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Britain and Ireland

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The Wrath
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Let me start by saying that I know very little about the origins of Irish terrorism. I just watched an excellent movie called The Wind that Shakes the Barley, about a rebellion against the British Black and Tan squads in the 1920's, leading into the Irish Civil War.

In the movie, the Brits are incredibly brutal, but I know that there was probably some omitted context. Someone could just as easily have made this movie about the Palestinians and Israelis...though, to my knowledge, the IRA has never denied Great Britain's right to exist. What I'm looking for is some opinions, in the proper context, on whether or not the IRA had a right to rebel against Britain during this time frame. If so, when did they lose the justification for fighting the British? I am, of course, assuming that they eventually ran out of justifications, since I don't think there's a way to justify the IRA terrorism of at least the past couple of decades.

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The IRA were pretty much a communist organisation. Marxism running right through it.

That's why Ross Mcwhirter (A very very very distant relative of mine), and a pretty well known capitalist mover in the Thatcher rise to power, offered money for anyone with information leading to their capture. Unfortunately, the IRA shot him dead at his home for doing so.

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Well, the simple answer is that any people who, through a freely held plebiscite, declare independence from a larger political entity, have a right to an independent state; denial of the expressed wishes of peoples to be separate inspires, for example, the current Tamil-Sri Lankan war which has killed more than 60,000 people.

The difficulty with Ireland is that, while if one were to poll the entire island (including the Republic), then the result would be a decisively anti-British, pro-IRA statement against the political existence of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland, meanwhile, is an artificial grouping of six northern counties that are majority-Protestant, and so therefore those counties, in democratic elections, express a desire to remain with the UK.

Presumably when you're talking about the IRA you mean the Provisional IRA; the movie you cited is about the original Irish revolution, which was a revolt against an oppressive, racist British presence. The conflict over Northern Ireland is much more morally complex than the original expulsion of British authority from the 26 majority-Catholic counties that comprise the modern Republic.

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Well, the simple answer is that any people who, through a freely held plebiscite, declare independence from a larger political entity, have a right to an independent state; denial of the expressed wishes of peoples to be separate inspires, for example, the current Tamil-Sri Lankan war which has killed more than 60,000 people.

Is that so? What if they make that democratic declaration on the grounds of horrible, rights denying premises, as the Palestinians do? More contemporaneous to the issue at hand here: the Irish dispute (and I'm not talking about the wish for Ireland, as a whole, or as a part, to be independent from Britain) between Eire and Northern Ireland is essentially one of religion. But can any side, especially a side which attacks innocent civilians who call for their arrest for their illegal actions, be said to have a legitimate claim to their 'share' of the land? Now, whether or not their religion (considering that Protestantism is a relatively liberal - in the good way - religion) is a leigitimate grounds for asking for separation, we should consider how liberal and rights respecting their religion is - and, as Tito points out, we shouldn't lose sight of their Marxists, anti-rights demands.

Edited by Tenure
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... any people who, through a freely held plebiscite, declare independence from a larger political entity, have a right to an independent state; ...
No, they most definitely do not. In politics, democracy is a methodology that is secondary to individual rights, which are a foundational principle. Therefore, to understand whether any such state has a right to act, we must ask this: does that action support individual rights? To ask whether any such state may declare independence, we should compare the range of actions it takes or plans to take in support of individual rights, with the otherwise existing range of actions taken by the current government.
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I think it's fair to say that people have a right to declare independence if they are going to erect a more moral government than their current one. So, if the IRA wanted to set up a socialist, religious-minded government, I think the proper question is whether or not it would be better than the brutality inflicted by the Brits.

Now, the movie is told from the standpoint of the IRA, but more from the "fly on a wall" type of approach. There aren't any scenes where the director seems to endorse their politics. As far as I know, they were not attacking civilians...just waging a kind of guerilla war against the British military. As I said, I know absolutely nothing about what started the British occupation of Ireland. While what they do looks brutal, I have to keep in mind that the Israelis regularly bulldoze homes and engage in collective punishment of Palestinians...a practice that I support, under the unique circumstances.

