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John Simkin

Madrid Bombing

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LePen isn't a nazi... And we still have the right to vote according to our preferences...

This isn't a complex problem but a very simple one that has been obscured by the politically correct crowd:  immigrants are accepted under an implicit contract.  You can come and share with us but you must accept our values and laws. 

A lot of the muslims that have come don't accept the compact.  Well then they should be expelled!

As part of our Board Guidelines we require members to sign in at our Biographical Details thread.

You clearly have controversial (and in my view deeply misguided) views but have a right to express them here so long as you follow our board guidelines.

As this board is hosted in the UK you may also wish to know that incitement to racial hatred is an offence here. Please bear this in mind when you are posting.

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Guest Alma

And your post is part of the problem... One of the most dangerous developments in the last 50 years is the muzzling of free speech in the name of political correctness (it could wound somebody, so don't say it!) What it does is that people don't dare say what they think, so there is no debate and then the whole issue explodes. This is the reason LePen is garnering so many votes in France, this was probably behind the rise of Fortuyn in Holland etc. etc.

In the United States where the First amendment is still in place, this doesn't happen because the isuues are clearly debated. The market of ideas is vibrant and bad ideas don't find takers.

You may have the impression that by silencing people you advance your cause, but in reality you do the exact contrary!

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Guest Alma

By the way, if this is how you teach free speech, I am sorry for your students... In schools you should value diversity of opinions and learn to debate with rational arguments, not try to put prior restraint on speech you don't like!

And I must say, I am happy I left Europe... At least here, we have Free Speech!

Thanks the Founding Fathers for that!

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And your post is part of the problem... One of the most dangerous developments in the last 50 years is the muzzling of free speech in the name of political correctness (it could wound somebody, so don't say it!)  What it does is that people don't dare say what they think, so there is no debate and then the whole issue explodes.  This is the reason LePen is garnering so many votes in France, this was probably behind the rise of Fortuyn in Holland etc. etc.

In the United States where the First amendment is still in place, this doesn't happen because the isuues are clearly debated.  The market of ideas is vibrant and bad ideas don't find takers.

You may have the impression that by silencing people you advance your cause, but in reality you do the exact contrary!

I think you are getting just a little hysterical now.

I merely reminded you of your responsibilities as a member of this educational forum.

No one has censored you, but perhaps more tellingly no one has bothered either to engage with you over your deeply inconsistent pronouncements.

We do however still require you to follow our board guidelines. Perhaps if you can't you might consider finding a weblog or board which is unmoderated?

Following this little diversion I would like also to remind posters that this thread is about the Madrid bombings. Should members wish to debate other issues, such as to what extent Le Pen is a Nazi or the limits of free speech, they should start a new thread.

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Guest Alma

Sorry, you tried to muzzle me when I told you that le pen is no nazi and I defined the immigrant compact. You started to scream "racism", a typical ploy of the PC left (I have seen it at work too often not to recognize it)...

Given that by now three Moroccans, two Indians and two spanish citizens of Indian origin have been arrested for the Madrid bombing, the discussion on what is expected of immigrants in a society is quite relevant!

Edited by Alma

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Sorry, you tried to muzzle me when I told you that le pen is no nazoi and I defined the immigrant compact.  You sttarted to scream "racism", a typical ploy of the PC left (I have seen it at work too often not to recognize it)...

None of these things actually happened anywhere other than in your own head!

As an administrator of this board I require you to follow our agreed board guidelines.... that is all.

Incidentally as a supporter of Le Pen you should be quite used to people viewing you as a racist.

Furthermore, to link a horrible terrorist attack to immigration as you do in your most recent post is a vile, transparent and deliberate slur on the vast majority of immigrants to any country.

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Guest Alma

Let's quote...

I said "As to strict control of the immigration and refugees from muslim countries, well I am all for it!

To the point that I, still a French citizen, am considering voting for Jean-Marie Le Pen... He is the only polician that makes sense on the issues... A pity that the others don't see that!

"

You answered: "I am very disappointed to hear that you are considering something quite so simplistic as the Nazi response to the complicated problems of the modern world."

I answered "LePen isn't a nazi... And we still have the right to vote according to our preferences...

