View Full Version : IRA decomission weapons.

23rd Oct 2001, 22:51
Hooray! At last. Well done. Better late than never, eh?

Now I expect all those who slagged me off on this forum to apologise, and turn their attention to the real anti peace groups in NI...the loyalist paramilitaries and their political cheer leaders in the DUP/UDP.

By the way, the're still abusing little girls on the way to school. How about sorting that out then?

24th Oct 2001, 00:11
Well, I'll drink to that maxalt......

...but (there's always a "but" isn't there... :rolleyes: )

ARE they going to go through with it?

Will they decommision permanantley?

Remember, there's no shortage of small arms out there... :eek:

And most of their explosives are agricultural fertilizer based!! :eek:

Still, fingers crossed, but let's not count our chickens eh folks......? :confused:

...BTW...should we be discussing this anyway? HopeZorg doesn't find out.... :eek:

[ 23 October 2001: Message edited by: swashplate ]

Ireland's Call
24th Oct 2001, 04:26
If it satisfies DeChastelain, then that's it, they've decommisioned, end of story. David Trimple and Ken Megginnis are satisified as well. As Maxalt says it's over to Paisley and co. to try and f**k it up, they must not be allowed.

Could this be peace at last?

24th Oct 2001, 04:50
Decommisioned? Exactly how many weapons?
Everyone got two or three back-ups tucked away?
Peace in N.I., we're likely to see pigs fly at the same time. And, No, I don't like saying that, and Yes, it takes two to tango.

24th Oct 2001, 06:26
Forgive one for being slightly cynical but why is it not possible to hand these weapons over or at least show them being destroyed, why should we simply have to take someones word for it. As I recall the last episode of weapons being handed over in Macedonia they were physicaly handed in.
There have been a number of undertakings in the past that just never seemed to quite materialise

24th Oct 2001, 17:41
The decomissioning committee was set up under a negotiated and agreed democratic process. Wasn't it? And didn't they appoint Gn.DeChastelain as the official in charge of verification? And weren't the grounds under which decomissioning would occur laid out? And wasn't DeChastelain charged with the responsibility of overseeing their application? And hasn't DeChastelain confirmed that a real act of decomissioning occurred?

What more do you want??

Your comments add grist to the elements in the Republican movement who held this process up all this time. They can now say..."see, we told you, you'll never satisfy them...keep fighting."

This is a Peace Process. I emphasise the word PROCESS. You however will accept nothing less than overnight results.
I'm glad David Trimble has more foresight than RollingThunder or Peterbrat (I didn't really expect apologies from them anyhow). :)

24th Oct 2001, 17:50
didn't i read something about religion/politics being banned here? ah well, i may as well stick my oar in. this is a very good move, as now no-one, orange or green, has any excuse to hold the GFA up any longer, and bearing in mind we all (73% in the north) voted for it ages ago, its about bloody time.


ps swashplate, john hume said a while ago'any guns handed in on monday could be replaced on tuesday,' the whole thing is about building trust, something we've been very short of, and cynicism isn't really called for just now.

[ 24 October 2001: Message edited by: BigGreenPleasureMachine ]

PPRuNe Pop
24th Oct 2001, 17:54
No Politics is the rule from PPRuNe HQ!

Already there seems to be a wish to bring politics into the original statement. I suggest you think about your posts before clicking on the 'add reply' button.

PPRuNe Pop
[email protected]

PPRuNe Pop
24th Oct 2001, 17:54
No Politics is the rule from PPRuNe HQ!

Already there seems to be a wish to bring politics into the original statement. I suggest you think about your posts before clicking on the 'add reply' button.

PPRuNe Pop
[email protected]

24th Oct 2001, 18:50
Am I seeing double, PPRuNe Pop or did you post twice just to be sure, to be sure?

24th Oct 2001, 19:16
Politics, no politics here. Just a desire by common folks/families to strive for peace. But really, what are the real hopes? Not with the current politicians/gangs ignoring facts and actual realities. Sad. That much vaunted foresight is nearsightedness and denial.

24th Oct 2001, 20:36
Rollingthunder it's the only game in town and it's a damn sight better than the alternative...which is slow disintegration into a full scale conflict, as happened in Israel when the peace talks failed.

Yes Danny, I know you said no politics but this is history in the making. It goes beyond politics.
Anyhow, I promise to be on my best behaviour.

We all do, don't we guys?? ;)

tony draper
24th Oct 2001, 20:37
Never understood why organisations like the IRA or Loyalist paramilitaries wanted with vast stores of small arms, they were hardly going to take on the British army head on, or each other or arm tens of thousand men.
Its understandable if you are a guerilla army fightng in the hills or jungle somewhere, but what was the point in a place like Ireland.
I think vast stores of automatic weapons and small arms are accumulated just for the sake of it.

[ 24 October 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

24th Oct 2001, 21:07

Not being cynical, just cautious mate.

I just hope that there IS a proper watertight verification process to all this, and not just spin and press conferences....

As you say, "its about building trust", but that means that no-one starts taking the micheal.......

26th Oct 2001, 03:34
No Tony the real threat is not and never was from the British army. But from their own neigbours. In 1969 the IRA had a few bolt action rifles and Thompson sub machine guns in the face of um... can't use the word pogrom, attacks from the loyalists and police . They could do little or nothing to defend their people. Hence the introduction of the British army to protect the Catholics.
The above carefully vetted to avoid politics, strictly history. Verifiable, where did I hear that term before?
Hence the paranoia, they got no help from the Republic at the time. They could hardly expect any now.

The real test of this situation is the reaction of the Unionists and loyalists. The bitterness runs deep. Throwing bombs at children shows the depth of that bitterness.

But let there be no doubt in anyones mind, October the 23rd was an extraordinary day in Anglo/Irish relations. In the current welter of extraordinary world events, it lost some of it's impact. But it is simply unprecedented, Republicans never before voluntarily relinquished their weapons. Indeed I remember the one old 1916 republican neighbour kept his old Lee Enfield NoIII in his attic in Dublin until the seventies. He only handed it in the face of a ban on all rifles over .22 calibre, introduced as a result of Republican violence in the North.

The problem with all these situations is when the established status quo, the people who hold the power feel threatened they sometimes lash out. The OAS and the pied noir powerbase in Algeria being a case in point.
The crux of this is how well the new police service handles possible loyalist attacks. Interesting times ahead I think. This could still go either way.

26th Oct 2001, 05:16
This from the awefully nice "reverend" Paisley:

Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley is accusing David Trimble of treachery.

Mr Paisley says there is not a shred of evidence that IRA disarmament has taken place.

Read the rest at: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_433430.html?menu=news.latestheadlines

What a t0sser the so-called reverend is


Robert Cooper
26th Oct 2001, 05:52
Well, the "Reverend" was always a bit of an arrogant prick. But as maxalt said, this is a process. I guess its going to be a bit of a bumpy ride until some trust is built up.

We've been here before, but let's hope that this time it happens. It's about time.


26th Oct 2001, 06:04
One wishes it was a process.. so far, it seems to be a three card monte.

Celtic Emerald
26th Oct 2001, 19:22
Maxalt on his best behaviour!

Geez that's something I've looked forward to as much as decommissioning. One is still left wondering to what degree & how long this metamorphisis will last though, the decommissioning I mean of course :p


26th Oct 2001, 19:31
Errr a bit quick there Maxalt, Gen D C has not yet confirmed the de-commisioning to my knowledge??? Did I miss something?

26th Oct 2001, 19:45
Surely the real point is that the IRA have at last made the move - at least to the satisfaction of David Trimble. It will probably never satisfy the likes of Paisley, who seems more interested in the sound of his own voice than anything else:

Ireland's Call
26th Oct 2001, 22:32
Peterbrat, the General has confirmed the Decommissioning, he issued a statement saying that a substantial amount of guns, ammunition and explosives has been permanently put out of use. The RUC chief constable whose force lost more then most at the hands of the IRA is also satisified and claimed it to be "monumental."

Paisley and co. have been badly outplayed, they arrogantly stated that the IRA would never decommission. Their worst fears are now taking place, i.e. a normalised Northern Ireland, with a properly representative police force, (there'll even be Gardai on the streets as part of an exchange program!)What will Paisley and co. roar and shout about in the future?? The state of the health service? Public expenditure? You know, when they're forced to deal with the normal and mundane issues that occupy every normal democracy.

The extremists will not give up easily.
The UUP's vote tommorrow is vital.

