Tarnishing Success Stories with Uncomfortable Truths?

The BBC recently reported on the efforts of family members of 24 men who were shot dead in the Malaya Emergency on 11 and 12 December 1948 to petition for an inquiry by the British Government. This has many resonances with Northern Ireland’s ‘dealing with the past’ debate.

The story details how the efforts of the families have been stymied over the years, and recognises the ‘stigma’ that they bear because those who were killed are painted as Communist terrorists.

If anything, stories like this illustrate that Northern Ireland is not really all that unusual. It is only expected that like in Malaysia, some people in Northern Ireland – usually victims, survivors and the families of victims – desire to have some sort of public truth-telling processes.

Those desires just don’t go away, even after many years.

The families in the Malaysia case favour an inquiry. Northern Ireland has taken the inquiry route in some high-profile cases but this is probably financially unsustainable and unlikely to be popular across the wider population.

Northern Ireland’s Consultative Group on the Past floated some creative proposals such as a Legacy Commission and a Reconciliation Forum, which I think would be much more effective in our context than a series of public inquiries.

But these options seem to be being moved to the back burner with Owen Paterson’s recent comments about leaving the past to historians to sort out.

The BBC’s reporter Alastair Leithead seems doubtful that the Malaysian relatives will get their inquiry, especially since the Malaya Emergency, which lasted 12 years, ‘is still considered one of the few successful counter-insurgency campaigns.’

Indeed, he writes that:

British troops study the strategy and tactics used in Malaya before going to Afghanistan and commanders see it as an important part of today’s counter-insurgency approach in Helmand province.

And who wants to tarnish a ‘success story’ with some uncomfortable truths?

  • HeinzGuderian

    I demand an inquiry as to why Julius Caesar brought his army over the Rubicon !!!!!!!

  • RepublicanStones

    I demand an inquiry as to why Julius Caesar brought his army over the Rubicon !!!!!!!

    There were maneuvers in the Senate (instigated by Pompey) to indict and strip Caesar of his position and wealth. He could either acquiesce to their demands and face certain prosecution, or break the law by entering Italy with his army to force a civil war. He chose the latter.

    Now would you care to explain why you pick something from antiquity and equate it with an event which occurred within living memory?

  • Neil

    Now would you care to explain why you pick something from antiquity and equate it with an event which occurred within living memory?

    Because he’s really, really funny!!!!!!!

    And the Brits can do no wrong!!!!!!

    Shame about all the exclamation marks though!!!!!!!

  • Surely, even if we don’t have momentary consideration for the sixty year old suffering of living humans due to the actions and lies of an aggressor, we ought to spare a thought for the ordinary people of Afghanistan today. They’re at the cutting edge of British counter-insurgency, psyops and cover-up right now. A COIN skillset that has been taught and developed from the time of the Malayan “Emergency”. The natural resource is all that differs. For rubber and tin substitute oil.

    Funny how history has a tendency to repeat itself.

    Funny how history has a tendency to repeat itself.

  • Or gas.
    Or gold.
    Or military counter-weight in defence of the natural reserves of the region.

    To liberate?

  • Greenflag

    So here’s one of the original Virgin soldiers doing his bit for drambuies and country in the Malayan conflict his first two minutes of fame .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rub5ouLx0ik

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bowie

    @ Obersturmbahnfuehrer Guderian .

    The reason why Caesar crossed the Rubicon was he could’nt go back and just like our latter day Wall St /Anglo Irish/BOA etc etc etc -greedy guts – he wanted more power , more money and more of everything that was going .

    Power corrupts don’t ye know and absolute power corrupts absolutely . The Roman, British , French , Spanish and Soviet empires and the modern American one are all testimony to that fact of life .

  • Munsterview

    I posted this story some threads back to back up my argument that the Low Intensity War in the Six Counties did not happen in a vacuum, that these wars and Counter Insurgency were part of a pattern and are indeed are part of an ongoing process on this Island and elsewhere.

    The Military have a way of doing things, the British Army is no different, in fact the British Army pioneered many of what now are regarded as Standard Operational Practices.

