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So where does the US stand with the Irish after tonight's speech?
September 20, 2001 10:44 PM   Subscribe

So where does the US stand with the Irish after tonight's speech? I mean, we're going to go after all terrorists and all countries that harbor them, right?
posted by dopamine (27 comments total)

 
nope. only terrorists with a global reach. meaning, those who might attack us.
posted by rebeccablood at 10:48 PM on September 20, 2001


But we're also up on that whole NATO Article 5 thing, and the IRA have attacked the Brits a number of times. And they're our ally. So... ?
posted by dopamine at 10:54 PM on September 20, 2001


What about hate groups in this country who might/will terrorize Arab Americans?
posted by crasspastor at 10:56 PM on September 20, 2001


How is the IRA's "global reach" any shorter than that of Osama bin Laden's? They are just as well funded, thanks in large part to American contributions that were facilitated under Clinton's administration...

posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 10:57 PM on September 20, 2001


rebecca predicts: when the US says "terrorists with a global reach" it means "terrorists we think might attack *us*"
posted by rebeccablood at 10:59 PM on September 20, 2001


There are terrorist forces on both sides of the fence in N. Ireland.

I did take special notice of the "global reach" modifier in the speech tonight.
posted by jbelshaw at 11:01 PM on September 20, 2001


With more targets the 'war' will last longer and the rich will get richer.
posted by DragonBoy at 11:01 PM on September 20, 2001


The "Real IRA" is not the, well, real IRA. And "the Irish," particularly the Irish government, are not uniform IRA supporters by any stretch of the imagination. The Republic doesn't want to deal with a bunch of pissed-off British loyalists in a unified state someday any more than the UK enjoys dealing with pissed off republicans now.

Anyway, yes, I fully believe the IRA will end up on the list of targets if they ever do another bombing campaign, or even a single truly big bombing.

What about hate groups in this country who might/will terrorize Arab Americans?

We already have a little something set up for that called the criminal justice system.
posted by aaron at 11:03 PM on September 20, 2001



He had to put in that "global reach" modifier, otherwise there's no end. You can't completely eliminate terrorism, any more than you can eliminate hate, pain, our hunger. We *can* get the big, organized, major terror networks. We can't completely stop Dufus McVeigh who decides with three friends to blow sometin' up.
posted by terceiro at 11:13 PM on September 20, 2001


I do think this is a valid question: where exactly does our battle against terrorism end?

To contextualize a bit, what would our opinion be of the ANC and their terrorist actions against Apartheid? They had a "global reach"--they were operating from countries outside South Africa. Would we have gone after them in the present climate? Do they fall into the category of "terrible terrorist" or "righteous rebel"? They too used terrorist acts to topple the South African regime.

Of course I'm being disingenuous, but I do wonder if even our present cabinet understands, or knows, the scope of what they are proposing.

I know I don't know the right answer, but I wonder if anyone else does either.
posted by readymade at 11:38 PM on September 20, 2001


If they find oil in Belfast tomorrow, the IRA are gone.
posted by tamim at 11:44 PM on September 20, 2001


That was one of my first question upon hearing Bush' address. Especially since it is well speculated that some prosperous Irish - Americans may in fact be financially supporting the IRA.

It seemed particularly significant with Bush having said moments before that there was no other country that was greater friends with the US than the UK (upon which I thought 'My, my... how a few hundred years can change things').
posted by Danielle_T at 11:53 PM on September 20, 2001


So where does the US stand with the US after tonight's speech? I mean, we're going to go after all terrorists and all countries that harbor them, right?
posted by zuzu at 12:04 AM on September 21, 2001


"If you are not with us, you are against us" means we incur US displeasure if we don't actively support the US. But the target of the resulting combined force is limited only to those entities who pose a threat to US interests.

To render this convenient qualifier to its essence: the world coalition members are to expose themselves to domestic risk in order to defend US interests.

Richard predicts : that is going to stink to high heaven.

No. I can't imagine US warships off the Irish coast targetting cruise missiles at Jerry Adams in his flat in Dublin. But I do hope it signals an end to US funding of Irish terrorism, and refusals by the US Government to extradite known killers.
posted by RichLyon at 12:12 AM on September 21, 2001


when the US says "terrorists with a global reach" it means "terrorists we think might attack *us*"

How about terrorists who do not look like us?


posted by ao4047 at 12:25 AM on September 21, 2001


One man's terrorist WAS another man's freedom fighter
... one more thing that may have changed in the world in the last couple of weeks?

