Blogger's take on IRA announcement…

IRA is one of Technorati’s top tags at the moment. If you read down through them you’ll get a decent idea of how the world’s bloggers are interpreting the news. In Sri Lanka for example the Tamil Tigers are being urged to follow their example.

  • Florrie Binn

    Save Ulster from Real Politics!!!!!

    There lived one time in Bell-faast a member of the local Corporation who had a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time during meetings. I would not say that this man’s habit and tendency set him apart from the majority of the other Councillors, but he was renowned for the consistency of his interjections which were always, well, colourful. To save any embarrassment, lets call him Councillor McClarrity.

    One day a debate was held at the General Purposes Committee as to what the Corporation should do with all its old fire engines. You see the Government in its wisdom had decided to do away with Belfast’s fire service in favour of a body that would serve the whole of Northern Ireland – The Northern Ireland Fire Brigade. Anyway, all was tense as a number of proposals were forwarded by various Councillors as to how the matter of the redundant fire engines would be dealt with.

    One fine and liberal elected man suggested that the extra engines should be donated by the City to small rural towns who could use them for their own purposes. A noble idea which met with nods of approval.

    Another fine representative thought it best that the City donate them to the new brigade for training purposes. Again, a murmur of agreement was heard at the table.

    The matter was almost ready to be decided by a votewhen Councillor McClarrity indicated to the chairman that he wished to speak on the issue. Eventually, the Chairman, with a deep sense of foreboding, permitted McClarrity to make his point, and, with characteristic impatience, McClarrity rose to his feet. His face contorted as if it had just eaten the last vinegar sandwich on the plate, his eyes piercing, as he pressed the button on his microphone. He began:

    -“Yet again Chairman, this Committee is not carrying out its civic duty to the ratepayers of Belfast to ensure that thee fi-nan-cial resources of this Corporation are adequately used. I would propose that, rather than give these old engines away to a pack of scroungers the old surplus fire engines should be sold by this Council to the new Northern Ireland Fire Brigade, so that the new Brigade can send those old engines to deal with false alarms and, therefore, keep the new ones to tend to the real fires”

    The sound of the committee clerk’s pen falling to the floor was the only sound that interrupted the silence.

    Still – its good to see that real politics are on the way – (Oh God save us!)

  • T.Ruth

    Three wee lads ere discussing their fathers’ literary genius.
    One says, “My dad scribbles words on paper,calls it a poem and they give him fifty quid when it goes in the paper.
    The second one says,”When my da scribbles he puts musical notes on it ,calls it a song and gets a hundred quid.
    The third,not to be out done retorts,”That;s nothing,”My da scribbles about four pages calls it a sermon,and it takes eight people to lift all the money.
    T.Ruth

  • Thomas from Texas

    Didn’t make the 12th parades as I had planned, but there’s never enough time to do everything, perhaps next summer. Freaking sun-tanned from being in Cork city? I’m starting to think there’s some Irish government office paying off you guys to tell foreigners about the “awful” weather on the island. Sunny, bright weather everytime I come. What’s up with that? I might as well stay home. Anyway,other than being delighted at the recent news, it reminded me of years ago when the West Germans I once worked with used to laugh at me when I suggested that someday Germany would be united. I’m getting that same feeling about the IRL.

  • T.Ruth

    Texas Tom
    What’s this I hear about America wanting to give Texas back to the Mexicans and Alaska to the Russians. My feeling is that will happen before Unionists give up on their wish to remain within the UK.
    I must say I was disappointed that there was no Ulster Flag on display when I visited the Alamo a few years back=though I guess Lord Laird who is great at prioritising and who is an authority on Taxis and just about everything has that sorted with an appropriate grant.
    T.Ruth

  • Alan McDonald

    T.Ruth,

    As a “blue state” American, I would be more than happy to give Texas back to Mexico and Alaska back to Russia.

  • Vera

    Give Texas back to Mexico? Oh, can we, please!

    There was a Californian poster named James on here some time back who once proposed that we give pieces of Texas to the various paramilitary factions in NI. Something to do with there usually being a land settlement involved in standing down Central American paramilitaries, but since there wasn’t land availible for that in NI he volunteered bits of West Texas. I though it was a stroke of genius, killing at least three or four birds with one stone.

