Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The Mathematics of Sympathy

Although many commentators have excoriated the Spanish electorate for its capitulation to terror, we must never forget that the slightly smaller half decisively rejected it. These we honor and the rest we pity.

The [Spanish] Government's defeat also reflected public anger with the decision to back the United States in the invasion of Iraq, a policy initially opposed by 90 per cent of the Spanish public.

If we're going to distribute honor and pity among the Spanish population according to how they voted in the recent elections, it seems only reasonable that we apply a similar rule to those who died in the Madrid bomb attacks. Those who supported the Popular Party's decision to back the United States are worthy of being mourned as martyrs to the cause of freedom and democracy; that's 20 people. The other 180 we can write off as a bunch of paella munching appeasement monkeys who paid the ultimate penalty for their refusal to recognise the harsh realities of the world we find ourselves in.

The calculation assumes that those killed in the Madrid bombings were a representative sample of the Spanish population. This is a questionable assumption; there's little reason to believe that the terrorists were looking to perform a statistically reliable massacre. But it's reasonable to conclude that the majority of the Madrid victims had probably opposed Spain's involvement in the war in Iraq.

Which all makes me wonder why any of the various bloggers and commentators who have depicted the Spanish election result as a clear case of caving in to Al-Qaeda are wasting any sympathy on the Madrid victims, when what the Spanish people really deserve right now is a bloody big "I told you so!"

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