An op-ed contributor in The New York Times today looks at the idealistic origins of the brutal Basque terrorist group ETA.

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  1. One thing’s for sure, those fuckers can climb mountains on a bike like it’s nobody’s business…Iban Mayo, David Extebarria et al.

  2. The Spanish should have known better than to put all their Basques in one exit.

  3. Nice one Tim 😉

  4. TIM! You did not just plagarize a commenter in another thread. Scandal!

    Oh, wait, that pun is all over the Internet. Dang it, I thought this was Reason’s chance to hit the big time, with its own big stinkfest. Rats.

    Never mind.

  5. Strangely, the commenter who made that joke before is the same guy who first told me that joke, about 20 years ago.

  6. So I live in a jai alai fronton deep underground and have missed a few puns. English isn’t my first language, anyway. I paid at the office. I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.

    I didn’t expect some sort of Spanish Inquisition.


  8. Well the server freaking out kept me from that joke. Bastards. FEED THE RODENTIA! THE SERVER RODENTIA NEED FEEDING!

  9. The 1968 killing of that Guardia Civil officer was not a planned event; the officer stopped the ETA member on the road and a comedy of errors ensued.

    Also, shouldn’t that monument also include the many non-ETA members who in the past and still today languish in Spanish jails and torture centers?

    As to the issue of Basque independence (which has generally never been aligned with the concept of complete independence), well, if Basque were to go, so would other parts of Spain (e.g., Catalan), and that is something that Spanish nationalists can’t abide by. Which is why it is unconstitutional (despite the fact that most Basque people never voted for the current constitution) to even debate the notion of Basque independence – even the debate is too dangerous for a fractured, slapped together polity like Spain. That Franco and his fellow fascist henchmen are basically aligned with this vision of a united Spain doesn’t of course helped the cause of a united Spain either.

  10. Hakluyt, I’d kill for Etruscan independence. Don’t care much about Basque freedom.

  11. Its also the case that ETA was the central Spanish government’s wet dream, in light of the fact that fighting ETA has been one of its main rationales since the collapse of the Franco regime for keeping its centralized authority in place. Foisting ETA up in the air as “great danger” to the body politic has served Spanish nationalists well in other words. Witness what happened directly after 11/3 (that is the government’s behavior) and you’ll see what I mean.

    Of course there are economic consequences as well that Spanish nationalists realize. I mean, imagine if Catalan and Euskara left Spain – Spain would lose its most productive regions and be left in the dust.

  12. Pro Libertate,

    How about Latin independence? Or the independence of the Gauls in Cisapline Gaul (namely the Boii and Insubrians)? Or the indepence of the Greeks at Syracuse? Or the Samnites?

  13. Free the Sabine women!!

  14. “Of course there are economic consequences as well that Spanish nationalists realize. I mean, imagine if Catalan and Euskara left Spain – Spain would lose its most productive regions and be left in the dust.”

    Spain could just invade France if Catalunya and Euskadi left- it’s not like France would put up much of a fight. The only thing they see worth fighting for is their state-secured “right” to a job.

  15. Funny that the officer shot in the 60’s was a Galician, another difficult ethnic minority in Spain.

  16. Geotech,

    Spain is a pretty fractured place, and if one nationality were to go, Spain would as we know it cease to exist. Its simply too bad that Spain can’t honor the traditional sort of Euskara independence that existed from Roman times; with the Basque being part of larger entities while also running their own affairs. Many Basque leaders have asked for exactly this since the end of Franco’s murderous regime (followed by some slightly less murderous regimes) and the Spanish have always balked. Sooner or later, Spanish nationalists are going to have to give up its dream of a centralized Spain.

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