Thursday, July 28, 2005

IRA Disarmament and Enlightenment: Internal and External

Well it looks like the road to heaven
But it feels like the road to hell
--George Michael
9/11 effectively spelt the end of the republican movement in Northern Ireland. After being romanticized (intentionally or not) by many high profile politicians, actors, musicians and writers, the reality of the matter was that average Westerners were supporting the last modern terror movement in the English speaking world.

It was wrong, and after 9/11 they knew it.

Gerry Adams, leader of the Sinn Fein must have realized that the terror the IRA had brought to England and Ireland was now felt by the oh-so-isolated Irishman in America. The same sympathizer who had blissfully spent his days in Boston, not having been home since Bloody Sunday (or ever...and still feeling at odds with oppressive Brit bastards across the water) was confronted with the awful truth of his support.

In the wake of the McCartney killing, where the IRA proved its low group IQ, the IRA came under intense pressure to disband from the international sensations known as the "McCartney Sisters"- the sisters (and one fiancee') of Robert McCartney, a hapless working class Irish Catholic who wanted to break up a fight and ended up losing his life. An IRA mob killed him at a bar.

Further pressure has been applied in the wake of the recent London bombings, as London gets a strange sense of deja vous as newsreels recount the IRA's awful bombings of England during "the Troubles".

But it can't only be external pressure that is forcing change.

For all the focus on the "power sharing" and "the new peace process" and the "diarmament", the IRA, and more specifically the republican leadership must have understood by now that the real threat to the Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland is no longer the British Government or the Shankhill Butchers.

It's the IRA.

Once the wild eyed children of the Sinn Fein freedom fighters, the IRA is more like the Frankenstein of Michael Collins: A nasty and violent outgrowth of patriotic love for country and kin.

The IRA no longer battles drugged up paratroopers that kill Catholics in dead end streets. The chief entity killing Catholics in their bars and in their homes is the IRA-and somewhere down deep they know it. They know the rest of the western world has advanced beyond their ancient grudges and medieval thug practices. They know that what the west turns a blind eye towards in West Belfast is what is widely condemned in the developing world: Mob rule. Rampant violence. Fascist authoritarianism. Terror campaigns. Black flags. Ghetto compounds.

This is the result of modern republicanism: a violent third world ghetto in the heart of the thriving western world.
Reader, if you ever have a chance, I encourage you to be a witness to the travesty that is West Belfast.
Now here you go again
You say you want your freedom
Well who am I to keep you down?
--Fleetwood Mac
That's what I'm hoping the republican leadership is thinking, because......
Rebel, rebel and yell
'Cause our people still dwell in hell
Freedom should be fundamental
In Johannesburg
Or South Central

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