In a tweet yesterday (please forgive its – Norwegian – language) I put it to my fellow tweeters that the longer an occupying force (Spain) is able to hold an occupied possession (Catalonia, since 1714), the bigger the chance of the occupation’s international approval:

Most of those protesting the statement objected that the occupation has lasted too long for the assertion to hold true.

Also see: Let Catalonia remain occupied, if they so desire

Let Catalonia remain occupied, if they so desire

I like Spain. Not only because I’ve visited several times and quite like it there, but also because I favour unity over separatism, which goes for Spain as for any other country, as well as my beloved homeland, Europe.

However, we should remember that the late generalissimo Francisco Franco remains in high esteem among many a Spaniard. Also his Guardia Civil‘s conduct during the Catalan referendum weeks ago, immediately woke my sympathy for the Catalan separatists – and their demand for independence.

With that said, I find separatism a bad idea, just as I find unity a good one, which includes Catalonia and Spain. Nevertheless, there are a couple of factors that we need to take into account.

What ever the outcome, the international community needs to ensure that democracy prevails. Today we hear claims that the Catalan referendum was illegal, rendering, therefore, the declaration of independence equally illegal, but is that actually the case?

  1. We need to remember that the declaration was made, not by the referendum, illegal or not, but by the legally elected Catalan parliament. Whether or not that decision was based on the referendum, it was indeed made by the Catalan people’s legally elected representatives. As the case always is, when ever democracy is at work.
  2. We’ve heard claims that a new referendum would have to be held throughout Spain, in order to secure the referendum’s legitimacy. To which I should perhaps remark that:
    1. The minute you assign an overwhelming majority the task of deciding a minority’s future, how could you possibly expect an outcome favouring anyone but the majority?
    2. Said majority is an occupant, insofar that Spain invaded, occupied and annexed Catalonia in 1714, rendering Spain a de facto occupying force. Since when did international law condone an occupying country’s right to decide the fate of the occupied?

These are all facts that we need to keep in mind, whether we favour Catalan separatism or not. Personally I do not, but if we are to discuss these matters, I think it’s only fair that we do so on the basis of facts.

Illustration: The Estelada blava. The Catalan flag. Blogger’s own drawing.

Could we, per chance, justify another Spanish civil war, if it, like the last one, yielded another The Fifth Column – or yet a Guernica?

I really wouldn’t know, but something good should come out of this.

In any event, the conduct of generalissimo Francisco Franco’s good old La Guardia Civil, has been a proper disgrace.

So shame on you, Spain.

Estelada blava. The Catalan flag katalonsk flagg Catalonia Katalonia

Top photo: Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, 1937. Oil on canvas, 776.6 x 349.3 centimetres. Catalan flag, the Estelada blava: Blogger’s own drawing.

While an avid supporter of unity over fragmentation, I also favour democracy over fascitoid regimes.

Enough said, I think.

When domestic politics fail: Go to war

I hate to say “I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so”, which is why I’m very pleased to say that for once my predictions weren’t altogether accurate.

Avid readers may remember how I, in a late December 2016 blog post, appointed the Middle East the new East–West battlefield. Turned out that I was indeed right, but what I failed to see, was the escalation of the Southeast Asian conflict now materialising in North Korea’s armament and the U.S. Navy’s race towards the Korean peninsula’s shores.

The Middle East Midtøsten

Make no mistake about it: We may think the Middle East resembled hell on earth, but I fear we haven’t seen the half of it. With Southeast Asian conflicts on the rise, on top of Russia’s aggressive stance on neighbouring countries, such as Ukraine, it’s safe to say that it’s been some time since we were this close to a potential world war 3, hard as it is to imagine.

Of course it’s all to do with both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s lack of success in domestic affairs and their need to show international force, coupled with fellow madman Kim Jong-un’s megalomaniacal delusions.

Kim Jong-un og Malaysia Airlines
Kim Jong-un and Malaysia Airlines aircraft. Blogger’s manipulation.

While I hate to admit failing to see this development in advance, there’s no denying it’s currently playing out right under our noses, and I, for one, am scared shitless.

But it doesn’t stop there: With Brexit underway, and Spain and the UK fighting over Gibraltar, Europe’s stability is at risk, too.

The situation may be diffused, if parties involved are willing to take a step back. At present, however, that doesn’t seem very likely.

And then, of course, there’s Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

At the risk of repeating myself, I think I’d better repeat myself:

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Top illustration: U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Blogger’s drawing.

 

Britain, oh Britain …

Que sera sera
What ever will be will be
We’re gonna kill Argentines
Que sera sera

My British fellow tourists sang on a Spanish beach in the summer of 1982.

The current situation, as we see it unfold, confirms our deepest fears as we saw the early signs of European disintegration last summer, also proving that the EU is and was the most successful peace project ever seen.

Photo: EU flags flying at half-mast in front of the Brussel Berlaymont building on 22 Match 2016, as if in anticipation of events to come. Photo from the European Commission.

Yes to solidarity – when we benefit

Norge-EU

I happen to live in a wealthy country, one of our wealthiest, but it wasn’t always so. In fact our wealth was thrown upon us, following the exploitation of the North Sea oil resources, some forty years ago.

In the wake of World War 2 our country was in desperate need of funds, provided, among others, by the U.S. Marshall plan, enabling the rebuilding of our country’s economy.

One would expect, now that fellow European countries Ireland, Greece and Italy’s (and then some) economies have hit rock bottom, that we’d exercise the kind of solidarity we expect of them, by joining the European Union, sharing our unspeakable abundance. But no. Actually, the latest polls show that no more than 26 percent of Noway’s population are in favour of an EU membership.

If we were the ones in need, on the other hand…

So much for our solidarity.

My apologies go to Ireland, Greece, Italy – and other European economies at risk. It is no consolation, I suppose, that it all makes me feel less and less Norwegian – and, if it was up to me, that we’d join the European Union in a heartbeat, pitching in where we could.

64 percent (the rest, 26 percent in favour, ten percent undecided) says we won’t. An appalling way of saying “Up yours, Europe”, but there you have it.

P.S. This is a Norwegian-spoken blog, but apologising to foreigners in my own tongue seemed a little… Well, you know.

P.P.S. Insofar that we indeed are concerned, it is with regards to how the crisis may affect us.

P.P.P.S. Former Minister of foreign affairs Mr Thorvald Stoltenberg once proclaimed that tearing down the Berlin wall and the iron curtain would prove easier than securing a Norwegian EU membership. I’m not sure if he realised, at the time, how right he was. Until the oil reserves run dry, that is. Let’s talk again then.