Whether or not ETA was responsible for the atrocity in Madrid yesterday, there was a very powerful editorial in the New York Times (login: wrreaders) today by Javier Marias on life in Spain under the shadow of ETA. Everything he says about ETA coincides with what I’ve always thought about them, and about people in the IRA as well - namely, that if they ever actually got what they ostensibly want (an "independent" Basque country, a "unified" Ireland), they would be utterly disappointed, because their supposed reason for existence would be gone. There’s nothing noble or glamorous about these people. They’re not "freedom fighters", they’re just criminals, and their only "cause" is to murder indiscriminately so that they can feel big and important and fill their otherwise empty lives with an ill-gotten feeling of self-worth. If it wasn’t so horrific, it would be utterly pathetic.
And King Juan Carlos hit the nail on the head yesterday: this is "madness which has no possible justification."