John Kerry Wrong On Spain

Sunday, John Kerry issued a statement expressing his regret that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero hadn’t reversed his decision on a withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Zapatero campaigned on a platform that included a troop pullout. He’s stated any number of times since his election that unless political and military control of Iraq was turned over to the UN by the end of June, that his government would proceed with that plan.

American commentators have insisted that the Spanish electorate and the new government were “scared” by the terrorist attacks in Madrid just days before the election. Kerry seems to be buying into the same myth.

The current Iraqi occupation authority is obviously incompetent. After more than a year, there’s no civil order. Even before the current wave of violence, there was no effective authority. Kidnapping, robbery, and other crimes of violence have made Iraqi citizens less safe than they were under Saddam Hussein. The plan to turn over governance to an as-yet-unnamed Iraqi administration doesn’t address the reality of providing safety for citizens and occupying troops.

The Zapatero administration seems to be doing exactly what they promised to do before the elections. So far, they’re not letting terrorists, a disapproving George Bush, and now the tut-tutting of John Kerry affect their policies.