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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    Of note, although it rarely makes the news, is that the levels of terrorist violence in Northern Ireland have (IMHO) now passed those seen in the 1990s and are approaching 1080s levels.
    1080s levels? Bloody Vikings!
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  2. #62
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A few points of view

    An interesting viewpoint by General Sir Michael Rose, a soldier who served in Londonderry on the day and rose to fame later, notably in Bosnia:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/ar...criminals.html

    Will Saville like enquiries re-appear in today's campaigns?
    Nor should the effect of the Saville Inquiry on the British soldiers fighting today in Afghanistan be underestimated. Some will be the sons and even grandsons of those being accused of unlawful killing.

    Even if they are not, they will be asking themselves whether each time they open fire on the Taliban, they might not, in some distant future inquiry, be asked to justify their actions. This is no way to go to war.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/ar...#ixzz0qy1gnPm5

    I have not read today's news, but do recall watching from the "mainland" how Northern Ireland plunged into violence after 'Bloody Sunday'.

    The points made in a pre-publication article in The Spectator strike a chord with me:
    (On Pg.5) In 1999, in an otherwise unwise Radio 4 interview, Colonel Wilford, the man who commanded 1 Para that day, gave vent to the feelings of many. ‘I have to ask,’ he said, ‘what about Bloody Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and every day of the week?

    ‘What about Bloody Omagh? What about Bloody Warrenpoint, Enniskillen, Hyde Park, or Bloody Aldershot and Brighton — bloody everything the IRA have ever touched.’

    It is a good question. Colonel Wilford, like his men, lives in his retirement wondering whether the law will come for him. Yet one other commander, a paramilitary commander, has, like certain other men who fired that day, never looked back and shares none of the worries of British soldiers. The man I watched grandstanding in the Guildhall of Londonderry is too busy being Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. And nobody, but nobody, would order an inquiry into him. Or any of the other bloody things he and his bloody movement ever bloody touched. This is one-directional justice. Each individual will have to work out for themselves whether this constitutes the mature behaviour of a democracy at its very best, or a wasteful exercise in appeasing a political sympathy that has been appeased for too many years.
    Link:http://newstaging.spectator.widearea...y-sunday.thtml
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    Nor should the effect of the Saville Inquiry on the British soldiers fighting today in Afghanistan be underestimated. Some will be the sons and even grandsons of those being accused of unlawful killing.

    Even if they are not, they will be asking themselves whether each time they open fire on the Taliban, they might not, in some distant future inquiry, be asked to justify their actions. This is no way to go to war.
    Of course, it might also be argued that had some of the paras "thought twice" in 1972 some of the Troubles might have been a little less troubled.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  4. #64
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Alas, Paras are not noted for thinking twice --

    which is why it's a really bad idea to send them if you do not want want dead bodies at the destination...

    This is not really a threadjacking, it is a reminder that using general purpose forces as police is fraught with potential problems. The Paras were sent, they did what Paras do and they pay the price while the politicians that caused them to be there left for comfortable retirements with no after effects.

    Still, it's all a matter of the right tool for the job because in some circumstances they can be helpful:
    Last edited by Ken White; 10-27-2011 at 01:20 AM.

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    Having spent a few hours reading the report – obviously only a small part – I hope the current generation of soldiers do take note. More importantly I hope it is read by lots of politicians and they take Ken’s point that these people were not cut-out for crowd control. They ignored their rules of engagement and, after the event, closed ranks and lied about what had occurred. Never having served I do not know if this was just poor unit discipline or is it part of esprit the corp that you lie to cover for your mates. The report also looked at the arrests and came to the conclusion that the abuse of prisoners was institutionalised rather than specific to this incident. If this is how the troops were treating the locals it is little wonder it took so long to resolve. If it is typical, and ongoing in Afghanistan and elsewhere, then we will never win militarily or by COIN and should withdraw before we do any more harm.
    At £190 million this has not been a cheap exercise but if we actually learn something form it I am happy to have contributed to it in a small way.
    Last edited by JJackson; 06-16-2010 at 07:30 PM.

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    Default Here's a puke response test

    From Time, Northern Ireland: Bloody Sunday Inquiry Says Victims Were Innocent (15 Jun 2010):

    From near the end:

    But the latest Bloody Sunday inquiry is not without its critics. Intended to only last a year, it took 12 to complete, at a cost of almost $295 million. Most of the money was spent on lawyers' fees. As Northern Ireland seeks to move on from decades of sectarian conflict, many have also questioned the merit of revisiting such a painful episode of its past.
    Barf.

