Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sometimes Spanish symbolic politics drives me up the wall. Every time there's some civic tragedy, they have a big demonstration in order to show they're against it, and the big demonstration is always big news, though it's just symbolic.

(Note: I think this Spanish particularity is the cause of a common misunderstanding among Spanish commentators. Pretty much the entire Spanish press has accused the Bush government of trying to cover up the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq, because there are no big public funerals and mass demonstrations in America if a local kid gets killed in combat. American funeral services are private affairs, and the press is not invited; also, we do not have big public demos on such occasions, as they do in Spain. This cultural difference causes some Spanish reporters to scream "Conspiracy! Coverup!" when there is, of course, nothing of the sort going on.)

So the story is that the Basque PNV government has called a big demo for tomorrow "for peace and dialogue" in the wake of the Barajas bombing that killed two men. Batasuna, ETA's political stooges, has announced that it will join in the demo, which is a first, since Batasuna has never been publicly critical of ETA before. However, I wouldn't march in any demo that Batasuna was marching in. Meanwhile, the Basque Socialist Party has announced that it is boycotting the demo because it does not explicitly condemn ETA.

Symbolic politics. Who gives a crap? Lock the bastards up and throw away the key. Crush ETA while we have the chance. Dialogue, my ass; looks like at least some of the Socialists have learned that you can't negotiate with terrorists, you have to kill them before they kill you.

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