Ulster troop’s websites a “bloody disgrace”…

Robert Carry writing in today’s Metro Eireann (ie the Dublin edition of the paper) follows the story of some of the Bebo photos dug up on Aughavey’s thread on the satirical march in Basra by members of the Irish Guards. A lot of what was displayed there went well beyond the bounds of satire.By Robert Carry

BRITISH soldiers from Northern Ireland currently serving in Iraq have been using the internet social networking service Bebo to display a host of shocking images in which

they abuse Iraqi civilians and appear to mock the hanging of Saddam Hussein, Metro

Eireann can exclusively reveal. The soldiers are believed to belong to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards – a regiment of the British Army known for its large number of recruits from

Northern Ireland. Some of the soldiers have also posted images showing support for loyalist paramilitary terror groups and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

The first images came to light after a Co Antrim soldier (Soldier A) posted onto his Bebo page a number of pictures showing a 12 July Orange Order-style march involving a group of troops, held in their barracks in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Further examination of the soldier’s Bebo page revealed that Soldier A had also posted images in support of loyalist gangs responsible for sectarian attacks – one depicting what looked to be a loyalist gunman with an Ulster flag behind him.

Among his other pictures was a soldier smiling with his head tilted inside a hangman’s noose, in what resembled a re-enactment of the hanging of Saddam Hussein.

The Bebo pages of some of Soldier A’s colleagues serving in the Irish Guards revealed racist, homophobic, sexist and sectarian symbols and statements, as well as images and comments abusive to Iraqi citizens.

A second soldier (Soldier B) displayed a photo of a group of Iraqi children with the caption “gimps” on his webpage, alongside a logo representing the banned loyalist terror group, the Ulster Volunteer Soldier B had another picture of what appeared to be a British soldier getting an Iraqi civilian to hold a sign saying: “I f**k sheep when I’m not busy mortaring the base”.

A third Northern Ireland-born British soldier serving in Iraq (Soldier C) stated on his page that he is happiest when “drinking with the lads or when I have pulled and killing dirty ragheads”. Soldier C also prominently displayed a statement which read: “It isnt Rape if you shout Suprise. its only suprise sex haha.” In a list of his dislikes he stated: “gays fuckn poofs need a 9mm round to the back of the head.”

One of the photos on Soldier C’s page showed him sitting in full uniform, fully armed, with the caption “don’t run – you’ll only die tired” underneath. He also displayed a photo of a group of KKK members and further loyalist paramilitary related another alarming series of pictures which appeared to show a group of soldiers tying a distressed-looking fellow solider to a post with bright orange tape.

A fourth soldier (Soldier D) decorated his personal webpage by daubing swastikas with the Neo-Nazi slogan “Blood and Honour”. In the introduction to his page he wrote: “alrite im 27 and in iraq on a 7 month tour of this beautiful country the people are lovely and would do anything for ya im just bull shittin they are a shower of c**ts.”

A fifth soldier (Soldier E), who served in Northern Ireland as well as in Iraq, displayed a photo in which he posed in full uniform under a billboard of the 10 republican prisoners who died on hunger strike in 1981, which he labelled “Kill All Taigs” (‘Taigs’ meaning Irish Catholics). He also had various other loyalist imagery displayed.

A sixth soldier (Soldier F) had the phrase “Kill all Taigs and Arabs” displayed prominently on his page and had a photograph of a dead body, believed to be of a murdered South American gang member, among his pictures.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) instructed the 1st Battalion Irish Guards regiment in Basra to conduct an immediate investigation into the scandal after Metro Eireann informed them of the content.

A spokesperson initially requested that Metro Eireann “withhold publication”. Later, Lt Col Nick Richardson told Metro Eireann through the MOD press office that the

British army “has a policy of zero tolerance towards all kinds of prejudice, sectarianism, harassment and bullying and absolutely does not condone any such behaviour of any kind.”

