Woe is the DUP

The Belfast Telegraph tonight isn’t amazingly good reading for the DUP. We have a story (no link found) about the DUP postponing it’s conference, leaving at least a two year gap between gatherings (not that my own party has had one in a while, but then again, we meet every year to elect a leader). Jim Allister reckons it is due to a downturn in DUP membership, and the possible comparisons of the Leader’s speech to that given in 2006. Then the sorry tale of Ian Paisley changing his tune on FOI remarkably soon after the Telegraph published one of his letters in relation to Mr Sweeney’s plans for the Giants Causeway. On which matter David Gordon has a piece, in which he remarks on Paisley Jnr’s only knowing of Mr Sweeney: “quite a few people spluttered in disbelief on hearing that – among them this journalist.”Not published online is the following on page 10 of the Telegraph:

July 31 2007
: First Minsiter Ian Paisley hails freedom of Information disclosures in Northern Ireland and declares that Stormont departments are “making considerable strides towards achieving our goal of more open government”

October 4 2007
: The Belfast Telegraph, using the Freedom of Information Act, reveals that DUP leader Ian Paisley made highly questionable claims while lobbying for a Heritage Lottery grant for would-be Giant’s Causeway centre developer Seymour Sweeney.

October 8 2007
: First Minister Ian Paisley threatens to curtail Freedom of Information provisions, while slamming use of the Act by “lazy journalists who will do not any work (sic)”

  • Dewi

    From Moloney:

    “Above the shop was the local HQ of the UDA, and usually on a Saturday the group’s leaders, including Adair, gathered there for a meeting. This particular Saturday, however, the UDA leaders had left early…….The fuse lit by Begley had been cropped short to give customers in the shop in the shop just enough time to get out but not enough for the UDA men to escape downstairs. But the fuse had been cut too short and the bomb exploded almost instantly.”

  • Turgon

    Yes Dewi and from whom did Mr. Maloney get that information. The comments on the fuse can only have come from the IRA. That the fuse was too short is about the only part of that statement I would give even the slightest credence to. I also thought that the IRA used more sophisticated fuses than that. Certainly had they wanted to ensure escape of the shoppers they would have done so.

    Even if; and it is a huge insurmountable if, but if the attack on the Shankill shop had not been sectarian that does not explain all the other blatantly sectarian attacks does it? Sorry Dewi I do not put you in the camp of the apologists and cheerleaders (as I usually would not Sammy) Do not start apologising for or trying to minimise their crimes.

  • Sean

    That’s a conjecture on your part based on a rather ridiculous premise. There are a number of strategic and practical concerns that would prevent an organization from wiping out an entire street beyond whether or not doing so would be in that organization’s interests

    Somebody tried it on Bombay Street but it was not the provies

  • Dewi

    Not apologising or minimising – just attempting to explain what might have happened.

  • Peter Brown

    What length of fuse is needed Dewi to allow all the innocent civilians to escape but prevent the UDA members meeting upstairs (sic) from doing so?

    Is it

    a) 5 seconds
    b) 10 seconds
    c) 30 seconds
    d) None of the above as this was not the cirteria being applied

    Let’s ask the audience…..

  • Peter Brown

    *criteria

    Sean

    You once again appear to have missed my questions on previous posts – please fell free to attempt to answer a difficult question and surprise us all!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon etc,

    As Dewi has pointed out there is evidence that the Provos were targetting the UDA. There is evidence that the Provos were not attempting to kill civilians in Enniskillen – though the points made in an earlier posts were well made about the positioning of the bomb – I am not in a position to answer those questions.

    Everyone is in agreement that it was damaging to the Provos to kill people innocent Prods so why would they had done so?

    Sinply labelling people as apologists is not a proper response to the above question.

    I would like to see some sort of tribunal/truth commitee to establist the answer to these issues. This might be painful for unionists who might hear that the Provos were not the evil monsters that they believe them to be and might be painful for Republicans (including myself) who might not be attributing due weight to the sectarian element of the Provos campaign.

  • Turgon

    Sammy,
    I do not label you as an apologist normally but today you are acting like one.
    “There is evidence that the Provos were not attempting to kill civilians in Enniskillen”
    Which evidence?

    “though the points made in an earlier posts were well made about the positioning of the bomb – I am not in a position to answer those questions.”
    From my wife’s family I am in a position to comment on the position of the bomb. It was in such a position that it was never going to kill policemen or soldiers only civilians.

    “Everyone is in agreement that it was damaging to the Provos to kill people innocent Prods so why would they had done so?”

    No I think it was in the provos interests to kill Prod civilians. Many of them seem to have just hated Prods and want to kill them. They also frequently seemed to want to provoke a Prod backlash against RCs in order for the IRA to masquerade as the defenders of the catholic population. Also they seemed to adhere to a strategy that to stoke chaos and violence would make the British government more likely to leave.

    I think the genuine problem is that you Sammy are neither an apologist nor cheerleader and neither is Dewi nor really Sean. What you all fail to understand is the sheer hatred in these people (the IRA and for that matter the loyalists). Their leaders managed to disguise it moderately well (better than the loyalists) but at the end of the day they were bigots. You fail to understand because you (not being a bigot) think that killing Prods is not only immoral but also a daft political and military strategy. To you it would be but not the IRA.

    As an example from the other side it took Concerned Loyalist’s worst bigotry for Dewi to accept what myself, Dread, Pete Baker etc. had been saying that the loyalists were thugs and deserved no money.

    I think Sammy had you been in charge of the IRA you would have tried to avoid killing random Prods. The point is you were not (because you are not an evil murderer) and as such you struggle to understand their mentality and attempt to read rationality and indeed some morality into their actions. Attempting to read such things into the IRA’s behaviour is fundamentally flawed.

  • DEwi

    “What length of fuse is needed Dewi to allow all the innocent civilians to escape but prevent the UDA members meeting upstairs (sic) from doing so?”

    No effing idea

    I put a direct quote from one of the best informed books about the IRA on here and

    a) Get branded an apologist.
    b) Asked about my bomb making skills.

    ????????

  • Peter Brown

    Dewi

    Merely making the point that the fuse defence is not a valid one – the length of the fuse is nothing to do with bombmaking skills but it was not possible to do what PIRA was allegedly trying to achieve and avoid civilian casulaties therefore the operation inevitably involved the acceptance of civilian casualties

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon,

    Re. Enniskillen – you yourself admitted that SF were damaged at the polls as a result. It would have been strategic madness for that to have been planned. As everybody knows Grizzly and Mc Guinness were running the show – and it was the gun AND the ballot box. They in my opinion are neither evil murderers or sectarian bigots – they are both ideolgoues who grew up in a history of violent republican rebellion against the state. I make no distinction between them and Collins/De valera who also ran a campaign where innocent prods were killed. Loyalsit paramilitaties deliberately and proudly killed innocent Catholic because they did not need to be elected and becuase frankly before they were organsied by military inteligence had not got the sense to target IRA/SF.

    After bloody sunday the Englezes right to rule in Non Iron in many peoples opinions, including my own was gone. The Provos were swamped with applicants – not because they hated Prods but because the Englezes proved themselves unfit to govern Non Iron. This, internment etc is what drove republican violence and denial of that fact only shows the gulf in understanding between the 2 communities which myself and yourself reflect in this discussion.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    And talking of innocents.

    What about the innocent Welshman who presumed he could join in on a dispute between Padz but had not taken the bother to acquaint himself with the basics of bombmaking – rhag dy gywilydd.

  • Turgon

    Sammy,
    Using terms like Englezes is unhelpful. Yes Enniskillen did SF some electoral harm but it also helped in other IRA strategies. It was always a twin track approach and sometimes murdering people was more important than politics.

    Since the IRA seemed far more interested in killing Prods than “Englezes” your argument does not hold water. Much as I hate using statistics the simple fact is that the vast majority of people the IRA murdered were not “Englezes”. Unless that is one counts Prods as “Englezes” and that is my point that the IRA were sectarian bigots who made little or no distinction between British soldiers and Northern Irish girls who had committed the crime (in IRA terms) of being Prods and remembering the war dead. There were no “Englezes” at Kingsmills, Enniskillen, LeMon, Teebane, Darkley, Shankill fish shop. Douglas Derring was not an “Engleze”.

