FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Consolidating an Ally?

A friend calls early this morning and tells me to turn on the TV. “What is it? What’s going on?” “Just turn on the TV.”

And there it was.

Scenes of panic, blood running down people’s faces, medics giving people oxygen masks, trains with gaping holes, bodies strewn on the tracks, some covered with blankets and others not, constantly growing figures of dead and wounded given by TV news journalists, the tears and shell shock of eyewitnesses and endless speculation on who the culprits might be.

I leave the house and take a walk to see what’s going on. I find hundreds of employees of a court house gathered on the street in silent protest at the massacre. In the central square Puerta del Sol, a spontaneous demonstration includes cries against war and violence together with desperate, enraged chanting against ETA, which is considered by most to be responsible. In the same square, a long line of people wait to donate blood for the victims.

The media are already calling it Spain’s own September 11. As of this writing, some 186 people are said to have died in the coordinated bomb attacks on commuter trains this morning in Madrid, and some 1,000 have been wounded. Nothing on this scale has occurred in Spain since the Spanish Civil War and Counterrevolution of 1936-1939. And general elections are three days away.

No one has claimed responsibility as of yet, though the government and major media here insist that it must have been ETA, the Basque separatist group. Whoever did it decided to strike directly at a mass of working-class people on their way to work in the capital. The hospitals are overflowing, stories abound of how medics have run out of basic supplies in certain places and have had to use alcohol from bars to sterilize wounds. It’s a crime against humanity.

My own feeling is that the attack, either deliberately or not, could end up making Spain a firmer ally of Washington in the “war on terror,” regardless of who wins the elections this Sunday. Some 94% of the population opposed the invasion of Iraq and the Aznar government’s unconditional support for it, and at least 10% of the population took to the streets against the war on February 15 last year. That is, the “war on terror” and the US/UK/Israel crusade aroused very little support among the populace.

As Spain’s own 9/11, this attack might be the “blood bond,” the tool for the Spanish political class to consolidate broader social support for coming imperial wars, restrictions of civil liberties and general social paranoia, phenomena from which Spain had been relatively exempt until today.

Those responsible for this must have known.

JAMES HOLLANDER is a translator living in Madrid. He can be contacted at antiwar@ya.com.

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 17, 2019
Manuel García, Jr.
Ye Cannot Swerve Me: Moby-Dick and Climate Change
Charles Pierson
Sofi’s Choice
Gary Leupp
Epstein, Jane Doe, and Trump
Rebecca Gordon
I Had an Abortion and Now I’m Not Ashamed
Peter Bolton
In the US and Brazil, Two Trends Underline the Creeping Fascism of Both Governments
Michael Kidder
“Go Back Where You Came From:” an Episode From Canada
Steve Early - Rand Wilson
How Big Strike 30 Years Ago Aided Fight for Single Payer
John W. Whitehead
Sexual Predators in the Power Elite
Michael Welton
Teach the Children Well: the Unrealized Vision In Teaching and Learning in the Residential Schools
Khury Petersen-Smith
Iran’s Not the Aggressor, the US Is
Russell Mokhiber
Kip Sullivan and Dr. Matthew Hahn on How Value Based Programs Are Undermining Medicare and Single Payer
George Ochenski
A Fearless and Free Press is Essential to Our Democracy
Lawrence Wittner
Billionaires and American Politics
Dean Baker
Cheap Shots at the Trump Economy
July 16, 2019
Conn Hallinan
The World Needs a Water Treaty
Kenneth Surin
Britain Grovels: the Betrayal of the British Ambassador
Christopher Ketcham
This Land Was Your Land
Gary Leupp
What Right Has Britain to Seize an Iranian Tanker Off Spain?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Democratic Virtues in Electing a President
Thomas Knapp
Free Speech Just isn’t That Complicated
Binoy Kampmark
The Resigning Ambassador
Howard Lisnoff
Everybody Must Get Stoned
Nicky Reid
Nukes For Peace?
Matt Johnson
The United States of Overreaction
Cesar Chelala
Children’s Trafficking and Exploitation is a Persistent, Dreary Phenomenon
Martin Billheimer
Sylvan Shock Theater
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail