travel back in time

Tuesday 7th June 2005, Madrid, Spain

On the weekend, Madrid came out in force to protest against the governemnet's decision to hold talks with representatives of the Basque terrorist group ETA. Over a million Madrillenos choked the streets with banners proclaiming "NO EN MI NOMBRE" (not in my name). It seems the country's leaders are not speaking for their people if they begin negotiations with these cowardly killers, and rightly so. How do you negotiate with terrorists anyway? "Okay, we'll give you stuff if you stop killing us?" What's that? No! How about "You stop blowing things up, or we'll squash you like bugs." Nothing much upsets me these days (excpet people who let their dogs crap in our street) but in case you haven't noticed, terrorists really get my back up. Comments I made in my last journal update relating to the recent bombings in Madrid have received response from readers. Matt from England summed up my own feelings with this reply:

"My wish is that the incredible resources powerful countries are currently using to expand their empires were instead directed at actually getting rid of anyone who takes part in these bombings and terrorist actions - rather than creating more of these dickheads by giving them some kind of "reason" to latch on to. Here I'm taking about the US etc, not Spain and Eta. Do these Basque seperatists actually think they'll get their own nation (in this day and age, in modern Europe??) by blowing innocent people up? It would be laughable if it wasn't destroying so many lives."

I'm the first person to empathize with an oppressed people, but really.. I mean, look at the Palestinians. Everyone who has been to Israel can understand that they are a frustrated people. I am not enough of a history buff to start spouting facts and dates here, but the Palestinians have really copped the rough end of the pineapple over the past decades, and the Israeli government needs to do more to allow them some form of equality and autonomy. BUT every time a Palestinian suicide bomber walks into a cafe in Jerusalem, or a nightclub in Tel Aviv, and kills scores of innocent men, women and children- people who likely had never done anything to deserve to be hated- they not only bring recriminations from the Israeli forces onto their own people (often women and children as well) but they stall any progress in negotiations, ensuring that they remain under the control of Israel. AND rather than draw world attention to their cause, they alienate the majority of the human race, because human beings in general refuse to believe that murdering innocent people is acceptable behaviour.

Sooo.. the only conclusion a sane person could come to is that terrorists have no desire to gain peace, or 'freedom', or whatever they are supposedly 'struggling' for. Their sole aim is to perpetuate the hatred that they feed off. I must remember to wear my anti-terrorist tshirt more often...

Now anyone can have their own online store. Now anyone can have their own online store.

On a more pleasant note, Maria and I have been meeting some great people through Couchsurfing and similar hospitality exchange groups lately. Last week, we had two folk over for dinner, an American girl who has been taking an extended vacation in Madrid, and an Italian guy who escaped from Rome just for a week. Then we had a Couchsurfing guest from Australia. We've been bombarded with Couchsurfing requests as summer approaches, and have decided to take a break from hosting for a while. It's a very small apartment, and just not ideal for having more than the two of us squeezed in here. But Anne was stuck, she said. She was on her way from Barcelona and didn't know what she was going to do when she reached Madrid. Well, I couldn't very well have a fellow Aussie stranded in my city, so we put her up for a night.

You can see the profile of our dinner guest Crystal, and our overnight guest Anne, on Couchsurfing, by clicking on their pics below. Luca, the Italian is a member of Hospitality Club, but I'll have him joining Couchsurfing soon... you watch! You can see my Couchsurfing profile as well, and if you join Couchsurfing, or if you're already a member, please visit my profile and add me to your friends list. It's good to have friends...

The big news is that my second book "Of Walls and Men", is already at the printers. In two weeks'time, it should be on its way to your door. That is, unless you haven't ordered it yet. What? Shame on you...

Publish your own book. Publish your own book.