The tide has now largely turned on the Madrid bombings of two weeks ago. Fewer commentators are willing to assert that the Spanish electorate, in voting out the conservative Aznar government in contradiction to what opinion polls had previously indicated would happen, capitulated to terrorist threats to inflict more of the same on their country in the hope that they would instead be left alone. Instead, most now ascribe Aznar’s loss to his government’s alleged attempt after the attacks, but before the election, to point the blame for them to what for him would be the more politically-advantageous culprit, the Basque terrorist organization ETA.
This is not the case in the Czech opinion-weekly Respekt, though, where in his cover-story commentary Before Terror Annihilates Us Teodor Marjanovic declares that “Europe today needs its own Winston Churchill” in response to the terrorist threat. Are Czech editorial writers merely lagging behind their counterparts further west? I’ll let you judge that in what follows; in any case, Marjanovic raises some good points ordinarily overlooked by many, and does so rather pungently. (more…)