Thursday, October 09, 2003

Bad news from Iraq. The military intelligence attache at the Spanish Embassy in Baghdad, Jose Antonio Bernal Gomez, was murdered this morning. Some guys walked up to his house, rang the bell, he answered it, and they shot him. Doesn't seem like the military attache ought to be answering his own front door, but what do I know? One thing: he was just a sergeant. I don't know what this means, but I figured a military intelligence attache would be an officer. This is the second Spaniard to be killed in the postwar occupation. The leftist opposition is of course taking advantage; debate-team nerd Jordi Sevilla, spokesman for the PSOE, said he regretted the fact that Iraq was still up to its neck in chaos or violence and that this situation was going to continue; way to be optimistic there, Jordi. That's supporting the troops, that is. Gas the Commie griped that Spain ought to get out of the illegal occupation of Iraq and said something about turning over power to the UN, which is exactly the way to turn this into another Israel-Palestine that they'll be fighting about for the next fifty years. Meanwhile, nine people were killed by a car bomb at an Iraqi police station in a Shiite area of Baghdad.

Again, despite elements of the media's carping on the negatives--and ten people dead in one day is a big negative, don't get me wrong--things in Iraq are turning around slowly but surely. There are fewer terrorist attacks that kill fewer people than there were three or four months ago. A lot of power has already been turned over to local Iraqi authorities--these were Iraqi cops that got killed and it's a surprise because the bombing happened in a basically peaceful area that's already been handed over to the locals; this bombing was certainly done by the Saddamites, who are Sunnis, of course, not by the Shiites--and more is scheduled to be released to them. The infrastructure is slowly but surely being reconstructed. Baghdad has the electricity on for more than half a day now, and the schools have opened actoss the country, more than ten thousand of them. Things could be better, but people are not dying of epidemics, starvation, or lack of medical care.

Update on the football killing: Rios, the murdered Depor fan, was killed by his own men. He was one of the Riazor Blues, and he's on film behaving badly in the stands during the match. Some other Depor thugs who apparently didn't know Rios were going to beat up a Compos fan, Rios for some reason tried to step in, and one of them karate-kicked him in the side twice, rupturing his liver. They then realized their mistake but it was too late. He died shortly afterward. The cops still haven't identified the killers. The Riazor Blues have officially announced that they are breaking up. What this means, of course, is that there will be a schism within the group. The more responsible members, who probably include most of their club leadership, have just been shocked into thinking "Jesus, we got somebody killed. I think this whole football-hooligan stuff is not so cool anymore." The less responsible members will continue on with their thuggery, probably with a name like "The Real Riazor Blues". They will become a much smaller but much more radical and stupid gang.

This is always what happens with terrorist and criminal gangs. ETA has been through at least three schisms, and in each one the more responsible faction gave up violence and went political, while the less responsible faction continued on. The same thing happened when Terra Lluire, the wannabe Catalan terrorists (final score Cops 4, Terrorists 1), broke up; the less intelligent members went over and signed up with ETA. One of them, Joan Carles Monteagudo, may he roast in hell, was a nice boy from a good family in the Barcelona Eixample. He was one of the two guys who pushed a car bomb downhill into the Guardia Civil barracks in Vic, killing and wounding some twenty-five people. Soon afterward he was shot with his buddy while they "resisted arrest". What the cops did was surround the house they were holed up in and shoot it full of hundreds of holes. There wasn't enough left of Monteagudo to give himself up. We've seen the same process with the American mob families, the more intelligent and less aggressive of which have gone more or less respectable, leaving the losers behind in those risky criminal businesses like extorting restaurant owners, drug smuggling, and large-scale fencing.

They finally showed the video of the Wilson Pacheco murder on TV. The whole thing was captured by a security camera. There's Pacheco, who had a blood alcohol content of .023 (.008 is legally drunk in Kansas) attacking the doormen, throwing things at them, when they keep him out of the Caipirinha bar. Pacheco was married; his wife, obviously an alcoholic, does not come off well on camera. She's obviously--well, this is cruel, but one of those people who are going to be poor and stupid no matter what you do for them.

Then there are the three guys beating him up, they hit and kick Pacheco eight times--and now you start thinking, well, Pacheco may be a dirtbag, but this is a little excessive--and then James Anglada pushes him in and the three attackers split up and get out of there. There are some twenty witnesses, none of whom does anything, and the video ends.

Josep Pique, Catalonia's PP leader, has a proposal. He says we need only one big airport in Catalonia, and that one should be Barcelona, and it should be an intercontinental airport, specializing in flights to Asia in the same way that Madrid specializes in flights to the Americas. In order to do that we'll need to expand the current airport, which badly needs to be done right now. The problem here is that there are two regional airports in Girona and Reus, near Tarragona. They specialize in charter flights from northern Europe to the Costa Brava (Girona) and the Costa Dorada (Reus). They would both like to be more important airports, and the discount airlines (I think Ryanair and Easyjet) have started flying into there. Convergence and Union would like to expand both regional airports, if necessary at Barcelona's expense. The ecological lefties have thrown in the fact that any airport expansion would destroy wetlands that migratory birds use, which is a good point (though my feeling is that the importance of the airport trumps the wetlands; we've got lots of wetlands and only one Barcelona airport). Pasqual Maragall didn't seem to understand the question and muttered something about his Barcelona regional-Corona de Aragon unification plan or whatever it is he wants to do. Maragall is turning out to be a real lightweight.

Here's one for the Jedman, who appreciates very young chick pop-disco queens with generous attributes. Her name is Roser, she sings in Catalan, and she's a first-class fiberglass bimbo who likes to pose bending over so her pendulous breasts hang down like Jello. Just google "roser pits grossos" or something like that and you ought to find plenty of boobage photos and a pop-disco track or two.

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