It is currently Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:04 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:41 am 
Offline
of Vinyamar
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:39 pm
Posts: 8285
Location: Ireland
As a kid, I remember hearing a joke. "Whats the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter? Freedom Fighters are Black". Well, times have changed, but in many ways they remain the same. Now terrorists are Muslim and everyone else is a freedom fighter.

Gerry Adams said something similar at Martin McGuinness' funeral.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/ ... -1.3022275

Quote:
“Martin McGuinness was not a terrorist. Martin McGuinness was a freedom fighter. He was also a political prisoner, a negotiator, a peacemaker, a healer. But while he had a passion for politics Martin was not one dimensional. He had many interests, especially in nature, in spirituality, and he was famously and hugely interested in people.”

Mr Adams said that in the early stages of his illness Mr McGuinness had planned to write a book but the severity of his illness prevented that happening. He said he was born into an “Orange state which did not want him or his kind”, adding that “the Orange state’s violent suppression” of civil rights and “the emerging conflict propelled Martin into a life less ordinary”.

Mr Adams said that from reading some commentary one would think that Mr McGuinness had a “road to Damascus conversion” by abandoning his “republican principles, his former comrades in the IRA and joined the political establishment”.

“To suggest this is to miss the truth of his leadership and the essence of his humanity. There was not a bad Martin McGuinness or a good Martin McGuinness. There was simply a man, like every other decent man or woman, doing his best. Martin believed in freedom and equality, He resisted by armed actions those who withheld these rights, and then he helped shape conditions in which it was possible to advocate for these entitlements by unarmed strategies. Throughout it all Martin remained committed to the same ideals that led to his becoming a republican activist in the first instance – the pursuit of Irish unification, freedom, respect, equality and respect for all. Martin believed that the British government’s involvement in Ireland, and the partition of our island, are at the root of our divisions. He was absolutely 100 per cent right about that.”


Now, there is no denying that the IRA committed some barbarous acts in pursuit of their goals. Many of them were simply petty criminals casually allied to a cause. But many of them were deeply committed to bringing about a united Ireland and, as they saw it, ending 800 years of enforced occupation and discrimination. It reminded me a little of the "Punch a Nazi" thread. When is enough enough. Where does the line get drawn. When people talk about Nelson Mandela, they forget about the ANC campaign of violence that brought about an environment where he could get a hearing.

There's a meme going around on Facebook. It shows a picture of a London IRA Truck bombing in 1993 with the caption "We didn't ban Irish people or Catholics, we understood it was just a small group of c***s". Now, I know this is meant to be an expression of tolerance, but it completely fails to accept that this "small group of c***s" considered themselves Freedom Fighters, defending themselves against social, racial and religious discrimination by an armed occupied force. There's no equivalence here. ISIS are not representing a downtrodden minority. They are not seeking achievable goals through democtratic means. They are terrorists.

Apologies if this is a little rambling. I just wanted to throw some ideas out there. Apologies if anyone is offended.

_________________
Image
The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:30 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 33676
I would be offended if anyone was offended. If we can't share thoughts like this without offense, what's the point?

In my view, whatever the label, there is no justification for killing innocent civilians no matter how just the cause. I know that there was a lot debate even within the IRA about targeting civilians versus targeting soldiers. I doubt there is much similar debate within ISIS.

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:14 pm 
Offline
of Vinyamar
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:39 pm
Posts: 8285
Location: Ireland
I would agree, and I would also point out that the IRA always delivered a warning before a bomb attack, to allow the area to be cleared.

_________________
Image
The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:39 am
Posts: 365
This might be a rather ancillary and digressive post but this thread reminded me of a university exam I took last year on Irish history where I had to focus on two time periods in my studies and chose the early Irish church (1) and the Irish War of Independence (2). During my studies, I frantically listened to Irish revolutionary songs, so whenever I hear the IRA acronym nowadays, I immediately have to hum “Come Out Ye Black and Tans” or “Go on Home British soldiers”. My knowledge of the old IRA ends with the death of Liam Lynch however and I barely know anything about the modern IRA of the Troubles, which is an entirely different story.



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:17 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:37 am
Posts: 4833
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
I tend to view political violence as being more acceptable when democratic means of change have been actively stopped. Certainly when they were given a vote on it the people of the Dominion of Southern Island opted to leave the UK and become a republic, and they would have voted that way had they been given the right to have that vote in the nineteenth or eighteenth centuries.

