Saturday, February 07, 2004

Why Kerry, Why?

Just when I started to like John Kerry he comes and makes a blanket statement involving the Basques. He makes the same mistake that is repeated constantly by the media.

We found out about what can possible be a missunderstanding through a news paper from India that reported that an advocacy group of Sikhs in the USA were demanding an apology from John Kerry for saying that many countries had to deal with terrorism, quote: " the IRA in Northern Ireland, the Basques in Spain and the Sikhs in India...".

To John Kerry I say, the Basques are members of a nationality, an ethnic group if you wish, being Basque does not mean that you automatically adhere to a terrorist group, being Basque means that you belong to one of Europe's oldest ethnic groups, that you have your own cultural identity, your own language.

Yes, there is a few Basques that are members of a terrorist group, a couple dozen at the most, the terrorist group is known by its initials ETA and its members are known as Etarras.

To put it plain an simple, just as every Irish is not an IRA commando, not every Basque is an ETA commando either. If you must use the Irish and the Basques as an example of social groups dealing with terrorism then use the names of the terrorist organizations, just like you did on the case of the IRA and Northern Ireland. Your statement then should read something like " the IRA in Northen Ireland or the ETA in Spain...".

Do you see the subtle difference? Well, it makes a world of a difference to common folks like you and I that in my case happen to have a Basque background, I abhor violence, I believe that every conflict should find a negotiated and peaceful solution, yet just because I am Basque I am saddled with the label terrorist then and again either by idiotic people trying to damage the image of my ethnic group, by people too lazy to learn about the issue and then make educated statements and even by well intentioned people trying to make a fair assesment of the threat of terrorism which I hope was your case presidential hopeful Kerry.

Don't worry, the newspaper in India reporting the issue from the Sikh perspective, yup, the religious group that you likened to a terrorist organization, well, they made the same mistake and the called us by our other media tailored alias, they called us Basque separatists.

You see, not all Basques want independence from Spain, so, being Basque does not make a separatist out of you, heck, even the term separatist is incorrect, what we want is independence, we have all what is considered necessary to be a nation, Euskal Herria was there hundreds of years before Spain and France obtained their respective national unities and identities. So, a Basque yearning for self-determination does not want to separate a part of Spain from the rest of the country, he wants to regain the independence that the Basque Country had before the Spanish and French colonization.

So there you have it John Kerry, you are a person that once risked his life seven times in order to rescue a fallen comrade, you got shot rescuing him, you are a hero on many fellas books, so please, look into the issue and come up with an educated approach to the matter.

And yes, an apology would be nice.

.... ... .

No comments:

Post a Comment