Terrorists Call it Quits!

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In Ireland, at least.

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  1. This will, of course, be seized upon by the Bush administration as proof that its tactics are working, even though the Northern Ireland conflict has been winding down for a decade or more.

  2. Or, more likely, as evidence that terrorist tactics will get you towards what you want.

  3. Yeah, the way the IRA became a major player in determining the country’s future when it stopped its para-military campaign sure makes a strong case that terrorists should continue their military campaigns.

    There’s the level-headed, reality-based analysis we’ve come to expect.

  4. actually, i think the causation isn’t quite that blank, mr joe. the ira was allowed to come to the table in part because it simply forced britain to allow it — it became politically unteneble for downing street or the unionist government to simply make blank assertions of intolerance. remember peter brooke in 1989? and the secret talks from 1990 on?

    just as terrorist insurgencies in algeria, indochina, kenya and israel forced french and british imperial withdrawals. it’s a lesson we’ll learn in iraq before its over.

  5. The secret talks came about because of, and subsequent to, the leadership of the IRA and UVF/UDA deciding to pursue a political solution, not vice versa.

  6. Much as one hates to give the European Union credit for anything, the current detente is largely because the British administration was forced by the European Court of Human Rights to remove much of the egregious institutional anti-Catholic discrimination that fanned resentment and tacit support for the IRA.

    Moreover, in an increasingly harmonized Europe, the matter of which nation you belong to has become increasingly unimportant, making the IRA’s primary demand – reunion with Eire – hardly worth taking up arms for.

  7. leadership of the IRA and UVF/UDA deciding to pursue a political solution

    sinn fein was negotiating directly with london, not the unionist leagues, after brooke’s speeches. how did the ira get into that position of political equality?

    sorry, mr joe — i think the legacy of the ira and of violent resistance is not the black-and-white moral picture one might like to paint.

  8. this is good news for us, as there’s only been armed insurrection and terror in ireland for what? 700 years?

  9. lol — hard to proclaim it over today, isn’t it dhex? ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. From the statement: “There is also widespread concern about the failure of the two governments and the unionists to fully engage in the peace process.”

    Dude! Dude! DUDE!!!

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

  11. “Yeah, the way the IRA became a major player in determining the country’s future when it stopped its para-military campaign”

    “The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4 p.m. this afternoon.”

    They became major players just today, at tea-time?

  12. Eric,

    They actually ceased terrorist and paramilitary operations a decade ago. Today’s announcement makes it official and permanent, but the cease fire they enterred into was the beginning of the peace process.

  13. fwiw, there was a time when the ira embraced peace — 1962-70. if i remember right, that got them smashed in the mouth but good by the ruc, which took advantage of the opportunity to intimidate the catholics back into the shadows.

    i think people sometimes forget that the ira was an integral part of a civil rights movement in northern ireland that fought and beat back a protestant apartheid and utterly malignant governance. much of what the ira has done in recent years has to be informed by that perspective to make any sense at all.

  14. Henry II, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, William III, etc. are rolling over in their graves (well, they’ve been doing that since 1922). ๐Ÿ™‚

    Blair’s statement was rather silly:

    ?I welcome the recognition that the only route to political change lies in exclusively peaceful and democratic means,? Blair said at his office in London.

    Thousands of years of human history makes a mockery of such a statement (indeed, Anglo-Irish war of 1919-1922 does).

  15. Look, joe recently confused the Easter Rising of 1916 with the Anglo-Irish war of 1919-1922; I wouldn’t put much faith in his statements on Irish history.

  16. the cease fire they enterred into was the beginning of the peace process.

    actually, mr joe, the 1994 ceasefire was the product of a peace process that had begun five years earlier, when peter brooke (and implicitly london) conceded that the ira could never really be beaten and that britain would not stand in the way of irish unity if the people of northern ireland wished it. secret talks between london and sinn fein began shortly thereafter.

  17. gaius marius,

    That is of course the fear of fanatics like Ian Paisley; a conjoined Ireland.

