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IRA Disarms

If recent reports are true, this could be a very important week in Irish history. The Irish Republican Army ( IRA ) has announced that it has " decommissioned " its weapons. Or destroyed them. Put them beyond use. Disarmed.

This was a voluntary move. They weren't compelled to do it, nor could they ever have been compelled to do it, by the British Army or ten British armies.

But Chairman Mao said " a guerilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea ". For the IRA, the sea changed noticeably years ago. The people of the six counties were tired of the fighting, the murders, the terror. They wanted a chance to live normal lives.

This disarmament comes after years of discussions inside the six counties, between Ireland and the UK, with a valuable and sustained assist from President Clinton some years back.

An Ireland without IRA military action, and yes, terrorism, is a better place. But lets not parse words here - " Northern Ireland " was built, and maintained, until very recently, on a foundation of prejudice, discrimination, and on varying degrees of state-sponsored terrorism.

When the Catholics marched peacefully, at varying times they were clubbed to the ground, or shot down by heavily armed British paratroopers. The modern IRA was not formed by Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness, the real architects of the modern IRA are Ian Paisley , and the criminals within the B-Specials, the RUC, the British Army and the Government, who pushed the " nationalists " to the wall time and time again.

You kick a people in the face decade upon decade, and shoot them down in the street when they try to protest, don't be surprised if a few of them pick up the gun against you.

But what's done is done, and what's one is one, and what's lost is lost and gone forever.

I think that the vast majority of the people of Ireland reject terrorism and conflict, and will welcome this move. Let's see how people react. Let the new day begin.

It would be wonderful if all of a sudden there was 'peace' but there is not...not in Ardoyne/Derry/many other parts of Belfast. NI was built on sectarianism and it is alive and well today. The IRA is taking a big chance to gamble that politically they can achieve their objectives without armed struggle. Not one loyalist force (UDA/UVF etc) has decommissioned one gun. Where is the pressure on them to do so? Remember in '69 the Official IRA disbanded and the Provo's (IRA of today) filled their shoes because the need to protect their people was there. The need is still there today in 2005.
The IRA has decommisioned its arsenal yes, but each volunteer retains a weapon for protection sake. Let's hope they don't need to use them. Pressure needs to be put on the loyalists to disband and decommission now.

Tis nothing short of astonishing the "liberal" position you take regarding The Troubles in light of your months-long tirade against liberal and left-wing politics in this blog.

OK, you lost some friends in 9/11 and your office was smashed too. The former event is tragic beyond my ability to describe. As for 103, I don't give a damn about your lost view.

As a long standing lefty I parted company with some of my colleagues and wholly agreed with our invasion in Afghanistan. The removal of the Taliban from power (so far) remains one of our nobler foreign policy initiatives -- in my opinion. As a leading nation we must continue to engage the threat of fundamentalist Islam and work against its terroristic manifestations everywhere.

This does not mean that every Moslem and Arab is the enemy. And it does not allow you to jump on the bandwagon regarding the invasion of Iraq because you are still in a temper over 9/11.

Wake up. The same self-serving rationales that informed England's imperial domination of Ireland have been at work in U.S. foreign policy forever. The prerogatives of the ruling elites continue to spill the blood of innocents, subject a large segment of humanity to poverty and political oppression, and contribute to the global injustice that inspires the outraged to fly planes into our buildings.

Your mindset as revealed in this blog dear Phantom places you solidly within the right wing, love-it-or-leave-it, blame the victim crowd. Let's not go flip-flopping now and show up on the side of the oppressed Catholics of Northern Ireland.


Sorry, pal,if you think in terms of liberal or conservative with respects to Ireland or the War on Terror, you've missed the plot.

First,Ireland. There is no liberal view or conservative view to be had on that issue.

I personally don't think that the " nationalists " should be kicked in the head anymore. I oppose terrorism there ( and anywhere else ) and I support a United Ireland.

These three positions are strongly held by Peter King, a very influential Republican Congressman from Long Island who you would think to be conservative. They are also strongly held by Senator Kennedy. Both are knowledgable about Ireland and are friends of Ireland.

Which of them is inconsistent? Neither. It's not a liberal/conservative issue. You don't understand it at all.
You hold the correct position on Afghanistan. The prevailing wisdom is that " everyone supported the war in Afghanistan, but Iraq was a mistake " That was a lie.

The Saturday after 9/11, I ran into a large gathering in NYC's Union Square Park, where over a thousand were protesting an anticipated move on Afghanistan, with the smell from the WTC hanging over the air. I collected brochures from this event and still have them.

The Afghan move was opposed by many, including the dishonest Michael Moore and the equally dishonest Cindy Shee-han.

If you supported Afghanistan, then good for you.

So did left wing lawyer / activist Ron Kuby here in NYC. But many many lefties opposed it when it was time to make a stand.


I would not say that I am in a " temper over 9/11 " . I will say that 9/11 changed me, and forced me to realize that there was greater evil in the world than I could possibly have imagined.

I think that a majority of Americans had a painful wakeup call on 9/11. Not all of them support this war, but all of them have a changed view of the world.

I want my country and any country to be safe from what I saw four years ago. I did not say that " every Moslem and Arab is the enemy " , those are your words, your thoughts.

The greatest evil in the world is Islamofascism and its associated terrorism. It's not " Halliburton " and " ruling elites ". There are other very serious dangers, but unless you see this one thing with very clear eyes, you miss everything. You can see the world as it is, or you can retreat to slogans ( " ruling elites " my foot ).

I'm not jumping on the bandwagon, I'm driving the goddamned bandwagon! The deposing of Saddam was the right move, and is good for Iraq and will be good for the world.

Which victim is being blamed, for what? Its ok to change positions, but I ain't Kerry and this is not a flip-flop. I have supported Irish unity for a lifetime, have visited Derry and Belfast, and think I know a little more than the average Yank, and a lot more than the likes of you and your little Noam Chomsky cliched view of the world.

I am not predisposed to change that position because some blogger without a blog says so.

And if you think that it is inconsistent to support Irish Nationalism and the US liberation movement in Iraq, then better not read this Irish blogger:
United Irelander.

Tell him he can't support Ireland and the US action at the same time, he'll give you a response.

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