    As some of the Low Intensity War files I posted showed, Frank Kitson interview the Co of the Bogside Massacre operation and a report was drawn up on this. There are reports on Kilmichael and Crossbarry from the War of Independence, there are even reports from the battles and events of the Elizabethan Wars ( Stafford Papers, Arch Bishop Laud library, Lambet )

    When such an event as the Derry Massacres or the ones in Malay happen, the Battalion Intel Officer compiles an Intel report directly from the soldiers in person or ordered it to be done by the company I/O, copies are held by the regimental command and others send up the line to the War Region GOC and from there to British Army GHQ Intel and from there to the Minister Of Defense, that is of course if he wants to ‘Officially’ know what happened.

    All these records of every dirty little and not so little Low Intensity War, the Six counties included exist and are available. The same applied to MI5 / 6 Operations. All it takes in the first instance is the political will to open these records and share them even if only ‘eyes only’ and then deal with any questions arising with interested parties.

    Of course this will never happen or can never happen as it will show that what are regarded as War Crimes were known and sanctioned by the British Establishment and the British Government at the very top levels.

    So the Malayan victims like the Irish victims will get foot dragging, prevarication and refusal to co-operate until the patience of the justice seeking parties just is exhausted to the extent that they give up and go away. That also has always been the British way of doing things. What is more that stance have plenty of support here in slugger from the usual suspects.

    Will we see a thread from certain Unionist sources calling for an enquiry into the Crown murders of Rosemary and Pat ? Not while there is a few bones of the disappeared that can be rattled. ‘War Crime’ nomenclature only apply to the deeds of Nationalists of course but this again is par for the course. When it comes to the Northern conflict for most Republicans and Nationalists we are well used to see rank hypocrisy dressed up as morality.

    If the British still have not admitted to the Crown assassination of Cork’s Lord Mayor, Thomas McCurtain in the start of the Twentieth century, we are hardly likely to get an enquiry in to Pat Finnucanes Murder by Crown Forces at the end of it !

    How do that Republican song line go again “…… You dare to call me terrorist while you look down your guns…..” etc !

  • Alias

    The difference is that truth/reconciliation/justice commissions are only applicable in situations where the regime is no longer in power and cannot set the terms of reference, and not in NI’s unique situation where the regime, the state-sponsored murder gangs, and assorted protagonists remain in power.

    Unsurprisingly, the state and its murder gangs are not inclined to use their control of the powers of the state to deliver justice for their victims but are inclined to use the powers of the state to ensure that they are not held to account by that state for their crimes.

    Go figure!

  • Munsterview

    Alias :”…..Unsurprisingly, the state and its murder gangs are not inclined to use their control of the powers of the state to deliver justice for their victims but are inclined to use the powers of the state to ensure that they are not held to account by that state for their crimes….”

    Agreed, this more or less is what I have been consistently writing on these posts regarding this issue since I first came on slugger !

  • Reader

    Munsterview: Will we see a thread from certain Unionist sources calling for an enquiry into the Crown murders of Rosemary and Pat ?
    What makes those into Crown murders? Do you regard the actions of the IRA nutting squad as Crown murders too? And if so, do you want an inquiry into them, or might that get a little too close to home?

  • Munsterview

    Reader : “…….What makes those into Crown murders? ”

    Republicans believe and all the circumstantial and other evidence points to the fact that these assassinations and many others were carried out by the State, its agents and servants.

    “…….Do you regard the actions of the IRA nutting squad as Crown murders too? And if so, do you want an inquiry into them, or might that get a little too close to home?…..”

    It is not an either or ‘or’ situation. All state forces are required to operate within the rule of law and where such forces do no operate or have not operated within the Rule Of Law, then the onus is on the State to find out why this was so, irrespective of what provocation the State suffer.

    Is not this supposed to be the difference between war as waged by ‘regular’ forces and irregulars ? From a States and International viewpoint ?

    Was not this in fact what was novel about General Frank Kitsons proposals for Low Intensity War, that the requirements of having to operate within the rule of law be abandoned and the State resort to actions such as assassinations and bombings, either directly or through surrogates ?

    Of course if we are in a situation where these and similar killings were in actual fact sanctioned by the State then we are in an entirely different arena. I have dozens of English friends from all walks of life across the water who believe that Dr David Kelly was murdered.

