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FlyingForFun
6th Aug 2001, 00:24
Quote from Doctor Cruces in the "UK Death Penalty" thread:


"The only way to deal with these people [the IRA] is to let the SAS have free reign in NI. They know WHO they are and they know WHERE they are. Give the boys a taste of their own medicine, let them know terror and let them be burried in the many Irish bogs as have some of their victims and thus just disappear."

Thought I'd start a new thread, since it's off-topic for the original thread, and ask for comments.

My own thoughts: I agree completely. However, I don't think it's ever going to happen as long as the IRA have support from the USA, particularly from "Irish Americans" (who, for the most part, are no more Irish than I am Russian, having 6 Russian great-grandparents who I never met).

Same applies to Unionists too - they don't get as much media coverage on the mainland as the IRA, but they're no different.

FFF
--------

Tartan Gannet
6th Aug 2001, 01:11
F for F and Dr Cruces you can count me in for this one too, but you would have guessed this anyway I'm sure. If the Terrorists want "martyrs" that's fine by me. To my mind one of the few good things Thatcher did, apart from beating the Argies and ordering the sinking of the Belgrano in the Falklands War, was to let the SAS take out those three terrorists at Gibraltar.

Unwell_Raptor
6th Aug 2001, 02:00
Talk about 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread'!

You are not going to change a situation that has been going on for more than 300 years by the UK government adopting terrorist tactics.

The 'peace process' is slow, frustrating, in many ways unfair, but it's all that we have got. There may be huge problems, but at least the (more-or-less) ceasefire in recent years means that several hundred people are alive who would otherwise be dead.

I think that this topic is far too delicate and sensitive for gung-ho JetBlasters to go trampling all over it with simplistic and thick-ear 'solutions'.

Send Clowns
6th Aug 2001, 02:06
Actually this makes a lot more sense than the death penalty (though, painfully, I think I have to side with U_R here). With Judicial execution you've cought them, and have the opportunity of finding another way to stop them harming and punish them. At least direct action takes them out earlier in the process.

[ 05 August 2001: Message edited by: Send Clowns ]

tony draper
6th Aug 2001, 03:18
Got to agree with Mr Raptor on this one, don't think that would be to productive at a time like this, still a lot of guns and cemtex out there.

HugMonster
6th Aug 2001, 04:41
Anyone who thinks that state-approved "executions" will end the troubles of Ireland merely shows that they are thinking with the wrong end, and understand NOTHING of the history of the country, or its people, its legends, how children there are brought up and educated, the thought processes that go on, etc. etc. etc.

Just think about it for a moment. The IRA in its various forms has been around for a long, long time. They are THE most successful and longest-surviving terrorist organisation in history. They are extremely thorough and "professional" in what they do and how they do it. They could not do it without support. I'm not talking merely about sums received from the USA, which, whilst large, are not their largest source of funding. I'm talking about the basic beliefs of half of the population of Northern Ireland.

If you want to know why there was a resurgence in the IRA from about 1969, look at their history, and why they were formed. And when you've done that, you will have some clue about what goes on over there.

KeithAlexander
6th Aug 2001, 04:52
Coming from NI i sometimes find it hard to fathom that throughout all the years of terrorism the bastards who have committed these attrocities have been able to walk free from prison under the good friday agreement! and im afraid to say that the only way i feel these men should be treated is to get a taste of their own medicine, put them all in a big room and blow them to pieces with nail bombs, making sure that the vast percentage of them die a slow and painful death!

Kermit 180
6th Aug 2001, 13:00
Tricky situation isnt it. From a foreign perspective, cant see whats wrong with taking the terrorists out if you know who they are. Who better to do it than the SAS? Be a nice change from arabs.

Kermie :mad:

Velvet
6th Aug 2001, 14:36
I know this may be a simplistic answer to a very complex issue, but perhaps it is time to completely withdraw from Ireland and stop pretending that the North is really part of the UK. I do appreciate that there may be (Northern)Irish who would like to retain the status quo, but how many of them actually consider themselves British.

Yes, I understand this may be radical and in the short term might cause far more problems, but surely they should be given the opportunity to govern themselves without interference from a remote Government. After all, this Government has been very keen to allow the Scots and the Welsh to have a referendum regarding 'home rule', with far less justification.

I feel the Irish are quite capable of deciding what is right for them and how they should be governed. I sometimes feel that the UK Government (and a certain portion of the British media and public) tends to treat the Irish like squabbling children, and they can't decide whether to take their toys away as punishment, or reward them with treats if they promise to behave.

I've known several Irish who when asked if they come from the North or South, reply simply I come from Ireland. So is it time to now allow them to be 'growed-ups' and take over control of their own affairs.

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: Velvet ]

You want it when?
6th Aug 2001, 14:45
Velvet makes sense. But if we did pull out those that were abandoned would be a bit miffed surely? Also I hate to say it but it does make a great "live fire" training ground for the services - not that it should be continued for that purpose.

gravity victim
6th Aug 2001, 14:48
A question:
If the police catch the 'Real IRA' bombers who have just done Ealing (and previously the BBC,) will they be tried, jailed and then automatically let go , under the release of terrorists agreement? If so, the world really has gone mad. Anybody knew?

rivetjoint
6th Aug 2001, 14:52
According to a book called "Operation Nemesis" or something very similar, the British government did let the SAS have free reign in border areas during the early 1970s.

From what I remember it was fairly common knowledge in local areas as farmers used to dig trenches etc to dispose of bodies.


I don't know if the US still do a similar things in Latin America.

Unwell_Raptor
6th Aug 2001, 14:54
There is an astounding level of ignorance here. Does anyone think that HMG hasn't evaluated a pull-out and rejected it for good reason? Does anyone think that a million determined and well armed Protestants are going to stand by and accept rule from Dublin? Does anyone think that a pull-out would lead to anything less than another ethnic cleansing disaster like Bosnia?

It needs cool heads, patience, faith and a lot of luck to achieve anything. Ignorant sloganising will help no one.

tony draper
6th Aug 2001, 14:55
Don't think you'd find a British government or average man in the street that wouldn't have liked to have done just that Velvet.
Keep our fingers crossed if things don't go pear shaped we may still be able to do that.
Been a hell of a investment in service men and civilian lives over the years, and none of it should have happened.
People forget that british troops were sent in to protect the catholic minority from what amounted to a aparthite system.
The IRA at that time were down to a joke organisation of a few hippies, the way governments behaved almost guaranteed the events that then transpired, stupidity piled on stupidity.
Not a knock against service personel who have done their best over the years despite madness at the top.

Unwell_Raptor
6th Aug 2001, 15:04
Gravity Victim:

The answer to your question is no. The releases only apply to those convicted before the Good Friday Agreement.

Dr Jekyll
6th Aug 2001, 15:36
Velvet

There have been numerous referenda among the people of Nothern Ireland asking which country they wish to belong to, and every time the majority has said Britain. That is precisely the problem. The only reason there is a such a place as Northern Ireland is because the majority on those counties did not wish to be ruled from Dublin.

SLF3
6th Aug 2001, 16:24
Read a few books about Northern Ireland. The most interesting (can't remember the name) said that the best the military could ever hope to achieve in Northern Ireland (or any other low intensity warfare) was a draw. The military could bring the IRA to a stalemate if they became war weary and recognised they were getting nowhere. The military could never 'defeat' the IRA in the classic military sense. He went on to say that a result for the army (he was a soldier) would be if a political settlement became possible because the army had created a situation in which the IRA felt they stood to gain more by negotiating than by bombing and shooting. On this basis the army has come close to winning.

The key to winning any terrorist campaign is therefore hearts and minds: you do not win hearts and minds by assassinating terrorists, you simply reinforce their supporters prejudices and encourage them to ever more extreme acts of violence.

I'm quite certain that the British army are professional enough (and ruthless enough) to have thought this through. If they thought they could win outright by a campaign of selective assassination they would have done so long ago. You can only conclude that the professionals think selective assassination, while it might be satisfying in the short term, would be counter productive in the long term. If you look at what happened (and is still happening) in Algeria, you might even agree with them....

mutt
6th Aug 2001, 18:27
Please excuse my naivety, but I keep hearing about the requirement for the IRA to decommission their weapons. I take it that the Protestant terror groups have already handed in all of theirs?

Mutt.

Mishandled
6th Aug 2001, 18:54
I have long thought that we should pull out of Northern Ireland. My own personal view is that the Unionists are clinging on to some ideals of "Britishness" that no longer exist. They are a throwback to a long gone time. In as far as we would see an ethnic cleansing scenario a la Bosnia, really? The left and right footers of Glasgow seem to manage without ethnic cleansing, and a lot of the hatred between them goes further than that of the Irish. No my only worry about pulling out would be a mainland campaign by the unionists against HMG. Thats my uninformed tuppence.

Tartan Gannet
6th Aug 2001, 19:20
I cannot help but think that we should never have sent in the troops in 1968. The situation would have resolved itself internally with much less bloodshed in the end.

Ironically, most people from the South of Ireland that I have spoken to do NOT want Ulster joined onto their country. They are happy making a good living from the EU and have a population that is so preponderately RC that religious minorities pose no real problem and live in harmonty with them. The last thing they want is a large group who detest all that they hold dear and a territory with housing, social and employment problems.

mutt
6th Aug 2001, 20:18
Rather than talking about using the SAS to continue the killings, isn’t it time for us to remember the people who have already died, and to do all that we can to stop any further killings!

List of people killed in the first 10 years of the “troubles”, edited to only show people 20 years old and below. These killings are only in South Armagh and not all of Northern Ireland. (Taken from the book, Bandit Country by Tony Harnden)

21 Jan 1972
Private Philip Stentiford, 18, Devon and Dorset Regiment.
Blown up by an IRA landmine.

25 Aug 1972
Trooper Ian Caie, 19, Scots Dragoon Guards.
Blown up by an IRA landmine.

10 Mar 1974
Michael Mc Creesh, 15 Civilian.
Michael Gallagher, 18, Civilian.
Blown up by an IRA booby-trap in abandoned car intended for Army foot patrol.

22 Apr 1974
Muhammad Khalid, 18, Civilian.
Shot dead by IRA

13 Aug 1974
Marine Michael Southern, 19, Royal Marines.
Blown up by IRA bomb.

6 Nov 1974
Private Brian Allen, 20, Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment.
Shot by IRA sniper.

14 Dec 1974
Constable Jim McNeice, 19, RUC
Rifleman Michael Gibson, 20 Royal Green Jackets.
Shot dead by IRA

19 Jan 1975
Patrick Toner, 7, civilian.
Blown up by IRA

22 Nov 1975
Fusilier James Duncan, 19, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Fusilier Peter McDonald, 19, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Fusilier Michael Sampson, 20, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Shot dead by IRA.

