Yesterday, February 3, 2007, a new large public demonstration took to the streets in Madrid to criticize the counter-terrorism strategy and policy that the government of RodrÃguez Zapatero is conducting against ETA. I believe this is the fifth such demonstration against this government in less than three years.
This demonstration was organized by “Foro de Ermua”, an organization of citizens created after ETA cowardly kidnapped a Basque politician in 1997 and within 24 hours issued an ultimatum threatening to kill him, which they did. The organization’s president, Mikel Buesa, gave a speech at the end of yesterday’s demonstration. He was very clear and most correct in his arguments. I want to give voice to one of these, which I absolutely share and I believe it is important:
Among other things, he reminded how terrorism victims in Spain are frequently reprehended for being politically motivated in their public demonstrations against government policy. But Mr. Buesa stressed that indeed, they have to be, given that they were politically used by ETA as part of their killing and mutilation activities. It was ETA who forcibly introduced victims (and non-victims) into politics with its political arguments: murder, bombs and destruction.
Therefore, those who criticize victims associations (i.e., the government and multiple communication media houses) must apologize, because any attitude to end with ETA implies and involvement in counter-terrorism policy. Terrorism victims, just as any other citizen, have a right to politically position themselves in this respect, and their positioning cannot be reprehensible.
Government and media critics of terrorism victims display their lack of arguments to defend their policy of dialogue and negotiation with terrorists. The “Foro de Ermua”, the largest victims association (AVT), multiple other communication media houses, (and even this blog), we present with arguments our opposition to their policies. However, the government has never been able to reason out their own policy, but rather they turn to attacking their critics.