27th Oct 2001, 02:09
May I ask why it is hedged around with such secrecy. No details of the weapons, ammunition; either number or type nor method of disposal. Not even where the disposal took place.

Why are we expected to take this on trust, have the IRA shown at any time they are to be trusted?

Still it is a minor achievement to have something that was supposed to be in response to previous major concessions.

Perhaps Tone could withdraw all the troops from Ireland and send them to fight 'real' terrorists, for it is obvious he believes those in Ireland are no longer a threat. In the meantime, would someone please get him to explain to me what the difference is between the terrorists in Afghan and the terrorists in Ireland.

I agree Maxalt, it is time that we stopped indulging both sides in Northern Ireland and treated them just like we would if they were on mainland Britain. No children - of any religion should be subjected to that. So why don't we arrest them? Why do we have to line the route with armed soldiers just to allow them to scream hatred at each other, indoctrinating another generation in religious bigotry and inhuman behaviour.

[ 26 October 2001: Message edited by: Velvet ]

27th Oct 2001, 10:58
Full credit to Adams and his team. They have slowly but surely brought the more militant elements of the IRA round to accepting democratic means.
Who has had more credibility in recent years, and now? Adams or the (self-styled) "Rev" Ian Paisley?

I can understand the sceptics, but let's not forget that the Republicans have acted unilaterally - the Unionist parties' military wings, the UDA and UVF, say they won't decomission.
Perhaps I'm being sceptical now, but(according to the Chief of the RUC) the UDA stepped up its activities in the past six weeks or so, breaking the ceasefire - just as the IRA was moving towards decommissioning. I wonder why they did that! ;)
Thankfully, the IRA didn't respond, and continued towards decommissioning.

[ 27 October 2001: Message edited by: virgin ]

27th Oct 2001, 18:17
The news from Belfast is that a British soldier has been severely injured by a blast bomb. And who threw it? Rioting Loyalists!

The IRA have entered a democratic process and yet it still appears that it is not enough for some people. Some appear to want the traditional capitulation they are used to getting.

The history of NI has never been about democracy...rather it is about domination by the Loyalist establishment.
Now that domination can no longer be hidden under the guise of 'democracy' they are crying foul and revolting. And throwing blast bombs at little girls and british troops.

Stop swallowing the propaganda, and start to think for yourselves. It's time to call it a day on loyalist violence.

27th Oct 2001, 18:52

27th Oct 2001, 22:09
I’m sorry, I just can’t get the same dewy-eyed euphoria for this rather belated and secrecy-ridden, but much vaunted disposal of unwanted weapons. I think trying to make out that the IRA have suddenly turned into saints is showing a cynical disregard for what they have been in the past and still are. They are thugs pure and simple, just like the loyalist thugs. So forgive me if I don’t give them a gold star.

They have in the past thought nothing of bombing innocents - men, women and children - citizens in Britain and Northern Ireland lived, suffered and died through their recent reign of terror, many innocents were killed or maimed or injured by their cowardly attacks. A catalogue of their murders going back 30years does not suddenly become irrelevant because they now finding it more expedient to turn to less violent methods. Let’s not forget – Belfast, Guildford, Co Derry, Warrenpoint, Birmingham, Brighton, Co Down, Harrods, Hyde Park and Regents Park, Enniskillen, Deal, City of London, Canary Wharf.

Doesn't make the Loyalist better, but certainly doesn't make them worse because they can't yet give up bullying on a grand scale.

There are no innocent terrorists, there are no good ones - and until all sides learn to stop blaming the other for their problems that they have created, there will be no real peace. They each clutch tightly to their ancestral hatred, passed down through generation after generation like some heirloom, that needs blood to keep it shiny and bright.

I suspect that without recent events the IRA would still not have given up the ‘more than one single bullet, and greater than one ounce of explosive’, which General De Chastelain so carefully described in the recent decommissioning.

Is it too much to hope now that they will finally give details of the burial places of those men and women they kidnapped, tortured and murdered – as a gesture of their continuing goodwill – as they once also promised.

And so the violence continues and another generation is taught to hate others whose only crime is to be born on the ‘other side’, …………………..

27th Oct 2001, 23:07
Strange that suddenly Gerry Adams wants to co-operate with the British Government on disarmament and strange (not) that this should coincide with the self righteous Americans declaring "war" on terrorism" I just can't understand why the Americans have suddenly decided that terrorism has to stop after they have allowed collections in the USA for decades to fund the IRA in their quest to bomb and maim both the N.I. and British people.

Has somebody invaded the sterile bubble Americans live in? Yes, I think so. The Americans can tolerate death and carnage providing it is remote from American shores!

Personally, I trust Gerry Adams about as much as I trust Bin Laden. Both are from the same mould, both are bearded and both are only interested in their own political fulfilment. :mad:

Rant over!!

28th Oct 2001, 04:21
Without some recent events the IRA might not have decomissioned. Right enough. So maybe the death of all those people has had some positive outcome.

Don't you see that your comments above are the same old excuses the IRA used before, only in reverse? We don't trust you so we'll keep right on doing what we always did.

Time for some new thinking.
Or must we keep repeating the mistakes of the past.

28th Oct 2001, 04:57
Yup Maxalt, heard it now, even believe it, can't say it isn't before bloody time though, given ever so reluctantly and in the face of the present climate of zero tolerance for terrorist organisations, of either side.

Now let em get talking and stop the endless violence that has been carried out by thugs of both sides.

Oh I am entirely in agreement with you Paisely is an odious man.

28th Oct 2001, 16:29
Curious logic in some posts.
Most people seem to be agreed that it's better to look forward to try to achieve peace for the future, rather than raking over the past. Yet, when Gerry Adams and others actually use the democratic process, and persuade the IRA to join with them, some people insist upon dragging up what the IRA has done in the past.

Listing the the IRA atrocities of the past is not helpful. All that happens is that someone telse lists the numerous atrocities perpetrated by the military wings of the unionist parties in Ireland over the years - most of which we heard little or nothing about in the Press here.

Things, and most people, change with time.
Some of us are old enough to remember when Nelson Mandela was a terrorist.
There are exceptions of course. The "Rev" Iain Paisley for one.
BTW, has anyone heard Paisley Jnr being interviewed? He's well and truly taken over the mantle of bigotry and hatred.

Why don't we just be (cautiously) pleased that there seems to be progress?
And hope and pray that the example set by the IRA will be followed by the para-military wings of the unionist parties?

28th Oct 2001, 18:19
Well said, Hoverman.

The IRA deserve praise for starting the decomissioning process, for whatever reason. They have announced their commitment to the peace process, which is as close as they have ever come to saying "The war is over".

Similarly, those paramilitary units not decommissioning yet deserve our opprobrium.

David Irvine of the PUP (linked to the UVF) was on Radio 4's news at 1:00 today expressing disappointment that the outfit of which he was a member has not done anything yet. Good man, that one.

As Hoverman says, the tragedy of the six counties has been that people are too keen to look backwards rather than forward. Yes, many people in Ireland have committed atrocities. So have many British Governments. So what? Let's look instead at the commitment to a peaceful future, and judge people on that.

28th Oct 2001, 19:07
An Australian view of the situation !

Vikings and French also invaded Ireland, and Irish have no argument with them today. Vikings who invaded Ireland don't claim to be Norwegian after 1100 years! Normans don't claim to be French after 800 years! Nor do they in Britain, so English have no quarrel with them today. And Welsh (original British) don't have any problem with Germany because of Anglo-Saxon invasion, etc etc.

But Protestants or 'British' of Northern Ireland, after 350 years, cannot unite with Irish.

To understand from Australian point of view, imagine if a million Indonesians settled in Queensland, cordoned off a tract of land to give themselves an artificial majority and claimed it was legitimately part of Indonesia, and even backed it up with elections!
Now imagine the year is 2350 AD and they still refuse to recognise they have any connection to Australia, and they parade down the streets celebrating a 300 year old battle against Australian Army.

The marches in Northern Ireland basically celebrate Protestant British victories from battles in the 17th century! Quoting you: 'cancel all those stupid marches'. All marches are British/Protestant so Irish/Catholics would love that! I pity the Irish for having to put up with this every year. One parade should be enough, not 2000. The Irish don't celebrate their 16th or 20th century victories, not even in the Republic. The Protestants are entitled to live in Ireland but surely they should recognise that the Irish are also entitled to equal respect in their own country!

No simple solution there, but you can't expect the Irish to just forget everything while part of the country is under British occupation? Would you suggest forgetting everything if Indonesia captured Queensland? I doubt it.

