Power Play

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Speculation abounds. But this is not just a conflict between Spain and Catalonia…

The European Union is directly involved, and there could be repercussions for NATO.

The Catalans are being a little naïve, thinking that they can achieve independence with just a wish and a dream. As Che would say, “what? a revolution without gunfire? Impossible!”

While ideally shots will not have to be fired, if Catalonia really wants independence it will have to respond to force with force. This means that if and when Madrid sends forces to arrest Catalans, etc…, they would have to be met with lethal force (because we live in the real world, and violence is the only language the state really understands).

If Catalans are not willing to overcome force with force, then they will not be independent. Just saying. They should do a careful weighing of the costs and benefits. Perhaps they should have done this before setting into motion this runaway train.

Or the Catalonians could do what the Libyan rebels did: goad Spanish forces into attacking them, and then cry to the international community that their rights are being violated. Under the new “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, the UN Security Council would have to intervene.

My guess is that the EU will pressure Madrid into letting Catalonia break away, rather than risk violence. The EU lost some credibility and legitimacy when it did nothing to stop a war on its border in Bosnia, where I visited in 1996… Imagine what this conflict would do to the EU’s public perception.

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