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Posted: 9/8/2010 10:56:36 PM EDT
The thread about the corporals killings got me thinking how my history education has a hole in it where Northern Ireland is concerned.

Aside from Shiite vs Sunny (woops, Catholic vs Protestant) what was it all about?

Seems a lot like the kind of stuff going on here, only a lot more civilized.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 6:49:39 AM EDT
Bump for curiosity.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 7:27:23 AM EDT
Still nuthin" Man! I thought the hive had an opinion about everything.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:27:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 1:44:16 PM EDT by txlongshot]
Given my extensive studies of military and conflict history I'll take a swing:

An IRA man shows up at the pearly gates and St. Peter comes out to greet him.
St. Peter takes one look and says "I don't think you can get in here".
The IRA man says, "Who wants in"?
You've twenty minutes to get the *#!@ out"!

Basically the "official" story starts around 1960 but in reality it goes back to the English / Scottish settlements in Ireland back around 1600 A.D.
(Reminds me of various other chicken and egg conflicts around the globe...)

The Crown confiscated land from the Irish and gave it to English and Scottish settlers. Add this to the other "warm and glowing" policies of the Crown towards colonies and settlements and you start to see the pattern.

The modern day iteration was a result of the Irish Catholic minority being discriminated against in all kinds of ways by the largely English, Protestant majority. The government, police, etc were all controlled by the majority which left the Irish minority without any method of reform or redress. After what they would say was a few hundred years of this they got fed up and began to fight back using the only avenue open to them - unconventional warfare and terrorism.

England tried to claim neutrality and became involved via "law enforcement" efforts. In reality, there was a great deal of military and intelligence activity / black ops going on. Infiltration, double and triple agents, etc.

After about 30 years of violence the British finally negotiated for peace and implemented the reforms the Irish minority had asked for from the start. "The Troubles" as the Irish call those decades are not forgotten nor are they likely to be gone for all time, unfortunately.

It was your basic religious / ethnic conflict, the history of which defines European culture and sits behind pretty much every War the West has seen.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:38:49 PM EDT
Marxists masquerading as 'good Catholic boys' try to 'liberate' Ireland from the British, while raising funds and smuggling guns from America ('My Armalite', anyone?).

Kharn
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:41:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kharn:
Marxists masquerading as 'good Catholic boys' try to 'liberate' Ireland from the British, while raising funds and smuggling guns from America ('My Armalite', anyone?).

Kharn


As good of a summary as any...
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:46:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:

Marxists masquerading as 'good Catholic boys' try to 'liberate' Ireland from the British, while raising funds and smuggling guns from America ('My Armalite', anyone?).

Kharn

The book "Killing Rage" by Eamon Collins was very educational.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:51:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 1:51:27 PM EDT by 161Infantry]
The Ulster Scots brought civilization and basic sanitation to the Irish and ruled them with a firm and fair hand..., they were hated forever more..and thus the current situation.....
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 1:53:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 1:59:28 PM EDT by Phil1712]
You won't get much love for the IRA around here. Problem is they are Communists to the core. Their version of Freedom is just to be Free from British Rule while the Irish Rule is just as strict, if not stricter with less liberties.

If the IRA were truly fighting from Freedom, everyone would be singing a different tune about them.

The IRA today is nothing more than a broken down band of Rebels who have lost sight of what the IRA from early 1900s were.

And even worse so, the Irish allowed themselves to be Conquer after the Roman Empire Fell. Even during the Time of Saint Patrick, Ireland was still fighting amongst themselves in Turf wars. Same thing happened with the Settlers of America and the Native Americans. If the Natives had banded together instead of petty fighting, they could have united against the British Settlers and pushed them out, but they didn't, they saw no need to until they became oppressed. The only time Ireland really united was when they fought the British rule hundreds of years later.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:27:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:28:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 161Infantry:
The Ulster Scots brought civilization and basic sanitation to the Irish and ruled them with a firm and fair hand..., they were hated forever more..and thus the current situation.....




The "freedom fighters" of the 60's and onwards (commies) are not to be confused with the real freedom fighters of the early 20th century.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:33:08 PM EDT
Both sides - Republican and Loyalist Paramilitary groups - have bombed civilian targets, as well as targeting each other (and in the case of the IRA, RIRA, PIRA) the British Armed Forces.

