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The Irish Republican Army ceases, for all means and purposes, to be an army.
September 27, 2005 8:18 AM   Subscribe

The Irish Republican Army ceases, for all means and purposes, to be an army. And Ian Paisley, predictably, is unhappy about that.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism (25 comments total)

 
I don't understand the "unionists". With what are they in union? They seem as unhappy with the UK government as with the IRA. Are they the same folks I hear called "loyalists"? To whom/what are they loyal? I always thought it was loyalty to the Crown, but I don' think Her Majesty approves of their actions.
posted by Goofyy at 8:35 AM on September 27, 2005


Goofyy: They're in union with the rest of the United Kingdom and want to stay that way. Unionism is as valid a political stance as republicanism, just as terrorism in the cause of unionism is as invalid as terrorism in the cause of republicanism. Don't conflate those who resort to violence with those who pursue legitimate political ends.
posted by biffa at 8:45 AM on September 27, 2005


When are the Unionists going to decommision Ian Paisley?
posted by duncan42 at 9:08 AM on September 27, 2005


The Unionists. From Wikipedia: "The UUP came into existence as the Irish Unionist Party in 1905 to resist any granting of home rule to Ireland within the United Kingdom....However, with the partition of Ireland under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, Irish unionism in effect split. Many southern unionists became reconciled with the Irish Free State, sitting in its senate or joining its political parties. Unionism's northern wing evolved into a separate Ulster Unionist Party."

biffa: You are, of course, making an assumption that terrorism in those causes is invalid. If by invalid you mean "Falsely based or reasoned." you are, of course, wrong. (As in wrong: "Not in conformity with fact or truth; incorrect or erroneous.") History has examples of similar cases where terrorism has been an effective tool of a political party. See the Revolution by the American Colony against the British Empire for one example.

(I am assuming by terrorism you mean "the unlawful use or threat of violence esp. against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion.")
posted by ?! at 9:17 AM on September 27, 2005


There are two sides to this situation. On the one hand, Paisley's rabble-rousing raises a valid point: that in our haste ('our' referring to the British government, our government here, and communities both north and south of the border) to bring an end to the troubles, we'll believe anything the IRA tells us, and allow them to pull the wool over our eyes.

But on the other hand, we're talking about Ian Paisley here -- a man who, by way of his influence both religiously and politically (for in Norn Iron, religion and politics are intertwined) has as done just as much as the paramilitaries to harm relations between Nationalists and Loyalists over the last 30-odd years.

Paisley's existence is defined by vehement opposition to the Republican movement and its paramilitarism (while at the same time not being exactly outspoken against Loyalist groups, or pathetic acts of violence committed by Loyalists like we've seen recently). So, if the IRA is being true to its word, natural law dictates that Paisley will cease to exist. Obviously, he's just doing anything he can to make sure a rift in the space-time continuum doesn't swallow him up.
posted by macdara at 9:26 AM on September 27, 2005


I don't understand the "unionists".

Neither do I, and I live in a Unionist community. Don't worry about it. They are having an identity crisis at the minute.

They seem as unhappy with the UK government as with the IRA.

I wouldn't go that far! Lots of UK citizens are unhappy with their Government. The point is that Unionists want to remain a part of the UK rather than join the Republic Of Ireland.

Are they the same folks I hear called "loyalists"? To whom/what are they loyal?
Same people. Loyal to the Crown, Loyal to the Protestant faith, Loyal to the Drug Barons... I really don't know and I've often wondered myself what they would do if Her Majesty denounced their loyalism. They'd probably become loyal to His Highness Big Ian. Thing is, there are quite a few Royalists (if that's a word) in the UK who would sympathise with the unionist position. Not sure what the Queens stance is though.

I can actually sympathise with the Unionists a lot at the minute. The IRA wrecked this country. Now it's over and those who suffered get absolutely no sense of justice. What harm would a few photos have done? Or independant witnesses?

The IRA got it all their way and they've just given the Unionists more fuel to stir things up. If the whole thing had been done transparently then the Loyalists wouldn't have any ammo for their last stand.
posted by twistedonion at 9:31 AM on September 27, 2005


If a real lasting peace happens, Paisley is out of the limelight. The IRA disarming makes him irrelevant. The UK gov't has no reason to do anything for him, they're no longer threatened, and his party is much weaker in the electorate. He will say or do anything now out of desperation.
posted by clubfoote at 9:40 AM on September 27, 2005


?!: I was suggesting terrorism was ethically invalid as a form of expression in a democratic state. Should probably have used the word 'legitimate' somewhere in that first sentence.

I see Paisley as a symbol of our ongoing commitment to free speech. Clearly he's an enormous dickhead, but our system allows him to go on being so. It will be interesting to see how some of the laws they're bringing in to address fundamentalist islamist preachers in the UK will impact on him and his ilk.

As with twistedonion I have a certain sympathy with the political goals of the unionists; if only so many of them didn't appear to be gobshites.
posted by biffa at 9:42 AM on September 27, 2005


"The IRA got it all their way and they've just given the Unionists more fuel to stir things up. If the whole thing had been done transparently then the Loyalists wouldn't have any ammo for their last stand."

