Madrid: Terrorist Attack

Mike Sullivan forwards an article by "a Conservative Republican, and she is correct" Here is an excerpt from "Blame Spain for the Next Terror Attack " by Barbara Stock (3/15/04).:"When the next bomb goes off--perhaps this time in Poland--the families of the dead should blame the people in Spain who voted to run from terrorists and cower before them instead of standing strong against them. Sound cruel? Perhaps, but it is the sad truth. The majority of Spaniards decided to follow the illogical path of blaming their President for the attack in Madrid instead of the people who actually carried out mass murder. In doing so, they handed the butchers a victory. Terrorism and murder have been handsomely rewarded this day.

When word of the vicious attack in Madrid, killing 200 and severely injuring over a thousand broke, I had overwhelming sympathy for them. I no longer do. That sounds horrible but by taking the cowards' path they have given permission to al Qaeda or any other terrorist group to run amok across Europe and anywhere in the world to "punish" anyone who dares defy them. The terrorists must be giddy with joy over their success. They have been handed an entire country for a relatively inexpensive attack. My guess is the new socialist president will pull the Spanish troops out of Iraq. After all, to leave them there would be a sign of defiance and he won't want the terrorists thinking there is any fight left in them. Total and complete capitulation is what the people have chosen. Appeasement, the European way, is the road they will now go down. I will have no sympathy for them from this point forward".

Peter Orne disagrees with Barbara Stock over the Spanish caving in to terrorists: "Madrid bombing or not, the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein is finished, so I don't see why the Spanish or Polish people -- had they even wanted to pitch in to begin with, in defiance of the Security Council -- should feel compelled to continue to support deployments of their troops in Iraq without a UN mandate.

It was the Bush Administration's decision to fight and pay for the war in Iraq, and the soulless Ms. Stock seems to be forgetting the responsibility the sitting president brought on us. Unless the UN really takes over in Iraq, the US must finish the job alone. Stock is really -- perhaps even malignly -- playing into bin Laden's hand, making Al-Qaeda seem stronger and more cunning than it is. A stronger bin Laden means a stronger Bush, means more money for the US defense industry and perhaps her own pockets".

Peter Orne disagreed with Barbara Stock, who condemned Spain's caving in to terrorists. Adriana Pena says: "I agree with Mr. Orne, but with harsher words. After 9/11 President Bush received a mandate to hunt down terrorists, ad that's how we invaded Afghanistan, a move widely supported by the world. After Afghanistan, instead of pursuing terrorists, getting tough with Saudi Arabia and those who coddle fundamentalists, closing down the madrassas, and the like, President Bush took am unwanted detour through Iraq, looking for hypothetical weapons, in spite of such action having little to do with the original mandate (until a link is discovered between Saddam and Al Qaeda, there was no mandate for going there). Is it a wonder that the Spanish people want to disassociate themselves from a fight against terrorism that leads to wild goose chases?"

From Paris, Carmen Negrín, the grand daughter of Juan Negrín, the last head of the Republican government during the Civil War, writes: "Al Qaeda had nothing to do with the Spanish vote nor did Spaniards coward out of Iraq, they simply voted against Aznar's lies, just one too many. When will Americans do the same with Bush and his lies?!
When Stock wrote her article, she already knew that Zapatero was going to leave Iraq, so she didn't have to "guess" anything, this was part of his campaign, and he confirmed it immediately after his election. He was against the war before it even started and is just being coherent with his policy. Any other interpretation is, as usual, manipulation of information, promotion of fear and support to Bush's 'preventive war'". RH: The new prime minister, Zapatero, is like Negrín a Socialist, although not so far to the left. I respect him, but that does not invalidate warnings about the consequences of the withdrawal of Spanish forces from Iraq. The nasty language used on both sides is an unfortunate manifestation of the bitter disagreement over this issue.