    Two years ago in Scotland I sat in a large audience and heard a distinguished Surgeon name top dozens of British Politicians and Civil servants as practicing padophiles and he challenged such people as he named to sue him. Given the moral make up of such people as named in top tiers of the British Establishment, anything is possible.

    I have previously commented on the subversion of the the IRA internal security unit by British intelligence. On a personal capacity I would be very interested indeed as to when this came about and when as from that date on all such activities of that unit must be presumed to have been directed by British State Intelligence.

  • Reader

    Munsterview: Was not this in fact what was novel about General Frank Kitsons proposals for Low Intensity War, that the requirements of having to operate within the rule of law be abandoned and the State resort to actions such as assassinations and bombings, either directly or through surrogates ?
    Except he didn’t propose that. There is no route from Kitson’s proposals to the murders of Neslson and Finucane.
    Munsterview: On a personal capacity I would be very interested indeed as to when this came about and when as from that date on all such activities of that unit must be presumed to have been directed by British State Intelligence.
    OK let’s make a start. I don’t know anything other than what is already public, But I am sure you can make a contribution to this (very) public inquiry. What do you know? And when, if ever, did killing and torture by the IRA internal security team become morally wrong, in your view?

  • Frank Kitson cut his teeth in Malaya and Kenya before coming to NI and if one look at the resumes of those of the secret society who perished in the Chinook Crash on the Mull of Kintyre you will find many of them started their careers in Malaya.

    Ciarán in comparison with Afganistan, Malaya must have been a success because it was before electronic targeting as there was no such thing as collateral damage –obviously weaponary must have been much more accurate in the bad old days.

  • LoL Christy – and they’re called Smart Bombs too these days!

    Methinks as you do that the media has their role to play in the success stories. Unfortunately for Uncle Sam when he rolled out the Malayan template of Briggs (wasn’t New Villages the beautiful name given to the internment of about half a million) he didn’t account for the TV set in the living room. Cue Wikileaks debate!

    Interesting to note that one James Alastair McGregor Senior was very active in low intensity operations in Malaya and his son, James Alastair McGregor (Hamish), was leader of the MRF teams who were shooting civilians on the streets of Belfast in the early 70s http://bit.ly/fPAOeO.

    Same old story as the mass murder of the Malayan lady’s clan and neighbours.

  • Ciarán I read your document some time ago and it is interesting bit of research. It seems that soon after the 2nd World War, France, UK and USA all became heavily focused upon coming up with a counter-insurgency doctrine. And all three happened to be conveniently attacked in one area or another and if it were not for any of them ‘communists terrorists’ would have taken over half the asian world. I read too that a British Ambassador (forget his name) after being moved to Timor had written back to London about “Now would be a good time to start a killing war.” Within one year around 500000 Timorese would be dead.

  • andnowwhat

    Think I may have mentoned this before but Ifound it shocking, in the aftermath of the Saville report, that a mltary type defended the actions on the paras by saying they were merely reacting as they would in Aden.

    I just asked myself, WTF were they up to there?

    I talk to a lot of Malaysians on another site and I am gong to ask them about ths period and will report back for anyone interested.

  • RepublicanStones

    I talk to a lot of Malaysians on another site…

    Sure why not get yourself a nice local bride 😉

  • Republican Stones –“Sure why not get yourself a nice local bride” bit ethnically demeaning especially in a topic dealing with tragic past events.

    Andnowwhat, I talked with a guy whose parents had been killed during the Mau Mau ‘Emerency’ in Kenya and he told me (verifiable independantly) how the Brits used to behead people and stick them on spikes or railings in villages and gather all the villagers around to see if anyone could identify who they had killed –this was just one disturbing practice of many. They did the same in Malaya. So would it be surprising that survivors to this day may still be traumatised by thsi sort of thing.

  • andnowwhat

    Dear lord NOOOOO Republcan Stones!!!

    They are all muslms. I’d have to get the wee op done.

    The Malays I talk to (on a martial arts site) are fantastic. Full of pride. They really do not understand why our socety is so violent. Taking the piss out of fat amereican martial artists seem
    s to be a favourite hobby of theirs L:OL.

    Back on topic. remeber a recent documentyary in India and a man related how his father, who lived through the last days of the raj, had no anger towards the British but he did.

