Spain to withdraw troops from Iraq


MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's general election winner Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says he intends to withdraw Madrid's 1,300 troops from Iraq.

Zapatero told a Spanish radio station that no decision would be taken until he was in power and without wide political consultation. "But the Spanish troops in Iraq will come home," he added in his first post-election interview with Cadena SER radio.
Apart from the obvious damage to Spain's international relations with the rest of the Allies - does anyone else think that a decision such as this, so soon after the Madrid bombings could send a message to the terrorists that their tactics are working?

The message that should be sent out is that Spains resolve has only been tightened to finish the job they have started - and not to capitulate to terrorism, however shocking and dreadful the bombings were.

Has anyone else got any thoughts?
Couldn't agree more. There's an inherent danger in allowing terrorism to effect the ballot box anyway - and the Spanish people have a lot to answer for here as well. By rights the election should have been postponed to let this one draw itself out.
How many would find this sort of reverse sabre rattling suspicious anyway? I have a sneaking suspicion that the new order will use this threat to lever what they can from our friends across the Atlantic...
does seem that AQ got what they wanted :(
The pressure will be mounting now for the other European countries with troops in Iraq. Pressure from the threat of AQ attacks and pressure from the anti war movement.

I just hope this does not cascade, I wouldnt be suprised if the French and Germans start to turn every screw on the other EU nations in an effort to undermine Anglo/American relations at such a sensitive time. :evil:
The Madrid attack can be seen dispassionately as a successful attempt at regime change.

Unfortunately, if you embark on a venture like Gulf War 2 without substantial international backing, there is neither safety nor strength in numbers. Furthermore, the gung-ho Bush and Bliar attack has acted as a recruiting sergeant for terrorist supporters worldwide.

If you're going to start a fight make sure you have a big gang. It is too late this time (and I think that this sort of terrorism will die out given time) but we need to bear this in mind if any more "regime changes" are planned. Gather international support first and get blue helmets on the ground ASAP. Otherwise, don't bother, as it will be a strategic blunder, as in this case.
Can't help think of the historical parallels. Which parallels? All 100% of every time in human history we've failed to tackle bad things and people head on.

I can't know how things are going to go, but we have to hope that whoever runs the US in December doesn't bottle it, else we might as well pack up the remains of our civilisation and flush them away to get the whole thing over and done with quicker.

If we are to keep the society and values we've grown up to respect we need to do something proactive about it. Today there is an enemy. He doesn't fit the genforce orbat. He doesn't fit the PIRA mold. The closest fit is something like ebola - locally devastating, completely unpredictable outbreaks, self-destroying in its ferocity, undeterrable, untreatable (as yet) and with unknown vectors.

At the same time the general public has no concept of "enemy". Everyone is a normal human being with a different view point that needs to be understood and catered for. AQ needs to be understood to be infiltrated and killed. Looks so far like Spain is handing them their greatest victory yet.

Barbara Amiel has an excellent piece in today's torygraph -
I just cannot comprehend what the Spanish are playing at. The huge demonstrations were excellent, showing solidarity against terrorism.
So then what do they do?
Capitulate totally. Pull their troops out and hope the nasty men will leave them alone.
(At least Blair didn't do it quite so quick with PIRA...)
Exactly how not to deal with terrorism. Expect more atrocities soon, followed by much wailing from the Left.
Firstly the Telegraph article is brilliant and for me sums up the situation perfectly.

I am having trouble comprehending Spain's decision to pull their troops out of Iraq. We are led to believe that the majority of the Spanish public was against the war on Iraq, despite polls before the bombings showing that the PP were far in the lead (the party who took them to war!). But now a new party has got into power they have made the decision to pull their troops out, despite the fact that the troops are no longer fighting a war, but rather policing and supporting willing Iraqis to rebuild their country.

I can only conclude that this is therefore a publicity stunt to try to win the party more support. I wonder how costly such a selfish act will be for the rest of the world.


Book Reviewer
Headrush said:
I am having trouble comprehending Spain's decision to pull their troops out of Iraq. quote]

I think this decision has less to do with Iraq than with internal politics in Spain. I think it is a reaction against the previous administrations attempts to fix the blame on ETA, even to the point of trying to cover up immediate indications that it was an Islamist group who were reponsible.

Also, neither Spain nor ( dare I say) Britain signed up for a long term engagement of its troops in Iraq. It will be interesting to see whether the new Spanish Government carries through with its promise to withdraw IF no interim administration is in place by June.

I doubt every Spaniard will be home by Christmas, any more than our own folk will all be home by then either.

Spaniards don't like being lied to by their Government, any more than we do.....lesson for Mr Blair and Co ?

Vote in the poll 'A year on' NOW!

Le Chevre


just got back from spain , i have seen the public situation first hand , the view spanish public are generally selfish and self serving, they joined the EU only for the extra cash they can get from it, the war was a publicity stunt for PP at low risk, the spanish people dont have the courage or the bottle for war if looks like they end up in body bags ,
the usual latino shite LOOK HARD!, DRESS HARD!, WITH HARD WEOPONRY as long they don't have to fight anybody stronger than them and get their uniform muddy :evil:
nothing like a wide sweeping generalisation to use to kick a nation when its down eh Vespa :roll:


jash said:
nothing like a wide sweeping generalisation to use to kick a nation when its down eh Vespa :roll:
i will admit that there are brave spaniards and even the French have been known to produce the odd brave ones as well

having said that the spanish military record is not very brilliant ,1 spanish foreign legion last seen action in the western sahara possibly 1936 i think now based in Fuerteventura and even then the war memorial can only muster up about 5 names which is standing outside their HQ in Puerto De Rosario, nowadays all they do is get pissed in town, as to the main spanish army they didnt join in the WW2 instead they go round slaughtering each other in the Spanish Civil war , mass shootings of prisoners ( very Brave) throwing 3000 communists prisoners down Ronda Tajo Gorge. the communist werent so innocent too in fact they spared the war by killing a monarchist MP giving Franco the pretext to invade spain from africa, i could go on......

