March 17, 2004

Zapatero and Terrorism

Is Prime Minister elect Zapatero serious about terrorism? Those who think that Iraq is a centerpoint in the War on Terror say no, others (mostly like minded leftists) say yes. But neither side is putting up much of an intellectual effort to back up their positions. It's all surface posturing. So let's start by finding a couple of the right questions to ask PM Zapatero, questions that would fit him and be useful to ask any other new leader in waiting.

One of the biggest dividing lines in fighting terrorism is how much in the way of resources should be thrown at the problem. Is terrorism something that can be handled by a portion of the regular police taken away from normal crime fighting efforts? Should the intelligence agencies focus on terrorism? Is there a role for the military? Should the military be reconfigured to fight against such attackers as the primary threat to the country?

Only the most irresponsible of leaders would say no to all of these questions with the first being easiest to answer yes and subsequent yesses indicating stronger efforts against terrorism.

Another question (with a similar scale) that I think is vitally important is a question of which law code shall be used with regard to terrorists. Should straightforward criminal law be used? Should the general law code be adjusted to take into account any unique circumstances regarding terrorism? Should terrorism itself be considered a special crime to be prosecuted in special courts which can trigger restrictions in rights inappropriate for other crimes? Is terrorism which has a formal end goal of changing the constitution of the state war and thus should be prosecuted under the laws of war and the military justice system?

There are probably other question series that would fit the theme but it somewhat bothers me that I don't know the answers already from others who are more in tune with spanish politics (and who actually speak the language).

Posted by TMLutas at March 17, 2004 09:58 AM