Terrorists or freedom fighters?
Oh boy, this thread is going to be "fun", especially if Yossarian finds it.
This is a very controversial subject, and I know that there are many Irish and Brits on here (including you, Euphoria, so I'd like to hear from you.) I'm an American mutt, with Irish being my second main heritage, second to Portuguese, but my mother's family has been in America for just over a hundred years I believe, so my family got out of Ireland right before the massive resurgence of Republicanism.
I'm not going to go into a massive history lesson here, but when there is a foreign government ruling another country, and sending armed troops that sometimes end up killing civilians (including children), you can't really call those oppressed people terrorists for picking up a gun and fighting back.
The English have been tormenting Ireland since the 1100's. I believe it was in the 1500's or 1600's when Britain started sending English and Scottish Protestants to Northern Ireland to take land away from Irish Catholics. From 1921 on, after the establishment of the Republic, the Republicans have clashed with Loyalists and vice versa. The whole war in the north is about the Republicans/Nationalists trying to take back their country from the Loyalists/Unionists.
Things really started heating up in the late 60's, and continued to the late 90's (known as "The Troubles.") The reasons for the Troubles were numerous, but the spark were attacks on Republican civil rights protesters by Loyalists. The police force (the RUC) did little to stop the attacks. The protests turned to riots, which led to the Battle of the Bogside, in which Republicans went up against the RUC and Unionists. Many people died as a result, including Republicans. The IRA was blamed for not protecting the Nationalists communities, so the IRA soon split into two groups: the OIRA (Official Irish Republican Army) and the PIRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army.)
The British Army.
The fighting continued, and many people died: paramilitaries (both Republican and Loyalist), police, British soldiers, but mostly civilians. The OIRA stopped all offensive attacks in 1972, and the PIRA continued their armed struggle until 1998, with the signing of the Belfast Agreement, which among many other things, pulled almost all of British troops out of Ireland and stated that Northern Ireland will be free to join the Republic of Ireland when the majority of those in the North choose to. Many say that the border was drawn to guarantee that it was mostly Protestant/English descendants in the North, but I don't know if I necessarily agree with that statement.
The fighting still continues. The RIRA (Real IRA) and CIRA (Continuity IRA) came together after the Provo's agreed to the ceasefire in '98. Those two groups still continue to use violence to reach their goal of a united Ireland free of British oppression. The PIRA OFFICIALY disarmed in 2005, and now Sinn Fein (the political wing of the PIRA) is their only tool for a united Ireland, although the organization still exists.
It is not fair to only talk about the IRA in these thread, either. You cannot forget to mention the other Republican Paramilitary groups, either, such as the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) and the IPLO (Irish People's Liberation Organisation.)
You CANNOT forget the fact that the Loyalists had paras as well. I am not as familiar with these groups as I am with the Republicans, however. The UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) was a major contributor to the death count during the Troubles and actually formed years before the IRA split of the late 60's. They officially decommissioned their weapons in 2007, I believe. Some members of the UVF also belonged to the Shankhill Butchers, a Loyalist gang known for torturing their victims, mutilating, and murdering them. Other Unionists groups included the Red Hands, the UDA (Ulster Defence Association), and the Ulster Defence Regiment, among many others. The Unionists also recently established new paramilitary groups.
I know I said I did not want to go into a big history lesson, but that's the least I could write. Now, it's time for my views.
As I said, there is a difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter. It may not always be clear, especially to those who are ignorant or just under-informed. I have nothing against the English people, but the English government has always had a thing for owning other countries: America, Ireland, Scotland, China, India, Argentina, just to name a few. There was not much of a difference between the American Revolution and the Irish Revolution. While I have not always agreed with Republican tactics, such as planting bombs in public places, I have always and will always support their goal of a united Eire. You cannot really call the PIRA terrorists, nor the CIRA or RIRA, but I do not support either of the latter two. The British troops are out Ireland, and no more civilians are being killed by them, so it's time to lay down the guns. Keep them but put them away. Let Sinn Fein negotiate and take to the streets with banners and signs instead of guns and bombs. You don't have to quit the fight, but you have to stop the violence. The situation over there as far as I can tell is no longer worth killing over.
There have been great strides towards a united Ireland free of British rule in the past century: the Easter Rising of 1916, the formation of the Free State, and the Belfast Treaty. For those reason, I believe I will either see a united Ireland or an Ireland at an all out war before my life is over. I hope and pray it is the former.
Before I go, I'd like to quote the chorus from a Wolfe Tones song. It is about Joe McDonnell, a Republican who died alongside nine other men while on Hunger Strike in 1981.