Christopher Jones says: "As usual, I disagree with everybody. Curiously, I agree a bit with Carmen Negrín's posting but from another perspective (that's normal.) Typically American, Mrs. Stock sees the elections through the prism of George W. Bush's war on terror and nothing more. The elections in Spain were far more complicated than that. First, for clarity's sake, Aznar was standing down in the election, hoping that his hand picked successor, Mariano Rajoy would be able to defend his absolute majority. For quite a while, it looked like he could pull it off, as Rajoy toured the country ranting about the Basque and the Catalan separatists. But as it got closer to election day, it was obvious that Rajoy would not hold onto the absolute majority. In fact, this election reminded me of the end of the era of Aníbal Cavaco Silva in Portugal about 8 years ago. Cavaco, a highly successful conservative PM in Portugal, tried to pass his majority onto his hand picked successor, and his party was defeated (it only recently returned to power.) Similarly, when Jordi Pujol tried to pass the government of the Generalitat de Catalunya onto to Artur Mas, despite a good showing, the current Honorable President is the socialist, Joan Maragall. So, this sort of maneuver doesn't work very well in Latin Europe. The Spanish electorate's decision to toss out the Partido Popular was a vote against the PP and not necessarily for the PSOE. Zapatero is seen as a colorless leader, "Un poco soso" is what I have heard more than once.

The Partido Popular did not deserve to be re-elected

The PP handled the bombings very, very badly -- their early parrot-like condemnation of ETA only managed to enrage everyone. It was obvious, even as the bombs were going off, that the Basques were not behind the event. All this nonsense about ETA converting to Islam is ridiculous -- the whole country knows that the organization's historical home is extreme Catholicism. The PP government's behavior was arrogant, stupid and the voters said, "basta."

The egocentric American argument that Arab terrorists have now influenced a Western election is strictly speaking correct. But it is a simplistic parochial view that could be easily turned against the US itself. Should the Spanish electorate, scared by the terrorists, have returned the PP party to power simply to keep up the pressure in Iraq? I have even seen that the elections should have been cancelled -- considering that elections are held in wartime, what do these people want, a military junta? Considering that 90% of the Spanish electorate remains dead set against any participation in the "Coalition of the Willing," doesn't this also constitute US interference in Spain's democratic process -- just what the Islamic crazies themselves are denouncing? We return to the question: just how "willing" was that coalition? Now the US knows how it feels when your friends turn their back on you: The US did the same to France in its colonial wars.

Of course, there was another, far more important element that nobody in the politically correct body politic wishes to address: that the so called Spanish economic wonder -- an economy well adapted for globalization was also a big lie. Unemployment in Andalusía is running at 18% and after the Euro's introduction, puchasing power has plummeted. I view the defeat of the PP as the voters' rejection of Aznar's trumpeted globalized stream lining of the Spanish economy (hire and fire unemployment, lower social welfare benefits, lower purchasing power, increased corruption among the ruling elite) combined with incredible mismanaged disasters like the sinking of the "Prestige" and the oil spill, the Iraq war, Madrid's ranting with the Basques etc.

I will have to leave for another message a discussion who really won the elections: obviously, the separatists and in particular Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and after June 30, the Lehendakari, Juan José Ibarretxe.
We all lost when terrorism reached Europe; if we cannot restore that unity which is so necessary to defeat the Islamic threat, for me the only appropriate comment is General Jacques Massu's, "Nous sommes en train de glisser dans le sang et la merde!"

RH: I have heard no one say that ETA is converting to Islam. ETA and Islamic terrorists have similar aims and methods, and they probably secretly approve of each other. It is true that ETA' historical home is extreme Catholicism, but its terrorism is sacrilegious and an offense to Christianity. As for Rodríguez Zapatero being soso
(without salt, colorless), I have the impression of a kind man--perhaps just what Spain needs.

Robert Whealey writes; "Mike Sullivan as a fan of the Bush war on terrorism is distorting Spanish politics to fit his own ideology. Five Moroccans and two Indians were responsible for the 11 March railroad bombing. The Spanish government has enough on its plate in fighting terrorism on its own soil. The election was a victory for Spanish democracy. Spain has no obligation to continue to serve in Bush's Iraq war. The Spanish voters did not "run" for the Moroccan terrorists. The Spanish voters did not volunteer to serve in Iraq. The voters repudiated Aznar for sending 1,300 Spanish troops to Iraq over the objections of the majority of Spanish public opinion. Referring to "blame" and "rewarding" (international terrorists ) is a poor example of "Orwellian" language".

Tim Brown says: "As Robert Whealey's own comments prove, Mike Sullivan is not the only one capable of "distorting Spanish politics" to fit his own ideology. Whealey can and does do exactly the same thing. It's just that Whealey can't see the mote in his own eye".