6 Dec 1975
Volunteer James Lochrie, 20, PIRA
Volunteer Sean Campbell, 19, PIRA.
Blown up by their own bomb.

19 Dec 1975
Michael Donnolly, 14, civilian.
Catholics shot dead by loyalists.

4 Jan 1976
Anthony Reavey, 17, civilian.
Catholic shot dead by loyalists.

5 Jan 1976
Robert Chambers, 19 civilian.
John McConville, 20 civilian.
Protestants shot dead by IRA.

31 Mar 1976
Private David Ferguson, 20, Royal Scots.
Blown up by IRA

28 Jun 1976
Private William Snowdon, 18, Parachute Regiment
Blown up by IRA

8 Aug 1976
Private James Borucki, 19, Parachute Regiment
Blown up by IRA

14 Aug 1976
Majella O’Hare, 12, civilian
Shot dead when army opened fire on suspected IRA gunmen.

16 Jan 1977
Volunteer Seamus Harvey, 20, PIRA
Shot dead by SAS.

4 Mar 1978
Rifleman Nicky Smith, 20, Royal Green Jackets.
Blown up by IRA

12 Jul 1978
Private Jack Fisher, 19, Parachute Regiment
Blown up by IRA

12 Nov 1978
Marine Gareth Wheedon, 19, Royal Marine
Blown up by IRA

21 December 1978
Guardsman Kevin Johnson, 20 Grenadier Guards
Guardsman Glen Ling, 18, Grenadier Guards
Shot dead by IRA

24 Jan 1979
Martin McGuigan, 16, civilian
James Keenan, 16, civilian
Blown up by IRA

8 Jul 1979
Private Alan MacMillan, 18, Queens Own Highlanders.
Blown up by IRA

27 Aug 1979
Private Raymond Dunn, 20, Parachute Regiment
Private Anthony Wood, 19, Parachute Regiment
Private Gary Barnes, 18, Parachute Regiment
Private Dylan Jones, 18, Parachute Regiment
Private Jeffrey Jones, 18, Parachute Regiment
Private Michael Woods, 18, Parachute Regiment
Blown up by IRA

13 Nov 1979
Guardsman Paul Fryer, 18 Welsh Guards.
Blown up by IRA.

Send Clowns
6th Aug 2001, 20:36
Remember PIRA haven't really wanted reunification as a short-term goal for years. They have become a criminal gang, with little by way of political ambition than to gain influence so as to protect their profitable criminal enterprise.

PIRA had reunification as an ideal, but never really expected to achieve it, so settled into a lucrative life as crooked little thugs with a name that brought respect from a small part of the community.

Nick Figaretto
6th Aug 2001, 20:50
I have just finished an excellent book, and seeing this discussion, I just have to ask: Have any of you read "Trinity" by Leon Uris?

I have always been very pro-England and Britain. (My grandfather was in the British Navy in China during WW 2).

Reading this book really gave me a better understanding of the conflict. Norwegian media have always "seen" the conflict from the British side. This book is written from the Catholic point of view. It is still valid for all parts of the conflict, I believe.

If you haven't read it - you should. :)

Nick.

Tartan Gannet
6th Aug 2001, 21:45
Nick, nice to see that at least one country backs the UK on the Ulster issue. Most seem to stand in line to lambast Britain over the slightest alleged brutality yet avert their gaze from the excesses of the terrorists.

Yes, I have read Leon Uris' "Trinity". A good novel but just that, NOT a definitive historical textbook. Like any work of fiction with a factual background it will contain the bias and opinions of the author.

tony draper
6th Aug 2001, 22:01
Isreal is trying just what was advocated at the begining of the thread, Decapitation strikes, hitting the leadership of the Palestinian terrorist organisations, this seems a great idea but it is just escallating the violence at street level, like Britain with Northern Irealand, the Isrealies are between a rock and a hard place

Stand by your man
7th Aug 2001, 00:10
Hesitated long and hard before jumping in on this one. First some background. I come from a traditionally Republican family in Dublin. My grandfather was a member of the "old" IRA in the 1918-22 War of independence. I do not support the use of violence to achieve political ends in todays circumstances in Northern Ireland.

Now for my tuppenceworth:

I believe a United Ireland is inevitable. Demographics will see to that. The combined Nationalist vote (SDLP and SF) stood at 41% in the recent Westminster elections and is rising at about 1% per year. 7 out of 18 Westminster constituencies are in Nationalist hands. The under 16 population in NI is equally balanced between Catholic and Protestant. There is much anecdotal evidence of emigration of Protestant /Unionists to the UK. Typically to university but as NI becomes increasingly "greener" often never to return.

Now, a brief history lesson for Tartan Gannet:
To my mind one of the few good things Thatcher did, apart from beating the Argies and ordering the sinking of the Belgrano in the Falklands War, was to let the SAS take out those three terrorists at Gibraltar.

The aftermath of the incident above provides a salutary lesson for all purveyors of instant solutions to complex ethnic conlicts.

The funerals of the 3 IRA members killed in Gibralter took place at Milltown cemetery in Belfast. There, they were attacked by Michael Stone, a "lone" loyalist gunman who opened fire and threw grenades at the mourners. In the absence of Army/RUC, (why?) he was pursued and captured by members of the crowd. One of the pursuers, an IRA member, was killed by Stone during the chase. His funeral, in turn, was on its way to Milltown Cemetery the following Saturday. Two off-duty British Army corporals got caught up in events, seemingly panicked , reversed into the funeral procession at high speed and produced their firearms. Possibly fearing a repeat of the Stone scenario, the crowd attacked their car. The soldiers were dragged from the vehicle, battered, stripped and eventually shot with their own weapons. Now all this chain of events could have been prevented if the original trio in Gibralter were arrested as the subsequent inquiry demonstrated was eminently possible.

Conclusions anybody?


There is of course a solution to the problem. The Good Friday agreement, warts and all, with disagreeable elements for both sides, has been endorsed by both the Irish and British Governments and by the electorate North and South in Ireland. It has already reduced violence to levels not seen for the previous 30 years. It is the result of years of careful diplomacy and skillful international mediation. If it demonstrably works, then lets go with it. To paraphrase the great warmonger herself "There is no alternative."

FiveMilesOut
7th Aug 2001, 00:38
Sorry - slightly off the point here, but must respond.....

TG what are you raving on about now? 'The Republic of Ireland living off the EU', and 'Religious minorities not being large enough to pose a threat'

You're wrong on two points - firstly the recent boom in the economy is mainly due to US investment - the Republic is one of the biggest exporters of software in the world.

Secondly, it's only the infamous 'Ulster Scots' who give a rats ass about other peoples religions. People in the South have better things to worry about.

I know it may seem annoying to you, but it looks as if those silly Papists in the South are doing rather well at the moment!!

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: FiveMilesOut ]

JPJ
7th Aug 2001, 01:11
The way this thread has gone entirely proves the point that this thread has nothing to offer Jet Blast and vice versa. Entrenched positions are being reinforced, and the tone is becoming more waspish.

Can we go back to sex and filth?


Slash?

Velvet
7th Aug 2001, 01:16
5miles, maybe ultimately that will be the reason why peace will finally come to that tortured land. For inward investment and economic prosperity do not normally come to a country riven with war and assets liable to be destroyed at any time.

Despite the quoted figure (where did you get that U_R), I find it difficult to believe that there are one million protestant people armed and violent enough to see destruction of their homeland, blood splattered streets, and an orgy of killing, just to return Ulter to Westminster's Rule. Do you honestly believe that the British Army is the only thing that prevents anarchy.

Yes, give peace a chance; too many have died already. I too think SBYM is right and that a unified Ireland will eventually happen. I also think there is no alternative to the Good Friday Agreement - which is why each side is gradually creeping ever closer to a complete cessation of terrorist violence. As long as the weapons are silent and unused does it really matter if they are officially sanctioned as decommissioned.

JPJ honey, I'll have a pint of Guinness and drink to that :D

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: Velvet ]

Unwell_Raptor
7th Aug 2001, 01:50
Velv:
according to the most up to date stats, the island of Ireland has a population of just under 5.4 million. The North has about 1.7 million, and the Republic about 3.7 million.

About 600k in the North are Catholics, so if you make a generous allowance for bad figures, changes, whatever, my figure of about 1m Protestants isn't too far out.

Love

UR

Steepclimb
7th Aug 2001, 02:19
I rarely get angry at stuff I read on this forum even when it's personal and directed at me.
This time I am angry very ****ing angry. Doctor Cruces you are a complete moron. Tartan Gannet I have lost any respect for you have proved yourself no better than the very people you claim to despise.
Anybody who thinks letting the SAS lose to kill anyone they suspect of being involved presumably with the 'Real IRA' is quite simply a terrorist. Why don't you people get a gun and do it yourselves. Why don't you form a group and plant bombs in Dublin in retaliation. Why not? you and your ilk have done it before. The single worst 'terrorist' atrocity committed by anyone until Omagh took place in Dublin and Monaghan in 1974. There bombs went off simulatneously in a coordinated attack that the supposed perpertrators, loyalists have never ever matched since. Nobody believes it was really them. We all know it involved good British people just like you. But we know many of you talk the talk in the comfort of your cosy living rooms far away from the realities.

Why do you people trot the same moronic knee jerk stupidity every time a bomb goes off on the so called mainland. Why do you advocate terrorism as a solution to terrorism? Your fellow travellers, the loyalists do just that. You see I'm a legitimate target too and every one in my family and the rest of the people who happen to be of the wrong Papist Roman Catholic upbringing. Poor Gavin Brett was a legimitate target even if he was a Protestant. He was just a random target for a bunch of psychos who just wanted to kill a Catholic any Catholic. That's been the pattern with loyalist killers over the years. Surely they know who the republicans are? They never bothered, random killing and torture of any Catholics and some Protestants who were in the wrong place. In one horrific incident a young woman was dragged into a Protestant club and torturered thinking she was Catholic. When they found out she was Protestant, they killed her anyway to cover their obscenity. Yes Dr Cruces and Tartan Gannet you are no better than those killers. Make no mistake that would be the result of your notions. That very thing was happening in 1969 when the British army was sent in.
Back in 1921 the British, via the famous 'Black and Tans' tried very much the same tactics. Death Squads. It didn't work, the following year most of Ireland was independant and the many British people were ashamed of the behaviour of their police and soldiers.
Make no mistake, I'm no Republican. I've faced down and worked against many of them for years and I despise the IRA in all of it's forms. In any case the 'Real IRA' have been hit badly both in the Republic and Northern Ireland, most of it's leaders have been arrested and it has virtually no support even from traditional Republican areas. A campaign such as you suggest would reverse all the gains everyone has made in the last few years.
I suggest that in future if you have no constructive opinion, you keep your mouth firmly shut.
There are no simplistic military solutions to the the Northern Ireland problem and bigoted thoughless opinion won't help.
Frankly I am pessimistic about the way things are going in the Northern Ireland. A Bosnia type situation is not impossible. People like you legitimatise killing.