"And you dare to call me a terrorist,
while you look down your gun
When I think of all the deeds that you have done.
You have plundered many nations, divided many lands.
You have terrorised their peoples, you ruled with an iron hand.
And you brought this reign of terror to my land."
Here's a video I made of The Troubles. I tried as hard as I could not to take sides, and instead just just try to increase awareness.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jz-ntil0B8]The Troubles - Shut 'Em Down - YouTube[/ame]
tiochfadh ar la
Last edited by TrailerParkPerry; 10-30-2011 at 01:43 AM.
And here we go. I'm already getting bad rep from this thread. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?
Also, the person isn't even man enough to leave their name, and instead just rudely says "U Suck!" They don't even say why I "suck." This sucks. Surprisingly enough, Yossar is apparently banned, so I don't know who it is. Oh well, I don't care how many people do it, I'm not gonna stop telling it the way I see it.
I feel the same towards the IRA as I do to Al Qaeda and ETA.
Today's Song NIN: Something I Can Never Have
A piece of dung by any other name would smell just as bad.
Originally Posted by Tom Waits
A majority of British officers will tell you that while they hate the IRA, they are not cowards. When you pick up a gun and risk your life for no form of payment and fight for a cause that looks impossible, that is saying something, especially since you can be imprisoned for 84 years for just being in possession of a handgun (like Bobby Sands.)
Someone on here called the 1981 Hunger Strikers cowards. When you let yourself starve to death for the possibility of others being treated better in the future, that is one of the bravest things you can do.
I would never call anyone on a hunger stroke a coward. But anyone that would kill numerous innocent people for political sway with bombs and from a distance - that's a coward in my book, be they fighting for al Qaeda, the IRA, ETA or any other terrorist organisation.
Every time the IRA blew up a pub full of people, it showed that they're even more brutal than the British murderers on Bloody Sunday. And most importantly, it did a huge disservice to the people they're allegedly fighting for.
The IRA have ruled Northern Ireland under a reign of terror, killing their own people as well as the Brits. Their bombings and other activities have slowed the peace process down numerous times.
Stupid, angry, cowardly morons.
By the way, as with the far majority of Brits, I totally support their cause - we'd like nothing better than to hand them back to the Irish (a lot of whom don't want them back) and let them deal with their crap. The problem is, if the Brits walk out, religious persecution for the thousands of protestants living in NI is guaranteed.
Maybe the IRA did have a cause to fight for in the days of British imperialism, but I'm a bit confused over what they're doing at present. If NI want's to be independent, remain part of the UK or join the republic, I don't see what's stopping them if they vote for a party that shares the same goal. It's a matter for NI to decide for itself so I never paid much attention to it.
The protestants basically have superiority over the catholics under British law - they get the government positions, the good jobs at the police etc etc, and the catholics are left with very little say in what happens over there.
I'm sure a referendum would vote unanimously against British rule.
Are they not a secular state? you make it sound like they're trapped in the 19th century.
they've been living in an atmosphere of hatred for the past 100 years. Not something that's particularly conducive to progress.
This is just a reminder to everyone here to keep things civil. I know people will feel differently about things, and you've all been good with it so far, so let's just keep things this way. There is nothing more ignorant than a closed mind.
OT: In my opinion, the IRA are terrorists. Why? Because two wrongs don't make a right. The whole 'look at what you've done to us x amount of years ago' excuse is stupid and ignorant. By that logic then black people should be able to go on murderous killing sprees of white people. I don't think I need to explain how stupid that would be.
If Ireland want a completely independent country, they should either declare war on Britain or acquire it through diplomatic means. Random acts of violence by an organisation to cause harm to other people is by definition, terrorism.
Also there is one key factor people seem to forget when they think of the IRA.. would they exist if it wasn't for the British army?
Like the terrorist organisations in the Middle East, they are borne out of the situation around them. There's no escaping the fact that the Brits should never have been there in first place.Also there is one key factor people seem to forget when they think of the IRA.. would they exist if it wasn't for the British army?
Also the orange wasn't put in the tricolour by chance
- orange — standing for Irish Protestants
- green — signifying Irish Catholics and the republican cause
- white — representing the hope for peace between them
Last edited by Euphoria; 10-31-2011 at 02:09 PM.
32% of those killed by the IRA were civilians, 60% of those killed by the British army were civilians, and 93% of those killed by loyalist paramilitaries were civilians. "And you dare to call me a terrorist" - Also should take note that the IRA warned the British Army when they was going to attack so they could evacuate civilians, harming innocent civilians did nothing for their cause, which is why most of their killings on civilians were accidental.