Jose Maria Aznar and John Howard in WSJ: Stand Firm

John Howard, PM of Australia

[quote=“John Howard”]CANBERRA, Australia–In the shock that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. the world united to condemn terrorism. When 88 Australians were among the dead in the bombing atrocity committed in Bali in October 2002, there was, amid the grief and anger, an overwhelming unity in our resolve to stand against terror.

Yet in the wake of the indiscriminate slaughter of almost 200 commuters in Madrid, global commentary seems as much focused on the political implications for Western governments as on the perpetrators.

It will be doubly tragic if mass murder is rewarded with even the perception that our resolve has weakened. At the very least the victims–those killed and injured–deserve an absolute assurance that this outrage will make all of us more determined to stand together against terror. Now is not the time for us to be diverted from this global mission.[/quote]

Jose Maria Aznar, PM of Spain

[quote=“Jose Maria Aznar”]Its lessons are simple. If we want to stop terrorists from murdering us and from dictating how we lead our lives, we must confront them. Some think the solution is to sue for peace, to negotiate with terrorists so that they might go and kill elsewhere. But that way is unacceptable to me and to millions of Spaniards. Terrorism deserves only to be defeated. This is the debt we owe to the victims of the attacks, and to the society that mourns them.

It is precisely for this reason that we must not send out confusing messages, messages that induce people to believe that we have to make concessions to those demanding that we kneel before bombs. This is not the moment to think about withdrawals of troops. And much less when the terrorists, with their message of death and destruction, have demanded that we surrender. To yield now would set a dangerous precedent that would allow our attackers to believe that they have imposed their conditions on us. It would allow our attackers to believe that they have won.[/quote]