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Every decent and right-thinking person must surely condemn today’s tragic events in Madrid.

BUT…while our thoughts go out to the families of the innocent victims this must not cause us to forget that horrible incidents such as we have witnessed today are the wholly predictable result of the Spanish government’s wrong-headed, meddling foreign policy and their continued brutal occupation of the Basque homeland.

Of course, no one can ever condone such senseless acts of bloody violence but that does not mean we cannot sympathise with the plight of the ruthlessly oppressed Basques who are struggling for dignity and nationhood beneath the jackboot of Spanish domination. Such people, who are condemned to a future without hope or self-worth, can hardly be blamed for the state of desperation that may have forced some of them to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of people on public transport. What choice do they have?

While the rash and the thoughtless among us may seek scapegoats here, a more mature and nuanced analysis is required. The truth is that there are no perpetrators here, just different types of victim. The real culprit is Spain’s ultra right-wing fundamentalist Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar whose lunatic extremist policies are the root causes of today’s shocking violence.

This dangerous demagogue (who some have compared to Hitler) has surrounded himself with a sinister, shadowy cabal of Neo-Conquistadores and, together, they have hijacked this country and brought the shame and opprobrium of the world upon it with their wicked plan to establish a Global Iberian Empire. It is the policies of Aznar and his government that are driving Spain, and maybe the whole world, into catastrophe. Until they are stopped, there will be more horrific carnage of the type unleashed on Madrid today.

The Spanish people would do well not to squander the sympathy they have earned as a result of this attack. They must immediately distance themselves from their own deranged leaders and join in with the efforts of the rest of concerned humanity in ending the occupation and bringing Spain back into the fold of civilised, peaceful nations.

34 comments to AZNAR KNEW!!!

  • expatriate for bush

    Beautiful satire, bravo!

  • Kelli


    I am appalled (seriously, there’s not a trace of irony here) that you could even post something of this nature within hours of this horrible crime, especially under the heading of “humour.” They are still cleaning up body parts in the streets of Madrid! Really, I expect better of this site. Save it for next week, would you?

  • Mike T.

    What Kelli said. No one is interested in your clever satires at the moment.

  • mike

    ETA said “nuffin’ to do wiv us, guv” but in a much more Spanish manner.

    A van with detonators and a tape containing Koranic verses has been found, so all fingers point to Al Qaeda now, who have also written to an English arabic paper to say “That’s our bag, baby” but in a rather more Arabic manner…

    It appears that these Muslim fundies want to provoke a war with the West. Why? That’s the real question. If they push it too far (dirty bomb in NY or something) then the Middle East will reflect sunlight by day, and will have a healthy luminescent glow by night…

  • Susan

    I was one Yank who was utterly stunned to log onto the Guardian talkboard on the evening of 9-11-2001 and find a gleeful thread called “Wogs Roast Yanks.” Nonetheless, I will not engange in Freudenschade at this moment.

    Nor should any American or Israeli. We are better than that.

    David, I agree that this satire is inappropriate at this time. Yes, some of these thoughts have crossed my mind, but I did not give in to the temptation to speak or write them.

  • Russ Lemley


    If you posted this a week from now, perhaps I would laugh. But this is too soon. Pardon me if I don’t laugh right now.

  • Mary Contrary

    There seems to be a certain weirdness, even hypocrisy, to the comments above: it’ll be funny, but not yet. “Wait until the bodies are cold, then we’ll laugh”, they seem to say.

    There is some amusement in black humour. Who didn’t smile at “Need Another Seven Astronauts” (apart from Dale, maybe)? Even, despite the fuss, the thought of sharks going out for Chinese in Morecambe Bay lightened the day.

    But — and call me out of touch — I heard about the atrocity in Madrid about 15 minutes ago, and my first thought is to wonder how worried I should be about the 60 in 5.5 million chance that a friend of mine is one of the dead.

    The real hypocrisy would be to pretend that our modern, cynical, nuanced view of the world is not trumped by the simple human decency of horror at this attack, at least for a little while.

  • I see the rather dark humor in this, but then I’m Black Irish, so I would.

    Mostly though, I’m disgusted.

    To any Spaniards who happen to be reading this, thanks for standing by us Yanks over the last couple years. It’s easy to love America in the good times when the trade money flows; hard to love us when we are being dicks, or occasionally undertaking the hard, unpopular mucking of the Augean stables in some shitty part of the world. What you have done in Spain is hard, and I applaud you for it; your nation has lived up to its glorious history.

    As the country that was the first in Europe to be under the yoke of Islamic oppression, and one of the last to rid yourselves of it, surely many in your nation know the stakes, and no doubt this is why the noble Aznar has led your country to stand with the US and Britain. My heart goes out to you and though I don’t know your pain, I understand a little about it, having lost a few friends on 9/11.

