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---------------------------------------------------------------------- FI-press-l Fourth International Press List ---------------------------------------------------------------------- The internal politics of Madrid 11-M terrorist attacks Madrid, capital of glory, Madrid capital of infamy G. Buster* As homage to its resistance to fascism the poet Rafael Alberti once called Madrid ³the capital of glory². The 11 of March, Madrid has been again a martyr city. A cruel terrorist attack has caused 198 dead and some 1.500 wounded. Most of the victims are workers, women and youth of the southern working class districts of the city. Against this wave of indiscriminate terror, the people of Madrid have built again a barricade of solidarity and courage. The terrorist attacks -12 backpacks with 8 or 10 kilograms of explosives placed in three local trains- took place around 7:30 am. Most of the victims were commuting to their works and schools. The aim of the terrorist ­according to the police- was to blow up the trains inside AtochaΉs Station and bring down the whole building. Against this background of the pain of the victims and their families, of the solidarity and courage of the people of Madrid, the conservative Government of the Popular Party, three days before the general elections, launched a massive campaign to manipulate the popular feelings. Madrid has been also during the last 48 hours ³the capital of political infamy². In its first press conference, few hours after the attacks, the Minister of the Interior Acebes assured that ETA has been the author of the bombings. When the journalists present at the conference asked him what probes he could show, -taking into account that minutes before Otegui, the spoke person of Batasuna, the illegalized political wing of ETA, have denied categorically any responsibility of the independentist Basque movement- he brush aside any doubts. For the conservative Government it has to be ETA. It has to be ETA because the PP has built all its electoral campaign on a program of fear. Fear to any change of the constitutional status that denies full self government to the Basque Country, to Catalonia and Galicia. Fear to the new regional governments that question its neoliberal and centralist policies. Fear to the anti-war movement that has massively taken the streets against Aznar support for BushΉs war in Iraq. Fear to the ecologist campaign against the misuse of water resources by the new hydrological Plan. Fear to the studentsΉ protest against the reactionary university reforms. Fear to workersΉ industrial actions against the transfer of whole industries to the new found lands of cheap labor. And ETA represents, more than anything else, fear. A fear that allows the conservative Government to keep the socio-liberal opposition, the PSOE, completely tied and depended to its hegemony through the ³antiterrorist pact². A pact that can only be interpreted by the Government. A pact that excludes any solution to the national question in the Spanish State that is not based on repression and the defense of Spanish nationalism. When the new prime minister of the left Catalan Government, Carod Rovira, travel to France to meet with the leadership of ETA to try to explore the possibilities of a terrorist cease fire, the central Government of the Popular Party declared him a ³traitor², accused him of negotiating ³peace² only for Catalonia ­directing the terrorist attacks against the rest of the Spanish people- and challenged the PSOE to immediately brake any alliance with CarodΉs party, the independentist Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC). The Catalan left Government survived. But the crisis and the accusations were to be the basis for the electoral campaign of fear of the PP. The objective was clear: mobilize its conservative electoral base, paralyze the left, or at least stop its social campaigning. This electoral tactics have been very useful to the Popular Party until now. But if they could use the terrorist attacks to transform in a radical way popular feelings as the Bush Administration was able to do after September 11, it will become not only an electoral tactic but a strategic change that will consolidate its hold of Spanish politics in a decisive new way, braking and smashing the momentum of the biggest wave of popular protests in the Spanish State after the end of FrancoΉs Dictatorship. On the other hand, after having witness millions of people marching in the streets against the participation of Spanish troops in the illegal occupation of Iraq, the Popular Party could be sure of its electoral defeat if the terrorist attacks have been the responsibility of Al Qaeda or any of its allies. Its was very clear for the Spanish people that the participation of Spanish troops in the occupation of Iraq could only make Spain an objective of terrorist attacks. ItΉs BushΉs New World Order worth it? ItΉs Aznar and his Government something to die for? The answer is clearly no! LetΉs us think that Aznar, Acebes and all the spoke persons of the Popular Party that have conducted this campaign of political manipulation really believed what they said during the morning of the 11 of March. Why were them to give any credit to OteguiΉs declarations condemning the attacks? Why were them to believe OteguiΉs assurances that ETA was not behind the terrorist attacks against the people of Madrid? ItΉs true that ETA has sometimes manipulated itself its political wing declarations. But a moment came in the evening of the 11 of March when it was more and more clear that ETA has not been the author of the attacks. At least it was becoming enough clear for the international stocks markets ­always the vanguard of the capitalist system- to fall to new lows on the basis that this was not an ³internal² Spanish matter but an act of international fundamentalist terrorism. That the attack showed that Al Qaeda was not only alive but able to strike at the heart of BushΉs allies. The communicate send to the London newspaper Al Quods by a branch of Al Qaeda didnΉt help either. The PP Government deliberately maintained the confusion about who was responsible for the terrorist attacks for its owns political gain after knowing all the new evidences. It instructed its diplomatic representations all around the world to insist that ETA was responsible for the attacks and requested the United Nations and the European Union to maintain this line of explanation. Kofi Annan and the French Government refused. They refused to support the lies of Aznar. By 8 pm the Minister of the Interior had to reappear in TV to announce in full sincerity that he have ordered a secondary line of investigation in relation with Al Qaeda. A car used to transport the explosives have been found with and Islamic tape. Only one hour latter the Spanish TV informed of Al QaedaΉs letter claiming responsibility. But the Government continued to insist that ETA was behind the attacks. If truth and the political line of the PP Government were in contradiction, so bad for truth. Meanwhile, the enormous political pressure of the PP Government has stopped the political campaign. Actually, only the PP was campaigning through the Government. The rest of the political parties were shut down on the name of the ³antiterrorist pact² and the defense of the constitutional status quo. A new September 11, in this case a Spanish March 11, was in the making to restrict democratic liberties in the name of imperial security. When I write these lines, the Government is still holding to its own interested version of the events. They are trying to win time, to profit from the pain and desperation of the working class, to maintain the confusion as long as possible until the elections on March 14. They know that a terrible backslash can happen. That if the people have time to reconsider what has happen after this terrible terrorist attacks the political manipulation, the infamy behind these 24 hours of lies will be crystal clear. The first reactions in that direction are starting. You can listen to the doubts and the rage mounting in the popular radio programs. And it could explode during the burial ceremonies. There is a lot of political explanation to be done by the left if it is able to rise to its own responsibilities and start talking again at least showing the same courage that the people of Madrid. Now the question that the people will have to decide the 14 of March is if they believe the lies of the PP. 12/3/04 *G. Buster is a member of the editorial board of the review ³Viento Sur², publish in Madrid, and a supporter of the Fourth International.

από αντιδιεθνιστής 13/03/2004 6:52 πμ.


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