As already stated though, it goes back several hundred years.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:37:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By txlongshot:
Given my extensive studies of military and conflict history I'll take a swing:



it has been argued that the mid-late 20th century british military presence was introduced precisely to protect the catholic minority from the protestants, and was gratefully received by rank and file catholics until the IRA institutionalized the maxim "hate the brits, and be seen to do so", and violently enforced it.

this is one of those topics that i've always wanted to learn more about, but never got around to, so consider this a tag.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:41:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 2:41:31 PM EDT by TylerF]

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Any slight sympathy I might have had (and it was very slight) for the poor opressed people who just wanted out from under the opressive British boot, ENDED when they assainated the retired (and 79 years old) Lord Mountbatten and his 14 year old grandson.

Bombing department stores and purely civilian targets in London didn't help either.

Terrorist scum, nothing more.

Strangely enough, didn't it come out later that Lord Mountbatten was in favor of eventual Irish reunification?

Or at least supported the idea?
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:44:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TylerF:

Strangely enough, didn't it come out later that Lord Mountbatten was in favor of eventual Irish reunification?

Or at least supported the idea?
Well, we handed back (or lost) a large amount of our other territories in the 20th century, so I wouldn't be too surprised if some were more than happy to 'hand it back'. The problem being that would have not sat well with the Loyalists, who in all fairness, had been there for man generations also.

Can't please everyone I suppose.


Link Posted: 9/10/2010 2:47:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:
Marxists masquerading as 'good Catholic boys' try to 'liberate' Ireland from the British, while raising funds and smuggling guns from America ('My Armalite', anyone?).

Kharn

from the little i've studied, it seems to be the opposite––desperate dummies without meaning in their lives, who appropriated a particular brand of political rhetoric as another way to feel relevant and empowered.

in other words, a lot of suckers and a few manipulators. sorta like the aryan movement.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:00:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TylerF:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Any slight sympathy I might have had (and it was very slight) for the poor opressed people who just wanted out from under the opressive British boot, ENDED when they assainated the retired (and 79 years old) Lord Mountbatten and his 14 year old grandson.

Bombing department stores and purely civilian targets in London didn't help either.

Terrorist scum, nothing more.

Strangely enough, didn't it come out later that Lord Mountbatten was in favor of eventual Irish reunification?

Or at least supported the idea?

Yep, He was probably the best "friend" the Irish minority had in the UK government. To quote one of my favorite lines from a war movie:
"yeah man, a lot of bad shit happened."

By the time the whole thing was over there wasn't a good / bad side. That's how these things work - any slight, historic "crime", racism, etc becomes a reason to fight. Meanwhile most of the people maimed and killed are civilians, symbolic targets and even press.

The biggest problem with terrorism as a tactic is all the historic evidence of it succeeding. Then again, if the UK took the hard line in Ireland the killing would still be going on so long as there were people willing to do it. Perhaps we should all be grateful the "troubles" didn't last until post 9/11?

Relating it to modern day struggles-
I don't know what the right answer is, as much as I try to figure it out. I despise terrorists and would like nothing more than to see a victory in Afghanistan for the US led coalition -but- based on history that's a War that will most likely never end. The public won't allow the military to do what would need to be done to "win" and actually bring peace to the ME for a decade or two, maybe more. The good guys don't practice genocide.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:18:17 PM EDT
I recommend the Osprey book Security Forces in Northern Ireland. It gives a pretty good description of the various factions and their reasons for fighting before going in depth with the military and police forces.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 3:46:56 PM EDT
There are some people here with first hand experience with the bastards. I'll let them step forward if they want. One of them is banned, though, and most people who have dealt with them are reluctant to talk about it.

Back during the peace process, when members of the Catholic and Loyalist groups all met together for the talks, a British official looked around and commented somewhere along the lines of "This is the largest group of murderers and street thugs ever assembled in the history of man". That's a good summary.

For all the talk and rhetoric, they were primarily street gangs not much different than the Bloods or Crips, or the Italian and Jewish street gangs of the early 20th century.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:08:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Any slight sympathy I might have had (and it was very slight) for the poor opressed people who just wanted out from under the opressive British boot, ENDED when they assainated the retired (and 79 years old) Lord Mountbatten and his 14 year old grandson.

Bombing department stores and purely civilian targets in London didn't help either.

Terrorist scum, nothing more.


This. They were/are not nice people.

