Text in English 11-M mistakesText in English

One thing that has always amazed me is how some people can be a member of a political party and feel comfortable. Obviously, a party gets ideologically involved in every different issue of our lives. How can it be that you don't disagree most of the times with the official position on so very many different subjects?

It's difficult to talk seriously about politics in Spain, and one of the reasons is that it seems that the only possible ways of thinking for a human being are fully, coherently represented by a political party (to be precise, by one among the two largest). If you agree with one member of one party on one particular topic, you are immediately classified as a virtual member of that party, and supposed to agree with it on every other issue and be against any other else. You won't be allowed to argue logically or scientifically or seek the truth in any other way, and the rest of your conversation will be a constant defense against straw man fallacies, one after another.

Nevertheless, I've decided to ignore that stupid perception and freely write about a very sad topic today. After reading several texts about the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings, from Luis del Pino to Desiertos Lejanos to Rosa María Artal to some texts of the hansard of the Spanish parliament research committee (even to the repugnant garbage by Pío Moa) I've tried to build an opinion. And this is my impression about the role the Popular Party (PP), then governing Spain, played in that story and the results of the elections.

First: I think that the results of a clean (in the strictly procedural sense) election process are to be fully honoured and respected. That's the basis of our democracy. If one does not accept that, he is not behaving democratically. Period.

Second: I'm not sure that the PP would have won the 2004 elections even if the bombings didn't take place. But anyway, the fact is: people were allowed to vote freely the 14-M, and they have full right to take the bombings into account in any conceivable way, just the same as an oil crisis or a flood. The result of the 2004 election is, then, absolutely legitimate, just the same as the previous ones. Period.

Third: My opinion is that the bombings could actually have increased the PP results. Supposing that the 11-M had a significant effect on the result of the election (which nobody has proven), I (as a voting citizen and as a rational thinker) am convinced that it was the government behaviour during those days, and not the bombings themselves, what could damage the PP image. I think the PP government fully deserved a defeat in the elections. And I can hold that position only on the basis on the government behaviour from 11-M to 14-M. It's only the government to blame for their defeat.

The PP and its support media are involved in a constant, desperate campaign to prove that ETA (or even the PSOE!) actually participated in the bombings. The point is: as far as the elections are concerned, it doesn't really matter who was the killer.

So far (and in spite of the aforementioned so-called journalists that try to mislead their readers) nobody has given a single solid proof that ETA is involved in the bombings in any way. Not a single one.

One can argue that, in the first moment, everybody believed in ETA authoring (that's true). I informed my students about the bombings before 12:00, 11-M (many of them didn't know) and I didn't use the word ETA at that moment, even when I believed in their authoring, for obvious caution, and I'm not a minister of a government. And I had changed my mind and was almost convinced that ETA was not implied by 13:00, and I'm not so well informed by any secret service, and nobody hates ETA much more than me. If so many of us soon realized that ETA authoring didn't have to be necessarily true I can't accept that "belief" in a government for more than 3 days.

It's been more than two years since the bombings. If there isn't any evidence about ETA involvement today, it's obvious that there wasn't any in March 2004. The behaviour of the government pointing out to ETA for days, without a single evidence, is, in my opinion, unacceptable. In the best case (that they really acted upon that "belief"), it is a sign of such a huge incompetence and imprudence that PP would not deserve to be steering our nation. In the worst case (that they were just lying and trying to -wrongfully, by the way- protect their image) it implies such a bad faith that I don't need to give any further arguments.

So, even in the case that minister Ángel Acebes was right and today somebody discovered some evidence that proved ETA's involvement in the bombings, the fact is: that evidence was competely unknown as of March 2004 (it's been more than two years since then!), and the governing party would have got what they deserved the 14-M.

But they (as, I fear, any other political party) are absolutely incapable of the slightest self-criticism.

I think that if the PP had only driven the crisis logically (accepting that they didn't still know who the killers were at the moment, accepting that it could have been Al Qaeda) they might have won the elections or, at least, they would have lost with their honour intact.

If, after defeat, they would have forgotten the subject the next day after the elections, leaving the police and the judges work freely, and making only scientific, provable statements and only when significant evidence appeared that was worth commenting, then they could be trusted again.

But what they are doing with democracy, with the institutions, with the victims, with citizens mood, is truly amazing me. And I think is a new big, big mistake. For them and for every one of us.

6 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

You are telling us that you consider absurd the way we manage politics in Spain, that we tend to or seem to have to agree on all topics or aspects of a topic with "our" party.

And then you write an article that demonstrates, beyond all reasonable doubt, that you ARE one of those people you despise so intensely. Because on your opinion all that PP did was bad, or wrong and that's it, end of story.

And what about the PSOE's behaviour during these days? What about their contaminating attitude towards the public opinion thanks to the collaboration of their media "machinery"? The "news" given by the radio station "Cadena Ser" o the newspaper "El País" during those days were deliberately obnoxious. And all of this was orchestrated with one unique purpose in mind: to take electoral advantage of the massacre.

At least as unethical as the wrongdoings you are acusing the PP of. Let's put the blame where it belongs, but not only partially but wholly, completely.

I could go on, reviewing fact after fact, arguing with you but that's not the point that I wanted to make in this case, so I won't do it. Just let's try to be at least a little as just, righteous, true, lawful, fair... as we think we are. Rest assured I try every day. Can you say the same?


Anónimo dijo...

And, by the way, and only for the sake of correctness. Where it reads:

"If, after defeat, they forgetted the subject [...] worth commenting, they could be trusted again."

I think it should read:

"If, after defeat, they would've forgotten the subject [...] worth commenting, then ¿perhaps? they could be trusted again."

Just for the record, I don't think they lost the elections because of the massacre, but mainly because of the change in leadership from Aznar to Rajoy. Probably Aznar would've won either way, but that's only speculation.

Guti dijo...

It seems quite surprising to me that my text can be interpreted in that way. So I must have done something wrong. I'll try to clarify my position.

The PSOE's behaviour during these days was simply not the topic of my post. It was not my intention to say that everything that the PSOE did was right. I simply did not write anything about it. I could, and actually I would be mostly critic. But this is my very first post about politics, and now I have fear to write a second one...

My post arose from my worry about one of the main parties in Spain questioning the validity of the elections two years later since day 1, in spite of each vote having being computed correctly. That was my real topic.

We citizens could see what Acebes said those days, and we could also see what Rubalcaba said. And we voted. (By the way, I haven't told -and won't tell- what I really voted, or even whether I voted at all). And the results are sacred.

If the PSOE had lost the elections by a huge margin because the citizens punished the Rubalcaba speeches or the suppoosed contaminating attitude of El País, I think the PSOE or El País should think about *their* mistakes, and not blame on the voters or question the Spanish democracy as a whole for more than two years or gratuitously accuse the police, the judges and the political oponents to have assassinated 190 people by means of a conspiracy with ETA and/or other terrorists.

I don't think that everything the PP has done was bad. I just have written about some of the things they did badly (but, mostly, about what they *are* doing badly right now).

If I can challenge your opinion that I, "beyond all reasonable doubt", are so sectarian, I could try. I'll accept your proposals. Maybe a post pointing out things the PP did well? Maybe a post pointing out things the PSOE did or is doing bad? I could do both. But it seems to me that in any case, somebody will see me as a sectarian anyway.

Anónimo dijo...

Okay, I get your point. But writing about so delicate a matter as this and taking into account the doings of one of the sides only is, in itself, a bad idea, in my opinion.

Anybody who reads your article is going to think, as I thought, that you already have chosen sides, that you, also, have "your" party.

Anónimo dijo...

I think that would be a good exercise for you write the PSOE mistakes

Guti dijo...

I truly appreciate the anonymous user's comments. The ones referring to the topic point out (in my opinion) too complex issues for me to solve. Frankly, I don't think it's possible to change anybody's mind (be it right or wrong) about my political preferences. Which takes me back to the first paragraphs of my post...

The ones referring to grammar or syntax are equally welcome, since, after all, practising is the reason I'm writing posts in English :-)

And, for jamaa: I'll try, but I think that, more than an exercise, you're asking me for something you'd like to read :-)