Ahab :)

The Guvnor
28th Oct 2001, 19:09
Strange how the Republicans don't throw their toys out of the cot over the lack of 'loyalist' decommissioning!

David 'Rottweiler' Burnside, late of BA (and architect of its 'dirty tricks') seems to have been uncharacteristically silent on that issue! :mad: :eek: :mad:

29th Oct 2001, 01:04
Most British also find it completely incomprehensible why the Irish have to march down a particular road to commemorate some centuries old battle. Why it is necessary to use any method including rioting, bombing and killing to achieve that end. How can anyone feel proud that they protected a tradition with the bodies of their families or others.

Why do we still need to protect schoolchildren with large numbers of troops. Anywhere else these people would be arrested, we wouldn't indulge this senseless and illegal activity. Unless, of course, in Ireland it is legal to throw stones and abuse children, and throw bombs into their midst.

We forget history at our peril though (Tone frequently does), it is not the remembrance but the insistance on repeating ages old vendettas and refighting battles based on no more than some vague folklore.

Of course, we should welcome this new initiative - but don't let's pretend that the terrorists are suddenly the good guys. For whatever reason they have decided violence may not be the way forward; and it must be encouraged. This will not be done by uncritical acclaim (silencing critics is the act of tyranny and terrorism not freedom); this will not be achieved through the rather silly phrase 'if you are not with us you are against us', this will not happen because it is imposed from without.

Only the Irish can make this happen, and finally they will all have to accept a united Ireland - it is inevitable. Pity the British Government can't quite bite the bullet and tell them we're withdrawing.

Yes Ian Paisley is odious and would, if he could, engineer the end to this peace process. But whilst he is democratically elected he has as much right as anyone to speak out.

29th Oct 2001, 01:49
Velvet, you keep saying that we should not immediately think of the IRA as the good guys. I see no evidence on this thread of people doing so. Everyone is well aware of the IRA's past atrocities.

Please stop sounding like Banquo's ghost and join the celebrations for a great step forward on the road to peace. We're very far from there, but for several weeks things have appeared stalled, and in severe danger of failing completely. Thanks to this commitment, we're moving forward again.

And let's also remember that there are many groups that still have their weapons and are (so far) refusing to decommission them.

That Ian Paisley represents, protects and defends them while David Trimble, David Irvine and others do not marginalises him even further, and undermines his position. Soon, unless he is very careful, he will look like the only politician who is still advocating violence. And yet he calls himself a Loyalist!

29th Oct 2001, 04:11
And yet he calls himself a Loyalist!

Even worse ..... he calls himslef a Christian!

29th Oct 2001, 05:47
Velvet without wishing to sound like I'm having a go at you, your language reeks of a basic lack of understanding of the whole situation.

To refer to everyone in NI as 'Irish' is cringingly naiive.

The 'Irish' who insist on walking down certain roads every year would probably run you through with their ceremonial sword if they heard you label them as 'Irish'.
It's their avowed 'Britishness' that they insist on ramming down nationalist throats by those very marches!

I sense exasperation in everything you write.

I find that to be a common trait in most english people when it comes to discussing this issue. Even when they are making an honest effort to understand the nuances of the situation they usually end up throwing their hands in the air and reverting to the old cliches about these 'simple problems the Irish can't just deal with'. If you've never lived there it's possible you never will understand it.

But then I wouldn't claim to be an expert on the Middle East either.

[ 29 October 2001: Message edited by: maxalt ]

29th Oct 2001, 07:36
And yet he calls himself a Loyalist!
Even worse ..... he calls himslef a Christian!
Worse still - he calls himself "Reverend"! Should be a law against that :mad:

I just spotted a site offering three anagrams of "The Reverend Ian Paisley":

I, rather insanely peeved
He and IRA? Severely inept!
He is a `Never Ireland' type

[ 29 October 2001: Message edited by: sanjosebaz ]

henry crun
29th Oct 2001, 09:19
Thankfully I live a long way away from this vexed question of the two Irelands.
All I know about the situation is what the international media chooses to tell me and what I can glean from the WWW.

It puzzles me that the decommissioning is shrouded in secrecy.
Surely if the IRA had invited the TV cameras and showed them angle grinders/blowtorches at work, or truck loads of concrete being poured into bunkers the publicity would be a huge public relations coup.

In that one action they would cut the ground from under the feet of the bigots like Paisley and others who refuse to accept that anything of significance has taken place.
It would also put the heat on the protestant extremists to match that action.

29th Oct 2001, 14:12
Yeah, Henry, helluva a photo oppertunity, no??? :cool:

Saw Paisley Jnr on TV yesterday - 'Nature' or 'Nurture'..... :eek:

30th Oct 2001, 02:50
Henry, sorry to rain on your parade. The weapons have been destroyed in front unimpeachable witnesses. Decommissioning is a fact.
That this is unacceptable to certain people speaks volumes for their attitude. They would cotinually move the goalposts no matter what attempt was made to convince them.
They want only one result, not power sharing, not democracy. Just power and domination. They want to go back to the old days when they had all the power and could do what they like.
In some ways I believe the IRA is cynically attempting to expose this attitude. It's a win win situation for them. If the extremist unionists refuse to accept that decommisioning has taken place, they will be exposed for what they are. If they accept it, the republicans continue to share power.

All the old certainties are being swept away. Their majority is being chipped away, Sinn Fein is in Stormont as part of the government. The British government is no longer 'on their side' as they see it. They cannot march through their 'enemy's' streets unchallenged anymore. The Republic of Ireland is no longer an impoverished priest dominated statelet but a thriving liberal democracy. Now the guns are effectively gone. They are simply left with their own prejudices no longer shared by many of their own people. Perhaps we should pity them, surrounded by their enemies and abandoned by their friends. Nowhere to go.

This is why loyalists, are attacking 'their' soldiers and 'their' police on a nightly basis. They almost killed an 18 year soldier the other night. That would have been horribly ironic.

I still maintain this situation can go either way, back to hell or into the light.
Has anyone got a crystal ball?

henry crun
30th Oct 2001, 03:29
Steepclimb: You have not rained on my parade, you have misinterpreted my post. Nowhere did I say or imply that I do not believe that the weapons have been destroyed.

I was only trying to point out the lost PR opportunity to demonstrate to all that this event had indeed taken place.

To use an analogy, a poor one I admit, but the only one that comes to mind at present.
If the Taliban said that they had arrested Ben Laden, tried and convicted him, and then executed him, how many people to you think would believe them ?.
I venture to suggest not many.

But if they had done this under the gaze of the world media there would no longer be any doubt.

30th Oct 2001, 04:02
Yes, I wouldn't mind a bet that it was the old muzzle loaders that were given up!! If it was anything useful, I'm sure the press would have been invited!

30th Oct 2001, 04:38
So, Sensible, you really think Gen. John de Chastelain is that much of a fool, and his observers as well, the vast majority of them serving soldiers or former soldiers? You think the IRA would find it that easy to dupe him? :rolleyes:

You honestly expect us to agree with such a simplistic concept as you propose?

Think it through just for a moment - allow your brain a look-in. You would rather have cameras and reporters there? How easy do you think it is to fool a serving soldier about weapons? And how easy to fool a journalist? If I wanted to pass off an act as weapons decommissioning when all I was destroying was an old, useless, obsolete heap of rust, I know who I would want watching. So stop being a darned fool.

I shall stop here, lest I annoy Danny. I quite understand why his ban on politics and religion here. I am very tempted to be very very rude to people who display not the least brain, honesty, sense or humanity.

[ 29 October 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

30th Oct 2001, 05:38
Henry Crun, if Gen DeChastelain was invited to witness the execution of Bin Laden that would be good enough for me. Why not you?

henry crun
30th Oct 2001, 06:55
Maxalt" You, like Steepclimb, insist on misinterpreting what I have said, so I shall repeat it and this time I shall shout in the hope you will get the point I am trying to make.


Now, is that clear enough for you ?
Did I say the general was fooled ?
Did I say I do not believe him ?.
Did I say the weapons have not been destroyed ?.

[ 30 October 2001: Message edited by: henry crun ]

Stand by your man
30th Oct 2001, 07:13
Jeez, 4 pages already. Not bad for a forum that disavows politics and religion!

Would it be too much to acknowledge Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness for the brilliant negotiators that they are. In return for pouring a load of concrete into an already compromised dump, they have got major concessions for Irish nationalism. And the best part is that they could not have used decommissioning as a bargaining chip unless the Unionists (and the Tories) had doggedly insisted on it. Nice one, guys.

