Sunday, December 31, 2006

Two people, both Ecuadorians, are missing and presumed dead in yesterday's Madrid airport bombing. They were both apparently sleeping in their cars. What I'd like to know is how the cops missed them while they were evacuating the place.

So ETA has murdered again. Of course, the only thing to do is what we'd said all along, keep the police and the courts coming down hard on them. What's there to negotiate about?

By the way, a standard report on Spanish TV news is some ETA killer being tried for some murders he did back in the '80s; one of the most recent is "Txapote," for example. The ETA killer is always intransigent, arrogant, and contemptuous of both the court and society. It's hard to believe that anyone who sees these near-nightly television performances by unrepentant murderers can maintain the slightest sympathy for ETA and its political branch, Batasuna, yet many leftists who should know better, especially your ignorant foreigners (cf. Mark Kurlansky), still try to justify or at least comprehend their acts.

The bomb was enormous, around 200 kilos of explosives. It completely destroyed an entire section of the three-story parking garage.

Iberian Notes sends greetings to new EU members Romania and Bulgaria. Welcome to lots of free subsidies! Seriously, of course, it's good news for all concerned. Stability is a good thing down in those parts, and EU admission means those places are now officially stable--since, of course, you get kicked out of the EU if you do something like pull a military coup or nationalize the banks.

Those folks who got all joyous and celebratory when Pinochet died don't seem to be doing much jumping up-and-down at the news of Saddam's hanging. Saddam, of course, was about one million times as evil as Pinochet. Approximately.

Here's Tikrit Tommy Alcoverro's lead on his Page 3 report in the Vanguardia:

"We heard how his vertebrae broke. It was horrible," said Iraqi judge Munir Hadad, one of those present at the execution of ex-president Saddam Hussein.

Sounds to me like Saddam got a cleaner and quicker death than most of his victims. You remember the ones he ran through paper-shredders. Also, "ex-president"? How about "mass murderer," or at the very least, "ex-dictator"?

Now get this:

The character, energy, and calm that Saddam showed in the last moments of his life have made forgotten the humiliating images that were transmitted around the world when he was captured in the hole in Tikrit, broken, hirsute, opening his mouth to be examined by an American military doctor.

Huh? Praise and sympathy for Saddam? Now get this:

The Iraqi ex-president Saddam Hussein is the first ruler executed by a court in his country, under foreign domination, in this region of the Middle East. His humiliating burial, his burial as one of those defeated by history, will be moving for millions of Arabs.

Tikrit Tommy sure thinks "humiliation" is a big deal. I don't see why Arabs should be humiliated by the execution of Saddam, just as I don't feel humiliated when Westerners who commit crimes are punished for their wrongdoing.

Now the last sentence:

Some day, not now, history will judge him.

Oh, I think history's verdict was pretty well settled about 1965 or so when Saddam, as a Baath Party hitman (supposedly he committed his first murder in 1958), was one of the leaders of the coup d'etat that put that gang of murderous fascists in power.

From the Cataloony department: The Generalitat has decided not to punish the various airlines that operate out of Barcelona, including British Airways, Air France, and Alitalia, for--wait for this--not issuing passenger tickets, boarding cards, and baggage claimchecks in Catalan! Seems the airlines, by using Spanish or English or French or Italian or whatever, are breaking the Linguistic Policy Act. The Catalan Consumer Agency has been spending its time, instead of checking whether our food meets minimal standards--there's been a minor stink about pesticide residues in vegetables, especially peppers--investigating what language the airlines are issuing official documents in. Why the hell weren't they investigating whether Air Madrid was flying safe planes or not, or whether it was selling tickets on flights it knew would never leave the ground? This is just ridiculous.

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