Velvet
7th Aug 2001, 02:58
U_R hon I wasn't questioning the number of protestants, just whether they are all armed and ready to go on a killing spree.

Steepclimb, I don't know about your claims, so I can't dispute them. But, I truly hope that you are wrong about the Bosnia scenario and that Ireland finally achieves a peace. There does seem to be some crumbs of comfort in the announcement today.

HugMonster
7th Aug 2001, 03:12
Steepclimb, thank you for telling it how it is. Jerks who sit in the comfort of their living rooms typing the sort of [email protected] I've seen on this thread do nothing to further the situation, do nothing to shorten the agony of people on both sides in Northern Ireland.

Like you, I've been a "legitimate" target. (Probably) unlike you, I have a British accent. Like you, and like the majority of my colleagues, but unlike most of the SF's, I lived in the open, among the community rather than behind wriggly tin and a PVCP and a Sangar. I got to know a lot of people from all walks of life, all political views, and took the trouble to find out what went on. I'll stake a significant part of a month's salary that Dr Cruces and TG never have. However, they still feel qualified to spout off about the subject.

I agree with you - state-sponsored terrorism is not the answer. Increasing the general level of fear, mistrust and hatred is no answer. I believe that there will, sooner or later, be a United Ireland again. I hope and pray that it will not take too much bloodshed to see it in. I see a lot on the news about the IRA needing to turn their weapons in to further the peace process. May we hope that the Prod Paramilitaries will follow suit? I suspect that TG isn't so exercised about that...

TG and Dr Cruces - shame on you. You have the nerve to wish to be included in the human race, yet you promote barbarism, sudden death, judgement without trial, and lack of accountability of Armed Force.

[Postscript]
Just how stupid do you have to be to think that you know all the "bad guys" and that by wiping them out you'll cure the problem? One of the biggest challenges of any conflict like this is working out what the other guy's assets are. When you know them, when you can see which hand holds the knife, do you advertise it? Of course you don't. You can then watch. If it moves, you see which way it's heading. You can then neutralise the threat. If your man goes off and talks to others, you work out who they are. Are they players? Sympathisers? Dickers? Innocent bystanders?

Okay, Dr Cruces, you go out and wipe out everyone you suspect of being involved. You'd better be darned sure you have the right men. Because if you don't, and you shoot any innocent civilians, you'll have major unrest, possibly insurrection on your hands. And if you don't get all of them, if some escaped your notice, you've just re-motivated them, converted civilians into sympathisers or activists, and you don't have the faintest idea who they are.

Great result! Let me know if you ever plan to send your CV to MI5 - because I'd quite like to emigrate before you do.

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

ShyTorque
7th Aug 2001, 04:13
Send Clowns has posted on page 2 what is perhaps the most relevant and worrying point on this thread. I totally agree with what he said. There are a number of so-called political terrorists in Ireland and on the mainland, for whom the politics are a minor or diversionary issue. A lasting peace will simply mean loss of income for them.

Sinn Fein do not appear to have, and possibly never have had, control of the situation - did anyone hear a statement from themselves regarding the recent London bomb? I didn't; that worries me. I would have hoped that it would have been equally quickly condemned by both sides.

I hope with all my heart that this madness comes to an end. Conflicts of this type can and will fester forever unless strong action is taken by those who really do wish for peace.We only have to look at the recent events in the middle east to see that. Sometimes that action will be unpalatable to many.

This government should not sit back hoping that their negotiations will work whilst at the same time allowing perhaps too many concessions to enemies of peace while they regroup and rearm. I strongly hope that this initiative does not now fail or we are all in for a very unpleasant time. Waving his hands and smiling at the camera will not help Mr. Blair then.

Many of us risked our lives, many actually gave their lives for peace in Ireland. I sincerely hope this government does not squander it.

:(

ShyT

HugMonster
7th Aug 2001, 04:28
Possibly right, Shy. The IRA (and other paramilitaries) make quite a lot of money out of protection, and (allegedly) drug-dealing. However, from accounts that have already come to light (the IRA are sticklers for correct procedure) the vast majority goes to:-

a) Paying those volunteers who, because of the nature of their activities, cannot keep a regular job
b) Supporting families of IRA men either killed on "active duty" or serving time
c) Training
d) Weapons purchase

There is very little evidence at all of vast sums being slated away in Swiss or Cayman Islands banks - nobody is getting rich out of this.

However, what they do get is power and influence, and it is there that I suspect you have a point.

My suspicion behind part of Gerry Adams' motivation for the peace process is that he wants out, into mainstream legitimate politics. What other future does he have? I suppose he could go back to being a bar tender...

PS - re your point about condemning the car bombing - I haven't seen one either. However, it doesn't mean it hasn't been said. I can well imagine editors thinking "They would say that, wouldn't they?" and spiking it. War is far easier when you can believe nasty things about your enemy, rather than having to accept he might have one or two noble bones in his body.

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

Steepclimb
7th Aug 2001, 05:22
Hugs and shy there was a statment against the bomb by Adams. Not generally reported on the 'mainland' media. He now routinely condemms Real IRA nonsenss. He at least has woken up to the reality of the situation.

To all; terrorism is murder for political ends whosoever does it.

Try and remember that.

Tartan Gannet
7th Aug 2001, 09:11
Quite a predictable polarisation here, a microcosm of the Ulster situation itself but without the physical violence.

Two irreconcilable stances, one that Ulster is British and should stay as such, a view endorsed by various referenda, and the other that it should be part of an Ireland ruled from the South, as I have said NOT an outcome desired by all in THAT country.

Of course the "received wisdom" by the chattering classes is that the Ulster Proddies are the "bad guys", just like the Israelis in that country, so the media and other opinion formers portray them as the villians and the other side as the "martyrs". I condemn ALL terrorists by the way, so called "Loyalists" as well as the IRA of various factions. Now can anyone tell me when the Protestant Paramilitaries last set off a bomb on mainland UK? I would also add that I have many RC relatives so the emotive bulls**t about "Papists" cuts no ice with me.

Mutt, I did an analysis of your list. Quite telling. 25 Soldiers or Police, 11 civilians, only 3 terrorists, and 2 of them by their own bomb.

I personally couldnt give a **** for your several personalised condemnations but detest seeing terrorism rewarded, however the politicos try to dress it up in face saving packages and agreements and contrived phrases such as "putting beyond use". I will start to believe it when I actually see news on the TV of weapons from paramilitaries on either side being destroyed and not talking heads pushing the subject round and round with no result.

tony draper
7th Aug 2001, 11:01
One think that sticks in my mind re decomisioning arms,in Bosnia I think, lots of rusty old shotguns, ancient straight bolt sniders 1910 vintage, what looked like bloody flintlocks, cap and ball pistols being piled up, and of course the media luvies all there, {I refuse dignify them with the title journalists) cooing and wetting themslves in delight what the hell is the obsession with decommisioning, it seems to be a major stumblng block, if it does come about, watch carefully what is being dumped.
Let them keep their guns,as long as they stay under the bed or buried in the garden and not used,wait untill there's been a few years of peace then have a amnesty.
In reality organisations like the ira don't need large amounts of firearms, I suspect they are more a recuiting ploy, offer a sixteen year old a Acp to stick in a shoulder holster and he'l fight for anything.
Disarmarament is a blind, none of the usefull stuff will be handed in.

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: tony draper ]

swashplate
7th Aug 2001, 12:22
Hi Huggy!

I'd be surprised if there was ANY evidence that ANYONE was salting money away in the caymans etc. But it doesn't mean that it isn't happening!

Look how long it took for the swiss banks to admit that the Nazis were salting away thier ill gotten gains! The Holocaust survivors complained for years thet these institutions had reneged on thier promises to look after thier money. Everyone 'knew' that, but no evidence till now!

I come from Oldham, where you've heard of out mini 'troubles'. The meeja luvvie talking heads go on about 'racial divisions' (which exist of course), but completeley ignore the drugs underworld that makes a lot of money out of this ghettoisation!

IMHO, NI/Bosnia/Mid East is prob the same. On the surface you of course have the religious/ethnic 'divisions' which have existed for a v long time. But no-one seems to notice the underlying corruption! And do you trust ANY Politicains?

All I'm saying is that the world is a little more complex than people seem to realise. If we pull out of NI, great! No more British soldiers/Irish civilians being blown to bits!

But I don't think it will be the paradise that everyone seems to think. The group 'Families against Intimidation and terror' consistently complains about the punishment shootings, but so one seems to notice any more. Why does this take place? IMHO, so that the terror gangs (whatever they call themselves) can keep control of the local black economies.

Look at Algeria since the French pulled out. Seems that we just exchange one bad situation for another! :rolleyes:

IMHO - this is an unsolvable situation and we should hand over to the UN. That way they get the blame!!!!!! :D :D

max_cont
7th Aug 2001, 12:54
I'm depressed now.

What a lot of armchair experts we have.

The regiment is *not* comprised of mindless killers who don't know right from wrong. They are highly trained and motivated soldiers. SOLDIERS NOT MURDERERS. I'd love to see YOU try to order the unlawfull killing of suspected terrorists.

For those who spout off about incidents that ended with the killing of a suspected terrorist. It's easy to pontificate when YOU are not the one having to react to a lethal situation. When the rounds start cracking past your head, the finer points of theoretical right or wrong don't have the same importance.

THE FACTS: When you are told "army, stop or I shoot" I suggest you do it. If you think it's a request or it's a point for discussion you will discover very quickly, it's not. Everybody involved is wound up. Obey and stay alive.

I've read so many paper articles about NI that I know are inacurate, it's farcical.

The solution to NI is way beyond my ability. Feelings run high in all camps, why don't we leave it to the real experts.

Edited for dylexia :confused:

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: max_cont ]

JPJ
7th Aug 2001, 13:54
It would be a good start if the English were to learn some history - and the Irish were to forget some.

Velvet
7th Aug 2001, 14:13
Max_Cont, who are the 'real' experts?

Actually, I'd just like to say despite all the emotional responses and the entrenched positions and the opinions from all sides - this has been an interesting thread. And I've learnt from it - maybe we should be celebrating the successes small though they are, instead of condemning them for not being greater.

JPJ, sounds like a good plan - is history a good justification for enmity and destruction.

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: Velvet ]

swashplate
7th Aug 2001, 14:22
Hmmmmmm.....maybe we should ALL forget ALL of our history....?

Forget all our 'tribalisms'....??

Wipe the slate clean...???

But then, human nature being what it is, we'd prob just then make up new reasons to hate/kill each other... :rolleyes:

Still, it stops us from overpopulating.... :D :D

People.........huh...... :rolleyes:

FlyingForFun
7th Aug 2001, 14:33
max_cont,

Sorry, but no one told the occupants of a certain car "stop or I shoot" as they drove past a bomb in Ealing 6 seconds before it exploded. Likewise for just about any other mainland activity. These people are *not* soldiers, they are terrorists, and *must* be brought to justice. And, as I said when I started the thread, this applies to *both* sides.

