Sunday, March 14, 2004

Attacks in Madrid

Everyone is guessing about Spain. It wasn't terrorism, as terrorism requires someone taking responsibility for the attacks in order to use the threat of violence against civilians to force politicians towards a political goal. The Abu Hafs Al-Masri Brigades, who initially took responsibility, are responsibility sluts, claiming involvement in everything (including last summer's blackout in the U. S. and Canada!), which removes the credibility from all their claims. Since no ETA group has claimed responsibility (and note that the Spanish government accused the ETA before Spanish officials could possibly have had any evidence, proving once again how the term 'terrorism' is used by those in power to vilify those who lack power), and the latest 'al Qaeda' claim is a day late and a Euro short, there is no legitimate claim of responsibility, and the attack cannot be traditional terrorism. The fact that the police have already rounded up the usual suspects means nothing. The attacks appear to be closer to a 'strategy of terror', where groups associated with those in power use terrorism threats against civilians to put political pressure on the politicians - in this case, welcome political pressure - to lead the politicians to enact right-wing legislation banning dissent and increasing the power of the police state, all justified by the necessity to fight the 'war on terrorism'. The discovery of the truck containing detonators and a tape in Arabic is a nice touch to create racial tension in Spain, although tricks like this have been used so often they are getting a little too obvious. The most likely candidates for the Madrid explosions are extreme right-wingers associated with both the Francoist edge of the governing conservative Popular Party - which is really more at the center than the edge as the party was founded by one of Franco's ministers who is still a major power in the party - and the Spanish military. I wouldn't call the Popular Party fascists, but some of their friends certainly are. It was not that long ago (1981) that these same people attempted a coup in Spain, and they are still a powerful force behind the scenes. We will probably never know the truth, as it cuts too close to very deep power structures in Spain.