    Mike

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    It was needed. The actions of our troops were bad enough but the government of the day then rubbed salt in to the wound with the Widgery Inquiry. This one may have been costly and time consuming but reading it I have little doubt it is an honest attempt to find out what happened - which the first report was not. This is a dark episode in our history and Catholic community deserved the apology and a truthful report. The rest of us need the honesty if we do not want to risk simmering resentments leading to new round of 'the troubles'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    Unsurprisingly the strong feeling in my quarters is that it would be duplicitous at best if soldiers were prosecuted for past wrongs committed in the heat of the moment, when under the Good Friday Agreement terrorists received an amnesty.
    Yes the Good Friday Agreement. You are saying it was not a general amnesty?

    It will be interesting to see what the various Republican agendas in Northern Ireland will make from this.
    Hay?

    Of note, although it rarely makes the news, is that the levels of terrorist violence in Northern Ireland have (IMHO) now passed those seen in the 1990s and are approaching 1980s levels. They do not make the news because they do not have the Sein Feinn propaganda machine behind them and they have been largely ineffective in killing people (although marginally more effective in maiming). As ever though, with trial and error they are gaining in competence.
    Very interesting... and whom may I ask is behind this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    which is why it's a really bad idea to send them if you do not want want dead bodies at the destination...

    This is not really a threadjacking, it is a reminder that using general purpose forces as police is fraught with potential problems. The Paras were sent, they did what Paras do and they pay the price while the politicians that caused them to be there left for comfortable retirements with no after effects.

    Still, it's all a matter of the right tool for the job because in some circumstances they can be helpful:
    I agree with you on this, Ken

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    Default Yes Ken, I also agree; but ...

    once upon a time, in 1967 in Detroit, the Paras were called in, showed professionalism, coolness and restraint - an outstanding performance for a non-gendarmerie unit. But, those Paras had one Ken White among them - so, all is explained.

    Regards

    Mike

    -----------------
    PS: Loved the 82nd Airborne poster, which is from the Battle of the Bulge for anyone who doesn't know the story. The 82nd and the 30ID (my dad's division) were tasked to box in the German advance in the northwest part of the salient - 82nd on west, 30ID on north.

    Stavelot 1-117 RIP.jpg

    I have a nonagenarian client who was with the 82nd there. He still is lively and puts the make on my paralegal when he comes in. As you say, Paras do what Paras do.
    Last edited by jmm99; 06-17-2010 at 01:47 AM. Reason: add PS

  11. #71
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    Default Kent State

    Bloody Sunday reminds me in some respects of the Kent State incident in 1969, when the Ohio National Guard opened fire during a disturbance on the university campus during protests against the U.S. incursion into Cambodia. All it takes is for one guy to open fire on a crowd and then have others join in to produce lots of casualties during a very brief period. The missteps or bad judgement of one side at a civil disturbance does not necessarily imply that virtue is on the other. If I recall correctly Army training for responding to civil disturbances, particularly regarding the loading of weapons, was said to have been revamped after Kent State.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJackson View Post
    Having spent a few hours reading the report – obviously only a small part – I hope the current generation of soldiers do take note.
    I do not know about the current generation, but back in the 1980's those of us serving basically knew the whole story. We knew this was how NOT to do it, and most of the sentiment was "why shoot un-armed Civvies running away? That's not hard."
    They ignored their rules of engagement and, after the event, closed ranks and lied about what had occurred. Never having served I do not know if this was just poor unit discipline or is it part of esprit the corp that you lie to cover for your mates.
    I have not read the report, but it has again been common knowledge within the British Army that the Battalion concerned "had issues" concerning discipline - otherwise what happened simply would not have occurred.
    Yes, you do lie to cover your mates. It's not right, but some time in uniform is pretty essential to understanding why.
    If it is typical, and ongoing in Afghanistan and elsewhere, then we will never win militarily or by COIN and should withdraw before we do any more harm.
    Based on what I know, I do not believe it is, in theatre at the moment, but for where it has gone wrong, look at the British Army prisoner abuse allegations in Iraq.
    Prisoner handling is a specialist skill. It needs training.
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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Yes the Good Friday Agreement. You are saying it was not a general amnesty?
    I don't think so. Under the terms terrorists convicted get an early (immediate) release, so we can still prosecute terrorists for past crimes but it is not really achieving anything. Of course if the cease-fire goes then the early release goes. The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) does not apply to members of the security forces.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Very interesting... and whom may I ask is behind this?
    CIRA and RIRA, the 'Continuity' and 'Real' IRA respectively. Some hardline Republicans were against the GFA and went their own way, they have got better over the years and seem to be tapping into some PIRA expertise and stores. No strong polical support, but enough bored youths in Counties South Armargh, Fermanagh and Derry to keep things ticking over.
    RR

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  14. #74
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJackson View Post
    The rest of us need the honesty if we do not want to risk simmering resentments leading to new round of 'the troubles'.
    Apart from the fact that Republican violence has not finished, if we are not careful the next round of Troubles will come from an increasingly beleagured and embittered Loyalist community who feel sold out by the Good Friday Agreement.

