Friday, September 19, 2008

Oxford's Comfort

When one hears of Oxford one thinks of excellence in education.

Then you read the article titled "Basque discomfort" at Oxford Analytica and you start to doubt it.

This is what they say about themselves:

About us

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Oxford Analytica is an international, independent consulting firm drawing on a network of over 1,000 senior faculty members at Oxford and other major universities and research institutions around the world.

Impressive, over one thousand of them, so, let us analyze the article:

Basque discomfort

Basque Regional President Juan Jose Ibarretxe of the moderate Basque Nationalist Party will attempt to trigger on Tuesday a referendum on Basque autonomy, when he appeals to the European Court of Human Rights over the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decision to outlaw the referendum.

Ibarretxe first floated the idea of a “consultation” in September last year, and narrowly passed it in the regional parliament only with the support of a parliamentarian thought to be close to Basque terrorist group ETA. The Basque branch of the nationally ruling Socialist party (PSOE) and the main national opposition party (PP) rejected the idea, and appealed to the Constitutional Court. The Court ruled in favour of the national parties, saying that only the central government could call such a referendum.

September last year?

For the love of Pete, Ibarretxe has been talking about a referendum, consultation or whatever you want to call it since at least 2003. Something tells me that the author started doing research about the issue less than a year ago, a week perhaps.

The vote, scheduled for October 25, was to ask whether to have enter a dialogue with ETA, and whether to hold a political debate on the "right to decide of the Basque people" -- implying eventual cessation of the Basque Country from Spain. The central government strongly opposed both proposals.

Now, this time the author willfully misdirects the readers, Ibarretxe's first question is not "whether to have enter dialogue with ETA" but "if they favor a negotiated solution to the conflict if the armed Basque group ETA was willing to end violence".

That is a big difference. The way the author poses the question plays right into Spain's preposterous accusation that Ibarretxe is advancing ETA's agenda departing from the notion that when it comes to Basque self determination "everything is ETA", meaning, the Basque society does not deserve a shot at independence because it favors violence.

Echoes of Ghandi's non violent campaign to liberate India from England come to mind, but that independence process in particular is the exception to the rule due to one simple fact, colonialist powers ALWAYS resort to violence when it comes to their colonies wanting to regain their sovereignty.

One more thing, all what Ibarretxe wants is to reform the political relationship between the Basque Autonomous Community (which includes only three out of the seven Basque provinces) with Madrid, a far cry from independence.

Following the failure of its attempt to engage in dialogue with ETA in 2006 -- for which it had been harshly criticised by the opposition -- it has ruled out any return to the negotiating table, instead opting to crack-down on all organisations associated with the terrorist group. This resulted in the ban by the Constitutional Court of two political parties believed to be ETA’s political wing and which enjoy respectable representation in Basque local and regional assemblies. The second proposal was seen as a clear challenge to the constitutional order and territorial integrity of Spain. It was opposed not only by the PSOE and PP, but also the Spanish public at large. Moreover, it created divisions within Ibarretxe’s PNV, which ultimately benefited the Socialists in March’s general election.

Terrorist group? This from a citizen of a country that is taking an active part in the murder of dozens of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine over oil and gas profits.

I am not even going to mention the principle of law called "presumption of innocence".

And what about this grammar gaffe: "two political parties believed to be ETA’s political wing"... two political parties, one wing. Man I am glad I did not waste my money studying at Oxford.

Ibarretxe is unlikely to succeed with his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. But in order to save face, he might opt for snap regional elections, trying to capitalise on growing tensions between the Basque country and the central administration following the ban of the ‘pro-ETA’ parties. For Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, this might mean less cooperation from the PNV on the national level; an unfortunate result as his minority government depends on the support of regional parties. However, Zapatero’s categorical support of the constitution and hard anti-terror stance leaves the PP with no room to criticise him.

Well, look it that, the author knows that Strasbourg will betray the Basques, like every other international community's organization in the past.

Something tells me that this Oxford educated chap does not favor the independence of Wales and Scotland.

.... ... .

1 comment:

  1. Zapatero’s absolute abutment of the architecture and harder anti-terror attitude leaves the PP with no allowance to criticise him.

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