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    (Original post by DMcGovern)
    Again, civilians were not directly targeted. If the advance warnings had been given in the time needed then the innocent civilians wouldn't have been injured. Take the London Docklands bombing or the 1996 Manchester bombing - the advance warnings were taken and people evacuated, so no deaths.
    The presence or absence of advance warnings doesn't excuse the initial targeting.

    Also, if that targeting was of "legitimate military targets" (e.g. British soldiers) but with the likelihood of ordinary civilians being present - e.g. at a public ceremony held on the main road through the town - then again you are not excused.
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    This is why nationalism makes you stupid. To think that cultures are somehow in competition is ridiculous; the idea of cultural superior is pretty much as daft as you can get. Equally the possessiveness really hacks me off: "our own" language and all that nonsense.

    I appreciate this is probably an attempt at humour, but it's the sort of jokes that highlight and entrench deep divisions.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    The presence or absence of advance warnings doesn't excuse the initial targeting.

    Also, if that targeting was of "legitimate military targets" (e.g. British soldiers) but with the likelihood of ordinary civilians being present - e.g. at a public ceremony held on the main road through the town - then again you are not excused.
    To target something or someone is to select as an object of attention or attack; to aim or direct something. Therefore bombing an area of specific economic importance but which had people present in it was the point of advance warnings - to remove the chance of collateral casualties.

    As I've said before the Remembrance Day Bombing was not characteristic of an attack that would normally be authorised by the Northern Command, and it wasn't. Killing innocent civilians was not beneficial to the Provisional Irish Republican Army's campaign - it decreased sympathy for their cause and created a meltdown within the republican movement.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    This is why nationalism makes you stupid. To think that cultures are somehow in competition is ridiculous; the idea of cultural superior is pretty much as daft as you can get. Equally the possessiveness really hacks me off: "our own" language and all that nonsense.

    I appreciate this is probably an attempt at humour, but it's the sort of jokes that highlight and entrench deep divisions.
    I wouldn't say they're in competition and it's a very sincere attempt at humour.
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    (Original post by DMcGovern)
    Omagh was the Real IRA after the ceasefire, and was not directed at civilians but at the economy/infrastructure although the bomb planters who telephoned the advance warning accidentally gave the name of a street that didn't exist. Again, these were dissidents.

    Enniskillen was a badly-planned attack aimed at soldiers in the parade. Although IRA units were given "a degree of operational autonomy" at the time, they were supposed to have such large attacks sanctioned by IRA Northern Command, which they did not.

    The Provisional Irish Republican Army have never officially admitted responsibility for the Birmingham pub bombings, but a former senior officer of the organisation confessed to their involvement in 2014, with an admission the bombings "went against everything we [the Provisional Irish Republican Army] claimed to stand for". The bombings had not been sanctioned by the PIRA leadership.
    Reportedly, those who planted these bombs then walked to a preselected phone box to telephone the advance warning to security services; however, the phone box had been vandalised, forcing the caller to find an alternative phone box and thus shortening the amount of time police had to clear the locations.
    At the risk of destroying the cheery ambience of this thread, that's a pile horse-poo. These grand principles get stated, but then it's only a few questions before it collapses into a lot of "oh, well, but, the phonebox was out of order". Really?

    As George Orwell once pointed out, "the nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them".

    Even if we are to go down the crazy ideological rabbit hole and suggest that shooting British soldiers on British streets is somehow not murder (quite how a civilian police force also qualifies, I'm not sure), the case still collapses.

    Not only under the weight of the Birmingham bombing or any of the other well-known atrocities. Not even on the premeditated kidnap and torture of "the enemy" that would not be accepted in any civilised understanding of warfare. But under the weight of the individual atrocities meted out against "their own". The old woman who did her civic duty and helped the police and was murdered, the Roman Catholic who was forced to become a human bomb or see his family slaughtered, the young man condemned as "anti-social" and mutilated according to some peculiar interpretation of justice that owes rather more to the pseudo-Islamic dictatorships of the east than they do to Ireland's history or culture.

    These are civilians and the IRA was not some sort of alternative government to them: it was a lawless street-gang. It controlled by fear, it caused untold suffering, it set Northern Ireland back by generations.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    This is why nationalism makes you stupid. To think that cultures are somehow in competition is ridiculous; the idea of cultural superior is pretty much as daft as you can get. Equally the possessiveness really hacks me off: "our own" language and all that nonsense.

    I appreciate this is probably an attempt at humour, but it's the sort of jokes that highlight and entrench deep divisions.
    Its a criticism of the backward nature of Willie Frazer and his brand of loyalism rather than unionism in general. Cultures have always been in conflict though, heck even signs are being re-edited to remove the Irish on them, which, I can understand as common sense, but is still confrontational. Nationalists considered Irish their language, so unionists demanded Ulster-Scots be considered a language. Bull.


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    (Original post by L i b)
    At the risk of destroying the cheery ambience of this thread, that's a pile horse-poo. These grand principles get stated, but then it's only a few questions before it collapses into a lot of "oh, well, but, the phonebox was out of order". Really?

