Operation Banner

While how to deal with the past continues to be discussed, the Army has produced its official analysis of its operation in Northern Ireland, Operation Banner (pdf file). The document does not claim victory rather that it had “shown the IRA that it could not achieve its ends through violence” “The violence was reduced to an extent which made it clear to the PIRA that they would not win through violence.”. The document was released under an FoI request by the Pat Finucane Centre who have criticised the analysis.It seems the BBC NI is doing some rowing back/clarification from what it said earlier.

The original article said the following:
“The Army has admitted for the first time that it did not win the war against the IRA. ”

It now says:
“An internal British army document examining 37 years of deployment in Northern Ireland contains the claim by one expert that it failed to defeat the IRA.”

The quote marks in the headline were also removed. Although they still make no mention that the document talks of the “defeat of the PIRA” and call the operation a “major achievement”, a “success” and a “unique” one at that.

UPDATE: You will note I have added a strikethrough in ” shown the IRA that it could not achieve its ends through violence”, this is because despite a number of searches I cannot find this phrase in the report, despite it appearing in quotation marks in the BBC report. I have lifted a direct quote from the report. If any of you find the original BBC quote in the document, please tell me and I will restore it.

  • willowfield

    DAWKINS

    “Never” is an awfully long time. Which is why my conjecture about a war stretching into the next century is hardly stretching it.

    First, there was no “war”. Second, even if the Provo campaign had continued for another six years, that doesn’t mean they would have “won”.

    I do not believe the IRA “gave up”

    So you think their terror campaign is still continuing? You’re a bit out of touch!

  • willowfield

    SEAN

    Just the fact that you said MOST of their operatioons were being aborted means not all and therefor they were not defeated

    So the Japanese weren’t defeated in 1945 because some of thieir operations weren’t being aborted?

    Odd view.

  • Sean

    to classify the Catholic IRA as “a professional, dedicated, highly skilled and resilient force” and then classify Protestant UDA & UVF who killed many IRA terrorists over a three decade period as “little more than a collection of gangsters” is stereotypical propaganda

    Laugh out Loud for sure

    The protestant terrorists were not at all proficient at killing IRA terrorists their real skill was in killing Catholics who made the mistake of walking down the roads at night alone infact the only terrorists the UDA and UVF were good at killing were their own protestant terrorists and innocent bystanders

  • Sean

    willowfield not at all the Japanese were defeated because their central governing bodies were defeated

    The same can not be said about the IRA who if your side can be believed are still
    1 Heavily Armed
    2 Flush With Cash
    3 Still In Operation

    So pick an arguement are they defeated OR are they still an active threat? You can’t have both you know

  • Dewi

    Whatever the morality of their activities I was always struck by the ingenuity of the IRA. Under massive surveillance, riddled with informers, weakened by ceasefires and up against one of the best armies in the world they still managed to blow up Canary Wharf causing millions of pounds of damage and killing two people.

    Delighted it’s over – these conflicts have a terrible self catalytical dynamic and how the Sinn Fein leadership managed to get IRA to stop was pretty impressive – Ed Maloney’s “A Secret History of the IRA” a real eye opener for me.

  • willowfield

    That doesn’t work. If they failed to achieve their goal they lost. The fact that they gave up their campaign and their weapons also makes it difficult to claim “victory”!

  • willowfield

    Above was in response to Sean.

  • Sean

    But weeping willow according to the onionists the IRA is more than capable of continuing the war tomorrow, so how are they defeated

    And you do realise by claiming that the IRA were defeated you have also admitted that it was a war

  • Sean

    Dewi

    It is kind of funny that for years the unionists portrayed the IRA as a bunch of turnip farmers and street thugs but the army had whole departments of scientists dedicated to try and keep one step ahead of them

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Turgon,

    My response was to the following comment – ’The Unionists will not be apologising for anything’. I’m not suggesting that we all go around apolgising to each other as we’ll end up like the Harry Enfield’s Juergen the German (‘I am apologising for my country’s actions during ze Var’). However, Unionism as a community and as an ideology, including its various strands such as Loyalism and Orangeism, needs to take a long hard look at itself to ensure that the mistakes of the 20th century are not repeated in the 21st century. I’m thinking of the discrimination and gerrymandering pre-1968, the aversion to power-sharing, the electorial support for overtly sectarian politicians and those politicians with close-links to paramilitaries, the demonisation of moderates, and the general ‘cold house’-ing of Northern Ireland (amongst other things).

    As a Unionist, its in your interests to make Northern Ireland work for ALL its inhabitants and that can’t be done by burying your head in the sand and not acknowledging past mistakes. To do so will not justify the actions of violent republicanism, whose atrocities were an affront to human decency. I don’t know whether the ‘The Unionists’ should apologise for anything, I’m quite sure that ‘The Unionists’ were not whiter-than-white, and yes, a period of introspection on The Unionist role in the conflict would be a good thing.

  • Dewi

    Paragraph 413 says that the Army considered laying minefields across the border (quickly dismissed admittedly) – I’d never heard that suggested before.

  • lib2016

    This is all too reminiscent of those sad British types one meets who look at the success of France and Germany and cry ‘..but WE won the war!’.

    Both sides are doing well out of the peace but the unionist community will have to realise that the world has changed, and Britain is finally catching up with it.

    The English and their army are leaving….the next Democratic administration in America will deal with any more delay in implementing that! This has obvious connotations for the unionist middleclass whose offspring see no future for themselves in a powersharing arrangement, not to mention all those less affluent unionist families who staffed the sectarian security arms of the Orange state.

    Meanwhile the Southern economy provides a continuing reason for nationalists of all religions to demand ever closer links with Dublin. Soon enough it will become obvious that acess to political power also lies in Dublin, for both nationalists and the Scots-Irish community.

    The current Orange hysteria can’t last. That world has passed away everywhere else and it is on it’s last legs here.

  • Turgon

    Mickhall,

    That piece is a combination of MOPEry and cheerleading for terrorism/crime.

    “resulted in many people committing what you regard as crimes.”

    Quite clearly you do not regard these as crimes. At least unlike some cheerleaders you are honest in your immorality. Though I must admit blaming the unionist community for Enniskillen -“share a responsibility for all that flowed from that decision, including I might add the atrocity that was committed at Enniskillen”- is probably the most unpleasant insult I have read here. It is clear from statements like that what you and your mentors mean by “unionist engagement”.

    I am fascinated if Enniskillen was an atrocity and was committed by the IRA do you condemn it and them for committing it? Oh yes of course it was the unionists fault!

