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Good news in NI

Grab 24 Oct 01 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 24 Oct 01 - 09:02 AM
paddymac 24 Oct 01 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh 24 Oct 01 - 09:23 AM
Crazy Eddie 24 Oct 01 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 24 Oct 01 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 24 Oct 01 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh 24 Oct 01 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 24 Oct 01 - 11:40 AM
Grab 24 Oct 01 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 24 Oct 01 - 11:42 AM
InOBU 24 Oct 01 - 11:43 AM
Mrrzy 24 Oct 01 - 11:56 AM
InOBU 24 Oct 01 - 12:26 PM
Whistle Stop 24 Oct 01 - 02:06 PM
InOBU 24 Oct 01 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,Catscradle 24 Oct 01 - 07:45 PM
ard mhacha 25 Oct 01 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Tony in Belgium 25 Oct 01 - 06:53 AM
MC Fat 25 Oct 01 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Catscradle 25 Oct 01 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,PeteBoom (still at work) 25 Oct 01 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 25 Oct 01 - 08:06 AM
InOBU 25 Oct 01 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Catscradle 25 Oct 01 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Catscradle 25 Oct 01 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 25 Oct 01 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 25 Oct 01 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Catscradle 25 Oct 01 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Catscradle 25 Oct 01 - 12:29 PM
Fibula Mattock 25 Oct 01 - 12:38 PM
GUEST 25 Oct 01 - 04:51 PM
Grab 25 Oct 01 - 08:03 PM
GUEST 25 Oct 01 - 09:21 PM
Fibula Mattock 26 Oct 01 - 04:57 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 26 Oct 01 - 05:24 AM
paddymac 26 Oct 01 - 05:42 AM
Grab 26 Oct 01 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 26 Oct 01 - 07:45 AM
Steveie1 26 Oct 01 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 26 Oct 01 - 11:09 AM
Jimmy C 26 Oct 01 - 11:38 AM
Whistle Stop 26 Oct 01 - 12:28 PM
GUEST 26 Oct 01 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Stavanger Bill 29 Oct 01 - 04:10 AM
Gervase 29 Oct 01 - 05:57 AM
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Subject: Good news in NI
From: Grab
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 08:19 AM

In case anyone's not read the papers...

The IRA has put "a quantity" of arms beyond use. David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist leader, has said, "This is evidence of a commitment by republicans to a full implementation of the Agreement. I am going to go with a recommendation that the party approve our action in reconstituting the Northern Ireland Executive. If that (recommendation) is approved, then we can look forward to the necessary steps so that a first minister and a deputy first minister can be elected next week."

Much respect to the IRA for this - hopefully now the NI Assembly can get back on track.

Graham.

Links to reports on the BBC website:
IRA statement in full, and de Chastelain's report on the decommissioning
Reactions of David Trimble and otherse Start of Army base and watchtower dismantling


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 09:02 AM

Good news indeed!!! I couldn't agree more.

The decommissioning thing has always been a bit of a red herring. There was never going to be any plausible excuse for a return to the violence of the pre-Good Friday days, and putting whatever arms beyond use at least reduces the potential for some dissenting faction getting their hands on the kit required to "continue the armed struggle".

In addition, with their biggest foreign support base now pledged to "combat world terrorism" I do not believe there was much choice.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: paddymac
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 09:07 AM

A monumental committment by the IRA. Now, when will we see a comparable committment from the UDA, UVF, LVF, RHC, etc., etc, etc, ?


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 09:23 AM

Dashed good question paddymac; let's hope it happens very soon. Want to include the Real IRA in that list too? Only when ALL groups from both sides have given up ALL their weapons will NI have the future we all would like it to have: one of peace.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Crazy Eddie
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 09:35 AM

Absolutely right, Paddymac & Jock Morris.
Let's hope there won't be (many) defections from the Provos to the Real IRA or the Continuity IRA.
I am sure there will be stumbling blocks on the road to peace, but I am resolved to be optimistic.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 10:30 AM

3+ tonnes of semtex, 650+ AK's, pretty significant numbers, eh? Sounds like agreement has been reached and they are throwing the dice. C-IRA and R-IRA and the rest are no doubt going to scream (already are) about how they are betraying the cause. I don't know how many more defections there will be, most of the splitters have left from what I have heard and seen. What the (IRA) are doing is scoring on the UUP's trump from last week.

