From the Eastern Daily Press, Wednesday, March 17, 2004:
Straw claim is implausible
LEONARD G FLETCHER, Northfields, London.
Jack Straw claims (implausibly) that Aznar, Blair and Bush did not increase the likelihood of al Qaida attacks upon their countries through their attack on Iraq.
The Home Secretary defends this by claiming that al Quaida did not discriminate among those who were not on its side.
He said: "If you are not 100pc with them, you are against them." The very words chillingly used by George Bush in autumn 2001.
From the Eastern Daily Press, Thursday, March 18, 2004:
Terrorism tipped the balance
BEN GLOVER, Malthouse Lane, Cantley.
The recent election turnaround in Spain in the wake of the Madrid bombings seems to have caused much wringing of hands in the media about the threat to democracy (Editorial, Marh 16).
But how democratic is it for a government to take its country to war against the wishes of its population or the wider international community?
It may be hard to accept, but the fact that terrorism may have tipped the balance in the election doesn't necessarily man the final outcome isn't the best one for the country. Let's not make the mistake of underestimating or patronising the Spanish electorate.
Spanish election 'defeat for liars'
RICHARD CASEY, Framingham Earl Road, Yelverton.
Both your opinion column and your political editor (March 16) claim the Spanish general election was a "victory for terrorism". Was it not a "defeat for liars"?
Last year, Osama Bin Laden warned nations who had joined the invasion or Iraq that they would be subjected to retribution. Yet when an attack took place, the Spanish government's first thought was not the wellbeing of the Spanish people, but to gain political capital by blaming Eta.
We saw the initial response of the Spanish people in those mass demonstrations against "terrorist assassins," we saw the secondary response in their anger against those who had lied to them.
The ballot box was used to punish the Aznar government for its betrayal of the Spanish people. It was not a surrender to terrorism.