    Thankfully the overwhelming majority of people of all political views in Northern Ireland reject this pathetic cheerleading and support for murder.

    The World’s Gone Mad
    To give you credit your argument does not seem based on the same “It was the Prods’ fault” narrative.
    I do not feel either the unionist community or the nationalist community have a “role in the conflict” in the way you describe other than to die under the guns, knives and bombs of the criminals.

    There was no cause on this island in the last fifty years that justified the murder and destruction visited upon us.

  • lib2016

    Turgon,

    People don’t simply take up arms for no reason. I happen to believe that there were better ways to right the undeniable wrongs perpetuated against the minority community but that doesn’t blind me to the fact that, certainly after Bloody Sunday, an explosion was inevitable.

    In fact, strangely enough when nationalists used civil disobedience tactics just as Ghandhi used against the same oppressive British state (the Hunger Strikes spring to mind) unionists are the first to condemn them.

    In any case the rush to deny and minimise their own behaviour by unionist representatives simply means that they will not be trusted with real power.

    The balance is changing and the current nationalist leaders will not live forever. You really believe that ‘power-sharing’ will be enforced by outside agencies when the next generation comes along? That the BA will rush back into the Bogside or arrest elected representatives.

    The ‘Cruiser’ was right – do a deal now while you still can.

  • Turgon

    Lib 2016,

    “People don’t simply take up arms for no reason”
    I agree entirely the IRA seem (like the assorted loyalist paramilitaries) to have been motivated by a desire to kill and destroy their neighbours for being the “other sort.” Bigotry, hatred, intolerance seem to have been their “reasons”.

    “I happen to believe that there were better ways to right the undeniable wrongs perpetuated against the minority community”. -So does that mean that you can condemn the IRA campaign of murder and destruction. Or are you like the other cheerleaders?

    Of course the terrorists created pseudo-reasons. Most murderers do. As I said in the last post “There was no cause on this island in the last fifty years that justified the murder and destruction visited upon us.” I invite you to accept the truth of the statement.

    Republicans do not seem to understand that until they accept that the campaign was completely immoral and wrong many unionists will not accept “outreach”. Actually they may well know the truth of this but are so morally warped that they cannot accept it.

  • lib2016

    Turgon,

    I believe that your attitude is both common and selfdefeating, especially on the unionist side. Thankfully our politicans on both sides realise that, in the interests of their own communities, they must learn to live together.

    Already our politicans are working together to influence Dublin and Brussels. Those who can’t be part of that will exclude themselves from all power, as McAllister is already doing.

    You can’t believe that he has any credibility abroad in an age when his history can be looked up on google.

  • Turgon

    Yes lib2016. You do indeed seem to be a cheerleader for terrorists. Is it really that difficult to accept that murdering people is morally wrong? Most people on this island seem to have no problem with that concept.

    I see you do not do unionist outreach. At least that has an internal consistency.

  • qubol

    Turgon your tactic of asking posters to condemn the IRA is pathetic. Its possibly the most ridiculous form of avoidance I’ve yet to see. Your black and white approach to morality runs aground when faced with the countless atrocities committed in the name of Britain by your government and her partners in the various loyalist groups and RUC. Instead of name calling perhaps you might take the time to think.

  • Turgon

    Qubol
    “Turgon your tactic of asking posters to condemn the IRA is pathetic”. No it is useful to establish which people here support the murders of members of my community.

    I condemn murders by loyalist terrorists including murders committed against IRA members. I also condemn any murders where there was any collusion.

    The fact that I see murder as a “black and white” issue is actually fairly typical amongst civilised people the world over..

    Since I am name calling as you so helpfully suggest are you another cheerleader?

  • qubol

    “Since I am name calling as you so helpfully suggest are you another cheerleader?”

    If it makes you happy – I’ve no problems in declaring my support for the IRA.
    I’m not going to reciprocate though and endlessly question you about your feelings as to each and every atrocity to ascertain your moral rectitude. Whats the point? Sitting on your high horse achieves nothing, if anything views like that prolonged the conflict.

  • Turgon

    Well I have clearly had the wrong target. On the other thread lib2016 has said s/he opposes all forms of violence. That is good enough for me.

    I am sitting on no moral high horse. It is not my fault that you are in a moral gutter supporting the murder of so many people.

    I do find it odd though that you talk of atrocities yet do not comdemn the perperators of the atrocities.

    We will agree on one thing, though, there is little point in my wasting my time talking to someone who supports murder.

  • turgon,

    You clearly have no intention of engaging in any debate, when you disagree with what someone writes, you ignore their points and harp on about do they or do they not support murderers etc.

    Like far to many religious people, you pontificate about morality from your mountain top whilst ignoring the human factors. Personally I find your inability to even consider the other sides motivation very unchristian and see little point in replying to your hectoring demands.

    I wish you well

  • Dewi

    Turgon – it’s easy to observe from afar without appreciating the pain and suffering paramilitaries
    caused however would you accept hypothetically that if your family had been burned out of their house or your brother shot by the army that a violent response was almost inevitable.

    The Army report itself cites two instances – The Rape of the Falls and Bloody Sunday as being contributory factors to the conflict – probably put peace back a decade (my view not the army’s)

  • Sean

    turgon
    there was no reason for anyone to take up arms on this island for the last 50 years? What island have you been living on it certainly isnt Ireland. if your big house prod relations had treated the nasty little taigs like humans then you would be correct. what they did do with partition made the IRA and the troubles inevitable especially when the english did nothing to stop the sectarian state and infact seem to re-inforce the barbarism they in facr invented the PIRA

  • qubol

    Turgon I don’t envy you having to remember all these names of people that it’s morally safe to engage with. Do you have some sort of Black book beside your keyboard?

  • willowfield

    SEAN

    But weeping willow according to the onionists the IRA is more than capable of continuing the war tomorrow, so how are they defeated

    Whether or not they are capable of continuing the “war” tomorrow is immaterial: they failed in their objective and would fail again if they tried again tomorrow.

    And you do realise by claiming that the IRA were defeated you have also admitted that it was a war

    Don’t be silly. Just because the PIRA failed it doesn’t mean there was a “war”!

    QUBOL

    … I’ve no problems in declaring my support for the IRA.

    Shame on you. I wonder if one of your relatives had been tortured, maimed or murdered by the PIRA would you still “declare your support”.

    Disgusting.