All along the anti-agreement groups have been saying that the IRA will never give up their arms (obviously statements made by people who never read the text of the GFA, but that's another discussion). The political pundits must be absolutely scrambling to come up with reasons to be opposed to SF being in the Assembly and to continue opposition. All along the battle cry has been "Decommission!" I wonder what it will be now.

Regards -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:26 AM

Don't forget a committment is also needed to disarm or scale down the arms content of the RUC and British Army !!!


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Jock Morris @ work in Edinburgh
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:39 AM

MC Fat,

News already of some scaling down of the UK military presence. Only slow coaches in responding are the loyalist paramilitaries.

So long as this is the start rather than the end of the decommissioning process then I feel we have a real chance of seeing peace in Ireland (North and Eire).

Scott


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:40 AM

Valid point there MC Fat, the agreed reforms to the Ulster Police Service come into effect on 1st November and I cannot for the life of me see anybody maintaining troops in the province if they are not needed.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Grab
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:42 AM

MC Fat, the RUC reorganisation has been planned, but was put on hold pending the start of IRA decommissioning - that will now go forward. Similarly, Army bases and watchtowers are now to be dismantled (see link above). I believe most Army units have been confined to base for a while now (may be wrong though).

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:42 AM

Thanks for info Jock obviously being at work I hadn't heard that. The loyalist paramiltaries are probably only bothered about theit 'turf wars' re the drug trade to give up their stuff but we live in hope.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:43 AM

Now if the US would decomission, we may see peace on earth! (see for those who wish for war post...) Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 11:56 AM

Yes, I saw this and was glad. Now, all you abortion-doctor-killers (or planners or sympathizers), hand yourselves in too. And the Basque extremists too, while we're at it. Let's continue the struggle against barbarism.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 12:26 PM

OH Mrrzy! I almost missinterpreted your statement, I hope I have it right, you mean those who kill doctors in women's clincs, rather than making a reference to some doctors who perform abortions as killers, right?
Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 02:06 PM

I missed this thread (because I didn't recognize the acronym in the title), until Wolfgang pointed it out to me. I started a related thread, titled "BS: Political: IRA, Israeli developments", but having more to do with how the US role in these two conflicts relates to its ongoing war in Afghanistan. Rather than highjack this thread, I'll invite you all over to mine if you're interested. Then Grab and I can fight for your hearts and minds.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 02:57 PM

Well the two are related, as we have dicussed in other posts about Ireland, Ireland was a victem of the cold war, keeping NATO bases in an non-alined nation at all costs, do read anything by former MI 6 agent, Frank Holroyd. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 24 Oct 01 - 07:45 PM

I think Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness should win the Nobel Peace Prize for this one.

The IRA unilaterally called a ceasefire in 1994 (which of course was later called off, and then reinstated in 1997), have refused to revert to the war footing ever since, and are now unilaterally disarming, even though they were not official parties to the GFA.

I don't know of any other party to the conflict that has come further than the IRA has towards peace. And I can't think of another conflict where the ceasefire held so firmly for so long.

Sinn Fein and the IRA really deserve the kudos for this one.

I'm not optimistic about the British response, considering they've never been able to do this sort of thing successfully before without withdrawing and leaving a civil war behind them. But then, we've never seen this level of negotiation before with a British withdrawal of it's military forces from a colony.

We'll see what the result is. The British spy network doesn't need the towers in Armagh to continue their campaign, after all.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 06:16 AM

Strange thread, are all you people living in the real world. Catholics are still being harrased and murdered, Catholic school children as young as four have to run the gauntlet of loyalist bigots every morning at Holy Cross School in Belfast. Nothing has changed here, discrimination is still the order of the day, Catholics will never get a fair deal in this sick-six counties. Peace!, there has never been peace here from this land was settled by Protestant despots, and there descendants are still carrying on much as before. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Tony in Belgium
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 06:53 AM

This as a mod to an old traditional lyric from today's newspaper(see "The Independent Review" 25 October):

"We're all off to Dublin in the green, in the green To explode all our weapons one by one And in public view, pour superglue Down the barrel of a Thompson gun..."