We can't completely stop Dufus McVeigh who decides with three friends to blow sometin' up.
... indeed we can't. But I look forward to the smart bombs raining down on "Irish" bars in Boston where other dufuses sing songs about what a hero he is. Perhaps they will have more sense than to do that any more.
posted by alanl at 1:34 AM on September 21, 2001


The Real IRA/IRA situation shows what happens if you sort out the terrorists but not the causes of terrorism. Once the political wing of the IRA, Sinn Fein, started sitting down with the British government and talking about decommissioning weapons, the Real IRA went and bombed Omagh. And I've heard it said that the reason Gerry Adams doesn't like talking about total decommissioning is because he doesn't have that much control over the IRA since he started talking to Tony Blair.

So, what I'm trying to say is, you can neutralize or eliminate your old enemy but as long as there's poverty, unemployment and an ancient enemy to hate, terrorism will continue. I say fuck the loyalists and give it back to the Republic, let them sort it out.
posted by Summer at 2:56 AM on September 21, 2001


"A war on terrorism"
Sounds familar doesn't it?
I think we had a war on drugs didnt we.
Did we win that?
posted by PaddyJames at 5:19 AM on September 21, 2001


President Bush identified Great Britain as the U.S.'s main ally.
Great Britain is not a country. It is a geographical description, which includes the Republic of Ireland.
The United Kingdom is a country. But its full definition includes Northern Ireland.
So perhaps we're all a little confused here. Bush probably just meant to say England is the U.S.'s main ally.
Or he said Great Britain not to leave out the Irish.
Go fathom.

It's a pity he didn't say the British Empire, which at least would have had the advantage of comforting all those ever-so-slightly slighted Canadians and Australians whose Queen is the same as the U.K's.


(It's a joke!)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:54 AM on September 21, 2001


Miguel: I was always under the impression that the United Kingdom and Great Britain were two different names for the same thing, and neither actually included the Republic of Ireland. So, if I've been wrong for twenty years, I'd like to know for sure.
posted by dopamine at 6:20 AM on September 21, 2001


Funny joke Miguel. But anyway, Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland. The UK is short for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is not a country but a political entity. The Republic of Ireland is not included and nor, do I think, would it want to be. And if you wanted to include Australia and Canada you'd have to say Commonwealth. The Empire no longer exists. All quite irrelevant but there you go.
posted by Summer at 6:25 AM on September 21, 2001


I think your getting Great Britain and the British Isles confused, the British isles includes Ireland but its a geographical not political term.
posted by PaddyJames at 6:44 AM on September 21, 2001


Equivocating and qualifying who is and who isn't a terrorist based on whom we happen to support in any particular sphere is how we got into this mess in the first place.

The Bush administration is really not interested in rooting out all terrorism everywhere, nor really interested in addressing the fundamental causes of terrorism -- by employing the overblown rhetoric he used all last week, Bush put himself in the position of having to equivocate the American response last night, trying to draw very fine lines so that the real objectives -- restoring the public's sense of safety and trying to stop bin Laden and his organization -- can be undertaken without having to declare all-out war in every corner of the world.
posted by briank at 7:00 AM on September 21, 2001


Right, PaddyJames.
But somehow I don't think saying, for instance in Mulligan's in Dublin, that "Ireland, to me, is just about the best damn country in the British Isles" would go down very well.
It's very interesting how all this obfuscation - specially the English/British distinctions - mirrors perfectly the political and cultural confusions at the heart of the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
I.e. It would probably be too politically offensive to include the six counties of Northern Ireland, where not everyone actually wants to be a subject of the Queen, in "Great Britain".
If you stretch it a bit it might also be said to indicate a certain predisposition to let Northern Ireland go and get back to the much simpler, but still very complicated, United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Wales.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:54 AM on September 21, 2001


obfuscation?.....hold on, I'll be right back.
posted by torlon2001 at 12:10 PM on September 21, 2001



ob.fus.cate

1. to confuse or bewider hopelessly. 2. to darken or dim

I stand obfuscated.
posted by torlon2001 at 12:13 PM on September 21, 2001


torlon2001:
Obfusk at will, lad! It's archaic but will still do, at a pinch. When someone is trying to pull wool over your eyes and "fuck off" seems too unfriendly "Obfusk off" or even "Piss off, you little obfusker" is pithy enough.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:46 PM on September 21, 2001


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