He continued: “We are aware of the comments that have been placed on this website, appropriate measures have already been taken and an investigation is underway – it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Metro Eireann understands that the investigation will be headed by the military police. However, despite the fact that the MOD was informed of the material displayed on the soldiers’ web pages on 18 July, at which time the organisation stated that it was to take “immediate” action, most of the shocking images and statements were still available to view four days later.

During the time it took the MOD to take action, a seventh soldier had copied the image of an armed British soldier attempting to humiliate an Iraqi civilian by getting him to have his photo taken while holding a derogatory sign, and posted it on his Bebo page.

Metro Eireann gained access to the Bebo pages of a total of 11 serving British soldiers from Northern Ireland, most of whom were linked as ‘friends’ on the website – just four had no such content. Sources in the British army have described the actions of the men as “appalling” and a “bloody disgrace”.

This is the version published in the paper. Replaces previous draft version.

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  • Wee slabber

    Does it really come as any surprise? It doesn’t to any northern nationalist. We had 30 years of the scum trying to lord it over us! Shower of morans.

  • CIE

    “Shower of morans.”

    Ahem. If you want to call someone a moron, perhaps it would be a good idea to learn how to spell it first.

  • Wee slabber

    oops – I didn’t mean to cast aspersions on all Morans in the world! Morons, of course.

  • Gréagóir O’ Franclín

    This is disgraceful stuff!

    It will take a long, long time to demilitarize NI and such base mentalities! I suppose ye need such a mentality be to able to kill. Such are armies, and the British army particularly in this case. Hardly something to be proud of, especially if such an army claims to be on the side of democracy, peace and justice!

    Where is ‘Peace and Justice’ to comment on this?

    Surely, no Ulster Unionist would defend this!

  • These are young, poorly educated lads, letting off some ill-advised steam and displaying bravado for the benefit of their mates, on a website which is full of such material. But sure don’t let that get in the way of hysterical haranguing of the British Army.

  • Gréagóir O’ Franclín

    …..‘Kill All Taigs’ (’Taigs’ meaning Irish Catholics).

    The above catchprase if ye can call it that or ‘K.A.T.’ for short can be seen in plentiful about NI, especially before ‘the Twelfth’ this year. What sort of lingo is this to put about the place, especially now that ‘the Troubles’ are over, and people are trying to make the peace work. There is a tremendous development in the relationship between the north and south governments, with quite a number of investments in NI lately by Irish firms creating jobs. Please make the Peace work.

  • honestly

    Just a few lads letting off steam. They are in a dangerous situation in iraq, and a bit of malarkey is a way to cope. Anyway what the hell has it got to do with a dirty dublin rag anyway?????. They turned out well, well done lads. PD the rising sons stuff is laughable nonsense. I wish they would just piss off, or mount some more congo operations lol

  • Alas the prods aren’t as clever with their doublespeak as the taigs.

  • DK

    Pack of idiots – should be fined and made to attend a discrimination awareness course. Trouble is, these are just the ones stupid enough to put their views on a public website – what about the bigots not that stupid – they are probably even more dangerous.

  • Briso

    >what about the bigots not that stupid

    Apparently they are called taigs, according to ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZiznivy anyway.

  • Bemused

    Working class Northern Prods who join British Army exposed as racist, homophobic, sectarian scum. Quelle surprise.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Ziznivy: “Alas the prods aren’t as clever with their doublespeak as the taigs.”

    What’s the hoary old chestnut — Send a Republican to prison, he’ll come away with an advanced degree… send a Loyalist to prison, he’ll come away with a new tatoo…

    honestly: “Just a few lads letting off steam. They are in a dangerous situation in iraq, and a bit of malarkey is a way to cope.”

    So that’s what Nazism is to you, honestly — a bit of malarky? Does that make the racial policies of its adherents something on the order of a fraternity prank?

  • lib2016

    ‘Kill all teagues and arabs’

    …and to think we doubted our unionist friends when they boasted of their multicultural Britishness.

