The right to march is worth defending and fighting for!

Who says so?The James Connolly Society and Cairde na hEireann. This republican video documents the banning of the James Connolly Commemoration March in Edinburgh in 1993. The second half of the video shows how organisers rejected the official rulling and “Led by the James Connolly Society a few hundred republicans from Scotland England and Ireland attempted to march on 5th June 1993. Police using heavy-handed tactics tried to deny them their democratic ri[ght]” (4 min 36 secs in). The ban was subsequently lifted. However republicans still remember this ban and talk of how (Page 23):

“Over the years republicans have had to fight for our right to march through the city of Connolly’s birth.” and “Republicans in Scotland fought a successful campaign defending our right to march on our streets and commemorate James Connolly.”

  • [i]”What is “out of line” is the notion that somehow the slaughter of hundreds of innocents is acceptable and justifiable – that there is some sort of hierarchy of perpetrator.”[/i]

    I never said that the killing of any civilian by anyone was acceptable or justifiable. But, I am saying that ignoring the record of HMG and its armed forces and hired thugs is unacceptable and unjustifiable.

    Before criticizing and demonizing the PIRA, I suggest you address the demons in the British/unionist camp whose hands are far bloodier than the PIRA’s.

  • Realist

    Bob Magowan,

    “I never said that the killing of any civilian by anyone was acceptable or justifiable.”

    Good.

    Any chance you could define “combatant”, as per my earlier post? I think it’s important to establish in the context of our discussion.

    “But, I am saying that ignoring the record of HMG and its armed forces and hired thugs is unacceptable and unjustifiable.”

    As you are well aware, I have ignored nothing. I have spoken out against ALL civilian slaughter, including that committed by HMG and Loyalist militants.

    “Before criticizing and demonizing the PIRA, I suggest you address the demons in the British/unionist camp whose hands are far bloodier than the PIRA’s.”

    Refer above.

    Now, whose figures are we working on?

  • Realist

    Bob Magowan,

    “Sutton does, indeed, say that Republican paramilitaries killed 737 civilians. But, I specifically said the Provisional IRA who killed 516 of those civilians.”

    Ok – we’ll lump all republicans together then, similar to your lumping together of HMF & Loyalist militants.

    “In point of fact, it appears reasonable to say that the security forces and the death squads were allies in the war”

    Really? All of them?

    Why then were so many loyalist militants arrested and imprisoned?

    By the way, how many prisoners did IR militants take during the “war”?

    Where did they keep them?

    “PIRA is far less guilty than HMG”

    But massively guilty all the same?

    Guilty of the slaughter of innocents?

  • Resolve

    FAO Realist…

    What I am about to say may seem obvious, and if it does i am happy – because it means that what I thought was your “poor use of logic” was simply your “poor articulation”, far less serious an obstacle to good debate, as the second can be clarified and resolved.

    The general tone of your arguments are very much in accord with my own beliefs. Except in very select circumstances, I could be described as a pacifist. I, like you, abhor civilian murders no matter who commits them. However, what I really object to is the notion that one civilian murder is less serious than another. Now, before you start to punch the computer screen in frustration, I am NOT saying that you think like this, only that you are sending out this message (perhaps unintentionally). So let me make a few points so that you can understand how I came to this (perhaps faulty) impression:

    1. While you have questioned their veracity, the original figures speak for themselves concerning the Provisionals (minus other republican gangs who were most certainly death squads). Yet you reacted in a very hostile way when a simply factual inference was made by Bob McGowan. this suggests an insecurity in your historical and political mindset. SUGGESTS… i am still talking about the impression you have given me. If someone, for example, was to make a statistical point on here villifying the PIRA, something tells me that you wouldn’t object nearly as strongly, if at all.

    2. I understand your point of a “hierarchy of perpetrator”, but is that really what Bob is arguing? If it is, then apologies, i have missed it… but time and time again I have heard him clarify that this is NOT his argument (an argument on which you don’t seem prepared to admit common ground with him; you persist in asserting your belief whilst not accepting that he shares it) e.g.

