RIR parades take off?

A confidential email sent by the DUP to me and several thousand others appeals to the majority on Belfast City Council to host a homecoming parade for the Royal Irish regiment after a service in St Anne’s Cathedral.

“Councillor Robin Newton the DUP group leader, said that on Friday morning the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee will discuss the provision of hospitality for members of the armed forces following a Homecoming Parade to St Anne’s Cathedral. “I hope that all committee members will be able to support the civic reception and that those who feel they are unable to vote for will at least not vote against. The worst thing for the city will be if this issue becomes a political football with the resulting bad feeling that will be generated.”

Will Sinn Fein jump with McElduff? Or will Tom Hartley show magnanimity? Can the DUP resist treating the homecoming from Afghanistan as a sectarian badge of honour and keep the issue dignified? Mr Newton in this statement is setting a good example.

The ball now seems to be rolling throughout the province, with councils dividing along predictable llines. Interestingly, this doesn’t seem to have put the MOD and the Army top brass off the whole idea. But are the returning soldiers expected to wear their boots out hiking round every council district prepared to give them a welcome? Or would one parade in Belfast and maybe another in Ballymena
( still, I think, the regiment’s symbolic HQ) be regarded as sufficient?

  • Dewi

    “Last year there were over forty band parades in Limavady town”

    Not withstanding the justice of any particular case forty parades on one town is absurd.

  • Rory

    “The worst thing for the city will be if this issue becomes a political football with the resulting bad feeling that will be generated.”

    I beg to differ. The worst thing for the city will be if there is not the most forthright opposition to any welcoming of these troops from a war that was immoral, illegal and opposed by so many. We should bloody well hope and expect that our political leaders will at least take the lead in a principled stand against any display of solidarity for those involved in that war.

    Supporting the murder of innocents abroad is no way to keep the peace at home.

  • Truth

    The thought of this British regiment parading through the streets of Ireland is disgusting. The British Army are NOT OUR ARMY they are an occupying army with a murderous track record to go with it. The RIR and there predecessors UDR have a brutal record of murder, collusion with loyalists, harassment and intimidation of Nationalists for generations. This is a pathetic attempt to legitimise the RIR in the North, it will fail and fail miserably. Taking the local aspect out of the equation this regiment along with other British Regiments are responsible for the illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and so bare full responsibility for the hundreds of thousands who have been murdered and slaughtered, and the same who have become refugees and homeless.
    Totally reject this idea and will be at the Inevitable protests if they attempt to parade this disgraced regiment through the streets in the North.

  • observer

    supporting the murder of innocents abroad is no way to keep the peace at home.
    Posted by Rory on Aug 20, 2008 @ 09:01 PM

    Bring back that good old sadaam and those jolly nice taleban guys, salt of the earth and all that…

  • observer

    The thought of this British regiment parading through the streets of Ireland is disgusting. The British Army are NOT OUR ARMY

    ——————–

    I think you`ll find they are, remember the GFA and STA you (nationalists) supported the Union. But then again nationalists have always prefered their “soldiers” with balaclavas on and shooting people in the back of the head while bombing innocent people.

  • Big Maggie

    You’d think by now somebody in NI would have realised that a new PARADE is about the last thing Ulster needs. No creative minds in the RIR? (Sorry, I forgot: they’re soldiers. Innovative thinking would be too much to ask.)

  • Dec

    I agree that Cllr Newton’s words are conciliatory however it doesn’t alter my view that this was, and is, intended to be anything other than a coat-trailing exercise.

  • It’s a pity that Observer has to go and spoil a good debate by breaching what I think should be Slugger’s version of Godwin’s Law. This talk about nationalists preferring their army to ‘wear balaclavas and go around and shoot people in the back of the head and bomb innocent people’.

    Pot. Kettle. Black. doesn’t begin to describe this one eyed observation.

    I happen to think that if the RIR want a big parade in Belfast City Centre. If they really want to show their faces after their participation in this shameful war, well, let them. If I were them, however, I would resist the temptation to be turned into a political football and they should just come home and hide away and hope people forget…

  • It’s a pity that Observer has to go and spoil a good debate by breaching what I think should be Slugger’s version of Godwin’s Law. This talk about nationalists preferring their army to ‘wear balaclavas and go around and shoot people in the back of the head and bomb innocent people’.

    Pot. Kettle. Black. doesn’t begin to describe this one eyed observation.

    I happen to think that if the RIR want a big parade in Belfast City Centre. If they really want to show their faces after their participation in this shameful war, well, let them. If I were them, however, I would resist the temptation to be turned into a political football and they should just come home and hide away and hope people forget…

  • eranu

    a dignified homecoming parade to welcome local soldiers back home to safety is the decent and right thing to do. this is the norm in any country, its a welcome for the soldiers that have been putting their lives in danger.

    i wish some of the nationalist people could get over their knee jerk reaction to anything to do with the army and stop spouting the old 20th century hateful bile. do you realise that that sort of thing is not normal and makes you look very odd in a now normalised society?

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    What are we celebrating again? A disgraced regiment, a disgraceful war? Fuck ’em and their “war on terror”?

