“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.

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  • West Sider

    This piece is absolutely spot on. They need to state and state clearly that their ‘war’ was an absolute waste of life.

    Anthony McIntyre has a brilliant piece on The Pensive Quill arguing pretty much the same thing – with a killer final line.

    I’ll not post a link here as I believe it deserves its own blog.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    “It’s a point he’s made before”.

    Quite so Mr Baker. It is a point Mr O’Doherty has made before. I suspect he will make it again….and again.
    I am not really aware of any other point he has ever made.

    And the usual suspects will treat his oft repeated point as a pearl of wisdom.
    Its not an analysis I share.

  • Alias

    Malachi, I think, knows that Gerry should have been commissioned to make a programme about Judas but that would spoil his narrative that the Shinners acted in good faith and good authority in changing the dynamic of their campaign from rejecting the legitimacy of British sovereignty and asserting national rights to renouncing the legitimacy of British sovereignty and rejecting national rights.

    To this end he proffers the absurd premise it was normal for someone to spend 20 years undermining the Provos from within and bringing them to endorse British rule rather than simply quit an organisation whose agenda he no longer supported.

    Malachi would have it that he colluded with the security services in undermining the Provos because he had an epiphany one fine day wherein he realised that British sovereignty was here to stay and it was best to assist in its administration rather than resist and that a sudden appearance of a conscience made him realise that sectarian murder was morally wrong – except, of course, Malachi makes no mention of the work of the security services as this would undermine his premise that Gerry is acting in good faith and good authority rather than simply being another compromised tout (Judas) who deemed it better to cooperate with the state rather than spend a long time in prison as a result of certain evidence.

    One of the advantages of the Provos campaign was that it allowed the British state to conflate national rights with violence, and to present it that as these national rights were the cause of the violence that, ergo, the violence could only end when these rights were no longer asserted. That is the same advantage that is offered to the state via the low level activity of its other state-sponsored murder gangs, so these gangs are an integral part of how that state intends to maintain the integrity its sovereign territory.

  • Alias

    Typo: “…from rejecting the legitimacy of British sovereignty and asserting national rights to [i]accepting[/i] the legitimacy of British sovereignty and rejecting national rights.”

  • Paddy

    “Real IRA campaign which, though it is unlikely to match the scale of the Provisional campaign, is certainly much worse than those campaigns of Eta or many other active groups”

    Wikipedia says the following about the ETA resistance fighters: Since 1968, ETA has killed over 800 individuals, injured thousands and undertaken dozens of kidnappings…More than 700 members of the organization are incarcerated in prisons in Spain, France, and other countries.

    RIRA have no hope of getting to that standard. O’Doherty mixes fact and fable, truth and lies. What big breakthrough RIRA/CIRA hope to get is beyond the minds of mere mortals.

    ps: Good win by Italy today. And a good one by Ireland too.

  • iluvni

    Whats happened with Adams’ brother’s arrest warrant?

  • Rory Carr

    Bit of a cherry-picker this O’Doherty fellow, what? He argues that Adams’s insistence on justifying the armed struggle by the Provisionals only but inspires the dissidents to continue violent struggle while Adams’s repeated message over the last decade promoting the GFA and his tireless effort in sustaining and cementing the peace process is blithely passed over. Presumably he does not trust Adam’s persuasive powers of inspiration in this regard, allowing that influence success only where it suits to advance his argument.

    Clearly O’Doherty is a post-Reformation man in this regard insisting upon his own individual interpretation of what might be called The Book Of Gerry to be the only true interpretation allowing no mediator in the guise of uncomfortable evidence to interject itself between Malachi and the great god, BelTel.

  • I dont know why we would expect or ask people to denounce their cause when most will have devoted years of their lives and in many cases, have suffered greatly for it.

    Gerry Adams has outstanding problems which should be unrelated to Irish republicanism, and would be were it not for his and S/Fs stubborn insistence on hanging on to some of their old and patently untrustworthy colleagues.

    I believe S/F and Gerry Adams should be asking these dissidents what their real aim is. Do they not see what has not worked in the entire history of this island will not work now. If it is the (as I believe it is) aim of a few sadistic murderers to build their own little ’empirette’ within their community, then their accomplices must ask themselves ‘do I want to be found naked and bound on a back road’.