  • willowfield

    SEAN

    there was no reason for anyone to take up arms on this island for the last 50 years? What island have you been living on it certainly isnt Ireland. if your big house prod relations had treated the nasty little taigs like humans then you would be correct. what they did do with partition made the IRA and the troubles inevitable especially when the english did nothing to stop the sectarian state and infact seem to re-inforce the barbarism they in facr invented the PIRA

    I’m sorry, but discrimination does not justify murdering innocent people.

    Would you support a murder campaign by ethnic minority groups in Great Britain? By blacks in the USA? By Native Americans in the USA? By women throughout the world?

  • MickeyP

    The comment you refer to is in Chapter 8 para 855 of the document and reads ‘The violence was reduced to an extent which made it clear to the PIRA that they would not win through violence’.

  • The Dubliner

    [i]”turgon,

    You clearly have no intention of engaging in any debate, when you disagree with what someone writes, you ignore their points and harp on about do they or do they not support murderers etc.

    Like far to many religious people, you pontificate about morality from your mountain top whilst ignoring the human factors. Personally I find your inability to even consider the other sides motivation very unchristian and see little point in replying to your hectoring demands.

    I wish you well

    Posted by mickhall “[/i]

    You’d be better served pondering what Turgon and Willowfield write, rather than “ignore their points and harp on about” why you won’t condemn murderers.

    Morality may be irrelevant to your analysis of the nature and causes of human behaviour and the classification of it, but it is the crux of what guides the behaviour of the socially and mentally well-adjusted – which obviously doesn’t include morally dysfunctional murderers and assorted serial criminals. Psychopathy and sociopathy are “the human factors” and moral considerations are, indeed, irrelevant to what motivates the amoral. Emeritus Professor Robert Hare neatly describes psychopaths as “predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse. What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony.” A study of incarcerated criminals in the US found that between 80% and 85% of them have a type of APD (antisocial personality disorder), with 50% all the most serious crimes committed by psychopaths. According to an FBI study, 44% of all police officer murders in 1992 were committed by psychopaths. So, there is a clear relationship between serious crimes and the type of (amoral) individual who commits them. The Troubles provided an environment that facilitated that dysfunction. Psychopaths are about 2% of the population, sociopaths higher. Roughly the same percentage of the population who were involved with the “Troubles” over its lifespan. As one journalist on Slugger wrote, “Those guys loved their little war.”

    Which comes back to a central point that is in line with one that both Turgon and Willowfield have made: there must be a moral basis in assessing responsibility. Sociopaths can’t distinguish between all and some and some and none in a moral context, nor can they grasp that everyone is morally and legally responsible for their own actions (and for their own actions alone). PIRA murderers ‘justify’ decapitating churchgoers at Enniskillen because, in their warped mentalities, they were punishing Unionists for some unrelated transgression. They can’t grasp that those churchgoers were not responsible for the actions of others. They can’t grasp the concept of individual responsibility. Like Israel, they administer “collective punishment” upon the innocents, failing to distinguish between all and some and some and none.

    Sorry if I don’t think your pals are noble beings, but neither do you, really, since you regard them as little more than animals, randomly murdering sans morality.

    As Michael Stevens said, “They know the words but not the music.”

  • The Dubliner

    And just to address your other oft-proffered spiel: there wasn’t any ‘rebellion.’ There were a very small number of highly-organised murder gangs who planned and orchestrated each murder over a very long period. PIRA never had any more than 300 members at any one time. Out of a population of about 800,000 nationalists, that works 1 member of PIRA for every 2,666 nationalists, or more than 99.6% nationalists who weren’t involved with organised murder gangs. Even totalling the members over decades, you’re in tiny percentages. ‘Rebellions’ should have greater support, don’t you think?

  • Dubliner,
    Surly the real question is, to use the title of a book about morals, ‘There morals or ours’ You wish me to abide by the morals which have been set by this societies ruling elite, sorry to disappoint you, but not in this life. For example you mentioned the way Israel punishes Palestinians, yet the society we life in, often brands those Palestinians who refuse to live by the standards their oppressors set as terrorist and in some cases Psychotic killers, but never use the same language to describe the IDF there oppressors. now why is that? 😉

    The media, which our ‘betters’ get to set many of the standards and moral standards within this society, along with leading politicians happily rejoiced and cried ‘Got you’
    when hundreds of young Argentinean sailors went to their watery grave. Nothing was said by these guardians of moral values when 75 plus worshipers were killed when a US missile struck an Iraqi mosque in 2003, pray tell what is the difference between that outrage and Enniskillen. Is the US President who ordered it a psychopath, are the US seamen who launched the weapon psychopaths?

    I say again, ‘there morals or ours’. As to your study of incarcerated US criminals I spit on it as in my eyes it is worthless, as no honest study can be done by asking questions of and analyzing men who do not have free will etc, to claim such a study as accurate is nonsensical. The who purpose of these studies is to reinforce the US penal system and frighten the plebs.

    The USA legally murders its own citizens, all the better if they are black or hispanic, even better if they are uneducated and as poor as church mice. i rest my case on the fact that your study was on behalf of the FBI.

    As to your 2% etc, what can one think of a nation that imprisoned that percentage and then some of its population and then wishes to put manners on the rest of the world. Away to your bed and leave me in peace.

    I say again ‘there morals or ours’.

  • ciaran

    dubliner your figures are slightly off. Between 69 and 72 10000 people were involved in the ira, and those figures come from the british army.Seems big enough for a rebellion to me. As for morals, it seems there is no place for morals in a war.That would just be wishful thinking.

  • AtlanticCelt

    It was cleary a drawn, I guess. But remember this quote from Kissinger: “The guerrilla wins if he does not lose; the conventional army loses if it does not win.”

  • Paul Meyer

    As I have pointed out on another forum:
    “The facts and the current situation speak for themselves, the IRA’s weapons are “beyond use”, the so-called “armed struggle” is at an end and Sinn Fein now participate in normal politics. Most importantly Northern Ireland is still a part of the United Kingdom and will remain so until a majority there decide otherwise. Some posters may wish, in retrospect, to believe that over 3,000 live were lost so that the RUC would change their cap-badge, and Martin and Gerry get a nice new office, but most people will remember something them about wanting British withdrawal, a 32 county Democratic Socialist Republic (tremendously popular that one) and all sorts of other wonderful life-enhancing stuff.”

    I served as in Infantryman in NI at various times between 1974 – 1992. At no time was I ever led to believe that we were seeking the physical destruction of the Provisional IRA, rather that we were “holding the line” until they realised that they could not win by violence and would be forced to seek their ends via political means.This has been achieved. It would theoretically have been possible to “Defeat” the Provos but the means necessary would not have been acceptable in a democratic society, we knew this from the start, we weren’t exactly novices at this sort of thing remember!

