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IRA decommissioning, thankfully, at last.

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posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 05:39 PM
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The IRA has put all of its weapons beyond use, the head of the arms decommissioning body has said.
General John de Chastelain made the announcement at a news conference accompanied by the two churchmen who witnessed the process.

"We are satisfied that the arms decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA's arsenal."

Welcoming the move, Prime Minister Tony Blair said IRA decommissioning had been "finally accomplished".

news.bbc.co.uk...

- At long last the road-block to political progress that was republican arms has been lifted, it looks like finally for good too.

Hooray!

Sadly others in the Northern Ireland 'scene' remain as pig-headedly obdurate as ever -

General John de Chastelain will not see loyalists decommission if "he lives to be 208", a prominent loyalist has said.
The general said he was satisfied the IRA had given up all its weapons, and said he hoped loyalists would as well.

Sammy Duddy, a member of the Ulster Political Research Group - which advises the UDA, said loyalists would not follow the IRA's lead.

"The general has no chance of seeing that achieved. Should he live to be 208, he'll never see it," he said.

"He's living in cloud-cuckoo-land if he thinks the loyalists are going to decommission and do what the IRA's doing.

news.bbc.co.uk...

- Whilst the IRA were in the business of armed terrorism/resistance (depending on your viewpoint) the so-called 'loyalists' were left almost as auxilliaries to the forces of the state (collusion between certain elements and individuals of the state and loyalist gangs being well known).

Now the IRA have decommissioned and are following a purely political path there is no reason nor excuse for 'loyalist' arms.

Hopefully the UK gov will now persue this matter as vigorously as it once did republicanism's illegal arms.




posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 10:26 PM
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Ian Pasley still doesn't seem to be satisfied. But I don't think anything short of lopping of the head of every catholic in Belfast will satisfy him.



posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 12:33 PM
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"Following a purely politicial path" - I thought that was Sinn Feins job? The PIRA were founded to do the violent stuff so if they're not going to do that anymore, why do they need to exist?

Just to rob banks and kidnap horses?

Im not on either side btw, I just want to see everyone happy. However I really dont understand how the PIRA can give up its armed resistance and yet still exist.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by Danwild6
Ian Pasley still doesn't seem to be satisfied. But I don't think anything short of lopping of the head of every catholic in Belfast will satisfy him.


- IMO Paisley and his gang of fundy religio-political nutters will be forced into line as everyone but everyone else has accepted the word of the IIDC.

They specifically said that what they saw decommissioned was consistant with the security service intelligence estimates (from both British and Irish sources) regarding what arms the IRA actually had.

Paisley & Co. can imply as much doubt as they like but it is him and they alone and, as you so rightly say, he and they were never really going to welcome or accept this event anyway.

True to form he is doing his usual howling at the moon calling everone bar him and his little gang traitorous liars.

Sadly for now his party is the largest in NI, I suspect these events and his reaction to them might well change that.


Originally posted by squarepusher
"Following a purely politicial path" - I thought that was Sinn Feins job?


- Pedant!

I was referring to their recent instruction for their membership dump arms and to follow a purely political path in future.


The PIRA were founded to do the violent stuff so if they're not going to do that anymore, why do they need to exist?


- I don't suppose they 'need' to exist at all, but regardless of what you or I might think they did exist and to some extent still do.
I can imagine them becoming like a club or an association for their members as they get older.
That doesn't especially worry me and I can't see it seriously worrying anyone.

Hopefully all the armed groups transform into that kind of thing and quietly and slowly disappear and die off.


Just to rob banks and kidnap horses?


- I doubt it.
An end to criminal activity and criminality is a requirement just as much as the deommissioning of arms.


Im not on either side btw, I just want to see everyone happy. However I really dont understand how the PIRA can give up its armed resistance and yet still exist.


- Well they always maintained there was a difference between them and Sinn Fein so whether or not one accepts that is part of this I suppose.

They may well become a formal part of SF and/or an old boys club, I guess.