Meanwhile, the Sinn Fein agenda has achieved:
- Release of all prisoners
- Limited police reform with more to follow
- Human rights initiatives
- Sinn Fein ministers in Government
- North South bodies with executive powers, leading to.......join the dots
- A start to demilitarisation (ie British Army withdrawal)

All this against a background of increasing nationalist elctoral success, demographic trends heading for a nationalist majority in 10 to 20 years time and increased disowning of unionism by mainstream British politics.

Clearly, Gerry and Martin see what way the wind is blowing and have oh so carefully manouvered their hard line followers into line. It is Unionism's loss that it has not produced leaders of such calibre.

30th Oct 2001, 17:01
Yes four pages, I think it's partly because we contributors have been careful to avoid too many inflammatry statements. Either that or the moderator's away.
Sorry Henry I wasn't trying to get at you, just make my point.
Stand by your man made it better for me though. If it proves anything it proves the ballot box is mightier than the armalite. It also proves why there is so much opposition to the agreement within the extreme unionsit community. When Sinn Fein were the bad guys all was well in the world. Now the sky is falling.

Send Clowns
30th Oct 2001, 18:59
Those that ask about the marching season could also look at why there is any objection to the marches. I agree that the idea is offensive, but that does not seem to me a reason to ban them, nor is it the common complaint. The main reason the Republicans object is that the march passes through areas in which they predominate, such as the oft-quoted "mainly-nationalist Garvaghy Road". Now why is this road "mainly-nationalist"? If you look into that, it is because the IRA drove the protestants living there out of their own homes with threats of murder. If that had been done to me, I would perhaps still feel the desire to assert my right to walk past my former home on a public highway.

I agree that walking a public highway in a large group can be threatening. However can any of those men walk there alone without threat to himself? This threat is on both sides, not just a fault of the unionists. I suspect many moderates would give up marching if they felt safe in all areas of their own cities, and many catholics' support for Sinn Fein would fade if they felt the same.

P.S. None of this is politics : this is about criminal gangs. If the Mafia put up congressmen and claimed to represent Italian Americans, would you call them a political organisation? PIRA, CIRA, RIRA, UVF, UDA etc are all just criminal gangs, wanting two things - money and power. They have even been known to co-operate in crime across the "sectarian divide", to make money. Love of money is the root of all evil.

[ 30 October 2001: Message edited by: Send Clowns ]

30th Oct 2001, 21:31
Complete rubbish, SC.

It's clear you know very little at all about the province. If you did, for one you'd know how to spell "Garvaghy".

The main reason the area is mainly nationalist, like many others in the Province, is that the catholic-nationalist-republican community has been expanding for many years, despite great emigration at several points, while the protestant-unionist-loyalist community has been contracting. Therefore the demographic makeup changes in several areas.

To use this as an excuse to throw yet one more brick at the catholic community is a total nonesense. Furthermore it, is totally useless and pointless. How people came to live where they do is purely a matter of history. You blame them for that? You think that, even has your thesis been correct, that would invalidate their claim of intimidation?

They could equally well claim that the whole of the province was once catholic and Irish, and was only taken over by brute force, intimidation and oppression and therefore the "Brits" claim is groundless and they should therefore get out. Where does that get us? Precisely nowhere.

Celtic Emerald
30th Oct 2001, 22:09
I hate to sound naive but is this not a political discussion. Does this mean Danny's new rules have been loosened and that Slasher & I can start talking about our favourite subject RELIGION again :p

What about it Slash you tell me about all the wonderful experiences you had as a Jehovahs Witness and I'll tell you about the even more wonderful experiences I had as an RC. Fair is fair after all ;)


30th Oct 2001, 23:46
I don't understand. I have read the whole thread and nobody has answered the real question.

Just how much commission did the IRA get on their weapons?

Was it on a bullet basis?

Where will they get their money from now?

How will affect the price of Guinness?

31st Oct 2001, 00:25
The 'Irish' who insist on walking down certain roads every year would probably run you through with their ceremonial sword if they heard you label them as 'Irish'.
maxalt the relish which seemingly underlies that statement, says more about your attitude than my knowledge of the situation or lack thereof. That you consider it thinkable is telling indeed. However, it is comforting to note that you will bow to my greater knowledge and understanding of the Middle East in future. ;)

To refer to everyone in NI as 'Irish' is cringingly naiive. Actually, it neither naive, nor an insult, but purely factual - why is it considered either an insult or shameful for someone to be referred to by the identity of his birthplace. The 'Northern' Irish are no less Irish than those born in the South.

Northern Ireland is not part of Britain, it is an annexed land which comprises part of the political entity which is known as the United Kingdom, and as such they are not British - no matter what they like to pretend.

Maybe when they learn to accept that they are Irish (north, south east and west), they will finally work together.

Incidentally, having a different opinion does not necessarily mean that one is an enemy, or that one lacks understanding.

Send Clowns
31st Oct 2001, 00:26
Yes, Huggy, but think before you insult people. The expanding Catholic community could never have moved into the houses occupied by the protestants unless the latter moved out voluntarily or under threat of violence. I understand that in this case violence was used. You know damn well this is a common tactic employed by the terrorists against anyone they object to, from either community. The fact that the general Nationalist community is expanding is irrelevant in a specific case of an established community.

My point seems then to go clear over your head. I never said it was any sort of excuse - I was specifically implying that it was not - for any violence. I was pointing out how the grievances come about in times of living memory (not purely history, but part of living peoples' lives), and how people react when both sides feel intimdated, and both are justified in that feeling.

That is a little different from your comparrison of offenses commited hundreds of years ago, and your assumption that I advocated any of the behaviour of which I was putting forward a description and attempt at an explanation. I do agree that what you put forward about the 'invasion' of Ireland is a grievance felt by many communities. It just had absolutely nothing to do with the point I was making, which was to put forward part of the basis of the problems of the marching season, a legitimate grievance often overlooked by our crappy liberal news media.

I know a hell of a lot about, for example, geology. Doesn't change the fact that my spelling is lousy, and I keep my spelling of basic English correct by effort, therefore the specialist terms I use occasionally are spelled randomly. This has bu99er all bearing on my knowledge of the subject. Really a rather petty attack on my argument, wasn't it?

31st Oct 2001, 00:55
Henry Crun, if Gen DeChastelain was invited to witness the execution of Bin Laden that would be good enough for me. Why not you?

Why should we? Does General De Chastelain know Osama Bin Laden personally - otherwise, how could he be sure that the person being executed was in fact Osama Bin Laden? Do you know how many Saudi men look like Osama Bin Laden - would you be able to discern the difference I couldn't.

31st Oct 2001, 01:42
Send Clowns
"Those that ask about the marching season could also look at why there is any objection to the marches. I agree that the idea is offensive, but that does not seem to me a reason to ban them, nor is it the common complaint."
I have this strange feeling that you wouldn't take the same view about racist organisations here being allowed to organise offensive (but non-violent) marches through areas which are predominantly inhabited by ethnic minorities.
" .... the IRA drove the protestants living there out of their own homes with threats of murder."
You may want to reflect why minority groups who are victimised/feel threatened tend to gather in areas where they feel safe. As the years pass, they may no longer be such a minority, but don't overlook the origins.
"I suspect many moderates would give up marching if they felt safe in all areas of their own cities ......"
Surely 'marcher' and 'moderate' are contradictions in terms, as a Orange Order and moderate.
"P.S. None of this is politics : this is about criminal gangs.
Of course there are criminal gangs on both sides but you can't just dismiss the strongly, and genuinely, held views on either side even if you disagree with the views.

This thread has so far escaped the censors. Perhaps that's because the contributions have been sensible, and expressed in moderate terms.
Or perhaps it's because the theme has largely been pleasure (sometimes cautious) at progress towards peace and settling differences by democratic process.
If you make sweeping allegations which demonstrate obvious prejudice against the side you don't support, others will, understandably, be tempted to react.
That doesn't increase the chances of this discussion lasting much longer.

And as for our liberal media, you may want to reflect upon the decades during which atrocities perpetrated by unionist paramilitaries rated a paragraph at most in the Press this side of the Irish Sea.

[ 30 October 2001: Message edited by: virgin ]

Send Clowns
31st Oct 2001, 02:10

READ MY POSTS before you criticise them.

They make perfectly clear I support neither side. I support peaceful integration. I point out specifically that the fault is on all sides. They are deliberately not advocating any action, simply trying to present a little-discussed part of the troubles, the ethnic cleansing by both sides, and its impact on the feelings specifically of one side. I did however specifically generalise the fear and intimidation felt to include both sets of communities.