    “I never said that the killing of any civilian by anyone was acceptable or justifiable”… (Bob McGowan – above)

    Realist, just because one organisation commits fewer unacceptable and unjustifiable acts than another does not sanctify them. Hardly. None of the three of us believe that. You know that we don’t, yet you can’t seem to acknowledge the fact.
    Yet, figues such as these are NOT useless, and failure to scrutinise them suggests more of an “unwillingness to face the truth” than it does offuscate the truth. The are, after all, facts. We can and must analyse the conflict; to me it goes without saying. Warts-and-all history is essential if the two communities in the North are ever to reconcile their conflicting interpretations. Facts seem to be as good a foundation as I can imagine on which to conduct this important work.

    Now, if NI had been (in 1969) a homogenous, peaceful, harmonious democracy, where citizens shared equal civil and human rights, etc… where all had equality of opportunity (if not of result)… then the IRA’s campaign would, indeed, have been an aggressive terrorist campaign. In that case, we could possibly start to look at things with a bit of “legitimate bias” (if you’ll permit me the use of such a crude term)… but, as it all happened, it is a chicken-and-egg debate (i.e. incapable of solving it) to get into “who started it”… was it the anti-democratic and discriminatory Stormont Government? Was it the irredentist “men of violence” (as i quoted earlier)? Of course, chronologically it was the former, but an open debate as to whether this justified the latter’s campaign. We cannot come down on one side or the other. First of all, the IRA did not WANT to kill at all (on the whole – several studies, including that of Dr Harbinson, show that the level of psychopathology in the IRA was very low, no matter what the opinion of the public), they felt it was the only choice. 2. It’s all too easy living in NI in 2006 to condemn “all violence” as unjustifiable.. those there different times, Realist…. So, we all have blood on our hands, and we all have a responsibility to start to understand eachother – the only certain way of preventing its reoccurance…

  • Resolve

    P.S. you may agree with what i have said, and claim “Yes! We do, so don’t try to make it look like one side is worse than the other”… the fact that we are not trying to do that, i will not mention. But there is something that i DO want to ask…

    Considering all that i have said above… and considering your claimed impartiality… why then is it acceptable to be governed by HMG (considering how much blood they have on their hands) but not ok to go into even a devolved executive with SF? Surely the IRA decommissioned and said the “War is over”… yet even aside from their civilian killings here in the north over the years, the UK government are killing civilians alongside the terrorists every day in Afghanistan and Iraq… i put this crude point to you for two reasons… 1. you seem unclear on the definition of “war”; and 2. you claim to equate ALL civilian casualties in terms of their unacceptable nature. Now i agree with no.2, and maybe i am expecting an “unrealistic” amount of consistency from “the Realist”, but i am very interested in your response (i admit to playing devil’s advocate on this thread – i want to see what distinctions you make)…

  • [i]”As you are well aware, I have ignored nothing. I have spoken out against ALL civilian slaughter, including that committed by HMG and Loyalist militants.”[/i]

    Have you? It’s hardly been noticeable except for comments like the one above. And, please point out just where you have directed the level of criticism to HMG, the Army, the RUC, the uup, the DUP and the OO as you have to the PIRA and Sinn Fein.

    I have seen no criticism from you of HMG and the death squads that even remotely approaches the level of vitriol in your criticism of the PIRA and nationalists and republicans in general.

    As I have said before, you would do well to clean out your own house BEFORE you criticize others — especially since your own house if far dirtier than the republican/nationalist house.

    Simple, really.

  • [i]”Any chance you could define “combatant”, as per my earlier post? I think it’s important to establish in the context of our discussion.”[/i]

    Everybody who isn’t identified as a Civilian by Sutton.

    And, if you want me to address the stuff you post, I suggest that you spell my name correctly in the future.

  • Realist

    Resolve.