I believe, from having spoken to the (admittedly, fairly few) Irish people I know (from both sides of the border, both Protestant and Catholic) that the vast majority of the Irish population agree with me on this point.

FFF
---------------

Vfrpilotpb
7th Aug 2001, 18:04
Good afternnon Jetblasters,

Just had to put something into this one, the problem we are faced with is POLLITICAL INTERFERENCE, send the the soft headed MPs and wimpish Ministers away on Holiday for about nine days, give the ground to the Irish Police and the lads from Hereford, send in fat Albert with a load of Black Bags, and bingo, problem solved Black Bags full and no more innocents blown to pieces, all those prisoners who were let out now in black bags too, fear of things like that would deter many if not all from starting up again, for if they did thats what they would get, Some of you with a pacifist sort of attitude might say that this would be State Murder, I would say it is making the State that we live in fit for people who obey the rule of law !
IRA = I RAN AWAY
Real IRA = I REALLY RAN AWAY
Ask yourself this, How many Women& children are we going to allow die before this situation is sorted once and for all???

max_cont
7th Aug 2001, 18:25
Velvet hon, my post wasn't aimed at you. The short answer is no one here. Me included.

I do know, that when you take a close look at this crisis, it's a mess with no clear solution. Some of the problem is history, the other part is human nature, greed and power.

I get ticked off with the SF being considered no more than common murderers. This was implied by some of the ideas put forward. It is offensive.

FFF, You are correct about little or no warnings being given by some of the terrorists. It still does not justify killing in cold blood.

To me a terrorist is just that. It does not matter which side he/she murders for. If they can be arrested without lethal force being used, good. If not, then so be it.

They have a democratic process in NI and the majority want to be British. It matters not what Americans or any other foreign power believe. The people of NI will decide as they are the only legitimate electorate.

Celtic Emerald
7th Aug 2001, 18:42
Why don't you'se bring back the Black & Tans while you'se are at it :rolleyes:

Though I do agree that the IRA are a load of evil bloodthirsty mindless morons filled with dated romantic notions about a united Ireland (who bloody cares). They represent themselves and not the views of the peaceloving Irish majority who wish that they'd drift off into the Atlantic on an island along with all the other terrorist organisations where they can kill each other goodo (after all they enjoy it so much) till there's none of them left & leave the rest of us to get on with our lives in peace.

And in case the gob*****s think by targeting the British mainland there only targeting British people they are very wrong. My brother & his wife live up the road from the Ealing bomb, my best friend worked in the BBC centre when they targeted that but the IRA are too f'''kin stupid to care who they kill. :mad:

I would like to apologise to the British people about the recent atrocity but rest assured these mindless gunloving morons do not have the backing of or represent the Irish people who harbour no ill feelings against the British people.

Violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred.

Emerald

Tartan Gannet
7th Aug 2001, 19:11
Well said Emerald! We are on opposite sides of the fence on the Ulster situation but I can agree with much of what you say.

I regret that it takes a Scot or an Irish person of either tradition to even begin to understand Ulster, try as they may the English just cannot get a handle on it, hence the fudge and mudge of various Ulster Secretaries of BOTH political parties in the last 30 years or so.

I'll let the so called "experts" with their University Degrees pontificate and theorise to their heart's content. I feel that we will still be going round in circles in 10 years time! I am deeply sorry for the ordinary decent citizens of the Province, Protestant and Roman Catholic. :( :( :(

Vortex what...ouch!
7th Aug 2001, 19:24
Wasn't William of Orange Dutch? So why is it all the English' fault.

Just asking :D

Tartan Gannet
7th Aug 2001, 19:44
Yes Vortex he was, he was Stadholder of Holland, and married to Mary, daughter of James II and was the son of Princess Mary, daughter of Charles I and thus had a claim in his own right to the English Throne as well as by marriage. When James II decamped William and his Wife Mary were invited to take the Throne and he ruled jointly with her until Mary's death then on his own until he died and was succeeded by Mary's sister Anne in 1702.

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: Tartan Gannet ]

Vortex what...ouch!
7th Aug 2001, 19:53
TG, thanks. I thought so.

Steepclimb
7th Aug 2001, 20:48
Tartan Gannet you clearly do not understand the situation. Understanding is not genetic, you have to live it and or study it. Ill judged suggestions about using the SAS as a murder squad, it's as insulting to the SAS as it is to the intelligence of the rest of us. Why don't you just rename the SAS, drop the A, remember them? They had a way of dealing with 'terrorists' only on bigger scale.
Your question as to when Protestant paramilitaries bombed Britain is so absurd as to be laughable. Seeing as they call themselves loyalists and unionists. Why on earth would they bomb their benefactors? Make no mistake your taxes pay for their lifestyle.
As for rewarding terrorists, what reward? Nobody won anything in the last thiry years. A fact that most of these ex terrorists seem to realise, on both sides.
But there are still plenty of people out there who would continue the fighting, who want and who thrive on it. Don't encourage them with witless rhetoric.
If the Good Friday agreement collapses without a suitable replacement there are plenty who would fill the vacuum.

birdbrain
7th Aug 2001, 21:46
Interesting thread.
I am a member of a happy little 'workgroup' here, down south of the border. We are made up of Scottish, English, Irish and Welsh of both Catholic and Protestant, Celtic and Rangers supporters none of the previous necessairily in the order written. We work together 10 to 12 hrs/day, then sometimes watch football from opposing sides, and maybe go out on the tear(razz) and get bollox drunk togrther. Sometimes we take the pi$$ out of each other regarding religion, nationality and/or football. Never an angry word passes, or has passed between us in 4 years.
Wow, I've almost surprised myself by what I've just written, but then maybe we're just a bunch of ordinary 'mature' blokes getting on with the 'real' stuff of life. I have read all of the previous posts and, sad to say was disappointed by the amount of venom displayed by some. I was also heartened by the realistic approach others have, which in my opinion is to leave the polititions(spl??) at it.
O.K. so they might be slow, but so what, as long as fewer people are suffering or being killed during this painfully long and slow, but hopefully sucessful process is'nt that all the better?
One last thought..did'nt Mr. Gannet find a very appropriate name for himself?

JPJ
7th Aug 2001, 22:15
After 54 posts, I can stand it no longer.

Is there no one, at all, who has spotted the irony implicit in the misspelling of the thread title?

Please, someone.......tell me it was intentional.

Or even that it was not.

HugMonster
7th Aug 2001, 23:50
Vfrpilotpb, I assume that you wish to be considered an intelligent, thinking human being and that therefore your post was made tongue in cheek as a wind-up, since, of course, nobody but a totally ignorant moron with no understanding of anything except managing to turn the taps on in his bath would post anything so puerile except in fun.

And TG? You claim understanding of the Irish situation AS A SCOT??? And yet you claim the English don't understand it? As has been pointed out already, understanding the situation is not genetic or racial.

Sorry, but all your posts in this thread demonstrate very clearly indeed that you don't understand the first thing about the situation or how it needs to be handled. Go take a cold bath until the swelling in your head goes down a little.

Max_cont, I agree with your comments about the Regiment. Worked with them, got drunk with some of them, good bunch of guys. Haven't yet met a duff one. Excellent soldiers - let's keep it that way. If the politicians wish to tell them to turn from being soldiers into murderers, I know that the vast majority of them would have enough pride in their professionalism, their regiment's history and standards to refuse such a disgusting order.

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

Tartan Gannet
8th Aug 2001, 00:28
Merely knowing the facts is NOT understanding of a situation if there is no FEELING for the matter.

Now in Scotland the same cultures exist in an attenuated form as there are in Ulster. We have, though I personally deplore it, religiously segregated State Schools and of course the Celtic Vs Rangers animosity has far more to it than the mere rivalry of two football teams. The "planters" who were sent by King James VI and I to settle and subjugate Ulster in 1607 were of course Scots Presbytarians, and many Irish RCs emigrated to South West Scotland, especially Glasgow, after the Potato Famine in the 19th Century. Even today the Americans refer to Ulster people as "Scots-Irish" .To be asked "what team do you support?" in Glasgow has little to do with your soccer preferences I can assure you!

I therefore feel that the Scots from both of the major religious groupings in that country have a better "feel" for the Ulster situation than the English. We have both Orange and Hibernian Walks, activities unknown in England apart perhaps in Liverpool . I take no pride whatsoever that a watered down version of the bigotry of Ulster, on BOTH sides, is still prevalent in Greater Glasgow, but would hold these factors out as reasons why a Scot is more likely to understand the passions which rule in the Province. I cant say I like Mr John Reid- Blair's Ulster Secretary, but I feel he as a Scots RC has more understanding of the human factors involved than many of his English predecessors in that office. For my own part, like many Scots I have relatives from both of the religious groups and have no animosity towards my RC kinsmen.

As regards terrorists of either side, I have always held that Democracy and its benefits exist only for those who abide by its rules.

trolleydollylover
8th Aug 2001, 00:52
I have been reading this thread lately with an open mind. I can honestly say while being totally objectionate, that there are some complete lunatics out there.

It was actually quite nice to see some intelligent arguements and view points put forward esp Steep and Hug and I do have a great deal of sympathy with both view points.

For the rest of the know it all's and arm chair generals. Let me tell you this...
"Before you send in the troops, would you do it yourself...first". That is especially pertiment to the older generation. I am feed up of listerning to these people on Radio 2 and 4. Go back to being kept under the thumb and concentrate on your roses.

Hogg I would like to see some evidence of your original post. Please remember that you are questionning the integrity and honour of a dead man, who is very highly thought after in the Forces.

Stand By Your Man... I am afraid I do not agree entirely with your reading of the situation regarding the murders of Cpls Howes and Wood.

HugMonster
8th Aug 2001, 01:14
So, TG, democracy and its benefits exist only for those who bide by them? Think about that for a while, and I am sure you will wish to retract that somewhat dubious statement.

You maintain that everybody should enjoy the privileges of a fair trial by their peers - unless they have committed a sufficiently heinous crime, and then they should be sentenced to death without the benefit of a trial. You maintain that soldiers should act as soldiers until there is the equivalent of a civil war going on - and then they should be told to act as murderers. No doubt you feel that a trial of those murderers should then be suspended - resulting in a further erosion of democracy and the justice system. Where exactly, would such erosion then end? Sorry, but we have to follow the rules, even when dealing with people who do not, or the entire system breaks down and you have mob rule and lynch mobs.

Let us not forget that you maintain most strongly that you should be exempt from jury service, yet you expect, should you be falsely accused of some crime, to be granted the right to trial by your peers? How far should we extend this? Trial by jury is one of the basic rights in a democracy. Yet you are not prepared to participate in this. NOW do you want to revise your assertion? Or do you want the principle to be applied more harshly to those with whom you disagree than to yourself? Sure, there is a difference of degree, but none of principle. You are arguing for double standards to be applied.

