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PostPosted: Fri 24 Mar , 2017 12:50 pm 
of Vinyamar
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Joined: Mon 28 Feb , 2005 4:39 pm
Posts: 7961
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. ... -1.3022275

“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.

*Crossposted on HoF

These are my friends, see how they glisten...

PostPosted: Sat 25 Mar , 2017 2:30 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Joined: Thu 24 Feb , 2005 3:46 pm
Posts: 20341
I don't think the IRA and ISIS are the same either.

You know that many of my first ideas of what Ireland was like are from Leon Uris' Trinity. (I should reread that, I'm sure.) Then I read Frank O'Connor and studied and wrote about his life. It kind of goes on from there. Those things certainly sparked a certain type of sympathy in me for the IRA, though, as an adult now, I'd have to condemn those actions.

I guess. Yes.

I guess.

800 years of oppression is a damn, long time, but I feel quite unqualified to say much more than that, not being Irish myself.


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