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council (3/11/03) condemned the Basque separatist group ETA as the perpetrators of the deadly bombings in Spain, although members had no way of determining the veracity of the charge. Despite some hesitations over the resolution from Germany, Russia and others, the council voted 15-0 to accept the word of the Spanish government, which immediately blamed ETA for the simultaneous explosions that killed 190 people and injured more than 1,200 on packed trains in Madrid.

Suspicion was later cast on the al Qaeda movement when an Arabic newspaper received a letter purported to be from the group claiming responsibility. The Spanish government also said a stolen van was found near Madrid containing detonators and an Arabic tape of verses from the Koran. The council's resolution, adopted only hours after the blasts, "condemns in the strongest terms the bomb attacks in Madrid, Spain, perpetrated by the terrorist group ETA on 11 March 2004." But U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his denunciation, of the bombings, avoided pinning the blame on anyone, saying that the killing of innocent people could never be justified. It is highly unusual for the council to mention a culprit at all and especially so soon after an incident. On Sept. 12, 2001, Al Qaeda was not noted in a resolution on attacks against the United States a day before. But on Thursday, diplomats said Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio, whose ruling party is up for re-election, lobbied hard by telephone to get ETA into the resolution. Spain, which has a seat on the Security Council, initially brushed aside brushed aside suggestions Muslim militants, angry at Madrid's support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq, were behind the attacks.

A strange story circulated that members of the Basque ETA had converted to Islam, which seemed odd to me. Christopher Jones comments: "Oh, the "conversion" of ETA to Islam was thrown out just after the bombings. In fact, several European sources named a high level Etarra who converted, according to the Spanish Interior Ministry. At the same time, Spanish officials openly lied to fellow European security officials (I know of the German case) about the type of explosives used in the bombings in order to reinforce the impression that ETA was behind the massacre. Today, the employees of RTVE (Spanish state TV) have gone on strike demanding the resignation of their editors in chief and directors because they were called up by PP officials just after the bombings and told to follow the party line (which they did). Who knows, maybe Zapatero will be a "Harry Truman" of Spain. I am definitely NOT a socialist but I wish him well".

Ths Madrid terrorist massacre

Alberto Gutiérrez reports: "I oppose the European Union for several reasons. One is the lack of security along the borders. Months ago, when I landed in Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, a police officer in the sector for incoming passengers merely glanced at my passport. Soon I was on my way to the city. That night I left for Madrid in a train from the Gare d'Austerlitz. By dusk, before departure, the only token of security I noticed in that train station were a few policemen with dogs.

Under the new regulations of the European Union when the trains reach the Franco-Spanish border they no longer stop in Hendaye for passport control, but proceed to Irún, on the Spanish side.There nobody asked me a single question, and I felt a little at lost, accostumed to the restrictions of the past. I realized how easy it was now for a terrorist to move unchecked across many European countries.

For several decades, I have noticed an increasing cosmopolitan trend in Madrid. Today the Latin Americans are easily distinguished by their accents and physical features not only around "La Puerta del Sol", but in many neighborhoods far from the center of the city .There are lots of Argentines, Colombians, Cubans, Dominicans, Peruvians, etc. On top of that the human wave from North Africa and the Arab influence along sections of the Spanish Mediterranean coast seem uncontrollable. They are mainly honest, hard-working people, who unfortunately left their countries for political or economic reasons, and sought a better life in Spain. However ,most likely among them there are a few "rotten apples" hard to detect.

Days later in Barajas Airport, Madrid, besides the confusion of large crowds, the disorganization was such that I reached my airplane for returning home after a procedure that reminded me the arrival in Paris. Finally , when I landed in Miami , since my entry in France and departure from Spain were not stamped in my passport, there was no evidence to check my European itinerary in case it was necessary, except for the information I wrote on the US Immigration and Customs form.

In the old days under Franco, security agents asked all passengers in Spanish trains for some kind of identification, even in the middle of the night. Once in Dover, Great Britain, I was briefly delayed because my original passport was stolen the previous year in Santiago, Chile. In another occasion I almost had an argument with a Black immigration officer at Chicago Airport because she confused me with somebody wanted in California. Evidently the security measures within the European Union need some improvement. And fast!"