You maintain that, because there are people of Irish descent living in Glasgow (remind me, where have you lived, and for how long?), they understand better than someone who has been intimately involved with the security situation in Northern Ireland how the peace process should be furthered? You maintain that they understand what goes on in someone's head when they see the killer of their father or brother walking down the street? You maintain that, because they had a great-great granddad who fled the famines (note that there were several, not merely one), they understand the various pressures and stress lines within the various factions? That they understand what went on in Derry during the housing disputes of the 60's? Do they understand why the IRA suddenly received such a recruiting boom then? If YOU understand that, then you will understand that asking the SAS to kill all the known suspects (on either side) would be the most gigantic own goal in the troubles so far. Ask yourself why Paisley, Trimble, Adams, McLoughlin, and McGuinness et al have not been knocked off by their respective opponents yet, and why Billy Wright WAS.

Give me a break. All your posts display most clearly to everyone that you understand NOTHING.

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

Tartan Gannet
8th Aug 2001, 08:58
I dont know why I waste my time with the likes of you HM but let me try to answer some of your debating society rhetoric.

Yes, to me acts of terrorism are beyond the pale. I detest ordinary crime and criminals, but would not deny them due process. Planting bombs then slinking away to safety is something more heinous. Just think of the innocent civilians such as two kids in Warrington who have been killed in this manner. I also condemn unreservedly such groups as the Shankhill Butchers and those who killed the players of the Miami Showband. The so called cause or affiliation of terrorists cuts no ice with me, and I dont subscribe to the notion that to some they are "freedom fighters".

Now to the canard of my wish not to be part of a jury. If you understood anything of that long, contentious and bad tempered thread you would have realised that far from wanting to attack this right for "ordinary" criminals,( and I deplore the intention of the Blair Government to remove this right for certain crimes), I did not want to participate on an individual basis being only too aware of my subjective bias against the accused and in favour of the Police and therefore the Prosecution which is of course contrary to the "presumption of innocence" of the accused assumed to be in a juror's mind at the start of a trial. I also attacked the artificiality of the juror being denied knowledge about the accused known to Judge, boths sets of Lawyers, the Police and no doubt even the Court Usher and shorthand writer. For these reasons I considered that I was not a fit and proper person to be a juror. This of course cut no ice with the Lawyers and the sneering intellectuals who rather than give me a straight answer, made sport of me on the thread. No doubt in their book I would be better to merely keep quiet, attend if summoned, can my mental reservations, and give my bias and personal opinions of the accused a free run.

No HM I will not withdraw my assertions, and I am well aware that I am not alone in my opinions, indeed on this very thread there are those who would go even further to judge by the robust language they have used.

As regards Ian Paisley and David Trimble, correct me please but I do not think they have ever been party to terrorist acts but are both Democratically elected MPs. That they have both escaped assassination is to be welcomed although others such as the Rev Bradford, Airey Neave and Ian Gow did not escape the bomb or the bullet.

Finally, I would love to be proven wrong but I feel that despite ever moving deadlines and various contrivances we will still be arguing about the situation in Ulster in 10 years time.

[ 08 August 2001: Message edited by: Tartan Gannet ]

ShyTorque
8th Aug 2001, 12:15
Here's one to think about.

The terrorists claim that their targets are merely political and that any civilian casualties are co-incidental. The military and their families (!) are seen as legitimate targets. The IRA have always claimed that the presence of the UK military are a major hurdle to peace.

In this case, why are the British troops in NI not replaced by a multi national peace-keeping force wearing pale blue berets, as seen in many other European countries over the last couple of decades?

This would allow all nations to put their money where their mouths are. In particular, would it not be a good idea to see American troops there as they apparently like to contribute so much? (Bill Clinton could put on a uniform himself, make a real contribution and perhaps make up for his earlier draft dodging).

ShyT

FlyingForFun
8th Aug 2001, 14:46
Interesting to note that Doctor Cruces has not posted on this thread, despite the fact that it is centred around a quote by him.

For what it's worth, I'd like to point out that his original comment was on a thread regarding the death penalty. Personally, I chose not to interpret his comments literally, but as an indication of the fact that he feels that acts of terrorism should be punishable by the death penalty.

I want to make it clear that, in agreeing with Doctor Cruces, I am not in any way suggesting that terrorists should be murdered in cold blood (as some people on the thread seem to have interpreted the original quote). They have a right to a fair trial by jury, and, if found guilty, the death penalty should be considered. Trial by jury is a crucial feature of democracy - amongst other things, it prevents the wrong man from being punished.

FFF
-----------

Vfrpilotpb
8th Aug 2001, 18:09
HugMonster,
Moron I may be, but when you have held the hand of a young wife to be, of a pal who's head has been partly severed by a missile fired from an American made 50cal weapon, then you too might possibly have similar thoughts. I think that any individual of any colour or creed who takes up arms against the majority wish , in any Country, should take the most severe and terminal punishment possible, if that means State ordained death, SO BE IT. I suppose that still makes me a moron, eh!

HugMonster
8th Aug 2001, 21:12
For what it's worth, yes, I also despise acts of terrorism, including the Shankhill Butchers, the Omagh Bombers, etc etc etc.

I think everyone here does. Whoopee. So what?

Personally, I find it a supreme irrelevance that terrorists act outside the law. The law is there precisely for them and their kind. Whether someone murders his wife in a rage, rapes a girl in a pub carpark, or breaks into houses to find the wherewithal for his next fix, or plants 40lb of homemade explosive is totally irrelevant. They are all criminals, and all must, in any civilised country, be put in the dock and tried by a jury of their peers.

If you are going to separate some crimes from others and decide that THIS offence means that you have forfeited the right to a trial and if you are merely suspected of it, you are liable to be shot on sight with no appeal, no judge, no jury, just a politician's say-so, then the rule of law and, consequently, or civilisation has broken down.

That's the question of principle.

On a simple matter of tactics, you have always to consider the consequences of your actions. And TG and the others will have to believe me that such tactics simply would not improve the situation. It would make it 20 times worse.

And VFR? I've seen the immediate (5 mins after the event) aftereffects of a colleague being gunned down in the streets of Lurgan by a pistol placed to the back of his head. Believe me, the results are not pretty. He had very little of his head left. Instead, it was spread over a 20 yard area. It was a horrible crime, but it still does not make me want to forsake all semblance of civilisation and resort to political murder out of revenge.

TG, your post indicates yet again that you have not thought about WHY some of those I mentioned (If you prefer, delete Trimble and Paisley, add Irvine) have not been killed. Nor have you understood that a departure from a matter of principle is just that - any line you thereafter draw can be moved. The point of principle is gone. Any erosion of the rule of law is to be regretted by everyone, because everyone can subsequently fall foul of that erosion. I point you in the direction of John Donne.

Finally, Shy, I don't feel that UN forces would now help much. A few years ago, I would have agreed wholeheartedly with you. If the current peace initiatives break down, I would probably agree with you again. But not right now. If armed forces are necessary, I think the majority of the populace would accept them before accepting, for example, the Paras.

[ 08 August 2001: Message edited by: HugMonster ]

Vfrpilotpb
8th Aug 2001, 23:20
Huggie,
I take your point, but cant help the feelings that I have deep inside, but underneath I think , I feel that I must agree, with your words, whilst revenge would be the sweetest thing, putting yourself outside of the way we live would taint that sweetness, I've finished on this subject , its to emotive it brings back a sad feeling!!!
My Regards

The Guvnor
8th Aug 2001, 23:30
Who here recalls that David Burnside - now a hardline Ulster Unionist MP - was once the tame PR Rottweiler of Bob Ayling and the primary instigator of the BA 'Dirty Tricks' campaign?

HM - the reason that King Billy was targetted was that he was an out-and-out nutter that wanted to go after the leadership of the IRA. The senior members of the paramilitaries - like the most senior members of the world's intelligence services - have a professional code of conduct where they do not take each other out!

trolleydollylover
9th Aug 2001, 00:07
Guvnor...Not a bad point, however for those of you who know the situation a great deal of the top brass are and have always been bandits and criminals and all of the paramilitary groups give this scum justification and the freedom to move through their communities at will. All of the groups have their turf. You will never see a leader move into another area... that is left to the young blood.
It is funny how these groups dont spout on now, how they do not do or supply drugs. Thsi was always there honour. They always were criminals, are criminals and always shall be criminals. They are not freedom fighters and have no honour or loyalty from one day to the next. Why do so many live short lives, end up in hedgerows on the border, or become politicians.
I agree with Hug, 100%

HugMonster
9th Aug 2001, 02:43
Guv, got it in one.

Next you have to ask HOW he was taken out, and why he was taken out by IRA members. How was the firearm hidden and the rounds smuggled in? How did they know when he was to be moved? Why was there no retaliatory action worth its name, except for a few rocks thrown by his closest friends in Portadown?

The answers are simple. He was a lose cannon, and it was in everyone's interests that he was out of the way. And elements from all sections, including the SF's and Prison Staff, colluded in his removal.

Another part of the puzzle is cross-membership of several factions by some activists. Hence it is often difficult to see the join between Continuity IRA, The Real IRA and PIRA itself (and, of course, Sinn Fein) as it is between the LVF, UVF, UDA, etc. This makes authorship of some events difficult to judge. It also makes some factions less willing than they would have been to either "shop" members of another faction, or to take them out comnpletely.

And it is partly this partial fragmentation of the sides that is making Adams' job so difficult. He is, so far, playing a masterful game of brinkmanship. I believe he truly wants a peaceful settlement, and he wants a life in mainstream, legitimate politics. However, he has a lot of shadowy figures standing looking over his shoulder, who are less tractable. If he doesn't carry enough of them with him, he'll sign his own death warrant, and follow in the steps of Michael Collins. End result - failure and more decades of bloodshed. It's not easy dealing with idealism.

The trick I feel that those shadowy figures have missed is making a significant step towards decommissioning. If they were to do that, a lot of pressure would then be placed back on the Prod Paramilitaries and their sponsoring politicians, who would then have to put THEIR money where their mouths are.

Rollingthunder
9th Aug 2001, 04:14
Well I'm one eighth Irish and if Scandinavian Airlines wants 5th freedom rights out of Belfast..... oh... sorry wrong thread.

airbourne
9th Aug 2001, 05:43
I have written a piece and then decided to delete it. Why? Because I am a tourist! i go to Northern Ireland once a week and because Im Irish I try to understand what goes on and how 'they' can justify it!

To get a proper view on this you need to speak to the people that were brought up in the heart of Belfast or Derry, those who saw the killing first hand by both sides, the torture, and the crime. Im not just talking about the IRA or the UVF, I mean the british authoritys as well. Everyone is to blame for what has gone on and the length of time it has taken to get to the stage we are now at and its going to take a lot longer as well.

Do I see proper peace in Northern Ireland. Maybe in my childrens lifetime but not before, becuase you have to understand the hate and its real hate for the 'other side'

Of the 365 days in the year, most get on for about 363 days, its the time around the 12th July that old tempers are flared and people go back to the way things were at the height of the troubles.