    To say the Adams let alone McGuniness is not an evil murderer is really rather naive. I do not think that it is only unionists who regard them as such.

    As I said I think you are a decent non violent person who whilst a nationalist does not support the murder of people whom you wish to be united in the same state as. I also suspect you do not wish to murder young British men who join the army let alone random British shoppers in England nor Australians on holiday. As such you struggle to understand the hate and bigotry which motivated the people at Kingsmills, LeMon, Enniskillen, Teebane etc. etc. You think their actions must surely have some rational basis. They do not. You are trapped by a refusal to realise that the terrorists of both sides whilst they proclaimed the same goal as the two communities (UI or union respectively) were actually quite different. Neither I nor I strongly suspect you were actually in favour of killing people to achieve your legitimate goal. That is why you and I are better than them.

  • Dewi

    “Neither I nor I strongly suspect you were actually in favour of killing people to achieve your legitimate goal. That is why you and I are better than them.”

    I repeat Alister’s quote:

    As Jim Allister, DUP Chief Whip in 1985 put it: ‘If we have done all that and we are still ejected [from the UK] … then I would act in concert with hundreds of thousands of other individual loyalists in arming ourselves. No self-respecting individual is going to do anything but resist”

    I reckon that’s “in favour of killing people to achieve a goal”

    Cheap shot I know….your campaign is developing quite nicely by the way but a suggestion from the focus groupsis to free your mind of ideology…best to start with a blank slate..

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon,

    prods/englezes/padz and as Dewi is listening in Diminutive Taffs – all acceptable terms to me I have to admit. I draw the line at the N word – but that is a taboo I really feel like breaking
    because if blacks’ get to say then why cant I?

    re. The Provos and the innocent Prods. You my good fellow are trapped in a failure to understand that Provo violence was in the main a response to a shockingly run sectarian state and a British policy which when the former was legitimately challeneged responded by attacking the Nationalist/Republican people with their army as in Bloody Sunday and internement.

    Most republicans did not want the death of Prods innocent or otherwise but just wanted the Engleze to feck of back to their own country – thats what the Provo campaign was all about – and that is what the vast majority of historians would accept to be the case.

  • Turgon

    Sammy,
    Maybe I was too charitable about you.
    “Most republicans did not want the death of Prods innocent or otherwise but just wanted the Engleze to feck of back to their own country”

    Yes most republicans may not have wanted the death of Prods. However, the IRA quite clearly did.

    We can argue about how much discrimination there was here but I will tell you I think there was discrimination against Catholics and (to a lesser extent) against working class Prods. As a middle class Prod I have to accept that and say I am sorry and it should never happened and yes although I was 1 when Stormont was suspended people like me gained the most from it.

    However, I put it to you that the perverse evil sectarian actions of the IRA were not a legitimate response to discrimination. They were murder.

    Leaving that aside briefly; the majority of the people murdered by the IRA were not “Englezes”, they were Northern Irish Protestants. They were not an attempt simply to get rid of the “Englezes”, they were an attempt to kill Northern Irish Protestants. They also wished to get rid of the “Englezes” but one very major plank in their strategy was to create mayhem and sectarian murder to make the “Englezes” tire of the whole thing and leave.

    I have been charitable and suggested you are not a cheerleader for long enough. Just tell me whether or not you think it was reasonable to murder policemen, to blow up shops, hotels and restaurants, to kill shop keepers? To oppose the campaign of the IRA does not mean that one is a unionist. It does not mean one cannot complain about previous discrimination. It does indeed give one good moral grounds to do so. To support IRA actions invalidates any ability to claim any high moral ground.

    Dewi,
    I am unsure of the context but it was unhelpful. How many times do I have to say that I disapprove of and condemn such statements? I would suggest (and let us try to get this thread back onto some sort of constructive discussion) that you find it difficult that I was challenged to provide a positive prodiban alternative. I have made some suggestions and apart from Billy Pilgrim and Joe Canuck no one has even noticed let alone tried to indulge in debate about the future. I accept that Bob McGowan’s entry into debate is usually causally associated with it degenerating into a slanging match but I think we can all do a bit better than Bob.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon,

    I could accuse you of being a cheerleader for oppression and state violence as I have yet to hear you describe the actions of the British Army as murder in epsidoes like Bloody Sunday. But where does that get us?

    I personally do not think the IRA campaign was justified but I do not think it was ‘evil’ or ‘anti protestant’ – nor do most historians. If you are going to run a war in an urban area then it going to be very fecking nasty. Blame for this war lies somewhere between the Provo campaign, the Prod State, the Englezes military response to the initial troubles and the historical legacy of a sectarian partition backed up with the threat of force.

    The Engleze government has accepted this analysis that is after all what the good GFA/STA is about. Blair cut a deal with the Provos precisely because they ARE a political movement that compromised when offered a resonable settlement. Pity the Provos and the Englezes had not realised earlier but it took lots of dead republicans and the threat of a flattened financial centre in London to bring both of them to where we are today. The Prods were a sideshow who unfortunately took the brunt of this process.

  • Dewi

    Right Turgon:

    1) You have have consistently and resolutely condemned violence in all but the most defensive sense.

    2) You have also stated that is possible (was the word likely?) that violence could erupt again in next decade or so.

    3) You have expressed a wiiligness to join a Ultra Unionist party whose objectives would be:
    i) To renegotiate the Agreement to bring back a Cabinet type Government whilst somehow avoiding majority rule.
    ii) And if that fails direct rule with some Dublin involvement.

    The primary reason for 3) is due to your opposition to sharing Government with Sinn Fein

    I hope that’s fair – if not please tell me where it’s flawed.

    Could I state my bewilderment in as simple terms as I can.

    I cannot understand how 3) is likely to produce a more content society in any sense. Indeed 3) would make 2) more likely in which case 1) is a matter of a personal repugnance only, rather than a desire to eliminate violence from all areas of society.

    Im my not particularly humble opinion a fair more constructive project for peace loving Unionists like yourself (and I know I’m boring on the subject) would be a fierce effort to reduce the intensity of the 12th of July celebrations. Concentrate on the detail of hoe violence can erupt and manage those details away.

    You’ve done a long shif by the way.

  • Dewi

    How violence and long shift by the way…

  • Turgon

    Sammy,
    Okay I accept you are not a supporter of the IRA. We are clearly not going to agree on whether or not the IRA campaign was evil or sectarian. I find it truly strange that people could say it was neither or those things but further debate on the subject is likely to be pointless.

    Dewi,
    I agree with your essential summary of my position. My problems with the current agreement are not solely due to SF but I agree that is the single greatest stumbling block for me.

    I disagree that renegotiation of the agreement or direct rule will necessarily increase the risk of subsequent violence. I regard them as unrelated variables. I believe violence will start again soon no matter what we do short of all Prods and unionist minded Catholics and others voluntarily leaving Northern Ireland. As I say I hope and pray that I am wrong.

    Also even if; and it is an if I do not accept but (to follow your logic) if rejection of the current process makes violence more likely I do not see why proposing an alternative system in a democratic fashion should be prevented by the fact that violent people could then become violent. I would suggest that one cannot conduct politics solely to ensure undemocratic criminals do not commit acts of criminal violence. I do not wish to invoke Godwin’s law but we have tried appeasement before and it does not work. If the IRA wish to kill people because a democratic majority of the unionist community adopt a given democratic non violent position who’s fault would that then be?

    I am opposed to violence but I will not allow my politics to be solely directed to appeasing those waiting in the wings who might propose violence.

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy
    You say the Provo campaign was neither evil or anti Prod.
    I find this hard to believe.
    On the morning of the Enniskillen bomb in another part of the county the Provos tried to kill the children of a village but their bomb failed to ignite or explode.
    They knew that no army or police would be present but it was clear that 30/40 young protestant children were in the firing line but they still went ahead with their plan.
    An attempt to detonate the bomb was from ROI
    Killing Irish children was part of their republicanism.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon,

    This a typical Nationalist/Unioist Left/Right view of the world – the former tends to blame events for individual actions whilst the latter
    tends to blame the indiviual. This helps to epxlain your view of it was the evil Provos what done it and mine of it as hsitory what made them do it. The truth is somewhere presumably in between.