    How’s the war going anyway? Are ‘we’ winning? Everyone home by Christmas?

  • Big Maggie

    eranu

    “this is the norm in any country”

    In any normal country yes. In case it’s escaped your notice, Ulster isn’t a country never mind a normal one. But you knew that didn’t you?

  • Rory

    “Bring back that good old sadaam and those jolly nice taleban guys, salt of the earth and all that…”

    You may have missed it, Observer, but it is the RIR who are hoping to be paraded. You can object all you like if it is ever proposed that the abused corpse of Saddam or a regiment of Taliban be paraded in Belfast. In the meantime do let’s all try to deal with the agenda to hand.
    .

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    Do Unionists give unconditional support to the British army regardless of whatever dirty little war they are involved in?

    Are there any unionists on here that are prepared to say that what the RIR are doing in Iraq/Afghanistan is wrong?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    It was OK to support those jolly nice Taliban guys when they were fighting the Russians for ‘us’.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Baz does have a point and I personally resent Ireland’s good name in international affairs being assoicated with regiments of the British army.

    But whatever Nationalist misgivings Unionist requirements on this issue should be accomodated and any counter demonstration should not be encouraged as it will may well lead to serious trouble and possibly further stalemate at Stormont. I suspect that security considerations will lead the Non Iron office/Army/Parades commision to come out agianst it.

  • Chris Donnelly

    The intention behind the initiative is clearly to provoke a sectarian row. If the DUP were truly interested in this being a non-contentious matter, then they would not seek any formal civic involvement beyond individual councillors attending a privately organised parade.

    Brian, I think you’ll find Sinn Fein- in line with the vast majority of nationalists- would see no inconsistency in the stances articulated by Tom Hartley and Barry McElduff on what were two separate matters.

    It will also be interesting to see the scale of protests against any such ‘welcoming’ parades. Ironically, the last time Belfast saw a truly impressive crowd gathered for a rally was the anti-Iraq war protest several years ago.

  • Big Maggie

    Tir

    “Do Unionists give unconditional support to the British army regardless of whatever dirty little war they are involved in?”

    Of course! Are you so naive to think otherwise?

  • Truth

    Observer
    In case you don’t know the British Army have occupied Ireland long before the GFA came into existence, 800 years is closer to the mark. How foolish you are if you think that Republicans have accepted the union, the GFA and St Andrews agreement mean nothing they are documents drawn up by British Ministers and sold to weak politicians. They are NOT OUR ARMY and never will be. They were opposed when they were patrolling our towns, villages and fields in the country side, and they will be opposed if they attempt to parade through our streets in some pathetic attempt to legitimise themselves as the Army of the North of Ireland and glorify there dirty shameful murderous war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Times have changed the so called EMPIRE rules the waves no more.

  • Katinka

    First of all, we are not talking about Iraq, only Afganistan where the RIR are serving. Whether or not the involvement in Afganistan is righ or wrong is irrelevant. Soldiers go where they are sent. Don’t confuse the intentions of the government with the servants (ie the army) who have to carry them out.

    Of course the RIR should have a parade. They are our people – they are from all sections of our society, all communities, and from the Republic as well.

    And if you don’t like this – don’t watch, don’t attend a parade, but instead of venting your bile on this site, maintain a dignified silence.

  • LURIG

    As someone has already mentioned this will be turned into another Loyalist hatefest with the main point to rub the Taigs noses in it. This is a disgraced regiment with a shameful sectarian history that not that long ago was photographed parading Orange Order regalia. Let them parade in England but this is a crazy idea in Belfast. I can see protests against this because of it’s involvement in illegal wars abroad AND it’s rotten murdering history of collusion with Unionist death squads. If anything the whole band of them should be standing beside the Serbian Warlord at the Hague with Bush and Blair.

  • Bemused

    As I predicted some months ago when this nonsensical stunt was first mooted – these parades will never happen (there may be one in Ballymena, but frankly, who gives a fuck? The place is a complete shit-hole and the type of twat likely to show up to cheer on ‘Ulster’s’ finest simply deserves to live there). Slowly but surely the ‘British as Finchley’ brigade are getting their come-uppance. The British had major trouble organising home-coming parades in Britain – how the hell they ever thought they were going to organise them in the North is just beyond me. If there is a parade in Belfast then everyone knows it will be an utter circus – republicans and anti-war protesters will come out in vast numbers and swathes of less radicalised but equally political punters (myself included) will simply stay at home. The only ‘support’ likely to turn out would be the usual human sewage one sees drunk to kingdom come wearing Union Jack underpants and ‘fuck the pope’ t-shirts on the twelfth. Somehow I think brave, modest self-effacing soldiers would rather sit-in with a beer and a nice meal than be cheered on by those types of oxygen thiefs….

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “Unionist requirements on this issue should be accomodated and any counter demonstration should not be encouraged as it will may well lead to serious trouble and possibly further stalemate at Stormont.”

    Yer havin’ a laugh. It’s a disgraceful war and is recognised as such by many people and governments across the world. When people marched against the war in London, were they concerned about unionist requirements? It’s OK to be opposed to this shameful farce whether unionist, republican or Greek Orthodox.

