ETA, Spain’s separatist terrorist group, announced today its “permanent” ceasefire. At first this sounded like great news. It actually appeared that Zapatero’s policy of an “alliance of civilizations” was bearing its fruits at home. But when I read the official declaration of the group, I grew concerned. It was full of conditions precedent that showed that in reality the message has not significantly changed.
Then when I saw the televised version of their declaration, I was shocked by how ridiculous and outdated they looked. There were three of them. Dressed in black, white hoods, and black “boinas” (the traditional Basque barets). Behind them was a cloth with their symbol. They looked so incredibly stupid, cheap, outdated, and above all simply ridiculous. How could these losers have systematically destroyed the harmony of the Basque people, their identity and their economy over the past 30+ years? Furthermore, who the hell would be a terrorist in 21st Century Spain? Spain is a modern, technologically savy, advanced, and peace-loving nation. And here you have these three losers dressed in their cheap, second rate Holloween costums. Cave dwellers lost in Afghanistan could do a better national threat imitation.
ETA reminds me of Hugo Chavez. He is the second rate dictator, and ETA is the second rate terrorist group. Both pretend to be supporting their people, yet destroy them. Both pretend to represent democracy but repress it. Both are given credibility by the PSOE, and no one is able to explain to me why. But, most importantly, neither know how to dress accordingly. Dictators are supposed to wear uniforms (think of Fidel Castro or Pinochet) and not track suits. Terrorists are not supposed to dress like a mix between sheep herders in mourning and KKK members.
At a time when the world has had enough of terrorism, ETA is completely correct to say it is time to retire and grow up. But, please, by filming itself in front of the eyes of the world, ETA made itself look like nothing more than cave dwellers with a serious fashion deficiency. I am not sure if anyone outside of Spain will understand why Spain still has a terrorist group, and even worse why a democratically elected government had to negotiate with a group of ridiculous and outdated losers. The Basque people deserve so much more.