Tuesday, August 02, 2005

George Bush Defeats the IRA

From The Brussels Journal (yes, Brussels!), which says it has “all the news that never gets printed,” comes as story about the IRA: Sinn Fein has said it is renouncing terrorism. Yes, you read that correctly. The IRA is laying down its arms and intends to use only peaceful measures to achieve change from now on. Che Guevera, you just lost another one—
     According to this week’s Economist the Sinn Féin statement announcing the end of the IRA’s armed activities was delayed so that it would not “be overshadowed by the new, more violent terror campaign being waged by jihadis on the British mainland.” Were the IRA bombs that killed civilians in pubs and shopping streets less violent than al-Qaeda’s? The only difference, as far as I can see, is that the IRA members did not believe in blowing up themselves in the process. Does that make them less violent than suicide bombers?
That’s a good question. If you blow yourself up along with your victims are you somehow less culpable? I don’t think so. And even if the IRA never did the “I’m-going-and-you’re-all-coming-with-me” routine when they bombed pubs in London, they were trained by the same thugs and criminals who now send out the mentally deranged to kill in the streets of Baghdad and Tel Aviv.

Not should a distinction be made among the various terrorist movements that have plagued our world ever since…well, ever since Algeria and the French were fighting. Just because America woke up on 9/11 doesn’t mean the slaughter wasn’t going on for decades prior to our catastrophe.
     Other commentators, too, tend to make a distinction between the terrorist movements associated with political struggles between population groups within the European states themselves, and the series of terrorist attacks by Islamic groups on Western targets since 9/11. I do not believe that there is a real distinction between “old terrorism” and “new terrorism.” There is only one kind of terrorism and it is always to be abhorred.
Moreover, this “new terrorism” is not new at all. It has been around for decades in the Arab world, and this is not even the first time it has been exported to the West. Some people seem to think that 9/11/2001 meant the beginning of the age of terrorism, but an al-Qaeda related organisation, the Algerian terror group GIA, had already bombed a Parisian underground station in July 1995, killing 7 civilians and wounding 117. This was long before the neocons had any influence in US foreign policy.
So the thugs in the IRA are going straight? Amazing, if true. How do you return from a life of violence? Can it be done? The umbilical cord from the IRA to the Middle East received its life blood from Libya. Perhaps Libya’s new pacificist face has something to do with this new IRA routine?

Whatever the reason, it could portend a dimunition in violence-prone separatist groups in Europe. If so, then we’re on the right track, aren’t we?

Alexandra Colen, the author of the post at The Brussels Journal, closes with a most interesting proposal:
     History has overtaken them and I am glad Gerry Adams has finally realised that their reign of terror is over. If this is the result of George W. Bush refusing to invite him to the White House on St. Patrick’s Day 2005, then this is another victory for the Americans in the fight against terrorism.
Yeah. George did it! He left Gerry Adams to gnash his teeth in the outer darkness last St. Patrick’s Day and we celebrated then.

But who could possibly have imagined the extraordinary consequences of that gesture of integrity?


Hat tip: Barcepundit