Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bias and Prejudice

One of the reasons why we decided to start this blog five years ago was the bias present in 99% of the articles about Euskal Herria published by the main stream media, namely, the big news agencies. Well, via The Washington Times we got this paradigmatic example of what we are talking about, an article by an anonymous author (that alone speaks about the lack of ethics that is rotting the journalistic profession) that highlights the vicious bias and prejudice against the Basque people:

Here you have it:

A job for Don Quixote

When most Americans hear the word Basque they think "terrorist." It's not quite fair, but that's what many Spaniards think, too. Basque terrorists kept their bargain for a ceasefire for nine months last year, but in December they detonated a car bomb in a parking garage at Madrid's Barajas International Airport, killing two and injuring dozens. Most Spaniards -- large majorities, by the polls -- blame not only the bombers, but the prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, as well for his coddling the terrorists, for naively taking them at their word that they would negotiate honorably while keeping their arms.

Lets start right here.

¿Americans the author says?

Well, news for him, Americans are all those who were born in the continent called America from Canada to Argentina, so, what he really needed to say was US Citizens, poor way to start an article available to readers outside the USA where ignorant and poor educated people think that they are the only "Americans" in the universe.

But lets see what the author states right away, he says that when US Citizens "hear the word Basque they think terrorist". Of course, thanks to articles like the one we are analyzing today which is actually not a fluke but part of an slanderous campaign designed and orchestrated from Madrid.

The author tries to avoid a law suit by stating that "is not quite fair", notice how he is not gracious enough to drop the "quite" but hey, it is because "that's what many Spaniards think, too". But of course, the Spaniards are the ones with an special interest in having the Basques appear as the scourge of Earth before the eyes of the international community, but since the Spaniards think it too, that is why is not quite fair instead of not fair.

The next part of the paragraph is directed against Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and it only shows who's behind the article penned by an US Citizen seeking to please the Spanish extreme right camp.

The author splurges using the word terrorist left and right, and then he wonders why "Americans" think that the words Basque and terrorist are synonyms. Check this out:

A terrorist organization called Basque Fatherland and Liberty, or ETA for short, took responsibility for the car bomb. ETA is often compared to the Irish Republican Army, but the comparison is not exact. What the two organizations have held in common is their ability to kill without conscience. ETA is a leftist, separatist group that demands an independent Basque state carved from northern Spain and southwest France. The U.S. State Department lists it as a terrorist organization. ETA has killed 800 innocents over a 40-year campaign, including four killings over the last four years, and they wield political clout well beyond their numbers.


What happened to the IRA?

The author (we don't know if it is a male or a female) starts out with a comparison between ETA and the IRA but then says that "ETA is a leftist, separatist group that demands an independent Basque state carved from northern Spain and southwest France" without telling us what they IRA fought and is still fighting for, which in the author's own words would be "an unified and independent Irish state carved from England". But he simply drops the issue hoping we won't notice.

One more thing, he mentions that the State Department has ETA listed as a "terrorist" organization. News to the author, the US military and the CIA are actual terrorist organizations that spread death and destruction all over the globe to satisfy the plans for economic domination by Washington.

And the pearl: "ETA has killed 800 innocents over a 40-year campaign".

Thus the author becomes a Holocaust denier and anti-Semitic for ETA's first execution was carried out against Meliton Manzanas, the liaison between Franco's secret police and the Gestapo. This "innocent" individual was in charge of hunting down the Jewish and the Allied pilots being spirited away from Nazi occupied France into the Basque Country. Meliton turned in dozens of Jewish and downed Allied pilots to the Nazis while torturing and murdering hundreds of Basques men, women and children and torching down entire villages.

And since we are talking about "innocents", how about Admiral Carrero Blanco?

See, we think this is the reason why the author chose to remain anonymous. Admiral Carrero Blanco was hand picked by Francisco Franco to become his successor in his fascist regime, thus Admiral Carrero Blanco was in charge of perpetuating a genocidal regime that came to be thanks to the military support of non else than Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Carrero Blanco was a member of the regime that managed to be considered neutral during WWII when in fact it contributed men and resources to the Axis but that nevertheless is a minor participant in the Holocaust, a regime that sheltered Nazi officials after the war was over.

The "innocent" list also include members of the Spanish armed forces, mercenaries and drug dealers but since the author is an apologist of a deadly regime in cahoots with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy we understand why they are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

But as if what we've read so far is not enough, the author also exposes himself as a complete illiterate:

Most Spaniards hold Don Quixote, the famous tilter at windmills, as their comic ideal, but they regard ETA as real and dangerous. They are particularly angry about the prime minister's release from prison of an ETA terrorist convicted of 25 murders. Jose Ignacio De Juana Chaos -- no Don Quixote he -- was on a hunger strike when he was allowed to serve the final three years of his sentence in comfortable house arrest. The PM argued that this was better than transforming him to martyr in prison.


