Three Cheers for Appeasement!


The American Prospect's Matthew Yglesias cites our own Julian Sanchez, among others, in a perceptive piece on Spain and its Socialist government. A little more than two years ago, terrorists killed 201 Spanish commuters in a train bombing. Within a week, Spanish voters ousted a pro-war conservative government and installed the Socialists, who had pledged to remove the country's troops from Iraq.

If anything, Yglesias downplays the hysteria this caused in the Homeland. It wasn't just a few pro-war columnists who accused Spain of "appeasing" al-Qaeda. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said the Spanish had chosen "to change their government and to, in a sense, appease terrorists." Gen. Richard Myers, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, grumbled about how "weakness is provocative." Two years later the Spanish government is happily thwarting terrorists, and Reason's original take (see Doug Bandow, too) is looking like the right one.