“It is not the voices of contented old soldiers that the dissidents need to hear now.”

It’s a point he’s made before. And, for the comprehensively challenged, this time Malachi O’Doherty spells it out in the Belfast Telegraph. Mis-placed pride and the dirty tackling of dissenting voices will not discourage others from pursuing that “tragic history”. From the Belfast Telegraph article

Imagine the impact Gerry Adams might have had on Channel Four if he had delivered the insights the producers no doubt expected of him when he talked about Jesus. He might have said he knows what it is like to be fired by a sense of mission and to be touted on by those nearest to you, but that, in the end, he was unable to stick with absolutist, life-sacrificing commitment to the pure ideal; he preferred to settle terms and survive, and, what do you know, he is glad he did. For that is his experience.

But instead he has to keep saying that the Provisional campaign was heroic and good and driven by high ideals and that is a message that has the power to inspire those who want it to continue. He has to argue that it achieved political results, yet it settled for terms that were on offer in 1973. But it wouldn’t matter if he was allowed that conceit if all that was at stake was his own self-regard; if there was no resumed violence. If the IRA campaign was truly finished, Gerry might be allowed the personal fantasy that he fought a good war. But the campaign is back on.

Read the whole thing.