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Francisco Franco Is Still Dead

Francisco Franco is still dead. Except in the archives of National Review, that is, where he is the glorious hero with a righteous cause who saved the day--an integral part of Western civilization--the man to whom Spain looks for leadership.

Yes, National Review praises military coups, the overthrow of democratic governments, the imperative need to side with neither Churchill nor Hitler, and that integral part of Western civilization that was Francisco Franco. You can sense William F. Buckley more than half-wishing he could have played his part in Franco's righteous fight against the grotesque democratic regime of Republican Spain--perhaps by piloting a Ju-87 in the Condor Legion?

October 26, 1957: General Franco is an authentic national hero... [with the] talents, the perseverance, and the sense of the righteousness of his cause, that were required to wrest Spain from the hands of the visionaries, ideologues, Marxists, and nihilists that were imposing... a regime so grotesque as to do violence to the Spanish soul, to deny, even, Spain's historical destiny. He saved the day.... The need was imperative... for a national policy [to]... make this concession to Churchill this morning, that one to Hitler this afternoon.... Franco reigns... supreme. He is not an oppressive dictator.... only as oppressive as is necessary to maintain total power...

March 9, 1957: Franco is a part, and an integral part, of Western civilization... [the] convergence of the multifarious political philosophical, religious, and cultural tendencies that have shaped Spanish history... the man to whom the Spanish people look--as the Chinese have looked to Chiang [Kaishek], for all his faults--for leadership.