    Honesty cuts both ways, Martin McGuinness was interviewed in his capacity as OC Derry PIRA in the 70s and several well researched books have stated the both Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness were members of the PIRA 'Army Council'. If we want to reconcile communities then we need to reconcile the two Northern Irish communities to each other as well as recociling one of them to the British Government.
    RR

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  15. #75
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    Default Who has been blamed and who was not?

    A more nuanced, short review of the Saville Report and interesting as it accepts some myths why have now been shown to be false. I do wonder how the report appears to push much of the blame so far down the army command chain. No doubt the author has had time to read the report volumes.

    Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourking.../bloody-sunday
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    DUBLIN -Northern Ireland police came under live fire during a third straight night of Belfast unrest in scenes that a Catholic priest described Wednesday as "a Disney theme park for rioting." ... The Rev. Gary Donegan said violence that continued until 2 a.m. Wednesday in Ardoyne featured rioters aged 8 to 18 — backed by crowds of girls capturing the mayhem on their cell phones for posting on social networking Web sites.
    "Recreational rioting is the term," the 46-year-old priest said. "It was like a Disney theme park for rioting. It was ludicrous." ...The priest said girls, many of them dressed for a night out — "At one stage it looked like a Milan catwalk," he quipped — had come to watch the boys riot. The boys in turn appeared determined to impress the girls with their bravery. He said alcohol and drug abuse fueled their dangerous behavior as police doused the crowd with jets from a water cannon.
    http://www.aolnews.com/story/police-.../871411?cid=13
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  17. #77
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    ." ... The Rev. Gary Donegan said violence that continued until 2 a.m. Wednesday in Ardoyne featured rioters aged 8 to 18 — backed by crowds of girls capturing the mayhem on their cell phones for posting on social networking Web sites.
    Fantastic! We no longer have to film them for evidence purposes, they do it themselves!

    Probably not on the wider news network is two sizeable viable devices in the last two weeks. One of which was in a house and an attempt to get police into the house (a 'come on'), and a second which blew up in situ but prematurely on a country road. Plus 4 rounds fired at a police patrol with a short barrelled weapon. All in the last 2 weeks and separate from the well publicised rioting.

    It is likely to get worse before it get better. The N Ireland property bubble has burst and the economy depends heavily on public sector jobs (of which Britain expects to shed 750,000 in the next two years). With increased deprivation we can expect an increase in crime as well more extreme politics.
    RR

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    Default Duplicitous is as duplicitous does...

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    Unsurprisingly the strong feeling in my quarters is that it would be duplicitous at best if soldiers were prosecuted for past wrongs committed in the heat of the moment, when under the Good Friday Agreement terrorists received an amnesty.
    It depends doesn't it. Which government department would be doing the prosecuting? Now if it were up to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office...

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    Default This is the baby they need in NI...

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    Fantastic! We no longer have to film them for evidence purposes, they do it themselves!

    Probably not on the wider news network is two sizeable viable devices in the last two weeks. One of which was in a house and an attempt to get police into the house (a 'come on'), and a second which blew up in situ but prematurely on a country road. Plus 4 rounds fired at a police patrol with a short barrelled weapon. All in the last 2 weeks and separate from the well publicised rioting.

    It is likely to get worse before it get better. The N Ireland property bubble has burst and the economy depends heavily on public sector jobs (of which Britain expects to shed 750,000 in the next two years). With increased deprivation we can expect an increase in crime as well more extreme politics.
    Can't believe what I see on TV about what abuse the police must be prepared to take and DO NOTHING! Now if I threw a petrol bomb at someone and it set them alight (I have a long list) I guess I would be up for attempted murder or at least assault GBH. Why don't the yobs on the streets of Northern Ireland not get held to the same standard?

    So forget about the X-13 tazer shotguns (like from the Moat incident) and speak nicely to your good uncle Sam and see if he will sell/loan/give you some of these babies.