  • MT

    My feeling is that will happen before Unionists give up on their wish to remain within the UK.

    T Ruth,
    The Unionists may have to give up their demographic majority in Northern Ireland.

  • Levitas

    Sounds to me like an awful lot of thinking will have to be done by the unionists now, you see the IRA move has played so well with the worlds media, do any of the unionists actually ever listen to the BBC world service and its round up of international coverage especially in the all important USA? Its doubles and back slaps all round for Gerry and Martin, and theres even a little gleam of post-IRA nostalgia growing in the US media “rebels who fought the one of the most formidable armies in the world ” was a quote on a world service vox-pop from LA. If the unionists continue to throw their rattles from the pram they are shown up, or if they enter negotiations then its seen to be a loss of face from they’re “NEVER NEVER” stance..Either way mark my words I have it on good authority,that theres now going to be a LOT of pressure applied to the DUP by the Brits and the Yanks…many of the senior civil servants are quite relishing putting the thumbscrews on them politically (since they are so personally obnoxious,one thing the provo’s never lacked was a serious and consistent effort to be pally with the Brit civil servants, whereas the DUP were almost always noticeably rude-ask any of the Brit support team at Leeds Castle )…You see the USA and Britain WANT this sorted BIG TIME, and the egotists and bombasts of the DUP will soon melt when confronted by the sheer heat of the power of US/Brit “gloves off” tactics which will now ensue.
    Now, the provies are the good boys in the class, and according to my sources theres the little matter of some quite smelly canards concerning leading DUP’ers and other Unionist obstructionists which may well be used to apply pressure….the Brits and most importantly the USA have all the cards. and a very full file on Paisley’s confederates,at least two minor functionaries of the aforesaid are said to be in the pay of the Brits anyway.This dynamite, it is confidently expected is sufficient powerful to blow a whole in this apparent wall of resolute obduracy, it should take about 6 months for face saving purposes.

  • D. Leonard

    [Edited – Moderator]

  • Alan McDonald

    D.Leonard,

    As a fellow American I see in your comment a point of view that I think is more common than commented on, i.e., we are only anti- the terrorists that are not doing what we want.

  • 6countyprod

    Veritas: IRA move has played so well with the worlds media

    Obviously you haven’t seen this morning’s New York Times. They are not very impressed with the words of the IRA.

    The Daily Telegraph also has an illuminating piece on the semantics of the statement.

    Sometimes journalists are not quite as gullible as you might think, no matter what D. Leonard says.

  • Comrade Stalin

    D. Leonard, you should be aware that most IRA supporters identify with the PLO and the Palestinian cause. Few people, if any, in Ireland identify either with the Israelis or any other aspect of American foreign policy these days.

    Food for thought as you guys go rampaging around the globe nicking people’s oil and calling yourselves patriots.

  • 6countyprod

    Boston Globe editorial: By not dissolving itself and giving up its weapons, as we on this page and many in Northern Ireland hoped it would, the IRA left itself with a checklist of tasks to demonstrate its bona fides for peace.

    …The statement makes much of unionist failure to fully accept the Good Friday peace process. But unionists’ reluctance to share power with Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political agent, is understandable when its would-be partner comes with its own private army.

    …The statement makes much of unionist failure to fully accept the Good Friday peace process. But unionists’ reluctance to share power with Sinn Fein, the IRA’s political agent, is understandable when its would-be partner comes with its own private army.

    Sounds like, even in Fort Irish America, the DUP and unionist viewpoint has pierced through the hype, and smoke and mirrors of Irish republican propaganda. The editorial finishes with a certain scepticism:

    If the IRA keeps its word, Blair will be justified in proclaiming that ”politics replaces terror on the island of Ireland.”

    So, for the people of Boston, the ball is still in the SF/IRA court.

