Security and/or Human Rights…


Fascinating discussion on William Crawley’s Sunday Sequence between Maggie Byrne and David Vance on the Human Rights lessons that might or might not be drawn from Northern Ireland, in relation to the ‘War on Terror’. There are some interesting points of departure between the two.

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  • Jo

    Anyone else struck by the contradiction in Vance’s view that HE is a defender of human rights and values human life yet when he defines others as “terrorists” they’re clearly not human as he wants to “kill ’em all”. Little to choose between him and the ones he wants to kill, it seems.

    Strange, too, that this particular commentator isn’t challenged by the otherwise excellent Wm. Crawley.

  • willis

    You hit the nail on the head. DV is a commentator who provides good solid reliable articulate right-wing foaming. Why challenge him when he gives such good value? I assume he wants to fill the niche in NI filled by Littlejohn, Coulter etc.

    Remarkably, given the Tele’s tabloid ambitions, he hasn’t got a column with them. Maybe he doesn’t have the work rate?

  • Damian O’Loan

    Maggie Beirne is an untypically insightful commentator who will be missed.

    The question which seemed to elude Mr Vance was, if we are to consider the ‘war on terror’ as a war, which I wouldn’t, what lessons can be applied during wartime. None, if his comments on killing all the terrorists are to be taken seriously.

    His arguments were the sensationalist sort to be found on the pages of the Times, London or New York. Those that George Bush used to justify torture as an interrogation technique. That these terrorists will have their day in court, unlike their victims. This a priori condemnation showed contempt for due process. His absurd claim to the moral high ground will not be respected in many quarters, least of all the Arab world, and the world is a more dangerous place for it. These are the kind of lessons CAJ are pointing to, I think.

    The debate deserved more time. Specifically, I would say that NI can offer insight into the dangers of infiltration, and the need for careful control and management of this technique. The maintenance of a clear distinction between the actors in the ‘war’ in terms of their methodology, particularly in a ‘war’ that claims to be about values. That due process, a fair and public hearing, is essential is clearly not obvious to many; its absence is fatal. Underlying this, the economic terrorism that is globally practised will have to be addressed if the Islamisist cause is to be defeated. It is tragic that the only alternative to ultraliberaism is perceived to be fundamentalist islamicism. This is a lie that the ‘war on terror’ propogates, thereby encouraging the destitute to feel that they have allies in a movement that offers them nothing more than American dominance and hegemony.

    As an aside, going on radio to discuss a report and saying you haven’t read it really makes you sound like an idiot.

  • aquifer

    The term terrorist is not very useful until we have established that other routes to political power and influence were not open. If they are open then chosing to multiply up gross abuses of human rights such as mass murder of innocents should not be tolerated by any state, otherwise the state is licensing rights abuse in the name of political expediency.

    We need to recognise that the effective suppression of terrorism may not be comfortable for states, due to external relations or internal concerns. e.g. Historic feelings of guilt about Ireland by the British, large religious minorities within their borders, or the identification of Irish politicians with the origins or their state in revolutionary violence.

    A right I would like to see established is the right to know or discover the identity or nature of my assailant or prospective assailant. The power of secret sectarian organisations in this region is in large part the psychological power of having secrets and being able to direct underlings to abuse the rights of others.

    This could mean victims and relations of survivors having the right to meet those accused of committing offenses involving injury to others, whatever the outcome of a legal process that terrorists are schooled to frustrate.

    Current legal process conferrs a human distance between victims and perpetrators that privileges abusers.

    Respecting human rights means establishing that assailants are human and also have responsibilities towards others, whatever the infrastructure of control between them and those at the top table.

  • “saying you haven’t read it really makes you sound like an idiot.”

    Damian, perhaps you should listen more carefully!! He said having read it and a little later claims that he read all of it.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Aquifer,

    The Universal Declaration provides:

    Article 8.
    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

    and, related:

    Article 10.
    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

    I think it is the administration of these rights that causes you problems, if I can say so, but they are provided for.

