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Friedman on Spain
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Tom Friedman, as usual, makes a lot of sense:


Spain is planning to do something crazy: to try to appease radical evil by pulling Spain's troops out of Iraq even though those troops are now supporting the first democracy-building project ever in the Arab world.

I understand that many Spanish voters felt lied to by their rightist government over who was responsible for the Madrid bombings, and therefore voted it out of office. But they should now follow that up by vowing to keep their troops in Iraq to make clear that in cleaning up their own democracy, they do not want to subvert the Iraqis' attempt to build one of their own. Otherwise, the Spanish vote will not be remembered as an act of cleansing, but of appeasement.

My dream is that the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Spain announce tomorrow that in response to the Madrid bombing, they are sending a new joint force of 5,000 troops to Iraq for the sole purpose of protecting the U.N.'s return to Baghdad to oversee Iraq's first democratic election.

The notion that Spain can separate itself from Al Qaeda's onslaught on Western civilization by pulling its troops from Iraq is a fantasy. Bin Laden has said that Spain was once Muslim and he wants it restored that way. As a friend in Cairo e-mailed me, a Spanish pullout from Iraq would only bring to mind Churchill's remark after Chamberlain returned from signing the Munich pact with Hitler: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."


In this case, given the choice between terror and shame, the Spanish chose both.


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