    “The general tone of your arguments are very much in accord with my own beliefs. Except in very select circumstances, I could be described as a pacifist. I, like you, abhor civilian murders no matter who commits them. However, what I really object to is the notion that one civilian murder is less serious than another. Now, before you start to punch the computer screen in frustration, I am NOT saying that you think like this, only that you are sending out this message (perhaps unintentionally)”

    Sorry – what part of “As you are well aware, I have ignored nothing. I have spoken out against ALL civilian slaughter, including that committed by HMG and Loyalist militants” suggests that I have a notion that one civilian murder is less serious than another? On the contrary…

    I’m for building an island of true equals.

    On another thread, Bob denounced loyalist paramilitarists as “thugs”.

    His reasoning was that they killed numerous innocents.

    Having asked him to declare that republicans who slaughtered innocent civilians were similarly “thugs”, he went somewhat coy.

    We had a long debate.

    In my view, the numbers involved are irrelevent. If you are a “thug” for slaughtering innocent civilians, then it is patently obvious that PIRA had many “thugs” too in their ranks.

    I have asked Bob to confirm his understanding of the term “combatant” – no answer yet – it’s essential to our discussion.

    I have previously asked republicans what the PIRA’s “terms of engagement” in the “war” were – guess what – no answer.

    “you seem unclear on the definition of war”

    That’s exactly what I am trying to establish – a republican definition.

    “why then is it acceptable to be governed by HMG (considering how much blood they have on their hands) but not ok to go into even a devolved executive with SF?”

    You may wish to direct that question to a DUPer.

    I hold it’s party leader directly responsible as being one of the main causes of the recent conflict.

    “Surely the IRA decommissioned”

    I’m not so sure. The recent bunker find lends me to be somewhat sceptical.

    “It’s all too easy living in NI in 2006 to condemn “all violence” as unjustifiable”

    It may be easy, but I have never said that.

    “we all have blood on our hands, and we all have a responsibility to start to understand eachother”

    We do. That’s what discussion is about.

    “First of all, the IRA did not WANT to kill at all”

    That’s a silly comment – to be blunt.

    When you plant a bomb at dog owners dinner, you mean to kill.

    “the original figures speak for themselves concerning the Provisionals (minus other republican gangs who were most certainly death squads”

    Bob lumps HMF together with loyalist death paramilitarists – they had a common enenemy.

    It’s only fair then, by his rules, that we lump all republicans together in the stats – they had a common enemy.

    When we compare apples with apples, Bob’s figures are shown in a somewhat different light.

    Perhaps it is he who does not understand that we will be having no hierarchy of perpetrator.

    A murdering, cowardly bastard is just that – it doesn’t matter what the uniform.

  • Realist

    Bob McGowan,

    “Have you?”

    Yes, repeatedly on this and another thread on whichwe discussed the same topic.

    “I have seen no criticism from you of HMG and the death squads that even remotely approaches the level of vitriol in your criticism of the PIRA and nationalists and republicans in general.”

    You obviously don’t grasp the meaning of the word “all” then, do you?

    What vitriol have I expressed against “nationalists generally”? Stop telling lies to deflect from the core of the discussion.

    I have expressed revulsion at ALL thugs who knowingly slaughtered innocent civilians, regardless of numbers or uniform.

    “especially since your own house if far dirtier than the republican/nationalist house”

    Nationalists killed nobody. Republicans did.

    Like others, the republican house is filthy.

    “Everybody who isn’t identified as a Civilian by Sutton”

    Who would that be then? Former soldiers included, for example?

    I see you’re avoiding the prisoner question Bob -why’s that?

    Where did the Provos keep their prisoners of “war”?

    Have they released them yet?

    Good night Bob.

  • Resolve

    FAO The Realist..