    I hardly think “Unionist requirements” (what to hell are they anyway?) are the main issue. Unionists and loyalists, many of whom swell the ranks of the murderous UDR, get any number of parades in a year. This is just another excuse.

    There is nothing – nothing at all – to be proud of in this mess. Put them in cattle trucks and drop them off in Portadown, Lisburn, Bangor, Larne and Coleraine in the dead of night. (Isn’t it handy that our rail system neatly dovetails with that collection of towns, eh? But that’s another story…)

  • Niall

    Don’t they parade at Memorial Sunday? I’m trying to think when they parade in London and can’t but they do and we know there are millions opposed to the war.

    I suppose the problem in NI will be that the majority of those waving the Union Flag and cheering the soldiers will appear to nationalists to be doing it to express old school military unionism as opposed to any concern for the “job” done in Iraq or Afghanistan. They’ll also at times look to the British like the African orange orders do to loyal brethern.

    Truth is it’s very difficult to get any handle on whether these wars are headed for anything but disastrous decade long misery.

    IN NI the British had support of a significant majority, administered building the roads, delivering the post, healthcare and education even registering our BDMs and yet they couldn’t stop a small group from doing what was done. In the places they are now they are all at sea and i wonder how they ever get out?

  • Brian Walker

    Chris, there are two separate factors at issue here, aren’t there? One is whether nationalists see any advantage in reacting to demonstrations of “Britishness” – not easy indeed in this case for domestic reasons we know. It is extremely difficult for the nationalist tradition to separate out what I might call peacetime Britishness from unionist triumphalism, just as many unionists find it difficult to separate Irish patriotism from at least implied support for the IRA. I know this sounds piously balanced but I believe it to be the case. My conclusion is obvious enough: that the new and very raw political dispensation requires forebearance from both main traditions. In this case, there’s still a chance this will be achieved but the situation is fragile enough for one grandstanding idiot of one side or the other to wreck it.

    The second point is controversy over Afghanistan.
    Myself, I think its a mess, but it must be acknowledged that it is in a different category to Iraq, both in its genesis and execution.

    Demonstrations against the Afghan commitment are of course entirely appropriate. But it would be as well for any such not to take on an specific Irish nationalist character, would it not? Not only to avoid confusion but to emphasise inclusion.

  • Truth

    katinka “maintain a dignified silence”
    Bullshit the days of people closing there doors and hiding in the house are over, whether you say you cant blame the soldiers and they only carry out orders is irrelevant, they are involved in an illegal war where thousands of innocent men, women and children have been murdered by these same soldiers, they are the ones with guns and bombs, they do not deserve a heroes welcome, they should be scorned. Facts are facts take your head out of the sand, the only thing “bile” is the rubbish you’re after writing. The British Army cant even wear there uniforms out in England for fear of been attacked, hardly a endorsement of a great Army when there own people don’t even want to give them a heroes welcome as the majority of English people are against the war in AFGHANASTAN AND IRAQ.

  • Bemused

    Excuisitely insightful post Brian. The problem of course is that ‘grandstanding idiots’ probably constitute one in every ten northern males (rising to nine in every ten of the northern political classes).

  • Bemused

    ‘Exquisitely’ obviously.

  • Brian Walker

    PS Thanks (I think,) bemused. I should have acknowledged more clearly to Chris that any demos would be about Iraq as well and maybe more so, because of the deceit involved in invading, as well as the execution. But my main point holds good.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    what is grandstanding in todays world?

  • Driftwood

    Surely 1 RIR and 2 RIR deserve some credit. But it shouldn’t be a political pageant. A parade at Thiepval/Ballykinler/Palace Barracks with some Royal dignitary attending seems appropriate.
    It’s funny to see how hot under the collar some oirish nationalists get at this. They couldn’t give a shit about Afghanistan. They just want an excuse to relieve their anti British fantasies.
    Go to the toilet and do it in private. The British Army is the only one in Northern Ireland. The permanent garrison here is supported by SF under the GFA and following agreements. Foreign policy in NI is dictated by Westminster If people have a problem with that speak to Gerry and ask him why he signed up to supporting these facts.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]Surely 1 RIR and 2 RIR deserve some credit.[/i]

    Off course they deserve credit, they deserve medals, food, they deserve what the nation can give them. They’re heros.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Brian

    I don’t have a problem with these parades going ahead in a private capacity, and restricted to areas which have an affinity with the British army.

    I would not support the parades being officially sponsored/ funded by ratepayers in the various council areas concerned, given that many nationalists (and others) will rightly be opposed to their rates commemorating what many see as a criminal war being waged against a very poor nation halfway across the globe.

    Arguing that this is about remembering the ‘good’ RIR (fighting abroad) and not the ‘bad’ RIR/UDR (fighting at home) is hardly likely to cut it with many- as I’d expect unionists to oppose council funded parades commemorating the ‘good’ IRA of yesteryear as opposed to today’s IRA.

