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Zapatero has become known for his will to secularize and socially modernize Spanish society in the teeth of the Catholic Church, his role in the unraveling of the “coalition of the willing” with respect to the Iraq war, his refusal to blame the Basques for the Madrid bombing, and his continuing refusal, despite US pressure, to either increase Spanish troop strength in Afghanistan or to allow those troops to be deployed in the war zones of southern Afghanistan.

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