Nevertheless one should not lose sight of the fact that a "massive amount" (the exact phrase both the IIDC and independant clergy men used) of arms has just departed the scene in NI.
Thank God.


[edit on 29-9-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 07:41 PM
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Any guesses how long it will take the IRA to murder someone with one of their "non-existant" guns.

I have no doubt that the PIRA has made serious commiments to the disarmament process since it gives them the moral high ground over the patently insane Orangemen, but anyone who thinks that they have surrendered every weapon in their arsenal lives in a soft rubber world filled with constant hugs from mummy.



posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by Winchester Ranger T
anyone who thinks that they have surrendered every weapon in their arsenal lives in a soft rubber world filled with constant hugs from mummy.


- No one but the nutter end of this debate ever said otherwise; in fact arrangements were made with HMG for a small number of weapons to be retained for personal protection by republicans.

Given the history of Northern Ireland where most of the main political parties, excepting the Alliance Party, were born out of armed groups who did not ever 'decommission' I have no doubt a few cases of AK's etc have been left 'just in case'.
(Many unionist politicians used to talk about how the IRA hanging on to a small amount of 'defensive weapons' was inevitable and not something to unduly worry about.)

But the point was always to demonstrate a commitment to peace and to attempt to engender trust in the motives.
Surely the destruction of "an enormous amount" (the exact words of the IIDC) of weaponary does this?

There was a time when tory and unionist politicians said that ridding the IRA of 'offensive weaponary' (like the semtex and other high explosives, AAMs and very heavy calibre weapons) was really what they wanted.
They got that.

The point has been made (and is undoubtedly true) that Sinn Fein's political ambitions in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Northern Ireland render the so-called 'armed struggle' not only a thing of the past but also an albatross they needed to ditch to further their ambitions.

In other words they had every reason to truely decommission properly and with genuine intent.
(and the IIDC said the munitions they saw destroyed matched security force estimates - in every catagory - from both UK and RoI)
The truth is they would be quickly found out if they haven't and the consequences of that happening would ruin their ambitions.



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 03:53 PM
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Trust me, I sincerely hope this is for real, and it is certainly in Sinn Fein/IRA's best interests to make it so.

But if the protestant para-militaries start killing Catholics again, I just can't see the IRA standing by and doing nothing to fight back, and that's a constant risk.

PS - I hope you meant SAMs and not AAMs, if PIRA has air assets we're all in a lot of trouble



posted on Oct, 17 2005 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by Winchester Ranger T
But if the protestant para-militaries start killing Catholics again, I just can't see the IRA standing by and doing nothing to fight back, and that's a constant risk.


- I think the real risk is a repeat of what we have only just seen; the prods going nuts and attacking the cops and destroying their own areas.

In fact one of the striking things about 'the troubles' is that with the rare exception proving the rule the proddy paramilitaries never stood and fought the IRA (or vis-versa).

Right at the start of the troubles proddy mobs attacked nationalist/republican/RC areas to drive residents out but as soon as the IRA guns appeared that pretty much put an end to all of that.
Equally on the rare occasion where the reverse happened the end result was the same.

Now we have what they term 'interface violence' (Belfast, like NI itself, is a very small place and the proximity of all those places you have heard about on the news as 'belonging to one side or other' is striking when you first encounter it. Litterally turn a street corner from one side's turf and you are in anothers).
Amazing (in a horrifying way).


PS - I hope you meant SAMs and not AAMs, if PIRA has air assets we're all in a lot of trouble


-

Yeah, well spotted.

Whatever was I thinking?
I did of course mean SAMs (they got some old SA7's from Gadaffi at some point).



