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IRA & FARC
August 11, 2005 12:51 AM   Subscribe

Were these guys birdwatchers, or IRA members training FARC guerillas in improvised explosive techniques? Suddenly, mysteriously back on Irish soil, the "Colombia 3" - James Monaghan, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley - have caused a shitstorm for Bertie Ahern and his ministers; especially in the wake of the newly announced IRA disarmament.
posted by punkbitch (17 comments total)

 
From Irish Times apr. 2002
posted by adamvasco at 1:24 AM on August 11, 2005


Yeah right, and Bill Oddie is a member of the IRA
posted by twistedonion at 1:58 AM on August 11, 2005


More background here, here, and here. Sorry to hijack the thread - I'll leave now.
posted by adamvasco at 2:00 AM on August 11, 2005


one (wo)man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist...and so the cycle continues...
posted by schyler523 at 2:00 AM on August 11, 2005


I'd like these Freedom fighters to have some balls and admit it. "Yeah, we were there training Guerillas and this is why" How can I respect their cause when they are apparently just bird watching.

It's kinda like all those kids in Northern Ireland that were on their way to the shops to buy a pint of milk for their mammy - they were always the ones who get shot with plastic bullets by the Police. strange that, there's never any freedom fighters injured, always just the innocent.

Now, I'm no apolologist for authority (if you aren't happy under it leave or fight against it) - I do believe though that if you get caught don't be a coward about it, know the rules. take your fight to the prison cells. Try and escape, whatever. Don't whinge about it and run home to Bertie hoping he'll protect you.
posted by twistedonion at 2:38 AM on August 11, 2005


if you aren't happy under it leave or fight against it

How about voting against it?
posted by srboisvert at 2:48 AM on August 11, 2005


Can you vote against an occupation? I didn't see that one in the rulebook.
posted by loquacious at 3:04 AM on August 11, 2005


I'd like these Freedom fighters to have some balls and admit it

The IRA have never had balls. Putting bombs in public places should prove that. I know I saw enough of it growing up to have it proven.

But if it's not enough, how about abducting and shooting a widow and mother of 10 kids and dumping her body, refusing to tell her family where it was?

Neither the Three, nor Sinn Féin will ever admit what they were doing - no balls, y'see.
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:12 AM on August 11, 2005


How about voting against it?

That's a great way to fight in a Democracy and hopefully it's the track Sinn Fein have really now taken. Unfortunately Northern Ireland, although a democracy, isn't a fair one. It is a gerrymandered state weighted towards the protestant population. The odds are becoming more even lately though.

In regards to Columbia - I'm not too sure how the system works there so can't really comment
posted by twistedonion at 3:21 AM on August 11, 2005


Can you vote against an occupation? I didn't see that one in the rulebook.

Yes you can. Sinn Fein have had candidates standing on that platform for decades.
posted by biffa at 3:24 AM on August 11, 2005


biffa, the problem was that voting for Sinn Fein was wasting a vote, because they openly stated that they would never take up their seats in Parliament, if they were elected. The result was that those who ended up with a Sinn Fein MP were, effectively, unrepresented.
posted by veedubya at 3:33 AM on August 11, 2005


That's a great way to fight in a Democracy and hopefully it's the track Sinn Fein have really now taken. Unfortunately Northern Ireland, although a democracy, isn't a fair one. It is a gerrymandered state weighted towards the protestant population. The odds are becoming more even lately though.
That's all a bit outdated. How exactly do you make out things are weighted towards the protestant population. In the last election there were 11 Unionist politicans elected and 8 republican/nationalist politicans elected. Considering 59% of the population hold Unionist views, I don't see how you can say that it is heavily weighted in any way.
posted by daveirl at 3:47 AM on August 11, 2005


Because, unknown to a lot of people, Northern Ireland and Ulster are not the same thing. Ulster is composed of nine counties, and Northern Ireland consists of only six of those counties. From its founding, the promise was that NI would only be a part of the UK for as long as a majority of its population wanted it to be. To ensure a safe protestant (and largely pro-British) majority, the three predominantly Catholic counties of Ulster were excluded.
posted by veedubya at 4:02 AM on August 11, 2005


Didn't I say the odds are becoming more even?

the old Protestant fear of "them outbreeding us" is coming true.

How is the fact that the nine counties of Ulster becoming the six counties of Northern Ireland "a bit outdated". Sure it was 80 odd years ago but that doesn't mean it's irrelevant - It's the reason we are in the sorry state we are now.
posted by twistedonion at 4:03 AM on August 11, 2005


^^ apologies for the appalling grammar there - rushed reply while trying to work at the same time
posted by twistedonion at 4:15 AM on August 11, 2005


The partitioning of Ulster, way back then, is relevant today because it was the start of many acts by the British government that caused the Catholic minority in Northen Ireland to distrust the electoral process. That distrust was the breeding ground for the Republican paramilitaries. As the child of an Ulster Catholic from one of the non-NI counties, I know for certain that something has to be pretty badly broken in the political process for the average Irish person, from north or south, to even consider for a moment that blowing people up is a valid response to the situation.

Hopefully, those days are behind us for good.
posted by veedubya at 4:22 AM on August 11, 2005


That distrust was the breeding ground for the Republican paramilitaries.

Unfortunately now that distrust has turned - It's now the Unionists who, rightly or wrongly, don't trust the political process. Some are afraid of losing their positions of power and authority, some are afraid of the unknown, some are dissillusioned and some are blatantly racist. They believe without question the "truths" told by their community leaders.

This, imo, is the problem - cultural and social Apartheid. This is what must change. Loyalists have a right to march in protest down whatever street they desire as do Republicans. The Parades commission is divisive. we all want to live in a free country so live and let live.

Both sides must accept that everyone suffered. Until then there's no chance of a real change. Unionists refuse to believe that the Catholics were treated like crap and had a valid reason for dissidence. And Republicans refuse to apologise for the suffering brought on innocent people.

The other major issue is policing. It's time to realise that the days of the RUC are gone. Sinn Fein must get behind the police service. Make it more representative. No more filling your bins with petrol bombs, starting a riot and blaming the police for heavy handedness.

We also need to promote the notion that the IRA, UVF, LVF, UDA etc. are nothing more than criminal gangs - they have no cause other than to control their pathetic little enclaves.

phew, rant over... saying all that I love this country. On the whole theres nowhere else I'd rather be.
posted by twistedonion at 4:56 AM on August 11, 2005


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