May 26, 2005

The slow, seemingly endless death of ETA

Via UPI, a look into the scrappy, albeit wounded, terrorist serpartists who just won't give up the fight...even when their cheerleaders begin hanging up their pom-poms. has the analysis: Dying days of ETA?

"ETA is dying a slow death," concluded the letter leaked to Spanish newspapers that urged the Basque organization to turn to political means to achieve its goal.

A myriad of reasons lie behind ETA's weakness. Stepped-up anti-terrorism cooperation between France and Spain in recent years has resulted in hundreds of cross-border arrests of Basque separatist suspects.

One of the most dazzling coups occurred in the French Pyrenees in October, when French police nabbed Mikel Albizu Iriarte and Soledad Ipartagirre -- a couple believed to have been the respective political and military leaders of ETA.

Police also seized a breathtaking cache of arms and explosives scattered in various hiding places in France's Basque country.

And after a decades-long campaign of hijackings, extortion and political assassinations that have resulted in the deaths of 800 people, ETA's support is dwindling -- even among diehard Basque citizens who share its separatist dreams.

Experts believe ETA currently counts only several dozen commandos, and that its ranks have shrunken from as many as 8,000 members a decade ago to only 2,000 today. A recent poll found that only 10 percent of Basque residents back the group, compared with roughly a quarter of the population in the past.

A demonstration by ETA supporters in the seaside city of San Sebastian Friday night drew only a few dozen protesters -- not the hundreds promised by a Batasuna politician.

Even ETA's demands for an independent nation have been scooped, some say, by a new and controversial secessionist proposal. Known as the Ibarretxe plan, after the Basque region's president Juan Jose Ibarretxe, the measure was passed in December by the Basque Parliament over strong protests from Madrid. The plan calls for the Basque region to be defined as "a national community inside a multi-national Spain."

"It could be three, four, five years before ETA dies," said Santiago Abascal, a 28-year-old deputy in the Basque Parliament, who also heads the Popular Party's local youth association. Like Arrue, Abascal is on ETA's death list. "But I know we're facing the end of ETA."

Read it all.

Posted by Kyer at May 26, 2005 11:01 AM

What is the ETA? Estimated Time of Arrival? I do not know about the ETA.
I know about the United States Government.
The United States Government is a child killing machine. Just look at the Vietnam war. The average of the American solider was 19. Over 50,000 dead. Will your child be next? Matthew 5:21: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.

Posted by: Adrian Salsgiver at June 14, 2005 08:47 PM

What is the Adrian Salsgiver? I do not know the Adrian Salsgiver.

Come to think of it, nobody else knows the Adrian Salsgiver either!

Yes, let's look at the child killing American Government, where the average age of the Vietnam era soldier was 19, in a country where adulthood is held to be 18.

Is my son next? That sounds like a cheap headline from a tabloid reporting on the latest serial killer. Last I looked, the U.S. Government wasn't hunting down 19 year olds and slaughtering them. Unlike the ETA, which doesn't seem to care who dies by the bombs it sets.

Posted by: Eric at June 15, 2005 01:26 AM