    He said that his father, like many Indians, was resigned tothe situation but he researched the history of the Brtish and seemed genunely livid.

    Christy,chill pill

  • RepublicanStones

    bit ethnically demeaning especially in a topic dealing with tragic past events.

    Sorry Christy, I must have missed the rule which stipulated every thread had to remain dour on Slugger.

    Incidentally have you read ‘Britain’s Gulag’ http://amzn.to/heutf3
    it’s been sitting on my shelf for a while now. I actually picked it up in a litte bookstore in Bangkok (remember no jokes now).

    andknowwhat just out of interest what martial art?

  • andnowwhat

    Penjak Silat, kuntao and other Majapharit arts such as ka’li.

    BTWE Stones, I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Bangkok and beyond meself. Love it there

  • Rory Carr

    andnowwhat wonders, “WTF were they [British Army] up to there [Aden]?

    Well among other things they were testing out the SLR rifle. To do this they would round up civilians from the streets of Aden, line up half-a-dozen one behind the other, fire a shot from the SLR into the chest of the man in front and observe how many behind were also killed as the bullet passed on through in order to test the rifle’s powers of penetration.

    It seems that the results were impressive enough for the SLR to be adopted for general issue.

  • RepStones –point taken.

    AndNowWhat I read similar account about SLR penetration. Another thing which was practiced in various regions was the severing of hands for fingerprint purposes –instead of using a note pad and some ink the hands would be cut off and bunches of them carried around for days or sometimes weeks until units got back in from the jungles. With no computerised system fingerprinting would have been an almost useless and labour intensive pursuit –not forgetting that decompossition and shrinkage would render any prints completely unreadable.

  • tacapall

    Leopards never change their spots an all that. –

    Basra, September 19, 2005

    Captured Force Reconnaisance Regiment men?

    “Iraqi police sources in Basra told the BBC the ‘two British men were arrested after failing to stop at a checkpoint. There was an exchange of gunfire. The men were wearing traditional Arab clothing, and when the police eventually stopped them, they said they found explosives and weapons in their car. It’s widely believed the two British servicemen were operating undercover.”

    “Iraqi leader, Fattah al-Sheikh said that police had ‘caught two non-Iraqis, who seem to be Britons and were in a car of the Cressida type. It was a booby-trapped car laden with ammunition and was meant to explode in the centre of the city of Basra.”

  • Reader

    Christy Walsh: I read too that a British Ambassador (forget his name) after being moved to Timor had written back to London about “Now would be a good time to start a killing war.” Within one year around 500000 Timorese would be dead.
    At least you aren’t going to blame the Brits for that, though.

  • andnowwhat

    Cheers guys. I used to be on the BBC site (hangs head) and there was a poster on there who served in Malaya. He used to call the Malay independence movement.

    As a general point, I can never understand how any people that wish to reject a foreign nation as terrorists.

    Mind you, trying to force a nation to grow opium and killing, goodness knows how many thousands of people, is a staggering concept.

    BTW, I have just put a blog up on another site to ask Malays about their experiences of the so called (please note Heinz, they are still living and thus this discussion is not a matter of history) emergency.

  • Reader My error, I should have said Indonesia and not Timor and this is what the Encyclopedia of Genocide has to say about blame;

    “If a democratic country is found to have aided the killing of hundreds of thousands of people, how should its institutions respond? Recently declassified secret government files show that in 1965 Britain aided the slaughter of over half a million people in Indonesia.”

  • andnowwhat

    I was watching an episode of Who Do You Thionk You Are some months ago and they recounted how the subject’s relative went out and MURDERED innocent people in revenge for an attack.

    I really do not think that Britain has been held, remp0tely, to acount for what it has done.

    Look at Germany and how it is held (annd hold itself) to account for what happened in it’s past.

    Has anyone ever seen anything in mainstream media about the millions that the British killed and brutalised from americato Australia?

    Hell, they don’t even tell us how many people they have killed in Iraq and Afghanistan!!

  • andnowwhat

    Then again, there was the gassing of the Kurds as ordered by one Winston Churchill (greatest briton ever according to a vote) who could not understand the squeamishness of those who advised him not to do this.

