Previous posts in this discussion:
PostMilitary Intervention in Catalunya? From Anthony J. Candil (John Eipper, USA, 03/03/13 7:55 am)
In response to Luciano Dondero's post of 2 March, I received this note from Anthony J. Candil, a reader in Austin, Texas:
Nothing really to worry about, but first let me introduce myself...
My name is Anthony J. Candil, and I'm a former professor and military officer who--for a variety of reasons--has been linked to Spain for a very long time, living and working there during a major part of the last 30 years. I do have a lot a friends in Spain, and some of them are even key generals in the Armed Forces.
Presently I live in Austin, Texas. I take this opportunity to greet all WAISers and I thank you all for a magnificent job.
A military intervention is not only unlikely in Catalunya--where neither the Army nor any other military service, Navy or Air Force, maintains any deployment at all--but anywhere else in Spain. The reason is very simple.
To start with, we must be aware of the real capabilities of the Spanish Armed Forces, today smaller in personnel than the whole University of Texas, if we include here not only UT at Austin, but at Houston and Dallas as well. Officers, NCOs, and privates are almost completely demoralized and behave no better than any medium-sized company not achieving its goals. The pay is low, training is almost nonexistent, due to lack of budget. In some units the rate of foreign immigrants lacking all motivation is higher than 30%. No one can intervene no matter where and why with such an inefficient tool.
Second, 99% of the present Spanish generals lack not only authority and leadership but also guts to do anything out of the ordinary. Generalship is not made of efficient and capable military officers, but of politically correct ones only, a lesson learned certainly after Franco but after the infamous coup attempt on February 23, 1981. This is also a topic I'm open to discuss at any time.
General Chicharro is a Spanish Marine officer, already retired on US terms, who lacks any authority within the Spanish military, so nothing to worry about as I said.
Nevertheless he hasn't said anything stupid. As far as I know he has just said that "the concept of Motherland is previous to that of the Constitution." I consider this to be right in the same way as we can say in the US that the Declaration of Independence precedes the Constitution, as it cannot be otherwise.
I'm open to continuing this very interesting conversation.
Thanks to all of you.
JE comments: And my thanks to Anthony J. Candil for his interest in WAIS. Catalonian secession appears to be more of a possibility today than at any moment in modern times. The crux of the issue is the idea of nation: note that Jordi Molins spoke of Catalunya as his "nation," whereas in Madrid an independent Catalunya is as unthinkable as losing Andalucía.
I agree with Anthony that we should interpret Gen. Chicharro's remarks as those of a private citizen, albeit one who presumably has strong ties with the Spanish military brass.