  • Paul Meyer,

    Dont give me that sanctimonious bullshit…

    Does the Army ‘holding the line’ involve murdering 13 innocent people on Bloody Sunday?. What about the murder of countless men, women and children by cowardly British Army personnel?

    It was not just ‘theoretically’ impossible to defeat the Provos. The fact is that you actually failed to do it. Full stop. A small group of committed Irish volunteers gave one of the biggest armies on earth the run-around for over 30 years.

  • Paul Meyer

    Macswiney.

    As far as Bloody Sunday goes it was neither planned nor desirable and committed by a very small number of troops whose self control and unit discipline disintegrated on that day. Of that I am sure and I am confident that when the inquiry reports in due course, it will say the same.

    As for your second “point”, there were not “countless” people killed in the whole of the campaign,never mind by Brithsh Army personnel, cowardly or otherwise. There were in fact some 3000 killed )I don’t have the exact figures to hand) but we know exactly who they were and what they were ie. republican/loyalist/protestant/catholic/RUC/Army/UDR/innocent bystander etc. I suggest you consult the authoritative source on the situation (Cain) and compare the numbers of those killed by republicans against those killed by the Army, it’s an interesting and telling comparison. There were about 2000 people killed by various republican groups(of whom almost 700 were Army)and about 300 killed by the Army of whom about 230 were known terrorists. Of the remaining 70 or so there were those killed on Bloody Sunday and people killed in crossfire, by mistake etc, and a very small number who were murdered by soldiers who were later convicted and imprisoned. Incidentally, if you were an ordinary catholic in NI during the period of the troubles statistics show that you were far more likely to be killed by the PIRA (in bombings,crossfire executions etc.) than by the British Army.

    It was as I said theoretically possible defeat the PIRA but the means required were not acceptable. This was actually stated in a “leaked” document written by the then director of Military Intelligence Lt.Gen. Sir James Glover in about 1979 if I remember correctly.

    Finally, the British Army is not and was not (during the relevant period) “one of the biggest armies on Earth, I’m afraid that here, as in the rest of your post, your indignation is not matched by your accuracy and knowledge of the facts.

  • Dewi

    “It was as I said theoretically possible defeat the PIRA but the means required were not acceptable. This was actually stated in a “leaked” document written by the then director of Military Intelligence Lt.Gen. Sir James Glover in about 1979 if I remember correctly.”

    I disagree – if u r implying a more brutal approach then I humbly suggest IRA support would have increased – precisely what happened in Derry after the Paratroopers tried that approach.

  • Cruimh

    Dewi – did support for the IRA dramatically rise after Loughgall ?

  • Paul,

    Thanks, but I don’t need to be patronised by someone from an ocupying force who inflicted the type of terror that many of your battalions did in the area that I grew up. Nor do I any need analysis of the nunbers of people who died in the conflict and the organisations responsible. I have both a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of that, thanks, including the loss of two of my own close relatives…

    Clearly you’re are a little irked by the fact that your Army has had to concede (only under the duress of a Freedom of Information request), that they did not defeat the IRA.

    Whatever spin you may try to put on this, the fact remains, that should the opportunity have arisen to defeat the IRA, the Army would have taken it (whether it was their declared intention or not). Be in no mistake about that whatsoever…

    The fact remains though, that for every Republican who died in the conflict, there were always dozens more waiting to volunteer. The Army Comamnder who described Warrenpoint as being the biggest, best planned and most lethal attack on British Crown Forces for decades, clearly had a very precise understanding of what he was up against.

    You can exercise as much historical revisionism as you wish, but the fact remains that military you did not achieve victory during the 30 years of conflict in Ireland. This island is inexoricably moving towards some form of unity in the decades ahead…

  • Cruimh

    LOL Mac – “Put Out More Flags”

    “they did not defeat the IRA.”

    Only because the IRA surrendered before the job was finished.

    It’s this “we wasn’t beaten” crap that risks future bloodshed – you need to face facts for your children’s future – Violence was counter-productive. If you want a United Ireland the ONLY way you will acheive it is by peaceful means.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    ‘A small group of committed Irish volunteers gave one of the biggest armies on earth the run-around for over 30 years’

    So that’s what it was all about, all those deaths, murders, maimings, all those families’ lives ruined by PIRA…

    32 county socialist republic achieved? Nope
    Brits out of Ireland? ‘Fraid not

    But fear not, the good ole boys gave the British Army ‘the run-around’ for 30 years. What jolly japes were had by all.

    You must be so proud.

  • Dewi

    Dewi – did support for the IRA dramatically rise after Loughgall ?

    I didn’t say dramatically and agree that the entirely primarily combatant roles of the dead at Loughgall didn’t cause such an upsurge as would have civilian deaths – However even in these cases I do recall seeing massive funerals on the tele, especially of Lynagh. We were in the Endgame by then however and last thing Adams would have wanted was a major escalation.

    “If you want a United Ireland the ONLY way you will acheive it is by peaceful means.”

    I completely agree – Mac ?

  • Cruimh,

    What the hell are you on about…? All those soundbites about counter-productive violence and childrens futures. I totally support the peace process. You really need to read posts more closely. I was simply repeating a fact (as stated by The Army themselves two days ago…). The fact that you do not agree with their statement is up to you.

    I have also noticed that you seem to ask a lot of historical questions to other people on these threads. Bearing in mind the huge gaps in your knowledge about the conflict, you perhaps need to adjust your responses accordingly, rather than just talking off the top of your head all the time…

  • Cruimh

    “We were in the Endgame by then however”

    Indeed -the IRA leadership under Adams had already surrendered by then

    “and last thing Adams would have wanted was a major escalation.”

    I suspect Ed moloney’s hint that the Leadership engineered the defeat at Loughgall because they were scared of Lynagh’s lot is closer to the truth. I’m sure Adams was delighted at what happened.

    ” I do recall seeing massive funerals on the tele”

    Sure – always is a big turn out from the PBI and the suckers who, as one savvy commentator said, would elect a donkey if it had a tricolour pinned to it’s arse.

  • Cruimh

    Mac – I’m pointing out something important to you – your community NEEDS to accept that the terrorism of the past was WRONG, Counter-Productive – and that Physical force republicanism LOST – or else , as in the past here and abroad, in a generation or two evil men will start whispering “we weren’t beat, we can still do it” to naive and disillusioned adolescents.

  • Dewi

    Cruimh – is claiming victory or surrender important to u ? And what does PBI mean ?