RH: Perhaps the new computerized passports will help

Spain and Al Qaeda's Wish List

Randy Black calls attention to the op-ed in the New York Times (3/16/04) "
Al Qaeda's Wish List" by David Brooks:
"I am trying not to think harshly of the Spanish. They have suffered a grievous blow, and it was crazy to go ahead with an election a mere three days after the Madrid massacre. Nonetheless, here is what seems to have happened:
The Spanish government was conducting policies in Afghanistan and Iraq that Al Qaeda found objectionable. A group linked to Al Qaeda murdered 200 Spaniards, claiming that the bombing was punishment for those policies. Some significant percentage of the Spanish electorate was mobilized after the massacre to shift the course of the campaign, throw out the old government and replace it with one whose policies are more to Al Qaeda's liking.

What is the Spanish word for appeasement? There are millions of Americans, in and out of government, who believe the swing Spanish voters are shamefully trying to seek a separate peace in the war on terror. I'm resisting that conclusion, because I don't know what mix of issues swung the Spanish election during those final days. But I do know that reversing course in the wake of a terrorist attack is inexcusable. I don't care what the policy is. You do not give terrorists the chance to think that their methods work. You do not give them the chance to celebrate victories. When you do that, you make the world a more dangerous place, for others and probably for yourself.

We can be pretty sure now that this will not be the last of the election-eve massacres. Al Qaeda will regard Spain as a splendid triumph. After all, how often have murderers altered a democratic election? And having done it once, why stop now? Why should they not now massacre Italians, Poles, Americans and Brits?

Al Qaeda has now induced one nation to abandon the Iraqi people. Yesterday the incoming Spanish prime minister indicated he would pull his troops out of Iraq unless the U.N. takes control. The terrorists sought this because they understand, even if many in Europe do not, that Iraq is a crucial battleground in the war on terror. They understand what a deadly threat the new democratic constitution is to their cause. As Abu Musab al-Zarqawi wrote in his famous memo, where there is democracy, there is no pretext for murder. Where there is liberty, there is no chance for totalitarian theocracy.

Perhaps Al Qaeda will win new recruits as a result of this triumph. But even if it does destroy Afghanistan and Iraq, it still will not stop. Retreating nations like Spain will still not be safe. For Al Qaeda's mission is not about one country or another. It is existential. "You love life and we love death," the purported terrorists said in the videotape found in Madrid.

There will be other aftershocks from the Spanish election. The rift between the U.S. and Europe will grow wider. Now all European politicians will know that if they side with America on controversial security threats, and terrorists strike their nation, they might be blamed by their own voters. Many Americans and many Europeans will stare at each other in the weeks ahead with disbelieving eyes. For today more than any other, it really does appear that Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus.

If a terrorist group attacked the U.S. three days before an election, does anyone doubt that the American electorate would rally behind the president or at least the most aggressively antiterror party? Does anyone doubt that Americans and Europeans have different moral and political cultures? Yesterday the chief of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, told Italy's La Stampa, "It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists." Does he really think capitulation or negotiation works better? Can you imagine John Kerry or George Bush saying that?

Nor is America itself without blame. Where was our State Department? Why hasn't Colin Powell spent the past few years crisscrossing Europe so that voters there would at least know the arguments for the liberation of Iraq, would at least have some accurate picture of Americans, rather than the crude cowboy stereotype propagated by the European media? Why does the Bush administration make it so hard for its friends? Why is it so unable to reach out?

This is a watershed event. It will change how Al Qaeda thinks about the world. It will change how Europeans see the world. It will constrain American policy for years to come"


In the New York Times, David Brooks lamented Spain's appeasement of terrorists. Clyde McMorrow comments:
"If anything good is to come out of all of this, it is that Spain's decision will constrain American policy for years to come. One hopes that constraint will last until the demise of the Neo-Conservatives". RH: This demise will depend on the next US presidential elections.

The Basques

Randy Black wonders about "the reasons for the Basque terrorism against the citizens of Spain for the past 40+ years. When was the Basque area a nation? And what is there to gain if it becomes the Sovereign Republic in the future?" RH: One must distinguish between the Basque provinces and Navarre (capital Pamplona), which, although Basque, has had a separate history. It included the the French department of Basses Pyrénées (capital Pau). Under Sancho III the Great, Navarre controlled a large area of Spain, but the growth of Castile and Aragon greatly reduced its size. In 1512, Navarre was formally annexed to Spain, but the French part remained independent. under the French Albret family. When Henri III of Navarre became Henri IV of France, he united Navarre and Bearn. Both the French kings (until 1789) and the Spanish kings (until 1833) used the additional title "King of Navarre".