Is Ulster now part of ROI? Cause if not, I have a hard time seeing how the IRA got it all their way. There's been compromise on both sides.
posted by clubfoote at 9:42 AM on September 27, 2005


If you want to figure Ireland -north and south - good luck.
here is a link

http://www.pitt.edu/~pugachev/ireland/ireland.htm#cat1
posted by donfactor at 9:51 AM on September 27, 2005


I believe the concessions that the IRA gave were all their guns, onion. It's not exactly nothing in terms of concessions, considering that the UDA etc. haven't given theirs up yet.
posted by Swandive at 9:54 AM on September 27, 2005


Damn. What will they use those NORAID funds for now? Guinness not guns, I guess.
posted by Decani at 10:08 AM on September 27, 2005


The thing is Paisley is a paranoid psychopath and the IRA is full of a bunch of gangsters who aren't to be trusted. It seems (at least from the outside) that the IRA went so far down the path of organized crime in the 90's that it could never come back now.

This reminds me of the double-sided situation made famous in the the USA by the OJ trial. (IE, OJ was probably guilty and the police planted evidence).

I actually think this is a really good move for all of N Ireland. I'm sure there are elements of the IRA that made off with a bunch of money and guns, but at least now they'll be treated like criminals, and not a rebel army. Not much different to the police I know, but much different when it comes to the support of the populace.

It's always been weird in the US that the whole situation in the north has been portrayed as just some terrorists blowing stuff up for no reason. The UDF is never, never mentioned in the news here, and as shown in this thread, most people have no idea there's two forces at play.

Anyway, I certainly hope this is the start of a better life for all the citizens of N Ireland.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:12 AM on September 27, 2005


To echo others: When does the UDA disarm?
posted by DieHipsterDie at 10:36 AM on September 27, 2005


twistedonion, I don't think it's as simple as "the IRA wrecked this country." After all, the primarily Protestant and unionist government [not to mention the unionist paramilitaries] have done a great deal to keep the situation awful. Consider the yearly provocation of the Orange marches and the routes that just happen to run through poor Catholic neighborhoods, and the killing of Catholics. Consider the fact that even without the IRA, you'd still have a region where a large and growing Catholic minority of the population is ill-represented in the police forces and the goverment, is generally poorer, and is generally more interested in being part of the RoI than the UK. Consider the fact that the loyalist groups have not disarmed [and have never shown any sign of planning to disarm.] I don't think it's possible to say that without the IRA, everything would have been perfect in Northern Ireland. Institutionalized anti-Catholicism and loyalist violence have been a huge part of the Troubles, and though I don't condone the IRA's violent methods, I'm not sure that the UK would have ever looked at addressing the problem of Northern Ireland without something drastic to force them to focus on it.

Furthermore, I don't think you can say the the IRA "got it all their way." Last I checked, Northern Ireland's still not part of the Republic of Ireland, and the IRA had just given up all its armaments without assurance that reunification will happen. If without IRA provocation the Unionists continue to "stir things up," i.e., start riots and kill Catholics, they and political parties associated with them ought to be treated just as the IRA and Sinn Fein were, rather than being allowed to dictate so much of the peace process. They don't even have the flimsy excuse of "well, the IRA is violent, so we're just responding in kind" anymore.
posted by ubersturm at 10:44 AM on September 27, 2005


They're (The Unionists) in union with the rest of the United Kingdom and want to stay that way.
Unfortunately they are such an embarassment to the rest of the UK that we'd happily cede them to Somalia, Atlantis, anywhere.
posted by Joeforking at 11:32 AM on September 27, 2005


Best impression ever: Ian Paisley bungee jumping.

Say the "The Anglo-Irish agreement is a disgrace to the people of Ulster" loud then quiet then loud then quiet then loud then quiet.

Meh. It amuses me anyway.
posted by vbfg at 11:32 AM on September 27, 2005


Rangers have decomissioned their team , so it's a start i suppose.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:05 PM on September 27, 2005


Artmedia 5 Celtic 0

Still hurtin'?
posted by the cuban at 2:16 PM on September 27, 2005


If the reports of the two witness priests being nominated by the Republicans is true, that significantly undermines the action's credibility.

Although, on the other hand, Unionists opposed the inclusion of Catholic and Protestant priests as an unwelcome and unreliable intervention, calling into question the integrity of the leaders of their own religious communities. They've questioned the integrity of General de Chastelain by rebuking and deriding his decommissioning reports, as well as any statement which failed to condemn the Republicans. They even detached the last attempt at decommissioning by insisting implacably on photographic proof, one of many proposals put forward by the Irish and British governments, and the only one the IRA had always insisted could not happen.

There has, at the very least, been an attempt at good faith from one side of this peace process. I hope it's a good deal more than that.
posted by NinjaPirate at 2:42 PM on September 27, 2005


> The IRA wrecked this country. Now it's over and those who
> suffered get absolutely no sense of justice.

What, did you mean like these people?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:32 PM on September 27, 2005


Hey I know! Let's send George Bush over there to patch things up! He's a uniter! Why, after a few years of his leadershit, y'all will be in serious harmony...to get rid of him. Nothing like a common cause to improve relations between enemies.

Seriously, in recent times (last 7 years), the news I've heard from Northern Ireland has seemed to all focus on trouble being caused by these unionist folks. And that's mostly from British news sources (like, British Forces radio), as I've lived out of the US.
posted by Goofyy at 11:26 PM on September 27, 2005


Yikes. I've seen less wacko propaganda on Klan web sites.
posted by weirdoactor at 11:09 AM on September 28, 2005


1967
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:13 PM on September 28, 2005


ok , i'm still hurtin.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:13 PM on September 28, 2005


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