And they've decriminalised the good 'ole smoke, too...

Good news all round today, eh? (if you're not in Afghanistan, that is).


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: MC Fat
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 06:59 AM

Who would have believed the headlines. IRA Decommission. Canabis Legalised. All we needed was the double up of the Queen Mum and Thatch croaking it !!


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 07:34 AM

ard mhaca,

I agree with you 100%. In most of the reports I've been reading of the IRA's decision to disarm, no mention of the pipe bomb attacks, no mention of the terror campaign against the primary school, mostly just more calls for dissident republicans to disarm--and the occassional "obligatory" call to the loyalist paramilitaries to decommission.

Of course, no calls for the loyalist paramilitaries to get back on ceasefire, no calls for the loyalist paramilitaries to end their violence against the Catholic communities, not much there at all.

Like I said, I've not much faith in the British government to do this right. In every other circumstance where the Brits have pulled out of the colonies, they have left a civil war behind them. It appears they are right on schedule in the north.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (still at work)
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 07:56 AM

Actually, ard mhacha and catscradle, it looks to me to be a tactical move as much as anything else. They are smacking UUP upside the head saying, "Alright, we've done our bit, now you do something about those dogs of yers over in the Shankill (and elsewhere)."

As one RUC, sorry, NIPS spokesman said a couple of weeks ago, "A spontaneous protest does not have 100 petrol bombs at the ready."

A move to claim the moral high ground with people other than US supporters is not something that some folk expected the IRA to do. As for North and West Belfast, I shan't comment.

Back to work -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 08:06 AM

Ref the note above beginning: "Strange thread, are all you people living in the real world."

The short answer to that is "Actually, yes, we are people living in the real world". If by the real world you mean the one in which the majority of people, peacefully co-exist and resolve problems by compromise and reason.

The instances you quote are irrefutable, albeit totally one sided. To keep the current troubles going for nigh on thirty years it has taken the unceasing efforts of bigots on BOTH sides.

To Quote from a very good song by Phil Coulter: "For what's done is done, and what's won is won And what's lost is lost and gone forever I can only pray for a bright brand new day For the town I love so well."

You now have your chance - don't squander it.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: InOBU
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 08:34 AM

A chara Ard Mhacha.
I completely endorce your sentiment and telling of the facts... I would only add, in memory of Eamon Ceannt, of my in law Roger Casement, and my own poor self, the decendant of one of those despots... the word some of their decendants, maybe most of their decendants. Having been involved in the a number of organizations such as Protestants for Truth in Ireland... well... need I say more?
Is mise le meas
Larry


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 08:38 AM

Right Pete, much easier not to comment on the state of affairs in Ardoyne.

Just like it is much easier for Stavanger Bill to smugly and self-righteously proclaim that the problem of all that violence is with THOSE people.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 08:52 AM

But sometimes pictures tell the deeper story--

Here is a link to the front page photo in the Irish Times today.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/front/2001/1025/index.htm


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 09:10 AM

No, catscradle - Based on your comments, you simply don't want to hear what I'd say anyway. One step forward and people with an ax to grind scream how its not enpough. No kidding.

Since I've started, here goes some more -

An artificial difference is being fostered by more than one group. Communities with more in common than they have as differences are focused on the differences by their "leaders". It happens anywhere and everywhere. Yup, there are problems in Ardoyne. There are also problems in the three city blocks around where I now live in the States. There were problems where I lived in Ireland when I was there. What's new?

Try and address the problems near me and I get turned on by neighbors who don't want me to "rock the boat" because I'll upset the drug dealers and the police won't respond. The Mayor is beginning to recognize my telephone number.

Try and help kids from Belfast and I get called a thief and a crook and friends of mine get accused of stealing money. We get told one story by the media, another by "activists" and another by "resident spokespersons." You don't have to live that way and you don't have to sink into the morass - ya know what? I've had enough of those types. Belfast has had problems since the first Catholics moved to the planned city looking work. You expect that to change soon?


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 11:39 AM

Catscradle,

Smugly and self-righteously - Eh?

