Well, what did you e…
Well, what did you expect the government would do?

MADRID (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of protestors including conservative opposition lawmakers marched in Madrid to protest any talks between the Socialist government and the armed Basque separatist group ETA.

The demonstration, called by the Association of Victims of Terrorism, drew about 850,000 people, according to the Madrid municipal police, while organizers said the participation topped a million.

The peaceful march on a hot, sunny evening in the Spanish capital began around 6 pm local time (1600 GMT) at the Lopez de Hoyos intersection, where in 1993 an ETA attack killed seven people. The marchers headed for the Republica Dominicana plaza, the site of another ETA attack in 1986 that killed 12 civil guard police officers.

Some of the demonstrators carried photographs of the more than 800 people killed in ETA’s four-decade campaign to win an independent Basque homeland straddling the Pyrenes in northern Spain and southwestern France. Chanting “Spain!” the marchers carried Spanish and Basque flags and signs reading “Not in my name.”

I find it interesting that people who want to say “No” to terrorists, and are thus choosing confrontation, are carrying signs that say, “Not in my name”, while in America those signs are generally held by those who don’t want to confront terrorists carry the same signs. I think some folks here could learn from folks there on how to deal with terrorists.

I also find it interesting that Spain’s current government was voted in after fear from the Madrid bombings. I can understand the fear, but appeasing terrorists does nothing to stop them. It seems the people of Spain may have learned this (or perhaps these folks didn’t vote Socialist), but the government hasn’t learned it yet.

The Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wants to foster a dialogue if ETA disarms and renounces violence, a policy which parliament backed in a May 17 vote.

Zapatero has repeatedly told the group it must disband.

Telling them to disband while negotiating with them gets you nowhere.

Members of Spain’s opposition Popular Party took part in the protest, including the conservatives’ current leader Mariano Rajoy and former chief and prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.

In an opinion piece Saturday in the newspaper La Razon, Aznar said he would attend the march because he himself was “a victim of terrorism.” In 1995, Aznar escaped unharmed from an ETA assassination attempt.

“The immense majority does not want anyone to give away our liberty,” Aznar said.

Could this be a case of “Appeaser’s Remorse” on the part of the Spanish voters? I truly hope so, for their sake.

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