Monday, January 30, 2006

Silencing the victims

Zapatero knows how to do it:

One of the Aznar administration’s main strategies for fighting terrorism was to mobilize society. Each attack was not only condemned by public institutions but was also strongly rejected by citizens. The people shouted “Enough!” symbolizing how fed up democratic society had become with the price in dead bodies being paid for freedom and also the nation’s determination to resist through the rule of law.

Rodriguez Zapatero’s administration has chosen to hide the terrorist attacks from the citizens. The bombs threatening the State’s most basic institutions do not command any administrative condemnation. Furthermore, there have been other attacks, like the explosion in Valle de los Caídos, the administration hid for days.

Every time the Prime Minister speaks about peace, ETA sets off a couple bombs. Those bombs have more and more explosives every time and their objects are more and more strategic. Now they want to scare the judiciary because it is the final obstacle to Zapatero total political surrender.

The administration has somehow successful carried out this policy. Terrorism was once the first worry of Spaniards and now, according to the latest CIS poll, it is third and dropping. They want to anesthetize society before giving up to the terrorists. They want citizens to forget the pain and suffering the murderers caused, so terrorism will be something far and foreign to collective memory. Only under general amnesia can Zapatero give in to ETA as he plans to.

An important part of this strategy is silencing the victims, isolating them in their madness, and looking down not only on their pain but on their politics. When the victims resist being reduced to receiving mere compassion, they insult them, provoke them and constantly try to make the victims’ most important association look bad.

Once upon a time, terrorism’s victims were buried in the night. The terrible reality of terrorism had to be hidden from Spaniards back then so political responsibilities were not demanded. Zapatero’s strategy for fighting terrorism is taking us back twenty years, to the so-called “lead years”. He is not just stepping on victims’ dignity; he is also giving up the most powerful weapon in the fight against terror: society’s will to beat it.


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