Something that really pisses me off about all the coverage surrounding the issue of postponing federal elections, is the fact that every bleeping story out there repeats the canard that the Madrid train bombings turned the Spanish people against the Anzar government and thus Al-Qaeda managed to manipulate the course of the elections in that country. This is simply not true, what turned people against the Spanish government was the fact that it laid the initial blame for the bombings on the ETA (Basque nationalists) and continued to persist in this even after it became increasingly clear that Al-Qaeda was to blame… the Spanish people reacted very negatively to what they perceived was an attempt by the Anzar government to mislead them (and thus avoid blame for the bombings due to their policy in Iraq), even to the point of mass demonstrations in the streets against the government, two days later, immediately preceding the elections. Thus, it can be credibly argued that what turned the course of the Spanish elections was a FAILED MANIPULATION by the government, NOT a successful one by Al Qaeda. If the government had played it straight with the Spanish people, the outcome might well have been different.
A quote from the article above: “Analysts say the public’s anger at the way the government handled the information arising from the investigation, as well as the fact that Spaniards overwhelmingly opposed Spain’s support for the U.S.-led war on Iraq, led to the Sunday defeat of the PP.”
I haven’t seen a SINGLE blessed article on the issue of postponing elections in the mainstream press that points this out when the Madrid bombings are mentioned.
But, of course, the immediate line taken by the Bush administration, and repeated uncritically by our gullible, lazy and far too easily manipulated mainstream press, was that the Spanish people had let themselves been manipulated by Al Qaeda, which of course serves the Bush administration’s political needs then (Anzar’s government wasn’t defeated by legitimate opposition to the war in Iraq) and now (terrorists might seek to do the same here). One might even wonder if they promoted that interpretation, in the knowledge that later on, they would be proposing a mechanism for post-poning federal elections as the result of a terrorist incident.
I urge everyone reading this to write letters to the editor, and write letters to the journalists in question, pointing out the truth about what turned the Spanish people against their government: not the bombing, but outrage over the government’s lies about the bombing. I’m sure that people will connect the dots to the current administration’s habits as well.