  • Cruimh

    Dewi – for the reasons I have given – what is important is that the proponents of violence accept that they LOST. We must not allow them to spin the yarn that they have only changed methods because they “won” a better way forward – Otherwise it will happen again.

    PBI – poor bloody infantry – the poor suckers cynically used and discarded by the leadership, the fatcats now with holiday homes and air miles.

  • Paul Meyer

    Macswiney wrote:

    “Paul,

    Thanks, but I don’t need to be patronised by someone from an ocupying force who inflicted the type of terror that many of your battalions did in the area that I grew up. Nor do I any need analysis of the nunbers of people who died in the conflict and the organisations responsible. I have both a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of that, thanks, including the loss of two of my own close relatives”

    Firstly, my intention was not to patronise but I stand by my comments regarding the innacuracy of your post.Secondly, I disagree (violently) that we inflicted “terror” in any areas of Northern Ireland, this is a ludicrous sugestion. I served a totla of 9 tours and saw or heard of nothing which would support that comment. I can’t believe that my own battalion was so radically different from any of the other major units serving there at the time, all of which were trained in exactly the same way for their tours of duty. I am not suggesting however that there were not from time to time lapses in discipline on the part to individuals or that in the very early years there was undoubtedly a tendency on the part of some soldiers to be heavy-handed,but this was neither sanctioned nor encouraged and was rightoly seen as counter-productive and unproffessional.

    “Clearly you’re are a little irked by the fact that your Army has had to concede (only under the duress of a Freedom of Information request), that they did not defeat the IRA.”

    Actually the only thing that irks me is that people like yourself seem incapable of reading and understanding plain english, otherwise you wouldn’t be making such an ill-informed comment, have you actually taken the trouble to read it through?

    “Whatever spin you may try to put on this, the fact remains, that should the opportunity have arisen to defeat the IRA, the Army would have taken it (whether it was their declared intention or not). Be in no mistake about that whatsoever”

    The fact remains that there were a number of options which would have inflicted serious damage on the PIRA but the implementation of which were undesirable for political or even logistical reasons.There is a mention in the report for example of an option to completely seal the border as well as the reasons why this was not considered feasible.

    “The fact remains though, that for every Republican who died in the conflict, there were always dozens more waiting to volunteer.”

    Yes, we knew this and for that reason incidents such as Loughgall were few and far between as, looking the bigger picture and taking the long view it was better to take these people out of the equation via the courts rather than the bullet.

    “The Army Comamnder who described Warrenpoint as being the biggest, best planned and most lethal attack on British Crown Forces for decades, clearly had a very precise understanding of what he was up against.”

    Well yes, we were a professional army and quite capable of acknowledgeing a successful enemy action against us where appropriate. I personally loathed everything to do with militant irish republicanism but that didn’t mean I thought the IRA were amateurish incompetents. Underestimating your enemy is not something we were guilty of, unlke the opposition of course!

    “You can exercise as much historical revisionism as you wish, but the fact remains that military you did not achieve victory during the 30 years of conflict in Ireland.”

    I’m not exercising any such thing,you are. I would refer again to the secret report by Gen.Glover (in 1979!) who said that a military solution was not feasible (for various reasons) but he also pointed out that a victory for the IRA on their terms was equally impossible. In short we (the British ) got what we wanted the IRA have had to compromise massively and are no longer in the field militarily.

    “This island is inexoricably moving towards some form of unity in the decades ahead”

    Agreed, and I’ve never heard any British officer say different, but not on the IRA’s terms!

  • You may say “not on their terms” Paul, but in fact much was invested over many years in building up what is now a huge political base in The North. (ie via Sinn Fein). Many people within military Republicanism were very proactive in creating that support base.

    You seem to assume that somehow Republicans believed that they would acheive a military solution. After the first few years of mayhem, that opinion was no longer held by anyone in authority within the movement. Unfortunately, the sectarian nature of the state and the, at times, incredible apathy from The British Government led to a prolonged and violent conflict which continued for far longer than it should have.

    Nonetheless, a path was devised towards a peaceful settlement. I’m afraid that you over-estimate the army’s influence in that process. it was the Government’s secret approach to Martin McGuinness which ultimately set the wheels in motion.

  • Cruimh,

    You must live in some sort of alter-universe. What you refer to as “my community” fully accepted that course of action almost 13 years ago when the peace process began. The war is over Cruimh and just about everybody has accepted that. Although apparently someone had forgotten to tell you that…!!!

    You talk as if you are in the middle of a bloody Republican onslaught. Cruimh – I say again – The war is over, the weapons have been decommissioned and your leader Paisley shares cups of tea with Martin McGuiness every morning…!

    Wake up and smell the coffee please…

  • Sean Graham

    MacSwiney: You are the one who should wake up form yourt slumber. You wrap yourself in a dead patriot’s name and think that gives you the right to make an idiot of yourself here.

    Ed Moloney makes it plain the IRA’s top brass were in the pocket of MI5. Each new revelation backs that up. It is part of a process stretching long back to 1649 at least. The Brits got the leadership they wanted and they let the rest fall into place.
    The waves of immigrants, all engineered, will ensure that the cause of Irish unity will not be furthered in our lifetimes. The concept of Irishness as we understand it will also vanish. Operation Banner was a success.

  • willowfield

    Macswiney is so desperate to justify to himself his support for Provisional IRA terrorism that he needs to believe that the Army inflicted “terror” on him.

    MICKHALL

    “I say again, ‘there morals or ours’.”

    Ours – as in society’s. The shared morals of western society hold that murder is unacceptable and wrong.

  • Paul Meyer

    In an earlier post I gave some rough figures(from memory) of those killed by the Army in the 30 years of the campaign. I have just checked them and the correct figures are 301 of whom 121 were republican terrorists, 10 Loyalist terrorists and the remaining 170 civilians. The source of this is “Lost Lives” by Mckittrick, the accepted unbiased work on the subject.
    A total of 3600 people were killed of whom 2148 were killed by republican terrorists including 162 of their own men. An interesting fact therefore, is that republican terrorists killed more republican terrorists than the Army did by a factor of 30%!

  • MICKHALL

    “I say again, ‘there morals or ours’.”

    Ours – as in society’s. The shared morals of western society hold that murder is unacceptable and wrong.

    Posted by willowfield

    I do not believe it is only western societies that regard murder as being wrong and thus a crime and I agree totally with this. My point was defining morals is a very complex business hence the questions I posed to turgon.