  • inuit_g

    “The above catchprase if ye can call it that or ‘K.A.T.’ for short can be seen in plentiful about NI, especially before ‘the Twelfth’ this year. What sort of lingo is this to put about the place, especially now that ‘the Troubles’ are over, and people are trying to make the peace work. There is a tremendous development in the relationship between the north and south governments, with quite a number of investments in NI lately by Irish firms creating jobs. Please make the Peace work.

    Couldn’t agree more with this – however on a recent trip to Limavady I noted a number of Orange Halls daubed with paint and the slogan “KAH” (Kill All Huns) so I dont think this is a one-way street by any means.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    inuit_g: “Couldn’t agree more with this – however on a recent trip to Limavady I noted a number of Orange Halls daubed with paint and the slogan “KAH” (Kill All Huns) so I dont think this is a one-way street by any means. ”

    Hateful slanging does invite retaliation in kind.

    Unfortunately, so do a whole host of other anti-social behaviors.

    However, I would point out that, given the image of the OO and the British Army as the homicidal anti-Catholic bogey-men in some quarters, you would have to admit that this sort of display is… unfortunate, at best.

  • darth rumsfeld

    [reference to unsubbed version was removed – moderator]

    I’m sure the bebo pages of soldiers in any army- even Oglaigh na Eireann- would display a lack of sophisticated badinage, but we don’t expect squaddies to be urbane polymaths do we. We do occasionally expect journalists to be impartial and accurate.

  • juan

    well done Aughavey !!!

    posting pictures of a British regiment celebrating the twelfth on a republican site……………..

    whoda thought that one could go wrong !?

    hooray the UUP boys !

    Police and army services throughout the world recruit from working class areas where a casual appreciation of violence is common place, whilst images of KKK men are beyond the pale, there are sections of protestant society who will admire this sort of group just as there are sections of nationalist society that openly admire osma bin laden, its the violence they appreciate and the correlation to their own political spectrum is purely aesthetic.

    If we discount these young men’s profession we can note that their sentiments are not of any markedly different in character to those of other working class youth(s) on the site.

    sentiments like ” my hobbies include rioting on the 12th and slapping prods who won’t pray to our lady” don’t seem to excite the good metro in quite the same fashion as the indiscretions of ethnic groups their target audience (the Irish) have a historical hostility too.

    the only relevance of this post is the degenerate state of young people in general and its only motivation was hostility to a manifestation of orangism in an incorporated apparatus of the British state.

    those on here who seek to portray an enthusiasm for violence as exclusively protestant are displaying an identical mentality to even the most serious secterianists in our society.

    and again to you UUP men, the fact that you did not realise posting such a link on a website with a noted extreme republican following, and failing to note the material on the rest of the page or indeed that the material contained on the link could cause very serious controversy is as good an example of why you are unfit for office, and have been even before you replaced that I with a U as I can think of. Were you just excited by the flags and exotic location and couldn’t wait to show off how mad we were ?

    (and the fact that none of your associates on this site of a more accomplished political understanding did not warn you of the consequences is worth pondering in itself.)

    well done, you set another club right their laps.

    one or two of these characters on the bebo site are mad and unfit to bear arms, how this is any way different to other armies around the world, or how it can be conceived of as deriving from some exclusively Unionist inspiration, or being in any way an exclusively Unionist phenomenon, is beyond my comprehension and the only link I can understand is that it happened to nominal protestant individuals who are highlighted and who’s hateful idiocy is being used to defame an entire ethnic group by people with prejudice against that group. A tactic of racist rhetoric specifically criminalised both in the USA and Europe.

  • Dec

    In which we see a classic case of MOPEists repeating a blatant lie until it becomes a “folk truth”. This pondlife has picked up the thread on Slugger, ignored the explanation I gave for the mame because it didn’t suit his prejudice, and just repeated the error as fact.

    Well argued, Darth. Now we eagerly await your attempts at explaining away the unionist cultural historical importance of references to KAT, UVF, KKK, Ragheads and Nazism.

  • Yokel

    Fine ban it if you want, as long as all Wolf Tones gigs go as well.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Williamite: “Anyone who suggests that this old and well-respected title has any bearing on squalid ‘’loyalist’’ murders is either a seriously ineffective researcher, a deluded anti-Orange bigot who misses no opportunity to attack the tradition, or someone who needs to get a grip. ”

    Fair enough… now explain the rest. Consider the “Rising Sons” matter officially refuted. Can you, as DK requested of Darth, explain away the rest of their positings with equal facility?

    This is not some dice game where “one bad, all bad” is in play. You’ve made your case on one of the story’s points. Now explain the KKK and Nazi references, the K.A.T., etc.

  • Sean

    Dread
    Did’nt youread Juan’s post thats all explained away because he thinks nationalists are fans of Osama> I mean Sheesh can’t you hear the voices in his head

  • Mick Fealty

    Can I just point out the ‘bloody disgrace’ in the title came from a member of the Army, and little to do with the political affectation (real or percieved) of the site.

    Also, there seems to be a sustained attempt to use this kind of misconduct as ‘a big stick to hit the Unionists with’. I’ve already banned one bonehead for using multiple personalities to perform the same man playing trick. And I’m happy to ban another, if needs be?!?

    If you are up for a sectarian bunfight, take it somewhere else, there are (I suspect) more important issues raised in this story.

  • pauljames

    Mick,

    Nicely restrained comments by you on this matter when the whole article is obviously a direct lift from a previous thread – the rising sons reference is a dead giveaway. However if the journalist involved is either too lazy or incompetent to follow the arguments covered already does that suggest a different agenda?

  • Mick Fealty

    paul,

    There is a great deal more in there. And that detail was removed from the published version now showing precisely because it was wrong.

  • Briso


    Posted by pauljames on Jul 26, 2007 @ 04:52 PM
    However if the journalist involved is either too lazy or incompetent to follow the arguments covered already does that suggest a different agenda?

    Aye, it’s all the journalist’s fault.

  • Harry Flashman

    SHOCK, HORROR, EXCLUSIVE! HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!

    Soldiers apparently not sensitive, caring, social workers in touch with their multicultural, metrosexual feminine side!

    Weather at 11, followed by sports roundup.

  • Garibaldy

    Harry,

    I agree that some perspective needs to be taken here. Some of the humour – like the placard about motoring the base – is not necessarily offensive (depending on whether the Iraqi had been beaten etc beforehand) but the racism and sectarianism among soldiers should be stamped out. This type of attitude lead to disastrous behaviour by De Chastelain’s troops and Germans in Africa. And clearly has done so in Iraq, particuarly among the US forces.

  • Sam Hanna

    Lets get rid of the Soldiers Song – lyrics dedicated to muderous Protestant hating terrorists – or is equality only one way

  • bertie

    Yes such comments are a bloody disgrace but why should those seeking to inform be blamed for it?

    I would say that they saw things they associate themselves with unfairly judeged and sought to defend from that attack. I don’t have any reason to beleive that they see themselves as anymore associated with the rest of it than those who are barking at them.

    Just a thought

  • Comrade Stalin

    Bemused:

    Working class Northern Prods who join British Army

    Who said they were Prods ? How do you know if they are Christian ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sam Hanna:

    Lets get rid of the Soldiers Song – lyrics dedicated to muderous Protestant hating terrorists – or is equality only one way

    Not really, several leading of the leading soldiers in question were Protestants themselves.

  • pauljames

    Briso

    Your missing my point mate. For this journo to claim that “Eireann can exclusively reveal” is disingenuous to say the least. Not crediting the original source, ie Slugger, is bad form old chap.

  • cynic

    Absolutely right Mick.

    And for all our friends here who want to make a major issue of this errr…what about the ‘RA who for 35 years carried out a ruthless campaign of racist murder here?

    Is that different? There’s almost a sense in some posts here that it was morally superior. That says more about the posters than anything else.

    It is/was all wrong

  • No Dozer

    There you go . A few moronic squaddies apparently let themselves and the army down and every unionist/prod is obviously a nazi, homophobic white supremist.

    If it happened then these guys should face disiplinary action and I don’t doubt that they will be disiplined.

    A question to republicans. Is child killer Sean Kelly, that GREAT REPUBLICAN SOLDIER, a moron or just an evil bxxxxxx and are you proud of his actions or did he bring shame on your coomunity?

  • No Dozer

    Sorry

    I don’t actually have a speech impediment that should have been community.

  • Bitchy

    We should respect these soldiers who are stopping weapons of mass destruction bewing launched at us. They make the world a happier, safer place.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    No Dozer: “There you go . A few moronic squaddies apparently let themselves and the army down and every unionist/prod is obviously a nazi, homophobic white supremist. ”

    The convenient juxtaposition of the OO / parading against the rest is just too convenient for some to pass up — the pictures themselves were not dredged out of the depths of Bebo by Nationalists, but thoughtfully provided by a pro-OO poster, No Dozer… if you’re going to put the ball on the tee and hand them the driver, you have to figure *SOMEONE* is going to take a swing. Add to that the fact that it plays wholely to the ugly charicature that some hold and puts lie to the defenses that some others like to scream, you’re almost guaranteed at least a tempest in a teapot.

  • Mustapha O’Sama

    The Iraqi resistance are carrying on the same fight the Irish abandoned. Remember the Iraqi martyrs. Remember the jailed protesters in England who were sentenced to long jail stretches for peacefully pcketing the Danish Embassy.
    Justice for Muslims. Irish go home.

  • Diluted Orange

    BRITISH soldiers from Northern Ireland currently serving in Iraq have been using the internet social networking service Bebo to display a host of [b]shocking images in which they abuse Iraqi civilians[/b] and appear to mock the hanging of Saddam Hussein, Metro

    Where in any of his long-winded article can Robert Carry substantiate his claims of abuse against Iraqis? Upon reading the first paragraph you’d think you were about to embark on reading a disturbing story along the lines of Abu Graib or something.

    I’m sorry but this is a non-story as far as I’m concerned, another petty attempt to dig up dirt on the British Army. Sure it’s disgraceful to have loyalist imagery on your Bebo page but
    (a) Unfortunately it’s hardly a surprise is it? These guys aren’t going to be the brightest of the bunch by any stretch and (b) What the hell has it got to do with the fact that these guys happen to be soldiers?

    How many ignorant little thugs from NI have Loyalist or Republican paraphonalia on their Bebo webpages? Or love rejoice in paramilitary hard-men imagery in general? Loads and there’s no excuse for any of it – there is a cultural problem here, where it seems OK for both sides to revel in the other’s misery and loss even though we are meant to be living in peaceful times.

    NI society in general, not just a few soldiers in Iraq, need to examine how we perpetuate this ugly cycle of sectarianism and suspicion from one generation to the next.

  • Outsider

    Mick

    Your post was welcome but you were far too late about coming in to condemn the anti protestant/Unionists posts that spawned from this topic, maybe you will consider deleting one or two of the more racist posts.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Fascinating that supporters of the Orange Order are criticising Aughavey (Slugger’s resident pro-OO blogger) for being stupid enough to blog a pro-Orange Order piece without advance checking the supporters weren’t a bunch of anti-Catholic bigots and worse.

    All that whinging for pro-Orange Order pieces and the only one just reveals the hate of those involved.

    Hate, hand in hand with Orangism proven. Haven’t seen a decent counter argument yet.

    It must be embarassing for you. The squirming is amusing though.

  • Frank Sinistra

    I see the entry showing that Fair-Deals group of lodges has been lead by a terrorist supporting band has been deleted.

    You told us your lodge history. We know the banners you walked behind. Delete away.

    Shame on you, walked all the way to the field supporting them. I’m sure you have an excuse.

    Culture?

  • Wilde Rover

    Outsider,

    You are right. I am sure that the readers of Slugger would not be able to make up their own minds on these matters, young and impressionable minds that they are.

    Meanwhile, the thread stands in all its chilling glory and these soldiers have another soap box to spread their message.

    I guess we should all just lie down.

  • w

    And by the way, Mick, I wasn’t aware that mentioning the occult origins of “rising sun” would be considered racist.

    The comments were in relation to the Orange Order and these specific squaddies, not Protestants/Ulster Scots.

    I’m sure there would be many non-OO Protestants who would be interested to find out about the potential origins of the symbols of an organization that claims to represent them.

    If you can’t play the ball here anymore what’s the point of keeping the site running?

  • Frank,

    Just to put this in context for you and for other readers, the person I referred to as using multiple identities to play ‘the same man-playing trick’ earlier in the thread was none other than your good self.

    If you want to swap identities to conduct your own ‘dirty protest’, you might do us a favour and break out and set up your own blog where you can ‘smear’ other people to your heart’s content (and at your own legal peril).

    And it is not the first time (by a long way) you have used the same trick to keep your chosen moniker of the moment clean.

    RED CARD.

    ‘w’,

    My apologies for that Niall. You certainly played the ball, but I had to remove it ‘for legal reasons’ that have more to do with Slugger than anything you did.

    outsider,

    It’s a fine call. If you think I’ve called it wrong on some, let me have the numbers.

    All:

    I don’t like pulling people’s contributions to this or any other subject. Th story above is critical of certain breaches of conduct in the British Army. It also contains criticism from th British Army, though as the journo notes, it took them four days to pull the sites.

    There are serious issues arising here. Yet all we got on this thread was an attempt to use this story to ‘slander’ a whole group of people, and no attempt to divine and address the complex issues arising.

    I’ve always aspired to the idea that as a group, Slugger’s commenters are capable of thought leadership, in a way that is rarely seen elsewhere on the net. And it does happen. That’s why opinion formers the world over come to read these pages.

    But too often it we see people giving in to the imperatives of tribal warfare. The result is a single transferable ruck that just appears over and over again when certain trigger words appear.

    There are some nationalist commenters on here who really seem to believe their opinion constitutes the only possible narrative, and that they have licence to obliterate all others by any means available to them.

    Even if it slips under our radar (even after five years no one gets paid for blogging or moderating Sluggere), it is not acceptable behaviour!

    On a final note, I would sincerely welcome the reporting of anything your think is unacceptable playing of the man! I can’t promise to agree with your analysis, but we might stand a better chance of keeping things clean.

  • McGrath

    Interesting, as the article outlines, that the British Army has a policy on bigotry / bullying etc. I wonder does the policy have any teeth? Any word on any official disciplining?

    Surely bigotry (or at least superiority) is a motivating factor for many in joining any army? It there any such thing as a politically correct soldier?

  • francesco

    peace and justice where are you? come on mate give us a sign, no comment at all…
    how disappointing

  • “Your missing my point mate. For this journo to claim that “Eireann can exclusively reveal” is disingenuous to say the least. Not crediting the original source, ie Slugger, is bad form old chap.”

    Most of the material cited in the article, KKK pics, re-enactment of the hanging of Saddam, photo of Iraqi kids labelled gimps, the one of the Iraqi being humilated by a group of soldiers, the Nazi stuff etc wasn’t mentioned in the original slugger thread – in other words, Metro Éireann did exclusively reveal it. That said, I do take your point and a reference to slugger should have appeared. I was on BBC radio’s Morning Ulster and Foyleside radio this morning and I gave slugger a big plug on both, so hopefully that makes up for it somewhat.

    Regards,

    Robert.

  • Pam

    Briso

    Your missing my point mate. For this journo to claim that “Eireann can exclusively reveal” is disingenuous to say the least. Not crediting the original source, ie Slugger, is bad form old chap.

    pauljames
    To be fair to the journo when I heard him on GMU this morning about 8.10, he did begin by saying that he had first come across the story here, and had followed the links from the story back to the soldiers own bebo sites.

    Pam

  • Outsider

    Mick

    Again I appreciate you taking some action but those posts/lies by Frank Sinistra are a complete disgrace even he even made a personal attack on fair_deal which I have found unwarrented.

  • Thanks for that Robert. Coming in here as a journalist or any public figure is sometimes like putting your head in the lion’s mouth. It’s much appreciated, as is the plug on RU.