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  20. #80
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Default The Police Attitude and Changing Community Attitides

    Generally UK Police forces prefer to contain public order situations, preventing damage to property and minimising risk to life. They prefer a longer term solution which sees them contain the situation and then with things have died down they go in days and weeks later and arrest those involved using evidence they have gathered during the riots.

    In the old days when the army supported the RUC we were often deployed to knock heads if things did get bad, allowing the RUC to keep their hands unsullied and mend fences later (Many a happy summer spent with the jocks skulking with intent in support of the RUC!). But again, there had to be risk to life or property for us to get involved. Where I was based (Londonderry) we just used to bottle them up in the 'Bogside' and let them vent there. They would throw petrol bombs we would fire baton rounds. We would go in to disperse only if they were trying to get into the city centre for pillage or trying to cross sectarian divides for pillage, arson and rape.

    What is more ominous is this, reported in the Daily Telegraph:

    It was a brief verbal exchange that spoke volumes. By a burned-out car that still smouldered, its blackened bonnet strewn with broken bottles that the night before had been fashioned into lethal Molotov cocktails and hurled at police officers, the pair stood face to face, only inches apart. One, grey-haired and balding, 6ft 4in with a distinctly age-stooped gait, folded his arms across his chest and narrowed his eyes in a flinty glare. The other, a swaggering teenager in a hoodie, his face swathed in a Manchester United scarf to conceal his identity, stared straight back. "Shove off, old man," he said mockingly. "Sure, you sold out your community. Just so that the likes of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness could parade about in posh suits and sit up in Stormont. What do they care about the Ardoyne now? You lot don't speak for us any more. Why don't you just f––– off.''

    It wasn't the response the older man, Bobby Storey, had expected. Nor the reaction to which he was accustomed. Storey, a veteran IRA man, a legendary godfather of terror in the nationalist heartland of north Belfast, is not a man many would challenge.

    Known in paramilitary parlance as "The Enforcer", Storey served 18 years for gun attacks on the Army. In 1983 he was among 38 Provisionals who escaped from Northern Ireland's Maze prison – the largest jailbreak in British history. Maudlin republican ballads eulogise his terrorist exploits, and his portrait glares down from the gable walls of republican west Belfast.

    In short, among the nationalist community, when Bobby Storey, in his trademark low, menacing voice, says jump, the required response is: "How high?"

    Here, however, in the riot-scarred streets of Ardoyne, the young pretender in his hoodie and mask was far from intimidated. All week he had led locals, some as young as eight, in pitched battles against the police – hurling stones, bricks and home-made grenades.

    Bristling with bravado, he jabbed a stubby finger into Storey's chest and told him: "We rule our own roost here, Storey. Back off. Nobody cares what you think."

    This was not just the common confrontation of age and youth one witnesses in Northern Ireland's tribal sectarian strongholds. Instead this was the IRA's dissident offspring telling the veteran forefathers of Northern Ireland's Troubles that they no longer commanded respect. That their word was no longer law. That the day to which Sinn Féin's time-honoured slogan, Tiocfaidh ár lá ("Our day will come") refers had been and gone – and a new generation are preparing to have theirs.

    Today, the republican men of violence who orchestrated the terror campaign that punctuated the Seventies and Eighties are respected ministers and MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) in the Province's fledgling government. The men of war now speak the language of peace. Except the dissidents are not listening. And it is the shadowy "new-style" IRA who have whipped up passions among disaffected youngsters in north Belfast, where unemployment is still high and allegiances to a 32-county united Ireland are still an impassioned aim.

    Leaders from the Real and Continuity IRA run regular training camps in counties Louth and Monaghan in Eire, where a new generation of terrorists eagerly learn the lessons and logistics of terrorism. As one senior security source points out: "We know the IRA dissidents are plotting a major bombing campaign to derail the peace process. And to do that they need to win over hearts and minds in the nationalist community. So they've come into Ardoyne to ferment unrest and dissent.

    "Intelligence chiefs have warned ministers that splinter groups like the Real and Continuity IRA are on the verge of a wave of killings. We believe a new generation of republican fanatics are planning a campaign. The hardcore are in their twenties and they are building bombs from designs pioneered by the PIRA. Recent bombings, like the bridge at Cullyhanna, show they are overcoming their technical problems with detonators. Our big fear is an attempt to emulate the 1984 Brighton bomb attack. And those preparing for the Conservative conference in Birmingham in October have factored the threat into their security preparations."
    Link:www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/northernireland/7896588/Sinn-Fein-are-yesterdays-men.htm
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-20-2010 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Place DT story in quotes and later link added
    RR

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