Thursday, March 11, 2004

Teachers quite rightly love "teachable moments" from everyday life. These can vividly demonstrate the validity of the topic or theme one is trying to teach to students who might not otherwise care. Since one of my favorite historical themes is nationalism, however, my teachable moments are bittersweet, since people are often killed in such moments.

The latest, perhaps, is the terrorist attack in Madrid which just killed roughly 200 people and wounded many others. I say "perhaps" for reasons which are explained in the link.

It may be (one hopes it is) true that the Spanish authorities know more than they are telling about the perpetrators of this attack, but if they don't it is profoundly interesting that they jump to the conclusion that it was ETA. This despite the fact that ETA has never done anything close to this magnitude (or even tried to). The sad irony is that it may in fact have been "Al Quaeda" (ironic since the US blames every bump in the night on AQ and now they may not get the blame for something they may have actually done).



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