Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Intended and Unintended Consequences

One predictable reaction from 9/11, which the Jihadis have clearly savored, has been the upstep in US global aggressiveness and a crackdown at home on civil liberties. Its part of the old Maoist approach; "exacerbate the contradictions." In other words, make things worse for everyone so we can pick up the pieces out of the rubble.

One of the oddest consequences of the aftermath of 9/11 and the Iraq war has been the impact on Spain. Like Tony Blair, Jose Maria Aznar and his Right Wing Populist Party hitched their wagon to the Bush adventurism both in Afghanistan and Iraq. Because of this the Madrid bombings occurred, the Right punished, and the Socialists have taken power.

One of the critical moments in this drama came immediately after the Madrid bombings. The Populists knew that if Jihadis were blamed for the mass murder many Spaniards would blame them so the Populists did what comes naturally to many in government, they lied and blamed the bombings on the Basque separatist movement ETA. Even though the movement had recently been seriously de-cajoned and none of the methods matched ETA's track record Aznar continued blaming ETA until it was too late. Because of this obvious lie and the events themselves the Populists were thrown out of power.

Today ETA announced a permanent cease-fire. Beyond recent military and political defeats the events surrounding the Madrid bombings have had a serious negative impact on ETA's support. Their murderous tactics may have seemed tolerable in the post-Franco era but in a post-Madrid bombing world these tactics are deemed unacceptable even by nationalists who have traditionally supported them.

1 comment:

IFStone said...

Mad props to ETA for their style sense. Those are some crazy scary get-ups. Even the berets look badass.

What nobody knows is when the masks come off, that's Randy, Paula, and Simon.