2004 03 16

David Brooks is trying to be sympathetic to the cowardly Spanish. He doesn’t want to think them despicable:

I’m resisting that conclusion, because I don’t know what mix of issues swung the Spanish election during those final days. But I do know that reversing course in the wake of a terrorist attack is inexcusable. I don’t care what the policy is. You do not give terrorists the chance to think that their methods work. You do not give them the chance to celebrate victories. When you do that, you make the world a more dangerous place, for others and probably for yourself.

So, like, even though Brooks doesn’t know why Spain voted as it did, he still knows exactly what it means? Most of the evidence I’ve seen so far suggests that people were furious about being lied to in the aftermath of a tragedy by people who hoped to make a political gain from it. Shouldn’t Brooks consult an opinion poll before he draws this conclusion? No, here’s what Brooks feels entitled to conclude: “Al Qaeda has now induced one nation to abandon the Iraqi people.” Or perhaps AQ has now created the conditions for one stupid government to completely blow its credibility immediately before an election.

While we’re on the subject of not giving terrorists what they want, I’d like to point out that every time Hamas commits an atrocity against Israelis, the Israeli government breaks off talks with the P.A. Now I know that there are very thorny questions about complicity of both the active and the passive kind between the PA and other terrorists groups. Still, it’s absolutely obvious that the suicide bombings are aimed at breaking down the talks. They’re aimed at provoking collective punishment to further radicalize the Palestinians. That’s the point. And it always works. In other words, in this case the terrorists are repeatedly given the chance to think that their methods work. I’ve yet to see a conservative commentator point that out. Don’t give them what they want, my ass.

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