Thursday, September 30, 2004

Another Victory For Al Qaeda In The Making?

Spanish news agency EFE reports on the Spanish contingent deployed in Afghanistan (no link available, but copied in full):

Spain to bring home battalion from Afghanistan after elections
Kabul, Sep 30 (EFE).- Spain's defense minister said here Thursday that about half of his nation's thousand-plus contingent of soldiers in Afghanistan will be brought home following elections next month.

Defense Minister Jose Bono commented after meeting with President Hamid Karzai, a candidate in elections set for Oct. 9.
He said Karzai asked him for an extension of the presence of the Spanish contingent. The minister said he told the Afghan leader that the soldiers running a field hospital in Kabul would remain, but that a 500-strong battalion in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif would be brought home following the vote.
Bono was accompanied here by high-ranking military officers and a delegation of legislators.
Though the Socialist government withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq soon after taking office in April, the deployment of 1,040 soldiers to Afghanistan, where a U.N. mandate is in effect, was approved by the administration and congress in July. EFE aam/dgm
Note the 'where a U.N. mandate is in effect'. Hey Bono, Iraq has a U.N. Mandate too!

But seriously, I have said it before, by giving off such a clear timeline for withdrawal, combined with Spain's retreat from Iraq in the face of Al Qaeda's bombings in Madrid, this government is inviting another attack, either here in Spain, or on its troops in Afghanistan, towards the end of their stay.

If Spain would decide to stay afterwards, it would do so accepting the theory that their retreat from Iraq was in effect a victory for Al Qaeda, contrary to what the Socialist government has been claiming to anyone who would care to listen.

If Spain would decide to stick to their 'but it was a promise to the Spanish people' spiel, they would also have to retreat from Afghanistan at the set date, again claiming this was promised to the Spaniards. Which means that with an attack, followed by an --again-- much publicized retreat, this time from Afghanistan, Zapatero would have handed Al Qaeda a Game, Set and Match.

To open the door for evicting the Spaniards from the last muslim lands they occupy, Al Andalus.