Saturday, December 30, 2006

ETA Breaks Its 9-Month Truce

I've had a deep connection to the Basque region since the late 1980s. I married a Basque. I've lived in the Basque Country. I'm not going to pretend to give my opinion on this conflict that was born of Franco's oppression, because Franco has been dead for more than 30 years, the Basques enjoy more autonomy within Spanish constitutional law and yet, the etarras continue this campaign.

What I will comment on is the posturing of Spain's PM Zapatero. Remember that it was the al-Qaeda train attacks of 11-M that brought the appeasing Zapatero and his Socialist party to power. Three days prior to the election, trains were detonated and, although polls showed that a few days earlier Aznar was clinging to a slim lead, Zapatero won the general election...many say because he was all for leaving Iraq (cut and run) and for "dialogue" with extremism.

Unfortunately, Zapatero is as dense as they come in the "let history teach us a lesson" crowd. Terrorists, whether islamofascists or home-grown separatists, do not negotiate. Neither should heads of state negotiate with them. You're in or you're out, in my opinion.

When ETA said nine months ago that they would (unofficially) lay down their weapons, many hailed it as an IRA-esque move towards peace. I was skeptical and viewed it as a period of reloading. It would seem that more extreme factions within ETA have gained control of the decision-making and want nothing to do with the IRA way of gaining legitimacy for their cause.

Terror has returned to Spain. Unfortunately, it will be the world opinion of Basques, and therefore Basques as a whole, that will suffer.

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