    If you look at Iraq for exapmle it may have been invaded for good reason ( I personally dont accept that) but if the result is that you create an opportunity, for what might be described by some, as the forces of evil to flourish then it is probably not a good idea as it will end up in the messs that it is today. So too with Non Iron trying to put the clock back and exclude the choice of the majority of Catholic opinion if sucessful may let loose those forces, the evil of the IRA ( as you would see it). To the Provos it would appear that the Englezes could not be trusted to keep their word ( with some justification in my opinion ) and we would be heading back to war.

    You will just have to take a hit on STA/GFA – but remember this – you are probably encouraging the perception of Unionism as a cause of violence rather than a victim of violence with your (erstwhile?) friends on thr mainland if you appear to reluctant to bite the bullet.

  • Dawkins

    I just noticed the number of posts in this thread stands at 220. The thread concerning religious teaching in schools stands at 108.

    Who’d have thought that politics and religion would attract so much attention in Northern Ireland?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ulsterfan,

    not wishing to trivialise your point but firstly on a rugby matter – is the Ulster coach under pressure? The Leinster coach should be out in my opinion as like Ulster they appear to be punching below thier weight. Or is it that all Irish (in the geographical sense ) had become shite over night.

    re. The other Enniskillen bomb – I was unaware of that. Do you know for certain there was to be no warning? How do you know that the Provos knew there was no army present. You say they “still went ahead with their plan” – what was their original plan? What statement did they issue?

  • Turgon

    Sammy,
    You flit between the cause of the problems being the “Englezes” and it being the fault of Northern Irish Protestants. It is this flitting which makes it easy to confuse your position with one of objecting to the presence not of the “Englezes” but of Northern Irish unionists. If the unionist population elected a majority of members to the assembly who were unwilling to be in government with SF how would that be the “Englezes” fault?

  • bertie

    IwSMNwdi

    If the bomb at the border had gone off the death tool would have likely been far more than at Enniskillen and the death toll there may well have been higher due to the overstretching of the rescue services and the hospital capacity. Hard to beleive that that wasn’t part of the overall plan. The military presance at country services is not known for its strength. As I said before childrens organisations are to the fore at these.

    Many of us and I do include myself in that, beleive that this was an attempt to cull the numbers of Protestants at the border. Because of what happened in Enniskillen that day and the focus on it, the IRA has never had to explain itself over the other bomb.

  • Turgon

    Bertie,
    Very true. It would have been stunningly efficient in the IRA’s perverse logic. Many children would have died in the long run removing a large number of border Protestant families. But of course the IRA were neither evil nor sectarian, how silly of you to think that blowing up children would have been evil or sectarian.

  • Peter Brown

    Sammy

    At 198 on the previous page I have given 4 examples from 1971 alone of nakedly sectarian murders carried out by PIRA – the Pettigo case is well documented although overshadowed by the actual detonation in Enniskillen. Without wishing to plagiarise Phoebe and Ross in Friends in the light of incontrovertabel evidence are you not prepared to accept the smallest possibility that some actions of PIRA were purely and simply sectarian?

  • bertie

    Turgon and Peter

    Not wishing to detract from the seriousness of what we are discussing, I have to say that I don;t remeber being one of a trio before as in this part of this thread. I need to go and do other things, and leave you both to it for now, which is probably as well before someone thinks we are sockpuppets. 😉

  • Rory

    I have only just come across this thread after it had already received 226 responses and really, life is too short…. but I was intrigued by MacAedha’s assertion that “The benefit of Seymour Sweeney building the said centre outweighs the disbenefits of increased public spending …. and I am still trying to work out what sort of animal a “disbenefit” might be and wonder if by any chance it is somehow related to a white elephant, or indeed a grey one for that matter.

    Can we bring in David Attenborough or Rolf Harris on this?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Turgon my old pal,

    I dont think you thought through the logic of your postion, you agreed with the Welsh bomb making expert that you would agree to some Dublin input in Non Iron affairs if you could escape the clutches of the evil SF who are the choice of your nationalist neighbours. This would be the pay off to Nationlaists for Unionists not keeping up their side of the GFA/STA. That Dublin input could be siginificant, or else Nationalist would not agree to it and possibly go back to war and it also could well be the case that Grizzly and Co could be part of the administration in the South that you would be giving an input to.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Peter Brown,

    shit is that the time, rugby about to start.

    I do accept that some members of PIRA were sectarian and some of their operations were blatantly sectarian and innocent Prods were deliberatley killed, but I do not accept that the objectives or policy of PIRA was to kill innocent prods. Nor do I accept that it was British Army policy to kill innocent catholics although there are many examples of same.

    Oiche mhaith(good night in Oirish)

  • MacAedha

    Rory,
    ‘disbenefit
    dis·ben·e·fit [ diss bénnəfit ] (plural dis·ben·e·fits)
    noun
    Definition:
    U.K. disadvantage: something that makes a situation disadvantageous or unfavorable’
    from encarta
    I really do not need David Attenborough for an explanation.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Bertie,

    re. Border bomb, as I posted earlier, I did not know of this, certainly on the basis of your post it sounds horrendous. Perhaps someone can cast factual light on what the Provos were up to.

  • Peter Brown

    Sammy

    Top Gear for first half rugby for the second and frankly Top Gear was better – can we agree on that too?

    As for the request for light on what PIRA were up to in Fermanagh in November 1987 over to Sean but don’t expect the facts….

  • Dewi

    Welsh bomb making expert…..Nos Da

  • Sean

    Fermnaagh
    Murder near as i can tell but dont really know

    What I do know is Genocide is numbered in thousands and tens of thousands not dozens terrorism is measured in dozens

    And Peter like most lawyers facts really arent your specialty

  • Peter Brown

    Sean

    Interesting way to answer the question – ignoring it. An SF/IRA speciality, if you don’t like the question or the answer then don’t answer it and instead answer a question you like but that hasn’t been asked. I may be a lawyer but at least I have attempted to be an honest one and rather than putting up a smokescreen!

  • willowfield

    Bob McGowan

    Organizaion No killed Catholics Protestants Other
    PIRA 517 167 261 89
    British Security 190 162 24 4
    Loyalist 873 686 132 55

    The figures you quoted show that PIRA killed more RCs than “British Security”, as well as killing 327 more humans. Also note that those killed by “British Security” includes many lawful and accidental killings.

    When all is said and done, the unionist cops and thugs killed more civilians and a greater percentage of their victims were civilians than the PIRA whom you condemn so loudly.

    I’ll ask again: why do you ignore PIRA murders of those whom you claim not to be “civilians” from your assessment? It seems a rather crass tactic simply to discount large numbers of PIRA victims in order that you can try to claim that PIRA murdered fewer than other groups.

    Sammy McNally

    The Englezes have killed thousands of Iraqis civilians I have not heard much talk of RAF murderers – its all about “our brave boys”.

    In war, unless war crimes are committed, killings aren’t murders.

    The IRA have more justification for their war than the Englezes had in Iraq – at least it was their country and they were resisting a period of sectarian rule. Although I personally did not agree with the way they went about it.

    Outrageous nonsense. The PIRA had absolutely no justification for its terror campaign whatsoever. While the Iraq war was unjust, the UK clearly had some justification in terms of just cause and possibly proper authority – in terms of earlier UN resolutions and endorsement by Parliament.

    I think that the real reason Unionists cannot have the “just war” theory because it is an indictment of how they ran the show so badly for 50 years.

    Um, just war theory demonstrates the PIRA campaign to have been entirely unjust!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Willows old bean good to hear from you.

    When you say “The PIRA had absolutely no justification for its terror campaign whatsoever. “ Presumably you mean apart from the fact that the sectarian state of NonIron was set up under threat of violence, the will of the Irish people was ignored in partition, The British Army sided with the sectarian state having come in initally as a guartanor of peace, the British shot 14 innocent civilians on a civil rights march protesting about the sectarian state, the British army organised and trained loyalist parpamitliaries and gave them dirction as to who to shoot. If I had your facility to deny the the relevance of all these facts in explainig the Non Iron War then I probably would agree with you but I would then be at odds with majoirty of political analysts
    and historical commentators.

