Shadow Government offers up some revisionist history:
Many readers of this blog will remember that the PP was slated to win the 2004 elections before the terrorist attacks in Madrid. The terrorists act perpetrated by al Qaeda were designed to sabotage the PP and “punish” Spain for participation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rajoy lost that election and lost again in 2008.
It’s true that the Madrid bombings were intended as punishment for Spanish participation in Iraq, but the reason that the bombings doomed the PP in the 2004 election was Aznar’s remarkably cynical attempt to pin them on ETA. Aznar’s party might still have lost had it honestly faced up to the consequences of his government’s decision to support the invasion of Iraq, but as much as anything else it was the contempt that Aznar showed for the Spanish electorate that led to his party’s defeat.
When we’re talking about Zapatero’s “politically motivated” withdrawal from Iraq, we should not forget that the Iraq war was always deeply unpopular in Spain, the electorate never wanted to participate in it, and they expected their new Socialist government to end Spanish involvement in the war once it was in power. So, yes, Zapatero’s decision was “politically motivated” in that he was implementing the policy that the vast majority of his countrymen wanted. It’s called representative government. We might want to consider giving it a try.