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The War Nerd March 18, 2004
Basques My Ass!
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email

Note to Readers: Due to his vacation, Gary Brecher sent this article in to the eXile on Friday, March 11th, when the train bombs in Spain were still officially the work of the Basque separatists - Ed.]

People are idiots. Idiots with a thin layer of liars on top. I never saw that better than the last few days, listening to people talk about the big bombings in Madrid.

I'm writing this on Friday night -- the 11th of March. The date matters, because all this is going to be a lot clearer when you read this in the eXile, next Friday the 18th. I have to do my column now -- got to go somewhere this week. So I just want to remind you I knew the line the media was peddling was bullshit, right from the start.

They kept saying that the Spanish government had conclusive evidence that ETA, the Basque separatist "army," had set off the bombs. Right now I'm watching CNN and they're showing a huge march in Madrid, with a couple million Spaniards out in the streets cursing the Basques -- and it's just beginning to sink in that the Basques didn't do it.

Anybody with a lick of sense knew it couldn't have been ETA. It was totally clear from the start that this was an Al Qaeda operation. But none of the big players wanted to face facts.

The Spanish didn't want to, because if the bombs did turn out to be Al Qaeda -- which they will, I'll bet my eyesight they will -- then they were planted as revenge on Spain for joining the Prez's "coalition of the willing" in Iraq. 90% of the Spanish population is against the whole Iraq deal, and the Spanish government has an election coming up. So naturally they want to blame the lame little Basque "army."

The Americans don't want the Spaniards start cursing them for getting them in this mess, so they were happy to go along with the lie. Bush got on the horn and thanked the Spanish for struggling against those big bad Basques. You can trust the Prez: he gets it wrong every single time.

You couldn't even get the truth from the BBC. Most of the time they're a little more reliable than Fox or CNN, but this time the Brits were happy to blame it on the Basques, because they hate ETA like poison, going back to the '70s when ETA and the IRA used to trade weapons and intelligence.

These bombs have killed at least 200 people. They were no-warning bombs designed to kill as many civilians as possible on crowded commuter trains. The ETA just doesn't work that way.

Guess how many people the ETA has killed in 43 years of their so-called "war" against Spain. By all accounts, their total kills are about 800. That works out to less than 20 per year. That should give you an idea of how squeamish these little guys are. Their idea of a war is a lot less violent than any three-day weekend in a real country like America or Mexico. The only reason the Spaniards even get upset about ETA is that they're so pathetically soft these days they hardly have any killings of their own. So every time the Basques clip a cop or soldier or politician, it gets more play than any triple murder in the US.

The ETA is a good example of what I call "boutique terrorism." It's the kind of war where the rebels kill a few carefully-picked people a year, usually local government officials or cops, just to remind the locals that they're still around and get a little free publicity for their "cause." The Corsican separatists are the same kind of pitiful wimps, and the IRA isn't much better. In about 30 years of "war" against the English, the IRA killed about 1,300 people. That's 40-odd people per year. Less than a three-day weekend kill total for Los Angeles. The only reason these Irish wimps have such a big bad rep is that the British hype them so much, just because don't want to admit they had so much trouble with a neighborhood possie of illiterate drunks.

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Gary Brecher
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Email Gary at, but, more importantly, buy his book.

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

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