    Re. Iraq. We hear much talk of the cowardly bombers of the IRA – their mortality rate was however much highter that those in the RAF who know that the reasons given to them for the War is spurious, and that it is by most definitions illegal and yet continue to fly planes and drop cluster bombs whilst unlike the Provos getting well paid. How exactly do they sleep in their beds at night – unless they, a bit like yourself, have a facility to leave out unpalatable facts and dont realise that the big hairy arse bombs they are dropping are killing innocent Iraqi civilians.

    I commend you sir, for developing a most outrageous set of double standards.

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy
    I see you are back talking about the evil Brits and loyalists.
    Lets have some balance and give us your views on the evil acts carried out in the name of Republicanism or do you leave that to others?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ulsterfan,

    Firstly permit me to say a few words on the subject of Ulster Rugby – they are playing absolutely shite – better watch out for Connacht overtaking them in Celtic league and non qualification for HC next year.

    re. Evil Englezes and Iraq.

    I have been asked to justify my previous remarks by the “Historical denier” Willows and have done so. I have previously made observations about the conduct of the Provos which are broadly in line with most historians.

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy.

    Dream on about the Rugby.
    Connaught are going nowhere except propping up the table.
    You try to justify your remarks but this is not convincing and then seek protection by calling unnamed historians to your defence.
    Who are these historians so that we may all examine there works?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ulsterfan,

    I hope you are not too disappointed to hear that someone with my (apalling) views is a big Ulster fan but I fear that if McCall does not get booted out they will not turn things around.

    Lets try you out with one Historian and see how you get on – Peter Taylor: The Provos: Expains their origins as a reaction to sectarianism and partition.

  • ulsterfan

    I have read some of Peter Taylors work and saw most of his TV programmes made for BBC Panorama and Channel 4.
    At times I thought he could be more objective .
    Be that as it may, I am more interested in your views of PIRA and the Crimes, some of which are heinous, that they committed.
    This is in the interests of having a balanced view.

  • Dewi

    Taylor “from a Unionist tradition” – I reckon objectivity his middle name.

  • ulsterfan

    Dewi

    Not necessarily so.
    I am sure you can think of many people who break away from tradition etc. and can have a different view of the world.

  • Pete Baker

    Before this discussion veers into potentially libellous territory.

    Peter Taylor is a very good journalist and documentary maker – but he’s not an historian.

  • Dewi

    I was thinking of Richard English actually – being an Ulster Prod – Taylor from Britaim somewhere.

  • Pete Baker

    Dewi

    You have heard of playing the ball, not the man?

  • Dewi

    Sorry – not said anything critical about either to be honest.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Taylor’s views on the Provos are more or less in line with my own.

    If you want further detail on my extraordinarily interesting opinions I suggest you look through my posts in the debate with my pal from the LOTHR – Turgon. A decent Prod and good egg but with a weakness for fantasy, particulalry about the political future of Non Iron as his moinker might suggest.

    ps McCall Out.

  • ulsterfan

    Taylor is a good historian and excellent television presenter.
    I do not wish to examine his views on” The Provos origin and reaction to sectarianism and partition”
    I am asking Sammy to examine the crimes committed by PIRA and to say if these are justifiable on all occasions.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    “Not a Historian” ?

    Well he has written a historical perspective of the Provos. Where’s me pin – I must get it out and dance on the head of it.

  • Turgon

    Sammy,
    I must correct that potentially libeous slur. Turgon is from the Silmarillon! One cannot be a proper Tolkien anorak and only be into LOTR it is just not obscure enough and not written in old fashioned enough English. Also since I seem to have been appointed Osma Bin Allister’s chief spokesperson on this web site sould I now refer to Allister as Fingolfin, the initial High King of the Noldor in Middle Earth?

  • Different Drummer

    It is interesting to read the way these posts go nowadays. The built in assumption that Unionist domination was much better than having any form of social conflict I think is the most interesting.

    Why? Because it assumes that the dynmaics of the Unionist state and of Unionism it self would NOT produce extremism, when looking back that is precisely what has happened time and time again. The first spilt – being Paieslyism with the O’Neil UUP. O’Neil’s his crime – shaking the hand of a nun and the oppressed crime? – asking for Civil Rights.

    Now we have people posting here using the PIRA campagin as a means to legtimate their own new version of Unionist extremism – The DUP and Pasiely now being ‘sell outs’ and not extreme or Unionist enough.

    That is precisely how we now got some of the most right wing politicians in Europe. Becuase their very success was DEPENDANT on IRA violence and attrocities. Simply becuase as I have posted elsewhere the job of running a colonial state is dependent also on DEPOLITICISATION – of the resistance.

    . Someone posted that PIRA are now the chief agents of British rule here. That becomes more true with each passing month. But it could only have become true if PIRA was genuinely not radical (or ‘communistic’ as someone put it here) if they were they would not have wanted IP snr to be first minister to make British rule work. They now support the ‘fiscal rights’ UDA to its British incentives. After all a contracts a contract (even if it’s terms have been changed a few times!).

    And if ever anyone needed any proof of the nature of imperial and Asendancy ideology one need only listen to likes of the new Unionist Ultras who now want to unseat the DUP and SF.

    I also find it deeply repugant that people use the deaths of people they have known as some kind of weapon in an argument as if their deaths directly *legtimated* their *deeply reactionay politics.*

    That was precisely the way the Rascist government in S. Africa repsonded to acts of terrorism and attrocity – ‘they’ the majority must never be freed because ‘they’ did this to us etc. It never worked there and it will never work here. Saying that ‘I also have lost someone’ because they were murdered and that legtimates my ideology is low grade emotive discourse.

    I could talk about those who I lost, but I will not because it is part of the problem – the only Equality that was, is, and will be produced here – as long as we have Unionist domination will be an Equality of misery.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Ulsterfan

    “I am asking Sammy to examine the crimes committed by PIRA and to say if these are justifiable on all occasions.”

    Most definitely not justifiable.

    Turgon,

    apologies for talking behind your back. I’m afraid my knowledge of Tolkien hardly extends past Hobbiton and I must have miss-checked out your moniker on Google. And talking of names have you heard the rhyme upon which my moniker is based?

  • Dewi

    Turgon – you are even fudamentalist in your Tolkienism…
    Interesting DD – I’m trying to understand the forces driving the Ultras – I don’t think it’s a restoration of priveledge to be honest – Just think it will take a little while to overcome the bad feeling toward ex-terrorists.
    Feel it’s a very dangerous development – depressed when Turgon says he thinks a return to violence almost inevitable.

  • ulsterfan

    Sammy
    Thank you
    Agree that a different approach is needed at Ravenhill in regard to coaching and tactical play.
    All is not lost.

  • Sean

    Dewi
    From what I have seen they dont see it as a return to privledge merely the return to the “natural state”. IMO big house prods profoundly refuse to accept they were in a state of privledge they think they were merely getting their due

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Prods and other decent chaps, I’m off to my leaba ( bed in Oirish )and I leave you with my favorite Ulster Scots phrase indicating an altercation with the constabularly
    “Tha police oxtert ‘im oot”.

  • Turgon

    Different Drummer,
    I regard the above diatribe as clearly directed at myself. Most other debaters address their comments directly to me. Maybe your remarks are directed elsewhere, I would be interested to know.

    I will deal with your comments regarding the prodiban position on the IRA first. Yes my position is that those who were in charge of what I regard as a sectarian murder campaign are not fit for government: definitley not whilst the army council of the IRA remains extant, whilst members of SF proudly proclaim that republicans may one day return to violence, oppose reporting criminal activity to the police, and make no apology of any consequence for the crimes of the IRA.

    Turning to your comments about unionist domination. As you will see; when challenged by Billy Pilgrim, I set out a series of possible prodiban suggestions on renegotiation of the agreement or direct rule. Whilst you may well not accept these proposals they do not amount to a return to “Unionist domination”.

