Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spain's Brutal War against Terrorism and its Human Costs

1. Spain's War Against Terror and Double Standards
By: Steven Plaut
Sunday, May 10, 2009

The same Spanish who condemn Israeli tactics against terror use harsher
tactics against their own terrorists.

Spain has been fighting against Basque separatist terrorism for decades
and especially against the "ETA" organization, which seeks secession of
the Basque territories from Spain. ETA is considered responsible for the
deaths of more than 800 people in Spain, a number that pales in comparison
with Palestinian barbarism. (And Spain has a population almost six times
that of Israel.)

Spain's anti-terror campaign made a mockery out of any concern for human
rights. Collateral damage and injury to innocent bystanders were regular
and common features of the campaign. Anti-terror paramilitary fighters
and forces routinely engaged in torture of captured terrorists. Numerous
death squads sought out the terrorists and their supporters, quietly
exterminating them behind the scenes. The government pretended to have no
knowledge of their actions. Government anti-terror personnel kidnapped
terrorists and held them without any regard for habeas corpus.
Anti-terror militias routinely crossed the borders and snatched terrorists
hiding in neighboring countries or killed them there. Bombs were planted
in order to kill the terrorists. Many of those killed or tortured were in
reality not even members of or connected with any terrorist groups. Many
of the anti-terror operations took place in violation of international law
and even of national laws. To suppress the terror, the government
threatened and pressured other countries to crack down on the refugees and
to deport them.

The long bloody campaign by Spain against its own terrorists is of
interest in light of the decision by a court in Spain to indict Israeli
army officers and political leaders for the "crime" of fighting terrorism
and protecting Israeli civilians! A few days ago the Spanish court
investigating Israeli leaders for "human rights crimes" in the Israeli
battle against Palestinian terrorism decided to continue the prosecution.
It plans to indict a number of Israelis, including Benjamin Ben-Eliezer
(currently Minister of Commerce, but Minister of Defense back in 2002),
General Moshe Yaalon (who was Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff in
2002), Avi Dichter (at the time head of military intelligence), Dan
Chalutz (who was commander of the Israeli Air Force), and some others.
The Spanish court was responding to a suit by the "Palestinian Center for
Human Rights," a group that thinks Palestinians have a human right to
murder Jews and engage in terrorism, while Jews have no human right to
defend themselves. A different Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzon, has tried
to indict the US and the UK for "war crimes" in Iraq.

Just what did these nice Israelis thought do to persuade the Spanish court
that it is necessary to prosecute them? And in Spain, no less? In 2002
Israel bombed a building in Gaza in which the Hamas was hiding one of its
worst terror leaders, Salah Shahade. Israel destroyed the building,
killing the arch-terrorist, and 14 other people died in the explosion,
including Shahade's wife and nine children. Shahade had been commander of
the Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, responsible for endless
rocket and bombing attacks against Israeli civilians. It was arguably the
most morally justified assassination since the killing of Admiral Yamamoto
during World War II. The Hamas was directly responsible for the death of
any civilians in that incident, because of its policy of always sheltering
terrorists behind children and civilians.

