FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Case of Mr. Aznar, Friend of Bush

Can you imagine the response of the U.S. media if the president of the governing party of Poland were to say that Stalin was the former Soviet Union’s greatest leader? Or if the president of the German government had never condemned the Hitler regime, or if a founder of the governing party in Germany was a person who had written a prologue to a book denying the existence of the Holocaust? Surely the media would hit the ceiling immediately and call for these person’s resignations.

Well, the U.S. government and the U.S. media have been welcoming a man who has done something similar, a man they have referred to as “a great friend of the U.S.” and “a representative of the New Europe” (in Rumsfeld’s narrative), and a man that leading Democrats (not to be perceived as less welcoming) have referred to in equally laudatory terms. Even the Democratic-controlled California Assembly gave him a standing ovation. His man’s is Mr. Jose Maria Aznar; he is the president of the Spanish government and leader of the governing party, the Popular Party (PP). More critical media would have made some inquiries about the PP and about Mr. Aznar. Let’s start with the Party.

The PP was founded by Mr. Fraga Iribarne, Minister of the Interior in Franco’s fascist regime (in charge of Spain’s political police); he is still the president of the Party. He has always professed great admiration for General Franco and has never condemned Spain’s fascist regime, responsible for one of Europe’s cruelest dictatorships (more than 200,000 Spaniards were killed or died in concentration camps during Franco’s regime). Actually, Fraga Iribarne has defined the Franco government as Spain’s best regime in the twentieth century. His most recent contribution to “setting history straight” was to write a prologue to a book (The Historical Lie Finally Denounced in Spanish by a friend of his, Mr. T. M. Bereiro) that denies the existence of the Holocaust.

Such a gentleman has been the mentor of Jose Maria Aznar, choosing him as his successor as leader of the PP. In a poll in 1982, 54% of PP members thought the Franco regime had been good for Spain. Aznar was himself a member of the fascist party during Franco’s rule, and he has never denounced or criticized that regime in which his father and grandfather played a critical and prominent role. When democracy was reinstated in Spain in 1978, Aznar opposed the new Constitution that established the new democracy. And he denounced the newly democratic municipality of Guernica (made famous worldwide by Picasso’s painting of its destruction by Hitler’s aviation) for changing the name of the town’s main square from “General Franco Square” to “Liberty Square.” Aznar wanted to keep the old name. Today, the Supreme Court of Spain, named by Aznar’s government, is refusing to change the legal status of those killed by the Franco dictatorship (for opposing the dictatorship), who are still defined as criminals in Spain. Aznar has also disobeyed the instructions of the U.N. Human Rights Agency to find the bodies of those who disappeared during the Franco regime (more than 30,000 people). And just two weeks ago, Aznar’s government approved the imposition on all primary and secondary school students of religion classes (basically classes on Catholicism), which will consume almost as many hours of the curriculum as mathematics.

How is it possible that none of these facts have been published in the U.S.? To what level have the U.S. media sunk? They have reported, sometimes critically, on Berlusconi, who governs in alliance with Fini, an admirer of Mussolini. But among Berlusconi’s many faults we do not find a fascist past of which he is proud. Aznar is proud of his fascist past, and no one in the U.S. media has made any comment on this.

Quite remarkable!

VICENTE NAVARRO is the author of The Political Economy of Social Inequalities: Consequences for Health and Quality of Life and Dangerous to Your Health. He teaches at Johns Hopkins University. He can be reached at navarro@counterpunch.org.

 

More articles by:

Vicente Navarro is Professor of Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University, and Director of the JHU-UPF Public Policy Center.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
December 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
The FBI: Another Worry in the National Security State
Rob Urie
Establishment Politics are for the Rich
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: That’s Neoliberalism for You
Paul Street
Midnight Ramble: A Fascist Rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Joan Roelofs
The Science of Lethality
Joyce Nelson
Buttigieg and McKinsey
Joseph Natoli
Equally Determined: To Impeach/To Support
Charles Pierson
The National Defense Authorization Act Perpetuates the Destruction of Yemen
REZA FIYOUZAT
An Outrageous Proposal: Peace Boats to Iran
Lee Hall
Donald Trump Jr., Mongolian Sheep Killer
Andrew Levine
A Plague on Both Their Houses, Plus a Dozen Poxes on Trump’s
David Rosen
Mortality Rising: Trump and the Death of the “American Dream”
Dave Lindorff
The Perils of Embedded Journalism: ‘Afghan Papers’ Wouldn’t Be Needed If We Had a Real Independent News Media
Brian Cloughley
Human Rights and Humbug in Washington
Stephen Leas
Hungry for a Livable Planet: Why I Went On Hunger Strike and Occupied Pelosi’s Office
Saad Hafiz
Pakistan Must Face Its Past
Lawrence Davidson
Deteriorating Climates: Home and Abroad
Cal Winslow
The End of the Era: Nineteen Nineteen
Louis Proyect
If Time Magazine Celebrates Greta Thunberg, Why Should We?
Thomas Drake
Kafka Down Under: the Threat to Whistleblowers and Press Freedom in Australia
Thomas Knapp
JEDI Mind Tricks: Amazon Versus the Pentagon and Trump
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s War on the Poor
Michael Welton
Seeing the World Without Shadows: the Enlightenment Dream
Ron Jacobs
The Wind That Shook the Barley: the Politics of the IRA
Rivera Sun
Beyond Changing Light Bulbs: 21 Ways You Can Stop the Climate Crisis
Binoy Kampmark
The Bloomberg Factor: Authoritarianism, Money and US Presidential Politics
Nick Pemberton
Ideology Shall Have No Resurrection
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
What Trump and the GOP Learned From Obama
Ramzy Baroud
‘Elected by Donors’: the University of Cape Town Fails Palestine, Embraces Israel
Cesar Chelala
Unsuccessful U.S. Policy on Cuba Should End
Harry Blain
The Conservatism of Impeachment
Norman Solomon
Will the Democratic Presidential Nomination Be Bought?
Howard Lisnoff
The One Thing That US Leaders Seem to Do Well is Lie
Jeff Cohen
Warren vs. Buttigieg Clash Offers Contrast with Sanders’ Consistency
Mel Gurtov
The Afghanistan Pentagon Papers
Gaither Stewart
Landslide … to Totalitarianism
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
How Blaming Nader in 2000 Paved the Way for Today’s Neo-Fascism
Steve Early
In Re-Run Election: LA Times Journalist Wins Presidency of NewsGuild 
David Swanson
If You’re Not Busy Plotting Nonviolent Revolution for Peace and Climate, You’re Busy Dying
Nicky Reid
Sorry Lefties, Your Impeachment is Bullshit
John Kendall Hawkins
The Terror Report You Weren’t Meant to See
Susan Block
Krampus Trumpus Rumpus
Martin Billheimer
Knight Crawlers
David Yearsley
Kanye in the West
Elliot Sperber
Dollar Store 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail