27 October 2005 Edition
Bertie Ahern says we've now emerged from the shadow of the gunman and his party, after a lapse of 35 years, want to reclaim and commemorate 'the real spirit' of 1916 with a military parade???
Will the real heirs of the spirit of 1916, the Irish electorate, ever emerge from the shadow of the con man?
Rossa Ó Snodaigh,
South Circular Road,
The controversy surrounding remarks by Fr Alex Reid is astounding. The truth cannot be spoken in Irish politics without attracting vilification from apologists for unionism North and South.
It is well recorded that unionists, as a matter of policy, ran the Six-County state in such a way that large sections of nationalists were disenfranchised. It is equally well known that the state promoted a policy that made it difficult for nationalists to obtain employment, gain access to education and otherwise engage with society. This was designed to reinforce second-class citizenship. This was not questioned by the unionist electorate or condemned by those who now feel the need to vocalise against Fr Reid .
Repressive paramilitary policing was employed against nationalists as were home-grown regiments of the British Army recruited almost exclusively from the unionist community. Non-unionists were ghettoised and attacked whenever they dared to either identify themselves politically or culturally, or tried to change their conditions for the better.
Just as in Nazi Germany, where the majority of people elected their fascist governments so too did the gerrymandered unionist majority electorate elect their fascist administration. Just as in Nazi Germany that same majority were colluded in the oppression of the nationalists. Just as in Nazi Germany the majority were happy to bask in the advantages that accrued under a fascist state. Just as their was denial of complicity after the Second World War we now see positioning to claim that people knew nothing of such atrocities in the North either.
For critics of Father Reid to describe this as anything other than fascist is to fly in the face of reality. To justify and distance unionist activities from fascism and Nazism by observing that the victims of Nazi Germany were treated worse not only minimises the subjugation endured by nationalists but is an insult to the victims of both the Unionist/Fascist regime and the German/Nazi regime.
41 Lower Dominick, Street, Dublin 1.
Bush's illegal war
I read with amusement that George Bush's approval ratings are falling. As if that was sufficient sanction, given that he has been responsible for an estimated 100,000 Iraqi dead and as of today 1,962 American soldiers.
In a couple of months George Bush will probably be responsible for more American dead than Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt but that Georgie has been bad, very bad. But that is not the extent of his boldness.
Let me put it in a historical context. In the last century of the last millennium we had two World Wars. World War I resulted in ten million dead. A whole generation of young men were lost in the squalor of Verdun, the Somme and Gallipoli. The only tangible international result was an attempt to resolve further conflict by an agreed mechanism — The League of Nations. The Nazi Third Reich put paid to that venture and another World War saw 50 million dead.
After such a calamity, men of goodwill attempted to reduce further such slaughter. They instituted the United Nations. They sought the unity of Europe by developing the European Union. They even designed rules in the event of future conflict by agreeing the Geneva Convention.
At the turn of the new millennium what does the most powerful man in the most powerful country on earth do? He goes to war. In order to prosecute his illegal war he destroys the UN, he violates the Geneva Convention (Guantanamo Bay) and attempts to create disunity in Europe (Old Europe and New Europe).
George's ratings in opinion polls would be of little comfort for the millions who lost their lives so that we could have an alternative to war. But of course its all been lost on Georgie boy.
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