    Then there’s Britain’s support for Apartheid. Did not the Blessed St Margaret do Thatcher not call one Nelson Mandella a “terrorist”?

  • andnowwhat

    Sure, they have no bother selling weapons to maniacs.

    And look who they send as a salesman..

    http://www.markthomasinfo.com/section_writing/default.asp?id=29

  • Mark

    What about the Yank’s audacity in engineering a suicide attack in Stockhom in order to pressurise the Swedes into objecting to bail for Wikileaks boss ? You couldn’t make it up !

  • Christy,

    Mark Curtis covers that genocide (amongst many others) in detail in Web of Deceit and/or Secret Affairs. Absolute must-reads if you haven’t got them in your library already.

    andnowwhat,

    Aden is indeed very interesting subject matter for all of us who are interested in Keeni-Meeni black ops. Interesting too that some of the personalities involved there came here to ply their trade. Hugh Mooney (Information Research Department) and Hamish McGregor (1 Para parent company and head of MRF) and, of course, 1 Para.

    Could anybody point me in the direction of a good text that covers this theatre as they seem hard to come by? Any translated texts never mind!

  • Cynic2

    I demand an inquiry into the black death. I am led to believe that a distant ancestor of mine died horribly as a result and this was all a dire plot orchestrated by Henry II to subdue the Irish people.

    I have evidence from internet sites that Henry, in league with the Pope and aliens in a flying saucer in geostationary orbit over Navan fort, launched a genetically engineered plague on Ireland, whose effects we still suffer today.

    My lawyers stand ready to sue the British Government and Catholic Church.

    Nurse …… nurse ……….

  • Cynic2

    Did not the Blessed St Margaret do Thatcher not call one Nelson Mandella a “terrorist”?

    ….. and at one stage wasn’t he one?

    Indeed, although he has put that past behind him, isn’t he proud of that part of his history – unlike some others I can think of who have never been a member of a terrorist organisation.

    But then he is Mandela…. they are not

  • andnowwhat

    Hardly history Cynic when the same mentality is alive and well and exercising itself in Iraq, Afghanistan and vicariously,in the israel/Palestine conflict.

    Why is it than when a British soldier is killed in these theatres they are all over the media and yet, when a village is attacked we do not even get the statistics, never mind the names of the victims?

    I would suggest, age old colonial attitudes

  • Munsterview

    “…….I have gone into detail of Counter Insurgency Operations, carried out within the context of the Low Intensity War in previous threads, some quite recently and I do not propose to do so here. There is an intellectual dishonesty at work here to deny that such things existed despite all proof to the contrary. This War involved the totality of all State Forces in Northern Ireland. This of course have been ignored by the usual suspects. As I recently posted……..”

    “……Given these demonstrated communication skills and and displayed au fait with security matters, the poster concerned cannot be accused of naivety or political illiteracy, the opposites of the traits referred to considered, distasteful as it may be, the reluctant conclusion is unavoidable that most such overt and covert polemics against Republicans regarding their use of armed force is nothing other than rank hypocrisy……”

    Young republicans learning the ‘hearts and mind game’ and others interested in the manipulation of public opinion, take careful note of what is happening here. We are once again in ‘Alan Maskey’ misinformation / disinformation territory. One of these days I will devote what the dear departed Masky referred to as a ‘mini essay’ to the subject.

    Those in the ‘hall of mirrors’ certainly do not like detailed, sustained, factual information and sources supplied, it empowers individuals to think and form independent opinions, the spooks and their supporters do not like that, they do not like it at all !

    Anyone who doubts the sophistication of these professional information and opinion manipulators, their psychological skills or their attention to detail have only to recall pseudo ‘Maskeys’ response in one of his last hurras when cornered, I used humor and ridicule against the poster concerned, ‘Wee Buns’ responded in kind and the response is worth revisiting. It was one of the few occasions when the mask slipped.

    The professional ‘number’ done on this particular poster was sobering to see and it was totally at variance with the carefully cultivated ‘contraian’ and ‘ Old Duffer’ ‘all over the place’ image projected in the average slugger posting by the same poster.