    Thak you for clarifying… the reason why i qualified myself so much was because I was unsure of your position… now i am clear. Thank you for elucidating. There are, however, a few of your comments i take exception to (although, considering our broad agreement, they are relatively insignificant). Let me mention just one:

    1. Intention is not synonymous with desire. When i said that the IRA did not “want” to kill, i did not mean in any way to suggest that they did not intend to. Most PIRA civilian murders were unfortunate victims of military-targetted war acts. The ones that weren’t, were disgraceful (the aforementioned also were, of course).. but, IMO they never “set out” to commit those acts, as if they were the priority, the way the loyalists did… do you accept this point? I also noted Bob’s seeming refusal to call Provisional combatants thugs, but i assumed it could be explained by the point i have just made… in Loyalism, they were thugs almost by definition, whereas in the PIRA (at least until more recently) they were the exception…

  • Realist

    Resolve,

    “Most PIRA civilian murders were unfortunate victims of military-targetted war acts”

    No, they weren’t.

    “IMO they never “set out” to commit those acts, as if they were the priority”

    A ratio of one innocent in every three deaths would suggest that they were integral to the “campaign”. Shameful.

    “in Loyalism, they were thugs almost by definition, whereas in the PIRA (at least until more recently) they were the exception…”

    Over 500 innocent civilians slaughtered by PIRA? Men, women & children. The exception?

    You must be joking.

    I’ll bid you good night.

  • [i]”Bob lumps HMF together with loyalist death paramilitarists – they had a common enenemy.”[/i]

    Hmmm….. Never said that. I lumped the death squads with HMG for the very simple reason that the Army and RUC — agents of HMG and responsible to HMG — propvided the death squads with arms. training, confidential intelligence information, cover and immunity. I’ve been saying that over and over again, Realist, but you attribute the grouping because they had a common enemy. That is hardly what I said.

    [i]”It’s only fair then, by his rules, that we lump all republicans together in the stats – they had a common enemy.”[/i]

    Hardly, since the PIRA did not cooperate with the others and, more often, opposed them to the point of violence. BIG difference, sez I.

    BTW, please provide hard evidence that the LeMons bomb deliberately targetted the dog club. Not speculation, not opinion, but hard evidence.

  • Realist

    Bob McGowan,

    “I lumped the death squads with HMG for the very simple reason that the Army and RUC—agents of HMG and responsible to HMG—propvided the death squads with arms. training, confidential intelligence information, cover and immunity.”

    Some of them, or all of them?

    “the PIRA did not cooperate with the others”

    They did.

    “more often, opposed them to the point of violence”

    Did HNF ever oppose loyalist paramilitaries with violence Bob?

    Why did HMG arrest and imprison so many loyalist paramilitaries?

    Talking of prisoners – any chance?

    “BTW, please provide hard evidence that the LeMons bomb deliberately targetted the dog club. Not speculation, not opinion, but hard evidence”

    You’re right Bob, my apologies – it was a case of anybody unlucky enough to be out for a night would do.

  • Resolve

    FAO Bob… I have sympathy for a lot of what you say, but i want to clarify something. It really is starting to seem like you are trying to “absolve” the IRA. Granted, you have previously stated that this is not the case, and I believe you.. but i am talking more about tone than content…

    Is this motivated by you being much more of a hardliner than you admit? Or is it because you sense that, in public discourse, there is FAR more shame and guilt attributed to the IRA than other actors in the struggle? If it is the second, i am motivated by the same… and i do believe that, while Realists’ all-out condemnation of civilian-murdering thugs is the moral approach (one that you and I share) people who hold it all-too-often remain in silence when such a one-sided argument begins. Not to challenge that mindset is disgraceful, in my eyes…

  • Handy man wi a hanky ball

    What an absoloute load of codswollop. Every one has the right to March (Burntoilet)?? Sure was’nt it those bloody Civil rights marches that orchestrated all of this rubbish in the first place. Should we now ban St.Paddy’s day. You Nationalist have really gotta loosen the auld sphinkter & realise your not the only folk in Ireland /Ulster. After seeing the marches in Scotland with IRA and PLO flags I was wondering who really is the misplaced tribe?

    When I was a kid we had all the tribes out laughing singing and having a great old time. I think maybe Sinn Feinn is so anal, so envious because they see Prods having so much frivolity and drunken riotous joy thay they have forgotten how to have a laugh and a good giggle. Does Sinn Feinn membership neccesitate they all have to look so doure.??