Northen Ireland is a beautiful area with so much to offer, but there has been too much death and destruction, why go on killing people with legalised death?

I am proud to be Irish, proud of my heritage, my family and my friends. What I am not proud of is when someone in a far distant land ask you 2 questions: Do you drink Guinness and Are you in the IRA?

Is this all we are known for?

Airbourne
Dublin,
Rep Of Ireland

Blacksheep
9th Aug 2001, 09:36
I don't think the SAS should be given free rein to shoot IRA "volunteers" on sight. I don't think they, or any other British soldier should be in that firing line.

I know a man who walks with a limp, is deaf in one ear, wakes up screaming at night and sometimes wets the bed. He was once a young paratrooper who survived being blown up by the IRA more than twenty years ago. His reward was to be discharged from the army onto the dole as medically unfit. He received no compensation for his injuries and for some reason doesn't qualify for any kind of benefit.

He would dearly like to get a rifle sight on a "Volunteer" or two. Who can blame him?

The soldiers we saw on TV, walking backwards down the streets of Belfast or Derry weren't strange creatures from outer space. They were, and are, just young lads trying to earn a living. Many of them come from areas that are in far worse condition than anywhere in Northern Ireland and they join the army because there isn't anything else where they come from. Have any of you been to Hartlepool, Shotton or Easington? How about Kirby? They are all willing to fight in a real war but what right have we to ask them to walk the line between warring factions that are each as bad as the other? - not one of them worthy of consideration. (and my comments are not restricted to Ireland either) If the rest of Britain pulled out of Northern Ireland, it simply means no more of our young men being murdered in the streets for the entertainment of the bigots. Then the silent majority that supposedly exists in the province and in Eire will be forced to take action and put a stop to it themselves - or go down fighting; but why not? Its THEIR problem!

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Through difficulties to the cinema

The Guvnor
9th Aug 2001, 11:12
HugMonster - the way it was told to me, it seems that King Billy may well have even been taken out by his own people - certainly there was involvement by them in terms of providing inside information and resources.

Anyone who knows the intricacies of the situation in the North of Ireland knows that at the highest level there is - and has been for many years - what I would go so far as to describe as cordial relations between the most senior members of the paramilitary groups whereby they regularly weet to divide up their turf for activities including the operation of taxi services (the black cabs have always been a PIRA activity); protection rackets, drugs and prostitution. There has also been sharing of intelligence between them where outsiders have tried to muscle in on these rackets (as happened a few years back with an Indian group, who obviously thought that by being neither Cathorlic nor Protestant they would be left alone. Wrong!)

At the same time, they have tried to control the 'anti-social' element within their own communities through the use of rather extreme methods including kneecapping (usually done with a low calibre weapon fired from the back of the knee). An anecdotal story I was told by a 'player' involved someone who had been hanging around playgrounds that they decided needed to be taught a lesson - so they grabbed him and took him out to a piece of deserted waste ground, miles from anywhere. One of the boys brings out his Black and Decker (the more serious kneecappings are done with a drill through the side of the knee) who then started to wander off. When asked where the hell he was going, he replied "I'm looking for a place I can plug this into!"

The situation in the North of Ireland is almost entirely the making of the English government. Their 'divide and rule' policies which worked so well in Africa and Asia were brought to bear with the importation of Protestants from Scotland and Holland. Then, right up to the 1970s, legislation and later working practices were permitted with created a form of Apartheid in the area; with the Catholics being treated as second class citizens. No wonder at all that they have reacted in the way that they have.

The latest from the North of Ireland is that the SDLP is backing the Ulster Unionist calls for clarification over decommissioning of arms. They believe that if General John de Chastelain can confirm that the weapons have indeed been destroyed or that a timetable exists for them to be so ("put beyond use by the IRA") then the road will be clear for the Ulster Unionists to come back into the power sharing Executive. If this fails, then John Reid will have no option other than to suspend the Assembly on Sunday.

OneWorld22
9th Aug 2001, 11:42
I'm sorry Blacksheep, but a lot of these "kids" aren't that innocent or blameless.
Look at the very distasteful Lee Clegg incident a few years ago. A pair of joyriders in a Vauxhall Astra car speeding down the road were fired upon by British soldiers, why? Why were they seen as a danger? Lee Cleggs bullet killed a young girl yet instead of paying for this, we had a disgusting campaign led by right wing elements in the British rag media demanding his innocence even in the face of the forensic evidence. Look at the behaviour of
his colleagues who erected a mural on the wall of their Barracks celebrating this kill. That hardly seems like the actions of a responsible neutal peacekeeping force.

I'm afraid that there has long been a suspicion in the North that Catholic lives are viewed as cheap by the British and Unionists.
All decent people in Ireland despise the IRA and what they've done and what has to be achieved is a lasting settlement that will finally bring equlaity and justice to Northern Ireland.

It's peace or nothing.

swashplate
9th Aug 2001, 12:13
OW22:

Maybe they thought it was a proxy/suicide bomb....??

Did they celebrate their 'kill' - yes of course they did. These are highly aggressive fighting men, trained to use the bayonet (Arnhem, Falklands war etc). :eek:

We can hardly expect gushy luvvie attitudes from them, methinks......

....so of course, why are they there in the first place...??

I have always wondered why ARMIES whose SOLDIERS are trained for WAR end up being used as PEACE-keepers. Paradox?? :rolleyes:

Maybe we should keep our armies for full-scale wars, and have a seperate organisation for peacekeeping, whose members would be trained/selected from the OUTSET for this sort of 'softly...softly...' type job??

OneWorld22
9th Aug 2001, 16:54
What are you saying swashplate? that joyriders in Northern Ireland deserve to be shot? especially if they're Catholic? That loss of life among the innocent in Northern Ireland is just a matter of fact and is to be expected and certainly no troops should ever have to be questioned if this kind of thing happens?

I find your comments about celebrating killing a young teenager in a car very disturbing. That's very brave isn't it?

addinfurnightem
9th Aug 2001, 17:15
One World 22 - I am bound to ask you, when was the last time you manned a check-point, in the middle of the night, in territory regarded as hostile and a vehicle drove towards you at high speed with no intention of stopping? Methinks never, you are confusing foresight with hindsight, IMHO.
That same car could just have easily contained bomb carrying terrorists who were armed with modern weapons.
Just walk out into any street and watch any vehicle approach at speed, tell me what you see, apart from a pair of blinding headlights.

vulcanb1
9th Aug 2001, 17:17
1st post - but this has got my back up.

Shoot joyriders - absolutely. I'm sorry but NI is nothing but a disguised war zone. How can you expect a squadie to know if its a joy-rider (stupid fu**ing term anyway) or a possible car bomb. They didn't stop - they got shot very simple really.
:D :D :D

Mess up and die.

Blacksheep
9th Aug 2001, 17:18
I never said they were innocent Oneworld, I just said they shouldn't be there. Its not an English/Scottish/Welsh matter, the Irish have to sort it out for themselves.

Martin McGuinness has the right idea, the Irish problem can only be solved in the schools. Integrating children is the only way to end the bigotry in a land where 'memories' go back to King Billy - who wasn't even English. In the meantime there's no need to send young men from the most run down areas of England, Scotland and Wales to be the targets for the amusement of hoodlums.

While you're on the subject of the joyrider shooting, have you ever stood sentry-go on a dark windy night, in a lonely place, in a foreign land where the locals all hate you and shoot at you and throw bombs over your fence while you're sleeping? If you haven't spent a whole night with cold fear gnawing at your guts for four pound fifty an hour then you have no right to criticise. You just don't know what you're talking about.

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Through difficulties to the cinema

swashplate
9th Aug 2001, 17:18
NO mate, I don't say that, you just have!!!!!

I never even mentioned that they were catholic, or DESERVED to be shot!!!

I suggested the Troops might have thought they were under attack!!!

I thought my post was obvious - why do we have aggressive troops doing peacekeeping duties in the first place!!! :rolleyes:

Recommend you calm down before posting, mate!!

OneWorld22
9th Aug 2001, 21:37
I was just waiting for these responses... right here we go,

I think I might just know something about combat, I was a US Marine, 1967-1969, two tours in Vietnam. And I wasn't hidden away in a back room doing endless paper work, I was a grunt, in the field. I was there in Khe Sanh during the Tet offensive, not pleasant I can tell you. During the recapture of that town we were forced to fight, at one point, hand to hand with knives, it was savage fighting. I certainly never celebrated any of the NVA/Viet Cong I killed during that time. In two years, we were in comabat virtually every day that we were in the field. I lost a lot of good men in that war and saw some horrific things.

What "combat" have any of you faced???
Or are you just typical armchair critics who have never even heard a shot fired and consider themselves experts. It's always the same, those guys who never fought or served in a combat unit during a real conflict, are always the most bloodthirsty and gung-ho. I can assure you the vast majority of combat veterans know differently, know the reality of war and know it's certailnly not something to be championed.

To compare the North to a military war zone is laughable. And in the Clegg case he and his colleagues weren't manning a roadblock they were involved in a moving roadblock! They were undercover, they lay in ditches at the side of the road, at night and not visible to anyone. There was no car screaming towards them, they jumped out and opened fire when the car had passed and Clegg shot Karen Reilly in the back. I didn't say that in the original post becasue I knew what the responses would be.

Blacksheep, swashplate and co. thank you for proving your ignorance.

swashplate
9th Aug 2001, 22:27
One World:

I have never faced any kind of 'combat' (nor have I ever pretended to) and profoundly hope I never do. Never have I ever said that I find war glorious on any post - I would have thought that was obvious from my posts. If I am 'ignorant' of war then I am truly glad - it seems to have made you rather bitter, if indeed you are what you say you are. IMHO it is a futile waste of lives, equipment etc etc.

Interesting how you don't reply to my last post in your rant about being a 'vet'. Where did I ever say that catholics should be shot?

Please don't put words into my mouth.

Or is this a wind up? Why can you not say out loud from the start that you are a 'vet'?

IMHO you are using the same tactics that you accuse Clegg of......

OneWorld22
10th Aug 2001, 00:24
swashplate, I was answering your point regarding your statement that the patrol might have thought they were under attack from a suicide bomber, (it's not Jeruseleum).

I was stating some facts to correct your statement, namely that this patrol were lying in ditches under cover. No car ever drove directly towards them. I also corrected your acceptance that it's perfectly acceptable for "these fighting men" to celebrate their kill. That patrol was on joyriding duty that night. They were sent to a notorious area known as a joyriding spot of the Falls road with that instruction. They weren't being sent out to the beaches of Normandy for gods sake. A car sped by and they riddled it with bullets, why?

When they realised what had happened one of the soldiers was ordered to lie down and was beaten on his leg several times with the butt of the others' rifles to make it look like he was struck by the car. They were wrong swashplate, you must see that. There's no benefit in trying to excuse their behaviour, (I'm not saying you have) by saying that Karen Reilly was just a casualty of the situation. That thinking just reduces the British Army to the level of the IRA.