    The dissidents whilst relatively few, contain people who would only ever be considered by their ’emperors’ as canon fodder. We should all make sure people see the choices for what they actually are.

  • BryanS

    Why cannot these dreamers realise the truth that Gerry and his footsoldiers set back irish unity 50 years.
    And who were the British government murder gangs. Were they by any chance a reaction to the murdering bombing thugs?
    When will the voters or NI catch on to what the voters in the south caught on to years ago. SF is not wanted in a civilised society.

  • Paddy

    Hi Bryan

    “And who were the British government murder gangs. Were they by any chance a reaction to the murdering bombing thugs”. Actusally this strategy was formalised during the British terrorist attacks on the Kikuyu (Mau Mau wars). Frank Kidson, Low Intensity Operations. It has been used in Iraq when the SAS bombed Shiite mosques to stoke things up.
    So: Britain is a terrorist rogue state, with a large jingoistic population.

    Your assumption that the 26 cos is a civilised society has, I am sure you know, feet of clay. Also, it was built out of violence as the CIRA/RSF mob could tell you.

    Gerry and his buddies hijacked the civil rights movement (with help from the 2nd Paras and those SAS/FRU units who bombed Dublin etc). Conflating it with Irish unity did not do much good.

    Why, for example, did PIRA never whack the Paisley family? Or why was Paisley, Robinson and the other DUP runts never given long stretches?

  • Paddy

    Britain is a terrorist rogue state with a large jingoistic population.

    You need to check your history. Throughout our shared history, and whether you like it or not our history is shared. The Irish and British fought together against whichever foe, up to and including the first and second world wars.

    Has it occurred to you that there are probably more Irish people living happily in the UK than there are on the whole island of Ireland.

    No doubt the Brits did have ‘murder gangs’, but, simpleton, they hardly needed them when so many republicans were either killing each other or easy because of their little ‘foibles’ to turn.

    Oh and it was Wellington who declared “It is not the job of generals to be firing upon each other”. He was wrong. All bloody generals should be on the front line.

  • John O’Connell

    Excellent article by Malachi. He is effectively calling for Gerry Adams to repent of the armed struggle. That would be a wise move for Adams.

    It would be wise because Gerry is special and for centuries to come people will look to his actions to find out all about right and wrong.

    At the moment it seems that the oppressed can legitimately pursue armed struggle and get the results they want from it, or is that Gerry Adams’ delusion, and the “sword” (Mt 10:34) of Christianity, which was designed for the same purpose becomes redundant.

    It is hard to argue with that conclusion in the present circumstances even if Malachi tries. THat is why I suggest that this conflict is far from over. No-one, only me, has as yet anticipated a Bosnia style conflict which is the logical progression from achieving “freedom” through armed struggle.

    One thing I would assure people of is that this conflict will not end with Gerry Adams as the new Christ. It will end either in full repentance from the Republican Movement on Christian terms (a surrender to Christ) or in full scale Bosnia style violence.

  • West Sider

    Good point, Rory Carr. I hadn’t thought of that angle.

    I like some of Malachi’s journalism, but lie Suzanne Breen, a lot of it is compromised by the ill-disguised hatred they have for those who vote Sinn Fein.

    Malachi is more measured in this, whereas Suzanne is more visceral in writing soft focus pieces on those who would kill or bring violent forces into conflict with that community (the dissidents, the LVF under Billy Wright), and those who would excuse and possibly encourage it (Willie Frazer)

    It would be an interesting article that pins and delineates and explains this mentality among journalists who are all at sea with the political and social changes wrought by – for want of a better phrase – the peace process.

  • John O’Connell

    It will not end with Gerry Adams as the new Christ. It will end either in full repentance from the Republican Movement on Christian terms (a surrender to Christ) or in full scale Bosnia style violence.

    Why should it end with either? Why should it not move, as seems to be the case, in a slow inexorable drive to unification?

    Why despair because there are still a few nut jobs out there, there are always a few everywhere.

  • Pete Baker

    Stop spamming, John.

