The shock result of the Spanish general election brings with it a day of jubilance in the midst of tragedy. The ousting of José María Aznar's People's party is a victory for the people of Spain who have been seflishly ignored by a man more concerned with his own place in history.
The long term ramifications will affect more than just the Spanish population. As early as Monday afternoon, new Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapater was promising to withdraw his troops from Iraq should the UN not take control of the situation by June 30th. The effect on the Bush alliance could be disasterous. Bush is in the middle of an election year, and the recent bombings in Madrid have brought global terrorism back to the agenda.
If Al Qaeda is responsible, then Spain was probably targeted for Aznar's strong support for the current US foreign policy. The people of Spain seem to have realised that, and have responded in the best way they could.
As with the bombings in Bali and Turkey, which targetted mainly Australians and British interests, these recent attacks have been clearly co-ordinated against one of Bush's stuanchest allies. In reality, the 'alliance' only consists of 5 major nations. The US, Australia, Britain and now Spain have been hit hard and with an election possibly only a year away in the UK, I have to wonder what the odds of a major terrorist attack on the British mainland are.
It is easy to get bogged down with fear. Unfortunately, the more attacks that take place, the more hard-line our governments become. But, as we've seen in Spain if a government remains blind to the people it will be toppled.