For those that don't recognize the name of Lord Mountbatten, let me just say that even though he was of aristocratic/royal background, he was a truly expectational military leader, and if the word "loved" by the general population ever means anything, he was that. His murder served no useful purpose, except to alienate the IRA even more in the eyes of the British.

––––––––-

The longer version:

Ireland was once a part of the United Kingdom of England, Ireland and Wales. There was always a small group of people who wanted to separate from England and go back to the good old days of famine, mindless violence and bog trotting. They took advantage of Britain being bogged down in WWI and the ready availability of firearms that war brings to start an "uprising" at Easter (a time of peace) in 1916. I put uprising in quotes because an uprising is usually considered to be something where a large percentage of the population takes part. in this case, that was not the case, it was a small group. However, there was some sympathy for their actions in the wider population.

The eventual outcome was that Britain was prepared to give them independence, but on condition that the sizable number of non-catholics, and those catholics that wanted to stay with the UK could do so. This required the favorite tactic of years past of partition of the country, so Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were born.

Many catholics realized which side their bread was buttered on, and didn't look back on war, famine and religious oppression in quite the same way that the fanatics did and so moved to the North, or if already there, stayed put.

Of course, the Irish fanatics were less than happy with this, they wanted a united Ireland, and just too bad for those that were non catholic and didn't want to be part of the republic.

In the 1950s and 60s the protestant leaders of the mostly autonomous Northern Ireland suffered low level terrorist attacks, and in many ways overreacted and played to their own prejudices and did not treat the catholic minority equally. If there was any excuse for the IRA's continued "war", this was it. In the 1960's the IRA managed to ferment civil unrest aided and abetted by the stupid N. Ireland government policies.

It took the IRA moving their offensive to the English mainland to attract the attention of the British government. Which had pretty much ignored how the Norther Irish government were behaving, which was a bad mistake.

Once they became engaged, the UK government actually started looking at what was going on in N. Ireland and were non too pleased with what they found. Their response was to essentially disband the Northern Ireland government and take direct control. Once they had done so, they began the work of undoing the prejudiced infrastructure which favored protestants at the expense of catholics.

The IRA were not happy with this, and nor were the more extreme protestant elements, and basically, open warfare erupted on the streets.
The British army was deployed to keep order.

From the early part of the 20th century, through the 1960's and possibly later, a bunch of north-eastern American shit stirrers who considered themselves Irish because their ancestors once pranced across the bogs and ate potatoes, smuggled huge quantities of money, guns and explosives to the IRA. In particular, one Joseph Kennedy was supposedly a major contributor, with the money and arms coming from his various criminal enterprises.

Against the opposition of both sides and the interference of the IRA, order was slowly restored.

It took close to thirty years to bring normality back to N. Ireland, and to restore most of their autonomy, during which time the IRA would shoot and bomb any target of opportunity, including civilian targets, men, women and children.

The barbarism of their acts lost them a lot of support, particularly from the US, so the switched to a different support channel - Libya and Ghadaffi. There were also rumors of various other middle eastern states funding and training them, as well as N. Korea and China. Its not clear how well founded these rumors were, but the Libyan connection is well documented. This, of course, lay have gained them some training and arms, but did nothing for their reputation and support from elsewhere. It became clear that they were terrorists for the sake of terrorism, and that the majority of even the catholics in N. Ireland wanted nothing to do with them.

The loss of support of the population which hid and fed them did much more to finish off the IRA than all the troops that the British put into Ireland.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 4:39:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Neutral_Observer:
There are some people here with first hand experience with the bastards. I'll let them step forward if they want. One of them is banned, though, and most people who have dealt with them are reluctant to talk about it.

Back during the peace process, when members of the Catholic and Loyalist groups all met together for the talks, a British official looked around and commented somewhere along the lines of "This is the largest group of murderers and street thugs ever assembled in the history of man". That's a good summary.

For all the talk and rhetoric, they were primarily street gangs not much different than the Bloods or Crips, or the Italian and Jewish street gangs of the early 20th century.

And quite a few of the leaders of the IRA are current and former politicians. It blows me away to see high level Sinn Fein members on documentaries discussing the terrorism incidents like they read about them in a book or something.

The IRA were not "the good guys" in that conflict by any means but by the time it was over England wasn't exactly playing that part either. A stupid war
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:32:28 PM EDT
Brits out !
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