“On March 11, 2004, just days before the voting booths opened, multiple bombs planted by an al-Qaida-linked cell exploded on Madrid trains, killing 191 people and injuring 1,755. Directly because of this, Aznar and his party lost in the polls, and the Socialists, the major party with an antiwar platform, were elected to power. The U.S.-led coalition shrunk with the loss of the Spanish troops. Whereas millions of peaceful activists voting in the streets like good sheep have not weakened the brutal occupation in any measurable way, a few dozen terrorists willing to slaughter noncombatants were able to cause the withdrawal of more than a thousand occupation troops.
The Madrid bombings do not present an example for action, but rather, an important paradox: Do people who stick to nonviolent tactics that have not proved effective in ending the war against Iraq really care more for human life than the Madrid terrorists? From India to Birmingham, nonviolence has failed to sufficiently empower its practitioners, whereas the use of a diversity of tactics got results. Put simply, if a movement is not a threat, it cannot change a system that is based on centralized coercion and violence.”