Sunday, March 15, 2009

NI Riots Return, From Another Time and Another Place

(Photo Credit: NYT)

Just as I am
I awoke with a tear on my tongue
I awoke with a feeling of never before

Another time, another place

The media, the politicians, and the world at large want to believe that the killings in N. Ireland are completely without popular support.

Unfortunately, murderous terror organizations do not form in a vacuum. They are aided and abetted by large groups of sympathizers forming a critical mass capable of enabling, defending, encouraging, protecting and giving ideological support to the most capable of their members - ie: the terrorists themselves. Today, it appears that the bad old days are back in N. Ireland, if the above picture and the ongoing and probably completely well-rehearsed riots are any indication:
LURGAN, Northern Ireland (AP) — Irish nationalist gangs hurled gasoline bombs at police officers on Saturday after three suspected Irish Republican Army dissidents were arrested on suspicion of killing two British soldiers in an attack designed to stir up wider violence in Northern Ireland.

Police officers in armored cars and flame-retardant suits said no members of their force were injured during the rising mob violence in the Irish Catholic end of Lurgan, a religiously divided town southwest of Belfast. Rioters also blocked the main railroad that goes between Belfast and Dublin, which runs alongside the town’s hard-line Kilwilkie district.
Belfast is still a divided town, and the segregation, religious bigotry and soci0-economic stigmas that permeates the city means that the while the progress at the top end (ie: political) may have been a necessary first step, and there is progress with law enforcement (Catholics can be policemen without the IRA hunting them), the most basic issues remain.

Catholics are still living in rundown ghettos in the worst areas of Belfast, while industries are protected for Protestants officially or otherwise. Protestants are still being force fed a diet of hate by preachers and leaders in an ancient and continued effort to keep the lower classes divided in an effort to keep down labour costs, and keep religion alive one of the last corners of fervant belief in Europe.

Leadership is not the only issue. The terrorists that kill the innocent have crossed the vast moral divide from sympathizers to cold-blooded killers all by themselves and deserve nothing but punishment. Where once there was an argument about "protection" by the militants from the British, the British soldiers today are far from the soulless killers that shot from the hip into crowds of unarmed people 30 years ago.

The murdered soliders were ordering pizza, and hanging out with their friends at a barracks. Innocent.

But apart from the CIRA and RIRA, the Catholic and Protestant communities need to come to terms with the fact that they are still producing young men capable of sectarian murder.

Again - this does not occur in a vacuum. The communities themselves need to recognize that the conversations at the dinner table, and the sermons on Sunday have an effect on the impressionable. That those charged with more hormones than blessed with brains may think that they can serve their clan by killing more of the enemy based on what they have been told.

N. Ireland has come a long way in a short time. It still has a long way to go.

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