June 11, 2006

Ulster Orangemen death squads and IRA terror

[inspired by some comments on neo neocon's site that referenced the IRA, and support of the IRA in the US]

One of the things most people don't know about the IRA problem, is that it was actually a way to defend against a rival terroist organization, namely the Protestant Orangemen death squads that went into Irish communities, much as Zarqawi goes into Sunni and Shia communties and chops up the children and put their heads into baskets intended for their mothers to see and smell.

Britain tried to send peacekeepers, namely the SAS, to quell the problem. The British Army, police, local paramilitary loyalist police, and the SAS were all focused more on crushing the uppity Irish than dealing with the legitimate security needs of the Irish.

Some highlights of Irish protests

The revenge of the IRA

I am no fan of the EU criminal courts, so take this court judgement considering my personal biases

If there is one single place which symbolises its 1969 rebirth and growth, it is Bombay Street in the Falls Road area of Belfast, where marauding loyalists burnt down much of the street and killed a junior IRA member.

The IRA split at that point, one faction going into eventual obscurity while most activists joined a hugely expanded 'Provisional IRA'. A republican mural depicting a phoenix and the words 'From the ashes of Bombay Street rose the Provisionals' appeared in the street. Even today a mural there declares: 'Bombay Street " never again'.

The initial emphasis was on defence, the IRA vowing to protect areas open to loyalist attack. But soon the organisation was squaring up to the Army, while loyalists remained lethally active and the situation inexorably deteriorated.

By 1972 the IRA, loyalists and the security forces were involved in large- scale clashes, with 500 people killed in that year as the IRA switched the emphasis from defence to an aggressive campaign aimed at British withdrawal.

For those who wonder what they mean by "loyalist", what they are talking about are the Ulster terror squads that are inherently, death squads ala Saddam Hussein.

The spiral into violence was marked by security force mistakes and misdeeds such as internment without trial and the shootings of Bloody Sunday. Loyalists carried out many killings, sometimes torturing their Catholic victims in the backstreets.

For its part, the IRA invented the car bomb, a device which claimed many civilian lives. In one of many such incidents, known as Bloody Friday, nine people were killed in Belfast in 1972 when the IRA detonated 20 devices in just over an hour.

That incident produced one of ghastliest images of the troubles, with television pictures showing mangled human remains being swept into plastic bags.

But it was not to be the last such atrocity: every year that followed brought destruction and deaths, amounting to 3,700 killings in all. The IRA was responsible for almost half of these, and itself lost hundreds of members and supporters.

The decades brought various phases of IRA activity, marked with what republicans called 'spectaculars.' One of these was the assassination of Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979, on the same day that 18 soldiers were killed at Warrenpoint in Co Down.

Compare the BBC, British, reporting of their oppression of the Irish and the IRA, and the facillitation of Ulster Orangemen death squads free reign in Irish communities, with how the British BBC treat the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Guilt, is a powerful motivation.

Some of you may wonder why I so freely believe that the British kills people and then tries to cover it up, given what people accuse the USMC and Americans of doing. The difference is simple. The British shot a Muslim, as he complied with police, after 7/7 AND THEN TRIED to cover it up by saying he resisted. He didn't resist. The British are trigger happy, remember the Revolutionary War, don't let "common defense" lead you to the wrong conclusions.

The British are a mercurial people. One moment they are weak, appeasement orientated, and then they are full out waging Total War bombing Dresden via Bomber Harry. In this sense, they are sorta like American Alpha version 7.8x. Alpha versions, being inherently unstable.

Remember, it was the British that wanted Versailles, along with the French, because of their thirst for revenge. Don't be so surprised when the British execute an innocent civilian and then tries to cover it up.

By that stage, the republican movement was in the hands of a new northern- based leadership dominated by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who had pushed out the older southern leaders in a bloodless coup. The IRA was reorganised to make it a smaller, tighter organisation less vulnerable to penetration by informers.

In 1984, an attempt was made to kill Margaret Thatcher and Cabinet during the Conservative Party conference in Brighton. She survived unhurt, but five people died in the attack.

In the late 1980s, the IRA received a huge boost with the arrival of sizeable arms shipments from Colonel Gaddafi's Libyan regime. This material, which included heavy machine guns and Semtex plastic explosives, greatly increased its capacity for violence.