  • dirk

    i find it strange that realist argues like a child, when having a discussion online about serious topics.

    All this line for line business is very bebo like

    I’m curious to know,is he a teenager or an adult

    No offence intended.

  • [i]”Or is it because you sense that, in public discourse, there is FAR more shame and guilt attributed to the IRA than other actors in the struggle?”[/i]

    That is exactly my point, Resolve. I have noted, though, that any attempt to point out the wrongs done by HMG and the death squads is immediately met with a howl of false accusations that I am trying to absolve the PIRA of all guilt. That is simply not true.

    But, it seems to me that there can never be real peace in NI until the British and the unionists also don some sackcloth and ashes, if you will. Seems to me that until and unless they face the reality of their violence, there can never be a real settlement that will stand fpr long.

    And, it also seems to me that it is irrational to give allegiance to a government that has killed some 1,000 innocent bystanders in its attempts to stifle legitimate discontent. Instead, we find far too many people in NI celebrate that campign of terror in their annual “cultural” celebrations.

  • Prince Eoghan

    i find it strange that realist argues like a child, when having a discussion online about serious topics.

    All this line for line business is very bebo like

    I’m curious to know,is he a teenager or an adult

    No offence intended.

    Posted by dirk on Jul 19, 2006 @ 11:25 PM

    I had to chuckle when I saw this post, as I’ve been there. Realist assures that he is of an age above that of a child.

    I think it may be his grand inquisitorial style that grates, or it could be that added to the constant demands to answer, he does so little of it himself or produce any kind of substance. Bob, being such a patient sort, tries to get to the heart of the matter. However I doubt if he will ever be able to get there, not on the other protaganists agenda ye see;¬)

  • Resolve

    Bob

    In a polarised society people are inevitably going to be defensive about criticism (at least when that criticism is not accompanied with an admission of guilt and responsibility). This applies equally to both sides, as is evident on this Blog, albeit with qualifications galore, to convey an inclusive perspective that is usually not there. Many hearts are bitter and grieving from the troubles… 10 years should’ve been enough to complete this process, but not when populist hate-mongers manipulate those people’s fears in order to gain power. Ramming those “cold hard facts” doesn’t melt hearts; they can only be appreciated AFTER reconciliation is complete (whether on a personal or community-wide level).

    Ultimately, I agree with you… most Unionists self-indulge to a sickening level, as if they were the only victims of the troubles; they have irrational fears of all things Irish; otherwise intelligent Unionists often display a shocking lack of the same when it comes to scrutinising themselves… they assume that by opposing “SF/IRA” they are actually fighting for ALL people; after all, what decent person would want them around us?!?!? such a lack of perspective on the big picture is necessary if they are to uphold their ideology, and is understandable considering HMG’s “regimes of truth” (Foucault) operating through the media all these years.

    This is all quite disastrous, and undermines their cause. What would/could be a quite respectable outlook, only appears to be “separatist” (i.e. defined as much by an unwillingness to unite with RoI as it is by a desire to maintain union with GB) and “supremacist” (as evidenced by their unwillingness to emply the same self-scrutiny that they hammer at republicans to undertake, and by their prominent cultural celebrations). While not all Unionists are like this (i have friends who i very much respect as Unionists, friends who view the conflict with the utmost clarity) it is interesting that the majority of quality debate on this blog comes from nationalists. that is NOT a prejudiced statement – i am all too familiar with conceding to Unionist points of view in debate, when their points are good points – it is simply what i have noticed; and if this blog is a portent into NI political thought, they’ll need to sharpen up… HMG no longer derives any advantage from the Act of Union.. they have their own political problems on the mainland, and with oil running out in the North Sea, they’ll not be able to afford the 5-6 billion that goes in here every year. Not only a political distraction and a financial drain, but an embarrassment on the global stage. Ian Paisley, the leader of Unionism in the 21st Century? that fact speaks louder to the world (about Unionism) than “the Doc” ever could… They conveniently use the IRA campaign to vindicate their intransigance, yet their attitude was not really any different all those years ago… ultimately they’ll have to try to understand our dissatisfaction. they must start to appreciate that (while tensions always existed on some level) partition did more for sectarian tensions than anything else, by fusing them into the institutional power structure. When sectarianism frames a constitutional debate, it is 100% intractable. Our priority (by “our”, i mean Unionists and Nationalists alike, plus anyone else concerned) must be to stop the “you guys are worse than us” game… it’ll get us nowhere. They’ll need to realise how pathetic a state of affairs it is to prefer Direct Rule (with its attendant lack of democratic accountability and scrutiny; also its being presided over by a minister with little or no acquaintance with NI’s unique circcumstances) over power-sharing… at some stage they are going to have to question themselves honestly over whether the state of NI might itself be the problem. That will be very tough, and will require much more courage than can be expected (given the quality of their political leaders)…