Did the Brits have a legitimate reason for the occupation of Ireland? Did the Irish have a right to fight a guerilla war against them?

Edited by The Wrath
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  • 2 weeks later...
No, they most definitely do not. In politics, democracy is a methodology that is secondary to individual rights, which are a foundational principle. Therefore, to understand whether any such state has a right to act, we must ask this: does that action support individual rights? To ask whether any such state may declare independence, we should compare the range of actions it takes or plans to take in support of individual rights, with the otherwise existing range of actions taken by the current government.

The best way to erase individual rights is for the occupational state to spend time and energy attempting to douse the nationalist aspirations of a restive people. Every political relationship becomes "us and them," defeating the "you and I" central to any individualism. If a people wants to live in collective squalor, let them, but let them live alone. States of nations that recognize individuals should not feel compelled to enforce individualism on other nations; only when collectivist nations get all up in the grill of capitalist societies must conflict emerge.

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Did the Brits have a legitimate reason for the occupation of Ireland? Did the Irish have a right to fight a guerilla war against them?

I can't speak with any authority on this subject but for some background info you might want to investigate Oliver Cromwell's conquest of Ireland in the 17th century, and Britain under Gladstone and Disraeli in the 19th century.

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The best way to erase individual rights is for the occupational state to spend time and energy attempting to douse the nationalist aspirations of a restive people.
That was not the question though. The question was not: "should one douse nationalist aspirations?" It was a question about the legitimacy of those aspirations.
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That was not the question though. The question was not: "should one douse nationalist aspirations?" It was a question about the legitimacy of those aspirations.

I have mixed feelings about this, as both sides dealt with one another with the threat and initiation of force, first.

I would have to side with the English with regards to their treatment of the turn-of the century IRA movement (there are a number of faux-uprisings throughout Irelands history). Care to know why?

An often overlooked part of history is that Ireland aspired to not only rebel and overthrow the crown, but signed a pact with Germany, essentially declaring an Irish-Central Powers alliance in WWI. Imagine Texas pledging allegiance to Cuba during the Cold War. As if the pact weren't enough, a shipment of German weapons, headed for Ireland, was scuddled by the Brits. The Crown was completely justified in responding with force now, and did so, crushing the Easter Rising.

Now, you ask, were the IRA aspirations legitimate? If any one can convince me of the legitimacy of the Central Powers of WWI...

BLARNEY!

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Now, you ask, were the IRA aspirations legitimate? If any one can convince me of the legitimacy of the Central Powers of WWI...

BLARNEY!

I don't really see the Central Powers as being any worse than the Triple Entente in WWI. Pretty much all sides were bad in that war, which never needed to happen. What exactly made Germany worse than England, France, or, don't forget, Russia during this time?

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I don't really see the Central Powers as being any worse than the Triple Entente in WWI. Pretty much all sides were bad in that war, which never needed to happen. What exactly made Germany worse than England, France, or, don't forget, Russia during this time?

You're missing the point: Ireland, a part of England, was in cohorts (and was recieving weapons with intent to initiate violence) with the declared enemies of England. There's the justification.

I'm not making a moral assessement of WWI.

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Well I will certainly grant that it wasn't the SMARTEST move the Irish could have pulled at the time.

You're missing the point: Ireland, a part of England, was in cohorts (and was recieving weapons with intent to initiate violence) with the declared enemies of England. There's the justification.

I'm not making a moral assessement of WWI.

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I don't really see the Central Powers as being any worse than the Triple Entente in WWI. Pretty much all sides were bad in that war, which never needed to happen. What exactly made Germany worse than England, France, or, don't forget, Russia during this time?

I actually agree with this. All the great powers of Europe were nationalist and expansionist.

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  • 2 weeks later...

would any Brit support Britain out of the EU and in EFTA, Commonwealth dissolved - illegal muslims deported- , and the UK aligning with Canada, Australia, NZ, and South Africa? Black South Africans are not citizens of the umma and would be much better a workforce than muslims. Maybe the Irish could abandon their kind masters in the Rhine and rejoin with their true motherland.

Would you support such a 6 country "British Confederation", allied of course with Eretz Israel, and the USA?

Edited by volco
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