    I will be taking some flowers to the Spanish Embassy tomorrow morning, as I live in D.C., ground zero for the smallest of the 9/11 attacks. Folks here can use the web to send flowers to: 2375 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. – Washington, D.C. 20037. The Embassy phone number, which you’ll need to enter for Internet orders (such as 1800flowers.com) is 202.452.0100. (Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds).

    I hope this wakes up the rest of Europe to the mortal threat posed to your society by these evil, evil men. I hope also that your resolve stays firm, and your nation keeps manning the ramparts bravely against the destruction these ghastly beasts have unleashed on the world.

  • Lorenzo

    I don’t know what David was thinking when he wrote this but unfortunately the most inappropriate aspect of his writing is the category he attributed it to. I for one shall remember his satire when tomorrow I fail to read, in the Guardian or hear on the BBC, how, really, the Spanish where just getting what they deserved.

  • Which only goes to prove that satire is wasted on most people. It should be clear to anyone who actually understand satire that David writes what he writes precisely to show what the people who write this sort of thing in the pages of the Independent and Guardian, but really mean it, are actually in effect condoning! Just because David’s point is obviously lost on some does not change the fact he is, as usual, holding up a ghastly world view to ridicule. Never has there been a more appropriate time than this.

  • Cydonia

    I don’t accept most of the underlying premises in David’s piece (I happen to think that both the U.S. and Israel have brought much of their troubles upon themselves). But the criticisms levelled here against David on grounds of taste are absurd. Any satirist worth is salt will write what he things without regard to causing offence. That is the whole point of satire. In any case, there is nothing offensive about using satire to condemn those who would condone. It is not as though David was poking fun at injured victims, for chrissake.


  • Poking fun at victims? That’s what this guy does. But poking fun at those who will inevitably argue that the Spanish somehow got their just desserts, that whatever greivances of the terrorists somehow entitle them to commit mass murder, and at those who, with tortuted Robert Fisk logic argue that they deserve to be targeted by thugs and terrorists — well, that’s a little different, isn’t it?

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    I’m amazed that David forgot to call ETA militants.

  • Putting it under the humo[u]r heading was necessary because of the serious problem of people who don’t recognize sarcasm when it bites them in the ass.

    The International Herald Tribune is probably hoping no-one mirrored their opinion piece from this morning in which they called on the Spanish government to enter into discussions with the ETA.

  • Let me clarify about being disgusted. I’m not disgusted at the post, I’m disgusted at the sorry excuses for medieval men who insist on slaughtering civilians, who want to avenge 1500 year-old perceived slights, who think God wants us to lop of the legs of political dissidents, bury fags under brick walls and shoot women who learn to read. That’s who I’m disgusted with.

    As for David’s post, I wrote something like this when a New York Times reporter was nearly killed in Iraq, so I understand where the humor comes from. When it’s a NY Times man who has probably wronged my nation, I can stomach it; when it’s a couple thousand Spaniards who have done me no wrong, I don’t see as much humor in it. For satire to work effectively, it has to be removed from reality. David’s bit isn’t much removed from reality, it’s more like pouring the bitter vinegar of satire into an open wound. (How’s that for a butchered metaphor?)

    And Lorenzo, I wouldn’t bank on not hearing “they had it coming” just yet. For one thing, there is a class of leftist intellectuals who will say that about anybody in the West, such is their self-hatred. For another thing, the Spanish did bring this on themselves by standing by the Americans. The message is clear: try to clean out the Middle Eastern snake pit; pay attention to the burgeoning radical islamist population in your midst; and crack down on Islamic terrorism at your own risk.

    The comparison will be that it is far better to be the French. Sure, a bunch of Jews are getting beaten up; and sure the enraged Moslem population will outnumber the habitants within a generation or two, and eventually put the homers to the sword – but at least for now, they have peace.

  • LT

    Bit too soon, David. You might’ve held onto this one for a couple days.

  • Shawn

    “I happen to think that both the U.S. and Israel have brought much of their troubles upon themselves”

    Yes. So silly of us not to surrender to the Islamic Jihad. What were we thinking?

    One of bin Laden’s stated motivations for his war is the reconquest of Spain in the 15th century. He wants to “right” this supposed wrong. He has mentioned this on at least two occasions I am aware of. The U.S. and Israel were of course completely responsible for the 15th century reconquest of Spain. Right?

  • la marquise

    Grief and horror can be made more bearable with the help of black humour, -. look at all those sick first World war songs. But this is more than humour it’s holy anger, well justified and well-aimed. Ignore the carping in the comments section, that anyone could have missed your point is a fact that raises a grim smile in itself, – bitter humour for a bitter day.