You mean to tell me that bigotry, obstuctionism and pure bloody mindedness on the part of people on both sides have had no part in this?? Oh but of course seen from your perspective the fault has to lay everywhere else. Going down that road we'll get the list of who did what, when and to who, down through the ages - so to short circuit all that irrelevant crap please tell me what that apple eatin' bitch was doin' talking to a snake in the first place.

Had a look at the photograph you referred to, the caption to which read:

An armed RUC officer in riot gear chats with a young Catholic boy as he escorts him through a Protestant area close to Holy Cross School in north Belfast on the morning after the IRA announced that it was to begin decommissioning. Photograph: Adam Butler/AP

What's the "...deeper story."

One other observation, particularly considering the title of this thread, what you have written totally lacks any constructive thought or objectivity. I agree with PeteB, your switched to transmit and listening to nothing. I saw you started a thread discussing errosion of civil liberties in the US - what do you do over there collect for NORAID?


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 12:24 PM


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 12:29 PM

Well, what the hell is your excuse for not being able to figure out the "deeper story" when you were at the goddam Irish Times website you pompous jack ass?

Can you read, or do you just look at the pictures?

Ever wonder why it takes the RUC in riot gear to take Catholic children to school through a Protestant neighborhood? That one too tough for you?

We aren't talking tit for tat history--this is what is happening on the ground TODAY. This is what has been happening on the ground for NEARLY A YEAR. Pipe bomb attacks against Catholics. For the last two months, pipe bomb attacks on school children and their parents. The Northern Secretary declaring an end to the loyalist ceasefire after a journalist was assassinated by them a couple of weeks ago.

So, who the hell do you suppose the terrorists are now?


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 12:38 PM

There's no denying the loyalist ceasfire is at an end - and has been, officially or not, for quite some time. There's absolutely no denying that terrorism by anyone is bloody awful. Yes, children have every right to walk to school. But is it just as right to take a 4-year-old along that route and face that hatred? This perpetuation of animosity is by the parents, but it's the children that are suffering from it. Everyone brings their own views into play and I don't think anyone can have a balanced opinion on such emotive issues. I'm cynical about the decommissioning in some ways, but I'm also happy that progress has been made, whether or not it was an attempt to shore up the peace process.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 04:51 PM

Fibula,

I don't know that taking the children in the back way is safer--just makes them safer to ambush.

You don't think you are being a bit judgmental and sanctimonious about these parent's dreadful lack of reasonable choices here, do you?

You are coming off sounding like a bit of an apologist for the loyalist terrorists there. I haven't read anywhere in the Irish or British press anyone who has supported this so-called protest.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Grab
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 08:03 PM

Jaysus, report good news and everyone starts fighting! God knows what would've happened if I'd reported _bad_ news...

But one thing I have to laugh at is the quote:-

Like I said, I've not much faith in the British government to do this right. In every other circumstance where the Brits have pulled out of the colonies, they have left a civil war behind them. It appears they are right on schedule in the north.

Excuse me? Did I miss something here? The British government has spent the last 80 years getting spat on for trying to run NI their way (including by you, if I remember previous threads correctly), and once they start pulling out you go and spit on them for doing what you want! And I can think of more than a few colonies where the Brits pulled out without any civil war at all - the difference in those was that two groups of ppl didn't have insane grudges against each other. Civil wars are entirely the responsibility of those who want to fight each other.

I'm not sure what papers some of you are reading, but I've been seeing plenty in the news about pipe bomb attacks and the so-called "protests" (they don't deserve the word) outside that school. Which makes the IRA's move even more to be respected; whether you want to think of it as showing their commitment or as a clever political move, it's still a damn good step in the right direction. If it'll make the loyalists think again (their main argument so far has been over decommissioning) then maybe this kind of viciousness will fade out and die an unlamented death. And this does now (as Pete I think said) put some heavy pressure on the loyalist leaders to slap down the hotheads.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 01 - 09:21 PM

Right--the problem has never been the English colonizers--the problem is always with those nasty primitive savages they conquered who had the gumption to fight back.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 04:57 AM

Guest, I would never be an apologist for anyone who uses or supports terrorism, so please don't refer to me in that context. I think the protest is horrible, stupid and futile.
Right. I'm off to play in the Secret Santa thread. I usually avoid the NI threads like the plague, as do a lot of other NI people. It was just nice to see one saying "good news" for a change.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 05:24 AM

Catscradle,

Taking issue with some of your comments:

"Well, what the hell is your excuse for not being able to figure out the "deeper story" when you were at the goddam Irish Times website you pompous jack ass?

