Friday, January 21, 2011

ET Nay

I remember reading several months ago that ETA was trying to negotiate, and saw some updates last week. They said that ETA offered a cease-fire. I thought, good, that's progress. Then it said Spain said no. Oh, those scheming Nationalists, I thought! Then it explained why Spain said no: ETA only offered the ceasefire on the conditions that it not give up any weapons, and "progress" on Basque independence.

Why is this even news? Isn't this exactly the same position they held forever? "If you give us independence, then we will stop killing civilians." Duh. Yeah, we know that's what you what. The reason you did not get it is not that you didn't phrase it coyly enough. (Another reason is the Spaniards and French arrested half of you last year, so how about YOU make concessions?)

Is this an improvement of an earlier held position? Did they previously say: "If you give us independence, then we will continue killing civilians, and also cats" and then try to negotiate from there?

Berlin, 1945

Adolf Hitler complained about the Allied rejection of his cease-fire offer today, according to a man pointing a gun at me right now. "Why do they reject peace?" Hitler said, who is widely known for seeking peace, and being an underappreciated painter as well. "We made our offer and they chose war. How could they? What of all the innocent people?"

US President Roosevelt replied that he was always open to peace negotiations. However, he noted that the cease-fire offer included two conditions: first, the Nazi people would not give up weapons; and second, "progress" on non-German independence. Hitler agreed that the failed negotiations were America's fault. "If we could only resolve this nagging technicality regarding your independence, we could have a cease-fire. The world would be free of war. But no, the allies chose war, so we will push them all the way back to the Rhine!"

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