  18. the ayatollah must be panicking, gg. his whole self-identification goes down the crapper if something like permanent peace really arrives. although i suspect age has tempered his notorious fanaticism.

  19. No, Hack, I did not confuse the two. What I did was make the observation that material assistance (specifically, hardware) provided in 1916 was of use in the 1919-1922 war.

  20. gaius marius,

    Well, its hard for the UDC and IRA zealots/fanatics to demonize each other when they aren’t acting like demons.

  21. joe,

    There was no material assistance in 1916. The ship sank. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. joe,

    And you of course did confuse the two; now you are making a ham-handed excuse for your confusion. Leave the history for those of willing to do the actual research. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Why assume there was one ship? Those rifles had to come from somewhere, there was obviously a network set up, and they didn’t exactly fly banners announcing “arms for the rebels” when they reached port.

    Once you project a non-existing objection onto someone’s argument, you’re like a dog with a bone.

  24. joe,

    The IRA got almost all of its weapons from domestic sources (namely by attacking British arms depots and carting off weapons); indeed, that’s one of the reasons why they were on the verge of collapse in the summer of 1921 – they were running out of serviceable arms.

    The entire war was fought as a guerilla campaign because IRA had few men, few arms and little training (especially in comparison to the Black and Tans). During the entire war only 15,000 people fought for the IRA, and of that number only a few thousand were in active service at any given time. What arms they got in their raids proved to be enough (just enough) to sustain them until the George V’s speech broke the ice.

  25. joe,

    Your problem is that you are working under an ideological assumption that all successful guerilla campaigns must have lots of outside help; yet the IRA fought the war virtually on its own and what help it did get was either in the form British guns seized by the IRA or George V’s rather negative attitude towards the actions of the Black and Tans. What you provide me with is at best rank conjecture, what I provide you with is the actual historical record.

  26. joe,

    Once you create a version of reality that suits you, you are like a dog with a bone.

    I challenge you though. Name one arms shipment from Germany or any where else that made it to Ireland in the Anglo-Irish war. One. Come up with it and document it. You can’t, because there weren’t any.

  27. What documentation would exist for a smuggler’s run?

  28. it became politically unteneble for downing street or the unionist government to simply make blank assertions of intolerance

    There hasn’t been a Unionist government since Heath got rid of devolution in 1972. Unionists have had no power to wield for three decades. Direct rule from London has seen numerous attempts to find a solution, but they’ve all been more popular with Catholics than the “pro-British” Protestants. That hasn’t stopped Sinn Fein/IRA and its moronic American supporters from claiming Unionist oppression as recently as the 1990s!

    the current detente is largely because the British administration was forced by the European Court of Human Rights to remove much of the egregious institutional anti-Catholic discrimination that fanned resentment and tacit support for the IRA.

    Could you give some examples of this institutional discrimination? Most, though not all, the claims of one way discrimination have been disproved throughout the years. Catholic councils, especially in border areas, discriminated even more against Protestants in the 1950s and 60s than Protestant-dominated councils did against Catholics around the same time. Unfortunately the fashionable statists observing Northern Ireland took the Catholic nationalist/republican side early on and their one-sided analyses of the Troubles is still dominant in the know-nothing American press.

  29. joe,

    I suggest that you start with:

    Michael Hopkinson’s The Irish War of Independence

  30. joe,

    The same sort of documentation that allows scholars to document the smuggling going on the British North American colonies during the 18th century. The same that exists that allows scholars to document the grain smuggling of the Roman Empire.

  31. joe,

    There are a heck of a lot of books written on the Anglo-Irish war; I haven’t read in any of them anything about foreign support for the war.

    AndrewM,

    Anti-Catholic discrimination was widespread in Northern Ireland (in voting, in education, etc.). That Catholics also did shitty things isn’t much of an excuse for it.

  32. its hard for the UDC and IRA zealots/fanatics to demonize each other when they aren’t acting like demons.

    UDC?