Can you read, or do you just look at the pictures?

Ever wonder why it takes the RUC in riot gear to take Catholic children to school through a Protestant neighborhood? That one too tough for you?

We aren't talking tit for tat history--this is what is happening on the ground TODAY. This is what has been happening on the ground for NEARLY A YEAR"

Probably the reason this "pompous jack ass" couldn't figure out the "deeper story" is that having served two tours in NI during the very early years, what I saw in that picture was the RUC doing their job as they have done for the past thirty years (not nearly one) protecting the lives and rights of the population of Ulster in general - nothing deeper than that. I know you are not going to like that statement, but the facts support it. In the last thirty years over three and a half thousand people have been killed in Northern Ireland, many more have been scarred and maimed, due to the activities of the various paramilitary groups (Loyalist and Republican). I can recall a number of instances where members of the security forces have given up their lives to protect and save life - I cannot think of a single instance where a member of any paramilitary organisation has done the same.

As to why it takes the RUC in riot gear to take Catholic children to school, I would have thought is blatantly obvious - It's because of a bunch of ignorant bigots - which was the point I was trying to make in the first place, had you bothered to read it.

To another of your earlier comments:

"Like I said, I've not much faith in the British government to do this right. In every other circumstance where the Brits have pulled out of the colonies, they have left a civil war behind them. It appears they are right on schedule in the north."

I'm with Grab on this one. What you state is inaccurate, otherwise please explain to me the existance of an international organisation, the second largest after the United Nations, called the Commonwealth of Nations. Made up of member nations that were formerly British possessions, the ones who, according to you, the British left in strife and ruin. The funny thing is though, at present, there is a waiting list of five counties wishing to join this organisation, who have never been British colonies, or had any historical tie with Britain.

If indeed you believe that a civil war is, "right on schedule", it will only be because of a minority of bigots and fools in Ulster who will not let people live and let live.

As to your question, "So, who the hell do you suppose the terrorists are now?" I would answer the same organisations who carry that label now - until such time as all the paramilitary groups operating have decommissioned all their weapons. In addition to the Loyalist groups, as far as I am aware the C-IRA and R-IRA are still active.

I have a hypothetical question for you. If you believe that it was the right of the PIRA to conduct their armed struggle to advance the cause of Irish Republicanism. Would you then deny that same right to others who for instance may live in Northern Ireland but who want no part of a united Ireland?

I also agree with Grab that this thread was generated from what was good news. An alternative site is currently open which is better suited to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: paddymac
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 05:42 AM

Grab - It's not quite accurate to say the the British govt. spent tha last 80 years trying to run NI. For the vast majority of that time, the crown washed their hands of the day to day running of the statelet, enabling, if you will, the evolution of the aparthide system created and installed by Orangemen in government. And then, when the troubles began, they sent in their army to prop up the corrupt regime. In the current context, I believe that most folks want to be foreward looking, but with a wary eye on the past. Ard Mhacha's injection of brutal reality may not be pleasant, but he is right on.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Grab
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 05:47 AM

Guest, if the colonised ppl don't like the colonisers, then fighting back is entirely reasonable. My point was that when the colonisers pull out, it's not the fault of the colonisers if the colonised ppl, on finding themselves free, start fighting each other instead. Self-determination means that, unfortunately, ppl are free to fight each other if they happen to be ignorant bigots (to use Bill's phrase) and want an excuse to pick a fight. And there's surely plenty of ignorant bigots in the Unionist wing, just as there's more than a few in the Republican wing who've gone and formed the C-IRA and R-IRA.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 07:45 AM

In reply to "paddymac's" note above. If memory serves me correctly Northern Ireland got their own Parliament shortly after the end of WW II. The British Government in Westminster however retained control of national defence.