  • Damian O’Loan

    Nevin,

    Sorry. Completely misheard around 2:35, thought he said haven’t and not have. Any other opinions?

  • That’s fine, Damian. I thought it best to ‘correct’ you gently. I think we should always be corrected ASAP in case the undiscriminating poster gets the wrong end of the stick.

    Here’s the Executive Summary of the CAJ report. I’ve not read it through but I was struck by this:

    “While CAJ’s mandate relates only to the actions of the state, we believe that any examination of the past must take place in the context of a full and informed examination of the actions of all relevant parties.”

    What a myopic self-imposed mandate. Surely they should have been looking at the roles of all the players, including those of the three governments, in order to arrive at a proper context for their conclusions.

    As for David ‘Licenced to Kill’ Vance, perhaps he’s been watching too many Bond movies.

    Why was William Crawley acting as a feed to Maggie Beirne?

  • Shore Road Resident

    CAJ has no mandate. It has also just hired the former head of IRA prisoner’s group Coiste as its new director. It’s just another republican whinge-quango. Why anyone takes it seriously is a complete mystery.

  • My thanks to Mr Slugger for the link.

    A little more time would have been most helpful, as Maggie and I both agreed. To dovetail such a complex debate into five minutes was too ambitious, I think.

    Shore Road Resident,

    Well said. CAJ has no more of a mandate than you or me. I reject any sense of it being little more than an echo-chamber for republican mopery dressed up in the vacuous vocab of human-rights.

    As for the other comments here, little to be said since they are so far off the map. If you really don’t think 9/11, Bali, Madrid, 7/7 were anything other than terrorist attacks, there’s nothing I can do for you. Killing terrorists – those who set out to take innocent life – may seem a tad radical to peace processors but then they have no moral base to start from.

    Damian,

    Maybe you should listen before opening your mouth. I read the ENTIRE document – and not just the executive summary, I needed a laugh and this sustained whinge of a report provided it.

    Willis,

    Yeah, I do struggle with the work load – writing for three blogs, finishing writing two books, it’s all such a challenge. I just hope those on the soaraway Belfast Telegraph read your words. I mean, they have such a diversity of writers, all the way from A to B.

    Final point – there sre many lessons to taken from Northern Ireland and you can read ALL about them when “Unionism Decayed 1997-2007” hits your local bookshop in the very near future 😉

  • lib2016

    Terorism and counter-terrorism and all the other -isms which the powerful use to justify their behaviour change by the year. They aren’t meant to be objectively neutral, for that we have the law in all its imperfections, but to sell new weapons, to build new civil and industrial empires and to take advantage of the people who buy the Daily Telegraph and think they are the backbone of the state. Instead they are its useful idiots.

    Like the ‘war on drugs’ the ‘war on terrorism’ isn’t meant to be won. That’s not its purpose nor never will be.

  • The ‘revelations’ looks pretty saucy too, Davy!!

  • willis

    DV

    Thanks for the kind words. Glad we both hold our premier tabloid in equal contempt. I genuinely believe that you could replace both Gail Walker and Lindy McDowell without breaking pace.

    Thank God I’m not a journalist.

    Faisal Islam summed it up rather magnificently in the Obs today.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/feb/17/mediabusiness.bbc

    “There’s this huge terror which emerges when journalists see anything to do with a balance sheet,”

    Indeed!

  • Jo

    The nomenclature of terrorism, basically, is applied to those who use extreme violence in pursuit of a cause with which you disagree. Therefore, while Vance can call for Lebanon “to be bombed to the Stone Age” (which involved the death of thousands of innocents), this isn’t supporting terrorism.

    But of course, it is.

    And the man is a born-again Christian. And a supporter of mass murder. If he is consistent in demanding that those who support the killing of innocents be killed, he should blow his brains out.

    Except, by all the evidence to hand, he’d miss.