    Of course Different Drummer, if the ideas and proposals of the prodiban get no support amongst the unionist (or other) electorate then there will be no change in the current agreement. If, however, a majority of the unionist population were to support these proposals what do you (as I presume you are a democrat) propose be done about this? Do you reject the right of people to vote for a political party which articulates their position? As I have said previously it saddens me that so many nationalists vote SF but I recognise both the reality of it and their right to do so. I find it biazzare that your post seems to reject the right not only of unionists to vote for a prodiban party but the right of such a party to exist.

    I will not deign to comment on the remarks about people’s deaths.

  • dewi

    The polis surely? Or the one I really like – the peelers.

    Merely getting their due _ undoubtedly some did but the whole situation is historically complex (as if you didn’t know that!)
    I think it’s a dangerous development though

  • Turgon

    Dewi,
    I am not that fundamentalist about Tolkien. I find the folk who learn High Elvish a bit sad / mad. I was trying to lighten the tone but other things seem to have intervened.

    “Feel it’s a very dangerous development – depressed when Turgon says he thinks a return to violence almost inevitable.”

    Indeed I also find it most depressing. I am afraid that the levels of hatred are still very high. I think there are people on botyh sides who really think violence was justified and that a further round of it could advance their position. I think the most depressing thing I had read on Slugger was Finite Drone’s comments. They may have been naive and even in some ways childish but they clearly came from an intelligent young (presumably man) who could easily see circumstances where violence was acceptable, along with a romantisation of some sort of defensive war of liberation in the event of a United Ireland. I heard commenntds like that 20 years ago as a teenager. To paraphrase a famous phrase; They have not gone away I see.

  • willowfield

    Sammy McNally

    When you say “The PIRA had absolutely no justification for its terror campaign whatsoever. “ Presumably you mean apart from the fact that the sectarian state of NonIron was set up under threat of violence, the will of the Irish people was ignored in partition, The British Army sided with the sectarian state having come in initally as a guartanor of peace, the British shot 14 innocent civilians on a civil rights march protesting about the sectarian state, the British army organised and trained loyalist parpamitliaries and gave them dirction as to who to shoot.

    No. The setting up of a state (as most states were set up) under threat of (or actual) violence does not justify terrorism. If it did, terrorist campaigns would be justified in many (most?) states throughout the world, including the Irish republic.

    The will of the Irish people wasn’t ignored in partition: on the contrary, partition facilitated it.

    Bloody Sunday, which happened after the PIRA terrorist campaign began, cannot retrospectively justify it. Nor did it justify its continuation.

    The PIRA campaign had no mandate (on the contrary, it was opposed by the vast majority of people). It had no just cause. It was disproportionate. Non-violent and democratic avenues of protest were available. On every just war criterion, it failed.

    If I had your facility to deny the the relevance of all these facts in explainig the Non Iron War then I probably would agree with you but I would then be at odds with majoirty of political analysts and historical commentators.

    You’re (presumably deliberately) conflating explanation and justification. Explaining something is not the same as justifying it. I do not deny the relevance of various of those factor in explaining the Troubles. And the majority of political analysts and historical commentators do not claim that the PIRA campaign was justified.

    Very poor contribution. And your failure to justify the Provo campaign on just war grounds is noted.

    Re. Iraq. We hear much talk of the cowardly bombers of the IRA – their mortality rate was however much highter that those in the RAF who know that the reasons given to them for the War is spurious, and that it is by most definitions illegal and yet continue to fly planes and drop cluster bombs whilst unlike the Provos getting well paid. How exactly do they sleep in their beds at night – unless they, a bit like yourself, have a facility to leave out unpalatable facts and dont realise that the big hairy arse bombs they are dropping are killing innocent Iraqi civilians.

    I’m unaware of the RAF continuing to drop cluster bombs on Iraq. Perhaps you could provide a link?

    Regardless, as I already explained to you, unless war crimes are committed, during a war, military operations such as those to which you allude, do not constitute “murder”.

    Second, again as I already explained, the Iraq war, while unjust in my view, had more grounds for justification than the PIRA campaign, as some of the just war criteria are arguable and, in terms of UK participation, there was proper authority.

    I commend you sir, for developing a most outrageous set of double standards.

    Given that I apply the same standards to both events, and consider neither to have been just, it is not possible that they are double standards. You’re being dishonest, and I suggest that you retract your accusation against me.

  • Different Drummer

    Turgoning the Funimentalist New Ultra

    Even if I did direct my comments at you would be the first to say that ‘this does not *describe* me’ – as you just have done – funny that…..

    Very tired of you and your supporters presenting yourself as a resonable democracts when you are nothing of the sort – many authoritians supported elections – when they know they could win and if there was a chance that someone was about to stop them they got the boot on their necks. And if you don’t like what elections produce Unionist Ultra’s simply get rid of it – as they did with the UWC and the end of power sharing in 1974. It was on those terms that minorities were FORCED to accept
    integration with Westminster.

    It was that defining moment that estbalished ‘integration’ with the UK. Don’t think that’s revelent to now – well how baout the 2005 riots against the direct rule troops…which most Unionists supported. That is the reality of the extreme Unionist version of ‘integration’.

    Do you really thing getting rid of O’Niel was democracy in action becuse he visited Maynooth! and you expect to be taken seriously as a democrat WOW! As the Portadown parilment showed it was is and will be a split to the right and a fight for the most reactionary position that is the dynamic of unionism.

    I stand by my comments on the emotive use of peoples’ deaths to back up a reactionary politics,
    and that goes for SF and Hunger Strikers too too.

    The dead should NOT be forgotten. I think Brain Feeny in Lost Lives has done an excellent job in reminding us just who and why they died and who killed them. But to use their deaths to legtimate a new ultra Unionism – to the right of the present DUP?

    I don’t think I’am being unreasonable in saying no thanks.

    I take pride in the fact that as a people we can still work together as the postal strike and the Class room strike showed – there are other areas and political campagins that define us as a people which are not reactionary and which we have worked on – Civil Rights being just one of many.

  • Turgon

    Different Drummer,

    I have and will continue to articulate a unionist position which is opposed to the current agreement and seeks to have it renegogiated. I will contiunue to argue that the DUP has very significantly moved from its committments only a few months ago.

    Though I doubt you will accept it I support the classroom assistants fight for just pay, if you look at the posts I have consistently supported them. I doubt you will accept this but I am not some right wing ogre, in my answer to ballygobackwards on another thread I pointed out that I am no Thactcherite. I find the use of the term right wing for those who disavow the current DUP position incorrect but to be honest have given up arguing about it. It is one of the reasons I prefer the term prodiban as it is simply harmlessly funny (and no of course I do not support the Taliban).

    My opposition to the agreement is based on my rejection of SF being in government at this time as I have detailed before. I have also detailed a number of pratical problems that I see with the current power sharing arrangements. You will see that my suggested alternatives involve power sharing and as the only realistic alternative direct rule.

    Accusing me of using my in-laws problems as a cover for my position is also unfair. Prior to any discussion regarding my family on this thread, I had engaged in a political debate without rancour with a number of posters who challenged me to produce a prodiban alternative. I did so. The discussion regarding deaths was not started by me and only became highly unpleasant when Bob McGowan made one of his periodic unhelpful interventions. To be angered by Bob McGowan’s world view is hardly surprising and to point out that people are more than just numbers on his biazzare death balance sheet is hardly unreasonable. If you find it distressing that I mention those known to my family who died I am sorry. I personally feel, however, that those who cheerlead for or justify murder should be reminded that those dead people have names and families, and their loss still lessens all our lives. No matter who or what any relative of your who died in any circumstances was; I am sorry for your trouble.

    I have consistently said I am saddened at all deaths. Due to my religious views (which I know you do not hold) I will find no pleasure at all in any death, not those of policemen nor those of IRA men killed whilst trying to kill policemen, nor those of the hunger strikers. I do think, however, it is only reasonable to allow ones’ own and family life experiences to help inform ones’ political position.

    I do not want to overuse this comment but I have stated before that I feel that if (and it is an if I do not believe would have happened or worked) but that if unionist acceptance of a united Ireland 40 yeras ago would have prevented violence I personally though not pleased by it would have accepted such a thing (though being 1 at the time would have made my views on the subject difficult to ascertain). As I have said time after time there is no cause on this island in the last 50 years that justified death and violence.