    For example I believe for a Prime Minister to send youngsters to war, to kill and be killed on a lie, is both immoral and a crime against international law. Yet I accept as society stands I am in all probability in a minority on this. However I am confident given time, most people will come to agree with me and not the leading politicians, religious leaders and judiciary of today who failed to take a stand against such imorality. My point being society, thus moral values change and only the most small minded or bigoted people set them in Stone.

    I find it very revealing that the advocates of bin Laden and many of the Neo- conservatives fall into this category.

  • confused

    Leaving aside the defeat of the IRA are we discussing the same report which describes the UDA as being the most respectable of the loyalist para military groups.
    By inference the UVF/UFF are also respectable but not to the same extent.
    If you believe this then take the rest of the report with a large pinch of salt.

  • Cruimh

    “Macswiney is so desperate to justify to himself his support for Provisional IRA terrorism that he needs to believe that the Army inflicted “terror” on him.”

    To be fair here, I think we have to remember that perception has it’s own reality – and that even if he wasn’t one of those few who had a genuine grievance against the security forces, if he was convinced by the nationalist propaganda machine that his community were terrorised, then as far as he was concerned it was real.

  • ciaran

    Cruimh, from what you wrote I am guessing that you believe the army never destroyed private property, threatened civillians. terrorised children, held communities at gunpoint or anything else that might sound like terror tactics. Strange because after living through the troubles I saw all of that . Didn’t need to hear about it from any nationalist propaganda machine.

  • qubol

    confused: which describes the UDA as being the most respectable of the loyalist para military groups

    As ever confused, you’re living up to your name. The report has a few contributors the contributor that claimed the British army didn’t win also claimed that all paramilitary groups with the exception of the IRA were nothing more than gangsters. Surely thats something that even you could agree with?

  • Cruimh

    “Cruimh, from what you wrote I am guessing that you believe the army never destroyed private property, threatened civillians. terrorised children, held communities at gunpoint or anything else that might sound like terror tactics.”

    Read what I wrote again then ciaran

    ” those few who had a genuine grievance against the security forces ”

    Now, if you want to read about terror tactics, I suggest you read about events in Cambodia, Chechnya and the Balkans.

  • ciaran

    I did read your post cruimh and there were more than a few. And just because the tactics used here by the british were not the same as those in the countries you mentioned , does that make them any less terrible for those who had to endure them? Or were they acceptable.

  • Cruimh

    “I did read your post cruimh and there were more than a few.”

    so what was with this crap ciaran ?

    “Cruimh, from what you wrote I am guessing that you believe the army never destroyed private property, threatened civillians. terrorised children, held communities at gunpoint or anything else that might sound like terror tactics.”

    Point is that the broad nationalist community were not terrorised by the British Army – who behaved admirably compared to any other force in the world. And that is my point – the propaganda machine that has Paul Butler comparing Long Kesh to Auschwicz, the attempt to portray to the world – and thereby atempt to justify La Mon, the Abercorn etc etc – that the whole 600,000 plus nationalist community were uniquely and viciously discriminated against, oppressed and abused is …. bollix.

    Same era – France and the algerian crisis, UK and the republican terrorists – no question as to which behaved brutally and barbarically – the French. But that rather destroys the MOPEfest, eh ciaran ?

  • Sean
  • Cruimh

    Andersontown News????

    ROFL!

  • lib2016

    When de Valera went to America in 1920 it was because he knew that was where Irish freedom would be won. When Hume went to Washington and built up his contacts it was because he knew which government had the last word on British Army involvement.

    When Sinn Fein won the propaganda war in Washington that WAS the endgame.

    It may take another few years for the political consequences to work themselves out on the ground but with a friendly American administration due in two years and Irish-American influence at it’s height the British government won’t be long in releiving itself of an embarrassing hangover from the Empire.

    Civil unionism in the form of the UUP is no more and the centrality of Protestantism to the British identity is headed the same way with the largest single group of church attenders on the average Sunday being the Catholics.

  • Cruimh

    “When de Valera went to America in 1920 it was because he knew that was where Irish freedom would be won.”

    he went for the $$$$$

  • lib2016

    The British Army has done it’s usual job of holding the ring while the politicals negotiate their exit. No more, no less.

    Remember that Collins was criticised because he saw the way ahead too clearly. There always had to be an ‘exit strategy’ and the GFA is it. Not what the Irish side wanted but acceptable to them, not what Irish unionism wanted but giving them nothing to unite around.

  • ciaran

    cruimh the point is the broad broad nationalist community were terrorised by the army. Maybe not the whole 600,000 as you say but then again I do not accuse the whole protestant population of supporting the bigitory that the catholics had to endure.I saw it on a daily basis. Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it did not happen. Why send in a military force to do what is basicaly a policing job. The military as has been seen are not able to do the job and end up getting out of control. And does the army behaving admirably include the torture of SUSPECTED terrorists or was that ok.Something like what has gone on in guantanemo.
    Maybe I am picking you up wrong but it still looks as if you get to be the judge of what is terror to people and what is not.

  • Sean Graham’s Bookies

    Lib2016: Collins was the Stakenife/Adams of his day. It was a great day for Ireland when that badtard got his just deserts. Read Ernie O’Malley on thsi asshole and how, Adams like, the Brits built him up.
    McAlliskey summed it up some years ago. The war is over; the god guys lost.

  • Sean

    Ciaran
    Torturing suspected terrorists went on in the maze you do not have to reach out as far as guantanemo

    and crunby, Newsletter ha ha ha

  • Belfast Gonzo

    From today’s Irish News:

    BBC defends reports after Robinson ‘pro-IRA’ claims

    By Alana Fearon

    The BBC has hit back at DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson’s claim that a report on the British army’s assessment of its operations in Northern Ireland was a “piece of undiluted republican propaganda”.

    Mr Robinson said a BBC report on Friday had been deliberately phrased to sound like an admission by the army that it had been in-capable of defeating the IRA.

    The Stormont finance minister demanded an inquiry into what he has described as the “An Phoblacht-style reporting of the BBC”.

    In its assessment the army describes its campaign in the north as “one of the very few ever brought to a successful conclusion by the armed forces of a developed nation against an irregular force”.

    A spokesperson said the BBC had had a detailed conversation with the army press office regarding the 100-page assessment.

    The spokesperson said the broadcaster was confident that its coverage had been fair and balanced and had “captured the essence of a major argument in the report”.

    Mr Robinson, however, said the BBC lacked credibility and objectivity.

    “The BBC must publicly demonstrate it has taken steps to deal with the flagrant republican bias of its broadcast and inform the licence-paying public what action has been taken against those involved,” he said.