But have a majority of the people of the four counties of Northern Ireland ever wanted to leave the U.K.? If not, why should a republican minority be able to override their decision with violence? But then again, should somewhat-arbitrary a line dividing the areas of British and Irish sympathies have been drawn in the first place? I’m not familiar enough with the history of Northern Ireland to have answers to these questions, and I’m not sure if I’d have answers even if I was.

Ultimately, the IRA’s claim that Northern Ireland is rightfully part of the Republic of Ireland comes across as a bit too much like the “no matter what has happened in the interim, that land is rightfully our land” argument to me. Even if the people who live there now had no moral right to take the land in the first place, at some point you need to accept that their descendants have made it their home (as with, I would argue, all the non-indigenous peoples of the United States, Canada, and Australia).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:10 am
Posts: 5884
I agree that ISIS and the IRA are not comparable, as theirs (ISIS) is not a fight for freedom (as far as I know). They seem to want to impose a tyranny, rather than liberate themselves from one.

_________________
Avatar photo by Richard Lykes, used with permission.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:13 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 33676
In many ways, the best historical analogy to ISIS would probably be the crusaders, who also sought to impose a religious tyranny on the entire known world.

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:01 pm 
Offline
Meanwhile...
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 14013
Location: Out on the banks
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
In many ways, the best historical analogy to ISIS would probably be the crusaders, who also sought to impose a religious tyranny on the entire known world.

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk

Exactly what I was thinking, V.

_________________
Image
“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 12:41 am
Posts: 495
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA
Alatar wrote:
I would agree, and I would also point out that the IRA always delivered a warning before a bomb attack, to allow the area to be cleared.

So when people died in IRA attacks, as they certainly did, is that because they didn't heed the warning?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:36 am 
Offline
Elvendork
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:46 pm
Posts: 1744
Location: The Shire
N.E. Brigand wrote:
Alatar wrote:
I would agree, and I would also point out that the IRA always delivered a warning before a bomb attack, to allow the area to be cleared.

So when people died in IRA attacks, as they certainly did, is that because they didn't heed the warning?


The IRA left bombs in cars and railway stations and so on. Those bombs were often activated by remote control. They gave coded warnings to the police or the media. And they weren't the only paramilitary organisation to do that, so the Gardai - the Irish police - or the Royal Ulster Constabulary or the British mainland police would not have an easy task to decode those warnings. The warnings would come too late to prevent an attack: that was a deliberate move.

But in London we have a dark joke about the IRA - we joke that indeed, no, they weren't as bad as the current crop of Islamist terrorists because they DID give warnings. It is a dark joke - I can assure you that every IRA attack was as bad as anything committed by today's jihadists.

So please don't think that the IRA wanted to do their British and Irish victims any favours.

I must emphasise that the Loyalist/Unionist paramilitaries were just as bad. And, actually, I do think the IRA weren't as bad as Islamic State because the IRA never raped and tortured children.

But the IRA murdered at least one Irish mother in cold blood, and people they regarded as informants would be tortured or executed in secret.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappear ... rn_Ireland)

There's an interesting page on the BBC to the reactions of those whose loved ones were murdered in the Troubles to McGuinness's death- some are willing to forgive, some not. I'll link to it later - gotta dash now.

-edited for clarity-

_________________
"Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... "
Letter no. 246, The Collected Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Avatar by goldlighticons on Live Journal


Last edited by Pearly Di on Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:38 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:39 am
Posts: 365
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
In many ways, the best historical analogy to ISIS would probably be the crusaders, who also sought to impose a religious tyranny on the entire known world.

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk


I realize that this is a rather popular analogy but it has some issues. From a historical perspective, most Christian and Muslim schools of thought wanted “to impose a religious tyranny on the entire known world”. Christianity and Islam are proselytizing and more importantly monotheistic faiths which thereby have an inherent tendency to combat other beliefs (Jan Assmann). The separation of religion and politics, while in some way ingrained in early Christian doctrine, is a relatively new phenomenon and as such all warfare and organized violence involved religion if one goes back in time.

The newly Christianized emperors of Rome imposed disadvantages on their heathen subjects, and held up the banner of Christ against the Zoroastrian Sassanids and the Arian Germanic peoples. As the ideology of the Roman Empire had been universal and total in pagan times already, it could now be intertwined with a Christian creed. From its early days, Islam was (not only but also) a religion of war and expansion which separated the world into two spheres, the “abode of Islam” and the “abode of war” which still had to be conquered for the Umma. When the Romans (aka Byzantines) and the Arabs clashed on the fields of Minor Asia in the Early Middle Ages, you could say that two tyrannies clashed which wanted to impose themselves on the entire known world (albeit this view is rather anachronistic).