    Like it or not, very many nationalists view the British army in precisely the same vein as unionists view the IRA.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    A parade in a barracks with Neil Latimer taking the salute would be fitting.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    billie-Joe Remarkable

    The vast majority of Unionists support ‘their’ boys and even if they dont like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan they presumably blame the goverment rather than the soldiers.

    The British people voted Labour back in to power after the Iraq war -which in my mind is a shocking indictment of an electorate who had an anti-war alternative in Liberal Democrats.( Perhaps if the boy Kennedy had not been on the pop they might have done so.)

    This parade should simply be referred to the Parades commission and everybody respect their judgement.

  • Driftwood

    Chris
    The IRA is in no way associated in the same league as the British Army.
    It is associated with its fellow groupings such as the UFF/INLA/UVF etc.
    The Royal Irish Rangers and the Irish Guards have a pedigree way above the UFF/IRA drug dealers you wish to bring them down to.
    IRA/UFF/INLA/UVF = local wannabee mafia. Not the people who liberated Belsen.

  • eranu

    maggie, oh come on. if you want to be technical we’re talking about a UK regiment.

    as i read in a recent newspaper article or somewhere, the RIR is made up of an increasing amount of people from both main religions and many southern irish aswell as northern irish (i cringe at having to say these things).
    do the biter northern nationalists not understand that they are the main not normal people in northern ireland and all of ireland? (plenty of loonies on the unionist side but thats another discussion)
    i used to work with a dundlalk man who was in the RAF for years. how can the haters here justify their bile against irish people from all over the island who have served and risked their lives. this is about welcoming home people who have risked their lives. its not about ranting. Trying to say it’s about an anti war stance is frankly pathetic. It fools no one.

    when people read all the mad whataboutary side tracks that have been ranted about here it only serves to knock back to zero the nationalist normality rating. seriously you look as ridiculous as that dry your eyes sketch with the guy in the leprechaun hat and beard that takes a freaker every time he heres an english accent. Do nationalists not realise that the more ranting against normal things they do the further they push themselves into the weird zone?

  • Cahal

    Driftwood, Chris’s point remains.

    A lot of nationalists view the British army as you (and presumably most unionists) view the IRA.

    Personally, I don’t think they are equivalent. The IRA did not attempt to occupy Britain.

  • Gregory

    Didn’t our Lord Mayor, find a pith helmet Boer wat grave at theCity Cemetery? He was on TV beside it?

  • Driftwood

    The IRA did not attempt to occupy Britain.

    No-one would suggest the British Army did here in 1971 Cahal. IIRC they were brought in to protect ‘Nationalist’ areas from attack. The fact that it went pear shaped after that is the responsibility of a number of politicians. Especially our recently departed FM.
    The deployment of the RIR to Afghanistan was the responsibility of Des Browne, acting under orders from Tony/Gordon, same with the Irish Guards in Iraq.
    I don’t think the squaddies would want parochial political parades. A decent gratuity from HMG would be more gratefully received.

  • Gregory

    “The IRA did not attempt to occupy Britain.”

    The Irish did invade and settle Britain. It must have been like West Belfast on a Friday night.

    http://www.postroman.info/ogham.htm

    I just tead that. It makes me feel like a descendant of land grabbing criminals. We need to reach out to them, and assure them, that we have no selfish interests etc.

    Just visiting etc.

    Gregory

  • Gregory

    “Not the people who liberated Belsen. ”

    I think the Brits had a few concentration camps.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:LizzieVanZyl.jpg

    That’s very shocking.

    The IRA are defnitely gay, it’s obvious, they just dress badly, that’s what fooled some of us, but I knew they were gay.

    Gregory

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘…remember the GFA and STA you (nationalists) supported the Union.’

    No afraid not, nationalists were mature enough to admit there was presently a majority in the artificially created northern statlet which prefered foreign rule from britain, something which unionism was too bigoted to recognise pre-1921/22.

    ‘IIRC they were brought in to protect ‘Nationalist’ areas from attack.’

    Care to elaborate for the back of the class why nationalists needed protection from attack? (an honest historically factual answer)

    As regards the thread, personally I have no beef with the individual british soldier. rather it is the institution I have a problem with. The british army was and until justice is served IS no friend to any part of Ireland. those with a colonial mindset may have a diff say. Having encountered many a british soldier overseas, I can only attest to to their overall decorum and personality, which i was admittedly fond off. However this was out of Ireland, and those i did speak too the vast majority did put forward the belief that they had no business in any part of Ireland. However these being actual soldiers from Britain and not soldiers from Britains oldest colony, their word I feel is not representative of the colonial soldiers they have left behind. Whilst history affords me the justifiable pretext for hating the british armed forces, I have to admit, having met many of its volunteers, I do not fully exercise that right. Some British soldiers are without question, thoroughly nice guys.

