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Spain: Divided We Fall

Considering the massive protests in Madrid on the anniversary of the 3/11 al-Qaeda bombings in 2004 that killed 191, it is difficult for the world to notice that Spain stands a divided nation. Matthew Kaminski notes the troubling extent of the division in Terror's Spanish Legacy in the Wall Street Journal.
And, to complete the picture of a state divided, wounds from Spain's awful 1936-39 civil war and the subsequent four decades of General Franco's dictatorship that most people assumed were long healed were ripped open by Mr. Zapatero. In a break with previous Socialist rulers, he openly plays politics with history. Rusting Franco-era statues are ceremoniously torn down. The church and the so-called bourgeoisie--the enemies for the divisive Second Republic of 1931-36--have come under attack. Anyone on the right is, often by implication, a fascist.

Since Mr. Zapatero took office--in reality, since the bombs went off--"we have seen the re-emergence of two Spains," says Hermann Tertsch, a senior correspondent at El Pais, a Socialist-leaning Madrid daily. "It's very, very tense," adds Mr. Tertsch, "close to real confrontation." Violent? "Anything can happen," he says, "anything." The post-Franco bipartisan "compact is destroyed," says Mr. Aznar. The danger: "Balkanization of the country," he says. "What need is there to do this?" Mr. Aznar asks in discussing his political opponent's policies. "Why--why risk everything, when things were going so well?"

In one of Europe's most dynamic economies and successful new democracies, such talk can at first smack of exaggeration. But it's not only anti-Zapatero partisans voicing these anxieties, which ultimately reflect the serious damage that terrorism has done to Spain's confidence and its institutions. "The attacks showed that the idea that the Spanish transition had finished was wrong," says Eduardo Nolla, a political theorist.
There continue to be still more arrests in Morocco related to the deadly 2004 bombing. The attacks sparked the election of a Socialist prime minister and the subsequent withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq as Zapatero sought to minimize Spain’s exposure to terrorism and thus bowed to al-Qaeda's warning. But his appeasement has clearly extended to indigenous ETA terrorists in the Basque separatist movement.

In the Scotsman, Elizabeth Carr-Ellis notes that a Shattered Spain's scars won't heal, due in part because the "links between ETA and the bombings of March 11, or 11-M as they are known in Spain, have been present since the first explosion." Spain will be a country to watch closely with its population clearly divided. Splitting the Spaniards are the populist appeal of socialism and anti-American sentiment versus the belief that appeasing terrorists, foreign or domestic, risks the demise of a unified Spain into fracture and partition.

It is difficult to put a fix on just how much Spain risks internal turmoil. But should the division reach such heights, it is clear that al-Qaeda and the jihadiyun at war with the West could have asked for nothing more from a handful of Moroccan bombers and their home-made bombs.

8 Comments

While reading the biography of Mr. Zapatero the attentive observer may notice some points and peculiarities which, once pieced together, may too easily lead to sad conclusions.

Unlike some other more opportunistic leaders of this region, the zealous Mr. Zapatero is deeply committed to his beliefs, which, in fact, entertain little relevance with Spanish national interests.

I am afraid, dear guys, that 30% of your post is not true, and the rest is crap.
WE are having a fair trial about the 2004 bombings: there is no evidence of any conection at all with ETA. Elisabeth Carr-Ellis has been reading the tabloid El Mundo (it used to be a serious newspaper until the bombings), which is the only newspaper insisting in trying to find a link between ETA and the islamist. The rest (on the right and on the left), are laughing on this newspaper.
This is the 30% of lies. The rest is exagerated: We are as divided as americans (reps and dems) or british (conservatives and labours), with the only difference that we do a kind of mediterraneun-stile politics- Which means that, as soon as we can, we get our families and go to demonstrate for what we think is right.

Hello, Steve. The demos are against the dis-government’s pro-terrorist policy. The article is right. This idiot now in office is trying to destroy the country together with ETA terrorists.

The Madrid bombings were a coup. Otherwise, why have some member of the security forces fabricated evidence? Why has always the dis-government always been putting obstacles to the investigation?

The article is also correct when it says the two Spains are back again brought by zapatero.

Hello again, Steve.

I am linking some videos of Saturday demo in Madrid.

Libertad Digital Television Video

Dominique

I am praying for judge Gomez Bermudez to be able to stand up the pressure.

The trial is being interesting. First of all, we will be able to know (it was high time) which kind of explosives went off in the trains. According to the official version, it was Goma 2 ECO that exploded in the trains. However, there was no report of analysis of explosives in the trains. The lawyer of Zougham, one of the defendants, asked for an independent team to do the analysis. It has come out that what exploded in the trains has DNT as a component, which demonstrates that there was not GOMA 2 ECO. However, it can be Tytadine, the explosive normally used by ETA.

Dear Casiopea: I quote you.....The Madrid bombings were a coup. Why have some member of the security forces fabricated evidence?. What in the heavens name......
Really? How do you know it? Do you have any proof? Nope, you have nothing, Ldp have nothing and the cons-paranoic gang (Peones Negros) have nothing. We are having a trial, go to the judge a show him your stuff. Guys you do not love your country neither freedom, you hate Mr. Zapatero and PSOE that is all. You are hurting the Spanish democracy and millions of good people.
Best regards.
PD. Viva España.

Sánchez Manzano, the sappèrs chief has fabricated evidence, among others. I know it from the proceedings. You just need to read them and will see how he tried to milead the judge about the explosives. More fabricated evidence: the miraculous Alcala van, the Vallecas rucksack, the skoda fabia, which appeared in June, the bloodless suicides of Leganés, etc., etc., etc.

I also remember Sánchez Manzano lies at the Commission in the Congres and zETap lies at the same place and how they denied the appearance of witnesses. The socialist party had also lecture the porter from Alcalá. The poor man mistook him for other person and gave the thing away, the same as policeman Telesforo Rubio.

I see you are not following the trial. I recommend you do.

¿Viva España? If zETap knows, you will be called a fascist.

Well, I have to go to sleep now. I am in no party payroll and carry out a decent job. So I have to get up early.

Down with the terrorists and their accomplices.

Viva Espàña

Excellent article and opinion by Matthew Kaminski. Just wish he had time to interview the President of the newly created independant party of Spain called Action For Justice (AXJ). They are reborn Center UCD politicians making a new stance against the extreme rightwing PP and extreme left PSOE. www.axj.es