I'm certainly not bitter at all about what I went through. I am a firm pacifist as you will find most vets are, I saw a tragic young, mostly poor, generation of Americans ruined by what happened. Not to mention the massive loss and suffering inflicted on the Vietnamese. I was a passionate speaker against the war when I returned, because it was wrong. I wouldn't wish war on anybody, it's horrible and it's unjust and it's always the poor who seem to suffer. I've spent the years after that war being involved with groups like Amnesty, Concern and the Simon Wiesenthal centre, (dedicated to hunting the remaining Nazi murderers still alive). I stated my experience as a response towards Blacksheep and others who asked had I ever stood sentry, etc..

For what it's worth, I totally agree with you regarding sending specific armed forces on peace keeping duties. There should be a specially trained multi national force for that duty. The same way that the arms commission is made up.

[ 09 August 2001: Message edited by: OneWorld22 ]

Velvet
10th Aug 2001, 03:36
One World you seem to be inferring that you have more knowledge about the Clegg shooting than is generally known. Are you absolutely sure you are unbiased in your view of this case. There was some doubt as to whether the bullet that killed the girl came from Clegg's gun.

How are you sure what they felt or faced that night, how can you be so certain that they didn't feel endangered - and yes, I think you did rather misrepresent yourself. You are it would seem an American now living in Southern Ireland. You are not I presume a young British soldier who has a thankless task of keeping two warring factions separated.

How can you know better than the Appeal Court Judges. Lord Justice Sir Robert Carswell stated that the evidence was not sufficient to prove that Lee Clegg fired bullets after the car passed. Nor that his bullet had killed Karen. I note you haven't condemned any of the murders of innocent civilians by any of the terrorist organisations.

It is easy in hindsight to state what should have happened. But unless you were there, you cannot 'know' the reality of that night - only speculate, based on recollections and from the Appeal Court Ruling some of that was faulty.

Were there never any suspect killings by your colleagues in Vietnam, never any American soldiers who celebrated their 'kills'. Not one single unlawful murder in the heat of the moment.


Yes, Vietnam may well have been a 'war' as opposed to the 'troubles' as they call them in Ireland. But to the soldiers caught up in the conflict, I'm sure at times it felt very much like a warzone. Don't judge them with the luxury of hindsight and from a foreign perspective.

You are no doubt aware of how many British soldiers died during this 'non-war'; how many were killed by someone driving past in a speeding car and firing at them?

Blacksheep
10th Aug 2001, 08:42
Thank you Velvet, you put it so very well.

I don't wish to suggest that British soldiers in Northern Ireland are just a bunch of lily white innocent lads. If you know any of them then you know they are anything but. The problem is that their presence is inappropriate. They are there to be shot at, for if they weren't there, who would the IRA attack? Civilians? That would be do nothing to advance their cause internationally and might remove much of their United States support.

Meanwhile, the "loyalists" (loyal?) hide behind the troops to hurl abuse and discrimination at the republicans. When the orangemen march, are they really celebrating a dubious old battle victory by a Dutch king. Or just provoking the opposition? If so, they must be prepared to face the consequences instead of sheltering behind the British Army who are there to keep the two sides apart.

Take away the soldiers and a quite different playing field appears. The participants from all sides would now have a diferent agenda - come to terms or else. The USA might have to intervene, and so be it. At the moment they sit on the sidelines, paying for the ammunition and throwing insults at the referee. Let them take some of the backlash for a change.

Like many other British people, I am fed up with Irishmen bombing our shopping and entertainment centres. What has all this religious and nationalist nonsense to do with any of us? The ruling class that suppressed the Irish way back whenever, treated my forebears just as badly. When I left South Durham to join the British Armed Forces at the tender age of 16, I left a third world country, deserted factories, fifty or sixty children to a class at school. Three doctors in the local clinic served a community of 25,000 and there was no problem about waiting lists at the hospital - if you got sick you died. Harry Macmillan told us we had never had it so good and he was right - unemployment had fallen to a record low of 25%!

With that background I couldn't care a damn about the Irish problem, its their own affair. Leave us out of it, we have our own problems to worry about.

And while I'm at it, I sh*t on the US Marine Corps. The only reason the Brits weren't at Khe Sanh is because Uncle Ho never asked for our help. The Vietnamese didn't need any help from us, they taught the useless bl**dy Marines a lesson all by themselves. And I'm pleased, happy and proud to be working alongside good Vietnamese fellows, helping them to build a useful and prosperous national airline.

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Through difficulties to the cinema

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: Blacksheep ]

FiveMilesOut
10th Aug 2001, 19:16
Blacksheep,

I gather from your posting that you are sick and tired of the bombings in the mainland, and that you wish the UK would withdraw troops from Northern Ireland.

Unfortunately, this is precisely the sort of attitude that the terrorists are hoping for by continuing their murderous campaigns.

I think that the best advice I've read on this thread is, if the English could remember more history, and the Irish could forget some then we might get somewhere.

I hope the latest developments regarding weapons decomissioning will bear fruit, for the sakes of all those living there.

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: FiveMilesOut ]

Tom the Tenor
11th Aug 2001, 06:49
This thread needs a joke as afterall it is Jetblast! Q: What is the difference between an Apple and an Orange? A: You ever heard of an Apple [email protected]!? Tee, hee!

Blacksheep
11th Aug 2001, 07:14
Five miles...

You're right, the Irish problem is all about history. But as long as the IRA are provided with British troops to shoot at, we continue to make more history for them to fight about.

The same is true of other places too - the Balkans are a prime example - where stepping between the two sides doesn't do anything to solve the problem. It only makes things worse in the long run, and in the short run they turn on the referee. Just ask a policeman about the risks of intervening in a domestic fight.

Our politicians have plenty of problems to deal with in our own country without worrying about foreign domestic affairs. I've already suggested they may like to start clearing up the mess that a long series of politicians have ignored in many parts of the country beyond Watford.

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Through difficulties to the cinema

Steepclimb
11th Aug 2001, 15:36
Blacksheep, so It has nothing to do with you? It's just a domestice affair in some foreign country. If only it was.
The fact of the matter is that it is considered to be a domestic British matter by far too many people. In Belfast you could see slogans painted on walls that said 'Irish go home'. Think about that for a minute. The people who wrote that weren't being ironic. Despite their ancestors having being there for at least six hundred years they do not consider themselves Irish. They are colonists surrounded by hostile natives.
They describe the Irish government as a foreign goverment meddling in the domestic affairs of the UK. As you can see a sense of irony is not big there. Their Britishness is worn as shield against the damm natives.

It was John Major I think who said that Northern Ireland was a British as the home counties. Therein lies the problem.

The reason bombs are planted in Britain by terrorists is to put pressure on the British government. No amount of dead Irish people impacts on the British people as much as one single bomb in a British street.
The original SAS suggestion was made on the foot of the bomb in Ealing. No amount of similar bombs have the same effect if they're planted in a town in Northern Ireland.


For what it's worth though, I believe that for some time now the British Government has been trying to do the right thing by everyone. With some success until lately. The real test is ahead, whether the Unionsists believe the democratic will of the majority means everyone in the North or only those of the Unionist persausion.

For those of you who might accuse me of one sided bias, let me tell you that only two days ago I became involved in a heated argument with people who have the same simple minded attitude to the 'Irish problem' displayed by one or two here. I was told to be 'careful what I said' with all the threat that implied. I was accused of being a 'hun' and a 'west Brit'. Because I dared to question their Republican version of events. Ignorance it seems is not just one sided.

HugMonster
11th Aug 2001, 16:12
Depressing, isn't it, to think that, but for the gerrymandering that went on early last century, but for imperialist jerks like Carson and, unfortunately, Rudyard Kipling, there would have been no "Northern Ireland".

What was a small minority in the country would have had to bow to the expressed will of the majority and they would have been Irish instead of mock-British.

There would have been no row in the Dail about the treaty, no Civil War in the "Free State", Michael Collins would have lived to have been the very able administrator he had already shown himself as, and his talents would have been used for peace.

There would have been no "troubles" in the North, and Ulster would still be nine counties rather than being thought of as six.

Northern Ireland is "as British as the home counties"??? I always said John Major was a muppet. One of the great tragedies of the North is how the Prods think of themselves as British - they really don't realise how Irish they are. I don't think I've seen a bowler hat on the mainland since I was a very small child.

As I write this, an article on Radio 4 news announcing that the Apprentice Boys are conducting their traditional standoff with the police, wanting to march through the Ardoyne...

What do people want from "tradition"? Do they want to celebrate unity, honour, something that produced peace and something glorious, or do they want to celebrate division, oppression, fear, religious bigotry and hatred?

It always struck me as odd that the "right" to march down the Garvaghy Road was expressed as the freedom of worshipping as the individual wished. Nobody stopped them getting to the church. All that was stopped was a confrontational march through the home streets of their victims.

Would it be considered appropriate for veterans of two world wars to march through German towns with bands playing tunes whose words express such noble sentiments as, in effect, "Lie down and die, you Krauts"? Somehow I think not.

StressFree
11th Aug 2001, 16:32
HugMonster,
Absolutely TOP post old chap, this sorry situation cannot be put better than it has been in your posting.

Binoculars
11th Aug 2001, 18:25
My grandparents are English and Irish, I am Australian. Most people who were born in this ludicrously lucky country shake their heads in various stages of wonder at the horrors that assail other older countries and empires. We tend either to dismiss them all as nutters who should go down to the surf, have a game of beach cricket, a barbeque and a few beers and sort their problems out in one night as we do, or recognize that there are historical remnants we are mercifully free from, and whisper quietly to ourselves "there but for an accident of birth go I".

Many of us in the second category are fascinated and appalled at the events that play themselves out in any of the world's hotspots. My Irish ancestry is republican, and since ignorance wants a shingle to hang its hat on, naturally the Catholics were the guys in the White hats. Fortunately education teaches us that rarely are all the good guys on one side.

To whoever it was who suggested this thread should just go away and not stir up passions, I think you are very wrong. Almost every post teaches me something. Some of them make me understand the Good Guys' position a little better, the response from the Bad Guys adds a little more to the total picture.

The rabid "hang 'em high" posters I can filter out myself; reasonable people are not swayed by extremism from either side. But passion such as Steepclimb's cannot be dismissed as extremism, and neither can Blacksheep's despairing thoughts. Huggy approaches it from the perspective of a referee constrained by his own humanism, and I for one am grateful for the chance to hear input from all sides. TG... well, TG, you keep telling us you don't give a **** what anybody thinks of your opinion, so why do you keep adding it? Sometimes, methinks, even for those without a university education who dismiss those with one as "sneering intellectuals", it pays to listen instead of talk.