  • USA

    Firstly let me say that the US was right to invade Afghanistan. It was an appropriate military response to the attacks of 9/11. Iraq however is another matter completely, one which I never agreed with.
    Secondly, the RIR were supposed to be over in Iraq fighting America’s war on terrorism, I would wonder if they were to parade around towns in Ulster would that not attract republican dissidents like bees to honey?
    The RIR’s war on terror may not be over until the parade is safely finished.
    I also agree that a parade is the last thing Ulster needs, perhaps some other type of event would work better. Following the Crimean war a sit down dinner was had by 5,000 veterans in Dublin.
    Parades in Ulster are always so contriversial and this may be a way for the Unionist community to start devising more creative and less antoganistic ways of expressing and celebrating their culture.
    A lot more safe too that exposing the RIR guys to CIRA and RIRA semtex, car bombs and snipers as you know they would regard these parades as high profile targets and would love to make a splash so to speak.
    This post is not a call to arms, just picking up on what someone said earlier. I’m just generally not in favor of parades and flags in Ulster as they only server to inflame ingrained sectarian tensions.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    First of all, we are not talking about Iraq, only Afganistan where the RIR are serving. Whether or not the involvement in Afganistan is righ or wrong is irrelevant. Soldiers go where they are sent. Don’t confuse the intentions of the government with the servants (ie the army) who have to carry them out.

    Of course the RIR should have a parade. They are our people – they are from all sections of our society, all communities, and from the Republic as well.

    And if you don’t like this – don’t watch, don’t attend a parade, but instead of venting your bile on this site, maintain a dignified silence.

    Sums it up really

  • Dave

    Despite the SF-engineered propaganda, the militant nationalists within NI don’t have any ideological objection to the presence of Her Majesty’s soldiers in NI. Indeed, they don’t have any ideological objection to ‘foreign’ occupation either, since they have unanimously accepted the constitutional legitimacy of partition by signing the GFA and they are currently assisting Her Majesty to administer British rule within that region of the UK. It is purely self-serving twaddle to pretend that their objection to the British army is anything sectarian troublemaking, political propaganda that attempts to allow militant nationalists to masquerade as republicans, and a few people who believe their own publicity. When James Callaghan, as Home Secretary, sent the British army into NI in 1969, there wasn’t any manufactured outrage from the nationalists about “forces of occupation” invading Ireland: they were welcomed by the nationalists. Now where in history have a people welcomed an army that they ideologically regarded as invaders? Nowhere; and the militant nationalists had no ideological objection to the British army then, just as they don’t have any ideological objection now. Their objection is purely sectarian, and should be dismissed as such.

  • DK

    Has anyone actually asked the soldiers what they want? Perhaps staying in Aghanistan is preferable to being forced to parade in front of a collection of protesters and supporters fighting each other.

    The sit down dinner sounds much better. Squaddies like food.

  • Soub

    For the record I consider myself Irish, just so everyone knows where I’m coming from here.

    As far as this parade goes I think any protest if there is to be one should be purely based on objection to the war(s)and NOT on the usual dreary sectarian lines.

    I have no personal problem with the parade, if it does go ahead I’ll not go out of my way to attend. If I happen to be in town when it does I’ll not feel the need to run away from it because it offends my delicate Republican/Nationalist sensibilities, I’m a bit more confident in my beliefs than that.

    I think this is an opportunity for the Republican/Nationalist community to demonstrate dignity in not trying to score points on this particular issue, if our fellow inhabitants of this plot of dirt want to have this parade let them. If it used by that community as a point scoring exercise over the Republican/Nationalist community then shame on them.

    We are trying to move on and I think it’s important to pick your fights. This in my opinion is not one of them.

  • dublin exile

    Soub-
    Excellent post (or) I agree totally!

    These guys are currently in the front line of protecting European Civilization from the Medieval Lunacy of fundamentalist Islam. If people in Ireland cannot see beyond the ‘dreary steeples’ to the bigger world picture they should at the very least not be going out of their way to get ‘offended’.

  • Garibaldy

    Dublin Exile,

    I didn’t realise the Muslims were at the gates of Vienna again.

    And btw, anyone trying to separate RIR involvement in Afghanistan from Iraq is being completely disingenuous. Have we forgotten Tim Collins so soon?

    I don’t believe that the military should be becoming more involved in civilian life, which is the aim of these parades in Britain. I oppose them for those reasons.

  • Mike

    Garibaldy

    “And btw, anyone trying to separate RIR involvement in Afghanistan from Iraq is being completely disingenuous. Have we forgotten Tim Collins so soon?”

    Actually, I find it depressing that so many commenters on here have just spouted off about “Iraq and Afghanistan” without a second’s pause to analyse the different contexts and circumstances of the two deployments.

    Interestingly is saw a quote about an SDLP councillor in Castlereagh doing just that and making distinctions between how he viewed the two.

  • Garibaldy

    Mike,

    I’m well aware of the difference in the two contexts. But also the similarities.

  • runciter

    Despite the propaganda the invasion of Afghanistan was just as wrong as the invasion of Iraq.

    And it was certainly not a response to 9/11.

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/preplanned.html

    The only upside is that the Afghan resistance are currently doing a grand job of driving the invaders out.

