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SPAIN: Basque Terrorists

Basque ETA members are not only destructive young criminals without any pity: they are also very macho, in the sense of crude male chauvinists. They themselves would consider "macho" a compliment. A small Basque town has a festival each year to commemorate the defeat of the French there in 1810. The young men paraded through the town in their red boinas. Last year, the woman demanded to be allowed to take part in the parade. The men attacked them violently. The town council ordered that they be permitted to take part this year, and warned the men no to wear masks. They defied the order, and, with their masks on, prevented the women from taking part. The police intervened, and the woman paraded proudly, all with red boinas, headed by a handsome woman riding a horse. They were infinitely more attractive then the men.

In the face of the callous violence of young terrorists, the patient Spanish government ordered that they be tried as adults and expanded the definition of terrorist acts. All national parties approved, but the young terrorists may regard it as a challenge, like the running of the bulls in Pamplona.

Ronald Hilton - 9/10/00