Loyalists and Republicans using manipulative means to justify terror campaigns?

Alex Kane weighs into the victims fray:

I don’t think there will be a definition of ‘victim’ which is acceptable to all sides. I don’t think there will be a definition of ‘reconciliation’ which is acceptable to all sides. I don’t think there will be a definition of ‘shared future’ which is acceptable to all sides. I don’t think there will be much agreement on what is meant by ‘dealing with the past’, let alone what is meant by ‘putting the past behind us and moving on’.

And let me tell you something else (although maybe I should whisper it): I suspect that the vast majority of the pro-Union community don’t really care all that much about the lack of progress on reconciliation and sharing – particularly if progress depends on rewriting history or any legislative effort to push us together.

I suspect, too, that most of those who are the victims, survivors and families affected by republican terrorism (although I accept there are exceptions) would prefer to suffer in silence and without truth or justice than to witness the day when the terrorists were defined as victims and washed free of guilt and moral responsibility.

He senses this is a back door is being to mainstream the idea that Loyalist and Republican killers were justified in their respective campaigns of mass violence:

I am pretty sure that we will end up doing much more damage than good if we fall into the trap of believing that loyalist and republican terrorists should be allowed to set the agenda when it comes to reconciliation and sharing.

I don’t doubt the personal integrity or motives of those within the pro-Union community who have accepted that some republican and loyalist terrorist groups are sincere and honest about reconciliation and progress.

If they want to build up some sort of relationship with them that must be their choice. But that’s all it is – THEIR choice. They speak for themselves, though, and only for themselves.

If they want to represent a wider audience then perhaps they should create their own post-conflict party and test the electoral waters in 2015.

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  • Alias

    Now that the truth and justice part of the process have been disposed of the state only has to dispose of the reconciliation part to successfully escape scrutiny of its role in NI’s murder campaign. The best way for the state to do that without giving its own game away is to lead the public to dispose of it.

    The state can do that by using puppets such as Eames/Bradley to signal that the outcome of such a reconciliation process would be offensive to one party to it, with that party then concluding that it would be better served having nothing to do with it.

    The same state-sponsored trick used by Eames/Bradley to scupper unionist support for that process (moral equivalence between victim and victimiser) is used again to scupper unionist support for this process.

    The state will only support a reconciliation agenda insofar as it can be used to support its normalisation agenda. The good thing about the reconciliation agenda is that it takes the focus off the role of the state in the conflict and puts it into a tribal context of Catholic and Protestants who just can’t get along. The bad part is that the low probability that the state could control the outcome without control of all of the players.

    “If they want to represent a wider audience then perhaps they should create their own post-conflict party and test the electoral waters in 2015.”

    Would the public vote in sufficient for middle-aged reverends, folks who’ve read too much poetry, amateur peace-processors, plump do-gooders, aspiring Nobel Nobel Laureates, and assorted dog-with-a-bone types? If Alliance is a guide, the answer is negative.

  • aquifer

    The trouble with a pile of bloodied mess is that it has already crowded out all the alternative histories that could have happened if immature young men had just not bothered with guns and explosives.

    It would have been better if they had just not bothered.

    They wasted their time and the lives of others.

    And blighted our political imaginations.