Sinn Fein calls for IRA Disarmament
October 22, 2001 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Sinn Fein calls for IRA Disarmament
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams urged the Irish Republican Army on Monday to begin disarming to save Northern Ireland's peace process.
posted by jbelshaw (8 comments total)
It's going to be an interesting few days...
posted by twistedonion at 1:52 AM on October 23, 2001

The IRA is the Irish Republican Army. It may hand over just enough to get things going the way it likes, but the IRA or its surrogates will maintain weapon hoards at least until Northern Ireland is a part of the Irish Republic and all would-be IRA members join the regular Irish army. (Which, of course, probably means that the IRA will never hand over all of its weapons.)

Irish and British archaeologists of the future will make explosive discoveries: "The IRA is known to have received four boatloads of arms from Libya in the 1980s, including Semtex plastic explosive, and it has bought weapons in the United States. The IRA has also shown great ingenuity in manufacturing explosives from fertilizer and mortars from scrap."
posted by pracowity at 6:17 AM on October 23, 2001

IRA begins decommissioning weapons "to save the peace process." Someone must take the first step.
posted by Carol Anne at 12:54 PM on October 23, 2001

"Someone must take the first step". Well, yes, but on a journey towards
what? The IRA are skating on very thin ice. They are gambling that
giving up the armed struggle will pay off in votes north and south of the
border, that political leverage will take the place of guns. So far,
this is working. But there may come a point where the British decide
that, normalisation achieved, there is nothing to be gained by further
concessions -- after all, there will no longer be a threat from the IRA,
will there? And then where is the Republican movement? Their whole
raison d'être is "Brits out"; but this political agreement contains no
concrete measures that can achieve this. However, given that the South
is fast surrendering what little independence it once had, I suppose the
whole issue is moot.
posted by Paul Dunne at 1:06 PM on October 23, 2001

Let me just say that I thought Gerry Adam's speech in Belfast yesterday was superb and offered a solid framework for moving forward. No, the Sinn Fein isn't the same as the IRA and clearly their incentives aren't exactly aligned. But I do think that SF and now the IRA have taken the first concrete, new steps toward peace we've seen in a long time. IRA is looking at its funding from the USA drying up, they know this, and the path they've started down really seems like the only way out . . .
posted by donovan at 2:11 PM on October 23, 2001

Aside from my views on the issue, I find the way language is used really interesting. Phrases like "beyond use". And the headline yesterday said "Sinn Fein asks IRA to disarm", and then today they start to disarm. Like they would ask the question in public without knowing the answer, if in fact they are not asking themselves the question to begin with.
posted by chrismc at 2:25 PM on October 23, 2001

The BBC posts an analysis of why they did this.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 2:52 PM on October 23, 2001

The BBC piece is a piss-poor analysis. Sep 11 & the FARC imbroglio have little to do with this; it's part and parcel of the Good Friday Agreement. The logic of the political process has led to this. Note that it's NOT "disarmament" per se. It's a bigger gesture than they've made before. We'll have to wait and see exactly what is entailed, but I doubt it will be wholesale destruction. Everyone knows that the current IRA is not going to return to war, so this whole thing is a bit of red herring. I wonder what excuse David Trimble would find for wrecking the process if all IRA weapons were destroyed?
posted by Paul Dunne at 3:00 PM on October 23, 2001

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