- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
Gives real meaning to 'Old Europe' and in this case one of the least important countries in Europe. With the current leadership, things are looking to go from bad to disasterous:
All of this has consequences, though the leadership seems deaf and blind to them:Terror's Spanish Legacy
Three years after 3/11, the nation remains divided.
BY MATTHEW KAMINSKI
Sunday, March 11, 2007 12:01 a.m.
MADRID--Shrouded in white canvas, the memorial commemorating the March 11 terrorists attacks will be unveiled outside Atocha rail station here tomorrow, the third anniversary. Though the exact design is secret, the high glass structure is said to reflect light at different angles in tasteful tribute to the 191 lives extinguished that day.
It will be out of place in Spain. The aftermath of 11M--once eme, as that day in known in Spanish--has been anything but tasteful. If America unified following 9/11, Spain split along sharply sectarian lines within hours of the commuter-train bombings. An election swung from the ruling and favored center-right Popular Party, whose support for the Iraq war the left quickly blamed for inviting terror, lost to the anti-American Socialists. The Islamist architects couldn't have hoped for a better result in striking three days before polling day. But those traumatic events have been followed by others, shifting the course of Spanish history in ways no one then imagined possible.
The emotional legacy of 11M could be better appreciated a day before today's sober ceremony. An angry million or more were expected to march yesterday in Madrid against the sitting government's soft stance toward domestic terrorism. A fortnight ago, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero let a Basque ETA terrorist serve out his reduced sentenced at home. José Ingnacio De Juana Chaos, convicted in the murder of 25 innocent people, had been on hunger strike.
His release on "humanitarian grounds" was, to critics, only the latest Zapatero outrage. The government last year opened "peace talks" with ETA; the prime minister holds out hope for a settlement with the terror group even after ETA ended its "cease-fire" and blew up a parking garage at Madrid airport in late December, killing two. Previous Prime Minister José María Aznar, who didn't run for re-election after completing two terms, says the Zapatero government did the Madrid bombers' bidding by immediately yanking Spanish troops from Iraq upon taking office, and appeased terrorists again by courting ETA. As the Iraq withdrawal was "an act of cowardice," Mr. Aznar tells me that the De Juana Chaos case "reflects cowardly behavior and lack of dignity." Strong stuff that goes well beyond the usual partisan jabbing in democracy. Socialists retort that the Aznarites are hypocrites who also released ETA prisoners in their day. (Mr. Zapatero has declined interview requests from the Journal.)
There's more. The Zapatero government has encouraged Catalonia, the Basque Country and other regions in this highly decentralized state to seek new autonomy deals that call into question the current constitutional order, and may be a stepping stone to the possible break up of Spain.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
MASSIVE Rally Against Terrorism in Madrid!
** An estimated 2.1 million attended the protest today!
Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied against "surrendering to the terrorists" in Madrid today!
People wave Spanish flags as they gather for a demonstration organised by Spain's main opposition party, in Madrid March 10, 2007. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators protested at an opposition rally in Madrid on Saturday to vent their rage at what they say is the Spanish government's 'surrender' to Basque separatists ETA. (REUTERS/Sergio Perez)
People sit on a monument as they gather for a demonstration organised by Spain's opposition party, to vent their rage at what they say is the Spanish government's 'surrender' to Basque separatists ETA, in Madrid March 10, 2007. (Paul Hanna/Reuters)
The massive rally was aimed at Zapatero's surrender policy to terrorists:
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators protested at an opposition rally in Madrid on Saturday to vent their rage at what they say is the Spanish government's "surrender" to Basque separatists ETA.
Angry at a government decision to grant house arrest to a multiple killer from ETA after he fell dangerously ill on hunger strike, protesters waved red and yellow Spanish flags as they marched up Madrid's main 12-lane avenue, shouting for Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to resign.
"This is the last straw. We're fed up with this man trying to dismantle Spain," business consultant Asuncion Casanova, 50 told Reuters. "I used to think Zapatero was an exciting character, with purpose and ideas, but now, no way."
Flanked by Popular Party (PP) councilors from the Basque Country conservative opposition leader Mariano Rajoy marched behind a banner declaring, "Spain for freedom. No more concessions to ETA."
Zapatero released an ETA mass murderer earlier this month after he went on a hunger strike in jail. Inaki de Juana Chaos, the prisoner in question, killed 12 police in a 1986 car bombing.
Barcepundit notes how this "weakened" terrorist was able to walk out of the prison by himself and was able to take 40 minute showers with his girlfriend while in the hospital.