As a brief guide, here are some reasons why the bashers who are still spewing vitriol about the Spanish elections are lying. Now, their main line is that this is "appeasement". Further to this, they claim that the PSOE was "opportunistic" and "took orders from terrorists". The point is apparently that "you cannot run away from terrorism". We shall take this point by point.
The point of this is to recall the language of the 1930s, trying to position the global Right as the opponents of Nazism - and everyone else as either weak Chamberlains or complicit Lavals. (The special viciousness of applying this to Spanish socialists does not need or deserve further highlighting.) Obviously, the idea of appeasement implies that there is a morally and pragmatically better course of fighting. And this relies on the central belief that invading Iraq is in fact the "war on terrorism". Otherwise, how could not taking part be "appeasement"? We will hear more of this. In passing, note that the use of the language of 1938 has a two-fold effect: not only does it portray your opponents as the next best thing to real Nazis, but it validates your own Churchill fantasies.
Simply disposed with. If the PSOE were "opportunistic", they must have changed their policy to take advantage of opportunity. They opposed the deployment of Spanish troops in Iraq before the deployment. They still opposed it the day before the blasts. They opposed it the day afterwards. I suppose they stuck to their principles - opportunistically?
3. Taking orders from terrorists.
See 3. Policy determined months beforehand. Logically insane.
4. Running away.
This implies that invading Iraq was a blow against al-Qa'ida, and that the continuing war there is a struggle against it, and that our anti-terrorist interests are best served by war in Iraq. Otherwise, what would be shameful about liquidating a wasteful and unnecessary commitment? Let us recall a few facts. No-one has produced one scintilla of evidence to show any al-Qa'ida presence in Ba'athist Iraq or Iraqi involvement in al-Qa'ida activity. What good did the Spanish brigade's presence in Iraq do for the fight against al-Qa'ida? The bombs exploded in Madrid. They did not explode in Hillah. The attack was prepared by Moroccans (it seems) in Spain. Would the soldiery not have been better employed elsewhere? Let us consider the effects of the British invasion fo southern Iraq on our own anti-terrorist efforts. The emergency planning budget - which funds the local authority emergency departments who would have to cope with the logistics of recovery after a major attack - has been pegged at £19 million since April, 2001. April! That means that its value has FALLEN. The deployment in southern Iraq is estimated to cost £125 million MONTHLY! Muslim opinion has been provoked as never before. The real pursuit of al-Qa'ida was effectively shut down for months. Our army is (to use a Churchillism) sprawled in costly and rewardless occupation, its budget drained, its reserves raided, its stocks exhausted, rather than crouched and ready to spring at opportunity. What a brilliant success! Heroically, with undiminished resolve, the neocons and their pals march doggedly forward - in the wrong direction!