    Earlier, Congressman Peter King was on CNN talking about today’s news. King is supposed to be one of the most informed American politicians on Northern Ireland and reportedly has Chimpy’s ear. Yet he referred to some Loyalist paramilitary group called the “Ulster Commandos”. There’s a small group called Red Hand Commando, that has been associated with the UVF in the past but they are hardly significant within the Loyalist movement. I’ve never heard of the “Ulster Commandos”. It’s pretty pathetic that the supposedly best informed American politicians don’t even know the basics of the Northern Ireland conflict. Of course, Congressman King and most of his colleagues also thought invading Iraq was a great idea.

    If you Americans are going to insist on running the world could you at least elect politicians who actually know something about the world beyond your shores.

  33. AndrewM,

    I hit C instead of A.

  34. Anti-Catholic discrimination was widespread in Northern Ireland (in voting, in education, etc.)

    Not that much really. As anyone who lived there can tell you there were more Catholics attending university than Protestants in the 1960s. As for voting discrimination the largest constituency in Ulster was Protestant (ie a lot of wasted Protestant votes) the smallest was Catholic. The Catholic vote was also split between more parties and in a first past the post system that means usually means less representation – just ask the LibDems in the UK or the Conservatives in Canada.

    That Catholics also did shitty things isn’t much of an excuse for it.

    Funny how it’s only when Protestants do “shitty things” that it gets remembered and used as an excuse for terrorism.

  35. I supposed I should have written UDA/UFF.

  36. the 1994 ceasefire was the product of a peace process that had begun five years earlier, when peter brooke (and implicitly london) conceded that the ira could never really be beaten and that britain would not stand in the way of irish unity if the people of northern ireland wished it

    GM, what on earth are you talking about? The majority of people in NI do not wish for unification with the Republic, and that will probably remain the case until Protestants are in the minority.

  37. AndrewM, are you a Catholic in Northern Ireland? (I’m guessing No)

    If not, then how would you know how much discrimination there was for them?

  38. AndrewM,

    Yeah, that must be why the IRA is such a respected organization around the world; because no one remembers their atrocities. *rolls eyes*

    That you attempt to twist my statement to your feed your fevered religionist logic is also laughable. A pox on both your fanatic houses.

    Are you denying that Northern Ireland districts weren’t gerrymandered to increase the Protestant vote? Were Catholics allowed to freely move within Norther Ireland? No. Liberty of travel was not something allowed them. There was also open discrimination in employment, particularly in the all important shipping industry. Accepting the reality of these things hardly makes me “pro-Catholic,” BTW. It does make me pro-reality. It also makes me anti-statist, which is the exact reverse of what you are.

    Your attitude is one of the reasons why I despise all religions.

  39. Hak, too much with the religion angle. It’s much more of a nationalist fight.

    How many republicans have been excommunicated, after all?

  40. joe,

    AndrewM is one who cast it into religious language.

    Being a member of the “Old” IRA meant excommunication if one were found out.

  41. Over the years the IRA has realized breeding, not bombs, was a better way to achieve their goals. Plus, it’s more enjoyable.

    As Monty Phython said “Every Sperm is Sacred”

  42. If you Americans are going to insist on running the world could you at least elect politicians who actually know something about the world beyond your shores.

    i’d certainly agree with that, mr m, but the assertion that protestant discrimination was no big thing makes you an obvious unionist with a bias. it most certainly was a big thing — and a much worse thing than catholic discrimination against protestants if for no other reason than that the protestants ruled ni essentially without thought or concern for catholic or republican input. ‘apartheid’ is perhaps too dramatic an analogy — but then, perhaps not.

  43. I don’t know how much I’d be celebrating just yet, really. I mean, ‘P. O’Neill’ appears to speak for PIRA, and there are a gaggle of other republican groups around that aren’t particularly bound by the PIRA’s statement.

    Hopefully the biggest player in the game backing down will take some of the fire out of the rest of them.

  44. I think we can now officially say that the violent period of the Reformation/Counter-Reformation is over. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. isuldur,

    True. However, if the mainline command of the IRA is actively opposing terror and violence, any splinter groups that break ranks are going to have a tough time of it.

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