Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Troops to withdraw from Ulster after 38 years!
Read this Having served two tours myself in Northern Ireland this news is indeed very close to home for me!-763 British soldiers were murdered and THOUSANDS wounded during the 38 years of "The troubles"(200 soldiers coming from the Ulster Defense Regiment were murdered and THOUSANDS wounded alone!).303 RUC officers were murdered,over 9000 wounded,Hundreds of innocent civilians were murdered and wounded.It was a dirty,hard fought war with no quarter given by the IRA cowards to any British squaddie who was unlucky enough to be captured alive.-The gruesome murders of Corporals David Howes and Derek Wood of the Royal corps of Signals,who accidentally drove into an IRA funeral in 1988 clearly demonstrated the IRAs true face.The fiction created by the media on the silver screen and in various novels depicting the IRA as romantic rebels with a twisted sense of honour,fighting the "Evil British oppressors" was nothing more than that-Total fiction,aimed at the gullible American market who were naive enough to believe the "Illusion" and sent money over the water to help "The Boyos" in their struggle!-(That inane,irresponsible practise ended shortly after 9/11,when the USA finally woke up to the reality of terrorism!).The true fact of what the IRA,and its splinter movements,were really capable of was learnt very quickly by anyone who served or lived there.They were gutless cowards,murderers and bully's who had no compassion or decency and showed little remorse or mercy in their actions.Their "Rally cry" for a "United Ireland" was a nothing but an excuse and a feeble attempt to somehow legitimise their illegal acts of violence and robbery.The plain truth of the matter was Northern Ireland IS a democracy and the majority of the population did not want a united Ireland.This was clearly demonstrated more recently with the formation of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
It's a good thing that the killing is finally over and that something positive seems to be happening over there.Let's hope that the wounds will begin to heal and the hatred and suspicion fade away for ever so that the huge sacrifices made in their name by the security forces would be justified.
As the last armoured land rover is shipped home and the baton guns are locked away in the armouries for good I feel a sense of pride that perhaps my own 17 months of duty in Northern Ireland may have been worth it after all.My memories are the same as every other squaddie who served there-Rain,Countless hours of mind numbing boring sangar duty,endless border patrols in the pouring rain up to my waste in mud,VCPs,car-trawls,cordons,rummages in the middle of nowhere,being stoned by brats in the "Bally Coleman estate" in Strabane,Ripping my combats and cutting my legs on every Bastard barbed wire fence in the province!-Rain,"lairy" low level flights doing "Eagle VCPs",puking my ring in the back of a CPV transit van doing a ration run to a PVCP,Rain,the "windthrop" theory,the four "Cs",hating carrying the "Antler" ecm and hating even more the Bastard who designed it!Waiting hours in the rain for a chopper that would never come and then having to tab miles back to camp,soft target protection,egg banjos,choggie runs,Rain,chilling out in the "Cop Shop",sending "illegal" messages on the "Vengefull" to other PVCPs and then denying it to the Coy 2ic!The "plastic" Pub,Iniba vests,sweat rash,blisters and finally did I mention rain?
Read also-The lessons Northern Ireland holds for Iraq
The Iraqi's and afgans picked this fight. You people are the cowards that occupy another man's country. We (the USA) liberate and move on.
Furthermore the Irish always phoned it in. You talk about murders? In my own family I have known children murdered by your thugs. I am ashamed that you are suplied by us the US. IndeedI often think your country should petition the USA for statehood. Your people have donenothing but hurt the Irish. And do not act so MAGNANAMUS. You did not come up with the idea of reducing your military presence over there. The UN TOld you to leave or they would iniate sanctions against you. Nonetheless I'd love to see this robbery you refer to? What proof? Who could my aunt call when there was a crime commited, not your office. You focusedon your voter and forgot the catholic. The IRA was dolling out justice moreoften than not. But you have lost. The mighty empire is being shown the door. Thanks to a group Lawyers, of all things, that took the time to stand up to the crown! Isn't thaqt what you get when you try and keep those "boyos" down.
PS - I have donated!
How can such a person as yourself call yourself a US Marine you are nothing but a damn disgrace to your Uniform, Your Country and to your own conscience. You are nothing but a supporter or murder and terror yet you portray yourself as a person who fights terrorism.......You poor misguided fool.
In Strabane the British Army brutally gunned down a deaf mute 24 year old man on his own door step, then attempted to claim that he was aiming a gun at the British Army.
Also in Strabane 1985 the British Army (SAS)gunned down three unarmed IRA volunteers, one of which was 16 years old.
You try to say that the British Army were keeping the peace while throughout the troubles the British Army continually murdered Irish Catholics from the Nationalist/Republican background. At the same time the British Army were looking after their own.