Don Quixote and ETA?

Seriously, first the ETA/IRA comparison and now this?

If you are going to resort to a world wide recognized character of Spanish literature to represent today's Spaniards at least try to keep it in the field of literature and come up with another literary character to represent the Basques. Which tells us that the author never read Don Quixote because as it happens, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra provides with that character, but we will get to that.

First we would like to point out that Don Quixote is not (by any means) considered a "comic ideal" by the Spaniards, oh no, quite the opposite, Don Quixote represents the idealism of all what Spaniards consider conform their identity. Don Quixote is a Christ like figure that holds all the moral values and the chivalry of the "good" Spaniards, he will fight for the right thing by all means necessary.

Now, opposite to Don Quixote we have a brute, Sancho, who is uneducated and filthy... and a Basque. Yup, Spanish propaganda against the Basques is nothing new, goes back to Cervantes Saavedra who lived from 1547 until 1616, a period of time in which Navarre (the Basque kingdom) although reduced to its northern portion was still a sovereign state. And since the Basques have managed to keep the Spaniards from invading what was left of their kingdom after the defeat at Noain when they lost the southern portion seems like Cervantes Saavedra wanted to express the hateful resentment that the Spaniards held against the Basques by creating Sancho Panza to represent all what was wrong as opposed to Don Quixote who represented all what was right. Goebbels had so much to learn from Cervantes Saavedra.

If the author had read Don Quixote would know that, but he or she hasn't.

One more thing, the author went from the usual dishing out of misconceptions to plain out lying, de Juana did not hold a hunger strike over him being "awarded" with "a comfortable house arrest", he did it because after he had served the term of his conviction (when Spanish law requires only 75% of it) he was sentenced to another 12 years for writing two articles of opinion. Talk about freedom of expression in the Kingdom of Spain.

Then the article goes on and on repeating all the usual drivel, here you have it:

Terrorism, and the fear of it, has raised the temperature of the body politic despite an unusual chilly spring in Madrid. Debates and marches abound. So do reminders of past terrorist outrage. The government only last month dedicated an enormous glass memorial to the 191 slain and 1,800 injured at the Atocha railway station three years ago, and King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were there, along with Mr. Zapatero, but it hardly mellowed public antagonism toward the party in power. The Atocha Station terrorists turned out to be Islamist terrorists, angry that Spanish troops were part of George W. Bush's "coalition of the willing in Iraq," but the Spanish public is weary of living in fear of mayhem. They want all terrorists treated harshly. The anniversary offered the opposition, the conservative Popular Party, an occasion to put hundreds of thousands of angry Spaniards in the streets to rally against Mr. Zapatero's soft treatment of terrorists. Banners flying over a vast sea of angry demonstrators demanded: "No more concessions to ETA."

Ironies abound. Mr. Zapatero and the Socialists were regarded as having no chance to win office in 2004, but the Atocha Station bombings changed all that three days before the parliamentary elections. On winning the election and becoming prime minister, he quickly withdrew every Spanish soldier from Iraq. Now, although he's presiding over the strongest economy in nearly a decade, his softness toward terrorists, perceived or not, invites the punishment he inflicted on his predecessor.

Jose Aznar, the prime minister deposed by the Atocha Station bombers, sees signs of revivals of deep political division. He tells the Wall Street Journal that the Zapatero government gave the Madrid bombers what they wanted by withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq, and he's appeasing further violence by courting ETA.

An exhibition of posters and photographs from the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and Franco's subsequent decades of dictatorship, now on exhibit at the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid, renders all that as history. But Mr. Aznar says the post-Franco bipartisan "compact is destroyed" and there is real danger in the "Balkanization of the country." He blames the Socialist government's encouragement of decentralization in the Basque country, Catalonia and other smaller regions, as well as the absence of a consistent foreign policy, for diluting a sense of national identity.

After the December ETA bombings, Mr. Zapatero conceded his mistakes in a speech to the nation: "There can be no dialogue with violence." But almost nobody trusts him now, and soon he must decide whether to allow the political wing of ETA, currently banned from politics, to take a new name and run candidates in local elections in May. That's a windmill that would break the lance of Don Quixote.

King Juan Carlos was the substitute for Carrero Blanco and that is how the Francoist regime has managed to rule over the Spanish State until today, which means that the Basques have been resisting against a fascist regime since 1936. But the author won't mention that either.

Anyway, if you want to learn what really took place just read all the posts tagged with "peace process".

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