The need for gung-ho tactics

Ex-Blanket columnist and Radical Unionist commentator, Dr John Coulter, uses his latest highly controversial column in the Irish Daily Star to heap praise on the American security forces' handling of the Boston bomber case, and maintains if a similar 'shoot to kill' policy had been implemented in Northern Ireland by the British and Irish security forces in the Sixties, the Troubles may never have happened.

How many people died in the Troubles because the British and Irish security forces failed to implement the US-style gung-ho tactics used against the Boston bombers?

Within hours of the evil attack on the city’s marathon, Islamic fanatic Tamerian Tsarnaev was shot dead by police and his brother hunted down.

If London and Dublin had done the same in the 1960s, the conflict which claimed over 3,000 lives and maimed thousands more might never have got off the ground.

Whatever people may think of American policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama's administration is to be warmly congratulated on its ‘no nonsense’ policy on internal terrorists.

If the PSNI had done a ‘Boston’ on a couple of dissident republicans or violent loyalist flag protestors, the trendy liberal brigade would be screaming their lungs out about the human rights of terrorists.

But the Dail, Stormont and Westminster have to swallow the bitter pill that a ‘shoot to kill’ policy works against modern terrorism.

Especially backed by a plan of ‘leave no stone unturned until you find the scum who committed the atrocity’.

It’s just a great pity the then RUC and especially the B Specials did not have the political green light to do a ‘Boston’ on the UVF killers of 28-year-old West Belfast Catholic John Scullion in June 1966, generally known as the Troubles’ first victim.

If the Specials had hunted down the UVF, would that terror gang and all the other loyalist death squads which followed have got off the ground?

If the Specials had been given the Boston iron fist to use against the UVF, other so-called loyalists may have been too afraid to have indulged in sectarian warfare.

The Specials proved their might as they hammered the IRA into the ground during the republicans’ ill-fated Border Campaign of 1956-62.

They would have been in their element in August 1969 when republicans shot and killed their first victim of the Troubles, Protestant 26-year-old Herbert Roy, of the Shankill Road.

Would there ever have been a Provisional IRA or INLA if the RUC and British Army, supported by the Southern security forces had applied a Boston-style military clampdown until Roy’s killers were found.

Unlike the two Chechen-style rebels who bombed Boston, neither loyalist nor republicans death squads believe in being jihadists, prepared to commit suicide carrying out their terrorism.

The first thing many paramilitary gangs worked out when they selected their victims was how to escape.

America’s ‘Kick Ass’ Boston tactics may not eradicate all the dedicated jihadists, but it may make many would-be terrorists think twice.

Given the British and Irish people caught up in the Boston blasts, Dublin and London plus Washington should bend Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ear on getting former Soviet republic of Chechnya sorted.

Chechen rebels want to turn the area into a fundamentalist Islamic state, free of Russian control.

Putin needs to unleash his bombers against Chechnya so that terrorist scum like Tamerian Tsarnaev never dare again to think of blowing up a child at a family sporting event.


  1. John doesn't seem to know his history. The B-Specials were the UVF. The Lurgan RUC seems determined to retain that tradition.

    Of course in the unionist/hun mindset plantation, murder, penal laws, ascendancy, partition and discrimination played no part in creating any socio-political deformity in Ireland. Nope, it was a wee hun paradise until someone invented terrorism. Wonder who that was? Whoever it was it seems to have become very popular, the Brits have found it in over 49 countries to date.

    Maybe instead of talking junk John should spend some time considering how old perfidious albion are leaving hundreds of Afghanistan interpreters to their fate next year (when the Brits scurry home defeated again). The interpreters will have been left with written glowing references/death-certs.

    Here's a thought, if the 3000 victims of the 1641 rebellion had indeed been the exagerated 250,000 disgustingly portrayed in the 1641 depositions (dodgy dossier of its day) maybe the Irish would have saved themselves centuries of strife. Food for thought John, careful what you wish for. How is Ballinderry by the way. Must be a wee taig majority there now too, like nearly everywhere else!

  2. What then of the far more serious issue of the 'terrorists' operating in Syria - armed, financed and supported by the British and American governments in conjunction with their regional allies? Oh yeah, I forgot.. It's not terrorism when 'we' are behind it. This piece falls down totally because it ignores the principle of universality - if you're going to measure someone or something by a certain standard then you must be prepared for that standard to be applied to yourself, your own actions, your own policies.