  • Dublin exile

    Re: Post 25 Garibaldi

    Not only are they ‘at the gates of Vienna’ they are inside the gates of every major city in Europe, just look at London 7/7 or Madrid. Like it or not the civilised world is now in full scale conflict with those who want to drag us back to the dark ages – do you really want the Taliban to truimph in Afghanistan? do you really want Hamas to truimph in Palestine? Ask your sisters or any other woman you know. Modern Europe is a product of the Rennaisance and the Enlightenment, and all those ideas which make us free are what the Islamic fundamentalists wish to destroy. If that makes me ‘pro-american’ on this issue then too bad, but whats your suggestion for dealing with these people??

  • runciter

    Not only are they ‘at the gates of Vienna’ they are inside the gates of every major city in Europe

    There used to be a lot of people who would talk like this. Not so many nowadays.

  • Rooster Cogburn

    Shush< Dublin Exile, Runciter's just about to tell you quite how Don Rumsfeld strapped the parachute on and bailed out of that first plane he crashed into the WTC, and then clambered into the 2nd plane, before doing it all over again, and then got to the Pentagon in time to set off those explosive charges.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Dublin Exile,

    “they are inside the gates of every major city in Europe”

    Thats precisely the point.

    The initital invasion of Afghanistan was in my opinion just about justified but now its a face saving exercise and one that will undoubtedly end in tears and no doubt acts to increase the numbers that “are inside the gates of every major city in Europe”.

    The British army recenlty admitted that their fine men beat to death an unarmed civilian in Iraq and decided not to charge the culprits with murder – now there will always be a few bad eggs as we like to say – but tolerance for such behaviour will surely also add to the numbers “inside the gates of every major city in Europe”.

    As a humorous aside, the army said by way of reassurance, that they had now improved their training and that all soldiers would be now shown a video telling them that they should not beat people to death. I suppose it was naive of some of us think, given some their previous behaviour that they might have been told this on day one.

  • Garibaldy

    Dublin Exile,

    How are the Islamists – who let’s not forget the western powers backed against a secular regime in Afghanistan, not much concern for women then – in a position to threaten western society? In sheer power terms, they are not. Not even close. And anyone who stops and thinks about it for a second can see that. They lack the arms or the numbers to bring down western civilisation. And in case you haven’t noticed, Hamas won the election in Palestine. Do western values stop when we don’t like the results? Apparently so. On top of that, the Palestenians make clear that they do not see themselves as part of a broader crusade, but rather are trying to establish their own rights.

    The argument that European-style civilisation is under threat from Muslims either at home or abroad is so hysterical that it makes Joe Mc Carthy look like a model of judgment.

  • Driftwood

    Interestingly, this doesn’t seem to have put the MOD and the Army top brass off the whole idea. But are the returning soldiers expected to wear their boots out hiking round every council district prepared to give them a welcome? Or would one parade in Belfast and maybe another in Ballymena
    ( still, I think, the regiment’s symbolic HQ) be regarded as sufficient?
    Brian, I would actually canvas how many RIR soldiers would want a public parade. But since Army HQ in NI is at Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn, surely that should be the venue.
    A slap up meal, a free bar afterwards, and perhaps some female company would be appreciated I am sure. The top brass could go to Hillborough.
    It could all be done with minimum fuss, and only those looking far and wide for an excuse to be offended would be.

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Driftwood,

    “and perhaps some female company would be appreciated I am sure”

    I think it only fair, that in these enlightened times, all sexual persuasions should be accomodated – though probably best not to tell Iris.

  • Driftwood

    Well,Sammy, along with the veggie meal option, I’m sure that could be arranged. And the female soldiers (surely not still called greenfinches) accomodated likewise.
    Maybe Iris could arrange to do a bible reading. The squaddies night prefer that to a free bar.

  • Neil

    What Garibaldy said, plus, all the talk of the brave boys risking their lives – a cursory examination of the figures online would show that they are safer than the civilians of said countries by a considerable factor.

    Not soldiers v. soldiers. That’s soldier’s v. people. They took a job, which they get paid to do, and while they are not to blame for the decisions which lead to the deaths of many tens of thousand of civilians they do not need any special thanks for their role in the hugely unpopular, and illegal war on terror.

  • runciter

    Shush Dublin Exile, Runciter’s just about to tell you quite how Don Rumsfeld strapped the parachute on etc etc

    “Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1550366.stm

  • Steve

    Modern Europe is a product of the Rennaisance and the Enlightenment, and all those ideas which make us free are what the Islamic fundamentalists wish to destroy.

    Much of the knowledge of the renaisance was stolen from the islamists as they were far more enightened then the europeans at that time

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    They certainly were Steve.

    I reckon the crusades had a lot to do with what has been a regression/stagnation.

    Anyhow this may surprise some people but I’m with the loonies, I reckon a right good hard conversation is needed regarding the threat within. Ie. Islamic fundamentalism, perhaps even re-writing the HR rights act ect.

    What say you all?

  • Garibaldy

    I reckon Dublin Exile has been reading this

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2008/0821/1219243760069.html

    PE,

    what do you want to do to the human rights act? Allow internment of non-Irish people?

  • Dublin Exile

    Actually No, I hadn’t read it. I’ve no problem with Muslims who accept democracy, are willing to treat women as equals and believe that people with a different religion to themselves have a right to worship freely as they see fit. None of this applies to the Taliban, Al Quieda or your friends in Hamas.