    Trying to say that my position is analogous to complaining about O’Neill visiting Maynooth is so specious as to be surreal.

    I reject and condemn loyalist violence. I think Sunningdale should have been defeated at the ballot box and not on the streets. I condemn unreservedly the riots in 2005. I would suggest you look at my posts to Concerned Loyalist if you want a flavour of my viewws on loyalist paramilitarism.

    I would suggest that your real problem is that you find it distressing that someone articulates a view of which you fundamentally disapprove yet does it without having the good taste to shout “Croppies lie down” hence, allowing them to be dismissed as a raving bigot.

    Different Drummer I welcome your contribution to debate as I hope you would be willing to welcome mine. I have the right to put forward a non violent political position just as others do.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Willows me old mucker good to hear from you.

    Re. Justification – I think you will find my posts related to, to use you own words the “grounds for justification”. As I stated earlier I personally dont think the Provos campaign was justified but it was MORE justified than the Englezes campaign in Iraq. The conflation, therefore, would be all yours. Geddit?

    re. Double standards:
    Your double standards relate to condemning the man who went to war to fight for his country ( that would the Provo) but not condemning the man (RAF/BA) who went to war to fight over a lie even though the latter would be responsible for far more civilian deaths.

    p.s. In August the Englezes flew more misisons than in any other month since the war started. Source: The ToryGraph.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    good spot – should be Polis.

    Re. Rugby – why are the WRU going to NZ to get coaches – Henry is a complete tuzzer according to the Welsh players when he was here and the other half of the comedy act had dreadful results when he was here and appaling on the Telly. They dont appear to do coaches very well – hence all the choking.

  • Dewi

    Sammy – they are only resting in NZ on the way to Fiji obviously – how can’t you understand that ?

  • Different Drummer

    Turgoning Again and Again

    I still think your restorting to the language you did about those who have been murdered was distateful, but also very typical of those Unionists who are opposed to the agreement and SF/PIRA. (One should also include the other ‘republicans’ who acted likewsie).

    I know a very prominant member of the Unionist party who is also an Ultra (BTW I find the term ‘prodiban’ very childish it reminds me of an other anti agreement Unionist who calls the OO ‘Jaffas’ !) he also who tried to legtimate his anti agreement politics with highly charged emotive refeneces to the (protestant) dead and I have always found it a deeply repugant tatic. In any case as I said what it tends to do is simply reduce the argument to an Equality of misery.

    Not sure I take your point about Bob McGowan. You made great play of the fact that he is not based here and therefore should be quiet – that appeared to work but what if he was – born and did live here – what then? It would have made no difference.

    Why? – my guess is he would have said that he too had lost people dear to him and you would be back to the Equlaity of Misery.

    But thinking over what I wrote and you have written I think there is a need for more than just a rebutal that as you also know is not my style.

    But I must say just because you claim no connection to the fate of the first Ulster Unionist victim of the Ultras – Capt O’Neil, that does not mean that there is no connection.

    That goes for your stance on Sunningdale. It WAS defeated at the ballot box in Feb 1974 and part of the UWC demand was that their should be a Stormont election copper fasten it.

    Now if that had happened – would you have been still happy to see Gerry Fitt as no2 minister again – I don’t think so! And I don’t think the amount of paramilitray activity then would have made it a fair election (SF did stuff ballots then – which some may recall was challenged by one ‘power sharing’ Gerry Fitt) but that would have been as nothing compared to the intimidation of the UDA/UVF during the campagin back in the days when the UDA was a legal terrorist organisation -listed in the phone book!

    I think it’s worth reconsidering the fall of Sunningdale and the UWC victroy which many Unionist celebrated. I recall Oliver Napier saying about those times – had Sunningdale been accepted – their would be a lot more people walking around today who needlessly lost their lives.

    But to assume Ultras would not try to VIOLENTLY oppose powersharing – oh come off it! Of course they were going to (as did the PIRA). Many Unionist hands made light work of the power sharing executive. And people got used to it and sat on their hands and keep their mouths shut.

    Pretty soon minorities had to get used to the jack boot too after all wasn’t Westminster doing most of the ‘ingetrating’ having decided that the best thing to do would be to encorage the UWC/UDA to win…..

    Now we have the UDA setting the agenda again. I have written elsewhere that it would be the SDLP and not SF who would prove to be the real enemies for Loyalism simply because the Irvine wager – ie ‘we – [the paramilitarists] both need the British to help make us be better citizens’ would not be taken up by the SDLP as they had no arms to bargin with.

    That was on the history on the social questions support for Class room assitants etc not being the mark of someone who is on the right does’t follow…there are many right wing populaists in the DUP. After all don’t the DUP now support civil rights er for everyone…

    Oh and they also oppose water charges!!

    The same goes for your stance against the the other colional occupations running at the moment.

    The war in Afganistan and the Occupation of Iraq are opposed by the Mail and The Telegraph. But that said it is a very important stance.

    It may have very far reaching implications for Britian and here so really sure you can live with the price of the successfull defeat of ‘British Imperialism’?

  • Sean

    Different Drummer
    Either your spelling or your typing is atrocious and I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt especially as I am fluent Typonese especially with these consarned small keys.

    But for the most part I must say BRAVO you do an excelent job of articulating both your opinion but also the hypocritical double speak you face

  • Different Drummer

    Many Thanks Sean I here is a better copy

    Turgoning Again and Again

    I still think your resorting to the language you did about those who have been murdered was distasteful, but also very typical of those Unionists who are opposed to the agreement and SF/PIRA. (One should also include the other ‘republicans’ who acted likewise).

    I know a very prominent member of the Unionist party who is also an Ultra (BTW I find the term ‘prodiban’ very childish it reminds me of an other anti-agreement Unionist who calls the OO ‘Jaffas’ !) he also who tried to legitimate his anti agreement politics with highly charged emotive references to the (protestant) dead and I have always found it a deeply repugnant tactic.

    In any case, as I said, what it tends to do is simply reducing the argument to an Equality of misery.
    Not sure I take your point about Bob McGowan. You made great play of the fact that he is not based here and therefore should be quiet – that appeared to work, but what if he was – born and did live here – what then? It would have made no difference.

    Why? – my guess is he would have said that he too had lost people dear to him and you would be back to the Equality of Misery.
    But thinking over what I wrote and what you have written, I think there is a need for more than just a rebuttal that as you also know is not my style.

    But I must say just because you claim no connection to the fate of the first Ulster Unionist victim of the Ultras – Capt O’Neil, that does not mean that there is no connection.

    That goes for your stance on Sunningdale. It WAS defeated at the ballot box in Feb 1974 and part of the UWC demand was that there should be Stormont election to copper fasten it.

    Now, if that had happened – would you have been still happy to see Gerry Fitt as no2 minister again – I don’t think so!

    And I don’t think the amount of paramilitary activity then would have made it a fair election, (SF did stuff ballots then – which some may recall was challenged by one ‘power sharing’ Gerry Fitt) but that would have been as nothing compared to the intimidation of the UDA/UVF during the campaign. Which was back in the days when the UDA was a legal terrorist organisation -listed in the phone book!
    I think it’s worth reconsidering the fall of Sunningdale and the UWC victory which many Unionist celebrated.

    I recall Oliver Napier saying about those times – had Sunningdale been accepted – there would be a lot more people walking around today who needlessly lost their lives.

    But to assume Unionist Ultras would not try to VIOLENTLY oppose power sharing – oh come off it! Of course they were going to (as did the PIRA). Many Unionist hands made light work of the power sharing executive.

    And then people got very used to it and sat on their hands and keep their mouths shut.

    Pretty soon minorities had to get used to the jack boot too – after all wasn’t Westminster doing most of the ‘integrating’ having decided that the best thing to do would be to encourage the UWC/UDA to win…..

    Now we have the UDA setting the agenda again. I have written elsewhere that it would be the SDLP and not SF who would prove to be the real enemies for Loyalism simply because the Irvine wager – ie ‘we – [the Para-militarists] both need the British to help make us be better citizens’ would not be taken up by the SDLP as they had no arms to bargain with.