    Pippakin

    “Why should it not move, as seems to be the case, in a slow inexorable drive to unification?”

    Because while there are those who remain convinced that violence can achieve that objective, that objective will remain out of reach. “inexorable drive”, indeed.

    For the same reason that the Provisional IRA campaign was, eventually, brought to an end.

    The same reason that Gerry now seeks to persuade ETA to advance political change “in a complete absence of violence”.

    It doesn’t work in a democracy. It’s counter-productive.

    If only Gerry would be more honest about his own organisation’s past here, as he apparently seeks to promote that same logic in Spain.

  • Pete Baker

    ‘inexorable drive indeed’.

    Why the indignation? I also said there are always a few extremists. Admittedly I called them nut jobs, that is because I think such people are off their heads.

    Violence does not work in a democracy it is counter productive. I totally agree and nor should it ever be allowed to work. Democracy is fragile. It must be protected from those who think a bullet works better.

    I too wish Gerry Adams would be more honest. I am afraid though it is a forlorn hope. It could even be he believes what he says.

  • Pete Baker

    “I too wish Gerry Adams would be more honest.”

    That’s the problem, pippakin.

    Or hadn’t you noticed?

  • Pete Baker

    Indeed I had. I commented.

    The thing is I also believe we need to move on. We need to speak to and work with unionists.

    I have no illusions about S/F or its leadership.

  • Henry94

    There is a need for republicans to debate the armed struggle but in the context of its effectiveness not in terms of repentance. Morally the Irish people individually and collectively are entitled to fight the British occupation. Anybody who does not believe that is not an Irish republican.

    Obsessing on Gerry Adams is a wast of time but Adams Derangement Syndrome appears an incurable condition. Every shot that was fired and every bomb was caused by partition and it is the British who bear the moral responsibility. All nationalist want is to go our own way as a peaceful country. And peace is our natural condition. The free part of Ireland sends it’s army on peace keeping missions for the UN.

    The British having lost their own superpower status join with American in wars of aggression which kill hundreds of thousands. Where’s their regret? Where is their apology?

    We all know now, and need to explain to people who are drawn to the dissidents, that violence can’t solve the problem. Mainly because the British have a much higher capacity for violence and like it far more than we do. If violence worked we would be not only entitled to use it we would be obliged to use it.

    But it does not. That is why we can commemorate those who fought heroically against huge odds and also say that there is another way to get the British state out of Ireland.

  • Henry94

    Obsessing about Gerry Adams? No of course anyone who does that is wrong: they should be obsessing about the Brits and the English in particular. In case it had slipped by you the English have been ruled by the Scots for the last twelve years.

    The British have a higher capacity for violence because they out numder us sixty million to four million. The Btits are tired and bored with us. I would say when it comes to the sadistic murder of young men, the Irish are right up there with the Brits.

    It is this blind, racist hatred that prevents us moving on. The only thing you are right about is violence does not work.

  • Henry94

    In case it had slipped by you the English have been ruled by the Scots for the last twelve years.

    Really? Do you think Scotland would have invaded Iraq? Just because Blair and Brown happened to be born in Scotland doesn’t change anything.

    I didn’t say violence doesn’t work by the way. Just that it won’t work in this case for us. Partition is maintained by violence and that is working. I don’t see many people weeping about that but they expect Irish republicans to cry and apologise over their minor violence in response. What utter nonsense.

  • Henry94

    So you are only a Scot if you are in Scotland. Do the Scots know that do you think.

    As for the minor violence of the republicans, how dare you, when one such ‘minor act of violence’ is lying in the morgue.

    I have not and would never expect republicans or protestants to apologise. If only because both sides are Irish and we are a stubborn breed!

    I do ask that we all be very careful who our ‘friends’ are. The young man so brutally murdered believed in republicanism.

  • Henry94

    So you are only a Scot if you are in Scotland.

    Nope. I never said that.

    As for the minor violence of the republicans, how dare you, when one such ‘minor act of violence’ is lying in the morgue.

    There are closer to a million dead in Iraq. That’s major and it couldn’t have happened with out the support of the British government. The British people don’t support it but they tend to let their leaders get away with mass-murder in other countries.