    None of this means that I support ‘crusades’ by western countries – either today or in the middle ages, but anyone who chooses to ignore the threat to our european/western freedoms from Islamic fundamentalism is just whistling past the graveyard.
    FGS they went mental when the cartoon of Mohammad was published in a newspaper, they issued a jihad against Salman Rushdie. Does any regular user of any internet forum seriously believe that Islamic Fundamentalists support their right to blog or get involved in online debate?
    Wake up and smell the coffee lads.

  • Garibaldy

    Eh, Hamas are not my mates. I despise all religious nationalism, but equally I know an election winner when I see it. Now the point at hand is this. What is the scale of the threat from Islamic fundamentalism? So far in Europe they have managed 7/7, the Madrid train bombing, and some bombs in Paris. Even if we throw 9/11 into the mix, it’s hardly sufficient to bring down nuclear armed powers, and the end of civilisation as we know it. In addition, Muslims have shown that they can integrate into the existing political systems both in Britain and Ireland. Where are the Islamist organisations with mass support? They simply don’t exist. Anywhere in Europe. What might give Islamism the potential to achieve mass support – as happened with Hamas – is repression, sectarianism, racism, occupation and imperialist adventures aimed at securing strategic advantages, mainly oil reserves, in Muslim countries. In other words, the idea that we need to go over there and fight them to stop them coming here. It is attitudes like yours – embodied in the erosion of civil liberties in the UK and US since the terrorist attacks – that are the danger to the legacy of the Enlightenment.

  • Driftwood

    The US and our own MoD have publicly stated that the engagement in Afghanistan, if not Iraq, is long term. It is a NATO force protecting democracy in Afghanistan, witness the 10 French soldiers killed fighting the taleban last week.
    What the crusaders need is better PR to show the muslim people the benefits, the RIR and other units in 16 Air Assault Brigade are bringing to that country.

  • Driftwood

    Not ‘crusaders’ doh! protectors.
    anyway, looks like the issue is up and running
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7576855.stm
    All of our armed forces will be invited, so nobody should be getting hot under the collar about this.

  • Dublin Exile

    Garibaldi –
    Muslims living in Europe and enjoying the freedoms which have evolved here are not, with the exception of a tiny minority, supportive of Islamic fundamentalists, so any repression directed against them is wrong, sectarian, and in most cases racist too.

    The problem for Europe is that in places like Afghanistan, Palistine and Saudi Arabia, fundamentalism is flourishing and we are portrayed as the great Evil. So whether we like it or not, we are the enemy. Appeasement has been tried in the face of fascism before and failed, it will fail in the face of Islamic fundamentalism too. These guys arent looking for a deal or an ‘accomodation’ with the west, they are on a mission from god. For that reason I think the UN mandated mission in Afghanistan should be supported, and those who are sent to fight there should be given due recognition when they come home.

  • Paul

    Dulin Exile, when you invade countries, abuse and torture prisoners, set -up undemocratic constructs like Guantanamo Bay then certainly you should expect to be considered the enemy.

    Fundamentally the middle east needs sorted out once and for all, the creation of a Palestinian state must be the absolute priority for the incumbent US president. Stability in the middle east will help ease the overall tension and allow a new entante to develop.

    War-mongering, right-wing assholes who ‘support the war on terror’ blindly are just helping to stoke the flames.

    Let’s reach for the extinguisher.

    Let’s see some sense.

  • Driftwood

    War-mongering, right-wing assholes who ‘support the war on terror’ blindly are just helping to stoke the flames. ???

    The NATO protection force in Afghanistan is there to relieve that country of the Taliban. And help rebuild communities. That is the remit of the RIR in that country. Bloody good job they are doing to. For a pittance.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Gari

    >>what do you want to do to the human rights act? Allow internment of non-Irish people?<< I had posted a reply here ages ago but it hasn't registered, sorry. I think my computer is playing up or slugger is. I reckon the HR Act needs to be at the very least re-written to take into account the needs of victims and potential victims, ie you and I, as well as those accused of crimes. Instead of having orchestrater's of, or attempted suicide bombers free to roam at will after completing their sentences, we need to throw them out. Same with rapists etc. There has been a few cases of illegals raping and doing so again instead of being repatriated. I know all about sending them home to countries that has the death penalty............tough! A Scots guy on my fitba team in Oz got drinking with a bad Aussie crown one night. He had to step into to stop a Vietnamese shopkeeper being at the very least sexually assaulted by guys he thought were going to be at the five finger discount. They got suspended sentences or some such and he got chucked out of the country, and he wasn't illegal. A thank-you for protecting the lady but what the frig were you doing there in the first place. Fair cop.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    crown = crowd.

  • Garibaldy

    PE,

    Not sure about sending people places that have the death penalty. Having said that, I agree we need protected from terrorists. But easier said than done. Apply what you are suggesting to the Irish community in London during the 70s and 80s, and you have a recipe for disaster, with increased bitterness etc. I do think we can treat people who aren’t citizens differently to some extent. A medium can be found, but short of putting suspects (and such they are) on an island all on their own, not really sure what.

