Adams: ‘War is Obviously Over’…

A tale of two Gerries – Gerry Adams has just told Gerry Kelly (the UTV show host, not the politician) that “the war is obviously over”, the first time he’s said as much.

  • Pete Baker

    Except, Gonzo.. he then went on to clarify that his comment was based on the IRA statement that the current armed campaign had ended..

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I know.

    The ‘war’ is over, but the ‘struggle’ isn’t, as I’ve written countless times here.

    Your point?

  • Pete Baker

    No Gonzo, my point is that the prevarication continues.. Adams, in that interview – with noted celebrity interviewer Gerry Kelly *shakes head* – reserved the right to excuse the use of violence when expedient.. as he acknowledged he had done in the past.

    In particular I was struck by his imagining of “Why this couldn’t have been done in 1972?”.. a time when he had been arguing that violence was integral to the continuation of the struggle.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    Prevarication over what?

    If you’re expecting Adams to say the war was wrong or wasn’t necessary, you’ll be waiting some time. We’ve known that the “war” has been over some time, in terms of attacks on the Brish goes. The process has moved on from physical force, so he’s playing catch-up, really.

    Adams is kinda stating the obvious; that the war, in republican terms, is over. Obviously, it doesn’t mean he isn’t going to continue agitating for a united Ireland.

    I’m not sure I follow the logic of your comments. Since we agree on your first point, your second would appear to be shifting the goalposts somewhat.

  • Pete Baker

    My second point would appear to be shifting the goalposts somewhat, Gonzo?

    Hardly. My second point was that Adams, in the interview, queried why it had taken so long to get to this point.. when he was intrinsically involved in the continuation of the violence at the time he was imagining, in his celebrity mode, that an end to that violence could have/should have been brought about.

    That’s not shifting the goalposts, that’s pointing out the hypocrisy of the person being interviewed.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    What did you expect? For Adams to suddenly break down live on TV and admit he was wrong?

  • Pete Baker

    Gonzo.. I’m merely pointing out that the actual interview, and I use the word advisedly, wasn’t as ‘ground-breaking’ – to coin a phrase – as it may have appeared from the quote that was focused upon.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    It isn’t groundbreaking. Said as much above.

    But because Adams has now done something that unionists have challenged him to do for years, he’s removed one more excuse for them not to re-enter government with him.

    All Adams’ statements are heavily qualified, but all the attention WILL be focused on those few words, which will add to the pressure on unionists a bit.

    I don’t think you’re disagreeing with me, but somehow managing to in your own way. I just don’t see your points connecting logically, which makes them sort of hard to respond to.

    The logical outworking of all this is to ask what the IRA is actually going to do now that the war is officially over. Many of those activities will be just fine and dandy, but how will people react to ‘peaceful and democratic’ pursuits that tread a finer line? The State has a pretty elastic definition itself, so I can imagine how others will quickly learn what is acceptable in a kind of civil cold war.

    PS: I just did your ‘Which pumpkin face are you?” quiz, and got “grumpy”, so don’t take it personally.

  • The armed campaign has been over for a long time but the struggle continues.

    I don’t see the ground breaking aspect myself.

  • Pete Baker

    “I don’t think you’re disagreeing with me, but somehow managing to in your own way. I just don’t see your points connecting logically, which makes them sort of hard to respond to.”

    Well, Gonzo, I see your argument as resting on an interpretation of the interview as meaning that Adams has declared the ‘War is Over!’

    Which he didn’t do. Qualification are introduced to dispute meaning.. as in this example.. and, as I pointed out, other excerpts from the interview contradict that interpretation.

    As for “he’s removed one more excuse for them not to re-enter government with him.”.. well that’s why he said those particular words.. and why he then recanted them by the qualification.. it enables one argument to one audience and another to another. You’ve been around long enough to recognise that, Gonzo.

    After all.. as he continues to maintain, Gerry doesn’t speak for the IRA.. something he re-emphasised in t’interview.. but I’ll not take anyone else’s word for it either.. I’ll judge it on what I see and what happens.

    In part, because no-one actually involved, on any side, can be trusted for now to tell the public what they are actually engaged in.

  • D’Oracle

    Perhaps wars may be said to be “obviously” over when there is no shooting and indeed when there are no guns with which to shoot ..or is that too obvious.

    Strange thread this !

  • tra g

    It seems that some people will never be happy

    The guns are gone.The war is over.


  • Pete Baker

    Yeah.. tra g.. that was the intention of [some of] Adams’ conditional comments.. but let’s focus on the ‘progressive’ remarks.. and ignore the messier reality.


    Always amusing to see people claim that republicans are removing the Unionist excuses to share power.
    One wonders why it has taken them so long to realise that this “excuse” of only being willing to share power with democrats committed to soley peaceful means has lasted as long as it has.

    After all, republicans had it in their power to call this bluff years ago, but they waited until now, prolonging a needless and pathetic conflict.And still they feel smug that the penny has finally dropped that all they had to do was give up the guns.

  • darth rumsfeld

    and next week on UTV…
    Jenny Bristow cooks a seafood chowder for the boys of the East Tyrone Brigade;

    season ticket reports on a mysterious outbreak of punishment beatings of the Aussie Rules international team;

    Slab Murphy on “I’m not a celebrity, get the F*** out of here”

    ..and on Saturday , the weeks highlight- Barry MeElduff squires Natasha Kaplinsky round the studio in Celebrity(?) Come Dancing

    Time was Gerry’s only TV gig was Crimewatch- far too soon to turn him into Mr Snuggles the weary statesman -shame on UTV, which still hasn’t asked any Shinner the really hard questions one expects of investigative journalism- an extinct practice here perhaps?

