So Eta has again declared a ‘permanent ceasefire’ in its fight to gain independence from Spain. Anyone buying it? No, me neither. Twice before Eta has announced a ceasefire ending its terrorist activities, and twice before it has returned to set off more bombs in the Iberian Peninsula. The last time, in 2006, Eta blasted its way back into the spotlight by setting off a car bomb in the parking area of Madrid airport, killing two and injuring nineteen. In fact, many analysts have suggested that past ceasefires have amounted to little more than attempts by the organisation to regroup with a view to launching further attacks.
In a recently released video from the group, three militants are seen dressed in the customary cover-all white hoods, declaring it ‘time to act with historical responsibility’. Er, no. The time to act responsibly was in the 1970s, before Eta regressed from a defender of Basque interests against Franco’s fascism, to a fascist organisation itself, complete with a theory of Basque racial uniqueness. Over the past 40 years the group has been responsible (there’s that word again) for the deaths of some 850 people in over 1,600 terrorist attacks, which consistently target Spain’s tourist attractions and cost the economy in excess of $10 billion.
The present ceasefire ruse contains no mention of dissolving the organisation - a key demand of the Spanish government – and not even an explicit reference to giving up its arms. As Rogelio Alonso, political science professor at Rey Juan Carlos I University, asserts, Eta’s statement is ‘simply an attempt to put pressure on the democratic players to negotiate their demands.’
The Spanish government has rightly rejected Eta’s truce, declaring that until the organisation disarms and renounces violence once and for all, no dialogue will be opened. Instead, the government should continue its highly successful campaign to capture and bring to justice the leadership of the blood-stained organisation.
by Matt Jones
This blog was originally published by The Henry Jackson Society, 10/01/11, accessed at http://www.henryjacksonsociety.org/thescoop.asp?pageid=106&poid=1039