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Franco's Black Spain
Drawings by Luis Quintanilla; commentary by Richard Watts, Jr.

Franco's Black Spain pages 2-4


There was much irony in the Spanish prologue to the Second World War -- such as the fact that the men who made Spain the subservient tool of Germany and Italy called themselves "Nationalists." Here the Caudillo -- the Leader -- appears to find nothing ironical in the way he, too, is being led. Anyway, General Franco must have found it less humiliating to be pulled through history with a ring in his nose by powerful Nazi Germany than to be pushed along by his other great ally, fatuous, incompetent Fascist Italy.


The Moor, too, found himself a crusader for Christian Civilization. Not the least striking instance of the Spanish Civil War's savage irony was that Franco's fascists -- who proudly proclaimed that they were carrying on the chivalrous tradition of the Spanish knights who had driven the Moors from the sacred soil of their country, crying, "Death to the Moorish infidel!" -- brought in Moorish troops by the thousands to fight their fellow countrymen.


The Moor, it is true, did have something to avenge. He certainly had no reason to cherish the Christian virtues of kindness and charity as practiced by the Spanish generals who ruled him in his own country. But it was not against these generals that the Moor directed his talents for killing and looting. It was against the Spanish people, who were not his enemies.