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Where is the sense of proportion?

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Where is the sense of proportion in all this?

It’s been just over 40 years and a tragic average of 100 British people a year have died as a result of terrorism. But where has the sense of proportion gone?

That figure is a tenth of the number of people who die each year while waiting for a transplant. The global figure of some 4,000 British people who have died anywhere in the world in those 40 years from terrorism, is approximately the same as were killed on the United Kingdom’s roads in 2003 alone.

And yet it is the paltry though tragic figure of 100 deaths a year that has been adduced to justify the destruction of our ancient liberties, and the introduction of police state behaviour into the kingdom. In this process, the police has been transformed into a standing army of occupation enforcing arbitrary rules upon the citizenry. And a whole community has been capriciously demonised. How did this come about; and what happened to any sense of proportion?

Just over 40 years ago, on 5 October 1968, a significant event took place in Derry that in many ways was the beginning of the most recent of the Irish Troubles.

This was the Civil Rights March that became the target of violence and led to a brutal sectarian war between the two Northern Irish communities of Roman Catholics (known variously as the Republicans or the Nationalists) and Protestants (the Loyalists).

Inevitably, the police – later known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC, just before the New Labour government in Westminster killed it off and renamed it the Police Service of Northern Ireland – were caught in the middle.

However, tragically they were not unbiased owing to a low level of recruitment among the Catholics, for whatever reasons, and the Protestants of the Orange Order were prominently represented in the RUC Special Constabulary known as the “B Specials” that was charged with the Internal Security.

The violence spun out of control over the following months, with some posturing by the government of the Republic of Ireland, and with paramilitary organisations of both communities each claiming to be defending their own.

Eventually these paramilitaries themselves fractionalised into mutually hostile groups within the communities: the Official Irish Republican Army dropped out leaving the field to the Provisional IRA, and the Ulster Defence Association birthed the Ulster Volunteer Force.

The RUC was unable to contain the situation.

After three days and nights of rioting, in what came to be known as the Battle of the Bogside, the Army was called in, with two battalions – one was the 1st Battalion of the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire (1PWO) and the other the 3rd Battalion of the Light Infantry (3LI) – being deployed on 14 August 1969 into the centre of Londonderry and into the Falls Road area of Belfast.

Matters got worse and worse and the strife lasted longer and longer, spreading on occasion to the UK mainland and beyond.

The Republicans were able to find refuge, and operate from, bases in the Republic of Ireland and were able to raise large sums of money in the United States of America. Their fundraisers collected with the connivance of the American federal authorities.

PIRA individuals wanted by the UK were able to live openly in the USA, which consistently refused extradition on the grounds that they wouldn’t get a fair trial in the UK. So much for the Americans’ hypocritically condemning states as “sponsoring terrorism”.

These Troubles lasted until 2000 – 32 years. As a consequence of the violence, 3,312 people died.

The violence in Northern Ireland is undeniable in its provenance, because neither PIRA (or the other Republican fractions) nor the UDA/UVF denied their involvement and would certainly admit to their actions. They would normally give notice to the RUC (with a codeword for checking that it wasn’t a hoax) of some “spectacular” that was about to happen – like, for example a car bombing of the Europa Hotel in Belfast (a favourite target).

They operated in a legal limbo. By their own claims they were protected by the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions 1977 (APGC1977), however they also committed acts that would be considered terrorism. So, the Omagh Bombing – whoever did it (and PIRA denies it was they) – was an act of terrorism, and civilians were certainly the target; but the ambush at Warrenpoint on 27 August 1979 when 18 soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (2Para) and 1st Battalion of the Queen’s Own Highlanders (1QOHldrs) were killed was not.

A number of Republicans and Loyalists was arrested and imprisoned, quite often by highly questionable means. The outrageous practice of “internment without trial” was tried, and questionable interrogation methods – many deemed torturous by the Commission headed by Lord Scarman – were indulged in, without producing any useful intelligence or reducing the level of violence. And even when people were brought before courts on the UK mainland some of the verdicts were later deemed ‘unsafe’.

Nevertheless, the actions of the communities were by and large real, and there were no doubts surrounding who did these things, and the damage that was being done to lives and property was demonstrable and acknowledged by the communities – where they did it.

However, during these 32 years, there was no demonisation campaign headed by politicians and the media to anathematise Roman Catholicism or Presbyterianism. Although the Irish felt themselves under threat, there was no overt and indiscriminate targeting by politicians and the media of Irish people in general.

The Irish, the Roman Catholics, the Presbyterians were not damned by assertion, innuendo, and unsubstantiated asides and allusions. The Papacy, unlike the Caliphate by Blair, wasn’t dismissed by any of the Prime Ministers of the day as “an evil institution”.

Tens of thousands of innocent Irishmen and women were not capriciously rounded up to great publicity, later to be quietly released without charge or trial. Priests and ministers were not routinely denounced as preaching a message of hate, and the religious communities were not ordered by Ministers of the Crown to put their house in order and expose the extremists in their midst.

Churches were not raided with great fanfare. Irish pubs – like the one on Cricklewood Broadway – were not surrounded by a phalanx of armed police while the customers were arrested and interrogated.

These levels of intimidation, historically associated with the KGB, the StaSi, the AVO, or the GeStaPo, are a recent style of community policing adopted, in the main, it would appear, by the Metropolitan Police and targeted at one religious community only: the Muslims.

All this has happened since 11 September 2001 in the USA, when HM First Lord of the Treasury announced preposterously that “the world has changed”. It hadn’t, of course; and more people had died in the UK as a result of the Irish Troubles supported by the Americans than had died that day in America. So Anthony Charles Linton Blair’s absurd statement was also a gratuitous insult to those.

The official explanation of what had happened has been sedulously scrutinised by experts and their findings and claims can be easily read on the internet. There are so many lacunae in that official version, that no reliance can be put on the Reports that were issued.

Similarly with the official statements of what has happened in the UK since 2001. To be frank, none of these inspires confidence in the findings.

Furthermore, neither the American authorities nor those of the UK has seen fit to produce and publish the evidence they claim to have that it was Muslims – let alone the Muslims they have identified – who perpetrated the outrages.

Also, the fact that all substantial religious and judicial authorities in the Muslim World have unequivocally condemned the atrocities has not been acknowledged or referred to, and the Muslims are still continually being enjoined to denounce terrorism as though they hadn’t already – frequently.

However, let us accept – for lack of alternatives, apart from anything else – that the Official Narratives are correct and that Muslims, even the ones identified, committed these outrages. Where is the sense of proportion?

The UK government, using the excuse of “Islamic terrorism”, has introduced draconian legislation, all-pervasive surveillance, subverted the legal system, connived in the Americans’ abuse of international law, and participated in two illegal Wars of Aggression against sovereign states that have in no way harmed or threatened legitimate UK interests. All because of a smaller annual average number of tragedies than occurs on London’s roads in a single day.

Where is the sense of proporation?

And let us remember that “proportionality” is one of the criteria for a justum bellum (a Just War) according to St Thomas Aquinas and his successors. By Thomist rules this specious Global War on Terrorism has absolutely no claim to be considered “just”.

What do Mr Cameron and his Conservatives have to say about this, given that their political ancestors were the Court Party of King Charles I and it was he who enjoined the protection of “the ancient customs and usages of the people”?

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Written by Daoud Rosser-Owen

December 16, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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