    I admire your attempt to explain what must be done before a seetlement can be reached, but i don’t share your optimism. In NI, sectarianism is inextricably linked to the constitutionaal question; and, under such circumstances, any attempts at functioning devolved democracy are doomed to failure. when Unionists come to this realisation (as many already have) – when they reaalise this, if they feel themselves willing to accept indefinite Direct Rule as a substitute, they must ask themselves some cold hard questions about the legitimacy of their whole ideology. Sensible and workable alternatives exist on this Island – instead of looking into history, will they have the courage to consider them with 21st century eyes???

  • Resolve

    FAO Bob McGowan

    Also, I want to make this quick point to you..

    You said:

    “That is exactly my point, Resolve. I have noted, though, that any attempt to point out the wrongs done by HMG and the death squads is immediately met with a howl of false accusations that I am trying to absolve the PIRA of all guilt. That is simply not true”..

    I do not even think “The Realist” is a Unionist. And, even if he is, that’s fine.. but i think you mis-interpret him by saying this. He/she was simply pointing out that you preferred to frame your point in terms like :

    “The numbers make it very clear that the PIRA fought a much cleaner war than the death squads and the Security forces”…

    rather than the subtly different:

    “The numbers make it clear that the PIRA fought a much less dirty war than the death squads and the security forces:…

    The content is identical… but, like everything in social interation, HOW you say something says more than WHAT you say….

  • John East Belfast

    Bob, Resolve

    “Sorry, John, but most people know an armed rebellion when they see it”

    I never said it wasnt armed and I suppose as it was politically motivated it was a rebellion but the issue I have tried to impress on you but which clearly isnt getting through is that by the majority world standards it wasnt legitimate.

    Are you saying that any group, with any grievance has the right to bear arms and try and over throw what is a legitimate entity in international law because they cannot persuade the majority of the people they want to unite with and/or overthrow of their arguments – therefore they will coerce by murder ?

    Indeed most damning of all it wasnt given any significant mandate in Ireland – especially in the south. Infact if you read early posts on yesterday’s thread about Unionists and the Union you will see a number of nationalist contributors clearly distancing the ROI from PIRA. Infact they point out that it cost a Govt Minister his position and led to a trial. This was in the very bad early seventies when legitimate nationalist grievances were at their pinnacle.

    Hence by definition all PIRA killings were Murder – that is why in UK, ROI and mainland Europe they were tried as Criminals and spent long periods in prison.

    That is reasoned argument not ridiculously totting up who killed who in uniform and then saying those who killed most in uniform were soldiers and those who killed those not in uniform were sectarian murderers.

    Anyhow I also stressed to you that such statistics were totally meaningless as at anyone time there may only have been 200 active PIRA members and they didnt wear uniforms. Therefore any murders committed by loyalists would have been against people who may or may not have been PIRA combatants or their supporters – academic anyway because it was still illegitimate murder.

    Undoubtedly if PIRA had said who they were and wore uniforms the statistics would have been very difficuly.