    John's piece says absolutely nothing of the role of state power in any conflict. He fails to mention that agencies of the state here colluded with loyalist paramilitaries in their campaign of murder that took in places like Loughinisland and Greysteel. He refuses to see that the people he eulogises were themselves up to their necks in terrorism, where I'm from we know that the RUC and British Army directed those who murdered Kathleen O'Hagan up the road - despite the getaway car being burnt out half a mile from the scene it took 24 hours to find it despite army helicopters flying over what was a country area where fire would have been easily visible. Yeah right. The same applies to Boyle's Bar, Cappagh. You couldn't move in Cappagh or its hinterland it was that militarised yet the UVF drive in and out without a problem to do their foul deed. The roads were cleared for them. Liam Ryan and Michael Devlin were murdered in Ardboe with weapons supplied by British intelligence to loyalist paramilitary groups through Brian Nelson - and let's not forget the role of Unionist politicians in the Ulster Resistance movement who also were involved in procuring the South African weaponry used to drive fear into the Nationalist community through a campaign of unadulterated terror. But it's only terror when it's their terror against us. Our terror against others does not count, the principle of universality is to be ignored.

    He also fails to address that shoot to kill itself often involved unjustified killing of unarmed people such as in the case of Colm McGirr and Brian Campbell who were checking on an arms dump in Clonoe but were themselves unarmed. As far as I'm aware the Gibraltar Three were unarmed, likewise Pearse Jordan when he was gunned down without probable cause. There were many more. Were these not acts of terrorism? Was Bloody Sunday not a 'terrorist' atrocity? If we're to define one thing as 'terrorism' then we have to concede that we cannot do the same thing ourselves and call it something else. And John, as ever, blindly refuses to do anything of the sort. The weakness in his argument is he sees the conflict through the prism of a neutral state carrying out law and order duties when in fact the state itself was a central player in the situation and involved in barbarism beyond anything attributable to republican paramilitaries

  3. It is very difficult to condone such indiscriminate attacks on civilians yet we live in a world where indiscriminate drone attacks are justified by America and our own colonial oppressor! Call me a cynic or the fact I have been in the North too long, but something just ain't right with the media/government immediate response to this attack. For me it has similar shades of ambiguity regarding how much the American Intelligence's prior knowledge of the event. Was glad to hear Paxman allude to this when he quizzed a local Boston photographer on why the press/police ran directly towards the bomb immediately after it exploded..they weren't exactly following protocol!
    We cannot delude ourselves that the Americans did not factor in losses @ home when they decided to wreak havoc away!
    As the old PIRA slogan after Brighton said, 'We only have to be lucky once'.
    I prefer not to get bogged down in the myre of conspiracy theorem but suffice to say we are all mere pawns in a global power game. But the preciseness of the heavy handed direct military lock down coupled with the seemingly choreographed media response was a bit peculiar.
    Let's hope for the sake of global stability that people weren't cynically considered to be expendable in order to garnish American public support for a global political agenda..

  4. Irish Americans have been mute and dumb when it comes to the US government's treatment of 100+ hunger strikers in Guantanomo who are force fed AND have rubber bullets fired into their cells. Even the H blocks didn't go that far, nobody in Guantanomo has even been charged with a crime ! Martin Galvin and his irish American Jesuit educated friends works tirelessly on their behalf each 60/60/24/365 ?

  5. When I first looked at Johns post My immediate thought was,"here we go again,get into the taigs" but I took the time to read the post and for a change John as it seems looked at his argument in the round and not just from a unionist perspective,ie hunting down the uvf killers of John Scullion Boston cop style, however what John fails to address or mention here is that the cops i.e.the RUC were never an impartial police force or interested in upholding the law of the land over party interests,in fact the RUC were part of the problem here John almost 100%unionist in composition and orange in outlook.. their history speaks for itself remember chief insp Nixon the mass murderer,collusion Pat Finucane etc they also DID have a shoot to kill policy John a one sided one and Castlereagh ,Gough barracks bring back many happy memories to many,for sheer brutality ask the people of Derry and the Devenny family whether or not the boys of the RUC could have learned from their Boston counterparts I,d say they could have taught them a trick or two...

  6. What John seems not to appreciate is that he is advocating what I would define as state terrorism to deal with a problem he defines as terrorism.

  7. Agreed Anthony and when the state can recruit from a section of the community that is fanatically loyal to it,as here in norn iorn then state terrorism coupled with discrimination against a sizeable disenfranchised section of the community leads to a reaction that has long term consequences for all involved including the state, the implementation of the the law in a fair and evenhanded manner may not make for great tv viewing but is much more effective in the long term,policing must be community led and involved ,the days of the wild west died with the gunfight at the OK Corral.

