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Monday, March 15, 2004

Radical Islam scores in Spain

"No country in the world is more determined to disappear"

Radical Islam has scored its first unambiguous victory against the West, and it should have been visible at a long distance (Why radical Islam might defeat the West, July 8, 2003). Winston Churchill's quip that the appeaser hopes the crocodile will eat him last does not apply when the prospective victim expects to be in another world before the crocodile comes around.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist Party crushed Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's Popular Party in Spanish elections on Sunday. US commentators expressed consternation that Spanish voters would reject America's ally in the Iraq war after al-Qaeda's apparent act of retaliation last Thursday, March 11.

Spain's death-knell sounded long before the train bombings in Madrid, however. No country in the world is more determined to disappear. The country's fertility rate of 1.12 live births per female is the lowest in the world. As recently as 1975, at the death of strongman Francisco Franco, the fertility rate stood at 3 births per female in 1976. By 2050 Spain will have lost a quarter of its population. Germany and Italy, whose fertility rates fell earlier than Spain's, will lose a third, according to economist Anthony Scholefield.

Half a millennium after the Reconquista, when Spanish Catholicism expelled the country's Muslims and Jews, Spain has no choice but to ask the Muslims to return and take possession of its land by stages.

Every Spanish worker in 2050 will support one pensioner, which is to say that the pension system will be bankrupt. According to one academic study, 5 million additional immmigrants must be working in Spain in 2050 to save the pension system, out of a projected population of 37 million - and that assumes an immediate recovery in the fertility rate to 1.5. At this point, it hardly matters what future fertility rate Spanish demographers might project. The demographic catastrophe of the past 30 years puts the pension system on a crash course toward bankruptcy, unless Spain attracts an army of immigrants.

Except for a trickle of immigrants from Latin America, North Africa provides most of Spain's immigrants at present. Two hundred thousand Muslims now reside in Spain, and they have built 100 new mosques in the past 10 years. Unless Spain were, most improbably, to attempt a recolonization from Latin America, it cannot do without more Muslims.

Socialist voters may not have worked out the arithmetic; Jose Zapatero's supporter in the street simply does not want to be burdened with America's distant wars, especially if they draw fire at home. It all amounts to the same thing. Countries too lazy to produce their next generation will not fight. Who will lay down his life for future generations when the future generations simply will not be there?

Read the rest at Asia Times Online.

See also Victor Davis Hanson: "Blame whom?"
By a wide margin the citizenry elected a Socialist cabinet that had previously promised to distance itself from the United States and its Iraqi operations. The terrorists, although they had childishly cited Spanish culpability from the Crusades to the Reconquista, vowed to keep striking until the Spanish people did in fact what they just did. Indeed the appeasement almost anticipated the formal terrorist communiqué itself, in what must have made even the ghost of Neville Chamberlain rise up from his grave. Since most interviewed on the street expressed greater anger with the United States than they did with Islamic terrorists, let us hope that their pique extends to asking American air and naval forces to leave their shores as well—but then so far that has not been one of the mass murderers’ demands.