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 11:04 PM
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The decommissiong of the IRA is a welcomed site indeed and if it lasts it is a huge step in the direction of ending the troubles if NI.
I am an American of Irish descent who has relations who currently live in Ireland, at least two that I know of currently reside in the North and the rest live in the ROI. Even though I am not directly involved in the conflict I do take interest in the happens of troubles. Like myself almost the whole of where I live is of Irish descent and a significant amount of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis are "off the boat" Irish, many coming from NI.
The acounts that i have heard, both first hand and read about either in books or Irish newspapers, are at times disturbing to say the least. The atrocities commited by both sides are horrible.
As I have stated before I believe this is a great stepping stone to an end, whether a united Ireland or peaceful truce between catholics and prodestants.
My fear however is that this current situation will not last. Upon learning of the IRA's decommishoning my first thoughts were of what will happen when fights and riots continue to break out between the two factions amongst the citizens of Belfast or another city. Wasn't it only few months ago that wave of violence broke out in the streets North Belfast surrounding Loyalist parades. I do not know if this is believed to have been linked to IRA members. Even if it wasn't my fear is that the violence still had broken out. While rival militant factions may no longer exist the fact is that there still is an ingrained hatred between people on both sides towards one another. If this street violence continues the UDA who has not decommisioned may feel the need to use force in order to subdue the Catholics.
If this does become the case how long will it infact be before the IRA feels the "need" to protect their fellow Catholics with the use of force.

If the conflict is not able to be settled politically in a hasty fashion the risk also begins to run of a new IRA or another para-military Catholic force will arise.

While this is a strong step towards an end, their is still much work to be done and it must be done in a careful way. This is a delicate situation that still has the possibility of boiling over. We can all hope that a solution is now able to be achieved peacefully, but i for one still see more bloodshed before all is said and done.



posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 05:33 AM
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Originally posted by jrmatt73
Wasn't it only few months ago that wave of violence broke out in the streets North Belfast surrounding Loyalist parades. I do not know if this is believed to have been linked to IRA members.


- Interesting stuff jrmatt73.

As bad as that all was it was basically the so-called 'loyalists' going nuts in 'their own areas'.
There was little of the so-called 'interface' violence (where the 2 communities abutt).

It was 'loyalists' shooting at the cops and British Army (around 150 rounds is the estimate).

.....and it was the security forces out 'containing' the 'loyalists'.

Funnily, and oddly, enough the instances of 'the 2 sides' of paramilitaries coming out to fight each other are amazingly rare.


Even if it wasn't my fear is that the violence still had broken out. While rival militant factions may no longer exist the fact is that there still is an ingrained hatred between people on both sides towards one another.


- That's very true; but it need not mean that hatred is expressed to the extent where it causes growing problems......I'd say it is going to become more like racism elsewhere in the UK.
Some people will never be able to let it go but as time goes by I can see it starting to fade away; it'll be confined to less and less people (who will be fully aware that those views are not acceptable in the 'mainstream' and who will more and more keep it to themselves).

It is also undeniable that in some ways the people are actually ahead of some of their politicians here.
Working class people of either side were always in 'the front line' and they have been at the forefront of pressing for change (on the proddy side witness the UVF linked PUP, a very progressive, for a 'unionist' political party, grouping.


If this street violence continues the UDA who has not decommisioned may feel the need to use force in order to subdue the Catholics.


- Well that's the thing; none of the proddy paras ever really attempted a 'campaign' to "subdue" Catholics, they periodically had what can only be described as indescriminant 'murder sprees' as either occasional retribution for particular PIRA activities and/or to try and supposedly terrorise the RC community into stopping their 'support' for the PIRA.


If this does become the case how long will it infact be before the IRA feels the "need" to protect their fellow Catholics with the use of force.


- ......and as a follow on point to the above I'd also say it's also true that the IRA did not really act to 'protect' the RC community in the way you imply.
I think they basically believed they could do little about that kind of 'loyalist campaign' and so they kept on with their 'campaign' against the British authorities and those, as they saw it, connected to them.


If the conflict is not able to be settled politically in a hasty fashion the risk also begins to run of a new IRA or another para-military Catholic force will arise.


- It's true that possibility is out there but I really don't see any significant sign of it.
The so-called 'Real IRA' and 'Continuety IRA' along with the INLA are well known to be thoroughly 'penetrated' by the security forces north and south (in addition to being under the watchful eye of the PIRA - which is where, afterall, so many of them came from so it's not like they aren't 'known').