  8. John is at his usual wind-up. Takes one to know one. But if the SH-1-T ever truely hit the fan in N. East Ulster he and his likes, injustice minister Ford for example, would'nt be queing for the ferry, they'd be in a private chartered plane out well in advance.

    The shoot to kill in Armagh saw a hundred ++ rounds getting pumped into a car by a 'police' service with intel' so good (from one of the victims own brothers) that it was abundantly clear there was no danger from the 3 unarmed men inside the vehicle. An action from a force reacting to it's own incompetence wich had resulted in a land-mine attack. Pre meditated murder absolutely, and the RUC officers were promoted....then again so was justice Gibson...well, he was elevated/incinerated.

    The RUC were a huge part of the war in the north, they ran it in large part on both sides. The trick will be to find a replacement for SF arse-wipes without handing jobs back to RUC/UVF terrorists. The problem is replacing the 'piss-process industry' with real politics without reintroducing the security-industry for the desperate huns... thus keeping our own kids out of jail and alive.

    In Boston tanks and all sorts were deployed over three deaths. The same week 5 people were shot at an apartment block in Seattle, 2 in the carpark outside and 2 in seperate apartments inside. No tanks, no army regiments required. The USA is desperate to look under attack. PATHETIC.

    The possibility of chemical weapons having been deployed in Syria reeks of dirty tricks to me. Too small scale and after 30 yrs of state terror and dirty tricks here and the WMD bull-crap regarding Iraq who's to say it wasn't a Brit/Yank atrocity? I mean the CIA released anthrax on its own people for political effect after 9-11. The problem is a totally compliant/complicit media gives them the safety to do so.

    The problem with the 'RA was when they were engaged in a war they were too politically minded. Not ugly enough.

  9. just wondering when the RCs get the majority in the north and a border poll decides in favour of unity will the prods accept it? If not and they start stirring up twubble will John advocate the same tactical deployment of state terror?


    yer last post sounded like a SF party bradcast...'slowly slowly catch a monkey' lol

  10. Larry,

    I think one of your earlier comments was closer to the point when you pointed out that Robinson thinks the Catholic middle class will help sustain the union over the next half century.

  11. Larry you have an appointment in Thatcher house on the Anytout rd with the attitude dept,please bring a stretcher,pain killers (lots),also I agree with Anthony on your point about the castle catholics and unionism,I,ve already heard that position from those who used to think q$£ and those that followed them in the days before treachery became fashionable,that republicans were something to scrape of ones shoe,and now its "isnt norn iorn a great wee place"Pete the punt has been well advised in this matter there is a class,probably always has been of catholic of would be more than happy to remain British just as it seems the most devout royalist supporters in England seem to be catholic..

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  13. The reality looks very, very likely that the catholic middle class will sustain the union over the next 50 years.

    Robinson is spot on about this.


    Have you ever seen future weapons on channel 5 or sky?

  14. marty

    I've an appointment at the docs for extremely effective pain killers only available on prescription and beta-blockers in case i need to act dead. My previous batch ran out watching the SF conference in the Royal Hotel in Mayo.

    As for castle catholics, SF burried and turned its back on the dead and living volunteers in order to attract that very same electoral 'constiuency' .

    There is no middle ground in the north, there's a consolidation and perpetuation of division and sectarianism with SF and the DUP in a permanent carve up in a non-entity of a talking shop on the hill.

    Peace walls have been heightened and 9 new ones built. Peace-process?? 'peace-process-industry'.

    When people start marching to put the tricolour up alongside the butchers apron ye might see what the RUC are all about pretty quick.
    Where will SF run for cover then?

  15. Gung ho, When the second lad was caught we were told there was a 1 and half hour gunfight. a few days ago we are told he had no gun and was in fact unarmed. How do you have a 1 and a half hour gun battle with no gun?

  16. BKeane

    did you hear the intensity and duration of gunfire at the wee lad cowering in the boat?

    maybe the 'green berets' (America's finest) thought they were shooting at eachother. Friendly fire being in vogue.

  17. James

    i'm too poor to afford sky, i'm lookin forward to free sanwiches and tae tomorrow, all i have is me skool bus money every week. but i'm sure whatever they are inventing will be viwed with shock-awe and amazement by third world peasantry with no clue about whats going on.

  18. Presume if the author of this poison is being consistent he will understand and support some citizens and football fans of North Belfast having had a grenade thrown at them at a sporting event by terriorist scum may have chosen to join or support an armed grouping that sought to "hit back"

  19. is John to the left or right of George Seawright?

  20. JN
    he IS George Seawright except his mammy invested in a couple of elocution lessons where he was concerned.