Anti-ETA activity in the south of France has been stepped up in recent months, apparently since the terrorist organisation foolishly decided to try to include France in its negotiations with the Spanish state. This is consistent self-interested behaviour on the part of Spain’s neighbour. For decades, little was done from Paris to stop France’s Basque provinces affording a safe haven to ETA. And this only stopped once this became an untenable position after the Twin Towers and Madrid bombings had given terrorism a bad name even in France. But it’s an ill wind that blows no good and the latest arrests are surely welcome. Especially at a time when the ‘peace process’ seems mired in mud and fears are growing that ETA has used the breathing space to revitalise itself.
The opposition’s relentless criticism of its ‘softness’ towards ETA had led the Spanish government to issue a video of comments made by the PP party when it negotiated a similar ceasefire in the late 90s. This follows a similar video issued by the PP about the growth of violent crime in the country. Both of these productions have gone straight onto the internet, raising all sorts of questions. Like, “Isn’t this all rather juvenile?”
Not a bad day, today. Although it rained, I didn’t have my [back-up] umbrella stolen.
Finally, an interesting comment on Mel Gibson's latest film, Apocalypto - Human sacrifice. Ritual dismemberment of human bodies. Priestly rituals in which men's hearts are plucked from their bodies. . . It's set in the ancient, pre-conquest Mayan civilisation of Mexico – which extended to Nicaragua and Honduras – with dialogue in the original Yucatec. The violence may be sadistic but the religion of the ancient Mexicans did indeed involve ritual butchery. And cannibalism. It's all a useful corrective to contemporary prejudices about Spanish colonialism. Bad as the conquest was, the native civilisation it replaced and Christianised was – certainly in respect of its barbarous religion – very much worse