The End of Basque Violence?
Basque separatists are not all terrorists, but the terrorists had always had a major role within the ETA organization in Spain (ETA comes from a phrase in the Basque language -- ). The organization has just made a statement reversing its on-again / off-again terrorist strategy, in order to pursue independence by more peaceful means only and to avoid being classified in the public imagination with the Islamicist terrorists who have become an even greater threat to Spain's national integrity. It must be galling to the separatists that the Islamicists have thoroly outshone ETA ferocity.
ETA has a history of internal conflict between its doves and hawks. Now, once again, the doves have come to dominate the org's policy-making, especially in regard to the key strategic policy of violence, in pursuit of its aim to remove a handful of Spanish provinces and a small territory in southwest France from the historic national connections of those places. With the removal, according to ETA'a vsionary ideals, a new political space woud be created for the setting up of a new Basque independent country.
But of course the hardliners in ETA prevailed to have the spirit of negotiation broken; ETA detonated a bomb in the Mdrid international airport. So, the terrorists have little credibility, even among many of the Basque people themselves.
The Basque have many wonderful accomplishments to their name, most impressive is the extensive system of co-operative forms of business enterprise; but the related and other stunningly good qualities evoked by the word "Basque" has been obscured, overshadowed by the 829 killings over 42 years.
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ETA declares ceasefire in Basque independence battle, Agence France Presse (Sept5,2k10)