His reference to the evolution of an apartheid system by the Orangemen in government cannot be disputed. Their excesses led to the creation of the Civil Rights Movement in the North for which there was tremedous support throughout the British Isles. The marches and the rallies were perceived by the Stormont Government as being potential flash points. The RUC did not have the manpower to cope and a reserve force, the 'B' Specials (predominantly protestant/orangemen), was called up by that government to police the events organised by the Civil Rights Movement. This was something akin to bringing the wolves in to look after the sheep.

The make-up of that force and their one sided policing of the situation caused the Westminster Government to order an extremely reluctant Stormont Government, that the 'B' Specials be disbanded. The situation by this time was running out of control in high gear and the Stormont Government pleaded the case that the 'B' Specials were essential to the maintenance of law and order in the province. The fact that the activities of the 'B' Specials were one of the main threats to law and order escaped them completely. To counter this the British Government offered to send in the Army - this was accepted. To state that this deployment was made to prop up the corrupt regime is not accurate. Our first order of business was to disarm and disband the 'B' Specials as quickly as possible, then, if required, to assist the RUC to maintain law and order. The "if required" part of it became a definite role when, after having been disbanded, large numbers of ex-'B' Specials took to the streets to terrorise the Catholic populations of Belfast and Derry.

Our job then became to keep these two factions apart. We used to patrol Catholic areas and in general we were welcomed - things went to ratshit after the fiasco that was 'Bloody Sunday'and the catholic minority lost faith and confidence in the ability and impartiality of the Army to protect them. During my first trip to Northern Ireland the rocks we were ducking were being thrown at us by Loyalists, while the Republican side were giving us cups of tea and bacon sandwiches.

Like you "paddymac" I believe that the majority of people are looking to the future and want it to be peaceful more than anything else in the world. To that end all involved must forgive the past and get on with bridge building to secure a peaceful future, and as you so rightly say keep a wary eye on the past to ensure that you don't repeat it.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Steveie1
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 08:13 AM

Having just picked up this thread for the first time expecting to rejoice in the Good News, all I see is more angry words, more looking back and wanting to blame. I agree with Bill and look to the future.

As an English person living in Scotland I am often held personaly responsible for what happened 400 years ago. Its time we dropped the past and got on with the future or there won't be a future.

The BIGOTS will always have their say though.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 11:09 AM

In reply to "paddymac's" note above. If memory serves me correctly Northern Ireland got their own Parliament shortly after the end of WW II. The British Government in Westminster however retained control of national defence.

His reference to the evolution of an apartheid system by the Orangemen in government cannot be disputed. Their excesses led to the creation of the Civil Rights Movement in the North for which there was tremedous support throughout the British Isles. The marches and the rallies were perceived by the Stormont Government as being potential flash points. The RUC did not have the manpower to cope and a reserve force, the 'B' Specials (predominantly protestant/orangemen), was called up by that government to police the events organised by the Civil Rights Movement. This was something akin to bringing the wolves in to look after the sheep.

The make-up of that force and their one sided policing of the situation caused the Westminster Government to order an extremely reluctant Stormont Government, that the 'B' Specials be disbanded. The situation by this time was running out of control in high gear and the Stormont Government pleaded the case that the 'B' Specials were essential to the maintenance of law and order in the province. The fact that the activities of the 'B' Specials were one of the main threats to law and order escaped them completely. To counter this the British Government offered to send in the Army - this was accepted. To state that this deployment was made to prop up the corrupt regime is not accurate. Our first order of business was to disarm and disband the 'B' Specials as quickly as possible, then, if required, to assist the RUC to maintain law and order. The "if required" part of it became a definite role when, after having been disbanded, large numbers of ex-'B' Specials took to the streets to terrorise the Catholic populations of Belfast and Derry.

Our job then became to keep these two factions apart. We used to patrol Catholic areas and in general we were welcomed - things went to ratshit after the fiasco that was 'Bloody Sunday'and the catholic minority lost faith and confidence in the ability and impartiality of the Army to protect them. During my first trip to Northern Ireland the rocks we were ducking were being thrown at us by Loyalists, while the Republican side were giving us cups of tea and bacon sandwiches.

