The E.T.A steps in Spanish elections (Updated)

The Basque terrorist group, the ETA, has assassinated Isaías Carrasco, a former alderman from the PSOE. He was 42, married and had three children. He worked in a toll station of a highway in the Basque area.

He did not manage to get a seat in the city council of Mondragón – a small town in core of the Basque region- in the last local elections. He had the right to be provided with a bodyguard, but he had declined that well-deserved and more-bitter-than-sweet privilege. He was probably fooled by the secret “peace talks” of Zapatero’s representatives and the ETA. He got five shot at point-blank range from the back while he was with his wife and one of his daughters. May he rest in peace.


The political liturgy after the attack is following the usual script of Spanish politics: formidable condemnation statements by all the institutions and associations, specially the political parties; immediate suspension of all campaign events; massive demonstrations, etc.

That is, theatre for the masses. First, the condemnation statements will refer to the “human right to life”. This is the best way to assure that noting is done in order to prevent the next attack. Basque terrorists are well aware of the “human right to life”; they simply do not care about it. They want the secession of the Basque provinces (together with some neighbouring areas, of course) and are ready to shed blood if needed to achieve their political goals. Under these circumstances, the reference to human rights is out of purpose. This is a political challenge: they want to secede, so you either fight them or you surrender. Insisting on human rights against a terrorist group that has decided to kill is worst than useless: it means letting the situation deteriorate even further to the point of frustration. The answer to aggression is either to fight or to surrender, not to lament it.

Second, the demonstrations reproduce at people’s level the same false consciousness of the political class. More than ten years ago, after the assassination of a university law professor, some students had the idea to demonstrate by painting their hands in white and raising them up shouting “Enough is enough” (¡Basta ya!). They even set up an organisation, Manos Blancas (white hands). Those law students should know –I assume- that Spain is under the rule of law, which means that everyone is innocent unless a judge says the opposite after a just trial. No one puts in question that those students are innocent. They’d better demonstrate in order to force the government to fight the ETA… or to surrender. And, indeed, that “white hands” symbol suggests an unconditional surrender -especially with hands up- rather than the will to fight back.

Third, all parties have agreed to suspend the campaign. This is the second time in four years, and I do not think this is a coincidence. The ETA has decided to step into the campaign (in my opinion for the second time), and the purpose cannot be but to influence its result. Of course, it is considered ‘politically incorrect’ to speculate on which party will benefit from the death of Isaías Carrasco, but it would also be hypocritical not to do it. Yes, that is the million-dollar question: Cui prodest, Cui bono?

Let us remember the first rule of Spanish politics: the result of Spanish national elections is determined by the vote of the “volatile left” a group of two million voters that vote for the PSOE, but only when they want to avoid a government by the right. If they vote, the PSOE will get a majority in Parliament and then the government, if they do not, the PP may manage to get the government. This attack will decide this people to vote; therefore it will benefit the PSOE. Moreover, it is also the interest of the ETA to keep the PSOE in government. El Pais (our NYT) has already called their readers to the voting stations in its headlines today.

Of course, this will depend on how this crisis is managed. It has been already published that the assassination was ordered by a terrorist who participated in the negotiations Zapatero-ETA, but as the victim is from the PSOE, the PP cannot use it as an argument. Zapatero has got the best possible alibi to claim that it has been duped in his struggle to “bring peace to the Basque Country”. I can bet that tomorrow the PSOE will get a majority in Spanish parliament.

The terrorist attack on the eve of the elections is going to be a repeated pattern of Spanish General Elections.

7 comentarios

  1. Hombre, AMDG, estimado amigo, creo que el «voto volátil» viene a ser del mismo calado en ambas formaciones. Y creo que la incidencia de varias bombas en varios trenes y un par de tiros a un cobrador de autopista no tiene la misma incidencia, ni el mismo calado. El problema es que el PP ha estado apostando demasiado tiempo por la «conspiracy» del 11-M, lo que fué, es y será un error, y deshaciéndose de los que en su seno defendían eso, y ahora, a una semana de la votación, viene el Sr. Rajoy y nos dice que «nunca creyó en la conspiración»
    ETA no son el mismo problema que el ISLAM, ETA quiere algo -con lo que puedes o no estar de acuerdo- que no pasa por la destrucción o el sometimiento de otros pueblos y culturas a sus propios clichés culturales… decir, que son asesinos, sin duda, pero asesinos con los que «se puede» llegar a un acuerdo, (otra cosa es que consideres inmoral tratar con ellos). Eso no sucede con el Islam.
    Pero lo que dices de «las Manos Blancas» y el gesto, me ha hecho mucha gracia, desde luego es un gesto de rendición, aunque tal vez pretendían evocar a Ghandi y su lucha No Violenta, una lucha que ganó, por cierto, ya que el Imperio Británico se rindió, pero no los musulmanes que escindieron parte de la Madre India para gobernarse con su propia «sharia.??», el pacifismo de Ghandi ganó al Imperio pero nó al Islam.

  2. Maybe from outside the gesture of White Hands meant surrender to you but you misunderstand it. . It was the first time somebody protested and it didn`t mean surrender it meant we are not in either side, because the fight to ETA is probably the main reason of disagreement between the two Spains, one that recognises diversity and one the wants it together . Because tthey can’t understand diversity as some are only one and some off us are two and to make morre complicated some others are only one but a different one from the first..
    White hands meant we want some action and it´s not surrender it´s we allow fight to get legitimate, of course the movement came from university students, young people who are not still contaminated and who thought
    . My dear friend maybe you can’t understand either because you arfe also one.

  3. Como bien dices, la estrategia de no violencia de Gandhi solo funciona con quien no usa la violencia; es decir, demuestra que el Imperio británico era muy moderado. Con quien la usa -como ETA, el comunismo, el nazismo o el Islam- es suicida, obviamente.

    Las manifas de manos blancas lo único que muestran es la falsa conciencia de los participantes. Ante la agresión, luchar o rendirse. No hay otra.

  4. No, Trespass, it was not the first time. No, the fight against ETA is not the main reason of disagreement. Those two Spains only exist in the secessionist propaganda.

    Oops, «young students who are not contaminated». So, where from their ideas come? May be from the Platonic world? Please, do not make me laugh.

    By the way, Zapatero said yesterday that it will be defeated… but he insists to negotiate with them!

  5. Hi amdg. It`s nice to receive and answer. As I thought the PSoe has won again. I try to explain to you that there are not two Spanish but three. I feel Spanish and Catalan and this doesn’t happen very often but it´s what I think is most coherent. If more people felt the same this two Spains wouldn´t exist. I think that they exist because one is the opposite of the other. Well I hope the new government is going to do what is right and show that this is its position now that they don´t need the help of silly nationalistic parties as Esquerra Republicana, they are a disgrace for people like me as well as the radical position against that the PP has been showing all this campaign. Yes you are right saying that young people are influenced but you see in Catalunya and in El Pais Vasco they are extremely nationalistic and want the independece that`s normal at their age they are radicals per se and this means unfortunately that.

  6. Vaya, si mas gente se sintiera española y catalana no existirían las dos españas…

    Ahora dices que la gente joven está muy influida por los radicales antes que no estaba contaminada. ¿En qué quedamos entonces?

    Por cierto, el broken english que escribes es penoso.

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