    Dub Exile,

    There is some evidence that support for extremism is falling. But even allowing that it is flourishing, we might ask ourselves why. Certainly it is clear that the situation in Palestine is far from helpful to say the least. Nor are wars on Muslim countries. I have to say I find the thought that the Taleban were a threat to western civilisation absolutely laughable. Maybe Al Qaeda or some such organisation would train and flourish in such a regime. But it would remain a terrorist organisation. And no terrorist organisation is capable of destroying an entire civilisation. Has the situation in Afghanistan made things better or worse in Pakistan? The answer is worse.

    Protecting our civil liberties and not indulging in imperialist adventures is far from appeasement.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Gari

    >>Not sure about sending people places that have the death penalty.< < Harsh, but all the more reason to keep your nose clean, isn't it? Worse I believe that there is obvious and visible exploitation of the system going on? All the more need to draw the line methinks. >>I agree we need protected from terrorists. But easier said than done. Apply what you are suggesting to the Irish community in London during the 70s and 80s, and you have a recipe for disaster, with increased bitterness etc.< < Sorry but you are wrong here. Many from the Irish community were British subjects anyhow, some had fought in the armed forces etc. And the reciprocal agreements/arrangements between Britain and Ireland meant they could not apply. Also the conflict was part of an internal problem within the UK itself. >>I do think we can treat people who aren’t citizens differently to some extent. A medium can be found, but short of putting suspects (and such they are) on an island all on their own, not really sure what.<< That is the whole point, those of us not of the right have dared not speak about it too much. Hence we leave the field open to exploitation. Now considering that we see plenty black and Asian faces, especially illegals up for causing mayhem of all sorts, sooner or later the worm that is the easy going Joe public is going to turn. This is in no way a racist statement, it is a statement of fact.

  • Garibaldy

    PE,

    Just quickly on the Irish thing. The government was able to ban UK citizens from NI travelling to other parts of the UK during the Troubles, and I don’t see any reason why it mightn’t have started deporting criminals and suspects for national security reasons. I think the result would have been increased alienation and support for violence, and increased racism against the Irish. It’s that aspect I’m interested in rather than the Irish per se. I guess we might have said the same about Cypriots during the 50s.

    I think most mayhem is caused by natives in GB. Certainly that’s the feeling I get about the spate of stabbings and shootings of teenagers in London say. But I agree there is a perception that needs to be dealt with. I’m not in favour of internment, but there are methods short of that like control orders. Provided they are used sensibly, I am not totally against them.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>The government was able to ban UK citizens from NI travelling to other parts of the UK during the Troubles< < That's right, did that ever get challenged in Europe? Can't see how that could stand. >>I guess we might have said the same about Cypriots during the 50s.< < True enough except that Cyprus was not an internal problem. >>I think most mayhem is caused by natives in GB.<< Totally ignoring the elephant Gari. Many of these GB inhabitants have black or brown faces, many were not born here, many were taken in as refugees when in reality some were just economic migrants at the scam. Successfully as it turns out. I bet there is more Kosovans here than there was in Kosovo pre-conflict, for example. An important aside is that the bar a few dozen murderous bombings over the near 30 years where civilians were casualties in Ireland and England, the conflict was totally different to that which would be inflicted on us by Islamic extremists. It is undoubtedly a whole new ball game.

  • Garibaldy

    I’ve not idea if it ever got challenged, but I guess they were an early form of control orders. I think you can pretty much do what you like if it’s on national security grounds.

    As for economic migrants, I think the Irish should be the last people to complain about that, though clearly there were deeply sinister people from the former Yugoslavia (or all the nationalities there) who exploited the situation to set up criminal networks abroad. I have no problem with deporting women traffickers etc back.

    The main difference I see with the Troubles and the Islamists boils down to support. You really are talking about a tiny minority rather than groups with substantial support. I think effective surveillance and policing is the answer – it’s pretty much worked since July 2005. I really think the danger is exaggerated, though the intentions of the Islamist terrorists are large scale.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>As for economic migrants, I think the Irish should be the last people to complain about that< < I've been one myself, though should I have committed a serious fine I would have been parped oot the country in nae time. The same should apply here. >>I really think the danger is exaggerated, though the intentions of the Islamist terrorists are large scale.< < Yep agreed, the threats have been used to put us in a state of fear and alarm many times. I wonder if we will ever find out which ones were real. Anyhow it helped push through some government policies. And these guys would have us destroyed, man wimmen and weans. >>I think effective surveillance and policing is the answer – it’s pretty much worked since July 2005.<< Really, sorry but I disagree. I remember the British secret services saying that they would need to take on thousands for this to even come close to working. Anyhow how much is this costing. Get rid of them by deporting them back to wherever they came or whoever will have them, simple as that. The time has past for trying to contain them.

  • Garibaldy

    Not sure much more to say, PE, but I think the near total absence of any attacks since 2005 does speak well of the efforts against the Islamists. Look at that attack on Glasgow airport. Amateurish doesn’t begin to cover it. I think personally that the fund of militants prepared and able to do something in the UK is largely exhausted. The question we need to address is how can we avoid a new generation being able to take over.

  • Danger Danger