  • Hezbollah = terrorists.
    Hamas = terrorists.
    Fatah = terrorists
    Al Queda = terrorists
    ETA= terrorist
    Farc = terrorists
    IRA = terrorists
    UVF, UDA = terrorists

    Do I have to spell it out to the moonbat left?

    If you vote for terrorists, if you shelter to terrorists, then I believe you have recklessly put yourself in a position where you share the same fate as terrorists. Simple as.

    Willis,

    My favourite lines on our intrepid journalist class are as follows…

    You cannot hope
    to bribe or twist,
    thank God!
    the British journalist.

    But, seeing what
    the man will do
    unbribed, there’s
    no occasion to.

    ‘The Uncelestial City’, Humbert Wolfe, 1930

    A few exceptions but only a few..

  • Jo

    Mr Vance

    Your home village of Donaghcloney was home to one of our conflicts worst terrorists, your neighbour Robin Jackson. Was the IRA justified in bombing your village to kill that terrorist? Was MI5?

    Killing your family?

    You?

    “If you vote for terrorists… you have recklessly put yourself in a position where you share the same fate as terrorists”

    Well done David. You’ve justifed Johnny Adair: “Taigs vote for Sinn Fein: “Any Taig will do”

    Worth a cut and paste I think.

  • Jo,

    Is this childish drivel the best you can come up with?

    Last time I checked, the people of Donacloney did not offer shelter or succour to loyalist terrorists. In fact no paramilitary linked political party has ever stood a candidate in this area, wonder why?

    My views on the UDA and UVF are a matter of public record, I view them as scum, just like the IRA. That said, I have read your own enthusiastic praise for all the terror-linked organisations. You cut and paste as you wish – those who enable terrorists and who offer sanctuary and succour to terrorists put themselves in the firing line. The difference is that I support the forces of law and order enforcing this, and last time I checked Adair was not yet on the Policing Board (Maybe it has its quota of convicted terrorists filled?)

    A little bit of advice for you to reflect on;It is best to stay quiet and let people think you are an idiot than open it and leave them in no doubt. Every site has a token moonbat and I thank god you haunt Slugger and not ATW.

  • Jo

    ““If you vote for terrorists… you have recklessly put yourself in a position where you share the same fate as terrorists” ”

    Posted by David Vance on Feb 17, 2008 @ 07:50 PM

    Recorded. NO amount of your bluster will get you away from the fact you’ve justified mass murder at Greysteel and Loughinisland. You’ve justified sectarian murder on the basis that the majority of Catholics support Sinn Fein, who you regard as “terrorists”. Sorry if this affects your PR on the BBC and elsewhere. You’re a a supporter of mass murder.

    You’re caught.

  • Debbie

    Jo, all this playing the man and not the ball.
    Please stop, you are ruining a good thread that I’m trying to read.

  • Debbie,

    I am happy to engage with those interested in the CAJ report, lessons we can learn etc. I leave the moonbat to flutter alone.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Debbie

    If you were paying attention as you claim, then you would realise that Jo has scratched the surface paint that Mr Vance wishes the gullible would watch dry. A tangled web, indeed!

    He hangs himself on his own nonsense, no change there then!

    As for touting himself for a job on the local rag. Seems to be in fashion to have shock-jocks spouting populist hate on behalf of all those little Englander types, you know those that detest change, never mind a coloured face. Why not? Oh and insha Allah, don’t mention Islam!

  • Jo

    Debbie

    Should you listen to the original debate (already a week old) you might glean some understanding. If you regard the intellectual content of opposing debate to the report as interesting – I pity you.

  • Jo

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • Debbie

    Jo and Prince,

    Look, I’m simply tired of the man being played. I don’t give a toss about his other views or what has been said in the past,or his web site, or anything else about him, it’s your trolling that is spoiling a perfectly good thread re a perfectly good debate.

    I looked in because I thought Damien O’Loan, or the others had up dated the argument.