but even then i don't think spain don't deserve this 202+ dead and many more wounded for just going about their business and the scrubby attempt by PP to tar the ETA was an own goal by Anzar and i dont like him as he was a card carrying member of Francos Fascist part, i have no time for two faced toadies.
Sweeping generalisation Vespa, very

The Spanish , voted to remove Aznar, because they felt sick and tired of being lied to. When Aznar tried to blame ETA , in spite of the fact,that to the average Spaniard it didn't have ETA's MO, it was enough.

We have the hump, that we have a Prime minister (May he live a thousand etc etc) who is nothing more than a poodle. Now, if our national pride feels slighted, then imagine what a Latin feels like, to see his/her PM in the same position?

Spanish cowardice? Spanish Civil War, and the Western Sahara might shine a different light on that statement.

The bombing was a godsend to the opposition. To this point, Al-Quaeda still isn't involved, as far as the CIA and the legoites are concerned , that may have changed, I haven't seen the latest news yet, but Spain is pointing the finger at Moroccan extremists, I belive CIA have gone with that as well.

Yes the Spanish PM says he will bring the troops home IF the UN aren't given control . In other words, if we go to the UN position post-elections as promised, the Spanish will stay in the sandpit. It's a point a lot of people seem to miss, especially Americans , who see every criticism of the invasion oooops Liberation of Iraq, as treachery of the first water.

The Spanish exercised their democratic rights. It wasn't so long ago, that they couldn't.

Make no bones, the Dons will hunt terrorists as hard as they can, and the new PM, will want to produce heads on stakes as quickly as possible. There is a lot of activity between Rabat and Madrid right now, let's see what it brings.

Still, there is one bonus for the Spanish people out of this tragedy, I doubt ETA will be bombing anything soon.
so you dont aggree PTP other points 8O :roll:

I think that you need to follow not just the SUNs opinion but actually look at all the facts before you make unsupportable comments :evil:

Spain is still in Iraq, it never said that its was going to be part of an indefinite policing operation, I dont aggree with the way the socialists immediately announced it was calling back its troops but maybe thats what was needed in a country that just had the worst terrorist attack in its history to reassure its citizens.

Your making it sound like its their fault
The older I get, the more cynical I get, and the more I see, the less I believe.

Mark Steyn: I never know how to answer this. Most of my work is for Hollinger Inc, a Canadian media group whose principal assets are in the United States and the United Kingdom.
What more would I expect from a "newspaper" that includes Richard Perle and Henry Kissinger amongst the board of the parent company?

If I want to read a news media that supports and espouses a neocon line, and tries to dress it up as learned comment, I'll watch Fcuxx News or read I've read a few Steyn articles, and they are invariably all the same. Europeans, you stink, America is wonderful, Israel is never wrong.

I'm rapidly inclined to add the Telegraph to the list of papers, that already include such worthies as The Morning Star , the News of The World and The Sun (especially after todays headline you cnuts)
Interesting view from Melanie Phillips' website:

The terrible irony is that it wasn’t support for the war that caused the slaughter in Madrid; it was that the population had advertised their weakness by opposing the war. The terrorists calculated correctly that an atrocity at home would destroy their solidarity altogether.

This has particular resonance for Britain. For there remains a very large anti-war constituency which week in, week out inflicts palpable political damage on the Prime Minister. If al Q’aeda wants to hole the coalition below the waterline, it will therefore be encouraged by Spain’s example to perpetrate an atrocity in Britain.
What are we discussing?

The bias of Phillips and the organs she writes for, or whether one British person is worth 10 foreigners? :D

It's funny really, I don't remember the British People surrendering to terrorism, why should we start now?

Oh I'm sorry is it because we is "Europeans" innit? (We stink)

The terrible irony is that it wasn’t support for the war that caused the slaughter in Madrid; it was that the population had advertised their weakness by opposing the war
Ahhhhhh that explains why we had the Embassy and HSBC blown to hell in Turkey, it's because we "opposed" the war and exposed our "weakness"

The IRA and Germany (Home and Return leg) couldn't expose our "weakness" what makes Ms. Phillips think this new breed of terrorist can? Is her definition of "weakness" that the British will rise up and kick Bluppet out, ek dum?

Utter, sensationalist new labour luvvie spin

More in the same vein from Ms. Phillips

March 14, 2004
Tony Blair told the truth, shock.

Jewish Chronicle, 12 March 2004

It is an odd fact that, despite his reputation for supremely manipulative political skills, the Prime Minister has made such a poor fist of selling his case for the war against Iraq.

Those who are anti-war may say it’s because he took the country to war on a lie. But for those like myself who believe Tony Blair told the truth, it is a tragic mystery that he has not presented the case more cogently.

Last weekend in his Sedgefield constituency, he re-stated facts which have been all but obscured about why we went to war. It was not because of the 45 minute claim, which was actually barely mentioned. It was not because Iraq posed an imminent threat; he had said in terms it did not.

The real fear, as he said at the time, was that tyranny, terrorism and chemical, biological or nuclear weapons might become lethally combined. The key point was that the free world faced a new type of threat from people who were demonstrably prepared to behave in ways previously deemed unthinkable. That became clear on 9/11, which simply altered forever the balance of risk; and in Iraq, Blair’s judgment call was that this risk could not be taken
Oh dear.

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