  • You know, anything you have to label as “satire” in order to get people to laugh at it is probably not deserving of the name. I had just thought that you had lost your marbles until I noticed the “humour” tag. Not particularly funny, David.

  • Ironchef

    After 9/11 what did we hear? “We deserved it” from Europe, “Now you know how we feel” from Israel, “It’s a good start” from Palestine.

    I don’t really feel bad about this piece of satire.

  • Check out John at Inside Europe: Iberian Notes,

    ..Socialist party candidate Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, speaking live on television, for the first time tried to use the bombings as a political issue. He was able to maintain his decency for about 26 whole hours before diving into the gutter. Zap said that the Aznar government should share everything it knows with the citizens, thus implying that was exactly what Aznar and the PP were not doing. Now, accusing the Prime Minister of holding back information from the public based on absolutely no evidence is, uh, not exactly mature, professional, reasonable, or responsible. Question number one was a direct, “Are you accusing Aznar of a coverup?”, and Zap evaded the question. Number two was “Do you see a connection between the bombings and the Iraq war?”, to which Zap responded “Time will tell.”

    See how soon reality catches up with satire?

  • limberwulf

    Its quite apparent to me that David had to write this peice so early, because if he had waited till a more appropriate time, the peice would not have been written ahead of the truly innapropriate and vile people who are the politicians, as Frank’s peice shows.
    Timing is everything. Kudos David, point well made.

  • Bruce

    Brilliant piece.

    Makes you wonder if these gals have changed their minds about anything.


  • Susan

    You are right, Frank. The idiotarian brigade is out in force today. Check out the comments at “Have Your Say (As Long as You Agree with Us” posted at the BBC. Lots of calls for ending terrorism by bringing “justice” to the poor oppressed people of the world; lots of condemnations of the “US” wars on Afghanistan and Iraq but very few denunciations of al-Qaeda’s War on the West.

    No acknowledgement of the fact that Spain would have been a target, sooner or later, regardless of its participation of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bin Laden and his ilk talk about the “Granadian humiliation” of five hundred years ago all the time.

  • Susan,

    I agree with you about the idiotarians but I don’t think that it’s a safe assumption that Al-Qaeda was involved at all. ETA remain the overwhelming favourites as suspects.

  • Susan

    Hey Cydonia,

    They threatened to blow up France because of their headscarf ban. And they think that Spain is an “insult” to their manhood for having the temerity to kick their colonists out 500 years ago.

    So if we do anything to piss off the radical Muslims whatsoever, we “deserve” what we get?

    People who think like you do are the reason I wonder if the West is going to survive this new war that has been declared upon us.

    It may interest you to know that the “deserve to get killed” Israelis have sent their best forensic specialists to Madrid to help clean up all the body parts. The same Israelis that the EU — of which Spain is a member — sponsors and finances and justifies vicious terrorism against.

  • David Gillies

    People, people, please chill. Irony does not mean ‘made out of iron’. This wasn’t laugh-out-loud satire. It was on-the-knuckle, crack-a-wintery-smile-at-its-accuracy satire. In fact, post it on Reuters and it ain’t satire, it’s reportage.

  • David, I appreciate your intentions, but you really have to appreciate the fact that most people are in no mood for cynical irreverence immediately after a tragedy. You’ve just cracked a joke at a funeral. Just because it’s bitingly true doesn’t mean it’s appropriate.

  • anemone

    I’m with David Gillies on this one. This isn’t ‘humour’ in the ‘let’s-all-have-a-good-laugh’ sense of the word.

    I think it’s safe to say that if you find it offensive, you may not be taking it in the spirit it was meant.

  • I think that David’s post was completely appropriate, given the past tendency of the Western media to engage in obfuscations and moral equivocations on the issue of terrorism. David highlighted those very tendencies most eloquently.

  • In case you are surfing in via a link to this article, I have commented ‘officially’ via a new samizdata.net article here(Link)

  • I don’t find this satire particularily offensive. It will no shocked anyone here to know that Democratic Underground and its ilk have posted things that are serious and far for more ott than this. I think David was making a serious point…dark humour in times of crisis is not everyone’s cup of tea but that does not make it valid.

    This was a totally appropriate piece of dark satire and entirely in keeping with the tone of this site. I say bravo to David.

  • Roy Cameron

    Wow! I missed the part about humor and saw it when I was reading through the comments.

    Yes, it is legitimate to post something like this, especially if the victims families are not going to see it and misinterpret it.

    Someone above said that if Reuters had published it, it would have been considered normal journalism. How right that person is.


  • Aeron

    “continued brutal occupation of the Basque homeland.”

    Occupation?? Brutal? How can a country be occupating their own territory by force? Basque Country is Spain I remember you 😉

    Btw all that Hitler shit… :

    Hope you were drunk when you write all this