While this is a strong step towards an end, their is still much work to be done and it must be done in a careful way. This is a delicate situation that still has the possibility of boiling over. We can all hope that a solution is now able to be achieved peacefully, but i for one still see more bloodshed before all is said and done.


- I think the difference this time is that there is finally a British Gov acting in genuine concert with the Gov of the Republic of Ireland.....and the US Gov.

Whereas the old British approach was simply to ignore NI and leave the unionists to get on with running their little sectarian state as they saw fit those days are long over and are never coming back.

The simple fact is (whether anyone wants to admit it or not) that the instant a British Gov (and a tory one at that) stood up and said they had neither "strategic nor selfish interest" in hanging on to NI the game was up.
When Mrs Thatcher stood up and said "NI was as British as Finchley" I wonder if even she imagined a member of her Gov would, in a short span of years, describe that version of Britishness as wholly conditional on a majority of the people wishing it to stay that way (ie not at all like "Finchley").

Thanks to the 'Good Friday Agreement' (a vote held simultaneously in NI and the RoI) we know that the principle of 'consent' is widely accepted across all of Ireland now and that when the majority of people in NI want to join the Irish Republic they can and will - and I think most understand it is simply a question of when not if, the population demographics indicate this likely in the near future.

So, with rights and freedoms equal and the political input of nationalists and republicans being properly heard (whether there is a local Assembly or not.....Sinn Fein are regularly in and out of Downing St and meet the RoI Gov regularly) I really cannot see any sane rational for a return to violence.

IMO a return to violence would be just what some would like to see in NI as it would be the surest way of putting a stop to the political progress we have seen recently and would IMO simply put the place back into the deep freeze for another generation or so.

It lasted around 30yrs last time, there is no reason to imagine it would be over any quicker - or with much of a different result - if people were dumb enough to allow themselves to be sucked into a new cycle of violence.
Either way the 2 communities will still be there and when the fighting is ended will still be having to find a way to get along together.


[edit on 27-10-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 03:57 PM
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Interesting (and I must admit, I find them, fairly unexpected) developments today -


The Ulster Defence Association has held a meeting in Belfast with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

news.bbc.co.uk...

- Ok so so far it's talk and no action but even so I was surprised this has begun with the 'loyalist' crowd so quickly; I expected them to drag their feet much more than it appears they have done.

Here's hoping it is a positive step that will lead to them doing the right thing.



posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 06:33 PM
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Thanks for the reply sminkey that was very insightful indeed.

You obviously have taken a lot more time than myself to truly breakdown the situation and I thank you for filling me in on the aspects that I had overlooked or mis-understood.



posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 08:08 PM
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Originally posted by jrmatt73
Thanks for the reply sminkey that was very insightful indeed.


- That's very good of you to say so, thank you.


You obviously have taken a lot more time than myself to truly breakdown the situation and I thank you for filling me in on the aspects that I had overlooked or mis-understood.


- Well as someone with ancestry that is Irish, English, Scot and Continental European (with an interest in politics) it's just one of those things, you tend to start off, as most young men are, very assured thinking you know about it all and then you meet other people on your life's journey who start informing you about stuff you don't know and have never even heard of and before you know it (if this kind of thing 'grabs' you) you become a life-long student of the subject!


One word of advice on Irish (and Anglo-Irish) matters.....

.....beware those who think they understand and know it all though!

I would never make such a claim and would stress I am only giving my take on things as I see them from where I live in NI.

I'm in my 40's and consider myself lucky.
I've seen the darkest days of the 1970's (I remember as a child asking my dad about these 'troubles' as they got going in 1969) through to todays' political progress and the amazing strides towards 'normality' here.....even if it is sometimes seems a case of one step forward two steps back.

I've seen things happen lately that at times previously I really though I'd never live to see.
(The IRA decommission!? The 'loyalists' now seriously talking about it!? Wow!
)

Life is immeasurably better than before, I think just about everyone here accepts that (which is a huge deal in itself).

You got to have hope.


[edit on 27-10-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



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