Like you "paddymac" I believe that the majority of people are looking to the future and want it to be peaceful more than anything else in the world. To that end all involved must forgive the past and get on with bridge building to secure a peaceful future, and as you so rightly say keep a wary eye on the past to ensure that you don't repeat it.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Jimmy C
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 11:38 AM

I am from North Belfast, most of my family still live there. ArdMhacha and Paddymac hit it right on the button. The truth is that a segment of loyalists will never be happy until every last catholic in the north of Ireland is dead. If anybody is naive enough to believe that guns are out of the equation for good, you better think again. Sooner or later they will be back , The demographics of the north are changing but it would not matter if 85% were to vote for a reunification of the country tomorrow,the other 15% would be up in arms. We are talking here of a place where hatred is ingrained for centuries and children cannot walk to school without being harrassed by thugs. The school has been there since 1961, I know they could take the back road to the school to avoid trouble but sure afro americans also could have sat meekly in the back of the bus to avoid trouble also. Did anyone not notice the silence from people like Paisley etc about the school issue, that is because they secretly agree with the thugs who are protesting. I sincerly hope that peace does come, I pray for it every day, but it has to be a peace based on equality and justice, and that is a long way off. I said in a previous post months that what most people in the world enjoy as civil rights are considered concessions when catholics in the 6 counties demand the same things. Was it a concession when Rosa parks sat in the front of the bus and refused to give up her seat - NO, it was her right. The children in Ardoyne have a right to walk the shortest way to school, they have a right to go through the front doors - going in the back way will not solve the prob;em, the protesters there are such that they would find sonmething else to harass them about. Sorry for rambling on - God I hope I am wrong about the return of the guns.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 12:28 PM

I hope you're wrong too, Jimmy. There were a lot of us worldwide who were horrified to see the terror that was inflicted on those school children. In these long-standing conflicts both sides tend to find justification in past excesses by the other side, which makes it awfully hard to sort out for those of us who aren't in the middle of it (and maybe for those of you who are as well). But targeting innocent kids on their way to school (by whatever route they chose) really brought dishonor on the loyalist protesters; that kind of behavior is never justified.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Oct 01 - 06:32 PM

Stavanger Bill,

Its clear you're gonna be loyal to the empire, no matter what.

British "possessions"? Beyond the arrogance of such quaint colonial language usage, there is the plain ole everyday arrogance of the claim that countries think the being a British colony was soooo good, they're begging to be one, whether the empire is crumbling or not.

Sheesh. And haven't we heard it all, now?


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: GUEST,Stavanger Bill
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 04:10 AM

Dear GUEST

What empire?

The term British "possessions" collectively describes the countries that were under British control or protection. This way of describing the dominions, colonies, protectorates and mandates has been used by historians in the past on many occasions. Probably for the fairly logical reason that in describing a colonial era, colonial language tends to get used (Irrespective if the empire was British, Spanish, Portugese, French or German)

My question (which still remains unanswered) regarding the Commonwealth was written in response to the statement made by "Catscradle" that, "In every other circumstance where the Brits have pulled out of the colonies, they have left a civil war behind them."

I would be very interested in hearing what arrogance is involved in stating what is a fact - "..there is a waiting list of five counties wishing to join this organisation (The Commonwealth), who have never been British colonies, or had any historical tie with Britain." Those countries would become members of this organisation as sovereign states not as colonies.


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Subject: RE: Good news in NI
From: Gervase
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:57 AM

I don't know about the Peace Prize for Adams and McGuinness - but if they do get it, maybe it should be shared with the Bogota copper who nicked the three PIRA veterans training the FARC guerillas.
It would appear that the arrests, and the outrage they sparked, did as much as the events of September 11 to hasten the process.
Whatever; the fact that the process is in train is welcome - as is the fact that Adams and McGuinness seem to have been able to rein in some of the flakier Provos like Brian Keenan. CIRA and RIRA, for the moment, seem to have had their teeth drawn by the concerted efforts of the security forces and sensible nationalists, so even there there's cause of optimism.
However, as said above, now it's the turn for the Unionists to show that they're as big. And I do wonder if that's at all possible, given the intransigence and laager-lout paranoia that seems to permeate so much Orange thinking.

And, Guest/s, the playground name-calling and Brit bashing here does you little credit. If Adams and McGuinness can behave maturely, why not take a hint? Either that or shut the feck up.


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