Spain has to find a way to stop the ETA attacks and get it under control, there is way too many attacks each year. Spanish intelligence is failing to collect data and Zapatero's "direct and indirect" talks in 2007 did not help, there should not be "talks" with terrorist groups in the first place anyway. The Spanish terrorism court needs to start making or changing laws in order to better assist in the prevention of ETA attacks. The Spanish government needs to go on the offense here, not ETA.
I agree with Matt. The ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasun) has killed and injured hundreds of people already and it's apparent with this attack on a university that they are not planning to slow their attacks down. Terrorists act radically and because of this you can never predict when something will hit. In order for the European Union to protect the citizens they need make preventative laws and regulations that can help assure their safety.
The ETA has been a threat to Spain for 40 years. ETA's want to be an independent nation has caused over 800 deaths. When I was reading about the attacks online, I came across a quote from Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba. Rubalcaba stated in a press conference that, "A major tragedy could have occurred today at the University of Navarra," adding, "We have had some luck in the misfortune." His use of the word "could" annoyed me, because there were 17 lives lost in the attack. Yes, it could have been worse without the tip, but still at the end of the day 17 individuals died. This makes me feel that Spain really isn't taking ETA seriously and that they need to take action to end terrorist attacks.
I think that it is much more complicated then just the ETA are the bad guys and the Spanish government are the good guys. Clearly this struggle for independence has been going on for hundreds of years and furthermore I think it is very difficult to stop a terrorist organization with force because it just breeds more resentment. I think you must look into the root of the problem and see what can be done to appease both sides. I'm not saying that Spain should give into the ETA and give them what they want because I realize this would give a message that terrorism is a legitimate negotiating tool, but I think that more needs to be done in the way of getting to the heart of the problem and working from there. I also believe that many groups are labeled terrorists solely because of the context they are in, take the IRA for example: they were considered a terrorist organization for years and now their political party, Sinn Fein, is one of the most well supported in Ireland and no one views them as a terrorist organization. Again, I’m not saying that the ETA is not a terrorist group because clearly they use terror tactics in trying to achieve a goal. However, I feel there is a thin line between what we view as a “freedom fighter” and a “terrorist” and I think how we distinguish the two has a great deal to do with how they are portrayed to us in the media.
I would not begin to say that I am in any way, shape, or form an expert on the ETA. Before arriving in Spain I had heard little to no news about them. The concept of terrorism though is very complicated. Conceptually terrorism is when one group of individuals inflicts fear or harm upon another. I do agree that Spain obviously has to find a way to discontinue this horrendous chain of attacks that have now grown to be common in the Basque region. I do however disagree with some of the recommendations of my fellow classmates. When you have a group of people who disagree with the political organization in power, stricter regulation always ends in disaster. I sway more towards Edwards opinion in that the reasons behind their actions need to be addressed before drastic legal changes are made. I wouldnt however pull the IRA into the conversation in that way though. Sinn Fein is a different situation all together and how widespread the acceptance of that political party I believe is a personal opinion. I think it a shame that innocent people, their own people for that matter, must die. To what level of frustration and anquish must you be to spill your own peoples blood. This is the horrible reality of all civil wars and disagreements. I also would like to add that I wouldnt assume that Spain is not taking the ETA seriously, I think the country is backed into a corner right now as to what measures to take next.
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