    That was on the history, on the social questions – support for Class room assistants etc not being the mark of someone who is on the right; doesn’t follow…There are many right wing populists in the DUP. After all don’t the DUP now support civil rights for er everyone…

    Oh and they also oppose water charges!!

    The same goes for your stance against the other colonial occupations running at the moment.
    The war in Afghanistan and the Occupation of Iraq are opposed by the Mail and The Daily Telegraph. But that said it is a very important stance.

    It may have very far reaching implications for Britain and here, so are you really sure you can live with the price of the successful defeat of ‘British Imperialism’?

  • willowfield

    McNally

    Re. Justification – I think you will find my posts related to, to use you own words the “grounds for justification”. As I stated earlier I personally dont think the Provos campaign was justified but it was MORE justified than the Englezes campaign in Iraq. The conflation, therefore, would be all yours. Geddit?

    No – I haven’t conflated anything, whereas you have conflated explanation with justification. You say the Provo campaign was more justified than the Iraq war on just war grounds, but you have yet – in several posts – to cite any just war grounds on which the Provo campaign could be justified. In contrast, I have cited possible arguments in favour of the Iraq war, namely just cause and proper authority.

    re. Double standards: Your double standards relate to condemning the man who went to war to fight for his country ( that would the Provo) but not condemning the man (RAF/BA) who went to war to fight over a lie even though the latter would be responsible for far more civilian deaths.

    When you apply the same standards to two situations then, by definition, you are not employing double standards! My conclusion from applying just war criteria to both situations is that neither the Provo campaign nor the Iraq war was just, but there are more grounds for arguing for the latter than the former. Your failure to offer any kind of argument to the contrary is noteworthy.

    As regards the actions of individual Provo members vis-à-vis individual British servicemen – which you only now introduce – clearly there is an obvious moral distinction between (i) a man who joins an illegal, unaccountable terrorist organisation operating an entirely unjust murder campaign against the wishes of the people whom he claims to represent; and (ii) a man who joins the legal, legitimate and accountable armed forces of a democratic state. If the latter are deployed in an unjust war, it is the political leaders who make that decision who are to be condemned, not the individual servicemen.

    p.s. In August the Englezes flew more misisons than in any other month since the war started. Source: The ToryGraph.

    Does this irrelevant statement mean that you accept that they are not “continuing to drop cluster bombs”? Please try to be honest.

  • al

    Turgon etc,

    As Dewi has pointed out there is evidence that the Provos were targetting the UDA. There is evidence that the Provos were not attempting to kill civilians in Enniskillen

    Posted by It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it on Oct 14, 2007 @ 02:27 PM

    This is some really soft shite i’m afraid.

    Anyone who shoots someone, stabs them, plants a bomb in full knowledge of the inevitable carnage it’s about to cause is purely evil regardless of the context or any other dreamt up reasoning or apologist babbling

    It’s like saying a child abuse victim who then goes on to rape a child when they are an adult isn’t quite so bad, not quite so evil. This is the sort of trash that comes out from various people on this forum when they allude, however vaguely, to the idea that the death of innocent people was somehow not so bad because those responsible were actually trying to kill “bad people” instead and it was some sort of unfortunate mistake.

    What a great consolation for the rape victim or the person blown to pieces eh?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    I think you are starting to get over the Fiji thing and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate myself for helping you confront this most difficult of issues. On a further positive note Llanelli look to have some really good young players.

    Al,

    My repsonses re. Enniskillen and Shankill Chip shop were in response to Turgon’s contention that the Provos were trying to kill innocent Prods – I did not say they were justified in planting either bomb. It is generally unwise to pick on inidividual comments without their context – so there – dont let it happen again.

    Wilberforce me old fellow me lad,

    I have already outlined the grounds for justification for the Provos war – defending your own people against a paramilitary police force and sectarian mobs and later the Brtisih military etc etc is MORE justifcation for going to war that grabbing someones oil. Suggesting the the ordinary British soilder should hide behind the following orders because they came from parliament even if parliament was misled is a very difficult moral position to justify and arguably more so than that for the Provo. The morality of the situation is not determined by government decree but by the relative merits of the case (see above).

    re. Cluster bombs, I have not read anywhere that they have had an attack of conscience on that one, but my substantive point remains – that they are continuing to kill Iraqi civilians by dropping big hairy arse bombs on them with absolutely no justification whatsoever for doing so – apart from save saving face.

  • bertie

    “There is evidence that the Provos were not attempting to kill civilians in Enniskillen ”

    and just what is this “evidence”. Or should I substitute wishful thinking for evidence?

  • Dewi

    Sammy – my therapist is recommending holidays – so I’m off to Dublin next week. Apart from TCD what do you recommend ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have already outlined the grounds for justification for the Provos war – defending your own people against a paramilitary police force and sectarian mobs and later the Brtisih military etc etc is MORE justifcation

    How can you describe the Provo war as defence ? It was clearly an offensive war, and they picked the easiest targets they could. And look at the civilian bodycount, and the number of civilians which were Prods.

    To try to pretend that the Provos were about defence is a joke, and not a very funny one. They were engaging in a guerilla war.

  • Dewi

    They were engaging in a guerilla war. A Fact. But in the past. Helpful suggestions ?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    I suspect that you are a chap of considerable afluence and therefore recommend Shanaghan’s on the Green – see link below. This will help to unburden you of a large quantity of your cash but it is seriously good. Be cautious if you order the onion rings – they arrive by the bucket.

    http://www.ireland-guide.com/establishment/shanahans_on_the_green.4343.html

  • dewi

    I’m over next week – want to see the TCD stuff to be honest. But i’ll eat where you tell me too. and on holiday so money not important till I get home……..now what are these Euro things ?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Comrade Stalin

    “How can you describe the Provo war as defence ? It was clearly an offensive war, and they picked the easiest targets they could. And look at the civilian bodycount, and the number of civilians which were Prods.”

    Because Nationalists were attacked ” by a paramilitary police force and sectarian mobs and later the British military” – as stated above.

    That was where the Provos came from – the reason Unionists wont accept this is because it means they are partly responsible for the horrors visited on the people of Non Iron.

    I do not seek to defend the way the Provos ran their War or the shocking number of innocent people they killed Protestant and Catholic.

  • Different Drummer

    As I Have Been saying I Find people who use peoples deaths to legitmate their ideology repugant.

    IT IS LOW GRADE DISCOURSE.

    THE TIME TO DRAW A LINE UNDER IT HERE IS WELL OVER DUE AS I SAID, IT REDUCES THE DEBATE TO

    AN EQUALITY OF MISERY.

    —————————————————–

    We now have a new ‘Woe’ for The DUP as they have appeared to have over played their hand but then again one wonders what game they are actually playing or hope to play.

    I had assumed that SF would stick to the legalese and say that ‘a contracts a contract’ – as of today they have changed their position and are now backing the Ms Ritchie and the SDLP.

    Mr Durkan’s statement yesterday may have had something to do with that.

    The way is now open for the DUP and UUP to propose that all funding for SF/republican linked projects be ended.

    If that happens their will be no need for a new Ultra DUP Unionism as that proposed by J Alister etc for opposing SF/republican funding will get a good deal of support and will refresh the DUP as the UUP – the Ultra Unionist party.

    If that happens it will the end of the Belfast Agreement.

  • willowfield

    McNally

    I have already outlined the grounds for justification for the Provos war – defending your own people against a paramilitary police force and sectarian mobs and later the Brtisih military etc etc is MORE justifcation for going to war that grabbing someones [sic] oil.

    I asked you to outline just war grounds for the Provo campaign – you haven’t, and the above doesn’t amount to it. What just war criteria do you claim the Provo campaign met?

    Suggesting the the ordinary British soilder should hide behind the following orders because they came from parliament even if parliament was misled is a very difficult moral position to justify and arguably more so than that for the Provo. The morality of the situation is not determined by government decree but by the relative merits of the case (see above).

    I’m not suggesting anyone should hide behind anything: it is for each individual to reconcile his own actions with his own moral beliefs. The simple point I made was that, ordinarily, killings by servicemen in Iraq are not murders: that is true. You may wish to argue that the killings were immoral, and I may agree, but that does not make them murders.