    Jo, opposing debate and seeing the other side of the argument is what debate is all about, and its what slugger does best. The rest of your post is now playing the man as regards to me….SO!
    .Plz….stop trolling.

  • Jo

    Yeah, moderator, however bigoted Vance’s views are, we can’t comment on them. Even when he appears on our publicly funded airwaves.

    Why dont you amalgamate with his site. Neither this site nor his supports free speech.

  • Objectivist

    Why no censure of D.V.’s ‘moonbat’ epithet Debbie? You are obviously not bowing to the tyranny of consistency.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Jo/PE/Obj,

    “The judgement of the Editors in these matters is final and will be exercised without apology, explanation or compensation.”

    The site here is for people who want to talk politics/culture etc. I’ve seen how this goes on other sites, when the personal gets completely out of hand. Besides, it also makes for extremely dull reading.

    So, what about discussing the debate itself? In particular, this tension between security and human rights. The State can and has been found guilty of human rights abuses, notably under the draconian PTA legislation.

    Yet some of the resentment residually felt (particularly, but not exclusively) on the right, is the sense that non state actors are rarely held to be in breach of critical documents such as the ECHR and that it is used to pin the political blame for violence of anti state forces on the egregious actions of government alone.

    Francesca Klug of the LSE has argued a UK Bill of Rights can provide security and human rights. In reality, it is an argument almost all politicians (left and right) in power are profoundly wary of.

    Mick

  • perci

    well Mick I’m all for saddling up and riding into battle singing “cracklin’ rosie” against all those who oppose the peace process.
    But would it do any good? and would I be safe?

    Consider the mods to have been harsh on jo, after all this sista is learning how to handle her scandal with her opponent; making some gutsy points.
    This was met with abuse, and given a free pass by the pruners!

  • Mick,

    From my perspective, the issue here concerns the attempts by the Human Rights Industry to paralyse the State so that it cannot in any way deal with the problems posed by terrorism. One only has to note how Amnesty International locally has lashed out at the US for having the temerity to put alleged Islamist jihadi on trial, having spent the previous five years lashing out at the US for NOT putting alleged Islamist Jihadi on trial!

    Maggie and I agreed (off-air) that Northern Ireland really does carry lessons for the WOT but there has been a reluctance to air these and have a good debate on the topic. There are so many aspects to this and I thank you for at least trying to raise the topic for intelligent debate. The CAJ has one view, people like me have another, in a healthy democracy we can all have our say without being accused of being “bigots”.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Mick

    If you intend constantly covering for DV, at least get him to give you a first look at his comments and edit them. For instance;

    >>Do I have to spell it out to the moonbat left?

    If you vote for terrorists, if you shelter to terrorists, then I believe you have recklessly put yourself in a position where you share the same fate as terrorists. Simple as.< >Jo, Is this childish drivel the best you can come up with?< <>>A little bit of advice for you to reflect on;It is best to stay quiet and let people think you are an idiot than open it and leave them in no doubt. Every site has a token moonbat and I thank god you haunt Slugger and not ATW.< >The site here is for people who want to talk politics/culture etc. I’ve seen how this goes on other sites, when the personal gets completely out of hand.<

  • willis

    Interesting question

    “Should ‘sleb’ bloggers get cut a bit more slack than anon or civilian ones”?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Prince Eoghan: “Anyone with half a brain knows this means attacking those who vote for political parties perceived by the likes of Mr Vance to be his enemies, ie. Hamas and Sinn Fein. ”

    Can one honestly seperate support for the political wing and the militant wing? Should not Hamas the politicians (and by extension, their supporters) be held co-responsible for the actions of Hamas the rocket-launchers?

    Prince Eoghan: “What is wrong with pointing out these outrageous inconsistencies and attack on the very idea of democracy? ”

    Democratic participation is not without its own reponsibilities, Eoghan — when one chooses an action, one accepts the consequences of that action. When one votes for a party with a paramilitary or terrorist wing, the obvious consequence is that one is branded a support of paramilitary activity / terrorism. Is that so outlandish a concept?

