One would like to think of Spain's repulsive Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, as just an unpleasant byproduct of last March's terrible terrorist attacks on Madrid commuter trains. Zapatero's only there because Spain's traumatized voters temporarily lost their senses in an election held just days after huge terror attacks and unexpectedly voted him in.
But he's rapidly shaping up as something more nefarious than merely Jacques Chirac's faithful poodle. Politics are taking some strange disorienting directions in Spain now as a result of Zapatero's radical leftist government.
Thursday, Spain's Basque Parliament voted 39—35 to scale back ties to Madrid, paving the way for a full referendum on independence. No one expected this measure to pass, and until now, the Basque independence movement was thought to be on its last legs.
But it passed under Zapatero. There's one group that's happy about this: Spain's Basque ETA terrorists. The parliamentary group that pushed these measures through is closely aligned with the ETA as its political arm.
Zapatero was Spain's "solution" to a brutal al—Qaeda terrorism, and now interestingly finds his own country's homegrown terrorists emboldened to make new independence demands. Or else. But it's not surprising. As Donald Rumsfeld has pointed out, 'weakness is provocative.' Zapatero is a capitulator, and his weak or subtly collaborating actions are delivering that message to otherwise dormant ETA terrorists. They see their opportunity now. And they are beginning to provoke.
Legislation is not the only thing ETA terrorists are emboldened about, either. Aside from several small bombs set off in the past two months, they've just announced that German and other European tourists will be targeted for upcoming terror attacks. They've noticed the impact of the South Asian tsunami catastrophe on the European community, which lost thousands of its nationals in Thailand and Sri Lanka, as well as the browbeating blather about global warming, western 'stinginess,' overpopulation and other raddled truisms. In Zapatero's Chamberlainian environment, the terrorists have decided to warn that they will strike violently at more self—blaming Europeans as their means of accumulating more power.
In short, Spain is facing the unexpected prospect of terror and breakup under Zapatero's weakling regime. Does Zapatero mean to be doing this? Or is he just stupid? I think it's the former: Given Zapatero's damage and hostility to all the institutions that made Spain great over the past 500 years, this looks like his plan.
Here is a rundown of some of Zapatero's recent actions: He's brought gay marriage to a traditional Catholic country that also has the lowest birthrate in Europe. He's naturalized 800,000 Islamic illegal aliens, giving them amnesty and an easy path to citizenship to equal that of the proud Castilians. He's turned Spain into the main gateway for illegal immigration throughout Europe. In line with his radical socialist conventional wisdom, he's also repudiated all ties to Spain's role in the creation of the New World. If Zapatero wanted to erase everything that made Spain Spain, he'd be hard pressed to do it any differently than he already has.
But there is something particularly disturbing about the conditions Zapatero's created for new rise of the Basque separatism. It has something to do with Spain's identity: Spain reached its historic zenith through its quest for unity — with the union of Ferdinand of Aragon to Isabella of Castile. (It wasn't an exclusively radiant picture, given the Inquisition, but it did transform Spain into a state.) Breaking that up seems to be the road to making Spain a vassal state for either the Islamofascists or the French. Given Spain's proud heritage, one wonders how bad Zapatero is going to take it before Spaniards say 'basta,' or if he will succeed in breaking up Europe's 500—year—old state in his quest to reward murderous terrorists.