    Anyway, that is a distraction from the main point which was your claim that there were more just war grounds for justifying the Provo campaign than the Iraq war. I still await your argument to support this. I have several times put it to you that the latter was more justifiable than the former because (a) the former does not meet any of the just war criteria, and (b) it is at least arguable that the latter does meet some of the criteria.

    If you want to keep pressing your point, you need to articulate an argument. Simply repeating assertions is pointless.

    re. Cluster bombs, I have not read anywhere that they have had an attack of conscience on that one, but my substantive point remains – that they are continuing to kill Iraqi civilians by dropping big hairy arse bombs on them with absolutely no justification whatsoever for doing so – apart from save saving face.

    Yet again, you simply repeat an assertion. Where is your evidence that the RAF is continuing to drop cluster bombs in Iraq? If this were happening, I am sure at least some news sources would be carrying the story. I suggest you admit that you made this up.

    Because Nationalists were attacked “ by a paramilitary police force and sectarian mobs and later the British military” – as stated above.

    If we agree that when the Provo campaign began it was defensive, is it your position that it must always therefore be considered to have been defensive, even when – in actual reality – it quickly became offensive, and when the attacks to which you refer ended within less than 18 months of a campaign that went on to last 27 years? You’re engaging in a terrible distortion of reality, surely.

    Also, on this basis would you consider that a 30-year terrorist campaign by black Americans – subject to far worse treatment than nationalists in NI – would have been similarly justifiable? Given the relative sizes of the populations, this would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    Dewi

    They were engaging in a guerilla war. A Fact.

    Not so much a fact as an opinion. You will be unlikely to find the PIRA campaign featuring in any study of guerrilla warfare, which usually attributes such a term to permanent bands of soldiers, living and operating apart from society, engaging troops in sporadic actions, in circumstances of actual war. The PIRA campaign does, however, clearly come within any definition of terrorism.

  • dewi

    Viet Cong lived in the villages apart a select few. Archetypical guerillas.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Willows Me oul Segotia,

    re. jus ad bellum

    My contention is that the Provos had MORE justification for their campaign than the Englezes had for attacking Iraq. It is based on the theoretical view of the ‘reasonable’ man or the man on the Omagh omnibus not on basis of the principles of a theroertical ‘just war’. I feel if we are to go down the later route we will need to come to agreement on which Just war theory we should use. I think you will find however that most of the same arguements will out and the Englezes in Iraq will not fair very well – however I’m game as you appear to have your Heart set on it.

    re. Morality of Provos and the British army

    You have not addressed the fact that Her Majestys forces know they are fighting a war based on lie and yet continue to kill innocent Iraqis – this arguably places them in much more difficult moral position that the Provos found themselves in. How many of them end up charged with murder will hopefully be detrmined by international law rather than by some pretend tribunal set up by the minstry of defence/attack.

    re. Attack/Defence

    Clearly a large part of Provos campaign was offensive but it’s origins were in the appaling behaviour of the state and the paramilitary police and the Englezes after they decided that instead of holding the ring they would turn their guns on nationalists. Clearly all sides should have sought a settlement long before they did – but as the boy Callaghan correctly observed easy to get the troops in and very difficult to get them out . The Provos were never going to surrender and the British had to have their financial district flattened before they decided on a proper compromise.

    re. Cluster bombs

    I dont think you actually read what I have said. We know they have dropped cluster bombs – I have not seen a statement form Ministry of defence that they have stopped and will not use them again – but my substantive point is they continue to bomb civilians for no other reason than they have not the moral courgare to admit they made what we Southerners would call a pigs Mickey out of it.

  • Different Drummer

    Well it looks as though I was right the first time there IS now a united front between SF and the DUP which puts them to the right of their own electorate.

    Don’t know where this leaves the New Ultras.

    Anyway I see you guys are still having a little trouble accepting that there are limits in rhetoric as to what can be understood as an *agreed* veriable moral truth.

    But don’t let me stop you. I’m also interested to know just how long this excahnge will go on trying to do the impossible….

  • willowfield

    McNally

    My contention is that the Provos had MORE justification for their campaign than the Englezes had for attacking Iraq.

    Yes, I know. I’m trying to find out your grounds for that contention, but you seem reluctant to offer an argument. Why is that?

    It is based on the theoretical view of the ‘reasonable’ man or the man on the Omagh omnibus not on basis of the principles of a theroertical ‘just war’.

    Really? That’s interesting – so you accept that on just war grounds, the Provo campaign was unjustifiable? Why, then, did you introduce just war grounds?

    As for the “theoretical view of the ‘reasonable’ man”, where is your evidence that the reasonable man, thinks the PIRA campaign was more justified than Iraq?

    I feel if we are to go down the later route we will need to come to agreement on which Just war theory we should use. I think you will find however that most of the same arguements [sic] will out and the Englezes in Iraq will not fair very well – however I’m game as you appear to have your Heart set on it.

    Um, I’ve repeatedly said that the Iraq war was unjust! As for “which just war theory” we should use, I am only aware of one, which has six principles – just cause, right intention, proper authority, last resort, probability of success and proportionality.

    You have not addressed the fact that Her Majestys [sic] forces know they are fighting a war based on lie and yet continue to kill innocent Iraqis – this arguably places them in much more difficult moral position that the Provos found themselves in. How many of them end up charged with murder will hopefully be detrmined by international law rather than by some pretend tribunal set up by the minstry of defence/attack.

    I’m not sure that they do continue to kill innocent Iraqis – have you evidence for this? AFAIK they are mostly confined to base and the killings are largely being carried out by terrorist groups.

    As for the lies, I simply do not know whether HM forces knew they went to war based on a lie. My hunch would be that no doubt some felt this to be the case, and no doubt others believed the pre-war spin – just like the rest of society.

    As for the moral position, you may be correct that a member of the British forces is in a more difficult moral position than a Provo, simply because there is no “difficulty” in the Provo’s position, which is clearly immoral, whereas there is doubt and about the British serviceman’s position and a possible conflict between his legal duty and possible personal ethics.

    Clearly a large part of Provos [sic] campaign was offensive but it’s [sic] origins were in the appaling [sic] behaviour of the state and the paramilitary police and the Englezes after they decided that instead of holding the ring they would turn their guns on nationalists.

    Not entirely true. The Provos began operating while the Army was still welcome in nationalist areas.

    But I note that you acknowledge that “a large part of” the Provo campaign was offensive. I think it would be more honest to say that, apart from a very short period at the very start, it was entirely offensive. This being the case, when even you acknowledge that “a large part” was offensive, why do you choose to characterise it as defensive?

    I dont think you actually read what I have said. We know they have dropped cluster bombs – I have not seen a statement form Ministry of defence that they have stopped and will not use them again – but my substantive point is they continue to bomb civilians for no other reason than they have not the moral courgare [sic] to admit they made what we Southerners would call a pigs Mickey out of it.

    Again you repeat allegations with no evidence. How tiresome. Either provide evidence that the RAF continues to bomb civilians, or desist.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Wilbers oh I do so enjoy our little chats together.

    I dont believe that the Provos war was a ‘Just War’ – but I do believe that it is has more grounds (listed a number of times) for justification than the Englezes war in Iraq based on the views of the reasonable man on the Omagh omnibus.

    I have no evidence of this but am putting forward my opinion that this is the case with a view to discussion in this forum.

    If you wish to engage in comparison of the 2 wars principle by principle (that list you supplied looks good to me ) then you make out the case for your boyz in Iraq and I will reply on the same basis for the Provos.

    It is also my contention that, assuming the same reasonable man as above, such an individual would have greater difficulty justifying his position to himself if he were British in Iraq rather than a Provo in Non Iron. Although the appetite of the British public for overseas wars is considerable (but they do get all uppety when people fight back) you cannot rule out some sort of Vietnam effect in the future for the returning soldiery.

    The Englezes continue to carry out bombing missions in a war they now know to have been based on a lie and for no other reason that they are too embarrassed or stubborn to admit they got it wrong. Lets hope they don’t leave it nearly 30 years like they did in Non Iron before coming to their senses.

    To see what the brave boyz in their wonderful flying machines were up to in August

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/12/wirq312.xml