The Daily Demarche
Sunday, March 13, 2005
On "Spain's 9/11"
March 11, 2004 was Spain’s 9/11. No strangers to terrorism and tragedy, both as Americans and as likely targets for terrorists due to our profile and official status, we here at the Daily Demarche offer, once again, out heartfelt condolences to the victims and survivors of those cowardly attacks.

The response of the Zapatero government to the Madrid attacks is, unfortunately, not worthy of our respect. It is, in fact, almost beyond self-parody. Zapatero, who swept into power after the Aznar government bungled the aftermath of the Madrid bombings, has decided that his country will take on global Islamofascist terrorism by... holding a conference.

If one thing exemplifies the tragically stereotypical European response to something as cataclysmic as the Madrid bombings, surely it is this. A conference, where inbred “experts” can blather on about the varied “root causes” of terrorism. We learn that one of the novel proposals is to forge a strategy of “containment” of terrorism.

I’m not exactly sure what this means, or perhaps I can’t get my mind around the idea that so many PhDs, “experts” and supposedly smart people could fall for this poppycock. By acquiescing to a containment of terrorism, one must by definition allow and condone the existence of terrorism in certain places. According to delegate Louise Richardson of Harvard University, containing terrorists “should be our goal” because terrorism has been around “at least since the time of Christ.”

I wonder if Ms. Richardson would want to move to a country within whose borders we have “contained” terrorism. I can’t think that many people would. I see in this preposterous statement nothing more than an admission that some countries and peoples are beyond saving, that the savages can’t handle any form of government other than the illiberal kind in whose bosom terrorism flourishes. In short, statements like these smack of the same old tired realism that is (sadly) the ultimate conceit of the academic caste and the European elites, which holds that “some people just aren’t cut out for democracy, bless their little hearts.”

Furthermore, in today’s globalized world, containing the ideologies and theologies that create terrorism is nigh upon impossible. In other words, containment is a prescription for disaster. Ideologies travel not only by word of mouth from imam and politician, but by website, text message and blog. Containment, as practiced against the Soviet Union, has absolutely no chance at success against the amorphous, lycanthropic threat posed by al Qaeda. To attempt to ring fence islamic fascism in one country is to write that country off, and inherently a failed venture besides.

I learned an interesting thing when I entered the government: there are a profusion of “experts” who work as analysts, professors, think-tankers, etc, who, given a single area or topic, can blather on at great length about the issue, who can tell you everything about it, all of the factors that come into play, etc. Yet a truly good analyst is hard to find because, for some reason, being able to recite all facts pertinent to an issue is something wholly different from being able to prescribe a realistic, effective course of action. For some reason or another, there are plenty of high-powered M.A.s who can do the former, but someone who can do the latter is worth his weight in gold.

Somewhere, amid the ego stroking, the calls for “unity”, and the endless cliched platitudes that must continually swirl around the conference room, I like to think that someone is finally waking up and coming to the realization that the hemophiliac “experts” really just like to hear themselves talk and sound important. Perhaps, like a winner in the classic game of conference bingo, he or she will jump up and shout “Bullshit!” at the top of his or her lungs, but in all likelihood, he or she will make some hard realizations, chief among them that conferences and mind-numbing platitudes don’t stop terrorists.

While there are no easy answers to the question of stopping terrorism and there are a number of causes of terrorism (of course, when I say “terrorism” you all know I’m primarily talking about the brand used by Islamic fascists to advance their nihilistic vision), the lack of democracy in the middle east must be considered a huge factor in the creation of terrorist entities. Combine this with a religion whose most austere adherents preach nihilism as salvation and stand for nothing less than the subjugation of Western culture, and you’ve got something that begins to approximate where we are today.

I think we’ve known this for some time now, and this is why I think that Zappo’s conference is an utter waste of time. What is needed is not to vainly recite bland cliches, it is to roll up our sleeves and set about recasting the political status quo in the middle east. Naturally the US, as the country with the most at stake, will do the most heavy lifting. But this does not mean that Zappo’s Spain has no role to play.

To be fair, Spain continues to contribute to reconstruction in Afghanistan. But Zappatero’s cowardly withdrawal of troops from Iraq, contrary to his promise to keep troops there under the rubric of a new UN resolution legitimating the Iraqi Interim Government (which we now call SC 1546) did nothing more than embolden our fascist enemies, and has not made Spain safer. If he thinks that hosting a conference will make Spain safer a global terrorist movement that wishes to take over parts of his country, then I truly feel sorry for the Spanish people.

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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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