Tom from the Bad Rash has a post up on the PP demo in Madrid last weekend. I have a few disagreements.
It seems that the BBC are reporting on a new opposition demonstration in Madrid every weekend now, inadvertently showing the pictures of falangist flags and Nazi salutes that the Spanish media seems not to see.
I dunno. Much as I dislike demonstrations, I must admit that last weekend's went off without trouble. Since the Socialist Party controls TVE and TV3, and since I regularly watch the news on both, if there had been a lot of Nazi saluting I think I'd have seen it.
...the PP government released no fewer than 64 prisoners on the same basis as De Juana Chaos's original release schedule.
The number 64 comes from El País. My understanding is that the Aznar government had no legal choice but to release the ETA prisoners that they did, since it is the judicial system rather than the administration that decides when a prisoner's sentence is up. The Zapatero government did not decide to release De Juana Chaos from his prison sentence for the 25 murders he committed; that was done by the courts. What the Zapatero government did decide to do was to permit De Juana Chaos to serve out his sentence for writing threatening letters under house arrest rather than in prison. De Juana Chaos then called off his hunger strike, indicating that he found the Zapatero government's concessions to be sufficient.
In their largely unsuccessful co-opting of traditionally left-wing means of protest, the PP fail to offer one important thing: their alternative. They're opposed to dialogue with ETA, so how do we achieve peace in the Basque country? Not interested, is the response. "Wipe them out" is the stupid and unhelpful proposition from some foreign observers (who've never had to live under the threat of terrorism).
A) Forms of protest are not owned by anyone. B) I agree that demonstrations (in democracies; in dictatorships, demonstrators are more courageous than I would probably be) are a particularly infantile form of protest more typical of the Left than the Right. C) I may be wrong, but I think Iberian Notes is one of the "foreign observers" referred to. And I think the way you deal with terrorists, just like any other kind of murderer, is by throwing their asses in jail if they're just collaborators and hanging them if they actually pulled the trigger. I will add that I have most certainly lived under the threat of terrorism during my years in the United States and Spain, and that is one of the most important reasons why I despise terrorists. And everybody else in the world has lived under the threat of terrorism, too. Or don't we remember 9/11, Black September, Munich, Entebbe, Carlos the Jackal, the Red Army Fraction, Oklahoma City, Lockerbie, the African embassies, Casablanca, Bali, Baghdad...must I go on?
The truth is that no solution will ever be found without dialogue.
I'm not sure what good dialogue would do. ETA has basic demands--a referendum on independence, the annexation of Navarra, the release of their prisoners--that no Spanish government could ever accept. And the Spanish government has one basic demand--stop killing people--that ETA has not accepted yet. What exactly is there to negotiate about?
The AVT, while effectively a grassroots campaign group for the PP, technically remains a separate entity...
Yep. And Pilar Manjón's group is effectively a grassroots campaign group for the PSOE.
There are those in the PSOE who accuse this united front of plotting (or even attempting) a coup d'etat against the elected government.
Well, you heard it from Tom. The PSOE is accusing the PP of planning a coup d'etat. That is not the behavior of a political party that wants to calm down the political situation. It is not the behavior of a party that respects its opponents as a democratic opposition, either.
I think that's an exaggeration.
See, look, we can agree on something! There's still hope for Tom. He can yet be saved. Don't give up, brothers and sisters, we can lead him to the light! (Pardon me while I ululate for a while.) There, that's better. Amen.