    I have not and would never expect republicans or protestants to apologise.

    Agreed.

    If only because both sides are Irish and we are a stubborn breed!

    The unionist are British according to themselves and I take them at their word.

  • Henry94

    Why do you keep comparing republican sadism with the British Armed Forces. You would be closer to the truth if you compared the murderer of the young man in Derry with Dennis Nilsen.

    The unionists may be British. It does not mean they are not Irish. I know a lot of Irish people who are also British.

    We do not get to pick and choose who is Irish. The way some seem to think they can evict people whose families may well have been on this island longer than theirs is enough to explain why unionists are so afraid of unification. It also is enough to keep the Brits here for a very long time.

  • John O’Connell

    I’m not spamming, Pete. I am using a link to my website to express a point.

  • Henry94

    We do not get to pick and choose who is Irish.

    We don’t get to pick and choose what is Irish. If your political loyalty is to Ireland and you accept the collective decisions of the Irish people then you are Irish. If you accept the collective decisions of the British people then you are British. You can be Irish and like the Queen just as you can be British and despise her. You can even be Irish and believe Ireland should be in the union but you have to accept it’s our decision. Otherwise you ain’t one of us.

    Why do you keep comparing republican sadism with the British Armed Forces. You would be closer to the truth if you compared the murderer of the young man in Derry with Dennis Nilsen.

    Nilsen was in the British Army

    In 1961, Nilsen left school and enlisted in the British Army where he became a cook in South Yemen, Cyprus, Berlin, Germany and the Shetland Islands. He served in the army for 11 years, earning a General Service Medal before being discharged, at his own request, in November,1972.

  • Henry94

    And your point is??

    Nilsen was in the Brit army what has that got to do with the price of eggs. You really are clutching at straws with that line.

    Irish people have the freedom to believe and persuade. It is our job to persuade the unionists in the north that they are Irish and they and their culture will be safe in a united Ireland.

    You are getting dangerously close to talking, if not genocide, ethnic cleansing.

  • Henry94

    You brought him up.

    It is our job to persuade the unionists in the north that they are Irish and they and their culture will be safe in a united Ireland.

    Two completely separate things and not to be confused. I would go to any lengths to persuade Unionists that their rights and culture would be respected in a united Ireland.

    But as for them being Irish that’s not necessary. If a future referendum brings about a united Ireland there will be no obligation on the losing side to call themselves Irish. You can be British and live happily in Ireland. Many do already. I think I would find the “we’re all Irish” more oppressive that the right to choose. thats if I was a unionist. But it’s something worth discussing.

  • Henry94

    I compared to the sadistic murderer of a young man in Ireland to the sadistic murderer of young men in England. You chose the connection to the Brit army. I do not see the relevance. To take your analogy every republican is guilty of the murder of stripping, binding and murdering the man in Derry.

    I am happy to accept your definition. I believe the unionists have the right to be British and Irish if they choose, but I cannot see how you can be born here, of a family that has lived here for hundreds of years, and not be Irish.

  • Henry94

    Sorry last comment was a bit of a mess, blame it on the burning lunch! Got rush and open a window!

  • Paddy

    Henry: You make some good points, even if you cannot see Pippakin is a narcissistic troll. Good one about Nielsen btw.

    The British are into violence. It is their (pit) bulldog culture/breeding and the penchant for violence is one of the most discernible traits of the Orangies. The British vote for war (eg Opium War), they revel in it (Falklands and gotcha); it is what they do. They even attacked German dogs in World war One, just as they did German cars after a recent football setback.

    Republicanism has outlived itself. All this talk about winning the Ku Klax Klan and Orange Order over to the light is make believe stuff. It stops the Irish really asserting themselves and their right to self determination.

    It would be interesting to see what makes the dissidents tick. Brendan Hughes said when he joined PIRA, they were told they would be lucky to emerge from it with their lives. Much more so in RIRA’s case, methinks. They make the INLA look sane.

  • Paddy

    I am a narcissistic troll, well thats ok. In fact Ive been called worse on Slugger.

    As for your Nazi cred. I see it is alive and well. I sometimes wonder where we in Ireland would be if the Nazis had won the war.