[Marxism] Re: Bombs in Madrid

Ed George edgeorge at usuarios.retecal.es
Thu Mar 11 06:13:09 MST 2004

This has something of the look of a Spanish state September 11 about it.
At around 8 this morning our time, there were five explosions on busy
commuter trains in Madrid. Now, getting on for 2 o'clock, the casualty
toll stands at 173 dead and 700 plus injured. Both figures will rise
since they are still cutting people out of the wreckage.

The government here was this morning very quick - Osama bin Laden quick
- to put the blame on the Basque nationalists ETA. If this was indeed
the work of ETA, something that is far from impossible, even though it
is clearly the work of a political strategy that can only be labelled
deranged, it is of absolutely cardinal importance to point out that it
arises as a consequence of the Madrid government's treatment of the
Basque problem (in reality the Spanish state problem) as a
police-military matter, and not as it really is, as a political question
with a political solution. If this is the work of ETA, the blame, 100
per cent of it, lies in Madrid. In this respect it is to say the least
repugnant to see Gaspar Llamazares, leader of the Spanish state
'Communists', call ETA 'Nazi barbarians' as he did this morning.

However. Arnaldo Otegi, leader of the now illegal radical Basque
nationalist party Batasuna, is being quoted as saying on the radio that
he doesn't believe that ETA is behind this, because (my translation):
'In the first place because ETA has, throughout its history, always
given warnings when it has planted explosives ... [that there was now
warning] would mean that this was an attack intended to cause the
greatest possible number of casualties, but also the greatest number of
casualties amongst the civilian and working class population ... The
modus operandi, the high number of victims, and the method of carrying
it out leads me to believe the hypothesis that this could have been the
work of an operative cell of the Arab resistance.'

What weight we can give to this I don't know, but if anyone would know,
Otegi would.

Also worth quoting is Josep Carod-Rovira, leader of the Catalan
nationalist Esquerra Republicana (currently, but for how long now I
don't know, part of a coalition government in Catalunya with the
Socialists, Communists and Greens), who is something of a public hate
figure anywhere because of a secret meeting he held with some leaders of
ETA in the south of France at the beginning of the year, who has - very
courageously - come out today in favour of political dialogue. He said
(again my translation): 'In the most difficult moments one must keep a
cool head and be brave. ... I am convinced that, in the end, someone who
can make the decision will have to talk with those who kill so that they
stop doing it. ... If the enemy is violence and terror, someone will
have to make peace out of violence and terror so that it no longer
exists and that there are no more pain or victims anywhere, be it in
Catalunya, in Spain, in the Basque Country or in Iraq ...

Credit where it's due to Carod for 1. being the only person to have
anything resembling a political analysis so far, and 2. for having the
balls to say something he's going to be publicly crucified for.

More anon.

More information about the Marxism mailing list