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Should not Hamas the politicians (and by extension, their supporters) be held co-responsible for the actions of Hamas the rocket-launchers?<

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Prince Eoghan: “By extension you agree with Mr. Vance that the Palestinians should be bombed to the stone age then?”

    Eoghan, how about, just for a refreshing change, mind you, you actually respond to what I wrote, rather than what you wished I’d written. Who knows, it might actually turn into a conversation.

    The fact of the matter is is that when one chooses a course of action, one chooses the consequences of that action. When you vote for a party with a militant / paramilitary / terrorist wing, you are voting for the whole thing, not just the parts you like. When money is given to a Hamas charity, for example, it has a salutory effect not only their relief efforts and their political operations, but upon their terror wing, since money is fungible.

    Likewise, those who voted for Hamas knew that the organization would continue to launch rockets into Israel and knew that Israel was not simply going to lie back and take it; there would be consequences to electing Hamas, just as surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Only a fool would have thought otherwise.

    I have always wondered what it is about the revolutionary mentality — what sort of magical thinking they possess that assumes they can do as they will and that no one else would dare say “boo!” to them in return.

    So, to do you the courtesy that you so assiduously refuse others, I will answer your question — no, I don’t think they should be bombed back to the stone-age. That said, I’m not all that broken up over the limited responses that Israel has inflicted upon them. The Palestinian people knew and accepted the consequences of electing Hamas into leadership. Why should we deny them the fruit of their decision?

  • Prince Eoghan

    *Mental note to list Dread with the Vances of this world*

    FYI, as you are content to concentrate on Hamas, Mr Vance has also championed “the fruit of their decision” on the Nationalist people of the six counties. Pejorative language like ‘rats’ and ‘vermin’ usually proliferate calls to let them enjoy the fruits of their democratic decisions.

    You wouldn’t be a Yank by any chance Dread, rhetorical, of course I know you are Oh and doesn’t it just show. Hamas dares to defy the US, so unleash the hounds!

    >>actually respond to what I wrote, rather than what you wished I’d written.<

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Prince Eoghan: “What a cheek! You tell me off for extrapolation, then you go off and say exactly what you have told me off for. ”

    Eoghan, you seek to put words in my mouth, while I merely respond to what you have written, whic, of late, hasn’t needed much in the way of inflation. What I do not do is explode your position to such a disjointed degree that it serves naught but to lampoon your actual position, something you, of late, seem to do with some frequency.

    Prince Eoghan: “FYI, as you are content to concentrate on Hamas, Mr Vance has also championed “the fruit of their decision” on the Nationalist people of the six counties.”

    Actually, Eoghan, I went with Hamas since you mentioned Hamas in the passage I quoted.

    In the utterly generic, if we must, do you think it somehow unreasonable that when the bombs start going off, that the state is going simply sit on it hands and think of the revolution? The t members of the targetted community are not going to respond?

    Like I said, I have always wondered what sort of magical thinking assumes the targets of violence, justified or otherwise, will not respond in kind to their attackers.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Dread

    I am going to apologise for getting ahead of myself a little. Perhaps the lack of clarity led me to believe that you were championing things that you weren’t. Apologies.

    I mentioned hamas and Sinn Fein, you have chosen to concentrate on Hamas. Can we be clear then, if only for my sake. You do or do not advocate attacking those who vote for such parties? Termed to be rodents by the likes of Mr Vance and others. This has been the issue all along.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Prince Eoghan: “You do or do not advocate attacking those who vote for such parties? ”

    As a matter of policy? No. I am not in the “kill them all and let God sort them out” school of thought.

    However, when Hamas starts launching ordinance from the immediate vicinity of civilian centers, I have to ask myself, who is truly to blame for civilian deaths when the Israelis come to neutralize those lauchers that have been so carefully set up next to a playground or hospital.