The Basque provinces proper are a different story. They were the home of the Carlists, Catholic reactionaries who fought unsuccessfully in the 19th century to take over the Spanish state. In the Spanish Civil War, Navarre sided with Franco, but the Basque provinces, especially the main city Bilbao, stood by the republic, for which they were the target of a brutal attack by Franco forces and Nazi aviation. ETA was a response to this, They are essentially young terrorists, but they use some of the trappings of the of Catholic Carlists. I hope this whole business settles down. ETA opposes the new Socialist government of Spain, but not as bitterly as the Aznar government, viewed as the heir of Franco. There is always a danger of chaos in the Basque region, and a renewal of the Civil War cannot be totally excluded. The Basque provinces have an extraordinary degree of autonomy and should be satisfied.

Alberto Gutiérrez says: "A few days after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York, Osama bin Laden vowed to destroy the Romanesque cathedral in Santiago de Compostela and the tomb of the apostle James the Great (Santiago el Mayor) ,the patron saint of Spain. James the Great was invoked as a powerful defender of Christianity against the Moors, the Muslims who seized and ruled sections of Spain until the end of "La Reconquista" in 1492". RH: This raises an important point. Santiago (St. James) was "matamoros", the Moor killer. Arab nationalists often talk of reconquering Andalusia, but now apparently they are planning a terrorist attack on Santiago cathedral where the saint is buried. Some of the terrorists captured in Spain came from Morocco. I assume that the Spanish government has taken precautions. It never seems to occur to the Arabs that the Spaniards were not the aggressors; they were simply fighting Islamic invaders. That is why it is called the Reconquest. This takes us back to our Learning History project. How do Moroccan history textbooks describe the history of Spain?

Civil War still haunts Spanish politics

David Westbrook calls our attention to this article in the New York Times (3/29/04) by Antonio Feros:

"Civil War Still Haunts Spanish Politics": W
hile rescue crews were still picking through the rubble from the devastating explosions in Madrid last week, Spanish commentators were already making comparisons, not to 9/11, not to other terrorist attacks that had occurred in Europe over the last couple of decades but to the unrest in 1934 through 1936, the bloody period preceding the bitter Spanish Civil War. Some on the left, for example, warned that José María Aznar's ruling center-right Popular Party was using the tactics of the Francoists and preparing a coup d'état to prevent the Socialist Party from winning Sunday's national election. Later, critics on the right claimed that the Socialists had used illegal, antidemocratic tactics to win the vote — as the left was accused of doing before and during the civil war. Thousands of Popular Party supporters chanted, "This is a robbery" in Madrid last Sunday night, after the results had been announced. Regardless of the accuracy of such rumors, the fact that a 70-year-old conflict should so quickly come to mind indicates just how deeply ingrained the civil war is in the collective memory of the country and how it continues to have a profound influence on the ways Spaniards speak about national politics.

Federico Jiménez Losantos, a conservative journalist at Radio COPE and a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Aznar, said that the only precedent in the history of Spain to such violence against innocent civilians occurred in 1936, in Paracuellos del Jarama, a little town close to Madrid, "where several hundred conservative political prisoners were executed by leftist militants." (This comment was made soon after the March 11 attacks, when many Spaniards thought the Basque Separatist group ETA was responsible.)

Just this last Wednesday, during a press conference to present his new film, Pedro Almodóvar, the celebrated Spanish director, referred to rumors that blamed the Popular Party government for "planning a coup d'état on Saturday night to prevent the victory of the Socialists."

That the civil war should remain a searing political reference point more than 25 years after democracy was established is not as odd as may at first seem. Some of Spain's main political parties, including the Socialist, the Communist and some nationalist parties, played substantial roles before and during the civil war, and analysts believe that their ideologies, tactics and goals have not changed substantially since then.

The Popular Party did not exist during the civil war, but it was originally founded in the late 1970's by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a minister of Francisco Franco during the 1960's; and on occasion it has been regarded as the offspring of Francoist ideology and tactics. Therefore, to understand the real intentions of each political party, the argument goes, one must look at what happened before and during the civil war.

