State terrorism exists. Does anyone doubt it? State terrorism is carried out by many illiberal governments, which are friends and business associates of European countries. And it also is carried out by democratic states: Without going any further, our beloved Obama has approved the targeted killings in Afghanistan and even in Pakistan, which have increased in dramatic proportions compared to the Bush administration. Many of these actions are not even carried out by military force; the CIA takes charge of said actions by using drones controlled by a base in U.S. territory.
The European Union, with its Charter of Fundamental Rights, is the territory of rights and freedoms where these types of practices are not allowed. Many years ago someone described the European Union as the territory where there is no death penalty. It cannot be unionized if is not due to law — cultural heritage that comes from Rome — and there are no rights when the strongest one prevails, which applied to the political power it becomes the raison d’état. Hence arises the European multilateralism on politics, its submission to international law and its preference for soft power.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, we started to believe that this European design would turn from a misty territory of utopias to one of tangible and effective realities. Our submission to the law did not help to resolve the Balkan wars quickly and efficiently. Serbia had to be stopped to prevent genocide in Kosovo without the help of international law. And then began an inclined period of restriction of rights. It happened in the Azores when many European countries were involved in the illegality of the Iraq war. This period continued after some new members accepted the secret CIA prisons and others authorized the flights and the extraordinary renditions of terrorism suspects. Then came the turn of the immigrants, who can be kept under detention without trial for 180 days, according to a European guideline and later on, expulsion on grounds of race in Italy and France.
The GAL (Antiterrorist Liberation Groups in Spain) stopped operating in 1987 when Spain began to become part of these European institutions. The debate on state terrorism is again amongst us just when there is a return of sovereign states, with their national interests and their raison d’état. We do not know if the European dream has momentarily eclipsed or has vanished altogether, and in any case, it would be like a utopia. Those controversial words from Felipe González remind us that the moral dilemmas are still present when a political leader receives illegal proposals from Machiavelli on his cell phone.