  • 6countyprod

    D. Leonard:

    I have met quite a few former Marines, and some special ops guys, and I doubt if even one of them would agree with your assessment that the IRA are freedom fighters who like the American Revolutionaries, fought and defeated the British. Freedom fighters, that’s debatable; fought, that’s a fact; defeated, the IRA called it a campaign/war. They have stopped without reaching their objective. The British Army always functioned under the handicap that it was a containment operation.

    Take Comrade Stalin with a pinch of salt. Everybody, well almost everybody, in Ireland, North and South, loves America and Americans. In the north, some nationalists support the Palestinian terror tactics, and oppose US foreign policy; and unionists generally support Israel’s right to exist, and US might.

  • bertie

    There are many unionists who support Israel. Some of it is because they know about and are interested in it. (My own ignorance on the subject is immense.) There are probably others who feel an affinity on the basis of my enemies enemy is my friend. The republicans support the PLO the PLO is against Israel…. I suppose that is actually a case of the enemy of the friend of my enemy is my friend).

    Wasn’t there something way back about the far right in Europe wanting to fund and arm the UDA or UVF or one of the others, but part of the deal was that Jews had to be targeted. The deal fell through because of pro Isreal support by “loyalists”.

    A transcript of the discussions would make interesting reading.

  • Comrade Stalin

    6countyprod :

    “Everybody, well almost everybody, in Ireland, North and South, loves America and Americans.”

    I never claimed otherwise, I do after all often visit the US and have many friends there.

    Instead, I said that there is very little support evident in either the UK or Ireland for US foreign policy. You will find that most nationalists are on the side of the Palestinians even if they do not necessarily endorse violent methods.

  • Dave

    Some posters need to get a grip on reality, How on earth does the defeat of the “military” wing to SF/IRA equate to a United Ireland?

    The Irish Terrorists Organisation (the provos)have been defeated,if some people are unable to grasp that fact there will be little hope for peace.

    A United Ireland is not going to happen in the next one Hundred years.

    lets see how SF/IRA handle the democractic process,I bet (10-1) they will cheat I will also bet (10-1) they will go back to what they know best (terrorising)under a different of course.

    The IRA have been defeated
    The IRA have been defeated
    The IRA have been defeated
    The IRA have been defeated.

    If you say it often enough people will believe it, you know what I mean it is a bit like the United Ireland thing?

  • Young Irelander

    Dave,

    The pursuit of a United Ireland was not an aim exclusive to Sinn Fein or the IRA. The biggest stumbling bloc to Irish unity was the continued existence of the IRA. With them out of the way, nationalists can now put forward their arguements for a United Ireland.

  • Young Irelander

    Dave,

    The pursuit of a United Ireland was not an aim exclusive to Sinn Fein or the IRA. The biggest stumbling bloc to Irish unity was the continued existence of the IRA. With them out of the way, nationalists can now put forward their arguements for a United Ireland.

  • 6countyprod

    Dave, the IRA has not been defeated. They have just come to the realization that violence and terrorism, in the present world context, is counterproductive and will accomplish nothing for their objectives. But, you are right in saying they could come back. That’s why the verifiable destruction of their weaponry needs to take place.

  • martin

    DAVE,

    This is only a matter for military historians now but the fact is that the IRA defeated the British.

    as regards your comment about the provos ending their campaign before their objective of reaching a United Ireland—maybe secretly the deal has already been done.

    At the time of the hunger strikes the British wouldn’t grant the POW’S 5 demands–because they couldnt bear to admit defeat,a secret deal was made–the hunger strike was ended and afterwards the 5 demands were granted,——saving face means a lot to Britain.

    The case in hand is similar—the British were defeated but they cant be seen to admit it–I and many others know that all through the troubles they cut the numbers of their casualties and had a policy of geographicing their casualties to not cause upsets on their home front.

    The new situation is this–privately both the IRA and the Brits know that the British Army and the police took a hammering–The brits want out of Ireland anyway but cant be seen to be forced to go-so like at the time of the hunger strikes–end Republican campaign first and hey presto chango in a short while well give you what you want-just help us to do it without us admitting defeat.

    Can you imagine the reaction of Loyalists if Tony Blair got on TV and said that the British could no longer afford or sustain the casualties in the north of Ireland and that he was handing it back in the near future.