Yet just what happened during that period — when 300,000 people died in action, 400,000 were forced into exile and another 400,000 were imprisoned by Francoists during and after the war — has become the subject of increasingly bitter dispute.

Pío Moa, a journalist and historian, is probably the best known of the recent crop of revisionists. His several books on the Republic (1931-1936) and the civil war have been enormously popular. "Los Mitos de la Guerra Civil" ("The Myths of the Civil War"), published last year, sold more than 100,000 copies in a few months. In it Mr. Moa systematically questions the main thesis accepted by a majority of Spanish historians: that Franco overthrew the democratically elected government. In the words of Stanley Payne, a historian at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Mr. Moa disputes "the notion that leftist politics under the Republic were inherently democratic and constitutionalist and the idea that the civil war was the product of a long-standing conspiracy by wealthy reactionaries rather than a desperate response to stop a revolutionary process that had largely destroyed constitutional government."

RH: Civil wars leave long memories, as is evident from WAIS discussions about the American Civil War. Note that Pio Moa quotes WAISer Stanley Payne. There is always a danger that ETA could trigger another civil war.

Federico Jiménez Losantos, a conservative journalist at Radio COPE and a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Aznar, said that the only precedent in the history of Spain to such violence against innocent civilians occurred in 1936, in Paracuellos del Jarama, a little town close to Madrid, "where several hundred conservative political prisoners were executed by leftist militants." John Heelan comments: "The degree of faith that one can place in Jiménez Lozano's journalist integrity can be measured by his conveniently forgetting the 1936 Nationalist assassinations in Granada (in which it is estimated that some 5000 civilians were killed) and the 1937 bombings by Franco's forces of civilian populations in Ochandia, Durango and Guernica (in which the death toll estimates range from hundreds to thousands)". RH: Each sides stresses the atrocities committed by the other.

Adriana Pena says: "It is indeed sad that Spaniards seem determined to fight the Civil War all over again. In this the leaders and intellectual guides are more guilty than the common people. If you want to be cynical, you could say that come election time, they start digging up corpses, and arguing who killed more. A good example of leader blindness was that of the Aznar government regarding the digging upof corpses of those killed by the Franco side. He denied any official sanction or support, letting people like Losantos complain that they only dug corpses killed by one side and not the other, forgetting that the foundation involved in the digging was a completely private affair. Furthermore, the Aznar government compounded the error by sending a government commission, fully paid, to dig out the dead of the Blue Division in Russia. You can imagine how that went with those who reasoned "They cannot dig out my grandmother, but they can dig out a lot of people who went to fight for Hitler". All this does not help study history, and some things get lost in the cacophony, such as the fact that the II Republic was almost a textbook case of what Professor Alexander J. Groth calls "bankrupt democracy"."

ID Cards

Tim Brown says: "Obviously, Spain's having National ID cards did not deter the Madrid bombers nor is it evident that having a US National ID card system would have deterred 9/11. But we will never know for sure. Nor will we ever know for sure, absent perfect intelligence on all terrorist plots, whether successful or not whether Spain's system deterred other attacks that did not take place because of it. It does seem, however, that the Spanish national registration system and relatively extensive control of residents probably did facilitate the quick detention of suspects after the fact, which is more than we were able to do. Of course, Spain's system can also be used to support a conspiracy theory, as this comment I just received from a Madrileno friend shows: "I think that the 11 March bombings MIGHT be traced to the Basque separatists; indeed it IS a funny coincidence that the events took place 3 days before the elections and, also, that so many clues were left behind (over 10 people arrested within 5 days, not to mention the video tapes conveniently found near the Madrid mosque, a plant?). Left and separatists - supported by their potent mass-media did the rest (remember the 1938 Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast and subsequent nation-wide hysteria?)."

In any case my impression is that we are in fact moving rather quickly towards creating a national multi-source registry that will act as a de facto national identity system by combining state issued driver's licenses or ID cards, police records, border control records, and so forth. But some of the biggest national data banks are not, or not yet, included, such as Social Security and IRS records, educational records and so forth. But, while it is based on existing record data systems it will still be somewhat inefficient because there are legal and political concerns about including such existing systems as Social Security and IRS. Once this is done, the debate will be whether to create a National ID Card that turns all this into a centralized system managed by the federal government".

