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Thursday, 11 March 2004


Mood:  incredulous

Everything I was going to say today was blown out of the water by news from Spain. I don't usually blog politics on here (I have other outlets for my rabid liberalism, slowly morphing with age into drooling toryness), but I can't square it with myself to blog some crap about toenails or salt, when one hundred and ninety people have been killed on their way to work for no bloody reason.

So instead of me wanking on about something pointless, I'm going to quote an email from Tris, about this outrage. Tristan, as well as being a generally all round great bloke, is part Spanish, and was replying to Looby's question: Al-Quaeda or ETA?

It's the Spanish general election this Sunday, with the horrible ruling conservative PP party currently just only about a percentage point ahead in the polls, as opposed to 6 or 7 percent last week.

I imagine therefore that it is ETA, although I don't think anyone's claimed responsibility yet.

As you may know, the Spanish government recently closed down the Basque language newspapers which was read by many Basque people, because ETA used it to announce stuff.

I know that occasionally the newspaper was a mouthpiece for ETA but this was because ETA came to them, they are reporters reporting the news, and the paper carried all sorts of news.

This decision outraged many people. It would be like the Irish government closing down "An phoeblacht/Republican News" or the Saudis closing down "Al Jazeera" because the IRA and Al-Qaeda, repectively, used it for announcing stuff. The Spanish government also outlawed Herri Batasuna, the alleged political wing of ETA (which, to make analogies, would be as outrageous as the British government outlawing Sinn Fein) and closed down their offices, nicked their computers, etc.

This outraged people as it smacked of the old Franco days when people were not even allowed to speak non-Spanish languages in Spain, let alone have newspapers written in it.

The bomb attacks, if they are ETA, are very very stupid and horrible, set off by lamebrains. If it is ETA then, this may be a backlash of the recent right-wing PP attacks on their freedom. But to do these attacks three days before a General Election, with the conservatives looking like they may lose power (a couple of polls even had the socialists slightly ahead!) then this is surely one of the most classic cases of Schadenfreude or however the feck it's spelt.

This will push the vote back towards the hardline PP. Had PSOE got in, I dare say that they would have not been as anti-Basque. Idiots.

That is, of course, if it IS ETA. The government is saying it's ETA. Which is of course what the government would like the Spanish to think.

If it is Al-Qaeda, and if the Spanish government know it is and are saying it's ETA (hey I'm a wannabe screenwriter I'm allowed to think laterally) then this would be a major scandal. As an Al-Qaeda attack like this would mean that PP would almost definitely lose the election, as 91% of Spaniards were against the Iraq war in the first place. They believe that the Spanish government have made Spain more vulnerable by sticking their noses in where we're not needed, and by supporting a phoney war against a country that was no threat to us.

I dare say that until it's confirmed it's ETA, we won't know. And if it's the government confirming it's ETA, well.....!

This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:20 PM GMT
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Thursday, 11 March 2004 - 6:53 PM GMT

Name: Cheekysquirrel
Home Page:

ETA has been around since Franco.

Since Spain started making lots of money from tourism they have been careful how they carry out their attacks of terror. It is not in Spain's economic interest to lose tourism so its not in their interest either. This attack is such a wanton untargeted attack tht I doubt ETA are to blame, but you never can tell though.

No matter who is responsable for it they should be hung by genitals and locked up for life.

Thursday, 11 March 2004 - 10:37 PM GMT

Name: Looby

I've been thinking about Spain all day too. My instinctive feelings that the terrorists have targeted "one of us" (as I consider all Spanish people as my brothers and sisters) has made me uncomfortably conscious of my slightly delighted reaction to 9/11.

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 12:15 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Two words... Michael Portillo?

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 12:23 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Eeek, I just got a google hit for 'squirrel repellent'. I'm sure I've never mentioned squirrels on here, other than linking to your blog. Actually, thinking about it, I bet you get some really weird Google search hits... :)

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 1:03 AM GMT

Name: Cheekysquirrel
Home Page:

I sure do.

I now have a category for my searches, as stupid searches are material too good to waste.

My search posts

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 7:29 AM GMT

Name: Cyn
Home Page:

How does one respond to this?
The world is truly fecked.

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 8:24 AM GMT

Name: Rose
Home Page:

Thank you for posting this. I hadn't heard about this until now...

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 1:36 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

One thousand, nine hundred innocent people were injured. I omitted that part.

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 1:48 PM GMT

Name: The Rev
Home Page:

Personally, I am so sick of these cock-waving dick fights (war) that I don't have any anger left in me to direct at corrupt governments or "freedom fighters" (terrorists). After sitting in my living room and watching as 9/11/01 unfolded on the bloody television, after watching my mother weep as the buildings fell, after seeing my stunned father coming in from work and knowing that he had lost former colleagues and friends that day, I lost 98% of my hope for humanity. And when the first rockets fell on Baghdad, I lost another 1%.
The senseless death of innocents seems to be an ongoing chapter in our lives and everytime it happens we lose another splinter of humanity - another life snuffed out and another shred of our human decency is lost.
I'm not a religious fellow, but maybe this naive belief I have about other people's God - Allah, Yahweh, whoever - being a power that would want harmony in his creation was incorrect, but it seems to me that if you believe in an all-powerful force of creation then you'd believe in the sanctity of every part of that creation.
As these attacks continue (both terrorist and governmental), I fear we'll never know even a hint of that harmony.

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 3:37 PM GMT

Name: Looby

Ah, er...yeah :)

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 4:54 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

These attacks are all man-made, none of them are acts of God. This time last year, I was in the Somme, learning about the battlefields, and listening to some of the gut churning, soul wrenching poetry written by combatants about what stupid @#%$! senseless destruction they were witnessing. (And they were still fighting for a cause they believed in.) I dunno, acts of God, whoever anyone's God is, can't possibly have anything to do with this redundant carnage. Don't we learn anything?

Friday, 12 March 2004 - 4:58 PM GMT

Name: The Rev
Home Page:

All we learn is to how to kill more people faster without endangering any of ours. I think there's something ironic there, but I could be wrong.

Saturday, 13 March 2004 - 12:41 PM GMT

Name: NoWW3 Shub

This is a non rythmical poem protesting against the war. Send it to your contacts.



It has begun and it?s too late to stop it. With an emergency call anguish has now spread. The immune ones suffered a strike in their homeland and counter-attacked at the south of the eastern lands. It?s now too late to stop death from flowing. Its hands grabbed power near the Levant. A new strike came as a blow to the western mediterranean lands. No one is secure. The great empires that once existed should now be aware. They should be the next: the ancient, the modern and the current. A coming strike shall devastate all. No bread. No meat. No water. At last, the fire shall give birth to the new phoenix.

Saturday, 13 March 2004 - 6:48 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Bollocks. A chancer spreading opportunistic alarmism. I should be ashamed to pass that one on to others, given the current events.
And there's rhythm but no rhyme. A common modern complaint.

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