    In dealing with the Low Intensity War /Conflict ( please use this form of nomenclature as ‘they’ try to avoid the ‘war’ word and all the mental images it conjures up ! Long Kesh Concentration Camp v ‘Maze Prison’ etc, ‘they’ are masters at ‘rebranding’ ) I pointed out that anyone googling …..’ Low Intensity Conflict Northern Ireland + British Military Security Sales ‘could get 1,920,000….. One million, nine hundred and twenty thousand results.

    The gigantic volume and sheer enormity this source information could not be denied. Obviously I do not have to convince too many Republican/Nationalist posters about this, they know people in their community that suffered from the sharp end of the process.

    Neither do I have to convince those who were actually involved carrying out aspects of this activity for State Forces, just like the apparachics who operated the Gas Chambers for Hitler or the Air Force pilots who took out plane loads of Leftists and dumped them alive into the freezing waters of the South Atlantic, they were able to ‘switch off’ from what they did and go to Officer Mess relaxing dinners, go to opera and other cultural events etc.

    Of course course as they had quality time where they were kind to their spouses, children and pets, so the advocates of Low Intensity War /Conflict went about their ordinary lifes back then and resumed civilian lifes afterwards. As to how the establishment view these things, one has only to remember that General Sir Frank Kitson ended what most public opinion refers to as a ‘distinguished military career’ as Aid-de-Camp to the Queen for some years.

    Can there be any greater imprimatur or endorsement of Low Intensity War /Conflict and all the nefarious activities it entails?

    The argument that these things happened do not have to be made to Republicans/ Nationalists, many have experienced the operational aspects of it first hand, or know people who did. Middle class decent Unionists and Protestants are another matter. There are many completely convinced in both their Unionism and Protestantism who if they knew and appreciated some of the murkier aspects of Counter Insurgency Operations as carried out and ongoing in current aspect of the Low Intensity War, they would be outraged !

    Since the sheer volume and information listed in these 1.9 million results for Low Intensity War cannot be factually dismissed what we get is a ‘humorous’ attempt to ridicule both messenger and message from the usual suspects as in……..

    “……..I demand an inquiry into the black death. I am led to believe that a distant ancestor of mine died horribly as a result and this was all a dire plot orchestrated by Henry II to subdue the Irish people.

    I have evidence from internet sites that Henry, in league with the Pope and aliens in a flying saucer in geostationary orbit over Navan fort, launched a genetically engineered plague on Ireland, whose effects we still suffer today…….”

    I would ask all reasonable people to bear in mind the German Concentration Camp officers and Chilean Air Force Pilots having the ability to ‘switch off’ what was done to the ‘others’, to rationalize what was done and go about their ordinary lives unconcerned about their activities.

    These posters such as ‘Cynic2’ are cut from the same cloth!

  • Follow-up to this story has just broke: http://t.co/LtOHvsv

    It has been proved that “Britain’s My Lai” has been covered-up by successive administrations. The families have been vindicated.

    Good luck now to the Kenyan families who have dragged the narrative of their families’ torture and murder into the public eye.

    It doesn’t give you much hope that Britain will be open to dealing with our (more recent) past – not when it proved that they waive the rules 😉

  • Rory Carr

    Well done, Ciarán, for linking this report.

    I once had the misfortune on a St Patrick’s Day of sitting with a man who at the age of 16 had left an abusive home in Dublin and travelled north to enlist with the Royal Irish Rangers. Posted to Malaya, many years later he still lived the horrors of the brutal atrocities he helped commit in order to collect the victims’ ears for reward.

    Bounty was offered for “terrorist” kills and the ears provided proof. Of course the ears of civilians, of women , of children, of the defenceless aged looked much the same as terrorist ears when viewed apart from the ears’ owners. This miserable man told me that he was unable to go to bed at night unless he first surrounded his bed with cans of Carlsberg Special for fear he might waken in the dark and be unable to reach one immediately to drive away the terror. For him it was always apocalypse now.

    I urged him to seek psychiatric and spiritual assistance and he said that he had sought psychiatric help. I asked him what was the result.

    He replied, “She said that there would be no peace for me this side of the grave.”

    Never have I heard a more chilling utterance of despair from a human being and it haunts me still.

    When we read Owen Paterson’s recent comments about leaving the past to historians to sort out we might remind him that for many, victim and perpetrator alike, the past is very much present, the suffering ongoing and the failure of successive Tory administrations to own up to the wrongdoing of post-war colonial malfeasance and to begin to make amends is his responsibility – for the shirking of which we may think he will surely be judged by historians.

