Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Let's NOT Do the Time Warp Again

My first reaction to the story of the shooting of the two soldiers in Antrim at the weekend by the "Real IRA" (now followed up by the murder of a policeman) was that we'd entered some kind of grim timewarp; that I'd wake up and find that Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister and Ronald Reagan US President. Because I really thought - as I'm sure did practically everyone in Northern Ireland - that we'd put that kind of paramilitary violence behind us. It was heartening to see Martin McGuinness (member of the NI Assembly but most famous for having been a senior member of the IRA back in the days of the Troubles) saying that these guys were trying to fight a war that was already over, and that the Republican movement had moved from murder to the political process. To hear that from one of the guys who twenty years ago would have been out there in a balaclava with an Armalite carried a lot of weight, I thought.

My second reaction was to think that at last now maybe the morons like Melanie Phillips, Cinnamon Stillwell and the assorted detritus of the far right, who keep insisting that all modern terrorism is Islamic terrorism, will shut the fuck up. They may never have heard of ETA (perpetrators of ALL Europe's terrorist murders last year) or of the Tamil Tigers (what, you mean there are brown-skinned Asians who ren't Muslims? who knew?) but even they will have heard of the IRA, and probably know that the "I" doesn't stand for "Islamic". Of course, none of the aforementioned groups targets Americans or Israelis, which is what seems to define "terrorism" for the feeble-minded Islamophobes.

2 Comments:

At 10 March, 2009 15:16, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

We don't get much here except for the headlines. Are there still many old (or new) IRA people there that are active, either politically or underground?

 
At 17 March, 2009 01:24, Blogger Rob said...

Well, until these past few weeks they hadn't really shown themselves. The police reckon the combined numbers of the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA are about 300, so no, not very many. Of course there afre plenty of old Official IRA and Provisional IRA alumni in the government as members of Sinn Fein (most notably Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness), but they have all renounced violence and signed up to the political process. I dare say there are a handful of loyalist paramilitaries as well, still out there nursing their hatred while life moves on.

 

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