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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Seldom has mythology arisen so quickly about an event as it has with regard to the election results in Spain.

Outside View: U.S. misread Spain's election.
In his first news conference, the new prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, emphasized that combating terrorism would be a top priority of his government. Spain has been resolute all along in helping the United States identify and disrupt al-Qaida cells in that country. Now that Spanish blood has been shed on Spanish soil by the terrorists, that resolve is likely to be strengthened, not weakened.

But just because the Spanish people are determined to combat radical Islamic terrorism does not mean that they have an obligation to endorse the U.S. intervention in Iraq. The election results confirm that a majority of Spaniards make a distinction between those two missions. That is not surprising, since large majorities around the world have made a similar distinction. Indeed, it is a distinction that seems to elude few people-except for a majority of conservatives in the United States.
The War on Terror and the War in Iraq are two different things.

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