Monday, March 19, 2007

Last weekend was another big demonstration fiesta around here. The PP had a big old wingding in Pamplona against the incorporation of Navarre in the Basque Country, as extremist Basque nationalists demand and most Navarrese strongly oppose.

I am more than tired of all these damn demonstrations, especially when Rajoy comes out and demands that the Zap government pay attention to the voice of the people. Demonstrations are meaningless in a democracy. The voice of the people is expressed at the ballot box.

Anyway, the Zapathetics decided that they had to have a demo of their own, and so decided to protest against the Iraq War, with Communist, Palestinian, Cuban, and preconstitutional flags, along with banners emblazoned with Che's ugly mug. Signs bashed Bush and Blair and called for a boycott of the United States, along with demands for Spain to leave NATO and close down American military bases. Rosa Regas repeated the old lie about 650,000 victims of the Iraq war, and of course didn't mention that 99% of the victims there have been were killed by the terrorists. Pedro Almodovar was there, of course.

Zap behaves like he is still running for election, and he has only one issue: He's against the Iraq War and against the United States. There's nothing else he can appeal to voters with. He stands for nothing else except for peace with ETA on ETA's terms, and that's not exactly a winning position on that issue.

The Spanish press is making a big deal out of the Polish law that would require government workers to declare whether they had collaborated with the Communist regime or not. One point is that those who confess collaboration will not be punished. I'm not sure this law is such a good idea, either, though I would be in favor of opening up the secret police archives and hey, what's in there ought to identify plenty of spies and informers. La Vanguardia and El Periodico have both called the law a "witch hunt," though, which it most certainly is not, since there was no such thing as witches, but there were lots of collaborators with the Communists. I will note that the Spanish left has repeatedly called for the punishment of those who collaborated with the dictatorial regimes of South America during the '70s and '80s. Finally, I will also note that neither side in Spain seems very interested in identifying collaborators with the Franco regime here; I have never heard of a single Spaniard identified publicly as a Francoist informer.

La Vanguardia gave Andy Robinson pages 3 and 4 for an emotional outburst on the sad fate of illegal immigrants in the US, specifically Nebraska. Of course, it ain't no paradise for illegal immigrants anywhere, including Spain, but we'll let that slide. Seems that Immigration is "rounding up" illegals and deporting them, perhaps a total of a thousand or so in three recent raids. Which is what the law says Immigration is supposed to do, but Andy's upset. He quotes one Luis Lucar as saying, "There is a psychosis here right now, we are seeing violations of basic civil rights. Immigration has knocked down doors without a warrant in order to arrest people. There are children who have seen their mothers deported." An anonymous person adds, "I have very bad memories of the guerrillas and the army in Guatemala, and now the same thing is happening here with Immigration."

Now wait, there's a difference. The army and the guerrillas were killing people in Guatemala. Immigration is deporting people from the United States. Anyway, Andy quotes a union guy as saying, "It's no accident that they chose Swift, where we have union representation. It's an attack on organized labor." It's no accident that only Marxist conspiracy freaks habitually begin sentences with "It's no accident..." Andy also notes that the reason some children's parents have been deported is, get this, that the United States grants citizenship to anyone born within its borders, whether his parents are citizens or not. He fails to note that this law, as far as I know, is unique in the world. Mexico, for example, does not have such a policy.

My reaction to the whole piece is: So they deported a thousand illegal aliens from Nebraska. That's not even morally wrong, much less illegal. Why are the two main international news pages devoted to it, rather than, say, to the terrorist massacres in Iraq, the starvation in Darfur, the repression in North Korea, the Chinese labor camps, the anarchy in the Congo, the nuclear threat from Iran, or the mafia running Russia? The news that Al Qaeda has been using chemical weapons (chlorine gas) against civilians in Iraq got a small mention at the bottom of page 6.

Because, of course, one must bash America, mustn't one.

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