I cannot work out where you think my prejudice came in.. This threat is on both sides, not just a fault of the unionists Note: "...both sides...". I show only prejudice against terrorists, but that is not unreasonable. The reason they are called terrorists is that they inspire terror, and it was this terror I was pointing out. The side they are on is irrelevant : all are against the people of NI.

My allegations were not sweeping, they only include groups that have proudly boasted of their disgusting deeds.

Perhaps the side I was against was Huggy himself, but he jumped in with both feet and an insult. The fact that my point completely passed him by lead to my equally robust response.

Yes, loyalist attacks rate little press. But then so do nationalist attacks in NI. That is because they are so common. The reason more nationalist attacks reach our press is that they historically have been more active, and specifically have carried out more large-scale attacks and more attacks outside the province. Your point is therefore completely irrelevant.

The points I responded to were in my opinion over-simplified posts about the marching season. I do not know the whole origin of these problems. However I think I adequately demonstrated that the marches are not a simple problem as some here and most in the press like to make out of loyalists bullying nationalist communities. I never said that this bullying was not involved, just demonstrated that this is only one aspect of a complicated situation.

Send Clowns
31st Oct 2001, 02:41
Now you've expanded your post I see that my entire point did pass you by, Virgin.

I pointed out that the fact of the marches was not the generally case against them, but the area through which they pass. I pointed out that though I objected to the marchers' ideals in themselves I would not ban them due to that. I did not say I would not ban them for going through nationalist areas. I in fact make it clear that this is a separate point, and that this is the point most people actually make.

I would in fact have exactly the same view of a BNP march : objectionable, but should not be banned unless violent or inciting violence by confronting a non-white community.

The point I make is to do with the reasons behind the marching. The fact that there are legitimate grievances behind them, as well as blind prejudice. If we do not accept this then we will never separate these factors, and can never persuade people to let go of their prejudices.
You may want to reflect why minority groups who are victimised/feel threatened tend to gather in areas where they feel safe. As the years pass, they may no longer be such a minority, but don't overlook the origins.They can gather all they like. The point was that in order to allow this the republican terrorists (not necessarily the people now living there, but known violent criminals) threatened to kill people if they did not abandon their homes. Yours is another classically irrelevant point, I'm afraid Virgin. The origins are outside the scope of my argument, I was pointing out the methods. Surely 'marcher' and 'moderate' are contradictions in terms, as a Orange Order and moderate.
And you have the cheek to accused me of prejudice? What is this? Not that it even answers my point, it was just a cheap jab :rolleyes: Even if there are no moderates, some would be less hard-line, and would not be there if they felt they could walk safely on the streets alone. Your assumption otherewise displays your prejudice against protestants and members of the Orange Order.

I never dismissed views on either side. In fact I expanded some that you dismiss.

[ 30 October 2001: Message edited by: Send Clowns ]

31st Oct 2001, 02:59
Loyalist marches through predominantly Nationalist (and predominantly Catholic) areas are in my view "loyalists bullying nationalist communities" as the Press correctly report or, at the very least deliberately provocative actions.
Consider the historic events they celebrate.
You appear to agree that they are offensive.

Do you really think that, at a time when sensible people on both sides of the divide are working towards peace, that such offensive marches should not be banned?
I suggest most objective observers would agree that, at the moment (and arguably for the first time in decades) the Republicans have won the moral high ground. Their paramilitaries have ceased fire, yet the Unionists keep going - as we've seen in recent weeks.
Historically, there's been little to choose between the evil on each side. But, at the moment, there is. Adams, McGuinness & Co have done a fantastic job bringing round the more militant Republican elements.

Could it be that the Unionist camp so dislikes the Good Friday agreement that it doesn't want peace?

Prejudice against Protestants? No - I am a Protestant.
Prejudice against the Orange Order? No - just reasoned contempt.

I agree Hugmonster can be rather antagonistic on occasions, but he seems to know his Irish history. His style doesn't alter the accuracy of his contributions on the topic.

[ 30 October 2001: Message edited by: virgin ]

Send Clowns
31st Oct 2001, 03:20
Virgin, I agree with all your points. I simply contend that some are over-simplifications, and take into account only one community's viewpoint. To point this out, and to point out that the short-term aims of most terrorist organisations are not related to the status of Northern Ireland in the Union, but to money and street-level influence, was the purpose of my original post.

Aside - your comment about the Orange Order was by definition prejudice (oh, and being a protestant does not preclude prejudice relating to them). You assume a certain behaviour and attitude of every one of them to an unreasonable degree. A certain degree of contempt for the loudest voices in the Orange Order is very reasonable. However you do not know the view of everyone there, or even all those that march from this. Some may well still march due to genuine grievances, and would stop if those grievances were understood. There are relative moderates in every organisation - just look at the Official IRA / PIRA split, then the PIRA / Continuity IRA / Real IRA split. No-one would accuse Martin McGuinness of being a moderate, having boasted of a leadership position in PIRA, but relative to the Real IRA ...

[ 30 October 2001: Message edited by: Send Clowns ]

31st Oct 2001, 04:06
HugMonster, quite simply, the quantity and type of weapons decommisioned by the IRA has not been made public so far as I am aware. I cannot believe that within a shroud of secrecy by both sides that any reasonable thinking person could believe that the IRA would give up the crown jewels. And why should or would they under the current circumstances?

31st Oct 2001, 04:27
I'm amazed it doesn't seem to have occurred to some contributors that most of the major steps towards peace in Northern Ireland have been the result of negotiations 'shrouded in secrecy'. Even the fact of the negotiations has, on occasion, been vehemently denied until agreement has been reached.
Could it be because those with the power to negotiate realise more can be achieved if the negotiators don't have to contend with the bigotry of their own extemists, and the prejudices of the tabloid Press?
The issues are more important than the photo opportunities. If a respected, experienced and objective observer is satisfied, I find that far more convincing than the confirmation of a tabloid journalist who could be easily fooled.

31st Oct 2001, 04:38
"If a respected, experienced and objective observer is satisfied"

Ah but was it reported that he was satisfied? if so, what was he satisfied about?

31st Oct 2001, 05:17
Re: "Shrouded in secrecy"... This is the text of the decomissioning body's statement: On 6 August 2001 the Commission reported that agreement had been reached with the IRA on a method to put IRA arms completely and verifiably beyond use.

This would be done in such a way as to involve no risk to the public and avoid the possibility of misappropriation by others.

We have now witnessed an event which we regard as significant in which the IRA has put a quantity of arms completely beyond use. The material in question includes arms, ammunition and explosives.

We are satisfied that the arms in question have been dealt with in accordance with the scheme and regulations.

We are also satisfied that it would not further the process of putting all arms beyond use were we to provide further details of this event.

We will continue our contact with the IRA representative in pursuit of our mandate.
From the above, for whatever reason, they seem to feel that by making any other statement, or showing proof, they could upset the process. I am happy to trust their judgement, why don't we all try to suspend disbelief for a while?

[ 31 October 2001: Message edited by: sanjosebaz ]

31st Oct 2001, 05:21
Sensible, you're really going to have to change your name.

Yes, it was reported. It was reported to HM Government, to all politicians on both sides in the Northern Ireland Assembly, to the Security Forces, and to the Media in general. Is that sufficient reporting, or would you like to have a hand-written note from him pushed through your letterbox?

Furthermore, it is no secret that the IRA has not yet decommissioned all its weapons. That will take time. The process has been started, however.

What they started with was a large cache of weapons, ammunition and explosives. There are many caches all across the Province and south of the border, and it will take time to get round them all. There are many caches that have been "lost" as well for various reasons, such as the IRA Quartermaster responsible being killed. Many have also been put beyond their reach by other methods, which I will not go into here.

It is not conducive to satisfactory progress in the peace process to have all details reported in minute detail in the press and on TV. That would simply be counter-productive.

You will just have to trust your elected representatives, members of the Decommissioning Body (who DO know a muzzle-loader from an MP3K - do you?) and the members of the Security Forces.

If that's not good enough for you, then tough.

31st Oct 2001, 06:10
No SC, it is you who miss my point.

How the Garvaghy Road became a nationalist area is not relevant. It is very unlikely that there could (or would) be a mass take-over of an area by intimdation and threats. How an area gradually changes is a matter of demographics, not violence. You imply I know "damn well" that such happened "in this case". In what case? And I don't know that at all. I've heard general allegations of this happening, but never of any specific instances. I've never met anyone who complained that this happened to them. You might as well allege that Brixton which was once (within living memory) all-white became a predominantly "black" area because the whites were intimidated into moving out. How come?

