the people in the West that we are in a global struggle against terrorism which imperils Western ideals of freedom and democracy.

Robert D. Moore

Cockeysville

Sad to see terrorists alter Spain's course

The Spanish people left their manliness at home when they went to the polls on Sunday ("Voters reject Spain's leaders," March 15).

It is sad to see the valiant Spanish succumb to the European Union ennui.

Ted Hartka

Phoenix

I have no opinion on whether the Spanish people should have retained the government they had before the train bombings.

But the fact that the election was decided by terrorists is as despicable as the act itself.

Jack Eisenberg

Baltimore

What if we had done what Spain is doing?

The time is different, and the circumstances are different, but it is interesting to consider the differences between the Spanish response to that country's tragic attack by terrorists and the response of the United States to Sept. 11, 2001 ("Millions in Spain protest attacks," March 13).

If the United States had declared three days of mourning immediately following our national tragedy and refrained from encouraging its rage and desire for revenge for those attacks, would our present situation be different?

Would the world be different?

Shirley Cammack

Sykesville

Spain's vote offers hope for November

The Spanish election: Get your country involved in an ill-conceived war, expose it to increased terrorism, get booted out of office ("Voters reject Spain's leaders," March 15).

One can only hope the same thing happens here.

Franklin Shekore

Columbia

Stand up to terror to live in freedom

No one I know is "for" the war in Iraq; no one I know is "for" the war on terror. But if the recent violence in Spain does not show us that these terrorists are common criminals who will commit horrendous acts, what will ("Bombs rip Spanish trains," March 12)?

These warped, insidious characters have to be hunted down and stopped.

Or maybe we should just sit back and be very careful not to offend them (so they won't hurt us) and someday, the terrorists can take over the world?

Our forefathers probably were not "for" war either. But they knew that if we were to live as a free people, they had to do what was necessary.

Janet Kline

Timonium

Why isn't America guilty of terrorism?

I think we are making a false distinction.

If al-Qaida bombs Iraq war coalition member Spain's trains and kills 200 people, that's terrorism ("Bombs rip Spanish trains," March 12). But if we attack Iraq and kill at least hundreds of civilians and thousands of Iraqi soldiers, that's not terrorism?

People fight with the most effective weapons they have, the ones that have maximum effect on the enemy's will to continue.

For some reason, we believe that our weapons are acceptable and theirs are not. But Iraqis probably wonder what on earth the distinction is we're making.

Pete Westover

Baltimore

Take war on terror to all our enemies

The Sun tried to distance the attack on Spain from the global terrorists who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and numerous other acts of terror ("Death in Spain," editorial, March 12). But its suggestion that each attack by terrorists is a local event is not borne out by the facts.

And while it is true that all Muslims are not terrorists, it is also true that Muslims are the perpetrators of almost all global acts of terrorism.

No one nation is responsible for all the acts of terror, but some nations are havens where the terrorists organize, plan, train and carry out their terrorist acts. These havens must be dealt with.

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