Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Mom recently sent me a link to a piece published on opinion journal by Andre Glucksmann, a French intellectual/writer: The World of Megaterrorism. Glucksmann responds to recent events in Spain and makes a passionate appeal to all of Europe to be on guard, and to fight against "megaterrorism" by Al Qaida and Islamic extremists. Having spent a semester abroad in Barcelona back in the fall of 2001, I have been especially interested in and concerned about what has happened in the country in recent weeks, and appreciate Glucksmann's perspective. I particularly liked his last paragraph, which recalls Spain's rich and conflicted literary and political past:

"Rome, Paris, Athens, Warsaw, Berlin . . .? Don't ask who's next! "Never ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." Hemingway the anti-Francoist was quoting John Donne, an 18th century poet. Bin Laden's mercenaries take their inspiration from the Spanish fascist Millán Astray: "You want life, we want death." Will Mr. Zapatero find the voice of Miguel de Unamuno, the independent thinker of Salamanca who denounced the fascist general's "cry of necrophilia," and stand up to today's nihilist killers? It is never too late to prevent a disaster."

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