Ah, Spain, the country whose legacy of crime against Jews is topped only
by that of the Germans. Now let's put aside for the moment the impudence
of a country like Spain, with its centuries of ethnic cleansing, fascism,
Inquisitions, intolerance, collaboration with Hitler, and mass murder,
morally hectoring Israel about ITS behavior in its war against genocidal
terrorism. One need not recall the centuries of Spanish history to see
the Orwellian absurdity in all this. In the 21st century Spain is STILL
fighting terrorism, using tactics that routinely make the human costs of
Israel's anti-terror operations look like milquetoast. Spain has never
made any pretense of placing protection of human rights or prevention of
collateral injury ahead of its desire to wipe out Basque separatist
terrorism. Yet it thinks Israel must limit its war against Islamofascist
terrorism to goodwill concessions and constructive programs of
The Basques are an ancient people, an actual nation (unlike
"Palestinians"), and a thousand times more legitimately entitled to
independence and self-determination than are "Palestinians." The Basques
gained and lost political independence over and over again throughout
history. A significant Basque Diaspora exists, mainly in North America,
South Africa and Australia. The Basques suffered from aggression by the
fascist forces loyal to Franco during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s,
and Guernica, the famous town devastated by Nazi planes sent by Hitler to
aid Franco, was one of Basques.
While Basques enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy, Basque separatists set
up a number of groups after World War II. The most notorious and most
violent is the ETA terrorist group, founded in 1959 to fight for complete
independence and separation from Spain. ETA is a Marxist-Leninist group
with ties to the IRA and other terrorists. It routinely plants bombs and
murders. It especially favors use of car bombs, its first producing
carnage in 1985. It kidnaps people and holds them in "people's jails,"
where they are tortured. ETA is on the American and Canadian official
lists of terrorist groups. It is thought to have ties with Columbian
cocaine-cartel terrorists.
The anti-terrorist campaign by Spain quickly assumed the form of a "dirty
war," using tactics in gross violation of international law. Concern and
respect for human rights never interfered with the merciless Spanish
pursuit of the ETA terrorists. The war against Basque terrorism was led
in the 1980s by the GAL or Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberaci.n
(Antiterrorist Liberation Groups), which were little more than death
squads. They were illegally set up and run by officials within the
Spanish government to fight the main Basque separatist group ETA. Other
similar Spanish anti-Basque paramilitary groups operated under other names
before GAL was set up.
GAL was financed and protected by the Interior Ministry of Spain. It
attacked Basques living in and operating out of France, as well as those
inside Spain. Among its more infamous early actions were the kidnappings
and murders of ETA members Joxe Antonio Lasa and Joxe Ignacio Zabala in
October 1983, and the kidnapping of Segundo Marey in 1984. The first two
were tortured by members of the Guardia Civil for several weeks, then
stuffed into the boot of a car, and driven 500 miles to Alicante. There
they were shot in the back of the head and buried in quicklime.
Numerous senior officials of the Spanish government were convicted in 1997
for their role in the illegal campaign against the Basque terrorists.
Among them was a former interior minister in the government of Socialist
Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez. The Prime Minister was also widely
thought to have approved the tactics of GAL. He publicly defended the
anti-terror campaign, claiming that "democracy is defended in the sewers
as well as in the salons." Gonzalez was forced to resign as head of his
party in 1996, in part because of the accusations against him. Other
senior Spanish government officials involved with GAL included the
director for the Security of the State, the secretary general of the
Spanish ruling party in Biscay, the chief of the Police Information
Brigade of Bilbao, and other police chiefs.

On April 19 of this year, France, under pressure from Spain, arrested
several ETA leaders, including Jurdan Martitegi Lizaso, age 28, the head
of the ETA. There are more than 600 ETA members now rotting in Spanish
prisons, and 150 more jailed in France. Protests are not being held on
Western campuses to set all these "political prisoners" free. 365 ETA
members were apprehended just during the last two years.

Spanish hypocrisy is evident not only in its doctrine of "fight terrorism
as we say and not as we do," pontificated when it comes to Jews defending
themselves. It is no less outrageous when the Spanish lecture Israel
about its occupied territories and security fence.

It turns out that Spain occupies enclaves of territory on the northern
Africa coast, Ceuta and Melilla, surrounded by Morocco, home to Spanish
settlers Morocco does not recognize the legitimacy of these Spanish
settlements on its land. Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria have a
million times more legitimate right to live THERE than do these Spanish
interlopers in Morocco. The latter are surrounded by . yes, you guessed
it! . a high security fence, and Africans are not let in. In recent years
Africans have been repeatedly killed trying to sneak past the fence. The
legitimacy of Spain's possession of these occupied territories is the
flimsiest, and the territories are completely unnecessary for Spanish
security. The security fences do not keep out genocidal terrorists
seeking the extermination of all Spaniards. The same Spaniards demand
that Israelis tear down their own security fence.

2. http://frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=34771
No Linkage Between Iran and Palestinians By: Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, May 11, 2009

3. Leftists for al-Qaeda:

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