Guernica - The Spanish American War - Fascists vs. Commies

Posted On: Tuesday - June 26th 2018 8:23AM MST
In Topics: 
  Commies  History  Geography

"... on my wall, the colors of the maps are running ..."*

Guernica is a town in the north of Spain** that is famous for having the living hell bombed out of it one day during the Spanish Civil War. What does the Spanish Civil War have to do with current era Peak Stupidity, the reader may wonder, disgustingly? It's due to this post leading to another about a movie that I watched recently, the propaganda IN and OF this recent movie, and the fact that Commies seem to crop up in history too much for me to believe that they have lightened the hell up and are not any kind of factor today. I realized from the get/go that this would end up being too long a post, so this one is about the war and the Commies (and don't forget the Fascists) and the next will be about the movie and propaganda.

Yeah, you really don't read or hear much about that Spanish Civil War, as it was just in Spain, after all, and it was overshadowed by WWII starting only just over a year later. This war was used by various parties as a testing ground for weaponry and tactics, as the Gulf Wars have been used by the American forces to prove out weapons for later (for what, indeed?). A difference though, is that the Spanish Civil War was not a one-sided affair like all of the recent American ones all over the world. I don't think American trials of the overwhelming firepower will mean anything were the Neocons to get us into a war with a real foe.

I'm not really taking sides on this one, as I'm no expert, and don't have time or space for historical details here. So, in a nutshell, the Spanish Civil War started after the "Republicans" had taken power in government from the Conservatives and the monarchy about 5 years earlier. At this time, 1936, conservatives wanted to reverse this change in power. Before long, foreign powers got involved in this war on both sides.

Keep in mind, that the word "Republican" did not have the nearly the same meaning that the founders of the United States understood, looking back to it's definition from the Greek days. You've heard of the "Democratic German Republic" maybe, if you can remember the Cold War? Yeah, that was the Communist totalitarian East Germany to me and you. Then, there's the modern-day "Republic of North Korea". See what I mean? Anyway, these were Spaniards (on both sides), and so the thousand-year old (just recently destroyed, in fact - see also here) Anglo-American tradition of rights of men, rule of law, due process and shared powers never seem to be ABLE TO BE understood by most of the rest of the world.

That correction of the wrongful terminology completed, these republicans wanted to change the order of things, and the other side, the conservatives wanted the old order back. The Catholic Church, a much bigger part of life, and a bigger power, back up through this time, was on the conservative side. Hmmm, it makes you wonder... I'm not a fan of the authoritative Church, but then these "republicans" were no "wall of separation" Thomas Jeffersons either. The Republican side had the backing of the Communists, who always want to get rid of any religion that would interfere with the indoctrination into theirs. Therefore, the USSR sent loads of weapons and other help, as did Mexico, of all places. Mexico and all of Latin America can get serious leftist at times, but, just guessing, I believe that Mexico must have had some personal dog in this fight, on that particular side.

The conservatives, in addition to their support from/for the Catholic Church, had the fascists on their side, though under the leadership of one Francisco Franco, a former decorater soldier, they may or may not have called themselves fascists. They had support and weapons from the Italians and the Germans, both Fascist by the mid-1930's. "Fascist" does not always mean Nazi, or Trump-supporters, you may not know. Nazism was just one bad example of lots of them. Peak Stupidity does not take the side of Fascists, under the true meaning of the term, as they get as totalitarian as the worst of them. However, it is interesting that the Fascists seem to crop up IN RESPONSE TO the Commies, as noted here. The Commies try to completely overturn all of society, and they must be stopped in order to avoid a USSR, Red China, or Khmer Rouge. Oftentimes, the violence that eventually becomes necessary to stop these people resembles that pendulum swinging back up in the other direction. This has been seen in Latin America many times. The cntrl-left/Socialists/Commies take full advantage of any liberties in a free society (they write books on it even, cough, Alinsky, cough, cough), and then the Fascists take these liberties away in order to have enough power to put the kibosh on the Communism. Can America avoid this same situation? That's a subject for another post (spoiler alert - I don't know yet!).

Besides all the foreign advisors and troops, the Spanish Civil War also included lots of do-gooders on both sides, along with writers and artists too, all in it for the "glory of war" and stupid intentions. Their stories are the lessons learned, if any, and the movie Guernica to be discussed in the next post is a modern-day example. The subsequent post, then, will be about this movie and the propaganda.

As to the war, it went on for over 3 years, and Francisco Franco and his Fascists won by summer of 1939, just in time to stay out of World War II (though they were not exactly neutral and favored the "Axis" who had supported them in their war). I guess they'd had enough of violence and death for a while. 1/2 a million people had died in the war. Franco ruled the country until his death in the mid-1970's.

* From the King (and possibly ONLY artist) of the history-rock or history-pop musical genre, this is from Mr. Al Stewart's On the Border, which must be referencing the Spanish Civil War in this stanza:

"The fishing boats go out across the evening water,
smuggling guns and arms across the Spanish border.
The wind whips up the waves so loud.
The ghost moon sails among the clouds,
and turns the rifles into silver on the border."

(I don't really know why you need to end up at the border when you've got a boat to begin with, but, I'm pretty sure Mr. Stewart's got him one of those artistic licenses.)

** This town is in Basque country, a people that are not one ethnically with the Spaniards. I had thought that they lived only in the Pyrenees mountain range (the border between France and Spain), but Guernica is located near the north shore of Spain's Atlantic coast, a hundred miles or more west of the French border.

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