  • Harrowing, Mr. Carr. I had asked an intelligent man who had done equally bad things (without the mutilation) how he could assimilate his actions now and he said “They get into bed with me every night”. The squeal of a particular soul stayed with him too it seemed. He drinks a lot as well.

    Interestingly, I had occasion to bump into Mr. Paterson in Washington DC and ask him how he was going to deal with the past. He mentioned Salamancan records and the Stasi files. I asked him whether he thought of Britain as the same as these totalitarian strictures but he did not reply, I proffered that for as long as we are chasing Nazis or KKK, then lawyers had to have their time here too. His staff seemed to want to get him away and promised a meeting back home. I left fearing he had given these solemn issues no thought.

    And I’m waiting for a meeting back home 🙂

  • Munsterview

    For associated material see my post of April 8th, 9.04 am.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/04/06/camerons-foreign-policy-and-chaos-theory/

    Many thanks to Turgon for providing the relevant thread and context where these matters can be examined by interested parties!

  • Harry Flashman

    One other obvious parallel with those places and Northern Ireland is the belief that in a dirty war the only people playing dirty were the state forces.

    In the same way that many blinkered British people once believed that their “boys” could do no wrong there is the modern correlation among lefties that the insurgents were always the victims and the forces of the state the villains.

    Have a read about what the communists were doing in SE Asia to their political opponents before you hoist yourself on your tall equine, a mere six decades after the event.

    What happened wasn’t pretty I assure you but compare and contrast the subsequent histories of Malaysia and Cambodia before deciding which side was morally superior.

  • Brian

    No one in Britain will ever be prosecuted for the cover up or the original massacre or murders.

    Although I don’t like British soldiers in general against jihadists go get em boys

  • Brian

    I meant that to support their efforts against jihadists…as long as they don’t create more jihadists

    I’ve had enough time to dorp off

  • Munsterview

    Harry F ” One other obvious parallel with those places and Northern Ireland is the belief that in a dirty war the only people playing dirty were the state forces…….”

    I for one never maintained that every act carried out in the recent Republican Armed Campaign was correct or justified, indeed I and many others took internal issue with many of these events at the time of their occurrence.

    Most posters here on slugger of general Unionist persuasion would hold no Republican armed resistance what so ever was justified. Most have not still got around to acknowledging what happened at Burntollet Bridge and the rest of the attacks on that unarmed, peaceful protest march that provided a the primary detonation for the explosions that followed in every sense of the word, was an outrageous act of premeditated violence carried out with State force collusion.

    Since there is no widespread acknowledgement by Unionists and Loyalists for the forty years that has since elapsed, how can there be examination, much less condemnation of the Northern Ireland State sanctioned tuggery unleashed on these peaceful protest marchers that also incidently had a significant protestant contingent ?

    In far more recent times we had a situation where serving members of the Gardai set up a bomb making factory, manufactured viable explosives, transported these across a recognized International border in to Northern Ireland and planted these explosives to be later ‘found’ by the Northern Ireland police.

    Plenty of overtime all round, commendations and promotions, it is all there in the Judicial enquiry into Garda Corruption in what has become known as the Donegall Garda Scandal. If the likes of Turgon are concerned about acts of terrorism and crimes against the Northern State per se, why no outcry or demand for an enquiry in matters like this where reams of judicially established evidence exist ?

    As usual apparently where police services are involved, the dual standards and hyprocicy of those advocating ‘the rule of law’ and accountability are readily evident !

    While this and similar dichotomies in regard to ‘acts of terrorism’ continue to exist in Turgon’s circle regarding ‘Acts of Terrorism’ then the facts support the assumption that Turgon is not acting from a high moral standpoint, rather how the act is categorized is very much dependent on who the protagonists are. If the acts are carried out by State Forces they are described as a ‘Security Operation’ and if by Insurgents then they are classed as ‘Terrorism’

    I have also posted constantly here that the British State Forces have little difficulty in acknowledging what they were up to in Ireland and elsewhere in Security Conferences, where such experts are in great demand as ‘experts’ being the only Nato Army who have fought street battles against a region of their own population.