    Indeed as I also said to you (which you ignored too) when rogue members of the security forces tried to focus loyalist murders using their intelligence of PIRA combatants you are on here complaining about collusion and loyalist death squads
    I wish you would be consistant because if you believed that all ‘combatants’ were legitimate targets then you should have welcomed such actions as it would undoubtedly have saved many innocent Catholics from the thirst of blood from loyalists.

  • Realist

    “I find it strange that realist argues like a child, when having a discussion online about serious topics.”

    Is that your contribution to the “serious” discussion?

    And you accuse me of being the child?

    Why not try dealing with some of the issues, instead of engaging in manplaying?

    Prince Eoghan,

    “I think it may be his grand inquisitorial style that grates, or it could be that added to the constant demands to answer”

    Oh, I have no doubt it is.

    Perhaps what grates more is the inability/unwillingness of those popped the difficult questions to answer?

    As I have said repeatedly, you ask me anything you like and I’ll give you a straight and frank answer.

  • lib2016

    John,

    International law is made up by those in power at the time. Have a look at what people on the ground actually feel and you will see quite a different picture. The Hunger Strikers are remembered around the world just as ‘terrorists’ like Mandela or McGuinness are respected wherever they go.

    People know who fought against tyrants and their colonialism, and they know who defended it. The Law may be an ass, but people aren’t.

  • Resolve

    FAO Fahn East Belfast…

    Please respond to “lib2016”, because I was about to make an almost identical point in response. You call the state “legitimate”, and I beg to differ. This is the difference that explains our different standpoints today (including our understanding of the IRA’s campaign), and it must be resolved.

    To strengthen lib2016’s point about international law – even as a Belfast Unionist, I am sure that you would concede (at least) the 26 counties’ right to sever links with the Crown and form an independent republic, way back when. But when ‘Dev’ took the case to post WW1 Versailles in 1919 (?) what was the answer? And HMG had no hand in his being refused ‘self determination’? come on….

  • Prince Eoghan

    Realist.

    “As I have said repeatedly, you ask me anything you like and I’ll give you a straight and frank answer.”

    Tried that loads of times, it never worked.

  • [i]”Are you saying that any group, with any grievance has the right to bear arms and try and over throw what is a legitimate entity in international law because they cannot persuade the majority of the people they want to unite with and/or overthrow of their arguments – therefore they will coerce by murder ?”[/i]

    Nope, but the standards to be applied to determine whether a given war is justified or not have been around for a long time, developed by ethicists and moralists over the years. It is Commonly referred to as the Just War doctrine.

    [i]”Indeed most damning of all it wasnt given any significant mandate in Ireland – especially in the south. Infact if you read early posts on yesterday’s thread about Unionists and the Union you will see a number of nationalist contributors clearly distancing the ROI from PIRA. Infact they point out that it cost a Govt Minister his position and led to a trial. This was in the very bad early seventies when legitimate nationalist grievances were at their pinnacle.[/i]

    Revolutions and rebellions rarely have an elkectoral mandate, e.g. here in the US, only about 1/3 of the population supported the rebels, 1/3 sat it out and 1/3 supported the loyalists. The French and Russian revolutions had similar breakdowns. And it’s pretty clear that the resistance groups of WW2 had about the same level of active support. In point of fact, if you look at it objectively, the position and actions or the PIRA are very much the same as the position and actions of the French [i]maquis[/i] in WW2.

    And, whether the PIRA rebellion was justified or not, that does not excuse HMG for the terrorist campaign it ran in NI. Those actions alone justify the armed rebellion of the PIRA.

  • John East Belfast

    Bob

    Very simple question, because from all you have written here I am still not clear on it

    – Do you believe the PIRA campaign was legitimate ?

    I hope it warrants a Yes or No answer

  • Figurre it out yourself.

    Here’s a good reference:

    http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/j/justwar.htm

  • John East Belfast

    Bob

    Are you ashamed or embarrased or something ?

    It really is a pretty simple question

    “Did you (PERSONALLY) consider the PIRA campaign OF 1969 TO 1994 & 1996 TO 1998 to be Legitimate”