If we go West, we can observe Charlemagne waging a bloody and decade-long war against the heathen Saxons who opposed his and therefore Christ’s rule. The Crusades (which are in popular view limited to a series of Middle-Eastern engagements in the 11th-13th centuries) were neither beginning nor the end of Christian religious warfare. To talk about the religious and political motivations of the Crusaders now would be a little bit circuitous but it is important to point out that the dawn of the Crusades must be seen in the light of larger developments in Western (Latin) Europe at the time. After centuries of relative backwardness, the Occident emerged as a region of economic and military importance that could thus wage grander military campaigns. While there are indeed several unique and new aspects when it comes to the Crusades and their take on religious warfare, the reason why they are brought up so often when it comes to comparisons between the modern Middle East and historical movements can be traced back to early Protestantism and the Enlightenment. As a result, the Crusades became one of the great sins of the Old Church, a Church which still nested in Paris, Rome, Madrid, and Vienna but had been exiled from Rome, Amsterdam, and Berlin.

Sorry for my long ramblings but religious warfare and the Crusades and modern Islamic Jihadism are my main areas of expertise (currently writing my MA on a related topic) and just had to pick up the opportunity.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:11 pm 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 33676
Why would you apologize for providing helpful and knowledge information?

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:29 pm 
Offline
Elvendork
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:46 pm
Posts: 1744
Location: The Shire
Here's the link I was speaking of - survivors and families speak out:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-39337760

I'm not offended by Al opening this thread: the adage that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter is a vexed one indeed.

Gerry Adams' eulogy whitewashes McGuinness's past. I would expect no less from Adams - he's a cold fish. The Guardian's obit avoids whitewash, I think:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... s-obituary

As one man says in the link: "Martin McGuinness' fingerprints were all over the Troubles, but they were also all over the peace process."

There are many people in Northern Ireland, from both communities, who will never get justice for their loved ones, and that was the bitter price to pay for the Good Friday agreement.

I regard Islamic State as being in another league entirely. I dislike Gerry Adams, but both he and Martin McGuinness were human beings who were prepared to negotiate. I think that IS are on another plane completely - to me they are today's Nazis, and their crimes match those of the Nazis. Their religious fanaticism is so demented that I can't imagine they would ever want to negotiate.

_________________
"Frodo undertook his quest out of love - to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense, if he could ... "
Letter no. 246, The Collected Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Avatar by goldlighticons on Live Journal


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:09 pm 
Offline
Ni Dieu, ni maître
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:19 pm
Posts: 1793
Location: Home
Pearly Di wrote:
I think that IS are on another plane completely - to me they are today's Nazis, and their crimes match those of the Nazis. Their religious fanaticism is so demented that I can't imagine they would ever want to negotiate.

First, I don't think that IS are today's Nazis. The Nazis had behind them a hugely organized, unified modern state and industry. Daech is altogether different scale.

The problem is the ground that Daech recruits on: people who get fanatic on a base of disappointed hopes, injustice, local previous oppression, no perspective. The road to Daech has been prepared by long years of questionnable political decisions, like the road to fascism had been prepared by the issues if WWI. My stepson has spent long months in Tadjikistan and Afghanistan in the last three years and we have had some very interesting conversations about radicalisation. Many of the men attracted by Daech see themselves as freedom fighters, fighters for a sense of life and death.
The nature of terrorism has certainly changed and most of all I'm not sure that Daech will exist long enough to see a second generation of terrorists, as have seen the classic terrorist organisations,like the PLO. Often,it is not the first generation who negotiates.

_________________
"nolite te bastardes carborundorum".


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:55 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Kagoshima, Japan
Beutlin and Nin make some important and interesting observations.

I would observe that the labels of "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" are not mutually exclusive. Reprehensible injustices are often committed in the name of just causes, which fact does not at all justify the injustice.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:32 am 
Offline
Feeling grateful
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 33676
I strongly agree with that, Turumarth.

_________________
'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:08 am 
Offline
Meanwhile...
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 14013
Location: Out on the banks
So do I.

I have not followed the events in Al's corner of the world, so I can't speak to the specifics. In general, though, a terrorist is anyone who inflicts civilian casualties to impose their ideology (political, nationalistic, religious, whatever) on others and who is not a uniformed member of a state military. If they ARE a member of a state military who deliberately targets civilians, they are committing a war crime. A freedom fighter is what we call a terrorist when we like their ideology.

_________________
Image
“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group