Tuesday, January 09, 2007

News from around here: ETA issued an official communiqué this morning claiming that their "permanent cease-fire" is still in effect. Yeah, right, what happened at Barajas?

Batasuna did publicly criticize the Barajas bomb, which I believe is a first, and this adds weight to the thesis that there are two factions among ETA and its supporters, the soft-liners and the hard-liners. Both groups are still demanding an independent Basque country, the annexation of Navarra, an amnesty for jailed ETA terrorists, and other such absolutely unacceptable things; the difference is that the soft-liners are now against using violence because they're hoping not to spend the rest of their lives in jail when they get caught.

Speaking of caught, the French cops busted two members of the ETA cell that abandoned large quantities of explosives and bomb-making materials a few days ago in a rural area of Vizcaya. One of them was Asier Larraniga, the guy that they had identified and were trying to hunt down.

Zap and Rajoy had a meeting. Nothing happened. Zap's reaction to the bombing has not been good; he's been repeating the same platitudes about negotiations and peace that he was repeating before. Other top Socialists, like Rubalcaba and Blanco, have sounded much more realistic and responsible.

TV3 is running this crazy conspiracy theory, which you know they got from the Quai d'Orsay, claiming that the Americans hit the Al Qaeda base in Somalia for geostrategic reasons since they want to increase their influence in Africa and control the exit to the Red Sea. Europeans are full of geostrategy, probably left over from their mercantilistic pre-capitalist economic ideas.

See, they haven't figured out that free trade makes it unnecessary to have political control over areas that don't belong to you. That is, in the bad old colonial days, Belgium had a monopoly over the mineral riches of the Congo, and nobody else could buy any of the minerals unless Belgium said it was okay. Now, with the elimination of trade barriers, those minerals are available to the highest bidder. You don't have to occupy the Congo to buy those minerals. You would have to do so if you wanted to STEAL the minerals--grab them without having to pay--but that's terribly inefficient, costly in lives and treasure, and wrong anyway.

This is why the United States and Great Britain did not go into Iraq to grab the oil. The oil is available on the world market at the market price, and there was no need to steal it when we could just buy it.

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