    I simply don’t believe you can artificially split Hamas the terrorists from Hamas the politicians.

    Likewise, I believe that choices have consequences. While I have some sympathy for the anti-corruption argument some voice for voting for Hamas, I don’t for a minute believe that the voting populace misunderstood the consequences of electing Hamas.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Dread

    Mr Vance and others advocate military action in Gaza and Nationalist area’s of the north of Ireland using pejorative hateful terms like ‘vermin’ and ‘eradicate’ etc. I used to read his blog on occasion and witnessed it myself. Earlier on you seemed?!?! to be supporting the stance that the people should be punished for electing parties(Hamas, Sinn Fein) that some would describe as terrorist.

    Notwithstanding the citing of offensive weapons and those killed perhaps accidentally, or in crossfire. Do you agree with a free for all in attacking the voters or not?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Prince Eoghan: “Mr Vance and others advocate military action in Gaza and Nationalist area’s of the north of Ireland using pejorative hateful terms like ‘vermin’ and ‘eradicate’ etc”

    And I precisely have *what* do to with that, Eoghan? Take your troubles with Mr. Vance and address them appropriately.

    Prince Eoghan: “Earlier on you seemed?!?! to be supporting the stance that the people should be punished for electing parties(Hamas, Sinn Fein) that some would describe as terrorist.”

    No, I said choices have consequences — usually obvious consequences, if I may embellish.

    As for calling Hamas, all I have said is that you cannot artificially seperate their paramilitary and political wings — the actions of one taint the reputation of the other.

    Hamas should be punished for their actions, without distinction between the two branches. The Palestinian people elected Hamas to power, making Hamas’ actions those of the Palistinian Authority. Ergo, when Hamas the terrorists launch their rockets into Israel, Hamas the politicians, granted power by the Palestinian people, can legitimately be made to answer for the rockets.

    Or do you indulge in the magical thinking that Hamas launched rockets do not invite retaliation against Hamas’ political structures?

    Prince Eoghan: “Do you agree with a free for all in attacking the voters or not? ”

    Are you slow, Eoghan? What part of “I am not in the “kill them all and let God sort them out” school of thought. ” didn’t you grasp on the first pass?

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Should not Hamas the politicians (and by extension, their supporters) be held co-responsible for the actions of Hamas the rocket-launchers?< <>>When one votes for a party with a paramilitary or terrorist wing, the obvious consequence is that one is branded a support of paramilitary activity / terrorism. Is that so outlandish a concept?
    Posted by Dread Cthulhu on Feb 18, 2008 @ 08:10 PM< <>> The Palestinian people knew and accepted the consequences of electing Hamas into leadership. Why should we deny them the fruit of their decision?
    Posted by Dread Cthulhu on Feb 19, 2008 @ 06:23 PM<

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Prince Eoghan: “Now taking into consideration your above comments from earlier. Do you agree with a free for all in attacking the voters or not?”

    Hamas attacks Israel, IDF attacks Hamas, Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as cover and Palestinian dead for propaganda. The Palestinian election of Hamas was an endorsement of the status quo, including the rockets launched from playgrounds and the predictable Israeli response. That civilians die is not the object of the Israeli excercise, no matter how breathlessly you wheeze.

    For this to be a “free-for-all,” Israel would have to make their best effort, make Gaza a free-fire zone, targeting civilians for the sake of targeting civilians, in the fashion that Hamas targets Israelis.

    Given the above, you apparently *do* suffer from the sort of magical thinking that permits you to have it both ways — you seem to have the notion that one side should be allowed to do things the other is not. Hamas target civilians for the sake of targeting civilians. Israel target Hamas members. If you can’t see the difference in intent, I can’t help you.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Oh dear Dread!

    I’ve tried, but the lack of a straight answer is a pity. I’d never make a good lawyer, or I can’t shame you into clarity. Either way repetition of previous unsatisfactory answer is no substitute I’m afraid.

    I give up!