My point about your spelling was not simply an attack on your spelling. It was pointing out that, had you known much about Northern Ireland and the recent history of the troubles, that is one word you would reasonably be expected to know, in the same way as you would expect Maggie Thatcher to be able to spell "Belgrano". If someone purporting to be the Iron Lady herself were to come on here talking about the Falklands Conflict but obviously couldn't refer to that ship except as the "General Bellgreano (sp?)" you would probably discount the poster as an impostor who knew rather less about the subject than he/she claimed.

Your post implied very strongly that you feel banning marches is unreasonable. You also appear to equate peacefully walking along the public highway to triumphalist and sectarian displays with sashes, Lambeg drums, bands and bowlers. How many could walk past a previous home in safety? All of them. Catholics every day walk peacefully along the Shankill, Prods the Crumlin Road. This is very different from a march, which is designed by its very nature to intimidate. Once again, if you don't understand this, you know nothing about the situation there.

And finally, it was not you I was insulting. It was your post. I was careful not to level any personal insult at you. You were talking rubbish. If you take that personally, then that's your problem. I frequently talk rubbish. I don't take it personally when it's pointed out to me.

[ 31 October 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

3rd Nov 2001, 15:06
Isn't it sickening to watch on TV the "Rev" Ian Paisley and the other Unionist leaders who are just as bad gloating smugly over what they hope is the collapse of the peace agreement.
What's with these guys?

3rd Nov 2001, 15:17
My suspicion is that they are disappointed with David Trimble's performance, with the fact that the unionists have lost the momentum, which is now being carried by the nationalists since the IRA commenced decommissioning, and they want someone as First Minister who will hold a harder line.

They consider that they have made concession after concession, and that the nationalists are being allowed to "get away with it".

They ignore the fact that the IRA have made one gigantic concession in commencing decommissioning, with no equivalent move by the loyalist paramilitaries. They also ignore the fact that, with a harder line will come the end of the peace process.

henry crun
3rd Nov 2001, 15:41
Hugmonster: you say that the IRA have made a gigantic concession in commencing decommissioning.

I'm sure you will correct me if I am wrong but hadn't they agreed a long time ago to do so as part of the peace accord ?.
Havn't they also failed to decommission by at least two previously agreed dates ?.
Did the protestant paramilitaries agree to decommission as part of the same accord ?.

It could well be that I have only read one side of that story, but if it is correct I would hardly label it a gigantic concession to do something already agreed.

Now, please don't jump down my throat, I'm only interested in learning the truth and it sounds as if you know far about it than I do.

3rd Nov 2001, 18:22
Henry, yes, you're correct.

They did agree to decommission, and they are now doing so. The Loyalist paramilitaries also agreed to decommission, and not only are they failing to do so, but have also been involved in numerous acts of armed violence since, as well as organising mobs to taunt and terrify innocent children on their way to school.

4th Nov 2001, 09:01
For any of you who are interested in NI, I suggest that you read a new book called "An Accidental Diplomat" by Eamon Delaney, ISBN 1 902302390.

It gives a very interesting insight into the start of the peace accord and actually gives most of the credit to Clinton!



4th Nov 2001, 17:14
Not surprised that Clinton is given credit. The Americans have done much more towards the peace process than some contributors to the NI debate seem to realise.

Most of the most productive work towards peace over the years has always been done behind the scenes, and can easily be forgotten because leaders come and go.
Significant progress was achieved by Albert Reynolds and John Major, before Reynolds' career ended because of unrelated matters, and John Major lost the election.

Helmut Visorcover
6th Nov 2001, 00:56
Which section of the IRA has agreed to decommision? PIRA (consists pretty much of a bunch of old men talking about 'The Border campaign' handing over a couple of .303's and a Mess Webley) or CIRA/RIRA who just now gave Birmingham a wake up call. The issue is NOT the traditional PIRA decommisioning, they don't exist as a threat anymore. Most of the useful kit went the other way once SF made noises torwards a Political solution.
Is it forgotten that when the current 'Troubles' started, the OIRA called an indefinate cease fire and all the boyo's moved swiftly across to form the Provos.

All well and good Blur waging war on terroism behind his big mate 'Dubbuya'. The main axis at home is along the RIRA front. Now would be an appropriate time to use whatever means nessasary to 'secure peace'. Human rights issues work both ways. All those against, nail them too.

As for the Loyalist/Nationalist argument- on the whole a nice excuse to use history for modern day urban decay/gang warfare/drugs- as you will find in most if not all towns and cities across the UK. It's just the excuse that is different.

The spotty faced, baseball cap wearing youff lobbing paving slabs is not doing it 'because his community is being oppresed and is defending his right to free religion'(left footer or right), he's doing it because he can. That statement can work for Lurgan or Liverpool, take your pick.

6th Nov 2001, 04:53
Helmut, there's rather a large number of members past and present of the scurity forces in the Province who would disagree fairly strongly with your "analysis" of the IRA.

It's also clear that you're less than familiar with their history.

Apart from that, nothing wrong with your post at all! :D :rolleyes:

Helmut Visorcover
6th Nov 2001, 06:29
Oh, huggy, I beg to differ :cool:

So unlike you getting the wrong end of a post!!! :p

6th Nov 2001, 06:40
Beg all you like.

I'm not able to give reasons here, but I have it on very good authority that you're talking through your hat. And believe me, my contacts on this subject are very, very good.

[ 06 November 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

6th Nov 2001, 09:01
What mirror is Adams looking in????

Sinn Fein leader Mr Gerry Adams declared today that the hijackers who slammed airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were terrorists, but members of the IRA were not.

"The IRA is not a terrorist organization," Mr Adams told a news conference before meeting Canadian Prime Minister Mr Jean Chretien.

"The name terrorist is bandied about willy-nilly. Clearly what happened in the USA recently was a terrorist act where civilians were deliberately targeted."

Mr Adams said former South African president Mr Nelson Mandela, former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and former US president George Washington were all called terrorists in their day.

"I'm quite prepared to discuss the issue of terrorism vs. patriotism, and who's a freedom fighter and who's a terrorist, but I think really the focus has to be upon building uniquely in our country a dispensation in which violence of any kind is a thing of the past," he said.

Canada's spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), listed the IRA in a May 2000 report as one of 50 groups targeted by its counter-terrorism program.

Mr Chretien told reporters, before meeting Mr Adams, that Mr Adams was welcome in Canada.

"I'm happy that he's here because he's an elected person, and he has renounced terrorism, and he is elected there and he has made a contribution lately to bring back a government in Northern Ireland," Mr Chretien said.

"I want to encourage him to continue along the lines that he's been working on. He's certainly been an instrument in persuading people to lay down their arms."

The IRA agreed two weeks ago to begin disarming, dismantling part of its vast arsenal of assault rifles, plastics explosives, handguns and bomb timers.

"I certainly hope he will continue to work towards the establishment of a government in Northern Ireland," Mr Chretien said.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks on the United States, Mr Chretien's government is pushing forward a sweeping anti-terrorism bill that defines terrorist activities and groups and bans fund-raising for terrorist groups.

Mr Adams, who on Saturday helped launch the fund-raising group Friends of Sinn Fein Canada, said his own description of terrorism was clear: "I define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of civilians.

"In any war terrible things were done," he said. "In my view the IRA has never deliberately targeted civilians."

Pressed on whether the IRA had never placed bombs in shopping districts, he said: "Well, it depends, it depends, you see."

He then added: "It's quite academic. You miss the point. The point is we have a peace process, and part of the trick - if I can use that word - of getting the peace process to work is that people stop demonizing each other."

6th Nov 2001, 10:33
I just spoke with God, he warned me to tell all of you to keep your YAPS shut, or you will soon feel his wrath! :D

6th Nov 2001, 10:33
Of course the IRA never did anything like that at all. Target civilians, never!!!

6th Nov 2001, 16:34
Well, I support the IRA's aims (although not their methods) and I still label them as a terrorist organisation.

Program on C4 last night about the Gunpowder Conspiracy pointed out that "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" are two sides of the same coin. I suppose your definition depends on where you're standing.

Helmut Visorcover
6th Nov 2001, 21:16
That does suprise me huggy! :eek:

7th Nov 2001, 02:18
Interesting subject this one of definitions.

As Huggy said (and it's a cliche by now) one mans 'terrorist' is another mans 'freedom fighter'.