    “The BBC can have no credibility, nor can it be seen as an independent source of news and information, unless and until it provides an explanation of this pro-IRA reporting.”

  • Sean Graham’s Bookies

    The spooks went easy on the Provos in their report. Why bother being parked on Crossmaglen GAA pitch when the Royal Ulster Provos will keep Bandit Country in line for you?
    The Provos shot people for doing 1/1000000th the damage McGuinness and Adams did. And what of Denis Donaldson? He was cut down in cold blood but few cared. Who covered for Donaldson all those years? Who guaranteed his safety in Donegal? Who got Stakeknife away?
    Adams or McGuinness, 50/50, ask the audience or phone a friend. (Cheap calls to Italy on now).

  • Cruimh
  • willowfield

    MICKHALL

    I do not believe it is only western societies that regard murder as being wrong and thus a crime and I agree totally with this. My point was defining morals is a very complex business hence the questions I posed to turgon.

    But when it comes to murder it is not complex at all.

    For example I believe for a Prime Minister to send youngsters to war, to kill and be killed on a lie, is both immoral and a crime against international law. Yet I accept as society stands I am in all probability in a minority on this. However I am confident given time, most people will come to agree with me and not the leading politicians, religious leaders and judiciary of today who failed to take a stand against such imorality. My point being society, thus moral values change and only the most small minded or bigoted people set them in Stone.

    I personally agree with you about Iraq, but it is a poor example because there was moral confusion surrounding Iraq: the decision to go to war was authorised by our democratically-elected parliament, therefore there was a degree of legitimacy about the decision; also there was a confusion of information surrounding the decision which led many to support war who otherwise would not; and uncertainty about whether an earlier UN resolution authorised force.

    In the case of the Provisional IRA, no such confusion existed, since the Provisional IRA was not a legitimate body by any democratic or moral standards of western society, and no-one applying our moral standards could make a case in support of a small self-chosen group engaging in the murder and injury of innocents, torture, destruction of property, etc., against the wishes of the people whom they purported to represent.

    CIARAN

    cruimh the point is the broad broad nationalist community were terrorised by the army.

    Nice bit of MOPEry.

    No sane person would claim that “the broad nationalist community” was “terrorised” by the Army!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    The army’s job was to maintain the status quo and the that meant confrontation with the Provos who were trying to change the status quo and with the community from which they drew their support. The IRA were not defeated but the fact is the British did not really want to ‘win’. Most educated mainland British (Tory or Labour ) view their involvment in Ireland at least partly as an imperialist adventure and do not consider Belfast as British as Bath – they wanted an accomodation with Republicanism to put the age old enmity Between the 2 island to bed. To achieve this Unionists were forced to accept de facto constitutional change in GFA/STA.

  • UFB

    ‘I disagree (violently) that we inflicted “terror” in any areas of Northern Ireland, this is a ludicrous sugestion. I served a totla of 9 tours and saw or heard of nothing which would support that comment’

    Wonder what the family of young Julie Livingstone would have to say to that Paul or was that just another one of those breakdowns in discipline?

  • ciaran

    willow,”No sane person would claim that “the broad nationalist community” was “terrorised” by the Army!” Why not, it was true.No sane person could believe otherwise.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Yes, yes, all very interesting but the real story here is the frantic back-pedalling by the BBC as the boul’ Peter Robinson tackles them for pumping out the Pat Finucane Centre’s spin on this report practically verbatim.
    Not great journalism, especially given the huge amount of real and highly relevant news in the army document. Not shameless about making comparisons to Iraq, are they? This could easily have been a national story if certain people hadn’t been running around the BBC newsroom with their “IRA – Undefeated Army” t-shirts on. Now BBC-NI will actually have to bury the story or risk inviting a management bollocking.

  • exile

    Individuals, and even individual communities on occasion may have been but the broad nationalist community was not terrorised by the British Army. Annoyed yes, humiliated perhaps. Terrorised no.

    The whole of society was to some extent terrorised by the paramilitaries.

    To what degree the British top brass were pulling the strings of the paramilitaries remains to be seen but even if they made some very bad errors of judgement their ultimate goal was a peaceful 6 counties inside or outside the UK.

  • The Dubliner

    [i]”Surly the real question is, to use the title of a book about morals, ‘There morals or ours’ You wish me to abide by the morals which have been set by this societies ruling elite, sorry to disappoint you, but not in this life.” – Mick Hall[/i]

    I didn’t mention which system you should adhere to. I made the point that psychopaths are, by definition, moral degenerates. So, there can’t be a choice offered by them to society as to whether “their [non-existent] morals” are superior actual ethical systems or personal morals, can there? They don’t have any valid ethical system or personal morals. It is their lack of conscience that makes them unable to feel guilt or remorse and makes them pathologically unstable. This is why all they can offer are self-serving rationalisations for their abnormal behaviour, and it is why society has rejected their self-justifation spiels. Moral degenerates, my friend, make very poor moral tutors.

    [i]”For example you mentioned the way Israel punishes Palestinians, yet the society we life in, often brands those Palestinians who refuse to live by the standards their oppressors set as terrorist and in some cases Psychotic killers, but never use the same language to describe the IDF there oppressors. now why is that?” – Mick Hall[/i]

    Ah, you walked right into that bear trap, Mick. I purposefully contrasted PIRA’s “collective punishment upon the innocents” with Israel’s “collective punishment upon the innocents” in order to show the duplicity of PIRA supporters who happily condemn others for doing what they point blank refuse to condemn PIRA for doing, with no obfuscation or equivocation about the propriety of moral systems or self-serving subversive attempts to undermine moral condemnation. You may now attempt to climb out of that hole by stating that a government is different from a private group, but the principle of punishing innocents for the crimes of others is legitimately applicable in both examples.

    [i]”The media, which our ‘betters’ get to set many of the standards and moral standards within this society, along with leading politicians happily rejoiced and cried ‘Got you’ when hundreds of young Argentinean sailors went to their watery grave. Nothing was said by these guardians of moral values when 75 plus worshipers were killed when a US missile struck an Iraqi mosque in 2003, pray tell what is the difference between that outrage and Enniskillen. Is the US President who ordered it a psychopath, are the US seamen who launched the weapon psychopaths?” – Mick Hall[/i]

    It’s like this: is a man rapes your wife, will you refuse to condemn him and demand justice from the state because it is the state which has declared his act a crime and declared it a crime because it has decreed that it morally wrong to have sex with another person against that person’s will, or will you rant on about unrelated actions, declaring the state to be corrupt, an unfit judge of behaviour, no guide for morals, etc? We both know the answer to that question: you will see that moral systems (and the laws that derive from them) are an essential function of society.