Finally, for those who don't despair of the novel as an art form, I would like to hear the opinion of anybody posting on this thread who has read Campbell Armstrong's "Jig". Yes, it makes no secret of its ultimate leanings, but overall I found it a beautifully written novel that stayed in my mind as few novels do, and I learned more about "The Troubles" than I did from a hundred boring school texts.

Keep up the good work, people. This is what Pprune is all about for mine.

Edited for beer.

[ 12 August 2001: Message edited by: Binoculars ]

Rollingthunder
11th Aug 2001, 20:09
Members of the Protestant Apprentice Boys
have gathered in Londonderry for one of the
biggest events in the marching calendar.
The city is hosting the annual Relief of Derry celebrations which recall the 1689 retreat of the Catholic forces of King James II who had besieged the city.
About 10,000 Apprentice Boys and 170 bands
are taking part in this year's celebrations.
Local Apprentice Boys in Londonderry have
completed a circuit of the city's historic walls ahead of the main parade. Several hundred members of the Loyal Order were accompanied by a band for the one mile walk before a wreath laying ceremony at the
cenotaph in the Diamond area of the city.
They then attended a Service of Remembrance
in St. Columb's Cathedral.There's a visible RUC presence in and around the city centre and new crowd control measures have been put in place in the Diamond. The police have erected perspex screens to keep any rival factions apart. Last year, the parade passed off without major incident, despite an earlier bomb alert which closed a railway line leading into the city.
This year, the Northern Ireland Parades
Commission has placed restrictions on a
number of so-called feeder parades in Belfast,County Armagh and County Londonderry.
These are preliminary local lodge parades being held before the lodges travel to Londonderry for the main demonstration.
The loyal order has been barred from walking part of its proposed routes on the Ormeau Road in south Belfast and in Ligoniel in north Belfast.
The Belfast Walkers Club has been barred
from marching along the mainly nationalist
lower Ormeau Road from the Ormeau Bridge
to Havelock Bridge. The Order's annual Ormeau parade was banned from the same area last August. In north Belfast, the Ligoniel Walkers Club is prohibited from marching between the junction of Hesketh Road and Crumlin Road and the junction of Woodvale Parade and Woodvale Road.

The commission said it felt it was necessary to bar the Apprentice Boys from part of the route because the parade would take place "against the background of continuing local community tension".

However, the loyal order may hand over a
letter of protest at the decision.
Nationalist areas
Tensions have been high in north Belfast for
the past month with outbreaks of sporadic
rioting between nationalists and loyalists in
Ardoyne, the Halliday's Road area near Tigers
Bay, at Alliance Avenue and the Limestone
Road.

There have also been a number of bomb
attacks on homes on both sides of the peace
line.

Meanwhile, in Lurgan, County Armagh, the
Apprentice Boys parade is banned from
entering the Lough Road and William Street.
And there have been restrictions on the route
of a parade in Bellaghy, County Londonderry.
The parade has been restricted from entering
the Rectory on the Ballynease Road and the
Orange Hall in William Street.

BBC on-line

About as sad as it gets.

trolleydollylover
11th Aug 2001, 20:27
With regard to the above post. Rioting is just as much a sport as throwing stones at RUC vehicles or painting watching Celtic versus Rangers. They all do it both sides. I have vivid memories of rioting all evening, the pubs close and the police lines draw back and everybody goes home!

Generally the focus of the problems is not the Army it is the RUC. The kids love to hate the RUC during silly season. Its just a game to them.

Some body mentioned that the Loyalists were hiding behind the Army and the British Government. Let me tell you, that the Loyalists would kill a member of the security forces without hesitation if it supported their aims.

I personally despise the their motives and methodology as much as the unionist. They are all a bunch of gangsters and crooks, who hide behind history to increase their own financial aims.

In the 21st Century this sort of nonsense is going on in the western edge of the richest part of the world.

I never ever wish to see Ireland again for the rest of my days.

Blacksheep
12th Aug 2001, 11:37
Rolling Thunder's post serves to emphasise that Northern Ireland really is far from being British. The relief of Derry? In 1680? What on earth that has to do with anything I cannot imagine but hey, I'm British, how could I be expected to understand?

It isn't devolution they need, its independence.

**********************************
Through difficulties to the cinema

Velvet
12th Aug 2001, 22:41
At the end of the day, no matter what the politicians decide, the Irish people have to live (or die) with the consequences. Isn't it time, as I've said before, to stop treating them like squabbling children who can't be trusted to play nicely together and so are kept in separate playpens.

Why do the Irish put so much store by a particular route, or a certain area - just because some decades or centuries ago it marked some possibly historic site. To the point where they are prepared to riot, maim, injure and even kill just so that they can march from a to b.

No matter how much the Northern Irish maintain they are Britsh, like Huggy says they are Irish to the core.

Ultimately, will someone please tell me what the past 30 years have achieved for the Irish - what all the meaningless deaths and violence have done for them as a nation, country or people.

I too have learnt much from this thread and it has been interesting and am glad that people have taken the time and effort to give their views.

Earlier today I travelled back from Wales, and on one of the stations I was presented with the unedifying spectacle of an English policeman reading the riot act to a rather cowed foreigner (well he was cowed by the end of the ten-minute lecture). The unsuspecting foreigner had innocently left his baggage (too much to lug with him) on the station whilst he went to get coffee and a snack - because there was a queue it took him some ten minutes or so, and in that time the police had turned up.

He spoke limited English, was on holiday and obviously didn't know, in the policeman's words ' England is in the grip of terrorism. Actually, nor did I until I overheard the rather over-bearing loud berating of a tourist; he was told in no uncertain manner that unattended bags were liable to be destroyed and the owner arrested and charged (undefined).

Now, I understand that bombs and possible threats are a serious matter, but aren't we in danger of losing more from fear than we gain from security.

[ 12 August 2001: Message edited by: Velvet ]

Doctor Cruces
13th Aug 2001, 01:41
Steep Climb,

Thank you for calling me a moron for my views!

Having myself and my family as a "legitimate target" for over two decades has perhaps skewed my perspective somewhat.

Maybe having to look under my and my wife's car every day with a mirror for bombs or anything else suspicious has hardened my attitude.

Maybe having to be careful of strangers and varing the routes I drove to work for 20 plus years has made me a tadge irritable with regard to the "Irish question".

Perhaps you have not interred friends who have been murdered by these "people" (hah!) and know that the coffin only contains blackened bits and pieces identifiable only by dental records.

Maybe you have never experienced this and so are not qualified to comment about how a prospective target of these terrorists may now feel.

Until you have, don't criticise.

And yes, I do know the history of Ireland and I do know of the reasons why all this started in 1688. I also understand that if your daddy was killed by the bastard brits than you would want to kill a few yourself.

Well, that doesn't just work for the Irish, believe me!!

HUGMONSTER,

If I give you my account number and sort code you can pay me when you like!!

FFF,

Not significant, just been away for a while.

I abhor all violence (strangely enough) but if you are going to play the game, play for keeps and play it better than the other side. Think how different the Vietnam debacle might have been had the military been allowed to run the show.

And yes, Steep Climb, I DO have to agree with you, it is an emotional reaction, it's not a literal one (as someone has suggested) and one that is born out of years of being on the receiving end and I make no apology for it.

Doc C.

Edits as I read through

[ 12 August 2001: Message edited by: Doctor Cruces ]

[ 12 August 2001: Message edited by: Doctor Cruces ]

[ 12 August 2001: Message edited by: Doctor Cruces ]

HugMonster
13th Aug 2001, 06:23
SO I take it that your call for the SAS to be given free rein to shoot to kill is actuated only y motives of revenge rather than any actual understanding that you claim of the situation in the Province? Or do you approve of state-sanctioned murder? Or was it simply an expression of frustration and anger rather than being intended as a genuine solution?

BTW, the cheque's in the post. :)

Steepclimb
13th Aug 2001, 14:08
Doctor Cruces, maybe you are a product of your experiences. But after 20 years you should know better. Even if what you suggested was not literal, it's the attitude that annoyed me.
Realistically you know it cannot work,it's been tried before and failed before and produced the very situation that led to you being a target.
Anyone who fails to learn from history is doomed to repeat it, do you really want to relearn those lessons. Plenty of people apparently do.

If you are as experienced as you say, then you know how terrorism works. Terrorists cannot defeat the state but they hope to provoke an excessive reaction just as you describe. That little scenario is been played out in Israel as we write. It doesn't seem to be working there either.
My position remains unchanged, murder for political reasons remains unacceptable, no matter who pulls the trigger.

Thats what it boils down to, people dying horribly for a cause that doesn't need a single death.

We at one point were on the same side, different uniforms it's true to say but the enemy was the same. Hugmonster seems to have a similar background yet he managed to take a wholly different slant.

There is no need to lower ourselves to the same level as the killers. We're better than that.

Vauxhall Cross
13th Aug 2001, 22:32
I spent a not inconsiderable amount of time in Ulster working closely with both the RUC and SF. I think that I can safely say that not one of my SF colleagues would be interested in an order where they are given a 'seek and destroy' mandate; and furthermore would be likely to widely leak such an order to demonstrate their disgust. They are professionals; not mass murderers; and to imply that they would sink to the levels of organisations such as Continuity IRA and the Real IRA is to do them a grave disservice.

As has been discussed elsewhere on this thread, there is indeed honour amongst thieves in that all of the senior paramilitaries communicate with each other and have an unwritten agreement that they will not slot each other. To do so would lead to anarchy; and that's something that no one wants, least of all them.

It is a little known fact that the present peace process was in large part germinated through the good offices of an SIS officer who enjoyed cordial relationships with several of the senior Republican paramilitaries.

The present posturing by Sinn Fein/PIRA and the Unionists/UFF is not especially serious - in particular not when one considers that it has taken 32 years to get to this point. I have no doubts that a compromise solution will be found which ultimately will result in the reunification of Ireland.

I suspect that at the end of the day, the Unionists and Republicans will find common cause in what they see as their enemy - the English government.

HugMonster
13th Aug 2001, 23:57
Amen to that, VC, with one correction.

Do not confuse "Nationalist" with "Republican". Likewise, do not confuse "Unionist" with "Loyalist". Very different animals.

To return to your point, if both sides finally see sense in that the common enemy is the British Government, then that's something they have in common with all of us - even Tartan Gannet! :D

trolleydollylover
14th Aug 2001, 00:47
Well said VC. Prehaps you could put your point to the idiots on Radio 4.

Only extra point to make. The organisations came to the table because they couldnt go anywhere else. They were near as dammit beaten. They used the PR machine to get themout the corner. It is funny how the loyalists have tried to use it and failed, (putting weapons out of use).

There does seem to me to be a disparity in the intelligence of these two groups.

Blacksheep
15th Aug 2001, 09:24
Looks like we'll have to send the SAS into Colombia then. I wonder what the Colombians did to upset the IRA? The mind boggles.

Still, its just a matter of time before they invade the USA, then we really will live in interesting times...

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Through difficulties to the cinema