[Marxism] As the IRA endures, excuses are running out

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 12 21:32:46 MST 2006

(Here is a recent article from the Cuban daily JUVENTUD REBELDE.
JR has had several lengthy and significant analytical articles about
the Northern Irish situation. I post this as a contribution to deepen
the discussion here on Marxmail. There are two or three other long
pieces, which I'll endeavor to have translated quickly so that this
discussion can proceed with more facts. I hope that this material
will prove informative.)


October 6, 2006 22:38:36 GMT
Northern Ireland: as the IRA endures, excuses are running out
By: Luis Luque Alvarez
e-mail: luque at jrebelde.cip.cu
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Sinn Fein pro-independence party leaders Gerry Adams, 
Gerry Kelly and Martin Mc Guinness, right before a 
meeting to discuss the Monitoring Commission’s report, Photo: AP

The last report of the Independent Monitoring Commission must have
come as a real shock to those who regret that there are less and less
reasons to keep the fire of violence burning in Northern Ireland. The
said Commission found that the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Northern
Ireland’s pro-independence military arm, is not involved in terrorism
and increasingly renouncing the use of violence.

Submitted on October 4, the text adds that IRA’s leaders “continue
instructing its members to relinquish physical force”, and have
reached the point where they expel from its ranks whoever breaks this
rule, not to mention that they have dismantled the organization’s
“military” structure and stopped recruiting sympathizers. In fact,
“its ongoing inaction has actually eroded its capacity”, the report

We are faced then with a new test of IRA’s will, “stated in its
communiqué of the summer of 2005”, to prioritize the political
channels to reach its goal: to integrate Northern Ireland into the
Republic of Ireland, its natural environment, from which it remains
apart as a result of the United Kingdom’s long-lasting colonialist

The new report of this Commission that London and Dublin established
in 2004 must help convince the most headstrong Unionists, “advocates
of Northern Ireland’s current British status”, that the language of
bombs is now water under the bridge. A September, 2005 report
submitted by International Disarmament Commission observers Harold
Good, a Protestant pastor, and Alec Reid, a Catholic priest, attested
to the seriousness of IRA’s decision to lay down arms, something “we
have confirmed without a shadow of doubt”, they said.

Protestant reverend Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist
Party (DUP) and a fierce enemy of any peace agreement, challenged
such assertion at first, but is now claiming that the Republicans’
praiseworthy attitude, as the Monitoring Commission described it, has
been only made possible by the “pressures” of its formation.

He persists, however, “as he has done since the 2003 elections”, 
in his refusal to sit at an Assembly of powers shared with
pro-independence members of the Sinn Fein party, given their
reservations about Northern Ireland’s police service. And Paisley
washes his hands of anything with a smell of normalization,
arrangement, coexistence: “The IRA–Sinn Fein –as he likes to call
them– support neither the police nor the rule of law”. In other
words, “unfit” to coexist with the DUP...

As far as this gentleman is concerned, each and every gesture by his
counterpart in favor of peace seems to have fallen on stony ground.
What if Sinn Fein starts coming up with its own conditions? The
Commission’s report itself, to take a case in point, remarks that
several pro-British paramilitary groups, such as UVF (Ulster
Volunteer Force), LVF (Loyalist Volunteer Force) and UDA (Ulster
Defense Association), keep committing crimes.

A quick glance at the latter’s dossier would be a good example: 
“UDA members are still strongly implicated in a wide-ranging string 
of  other serious crimes, including drug dealing, forgery selling,
robbery and extortion”, never mind that they continue recruiting
members and intent on getting weapons.

Are these the "spotless" credentials that IRA’s antagonists can show?
Is anyone willing to bet a beer none of these criminals are in
Paisley’s fan club?

The unionist chieftain’s fits notwithstanding, both the British crown
and the Irish government have called the parties to seize the
opportunity to advance toward restoring Northern Island’s Assembly
and autonomy before November 24. Should they fail to meet this
deadline, the deputies might as well kiss their salaries goodbye. An
agreement must be reached one way or another, London will say.

Not exactly bad news, so no more excuses.

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