Gerry Adams ventured a definition by saying a terrorist is one who 'intentionally targets civilians'.
But then the Palestinians would say that Israel is therefore a terrorist regime.

I believe the UN has been trying to come up with a definition as part of some kind of motion condemning the practice of terrorism worldwide. They are apparently stalled, unable to fix a definition.

Anybody wanna have a go at it? :confused:

7th Nov 2001, 03:37
Political irregular verbs:-

I give confidential briefings
You leak
He is a security risk...

I fight for my freedom
You target civilians
He is a terrorist...

I object to being in an oppressed minority
You reject democracy as the will of the majority
He is a subversive...

I am a refugee
You "vote with your feet"
He is an economic migrant wishing to sponge off the hard-working people of this country and should go back where he came from...

Send Clowns
8th Nov 2001, 06:20
Huggy you are still not reading my posts. I said you know damn well that this happens, not that this happened in the case of the Garvachy Road. The allegation of this happening in that case came from reputable journalitic sources. If this is how the road bacame nationalist that is damned important. It is not an excuse, but it goes some way to explain the complaints of the loyalists. However it is well known that you only listen to one side of that argument.

I made no allegation about Brixton - my sister is (obviously as you have met me) white, and she lives happily there. She likes it. So your "How come?" refers only to your analogy picked out of the air. It is completely meaningless in response to my post.

As stated, I would also be expected to be able to spell geological terms more easily than "Garvachy". I frequently can't. Posting in PPRuNe I reword my comments to avoid using a word I cannot spell in common English, let alone unusual proper names. That was one I could not avoid. Put up with it, my spelling is crap.

I said banning marches on the grounds that their aims offend me is unreasonable. Tony Blair's existence and that of his creepy "New Labour" offends me, but I wouldn't ban it. You should have been bright enough, had you read my posts with an unbiased eye, to infer that I thought banning marches that incited violence was reasonable. Th implication was fairly clear, though I admit I was not explicit.

To say my post is rubbish is an insult to me, as I had written it. Though admittedly the fact that your commentary had little bearing on what I actually said did ameliorate the insult a little (by the way I had to look up 'ameliorate' in my OED software to spell it correctly)

Send Clowns
8th Nov 2001, 06:24
Huggy, you support the IRA's aims? You realise that those aim are primarily the enrichment of its members and the increase of their influence on the street? Do you supprt the Maffia's aims as well, or are you racist against Italians?

8th Nov 2001, 06:32
SC, I think we shall have to agree to differ on the question of intimidation to take over an entire area.

Since the stated aims of the IRA always have been an end to British occupation of Ireland and a unified, independent state, I am in full accord with that.

If some members have as a side agenda their own personal enrichment, that is their affair, and is a matter between them and the relevant organs of justice. But I shall not support them in that.

I think you understood that I meant their political aims. If you wish to know more about those, you can read An Phoblacht on the internet - it saves MI5 lots of trouble! :D Journalistically not a bad paper, started by Arthur Griffith who, as you may know, was one of the founders of S'nn Fe'n.

8th Nov 2001, 14:13
I also support the IRA's political aims, but not their methods in recent decades.

There will always be people who hijack a cause for their own ends, and I've no doubt that there are such people on both sides in NI.
But, comparison with the Mafia is just stupid.

Send Clowns
8th Nov 2001, 18:09

So we have established that you support PIRA's stated aim of reversing democracy in Northern Ireland by uniting with the Republic against the expressed will of the majority of the population.

However if you knew much about what was going on up there you would realise
that the the opinion of many in the security services and specialist journalism the only aim of PIRA over at least the last 10 years or so has been money. From both these sources(one directly, the other reading in a newspaper) I have heard that PIRA has co-operated with "loyalist" terrorists in criminal enterprise. Provisional Army Council members have said secretly that they don't want a united Ireland yet, though that was a future ideal, as the UK was their money source (this was a few years ago, before the improvements in the Irish economy). Why do you think that PIRA still beat or shoot drug pushers? You really believe it is for the good of the community? How about to reduce competition?


You really think that people would subvert PIRA's organisation to their own financial ends without broad support in the movement? And survive? Certainly the security forces would not see comparrison with the Mafia as stupid. I would agree that this works for both sides. Unfortunately PIRA has always been larger and better-organised than the loyalist terror organisations.

8th Nov 2001, 19:31
Send clowns..."The allegation...came from reputable journalitic sources"

Ya wha'?


8th Nov 2001, 20:01
So we have established that you support PIRA's stated aim of reversing democracy in Northern Ireland by uniting with the Republic against the expressed will of the majority of the population.

Send Clowns there has been precious little democracy in NI in the last few hundred years. The carry on of the DUP in the last few days is illustrative of this. They are the class of people who ran the country's so called 'democracy' and only suceeded in grinding the dissenters voices into the ground. They are still there, digging their heels in frantically. Do you truly believe the DUPs Ian Paisley or Peter Robinson would accept a democratic mandate if it came tomorrow saying the majority of people in NI wanted a United Ireland?

David Irvine of the PUP (a reformed loyalist terrorist who served a prison term for murder and is now an elected MP) spoke in Stormont this week of how Ian Paisley had sat in his house discussing 'the armed defence of Ulster' during the 80s/90s. Mr.Irvine has become more of a democrat that Ian Paisley or any other DUP member ever will. I have a lot of respect for him.

Finally, since no one would define Terrorist, here's another one.

Define Democracy.

If your idea of Democracy is the simple domination of 51% of the people over the other 49% then I can see why it often fails.
Democracy may work under the simple majority formula if the society in which it is being exercised is a fairly homogenous one where (crucially) a general concensus exists.

But, unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer societies in the world like that any more. The US is probably one, the UK may be one at the moment...but that's changing fast, and NI certainly is not one!

Democracy without concensus is just a fancy excuse for domination.

PS. The recent troubles in NI started with a peaceful civil rights movement in the '60s. Their banner was 'One Man One Vote.' You see, even by the 1960s, there was no such thing as Catholic emancipation in NI, and institutionalised disenfranchisement was the natural order. The peaceful demos were brutally put down by the ruling protestant/loyalist elite, including Paisleys brethern. The PIRA flourished as a direct result of the ignorant mishandling of the situation by the Stormont government...who were given free rein by the London government.

If a little real democracy had been allowed in 1968 we wouldn't have seen the lives of thousands wasted over the last thirty years.

8th Nov 2001, 22:00

wasn't it also in the PIRA agenda to remove the southern Irish government in favour of a Marxist, socialist 'democracy' and has that clause been dropped ?

Returning to the freedom fighter versus terrorist definition, I would rate Guy Fawkes as a freedom fighter as he was attacking a legitimate target in the form of parliament and the king but whoever planted the Birmingham bomb last Saturday I think of as a terrorist as I cannot see any reason to attempt to kill the clubbing crowd.

At least, that's how it looked from where I was standing (too close to Smallbrook Queensway for comfort, as it happened).


8th Nov 2001, 22:11
SC, I believe you're a Tory voter, is that correct? If so, by your definition it rather implies you oppose the will of the majority in this country, and therefore oppose democracy, doesn't it?

And if by democracy you mean ballots conducted by gerrymandered constituencies artificially to divide not only Ireland but also Ulster itself (which is actually nine counties, not six) merely so the United Kingdom could keep the industrial areas of Ireland and allow the "Free State" to have the remaining twenty six, then I don't call it democracy.

I suspect that the Republican movement have now worked out that all they need to do is wait a few years. By then nationalism will, if it follows the trend of the last forty or fifty years, have sufficient majority to unite Ireland.

Let's face it, a divided Ireland was always an artificial construct, engineered and artificially maintained by Cromwell, William III, and Randolph Churchill.

And even further back than that, Ireland was never part of Great Britain. It was never even part of the UK by democratic process, or by act of union, unlike Wales and Scotland. It was only part of the UK by conquest. Not much democracy in that!

PS Certainly a large part of the IRA's operations over the last forty or so years has been aimed at raising money. It costs a great deal to do what they do. For a start, many of their activists are permanent, full-time, members, since they are not able to have a normal job like normal people. And they need to eat. So, they are paid by the IRA. Secondly, the IRA supports large numbers of family and dependants of IRA men in jail. Next, they have in the past needed to buy weapons and explosives. Contrary to popular opinion, these are not usually given to them, and when they have been, they were not generally suitable for IRA operations. And finally, they have in the past used quite a bit of money in bribing various people, in "gifts" to people as thanks for various services such as hiding people on the run, or concealing weapons, etc. etc.

