O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

quarta-feira, março 17, 2004

A ETA e o Terrorismo Árabe

No Arab News.

The partisan approach to the understanding of the Madrid tragedy could harm efforts to develop a coherent European strategy in the context of the global war on terror.

It is, therefore, important to focus on the threat rather than on partisan advantages in the context of an electoral struggle for power.

The assumption that ETA might have been involved is not so fanciful. But to insist that the investigation should exclude other possibilities was wrong even in the narrowest terms of detection work. To pretend that ETA should not be included in the investigation, however, was even more wrong.

The two sides of the European divide, still squabbling over the Iraq war, have ignored a third possibility: that ETA and Al-Qaeda might have worked together to bring about the Madrid tragedy.

This is not as fanciful as it might sound. Terrorism is a doctrine based on the maxim: The ends justify the means.

In the current debate those who try to exculpate ETA imply that it is, somehow less evil than Al-Qaeda.

That assumption is both wrong and dangerous. The difference between ETA and Al-Qaeda is one of means and methods not of nature and category. Until last week ETA had never managed to kill more than 30 people at any given time. But that was not for the want of trying.

Nor is ETA's relationship with Middle Eastern radical groups new. ETA established contact with the People?s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1970. A number of ETA militants were trained in various PFLP camps both in Lebanon and Libya.

British and Spanish intelligence have also established ETA?s link with Libya at least until 1986. During that period Libya supplied the Basque terror group with money and arms.

An ETA delegation has visited Tehran since 1985 to participate in an annual gathering of "anti-Imperialist" movements that is held between Feb. 1 and 11. In 1986 the French police identified one Vahid Gorji, an attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Paris, as the liaison officer with European terror groups, including ETA. (Gorji was subsequently allowed to fly home under escort as Iran and France severed diplomatic ties.)

In 1993 ETA, along with a dozen other Western terrorist organizations, had observers in the largest ever gathering of Islamist groups held in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. The conference elected a nine-member "steering committee" that included Bin Laden.

ETA's literature, as disseminated over the past three decades, is replete with expressions of sympathy for various Islamist causes including "?wiping Israel off the map" and "driving the American Imperialists out of the world".

In exchange, Al-Qaeda literature has paid tribute to ETA's "heroic struggle" for Basque independence. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the Al-Qaeda second-in-command, has spoken of his dream of "liberating Andalusia", the part of Spain once ruled by Muslims, presumably letting ETA rule its own neck of the wood in the Basque country.

Some analysts claim that ETA, a leftist and nationalist group, cannot ally itself with Islamists who are on the extreme right and firmly reject nationalism. But such is the hatred of terrorist groups of democracy that alliances across the ideological divide cannot be excluded.

An objective alliance of radical groups, from the extreme-left to the Islamists, is already in place in many countries. This alliance has organized numerous marches opposing the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and conducts a vigorous campaign against any attempt at "imposing" democracy on any other Muslim country. The core of this alliance?s ideology consists of an acute form of anti-Americanism which assumes that the United States represents evil in a Manichaean view of the world.

The truth is that there is no good terrorism and that the current European wave of anti-Americanism cannot but encourage those who wish to impose their will on the world through terror. Whether or not they actually worked together to bring about the Madrid tragedy, ETA and Al-Qaeda are in effect political allies.

posted by Miguel Noronha 7:16 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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