    [i]”I say again ‘there morals or ours’. As to your study of incarcerated US criminals I spit on it as in my eyes it is worthless, as no honest study can be done by asking questions of and analyzing men who do not have free will etc, to claim such a study as accurate is nonsensical. The who purpose of these studies is to reinforce the US penal system and frighten the plebs.” – Mick Hall [/i]

    Such a dilemma: should I yield to the authority of experts who have undertaken the research or someone who has no knowledge of it but doesn’t feel he needs to have knowledge of it if he rants in a sub Noam Chomsky manner in place of an actual refutation? Gee, I’ll have to ponder that one.

    [i]”I say again ‘there morals or ours’. ” – Mick Hall [/i]

    And that’s three times you have said nothing. In the matter of ethical systems, as Willowfield said, “Ours.”

  • ciaran

    Sorry exile, I have to disagree. The actions of the british army against the broad nationalist community constituted terror. Beatings, killings theft,preventing movement within a community, threats. If I was talking about the ira you would agree completely. So why can you not agree that the british army was as bad, considering they were supposed to be enforcing the law not ignoring it?

  • Paul Meyer

    Ciaran wrote:
    ” The actions of the british army against the broad nationalist community constituted terror. Beatings, killings theft,preventing movement within a community, threats. If I was talking about the ira you would agree completely. So why can you not agree that the british army was as bad, considering they were supposed to be enforcing the law not ignoring it?”

    What utter rubbish! Are you seriously suggesting that all of the above were the day-to-day experiences of the nationalist community over 30 years of the campaign? Are you completely barking mad? According to the report at the centre of this thread 250,000 British soldiers served (at least one tour)in Northern Ireland during the troubles. Were we all murderers, thieves, bullies etc?. I’m not saying for a moment that individual soldiers didn’t misbehave or disgrace themselves on occasion, it would be extraordinary (if not actually unprecedented in any army in history!) were it to be otherwise. I have no doubt we were a nuisance and an inconvenience a lot of the time but given the situation and the nature of our duties we could not have been otherwise. The undeniable fact is that were it not for us a great many more innocent people would have died and suffered injury.To accuse the British Army of inflicting terror on the nationalist population is outrageous, slanderous and just plain wrong.
    Soldiers are the very last people you would want performing such a role as we did, but there is nobody else capable of doing it and I believe, no other Army on earth which could have done it better!

    You’re talking nonsense!

  • To accuse the British Army of inflicting terror on the nationalist population is outrageous, slanderous and just plain wrong. ,

    Paul
    I find this debate interesting as it shows just how short memories are, like many English people, [im presuming] you seem to have an inability to place yourself in others shoes. You say that it is plain wrong to say the British army inflicted terror on members of the nationalist population. But there is enough evidence to confirm they did not least judgments of the European court.

    You might well say that some of those who took their complaints to that court were members of the PIRA, and so they were, but they were also members of the nationalist community.

    I personally accept the majority of squadies were not psychos etc but ordinary decent men and women, never the less you were asked to do a job which in my view is beyond an army of war, thus you were bound to shall I say, tread on more than a few toes in the process.

    Try to put a young volunteers shoe on your foot by considering what you might have done, if you had been old enough, if the Nazi army had crossed the channel and occupied England. [before you say it I am not comparing the British army with Hitler’s although that to was filled with ordinary lads bar the SS etc. Yet they did some dreadful things.

    Truthfully I am not judging, just asking that you consider how many nationalist who felt the sharp end of your army feel.

    all the best

    dubliner,

    Your reply took my breath away it was filled with such energy, i will have to consider it before replying.

  • Sean

    Paul
    I will accept that the army was not deployed as a terror weapon

    Its just too bad it was allowed to turn itself into one

  • Cahal

    Paul

    Cheerio.

  • willowfield

    MICKHALL

    Paul You say that it is plain wrong to say the British army inflicted terror on members of the nationalist population. But there is enough evidence to confirm they did not least judgments of the European court.

    That’s poor, Mick and beneath your usual honest debating style. Paul specifically did NOT say that it was wrong to say that the Army inflicted terror on members of the nationalist population. On the contrary, he acknowledged that such “terror” took place against members – his specific point was that such “terror” was not the experience of the “broad nationalist population”.

  • Willowfield,

    Then I have clearly misunderstood what Paul has written, I was not trying to pull a fast one to make my point I simply failed to read back through the entire thread, a mistake I will make ever attempt not to repeat.

    Paul

    I apologies.

  • Sean

    willowfield
    How could any nationalist feel safe and not be terrorized by the army? Were there cousins, neighbours, sons and fathers not shot in the back in Derry. Were their neighborhoods not patroled by men with machine guns, who aimed them repeatedly at them. Was ther sleep not rourinely interupted by helicopters hovering over head for seemingly the sole purpose of harrasing the local. Were their houses and vehicles not routinely subject to humiliating searches, with out merit or warrant. Were they not called derogatory names and had their lives threatened. I doubt their are any but the most hardened of volunteers that could say they were not routinely terrorized by the supposed forces of law and order and for what? To support a disfunctional and bigoted state bent on the oppresion of the minority.

  • willowfield

    MICKHALL

    No worries – appreciate your clarification.

    SEAN

    How could any nationalist feel safe and not be terrorized by the army?

    I guess by not feeling in danger and not being “terrorised” by the Army!

    Were there cousins, neighbours, sons and fathers not shot in the back in Derry.

    Yes. Hundreds of thousands of them.

    Were their neighborhoods not patroled [sic] by men with machine guns, who aimed them repeatedly at them.

    Whose neighbourhoods? Yes, of course, neighbourhoods in which terrorists operated were patrolled by the Army!

    Was ther [sic] sleep not rourinely interupted by helicopters hovering over head for seemingly the sole purpose of harrasing the local.

    I’m sure that was the case for some, including myself. Ever wondered why it was necessary to have helicopters? Ever think that if there wasn’t a terror campaign ongoing there wouldn’t be such need?

    Were their houses and vehicles not routinely subject to humiliating searches, with out merit or warrant. Were they not called derogatory names and had their lives threatened. I doubt their are any but the most hardened of volunteers that could say they were not routinely terrorized by the supposed forces of law and order and for what?

    If they were “volunteers” then they deserve to have been subject to harassment and searches.

    For what? To protect society from murderers and terrorists.