This isn't a complex problem but a very simple one that has been obscured by the politically correct crowd: immigrants are accepted under an implicit contract. You can come and share with us but you must accept our values and laws. "

You answered "You clearly have controversial (and in my view deeply misguided) views but have a right to express them here so long as you follow our board guidelines.

As this board is hosted in the UK you may also wish to know that incitement to racial hatred is an offence here. Please bear this in mind when you are posting. "

You try intimidation and then deny it!

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By the way, if this is how you teach free speech, I am sorry for your students... In schools you should value diversity of opinions and learn to debate with rational arguments, not try to put prior restraint on speech you don't like!

And I must say, I am happy I left Europe... At least here, we have Free Speech!

Thanks the Founding Fathers for that!

The issue here is not one of free speech. Our broad guidelines clearly state you need to provide a biography before you post. Once you have done that you may post your comments. If you don’t, your postings will be deleted.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=403

You seem to have contradictory views on free speech. On another thread you were calling for academics to be censored when they wrote about things outside their area of expertise. Given your wide range of comments on this forum I would be interested in reading your biography to find out what your area of expertise is.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=509

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In yesterday’s Guardian it was reported that all the Intelligence Services in the western world were claiming the bombing in Madrid was carried out by ETA. If that is the case, then a lot of countries are wasting a lot of money on people who know very little about ETA and other terrorist organizations. Of course the real reason is that Intelligence Services tell their political masters what they want to know.

A couple of hours after the bombing took place I pointed out on this forum that this was not the work of ETA. This was based on my limited knowledge of how the organization worked.

It was clearly not in the interests of ETA to carry out attacks on innocent civilians (especially those travelling in from a working class area of Madrid). ETA is a Marxist organization that is attempting to persuade left of centre politicians in Spain to give them an independent state. If ETA had been behind the bombing it would only help the right-wing government in Sunday’s elections. If ETA had carried out this bombing they had committed political suicide.

As I said at the time “It seems to me much more likely to have been an attack by terrorists campaigning against the Spanish government’s support for the invasion of Iraq. I fear that in time the same kind of attack will be seen in London and New York.”

The Spanish government could not admit to this before Sunday’s elections. The vast majority of the Spanish population had been against the invasion of Iraq. Many had warned about the dangers of terrorist attacks on civilians in Spain if their military forces took part in the occupation of another country. The Spanish government was aware that they would be punished at the polls for their decision to take orders from Washington.

Over the last few days information continued to leak out that the Madrid bombing was the work of Islamic terrorists:

(1) The bombing took place 912 days after 9/11. (It would have been 911 but the terrorists forgot about leap year).

(2) A stolen van had been found in a town near Madrid containing seven detonators and a tape recording of Koranic verses. The four trains involved in the attacks passed through that town.

(3) The detonators were made of copper. ETA had always used aluminium detonators.

(4) A London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds, received an e-mail in which a group linked to al-Qaeda reportedly said it carried out the attacks. The message said a group called the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades had attacked "America's ally in its war against Islam" on behalf of al-Qaeda.

Last night’s the authorities announced that three Moroccans had been arrested. The government also admitted that Al-Qaeda had informed them that the attacks were revenge for Spain's "collaboration with the criminals Bush and his allies".

The Spanish people have now discovered their government has lied to them over the last couple of days. Hopefully they will be severely punished in today’s elections.

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After the massacre... the vultures.

I write from a mourning Madrid that has suffered the worst bombing after Franco's troops attacked it in 1936.

200 persons from 12 nationalities have been killed in a horrible way.

Europe is facing its September 11th... and we, as Europeans, have to try to give a rational, democratic and resolute answer... A lot of questions to discuss about... I have to recognize that I have a lot of doubts.

But, let me point at some posts that I would qualify as disgusting:

The bombings will benefit the right more than anyone else. They will be used as an excuse (as if they ever needed one!) to oppress the Basque people.

The only oppression here in Spain is the one that is suffered by the hundreds of people killed by ETA, and the thousands of people in the Basque Country threatened and blackmailed on a daily basis by ETA and all their mafia-like collaborating networks.

Probably, you will distinguish between terrorist groups as Al-Qaeda and charities as ETA. Disgusting.

To the point that I, still a French citizen, am considering voting for Jean-Marie Le Pen... He is the only polician that makes sense on the issues...