The IRA were brave men and women fighting the British Oppressors as we were treated like 2nd class citizens in our own country by these Brit scumbags.
Good riddance to the Camel's Hump in Strabane, good riddance to the British soldiers in Ireland. Good riddance to British rule in Ireland
"Ireland Unfree Shall Never Be At Peace" Tiocfaidh Ar La
as someone who was brought up with very little political beliefs i turned against the british army when as a young teenager i was stopped walking to school and made take my shoes off in the rain stand againt a wall and searched as so called soldiers laughed and joked on many occasions
and when your landrovers drove past the occupants would spit on the kids just because they where wearing a catholic school uniform you may of been brought here to keep the sides apart but it was not like that through all of northern ireland strabane is mixed i have grown up with protestant friends it was the british army and the bigoted police that was the agressor no wonder the ira grew it was the british internment of mostly innocent catholics that had to do something you had a shoot to kill policy like the unarmed devine brothers at least the ira gave warnings
Firstly let me put into context who I am; I am a 30 year old male from Belfast who grew up there during some of the worst times in the "modern" troubles (specifically the late 80's/early 90's) and am from a mixed marriage. Namely a protestant mother and a catholic father, both of whom whose families where from the extreme ends of the spectrum.
Whilst I do not/nor do I wish to claim a full understanding of the issues or that I am unique in my circumstances, I can say that I am qualified by my expierance to comment on the situation.
Firstly, yes the British did commit wrong doings in Ireland/Northern Ireland over the years, but I say can any Government say they haven't. I fully support the roles of the British Army in N.Ireland and would like to express my thanks for the sacrifices they made.
Further, as a person who has lost friends/family to "both sides" I am glad that the war is over but I believe that BOTH the loyalist and republican terror merchants should be firmly locked up in jail. Peace at any costs is not a just peace.
Moving on to Sgt Taylor USMC, to use an old quote one mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist. I believe in supporting our allies in the current conflicts across the world (as much as I disagree for the reasons in going to war with Iraq (S.Korea may have been more apt....), however, before you start expressing your thoughts it may pay to have a little more awareness of your history.
Whether you like it or not YOU as an american are an occupying force, be in short or long term, that is what you currently are. You make mention to the H Blocks and obviously do not approve, yet you serve/support a country that runs guantanamo bay? For all the faults, (and there where many, least not allowing the inmates to run it!!), the prisoners where subject to trial as approved by the international community....Can you say the same?
So, as for refering to the IRA dolling out justice, the murder of innocent people (Le Mon house etc...) is something we will have to disagree on. You are using the same and WRONG argument that your countries emenies used to justify 9/11.
As for our "friends" supporting the IRA, lets study our history before we proclaim the IRA to be doing their duty etc. They along with the UVF etc carried out some of the most grusome acts of the troubles. They robbed families of fathers, mothers, sisters etc. (look no further than the disappeared, the loughinisland murders).
Whilst the British Army may have killed members of the IRA etc. they did so through the rules and regulations of a democractically elected government.
So thanks to the troops of Op Banner and good luck.
Always remember 26 counties to us and 6 to use.
And why are the British fighting in a war thats not there's to fight.
Use claim to be helping the USA But when did they ever help use they hate use like the rest of the world! Where do you think the IRA got all the weapons money and support from!! The USA!
I remember the day when ten brave men died on hunger strike for irish freedom.One of them, Bobby Sands, was elected to the brit parliament, but maggie thatcher still let him die. the brit scum were NEVER there to keep the peace. I was very glad to see that the Real IRA are continuing armed struggle against the brit oppression when they killed two brit terrorrists at massreene barracks last summer. IRA: UNDEFEATED ARMY, TIOCFAIDH AR LA AGUS SAOIRSE NA hEIREANN
Well, there are some truths here, but not all of the truths. I doubt that anyone knows the absolute truth of much of what has occurred and much that is reported as truth and fact, here, is seen through a clouded perspective - clouded by emotional venom and political manipulation.
Personally I served several tours over a number of years in Ulster or, rather, the remaining six counties which make up province of Northern Ireland and are collectively known as Ulster (formerly nine counties).
The civil unrest of significant numbers of the civilian population led to the British Army being deployed in an internal security role. The civil rights protesters having, in my opinion, just cause.
The operations of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) involved the British Army in a campaign of counter insurgency operations which, gradually, became the main role of the British Army in Ulster.
This is my perspective:
Were the members of the Provisional IRA cowards?
I don’t honestly know as I never knew any of them on a personal level and couldn’t possibly comment.
Were they cowardly?
