I don't know about this column by Debra J. Saunders in the SF Chron. I don't agree with it, of course, but I'm still piecing together the best response. It's hard though, given that her arguments are so pervasive in today's America.
I don't think they elected violence. Kinda seemed to me like they elected peace.
Here's another neocon column on the naughty, cowardly Spanish.
And here's the sentences I'd like to nominate for the first Phoblographer* Bullshit Bit of the Day Award:
"There are millions of Americans, in and out of government, who believe the swing Spanish voters are shamefully trying to seek a separate peace in the war on terror.
"I'm resisting that conclusion, because I don't know what mix of issues swung the Spanish election during those final days. But I do know that reversing course in the wake of a terrorist attack is inexcusable. I don't care what the policy is. You do not give terrorists the chance to think that their methods work. You do not give them the chance to celebrate victories. When you do that, you make the world a more dangerous place, for others and probably for yourself."
WTF? I'd love to think millions of Americans have dedicated enough thought to Spain to come up with any conclusion at all. But either way - if enough groups attain a separate peace, then what do we get? Peace. Not bad, eh?
And about not giving the terrorists a chance to celebrate victories: I recall seeing a video of a bunch of terrorists sitting around gleefully laughing about how well their plan had worked and that the buildings actually fell over - a bonus! What should we have done to prevent that celebration? Held up the towers with long sticks?
You can't think of methods without thinking of motivations - as was mentioned by phoblog friend Jim Pinkerton, below. I think they celebrate either way. Perhaps more at the margins. But when people die they win.
I still don't know the answers for all of this. But this column certainly doesn't help anyone. Well, no one brave enough to put on a uniform, at any rate.