Yes, the IRA has been very heavy on drug-dealers on their ground, for several reasons. Firstly, they wanted to control the drug business so they could at best control and at worst watch who bought, and ensure it wasn't any of their operatives. Secondly, there has been quite a bit of pressure on people not to give money to drug-dealers but to the IRA instead. And thirdly, any excuse the RUC would have for stepping up anti-drug operations in IRA areas could have been very embarrassing for the IRA, and they wanted to give the RUC no excuse for raiding.

And yes, they have on occasion co-operated with loyalists for some operations such as the killing of Billy Wright, who was a great embarrassment to both sides.

Finally, if I were you I would be very wary of trusting "journalists" for any unbiased "facts" about what is happening in Northern Ireland.

I hope this corrects some of your misconceptions about them.

[ 08 November 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

9th Nov 2001, 05:00
VnV2178B I have no idea what the IRA's policies toward the Irish Government were in 1970. They may well have been as you say, a marxist state. Or maybe that was just someones propaganda. I have no idea.

What I do know however is that Sinn Fein is not a marxist organisation today, and it is effectively the 'political wing' of the PIRA.

They are expected to do very well in the forthcoming elections in the Republic, so I don't think they'll need a coup to gain political power. Given the atrocious standard of the 'mainstream' politicians here it's going to be a pushover. Do you realise that when they succeed in their political aims, that Sinn Fein will be the only political party in the island of Ireland with elected representatives in government both north and south of the border? That must really grate on unionist sensibilities.

I'd like you to read this item from Sundays Irish Business Post newspaper.

Unionism exposed for what it is

By Tom McGurk
Dublin, Ireland, 4 November, 2001

Readers of this column will not have been surprised by Friday's events at Stormont. When David Trimble first resigned I predicted that his re-election would pose huge difficulties, and I doubted if ever again he would be First Minister. Today I'll stick to that prediction.

Equally, I don't want to bore my readers by again pointing up yet again the sheer political transparency of the unionist obsession with the concept of IRA decommissioning.

The sad tribe from Ulster who even after putting their fingers into the wounds still cannot believe? Anyway how could I state my case with any more eloquence than MLA's Weir and Armitage have done?

Indeed who is there to argue this weekend against the political reality that the majority of political unionism now wants to wreck the Belfast Agreement?

Why? That's more difficult to answer, and their opposition comes in varying degrees. Some want no power-sharing with nationalists at all, some only with the SDLP, and some want a return to majoritarianism.

What is common to all is the sense that the Belfast Agreement is delivering a Northern Ireland where the traditional freehold of unionism has been reduced to the status of tenants in common and they don't like it.

Even worse, the new political context is now a level political playing-field, and that's not the sort of terrain with which a traditional old colonial political oligarchy with its exclusive sectarianism, its secret societies and its cultural roots deep in 17th-century rights of dispossession can easily come to terms.

Seemingly, given the choice of sharing this piece of Ireland with the rest of us, they would rather have no political power at all than share what there is with their neighbours.

I always suspected that once the IRA delivered the required arms dump or two, politically unionism would have nowhere to hide -- and was I right?

Seven years down the road from the IRA ceasefire and three years down the road from the Agreement, the wind of change has now finally wrecked any political coherence or any political analysis that unionism can effect to deal with their dilemma.

Indeed, in the 30 years since the collapse of Sunningdale, what at all has changed as this weekend the ghosts of Terence O'Neill and Brian Faulkner walk in David Trimble's shadow?

This weekend, unlike the carefully manufactured crises that unionism erected (with the help of southern Irish revisionism) around the long-term good political faith of republicanism, here we have a crisis of seminal significance.

There were some of us even from the signing of the Agreement three years ago who instinctively knew that unionism could not politically handle the new status quo then set out before it, and that it was only a matter of time before it imploded.

That has now come to pass, and there are more than a few of us this weekend that now share that initial scepticism.

In very simple language, what Friday means is that the entire premise of a devolved political administration in the North, set in a new constitutional framework of consent, and involving power-sharing and a new civic agenda for the Six Counties, has been flung back in the faces of London and Dublin.

The 'no' that unionism has now said is in response to the truly best efforts that London and Dublin could cobble together to create a new context for the North. Let's spell it out: the majority of political unionism has now told the rest of us on this island that they are only prepared to proceed on their political agenda.

By any post-colonial measures it's a quite remarkable rebuff by the `Ulster British' to the 'London British' who have been prepared since partition to fund the whole experiment on a blank cheque basis.

After Articles 2&3, too, it's a whole new learning moment for some in the broad Irish nationalist family. Some of us will not say we told you so. The political wisdom is now that London may either put the institutions on ice or call elections.

There is, of course, a third option, and it is now time that Dublin took up the case with London. That option is the creation of a new tier of joint authority between Dublin and London to implement the Belfast Agreement fully and to ensure that the clear democratic will of the majority of people in both states is fully implemented.

Since the Belfast Agreement vests sovereignty for the six counties in London, it would require a simple Act of Parliament to vest the Northern Ireland Secretary with the powers to appoint a new executive after consultation with the Assembly parties and in turn those entering it would have to give a clear commitment to uphold its authority.

In other words, a blend of direct rule complemented with devolutionary local democracy would allow for the next 18 months of a local administration to copper-fasten the Agreement. We simply cannot continue to allow a minority in the North to destroy the clear democratic wishes of both parts of Ireland.

Appallingly, the hidden agenda behind last Friday is that in real terms the 'no' unionists are seemingly determined on creating a political crisis and vacuum into which a new upsurge in loyalist violence -- currently being prepared -- is likely to flow. They won't tell you that, but they know better than anyone the dimensions of the terrible risk they are taking with the whole community.

The current crisis in political unionism only mirrors the crisis in paramilitary unionism, and it's no secret that those organisations are thinking in terms of putting some paramilitary muscle behind whatever the fall-out they perceive might be from the collapse of devolved government.

They will point to what they regard as what the IRA achieved by violence, and the political price they claim that London was prepared to pay to buy their ceasefire.

The high moral ground that unionism climbed onto with the decommissioning crisis has now collapsed, leaving them truly exposed. That agenda was meant to wreck the republican paramilitary/political balance and stymie the Agreement.

It has now blown up in their faces, and this weekend London and Dublin need urgently to move to protect the wishes of the vast majority in Ireland who want no more than the full entitlement of equality for everyone in the North.

That excellent piece was of course written before the subsequent succesful re-election of David Trimble as first minister.

As to the point about the attack in BHX. I unreservedly condemn it, as does every right minded person in Ireland, North and South. The people responsible have an agenda entirely opposed to the wishes of the majority...and this time I really mean THE VAST MAJORITY...of people in the whole island of Ireland. I'd refer you to my first comments about the upcoming elections in the Republic vis a vis the agenda at work there.

Don't ever think any of my comments are meant to infer some kind of sympathy with IRA armed violence...because I don't agree with it one bit.

If it's of any consolation I would add that the idiots who perpetrated the attack in BHX are so patently amateurish that they failed to detonate the device. They are marginalised sickos and will soon be finished.

9th Nov 2001, 05:36
Maxalt, that article is one of the best analyses of hte present situation that I have seen. Thanks for posting it.

It also contains some rather dire and worrying predictions of the reactions of the mad-dog unionist tendency. I hope for the sake of all that they don't come true.

9th Nov 2001, 18:00
You're welcome HugMonster. I generally find Tom McGurks pieces in the SBP to be just that incisive.

What VnV2178B said about Guy Fawkes got me thinking. Perhaps that the closest definition I would venture for the word 'TERRORIST' is;

"A person, or organisation, which pursues violent means to achieve a political (or religious?) objective against the wishes of the vast majority, including those who support the same objective."

I'd call that definition a work in progress and I'd be happy to see anyones suggestions on how to improve it, but even as it stands it plainly condemns the 'Real IRA', ETA, and the perpetrators of the WTC attacks.

9th Nov 2001, 18:15
Hi Chaps!

Interesting thread. However, I've always understood that "terrorism" meant 'delibratley (or however you spell it :rolleyes: ) attacking civilians in order to paralyse an enemy country by spreading terror'.

"Guerillas" :D are those who attack military forces...?

"A person, or organisation, that pursues violent means that delibratley target civilians to achieve a political (or religious?) objective against the wishes of the vast majority, including those who support the same objective."

Anyone got a dictionary handy..... :D :D

[ 09 November 2001: Message edited by: swashplate ]

9th Nov 2001, 23:08
deliberately :D :D