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BTL:After Terrorist Bombing, Spanish Election Defeat of Bush Ally Sends...

...Shock Waves Through Washington* Interview with Jeff Cohen, columnist and media critic, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
After Terrorist Bombing, Spanish Election Defeat of Bush Ally Sends Shock Waves Through Washington

Interview with Jeff Cohen, columnist and media critic, conducted by Scott Harris

The world reacted in horror at the carnage inflicted in Madrid after terrorists bombed four commuter railroad trains, killing 200 people and injuring 1,500 just three days before Spain's national elections. The government of the ruling conservative Popular Party conducted an investigation into who was responsible for the bombings, and initially implicated the Basque separatist group ETA. But it quickly became clear that contrary to official statements, the evidence gathered by the government pointed toward al-Qaeda , not ETA.

The Spanish election turned on the widely held perception that the government had attempted to manipulate public opinion by falsely disconnecting the bombing from Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's policy of backing the Bush administration's war on Iraq -- a war that 90 percent of Spain's people opposed.

The shock waves of the Socialist party victory in Spain were felt around the world and especially in Washington, where the Bush administration lost a valuable ally in their war and occupation of Iraq. The Socialists, led by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, had pledged long before the election to withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq if the U.N. doesn't replace Washington as the interim power in Baghdad by June 30. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with columnist and media critic Jeff Cohen, who looks at the results of the Spanish election, the media and the lessons it may hold for other governments who lie to their people to justify war.

Jeff Cohen is the founder of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Read Jeff Cohen's article, "Liars Lose: The Lessons of Regime Change in Spain," by clicking here.

Related links

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) at

Bush Loses an Election," editorial by the Madison Capital Times (Wisconsin), March 16, 2004

"Madrid's Effects: The War on Terror is at Risk," editorial by the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Minnesota), March 16, 2004

"Dear W, Your Father Knew Best," by Robert Scheer, the Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2004

"Australian PM Admits He Could Face Same Voter Backlash as Spanish Leader," Agence France Presse, March 16, 2004

"Madrid: UN's Credibility Critically Wounded," by Ritt Goldstein, The Asia Times, March 16, 2004

"New Spanish P.M. Promises Iraq Withdrawal," The Guardian/UK, March 15, 2004

To LISTEN to this or other programs, visit the Between the Lines website at
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media.
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2004 Squeaky Wheel Productions. All Rights Reserved.

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