  • billy


    “May the ‘third’ force be with you”

  • Comrade Stalin

    but let’s focus on the ‘progressive’ remarks.. and ignore the messier reality.

    I don’t want to get into whataboutery, but there is nobody in Northern Ireland at the moment who has made an unequivocal statement ruling out the use of violence forever in the future. Try to get a unionist to say that UWC was wrong and they will never try a trick like that again, and get back to me.

    GA isn’t in a position to say that “the war is over” any more than George Bush can say “there will be world peace”. And even if he did, do you think anyone would take his words at face value ? Unionists can’t even bring themselves to agree with the words of a Methodist minister.

  • “I don’t want to get into whataboutery…”

    but you will..

    “Try to get a unionist to say that UWC was wrong and they will never try a trick like that again, and get back to me.”

    From what I know of the strike, I believe it was wrong. It depends what aspect of it you mean when you say a “trick like that”, but there are definitely aspects of it I wouldn’t want to see repeated – however civil disobedience can’t and shouldn’t be ruled out completely and unconditionally.

    As for the OP – I think UTV have given up any interest they ever had in serious, balanced political content.

  • victor1

    The Republican war is over…………no mention of the Loyalist/British war being over though.

  • Tiny

    Once again Adams referred to the IRA being on cessation for 11 years, what about the bomb in London and the two policemen shot dead in Lurgan?

  • Regardless if Gerry Adams even gets down on his bended knee wails and laments and begs for mercy from Paisley as only THE MOST Reverend Ian Paisley can forgive him his heinous crimes against Glorious British Ulster, Republicans and in particular the Provisional movement will not be tolerated by the Unionist/Loyalist/British alliance.

    Adams and Co. have given up so many things including; any shred of dignity that he and those who support/fought in the armed conflict had, any right to self determination, any claim to the six counties, etc, AND STILL the Unionist/Loyalist/British alliance claim not enough is being done!

    Provisional SF ‘sold’ decommissioning on the grounds that Unionist/Loyalist/British would have no option but to talk and that the focus would shift to Unionist/Loyalist/British weapons!

    If I was Adams I personally wouldn’t say ANYTHING conciliatory as it will be taken, twisted and thrown back in your face.

  • Comrade Stalin

    however civil disobedience can’t and shouldn’t be ruled out completely and unconditionally.

    UWC wasn’t civil disobedience, it was a paramilitary coup and it was and still is justified by unionism. You may personally think it was wrong just the same as a republican may think that aspects of the IRA campaign were wrong, but that doesn’t change the fact that the people behind it continue to be endorsed at the ballot box.

  • raff
    I would argue the opposite with you, in that IMHO Gerry Adams’ dignity and esteem increases, in direct proportion to his honesty.
    Whereas his oppo Paisley’s esteem decreases in inverse proportion to his dishonesty.
    Maths eh 🙂

  • spirit-level
    “IMHO Gerry Adams’ dignity and esteem increases”

    With whom? The Unionist/Loyalist/British continue to vilify and demonise him and indeed all republicans no matter if they are pro or anti GFA.
    While on a trip to Germany the leading parties snubbed Mr Adams, and even the old faithful – the yanks, have cooled on Mr Adams. So although he is rising in YOUR opinion, not so with many others.

    beano, you feel civil disobedience should not be ruled out. Do you support rioting and all the violence and pain that always accompany them, and don’t mind funds being diverted from hospitals to pay British soldiers and the RUC to stand around and watch them?

  • raff
    I’m not a huge fan of the man GA myself, but you know he’s back. Increasing his public profile, and you can’t afford not to take him seriously; as some of the unionists are, to their peril.


    and you can’t afford not to take him seriously; as some of the unionists are, to their peril.

    Why do people always have to adopt this tone of impending apocalypse for Unionists, if they don’t heed the warnings?
    It’s getting really really dull.

    Stop patronising me and telling me that I better start listening to you, or else.
    What’s going to happen if we contiue to slag of Gerry?
    More nationalsts are going to abandon all pretence of scruples and vote for him in even greater numbers?

    Tell me something I don’t know.

  • Brian Boru

    If the PIRA didn’t intend the war to be over then they wouldn’t have decommissioned all their weapons. Remember John de Chastelain said that the amount destroyed was consistent with security-force estimates.

    Restore the institutions – end the prevarication.

  • Brian Boru

    Please enough hairsplitting from the Unionists over whether the war is over or not. PIRA hasn’t killed any Unionists since 1998. Are you accusing de Chastelain, the Finnish general, Harold Good, and the American witness of all lying? Restore institutions now!

  • darth rumsfeld

    ironically Grizzly’s public profile can increase exponentially but his political clout will stagnate or reduce. In much the same way that the DUP’s promises of leadership that’s working have proven to be somewhat ..ahem..overoptimistic, so Gerry’s been given nearly all the menu and seconds seem rather unappetising.

    When the Government(s) shaft him- as they will definitely do before the next irish general election, we can all laugh as he threatens to …well what exactly?.

    And he can win all the elections he wants- when Unionists held 11 out of 12 seats at Westminster, or 13/18, did it make any difference to the strategic aims of HMG?

    The one and only merit of the Good Friday Agreement was that it had built in the opportunity to one day push the Provos into a corner, which was never taken up until the pressures of their own political class conjoined with the needs of Unionism and the governments , and Gerry was so far into the project that he had no options.

    I know, I know, it’s hard to imagine Gerry being vulnerable to the career ambitions of barry McElduff, but then who would have thought that Trimble would have been dragged down by people like Danny Kennedy? And as the Shinners become increasingly comfortable in grown up politics wait for the day when the factions fall out over the successor, cos there are many low level activists dreaming of being leader in Easter 2016 when the reunification of the ireland takes place – just after Santa is unmasked as a securocrat and man finally Utd win the Premiership again