    As George Orwell once pointed out, "the nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them".

    Even if we are to go down the crazy ideological rabbit hole and suggest that shooting British soldiers on British streets is somehow not murder (quite how a civilian police force also qualifies, I'm not sure), the case still collapses.

    Not only under the weight of the Birmingham bombing or any of the other well-known atrocities. Not even on the premeditated kidnap and torture of "the enemy" that would not be accepted in any civilised understanding of warfare. But under the weight of the individual atrocities meted out against "their own". The old woman who did her civic duty and helped the police and was murdered, the Roman Catholic who was forced to become a human bomb or see his family slaughtered, the young man condemned as "anti-social" and mutilated according to some peculiar interpretation of justice that owes rather more to the pseudo-Islamic dictatorships of the east than they do to Ireland's history or culture.

    These are civilians and the IRA was not some sort of alternative government to them: it was a lawless street-gang. It controlled by fear, it caused untold suffering, it set Northern Ireland back by generations.
    This is wrong, I'm sorry. The Provisional IRA did terrible things, yes. But they were not a lawless street-gang.

    The Royal Ulster Constabulary was at the time a 100% Protestant, 100% unionst organisation, and had joined loyalist mobs in attacking Catholic civil rights demonstrations and looting and burning homes. The RUC was seen as a sectarian force by most of the Catholic population. As a result, mainly in urban areas, the IRA took on local policing functions and often resolved local criminal complaints. At times, the IRA and its supporters dealt particularly harshly with drug dealers, a major political issue in Dublin during the 1980s.

    Orwell also noted that the good writer doesn’t respond in kind but goes on trying to fathom what the terrorist and the radical are saying, to make sense of people who others don’t want to make sense of. Failing to do that condemns us to bad writing and bad politics, to the language of total conflict and radical dehumanisation. Terrible things are done during war and you could look at any group or army during any war and make a similar statement. Your last sentence is filled with unsupported and baseless platitudes.

    The key to every good guerrilla group, that sort of discipline that’s almost creepy, not human. Imagine your cousin just got hacked to death in some gaudy way by these Shankill Butchers and you know exactly who did it. Which they did; the IRA always had great intelligence on the streets of Belfast, they knew exactly who was doing these killings. But the order comes down that you can’t take revenge, because it’d look like religious gang warfare and take the focus off the Brits. Sometimes they cracked and did it, and that's when they lost support, and it wasn't beneficial to their objectives.

    The PIRA used policing and protection to garner support. Most intimidation was directed at criminal elements in the popoulation, and during loyalist riots as they became widespread in 1969 the PIRA acted as a defence force for Catholics against loyalist mobs who would usually attack and burn houses; these actions both solidified the PIRA's control and generated support by keeping local communities safe. They did also make it clear that "any collaboration with the forces of occupation will be punishable by death", as was the tactic from the first War of Independence in the 1920s.

    It did not, however, "set back the six counties generations", that is absolute *******s. That is the one fundamental point you have completely wrong. When people are excluded from office, employment, housing, voting, engaged in a civil war with a government backed terrorist group and accompanied by British troops, what else do you expect?
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    (Original post by L i b)
    At the risk of destroying the cheery ambience of this thread, that's a pile horse-poo. These grand principles get stated, but then it's only a few questions before it collapses into a lot of "oh, well, but, the phonebox was out of order". Really?

    As George Orwell once pointed out, "the nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them".

    Even if we are to go down the crazy ideological rabbit hole and suggest that shooting British soldiers on British streets is somehow not murder (quite how a civilian police force also qualifies, I'm not sure), the case still collapses.

    Not only under the weight of the Birmingham bombing or any of the other well-known atrocities. Not even on the premeditated kidnap and torture of "the enemy" that would not be accepted in any civilised understanding of warfare. But under the weight of the individual atrocities meted out against "their own". The old woman who did her civic duty and helped the police and was murdered, the Roman Catholic who was forced to become a human bomb or see his family slaughtered, the young man condemned as "anti-social" and mutilated according to some peculiar interpretation of justice that owes rather more to the pseudo-Islamic dictatorships of the east than they do to Ireland's history or culture.

    These are civilians and the IRA was not some sort of alternative government to them: it was a lawless street-gang. It controlled by fear, it caused untold suffering, it set Northern Ireland back by generations.
    And yet it was in its creation a protector of the Catholic people, while the RUC was happy to see loyalists burn Catholics out of their homes, there were arrests on the other side. Totally ignored by the gerrymandered Stormont, the RUC and the Brits. Terence O'Neill, who dared to give Catholics the right to live in a council house was kicked out of the party. I don't think you quite understand the snarling hatred of Catholics enforced by the tools of the Northern Irish state.

    By all means with hindsight say "oh, they shouldn't have resorted to violence" but when their peaceful protests were violently ambushed, their prominent figures smeared and ignored by their UK government, what is going to happen? Maybe they should have just let themselves be crushed.

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