    This is something that could also happen in Greece, Portugal or British or North American inner cities if a Broadwater Farm or Los Angelus type of situation insurrection erupts. If so the lessons in community containment learned in South Armagh and the Bogside are the ones as passed on at security conferences via the British Army ‘experts’ will be the ones applied.

    There is little chance of an open objective debate in this area, the need for the State to cover and bury it’s dark deeds is far too important for this. Even when the victims resort to the aggressors own country and Laws, we have seen with the two Bloody Sunday Massacres how the two Legal Tribunals set up brought in two completely different and contradictory findings.

    The first finding was brought in to comply with the wishes of the Con. Government of the day and their political real politic : the second also brought in the verdict required by the real politic of the the then Labor Government and in the very latter stages, the new Con/Lib Government. If the latter finding was correct why no additional enquiry as to how the first enquiry got it all so terribly wrong?

    The answer is that to the British State with ‘D’ notices etc, ‘the law’ have been a very malleable instrument indeed for politicians and the British Establishment to use and abuse as they see fit in the furtherance of Establishment interests. Once there is Establishment consensus, anything goes’ and Turgon and other Northern Unionists of like ilk have consistently shown himself intellectually, emotionally and culturally to be part of that British Establishment Consensus. It is a natural for him to defend it and all it’s actions as it is for somebody like me from a culture that have been at the receiving end of it’s oppressions for centuries to oppose it.

    However nothing new or recent about this British Establishment rank hypocrisy regarding Human rights, those who have time can google a few references on ‘The prisoners Of Naples’ and see how worked up the Commons were at that period. Meanwhile Cork’s Brian Dillion, A Fenian prisoner in a British Jail in England had his hands chained behind his back, he was also chained to the wall by his neck and had to eat off the floor like a dog where he had been left for weeks at the time in his own urine and excrement in an effort to break his mind.

    I do not agree with continued armed campaign in Ireland at this time for reasons I have already made quite clear here. Other Republicans however also know the same history that I do regarding the treatment of the Fenian Prisoners, the Crown murder of Thomas McCurtin and other democratically Irish Lord mayors of the period, of the ‘Interrogation in dept.’ and other torture in Long Kesh etc. of more recent history.

    As far as this section of Irish Republicanism is concerned the same mentality that operated in Malaya and Kenya etc still operates in the British Establishment regarding Ireland and they believe that the response to that justify as much force as Irish Armed Resistance can muster.

    In a final observation may I again point out that a State supposedly operating within the rule of Law is not the same as an Insurgency movement. A State has an National and indeed International obligation to operate within certain legal restraints and parameters. Where these are broken or dispensed with by the States own armed forces, police, judiciary or any other organization acting in the name of the State concerned, then that State has a National and International requirement to examine and deal with these breeches irrespective of the behavior of the Insurgents.

    I recently discussed these matters with a legal PhD student friend from Central Africa. He made the valid point to me that it is only now with the co-incidence of computer search capacit, the increasingly availability of digitalised historical records and the emergence of new educated Africans and Asians form circles outside of the ruling elietes in these countries, that there is a real investigation into aspects of former Colonial histories, especially the atrocities carried out by the Colonial occupational forces, so we can expect exposure of these events to become a torrent as educated relatives or others from the regions concerned research and expose what happened in their own areas.

    The response to this by Western Democracies, especially the British, French and Belgians will be very interesting indeed.

  • between the bridges

    monsterview, ‘I for one never maintained that every act carried out in the recent Republican Armed Campaign was correct or justified,’ ..did you figure that one out all by yourself?

  • lamhdearg

    Of course pre Eire’s independence, The Irish as part of the U.K. where part and parcel of British colonialism, many Irish men took part in the conquest of nations that then became part of the British empire, Ireland indeed reaped the spoils of these conquests as the money poured back and built citys such as dublin and belfast. It could be claimed that the devil English laid them on, but that could then lead to a charge of not being the thief but being the receiver. The conquest of the lands that are now the U.S.A., many a Irishman took part in that little peice of genocide, one wonders should Eire hang its head in shame and pay off the remnents of the native americans. Without the British Empire Perase would have had no G.P.O. steps on which to read the proclamation.