    For the record, this is a good example of mainstream journalist picking up a story and developing it in a way that an unpaid blogger often cannot afford to.

    Acknowledgement would be a good development, then maybe the relationship betweens blogs and papers could be developed in much more interesting productive ways, rather than the rather surreptitious manner it is currently conducted in.

    That’s no slight on Robert by the way, who was good enough to send me the copy to follow up on the thread. If anything it’s a intimation of what’s possible.

  • juan

    um, just so you know guys,
    that picture of the Iraqi kids holding a placard has been available on there net for some time, you can input your own message onto the cards, lines such as “I’d rather be an Iraqi than a Tim” and “hey, at least its not Margate” are commonly available, in other words, the ‘proddy soldiers humiliating Iraqi citizens’ was in reality nothing more than proddy soldiers making poor use of a ‘humorous’ viral email.

    I see some of the more glaringly illegal aspects of the article, and its rather choice attempts at misinformation and slander have been augmented, did someone give them a call ? When can we expect the guardian article ? you might want to tell them about the ‘humiliating sign’.

    one of the serious issues here as far as I can see is the internal organization culture of the army foot soldiers, and indeed if we recall the documentary on channel four featuring a met police training camp where ‘KKK’ themed humour was also noted perhaps the wider forces. This is a classical problem of authority, the practical use of violence in society andits effect on human condition. It also reflects the rather brutal aspects of contemporary youth culture (given a loyalist rinse in the case of youths from ‘loyalist housing estates’), if we look at the websites of London youth groups, or indeed sample popular movies (is it called gorno ?) or ‘urban music’ we can see very similar themes across the board…….and indeed we can see it with an Irish ‘Republican’ rinse on the social networking pages of (a certain class of) Catholic young ones.

    as our good host points out, reducing these very serious iissues to a denouncement of Orangeism is bizarre (and in my opinion irrelevant) except on the grounds of generalised racist agitation. The most serious issue for me is that these chaps (and presumably hundreds like them in all armies) are bearing arms and are authorised to use force against people they regard as ‘rag heads’. these men are unfit to bear arms and the thought of them on the lose is terrifying.

    In insisting on incorporating this incident into a negative polemic against one fifth of the Irish population we not only cause further resentment and induce a sense of tribalism ( to the detriment of justice and impartiality on all sides), we lose sight of the vital issue : the effect of the necessary training to do violence for the sake of security and order on the mind of the individual, and the effect of the daily rigours of engagement and violent competition – and the savage culture inside the barracks this can lead to.

    Protestants and Catholics should stand together in the interests of clear discourse on these issues and judgement should be reserved on to the individuals responsible, rather than exploited to defame opposing groups on the Irish question and a culture / political ethos this sort of thing is only tenuously related to in this individual instance. Orangeism didn’t lead to abu grabe , Robert Saulters didn’t direct bath’ist rape torture or Chinese retraining camps or even Argentinean re-education for that matter and Ulster loyalism is not a universal imperative for this (common sort) of behaviour by any stretch of the imagination. Lets concentrate on what is………….

    generalised negative commentary against ethnic groups would be a good start –
    Did any one read the headline on the metros ‘ northern focus’ ? – seems them bad praaadistants don’t like immigration as much as the more decent Catholics (a full 6% margin folks), of course forgetting to mention the demographic breakdown’s correlation to industrial activity and the settlement patterns of migrants, in other words that most immigrants will settle in urban areas and that these areas are going (in every society) to be subject to the greatest tensions, and in the Northern Ireland case these market towns and manufacturing economies will be in Protestant areas and that, given the immigrant distribution demographic that small 6% margin of difference is actually reflective of a decree of tolerance…….but of course, its an inbuild aspect of them praaaadastants to be cruel, not to mention stupid and prone to inebriation, still at least we are a musical people, eh ?