RH: The clues left to make it appear that Moorish terrorists were responsible for the Madrid terrorist bombing do indeed suggest that ETA was responsible and was putting out false leads.

Dwight Peterson writes: "I have long been a proponent of a National IDCard which most countries have. In this era of increasing security concerns it seems vital to me that we have a document that gives instant legitimacy and recognition to all levels of government and commerce of this country's residents. To me this is not an invasion of privacy but a necessary tool to monitor our legal residents, as opposed to illegal and potentially dangerous interlopers. Most countries of the world have such a document and the three countries I lived and worked in extensively, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile, certainly do and I think the concept is sound".

From France, Christopher Jones says: "Tim Brown mixes the issues, and I must attempt to separate them. The entirety of continental Europe uses the ID card and has done so for years and years (interesting would be to find out when they were introduced . . . the Nazis certainly made the word Ausweiss (ID document) famous). In Spain the DNI (or Documento Nacional de Identidad ) is an ID document in the form of a card which shouldn't be confused with the equally important NIF card (Numero de identificación fiscal), without which you cannot have a telephone installed, have an internet account. etc. If you become a Spanish resident, you must apply for the equivalent of these documents for foreigners. The Spaniards are quite rigorous, in particular with Moros. But, these documents are no guaranty against forgery and the faking of stolen documents. France is the same.

However, we must realize that the only really effective insurance against Islamic terrorism in Europe is to deport all suspicious and even, not-so-suspicious Moslems from Europe. Any Islamic woman who does not abandon the headscarf should be immediately deported and her family too. Why? Am I being too harsh? In Kemalist Turkey, it has been reported, the wearing of the headscarf in public places is also banned. Then why should western Europe be forced to accept a fundamentalist practice that insults every woman who does NOT wear a headscarf -- in complete contradiction with the values of our western world. There is no other alternative. The Islamic religion considers us infidels. It is out to convert the entire planet to Islam. The Moslem religion can NEVER accept the separation between the state and religion. It is now us -- or them.

Germany in particular has allowed the presence on its territory of the Caliph of Cologne (Kaplan) and refused to deport this misfit to Turkey, with the paltry excuse that he would be tortured there -- an outright contradiction of Germany's backing of Turkey's entry into the EU based on the banning of the use of torture. (Make some sense of that if you please) But the Germans have gone one step even farther. It is now the number one immigration spot for eastern European/Russian/Ukrainian Jews. In other words, Germany has actually encouraged Jews and Moslems to immigrate to its territory. Europe has literally imported the entire Israeli/Arab conflict into Europe! To be fair, if any Jews practice openly extreme, violent Zionism, they should also be deported to Israel.

Finally regarding the tragedy in Madrid. One of the ringleaders was a well known Moroccan who seems to have been involved in the Casablanca bombings. This monster, a man named Zoumgan, rented a little ramshackle shack just outside of Madrid that was shown on Euro TV last night. The Moros walled it off and built concrete caches in the earth for storing their explosives. There can be little doubt that this tragedy was the work of the Moros and they are in cahoots with Al Qaeda. Not ETA. Why were they caught? Easy. The Spanish people cannot stand Arabs or Moors or whatever you wish to name these killers. They stand out like a sore thumb. But if that is the case, why are they tolerated in Spain?

Good question: we return to US promoted globalization and "We're all the same down under." Oh dear, life is soooo hard in Morocco, Europe is paved in gold! In reality, they are encouraged to come because the global world needs slaves. There is a propaganda that says that a white European is the same as an Ethiopian. For me, this is the gibberish of a moron. This perverse "abortion" i.e. globalization is a "cute" excuse for America to shove its junk food down our throats while girating rappers pull on their crotch, all for a tidy profit for their masters. What the American plutocrats don't want to admit is that Al Qaeda's terror too is a product of globalization.


The choice of a word can tell us a lot about a civilization. When I lived in Spain in the 1930s, the highest expression of praise was to call a person or thing "bárbaro", barbarian. It indicates a comp`lete inversion of values. This was at a time when Spain was trying and failing to establish a viable democracy. Despite their artistic talents, García Lorca, Buñuel, Dali, Pio Baroja, and co were clowns. Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned, was said to have artistic ability. I thought the word "bárbaro" had lost favor in Spanish, but now a musical group has appeared in Mexico calling itself "Los Bárbaros del Norte", the barbarians of the north. How widespread in modern Spanish is the use of the word "bàrbaro" as the supreme accolade?

