Is Madrid Safe?

So while watching the Three Idiots wag their fingers, shake their fists and rattle swords last night from the Azores, it dawned on me that I live in Spain. Not only in Spain, but in Madrid. This isn't news, but what I mean is this: There are three capitals of the warmongering countries: Washington D.C., London and Madrid, and I live in one of them. It begs the question, which of the three is actually a safe place to be in the coming days? Which is closest to a Muslim country? Which is not a nuclear power (and thus has little form of deterrant against home-country attacks?) Which has the weakest military? You get the idea. When the war starts, do I want my family and I to be here?

I would assume that Washington and its police/armed forces are on high-alert. Ditto for London. But is Madrid? I don't pay attention to the local media much, but from what I can tell, there's no perceiveable sense of a country that is about to take part in a war. Hey, 90% of the population is against the war here, so maybe they think that makes them immune, but the fact is that it doesn't matter. With Jose Maria shooting his mouth off like he's the man in front of the whole world last night, Spain is now a target, if it wasn't already. The world probably didn't see the huge demonstration in Madrid on Saturday against the war, and even if they did they don't care because that's not nearly as visible as the country's leader standing up there with two nuclear powers and pretending he's on some sort of righteous crusade. (Heh... I didn't even think about the parallels until I just wrote that.)

Basically, is Jose Maria shooting his mouth off without preparing the country for consequences? I think so. I don't really have any major desire to become a citizen of this country except in situations like this. I really would loooove to help vote the PP and its assinine leaders out of office. But as it is, I have to live here and deal with it and its a bit too late now to change much.

Anyways. Ever been to Madrid? Ever come through the airport? Security is not very, *ahem*, tight, to say the least. I mean, I didn't like getting cavity searched the last time I went through the airport in Seattle, but the security here leaves a lot to be desired. Spanish Customs: "Hey, you. What's in that big barrel?" Passenger: "Anthra... I mean, uh, nothing. Want some cigarettes?" Customs: "Hey cigarettes! Great! Thanks! Okay, then. Pass on through." Okay, it's not that bad (it's not the third world here) but it feels like it compared to airport security in the US or London - even before 9/11.

Now, I may be exagerrating but I am a bit worried. The thing that makes me feel that it might be BETTER to live here than in the other capitals is that Spain is on constant high-alert against terrorism because of the ETA. But since the ETA usually calls up before hand and politely tells the government where the bombs are, I'm not THAT comforted by the idea either. But still, I was driving by the central water repository for Madrid yesterday - Canal Isabel II - and noticed the presence of police on guard. They're ALWAYS on guard there, it's nothing new. And that's the case pretty much on many "weak points" throughout Spain.

But the fact is, this isn't the ETA and if Iraq or one of its allies attack, it'll be for real and against a lot of people. Iraq has allies and supporters too, by the way, in case you're drinking Bush's cool aid so much you think they're completely alone.

Anyways, just my thoughts on the verge of war.


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