  • Juan

    “that picture of the Iraqi kids holding a placard has been available on there net for some time, you can input your own message onto the cards, lines such as “I’d rather be an Iraqi than a Tim” and “hey, at least its not Margate” are commonly available, in other words, the ‘proddy soldiers humiliating Iraqi citizens’ was in reality nothing more than proddy soldiers making poor use of a ‘humorous’ viral email.”

    You need to read the article again – it doesn’t say that Iraqi children were holding a plackard. Also, I’m aware of the picture you’re talking about – on which you can post your own message – but the one referenced in the article is entirely different and clearly genuine. You could try going out and buying the edition of the paper we’re talking about and actually looking at the photo in question before coming to conclusions on it. We are available in most of the larger city newsagents around Northern Ireland. Alternatively, you could wait until Sunday, I believe the Sunday Tribune are planning on publishing a similar article.

    Anyway, You also seem to be suguesting that in publicing this issue I am demonstrating some sort of anti-orange bias and/or that I am putting forward the idea that these people are somehow representative of ‘Orangeism’ in general. The story has been picked up elsewhere, by the BBC for example, and at no time in the article do I sugguest that these guys are a representative sample of British soldiers from Northern Ireland, let alone the broader loyalist or unionist community, so neither point really stands up.

    I’m not really sure what your problem with the other story on our webpage, (which is based on an Omnibus survey commissioned by the NIO which concluded that 42 per cent of Catholics wanted greater restrictions on immgrant numbers in comparison to 60 per cent of Protestants) actually is but if you would like to send us in a signed letter about it, or anything else, we would be more than happy to publish it.

    Regards,

    Robert.

  • Sean

    Mick

    Its funny you say you have to remove posts because they slander a large group of people unfairly while you yourself have made 2 posts recently sl;andering people with inuendo. Of course you never quite called them criminals directly but there is no doubt about your intent. Intent not backed up with even a scintilla of evidence

  • Dread Cthulhu

    juan: “as our good host points out, reducing these very serious iissues to a denouncement of Orangeism is bizarre (and in my opinion irrelevant) except on the grounds of generalised racist agitation. The most serious issue for me is that these chaps (and presumably hundreds like them in all armies) are bearing arms and are authorised to use force against people they regard as ‘rag heads’. these men are unfit to bear arms and the thought of them on the lose is terrifying. ”

    Part of the howl from the Nationalist side of the argument, juan, arises from the simple fact that there is mantra-like repetition from pro-OO posters that the organization is not anti-Catholic, racist, etc. After hearing this over and over and over again, ad nauseum, and then to be presented with pictures that would suggest otherwise, particularly of individuals who had been previously presented in a more positive light by one of the said pro-OO posters… the appearance of double-think can be a bit overwhelming. The seemingly desperate dive to refute the one error in the narrative, to the exclusion of all others only enhances this appearance.

    juan: “In insisting on incorporating this incident into a negative polemic against one fifth of the Irish population we not only cause further resentment and induce a sense of tribalism ( to the detriment of justice and impartiality on all sides), we lose sight of the vital issue : the effect of the necessary training to do violence for the sake of security and order on the mind of the individual, and the effect of the daily rigours of engagement and violent competition – and the savage culture inside the barracks this can lead to. ”

    Frankly, juan, I think you have this one backwards. This is the result of taking an individual who has already had an anti-social “rinse” and trying to train him as a soldier. Your convenient glossing over any possibility that the young were already anti-social prior to their induction and training is naive at best. A more likely scenario is that the gentlemen were less than even-minded going in and have retained that lens and applied it to their current experience.

  • Outsider

    Due to the responses this thread has received its no wonder that most if not all of the Unionist/Protestant bloggers have stopped blogging on slugger. If this site isnt careful it will become a sap to left wing militant republicanism.

  • Wilde Rover

    Mick,

    Apologies for my assumptions, and my slip of the finger entry under “w”.

    I appreciate, as I am sure many others do, the tightrope you must walk on a daily basis, beset by the stern gaze of the legal eagles.

    You are like the GAA ref: despised by everyone on differing occasions and always called a bollix by someone.

    And yet the game goes on.

    I tip my hat, sir, you are truly a gentleman and a scholar.