More shootings and bombings resulted, but so too did enhanced efforts by the security forces. 'The Brits have raised their game, ' commented an IRA leader at the time.

The IRA then began putting out feelers to the British government and to Irish political and clerical leaders. There had been surreptitious contacts in the past, most notably when the Government flew Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and others to Chelsea in 1972, in an RAF aircraft, for secret discussions with the Northern Ireland Secretary, William Whitelaw.

Those talks came to nothing, but in the 1990s the IRA began to signal that it was interested in dialogue. But the fact that the organisation insisted on maintaining its campaign of violence during this period meant that many did not take its approaches seriously.

Here is the timeline as I see it. The IRA was formed to defend against British and British-Ulster loyalist's unlawful executions. The IRA then became more extreme, as their thirst for violence, revenge, and death consumed them. With a lot of help from the British. When the British stepped up the retaliation killings, ambushes, and deah squad executions, the IRA realized that this kind of death and terrorism did not fullfill the original goal of the IRA, to protect Irish communities from Ulster and British repression.

The extreme nature of IRA terrorism and rebellion, would have started drying up American-Irish support. Someone, in Sinn Fein, decided that negotiation and diplomacy would benefit them more than continued British retaliation executions and deaths. The IRA, as extreme and violent as they were, were no match against the SAS.

Americans are different than the British. When the Sunnis act up and try to blow people up, first we offer the less violent folks amnesty and a political solution, then we go after to capture the Sunni leaders. If they resist, then they are killed. Americans are disciplined enough at heart, not to engage in unnecessary "kill on sight" missions. This is why British occupied territories always tended to start "rebelling", while Americans solve "rebellions" through both ruthlessness and compassion. The British have no compassion when their goats are up.

You ever wonder why the British was given control of the Southern cities like Basrah, and not Al-Anbar or Baghdad? It is because the US military knew who they could control and who they can't. They can't control the British, the British are not susceptible to being tried by the US Code of Military justice. Best not get the British embroiled into a fight where civilians might be at risk, is what might have influenced High Command's decisions.

Think of it as this. The world got to blame America for My Lai, and America learned from our mistakes. The rest of the world learned how to blame America, they didn't learn from their mistakes.

For decades, the authorities tried to beat the IRA, but never managed it: now the organisation is voluntarily offering to disarm, and to put an end to the toll of violent death.

The Irish in America, must have told the IRA that they should travel another path. The IRA, being ethnic orientated, would trust no outsiders except their own, the Irish.

ALTHOUGH THE British Army has spent more than three decades involved in conflict in Northern Ireland, the experience is unlikely to be of great benefit to its men on the streets of Baghdad.

So many differences exist between Iraq and Ireland that surprisingly little read-across will probably be found between the two conflicts. They have different rules, a very different enemy, different weapons and, most of all, different purposes.

The Troubles dragged on for so long that a majority of troops have probably been based in Northern Ireland, some of them undertaking half a dozen or more tours of duty. But war in Belfast and Londonderry was an unusual exercise, not just in its longevity but also in its character. Above all it was a low-level form of conflict, for the most part aimed at containment. By contrast, Baghdad is likely to see sustained and intense conflict.

Two striking and perhaps ominous points stand out. First, although the Army fought against the IRA for all those years, the result in the end was not a clear military victory over terrorism but, in effect, stalemate.

The British failed to win an insurgency warfare. They were brutal and ruthless enough, they just weren't Good enough to do the job. Sinn Fein knew about the stalemate, which is why Sinn Fein tried to get a cease fire going, Sinn Fein was tired of Irish women and children being killed because Sinn Fein killed some Ulster Loyalist or British Army sniper. Did "peace talks" convert a terroist organization into a political organization? No. What converted terroists to politicians, is the fact that they had no better choice available to them. The US gives he Sunnis two choices. Either die on our bayonets or under the bullets of the Shia majority or go the political route. Sinn Fein knew the SAS could be deployed against the IRA, Sinn Fein knew that no political option would be possible if the IRA had been decapitated.