I don’t think so. They were, for the most part, impressionable young men of average intelligence and limited education, manipulated by their leaders into becoming cannon-fodder. Not unlike their adversaries in the British Army. Indeed, most soldiers patrolling the satanic slums of the Falls Road, the Shankill Road or those of the Bogside would not have found the terraced squalor unfamiliar. Many of them –particularly those of the industrial regions of Britain or, say, London’s docklands - having enlisted into the Army in order to escape such life-sucking, corrosive drudge.
The PIRA merely fought a sustained guerilla campaign using the tactics and methods that best suited their limited resources. They didn’t effectively attack the British Army with firearms, as to have done so would have led to their annihilation by means of attritional, counter operations. The PIRA leadership new this even if their foot soldiers didn’t. There were never that many activists ‘Players’ though a few Active Service Units (ASU’s) might have given themselves romantic titles such as Company or Brigade in order to give the impression that they were a larger and more professional organisation - It was a ‘war of the flea’ (a type of warfare in which the British Army excels)!...cont’d
The majority of operations carried out by the PIRA were intended to raise the profile of their cause for propaganda purposes and they were very proficient at it (we have read the above contributions from those of U.S. citizenship). The PIRA leaders, new that they could never win a military campaign against the British Army, as they never had the manpower resources. In the end they submitted to the combined pressure of American politicians and the ever increasing successes of the British Army – which were making it more and more difficult for them to operate effectively and live to tell the tale.
Indeed, mistakes/crimes were made and committed by both sides e.g. Bloody Sunday, the Abercorn Restaurant, Clady, Black Friday and Omagh to name but a few which serve to demonstrate the folly of carrying out military style operations in populated areas. Both sides did the utmost to acquire political advantage out of each and every incident.
Today, we still witness much sectarian discord, perpetuated by the provocation of marching bands and the divisive rhetoric of self-promoting politicians. Only this week, we have witnessed Ian Paisley in Edinburgh complaining about the abuse of young, Roman Catholic boys by wayward priests. As if Ian Paisley cares a hoot for Roman Catholic boys – just another opportunity for him to attack Catholicism and, indirectly, the Roman Catholic population of Ulster/Ireland.
The U.S.A. is a vast diverse nation consisting of fifty states. Since its conception, its leaders have been concerned with preserving the Union. Indeed, the Union came close to disintegration in the civil war of the mid-Nineteenth Century. It is of no coincidence that at the end of that war that Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed a national holiday in the USA. It is one of the adhesives which bond the Union together. It says “Hey, ok, we had a war, we bloodied each others’ noses, but we are still Americans!” Thanks-giving, is an occasion, albeit mythical, with which most Americans identify.
Arguably, the strongest, historical bond for the Union is the perceived tyranny of King George – a daily diet of patriotic propoganda fed to American citizens from the cradle to the grave. Much of this perception being reinforced by the machinations of ‘Hollywood’. It was no accident that Gibson’s film/movie The Patriot was released in the US on Independence Day – Patriotism, the last refuge of the scoundrel!
The tyranny of the Crown, a tyranny which many Americans believe that we British continue to live under today, as they have no concept of a constitutional monarchy and the sovereignty of parliament.
Someone ‘coughed-up’ Vietnam. Well, one doesn’t have to look beyond the US borders for examples of double-standards. One only has to look at the plight of the Indian-Nations or that of those of African heritage. No, double-standards are rife, not just in the USA but across the globe. The ancient philosophers when discussing democracy (and later regurgitated by Ben Franklin), asked the question ‘democracy is all well and good - but who protects the minority from the majority?’
We, all of us, deserve to have our dignity preserved, but hanging onto past wrongs will not enable us to go forwards. We can ‘grow’ together or we can ‘grow’ apart.
The hatred of ‘little’ men of no consequence will have no influence on the future – it is the vision of ‘bigger’ men with clearer minds which will shape the future.
I will leave you with that thought.
p.s. I would like to thank the Chosen-Man for the opportunity to voice my opinions and the other contributors to this discussion for inspiring me to focus thoughts which I have carried with me for many years.
It may be from many perspectives that the 'war has been won', but can you tell me why the political process still boils down to violence guns and petrol bombs? The Irish now just kill the Irish, but that’s OK as long as its done by boys with a 'cause'. Why are there groups still focused on the 'rule of gun'? Citizens from both religious perspectives live and vote in Ulster/Northern Ireland. Why can they not be allowed to vote on the issues, why does a man with a gun in his hand have more political rites than a postman on his round?
The war has been won so why do they insist on continuing with the conflict? Is it because the minority that enjoy a gangster life style will never give it up?
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