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Now that Spain has rejected its pro-American government in the wake of the Madrid bombings – and Osama bin Laden has effectively become the Spanish foreign minister – the question is not so much “Why did this happen?” but “What took so long?”
What is really surprising is not Spain’s spectacular act of appeasement, but the fact that the anti-terror Aznar government bucked Europe’s prevailing winds in the first place. For over 30 years, Europe – including Spain – has been preparing for this moment, i.e., doing everything possible to transform itself into the newest homeland of a resurgent political Islam.
The renowned historian Bat Ye’or explains that the European Union has since 1973 been constructing “a whole infrastructure of alliances and economic, industrial, media, cultural, financial bonds with the countries of the Arab League.” This new Euro-Muslim entity – which she has dubbed “Eurabia” – has been consciously intended to become “a counterweight to American power” on the world stage, “whose aim was to separate and weaken the two continents by an incitement to hostility and the permanent denigration of American policy in the Middle East.”
Eurabia is a political and economic entity. Through a succession of international agreements, Europe agreed to support the Islamic world’s political aims – particularly its anti-Israel stance – in exchange for favored treatment in Arab world markets. Observes Bat Ye’or: “From the outset the [Euro-Arab dialogue] was considered as a vast transaction: the EC agreed to support the Arab anti-Israeli policy in exchange for wide commercial agreements.”
The fallout has been cultural and demographic as well, as Bat Ye’or details in her forthcoming book, “Eurabia.” In exchange for the opening of Arab markets, Europeans encouraged Muslim immigration into Europe, discouraged assimilation of these immigrant populations, and fostered the dissemination in Europe of Islamic perspectives on history and contemporary politics. Meanwhile, European foreign policies were brought into harmony with the aims and goals of the Islamic world.
This “shifting of Europe into the Arab-Islamic sphere of influence,” Bat Ye’or explains, was intended to break the “traditional trans-Atlantic solidarity.” To deflate American power and assure themselves a steady supply of oil, European leaders accepted “the traditional cultural baggage of Arab societies, with its anti-Christian and anti-Jewish prejudices and its hostility against Israel and the West.”
In exchange for markets in the Islamic world, Europe turned its back on its Judeo-Christian heritage and set the stage for its own Islamization. At the highest political level, Europe, including Spain, has been selling its soul for decades now – giving up, in effect, its blood for oil (not to mention the blood of countless Iraqis and others who had to suffer under the heel of tyrants with whom Europe happily did business.)
Ironically, incoming Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero declared: “We’re aligning ourselves with Kerry. Our alliance will be for peace, against war, no more deaths for oil.” Yet Zapatero and his new government, not the existing order, represent the Europe that has been giving up her life for oil for 30 years now. After all, according to United Press International, it was Spain’s European Union colleague, France, that accepted bribes from the Iraqi oil ministry in exchange for opposition to the American invasion of Iraq.
Zapatero is trying to convince the world to see his election not for what it is – the biggest radical Muslim victory since 9-11, or even the Khomeini revolution in Iran – but simply as a referendum on Iraq. He has castigated Bush and Blair for their “lies.” However, in the caves and highlands of Afghanistan, the al-Qaida leadership is not interested in the niceties of legality, disclosure and intelligence that are currently swirling in the West around the Iraq invasion. They see the war in Iraq as a jihad – indeed, as one segment of a global jihad – and they will not see Spain’s withdrawal from Iraq as anything but a victory for jihad and confirmation that terror works.
This fact remains quite aside from all questions of the validity of the Iraq invasion. Osama bin Laden, if he is alive, and other radical Muslim terrorists will see it the same way they saw Bill Clinton’s withdrawal from Somalia in the 1990s – as proof that the West is weak, unwilling to fight, and ripe for the plucking. Now that al-Qaida has adjusted Spain’s foreign policy with a bombing, will they not be justified in thinking they can adjust her domestic policies – and religion, and culture – with a few more bombings?
The greatest glories of fabled Al-Andalus may yet lie in the future.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and the author of “Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West” (Regnery Publishing), and “Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith (Encounter Books).