The Stalemate Ended

The fact that active armies inevitably inflict civilian casualties means it is futile to hope that armies can help to win any battle for the people. In Northern Ireland the experience is that troops in close contact with civilians almost always generate friction rather than increase support.

The British don't get it. Americans are the younger, more brilliant, genius in the Anglo-Saxon family. The British got one lesson from their Troubles, and they seek to apply it to Israel and the US. Prejudiced and arrogant. America is the new and improved version, compared to the buggy alpha version that is Britain. Britain deserves respect for its age, sort of like the rickety disabled grandfather. But that don't mean we're going to emulate the old generation.

The SAS, at least, deserves respect. Even if the British army, politicians, intel branches, do not. The SAS were good, much much better than Sinn Fein and the IRA's operators. Why were the British stalemated with the IRA, then?

A number of former SAS men were speaking out as loyalist terrorist Ken Barrett was beginning the shortest life sentence ever for the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Barrett and other members of the UDA and UFF were used by British intelligence and the RUC Special Branch to kill republican figures and sympathisers.

One ex-SAS soldier said: "They had to turn to these guys because we were not prepared to do their dirty work and most of the time, they killed the wrong people.

"Innocent people were murdered because of orders from the very highest level.

"We knew that at some time the British Government and the IRA would have to sit down at the table and sort things out.

"There was total panic when we gave them our answer. We told them: 'We will not be pulling any triggers. We are soldiers, not a death squad'."

The SAS commanders were 100 percent behind the decision because they knew that they, too, would have faced prosecution. But the SAS men revealed that they did keep a very close watch on the men on the death list, hoping to get a reason to shoot or arrest them.

Respect the SAS, because they can and will kill you if you get in their way.

Stalemated, without the SAS

Court findings of shoot to kill policies

The British authorities were not operating a shoot-to-kill policy, but failings in the command of the SAS operation, meant the deaths of the three terrorists were unjustified, the European Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday.

But in the area of the control and organisation of the operation, the court ruled that the Human Rights Convention had been breached. It questioned why the suspects had not been arrested as they arrived at the Gibraltar border, and pointed out that the bomb attack was not expected for a further four days.

The judgment said it was disquieting that the SAS had been briefed that there was definitely a bomb, while the intelligence assessment was only that it was a suspected bomb. This, together with the fact that the SAS were told the bomb could be set off at the touch of a button, made the use of force almost unavoidable, the court concluded.

Noting that soldiers were trained, once they had opened fire, to shoot to kill, the court added: "The reflex action in this vital respect lacked the degree of caution in the use of firearms to be expected from law-enforcement personnel in a democratic society, even when dealing with dangerous terrorist suspects."

The agents that killed the Muslim in the suburb, were also told "he had a bomb" when obviously there was no reason for the intel agents to believe that. So why did the controls for the shooters (the agents), tell the agents something they knew wasn't true? Shoot them first, then ask questions later is that it?

I'm extremely skeptical about any organization with the names "European" or "Commission" in their names. I recommend you do the same.

The existence of the risk to civilians was enough to justify the SAS response. Shooting to wound rather than to kill would have been dangerous since a wounded terrorist could still have set off a bomb.

This is the same reasoning they used to "cover up" the execution of the Muslim that was just an innocent migrant worker. The reasoning is valid, the application, is not when the British applies it, given the evidence I have read during the research for this post.

I give the British the benefit of the doubt. I like how Tony Blair phrases his defense of his support of Bush. I appreciate the political benefits. That don't mean Britain is the "competent stoic ally" of the US until death do us part, however.


Anonymous Dodgy said...

Whilst some of that may be correct it's still a seriously disjointed view of the history of Northern Ireland.

Buth then when you cite your sources as pro IRA websites I wouldn't expect anything else.

I suggest you do a little more research.

02 August, 2006 19:13  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I suggest you come up with a better counter-argument than "you cite some of your sources as pro IRA" and "some of that is right but the rest is disjointed, I rest my case"

You don't even know your opponents, let alone your enemies, well enough to come up with counter-arguments. You're blind to true comprehension. And therelin lies your weakness and lack of enlightenment.

Of course it is disjointed to you, all things that make sense but shouldn't, you are unable to explain away. Seriously weak, this is as bad as DB in terms of raw ability.

02 August, 2006 23:35  

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