Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Good for them

Spain is permitting the children and grandchildren of people who fled the country after the fascist victory in the 1930s civil war there to apply for citizenship. Spain should be applauded more broadly for the way it has carefully and steadily moved from fascism to liberal democracy over the last 33 years. So, Spaniards: Is ...

590825_090101_franco2.jpg
590825_090101_franco2.jpg

Spain is permitting the children and grandchildren of people who fled the country after the fascist victory in the 1930s civil war there to apply for citizenship. Spain should be applauded more broadly for the way it has carefully and steadily moved from fascism to liberal democracy over the last 33 years.

So, Spaniards: Is it time to begin thinking about a museum of the Spanish Civil War? When I was there studying it earlier this year with a group from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies we were amazed at how few historical markers had been erected. Spain needs something to balance Francisco Franco's horrible batcave of a tomb north of Madrid (shown at left). It was built with the labor of political prisoners. One professor on the trip likened it to a "cathedral of death."

Photo: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images

Spain is permitting the children and grandchildren of people who fled the country after the fascist victory in the 1930s civil war there to apply for citizenship. Spain should be applauded more broadly for the way it has carefully and steadily moved from fascism to liberal democracy over the last 33 years.

So, Spaniards: Is it time to begin thinking about a museum of the Spanish Civil War? When I was there studying it earlier this year with a group from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies we were amazed at how few historical markers had been erected. Spain needs something to balance Francisco Franco’s horrible batcave of a tomb north of Madrid (shown at left). It was built with the labor of political prisoners. One professor on the trip likened it to a “cathedral of death.”

Photo: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images

 
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.