Thursday, May 19, 2005

M-11 Revisited

Islamist responsibility and sole Islamist responsibility – i.e. without the complicity of ETA – for the March 11 attacks in Madrid has become an article of faith for Spain’s ruling Socialist Party and its allies in the media, both national and international. When I say an “article of faith”, I mean this quite literally. Spain’s crusading “anti-terror” judge Baltasar Garzón famously declared that any collaboration between ETA and the Islamists was “metaphysically impossible”. That being the case, facts apparently do not matter. It might not be very reassuring for Spaniards that the country’s leading investigative judge would adopt such an attitude.

To question this article of faith is clearly not acceptable in polite company. The Guardian’s Sunday paper, the Observer, even called those reckless enough to do so a bad name: “conspiracy theorists”. Well, Earth to the Guardian: the M-11 terror plot was what in legal terms is known as a "conspiracy", so the only way to explain it is by precisely a “conspiracy theory”. The question is not whether there was a conspiracy or not, but rather just who – what persons and/or organizations – was involved in it.

Following revelations in Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, the “proofs” that were supposed conclusively to demonstrate Islamist responsibility for the attacks are now coming undone. Barcepundit, with help from Fausta, makes the details available to the English-speaking public – and adds some of his own invaluable analysis – here, here, and here [best read in that order].

BTW, on the political front, there is a further development in Spain that bears very close watching: namely, the Spanish Socialist Party’s effective rupture of its “anti-terrorism pact” with the other major national party, the PP [Popular Party], and its making common cause with the smaller “nationalist” – i.e. regional “nationalist” (or, in other words, ethnic-nationalist) – parties in offering to open negotiations with ETA. A precedent is being set and the significance of it - recall Zapatero's plea before the UN General Assembly for a "Dialogue of Cultures" - extends well beyond Spain. I hope and expect we will be hearing much more about it on Barcepundit in the days and weeks ahead.