From New York, whereb¡ it is snowing, Trudy Balch says: ""Bárbaro" as a supreme accolade is very widespread in
Argentina, and I've heard people use it a lot in Mexico too. I'm sorry I can't give you a more detailed first-hand country-by-country breakdown, but one of the meanings given for "bárbaro" in my Oxford Spanish<>English dictionary is "estupendo, magnífico," with English as "super" or "fantastic"." RH: Of course, but stupendous, magnificent, etc. do not indicate a inversion of values, as "barbarian" does.

Añberto Gutièrrez reports on the Cuban use of "bátrbaro": "Unfortunately sometimes Cubans also use adjectives meaning just the opposite. Recently a friend "complimented" me because I took care of a particular problem. "Eres un bárbaro" (You are a barbarian), he said".

I said "stupendous, magnificent, etc. do not indicate a inversion of values, as "barbarian" does". George Sassoon comments: "In British teenage slang "wicked" is used as a term of approval. In German, "toll" and "wahnsinnig", both meaning "insane", are widespread. Perhaps there are similar examples of inversion of values in other languages". RH: There is here a whole field of scholarship which has been neglected: Judging a culture by its choice of adjectives (and possibly nouns and verbs) which reveal its scale.of values.

The News From Spain by Michael Radu

The Foreign Policy Research Institute has distributed (3/16/04) "The news from Spain: Terror works" by Michael Radu. Here is an excerpt: "Spain's March 14 election is bad news for the War on Terrorism. It suggests that terrorism, at the very least, can panic a democratic vote to appease it. The new socialist government, opposed to the war in Iraq, will be watched very carefully for its performance not only with ETA but the al-Qaeda and other Islamic terror cells known to be operating in the country.

A day before the March 11 bombings in Madrid that left 200 dead and over 1,000 wounded, with the general elections only days away, the ruling Partido Popular of Prime Minister José Maria Aznar was ahead in the polls by some 5 percent, and Aznar's designated successor, tough former Interior Minister Mariano Rajoy, seemed a shoo-in to continue the eight years that party's government. The party had a solid record of accomplishments. It had transformed what used to be a large backwater of Europe into the world's eighth-largest economy and one of the fastest growing economies in an otherwise stagnant Europe. Spain came to be highly respected in Latin America and in the EU's councils; and it dealt resounding defeats to the Basque terrorists of the Euzkadi Ta Azkatasuna (ETA). Aznar's foreign policy was that of a true statesman-a rarity in today's Europe. Against the overwhelming sentiments of the majority of his anti-American citizens, he strongly supported the United States in the war on terror, sending troops to Afghanistan and Iraq at the cost of Spanish lives. His government was both active and effective in hunting down Islamist terror cells in Spanish territory.

By contrast, the opposition Basque politicians of the regional government, insufficiently pleased with enjoying the highest standards of living in Spain, pushed for total independence and took an ambiguous position vis-a-vis ETA's legal fronts. Aznar's main opposition, the PSOE (Socialist Workers' Party), in an attempt to ride the anti-American tide to success, opposed the war in Iraq, while its Catalan branch's allies engaged with the ETA.

Then the bombings took place, and a significant enough minority of Spaniards appeared to panic. Despite public disclaimers by the PSOE's leader (and the country's next prime minister), Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, despite the three-day national period of mourning and the declared suspension of the electoral campaign, PSOE operatives in Estremadura and elsewhere incited masses of party militants and clueless students to demonstrate against the government.Their slogans tell the whole story: "We want the truth before voting", "Our dead, your war" and "The people do not believe the lies of the PP."

The mendacity was extraordinary. "We want the truth before voting" -- the bombings occurred on Thursday, and the government was rapidly pressing the investigation on. French, British, American, and Israeli help was requested and received; the Moroccan government, normally not on the most cooperative terms with Madrid, was cooperating; and arrests were being made. The government, naturally enough, was in the midst of dealing with a humanitarian disaster while openly informing the public of both main directions of investigation --the ETA and Islamic terrorists. No government could have done better or differently, and there were no 'lies'".

Ronald Hilton -