Please, do not use the massacre of 200 working people in Madrid (almost 25% of them inmigrants themselves) as an alibi for supporting a "soft" nazi as Le Pen. Disgusting.

A couple of final comments:

Aznar government's pathetic attempt of manipulating information insisting in blaming ETA instead of Al-Qaeda has failed inmediately. Aznar simply tried to hold back information a couple of days so as to win the election... What a sad end for this brave and corageous staunch ally of Bush and Blair!

The Basque president Ibarreche (yes, Basque country has the widest autonomy in Europe and it is been governed by PNV -Basque Nationalist Party- for 25 years) claimed that the terrorists (he assumed as most of the Spaniards just after the bombing that ETA was responsible of the atrocity) ... were not Basques. As for the Basque nationalists the almost 50% of Basque people that vote, election after election, to Spanish parties are not "genuine" Basques. I wonder, who on the hell are Basques?

Nationalism.... disgusting.

Edited by Juan Carlos

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I was very inspired by the mass demonstrations that we have seen in Spain over the last few days, and today we shall witness the power of democracy in action in the General Election. I think it is important to recognise the fact that the Spanish government has released the evidence suggesting a link to Al Quaeda, albeit at midnight, when this could clearly be very damaging to their electoral success. I believe that the best response to terrorism is being shown in these actions and in the slogan of the Spanish Civil War 'No Pasaran' (they shall not pass).

Edited by Mr Lyndon

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It seems that democracy was seen in action tonight as the latest reports suggest that the Spanish government has been defeated and power will be handed over to the Socialists. The Prime Minister and his potential replacement were heckled as they went to vote being called 'manipulators' and 'liars'.

Spanish government admits defeat (BBC)

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It seems that democracy was seen in action tonight as the latest reports suggest that the Spanish government has been defeated and power will be handed over to the Socialists. The Prime Minister and his potential replacement were heckled as they went to vote being called 'manipulators' and 'liars'.

Spanish government admits defeat (BBC)

This is an interesting development. Polls have suggested that 90% of Spanish voters were opposed to the invasion of Iraq. However, before the bombing, the ruling Popular Party government was expected to win. The main reason being that people, as usual, were basing their support on domestic rather than foreign policy issues.

The bombing has changed all that. What it did was to emphasize the importance of foreign policy on the lives of the Spanish people. Jose Maria Aznar’s attempt to blame ETA for the outrage obviously backfired. However, it is difficult to calculate what the election result would have been if the Spanish government had not made those statements about Eta after the bombings. Some commentators believe that it was the bombing alone that changed the results of the election. As Chris Morris of the BBC pointed out: “the late swing to the Socialists also raises one disturbing thought. If al-Qaeda was responsible for Thursday's attacks, it appears to have had significant influence in changing the government of a leading Western democracy”.

This raises the issue of what happens next. One possibility is a series of bombings in American cities in the run-up to November’s elections. Will these hurt or help Bush? We will obviously get a lot of tough talk about terrorism not being allowed to win. This might help Bush in the short-term. However, the message of the bombings will be clear, you cannot defeat terrorism by military action. The citizens of America will feel less safe than they did before the invasion of Iraq. Will the majority of voters really want to maintain a government that has made them feel less safe? That is the question that many Spanish people asked themselves yesterday before they voted. I suspect the American electorate might well ask themselves the same question next November. Maybe they will come up with a similar answer.

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It is evident that the massacre brought about a dramatic change of Spanish public opinion. Although Mr. Zapatero was slowly but firmly catching up with PP's candidate in all the polls, it was widely acepted that PP was going to wint the election.

The bombing put back on stage the Irak's war. About 90% of Spanish people was against the US intervention and most of the people considered US handling of the after-war as an utter wash-out.

However, Mr. Rajoy, PP's candidate, had got to keep the subject apart from the political debate. Spain has had a good economic performance last years and ETA's terrorism had been reduced dramatically.

I think that, apart from the horrible shock that Spanish people suffered, there was a factor that moved a lot of people to vote the Socialists: the blatant attempt of manipulating the information and misguiding the public carried out by the government. There was a general feeling that the goverment was holding back information.

By the way, the demonstrations at the gates of PP's office in Madrid and other towns last Saturday were summoned via text messages on the mobile phones. TIC help people to fight against government manipulation.

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