Syrian War A Continuation Of Imperialist Strategies Of Old

Sean Bresnahan, a TPQ regular, with his own personal take on the situation in Syria.

When we look to what is happening now in Syria, the first thing we should cast a critical eye toward is the prevailing notion in the Western media that the situation there arose from peaceful anti-regime protests against the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The truth is much deeper, and yet the situation is not as complicated as it first presents.

Western revisionist accounts, which unfortunately are the staple diet of people in our society, who are subject to constant propaganda through mainstream media, promote, often without realising it, a skewed narrative that deliberately misdirects the audience away from the reality the crisis has been generated to serve a specific need.

The obscene truth of Syria is that Britain and America attempted the ouster of Bashar al-Assad by coordinating terrorist proxy groups – some of them transferred wholesale from Libya (who they’d just decapitated) – the intent being to destabilise the country to the point of collapse, which would in turn allow them to loot and pillage in much the way as had been done in Iraq and Libya previously.

The US used a similar strategy in El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s, arming reactionary death squads to foment division and in turn deflect revolutionary currents. Thus why many geopolitical experts speak of the ‘Salvador Option Iraq’ and now the ‘Salvador Option Syria’, both of which were overseen by Washington apparatchik and Foreign Service supremo Robert S. Ford, in a lineal progression from Central America to Iraq to Libya to Syria.

A question you will never hear asked on Sky News, CNN or the BBC, but which should certainly be answered, is why was US Ambassador Ford, a protégé of the notorious John Negroponte of Honduran infamy, shifted from Baghdad to Damascus at the beginning of 2011, only two months before this latest outbreak of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’.

Informed observers are acutely aware of his role in integrating mercenary death squads into the opposition in Iraq to institute chaos on the streets, the purpose being, as with leftist currents in Central America in years beforehand, to stem the growing Sunni insurgency in that country through the orchestration of tension to promote division.

Some of us might also remember the infamous ‘jail-break’ of the British SAS men in Baghdad during the same period, who were part of these same provocateur acts of sabotage and aggression, dressed as Arabs carrying out acts of terrorism to pit communities in Iraq against each other, rather than have them unite against the real enemy – the British-American occupation.

Such tactics were further employed against the Qaddafi regime in Libya, so it’s difficult to take seriously the idea Ford was sent to Syria for unrelated reasons. Indeed the renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, in his acclaimed account of imperialist plotting in the Middle East, ‘The Redirection’, described how what would become the ‘spontaneous’ uprising in Dara’a in March 2011 was in fact planned out as long ago as 2007.

So it’s difficult to believe the appointment of Ford was merely happenstance. Long before the slogan ‘Arab Spring’ was concocted by those who control and manipulate the Western media the violence now ravaging Syria was being planned, with training, funding and arms being supplied to those who were to carry out the task.

With that in mind, it’s not all that strange that in the initial exchanges many still refer to as ‘peaceful protests’, 70 percent of those injured or killed by gunfire were Syrian policemen, to say nothing of the presence of grenade launchers and automatic machine guns among the crowds, with rooftop snipers wantonly targeting both sides at will – no doubt in an effort to foster increased conflict between genuine protestors and the state.

These events, as those ongoing, were manipulated from start to finish by outside powers with form, whose ultimate purpose was to neuter a political enemy of the Zionist regime in Palestine, that the Israeli occupation might profit from the same. Initial attempts at regime change in Syria then were not responsive to violence, itself of the West’s own making, in order to protect the Syrian people from ‘arch-butcher Assad’. Rather it was a case of orchestrating violence to give pretext for expansionist military intervention in pursuit of region-wide conquest on behalf of the powers-that-be.

As such, the terrorist insurgencies in Syria and Iraq are the creation of Western Intelligence, a Western scheme to bring chaos into the Middle East to prop up Israel, Balkanise its powerful adversaries and in turn further their own strategic ends. So for ourselves when analysing the war in Syria, it’s important to place the conflict there in the context of the US-UK-Israeli project to reshape the Middle East region and dismantle the resistance system therein.

And yet it didn’t work, or at least not as yet. But still they continued on regardless, changing tact to create a mythical enemy, a terror group so obscene it would give them the necessary pretext to step in – with ‘mission creep’ and regime change the real agenda coming through from behind. Thus was born ‘Islamic State’.

Over the last year NATO has been bombing this ‘Islamic State’ in Syria without the consent of its government – a supreme ‘crime of aggression’ under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and a so-called ‘Nuremberg Offence’. And yet ‘Islamic State’ is stronger, principally because while claiming their sorties are aimed at ISIS, NATO’s bombing campaign has served instead to effect the systematic destruction of the Syrian infrastructure, attacking and weakening the Assad regime and in turn strengthening ISIS, who have also profited from arms being ‘mistakenly’ dropped into territories they hold – if we can believe that for a second.

Despite all of this it still hasn’t been enough to carry the day, the Syrian government has not collapsed as anticipated and thus we now have a further ramping up of the terror threat, at home and abroad, to provide the necessary pretext for an all-out war on Syria, to include no doubt at its end a political settlement with the Ba’athist regime fractured and de-robed, the country itself probably partitioned – with in all likelihood the Israeli-occupied Golan awarded to the criminal Zionist entity that stands on the historic lands of Palestine. This is the real purpose of the Syrian war ongoing and these same tactics are as old as the hills.

For ourselves as Irish republicans and thus as partners in the anti-imperialist movement worldwide, while yes, being unable to effect a systemic change to the policies of Western governments, given our limited political strength, it is nevertheless important that we be aware ourselves of the true dynamics at play in Syria, in turn helping foster increased awareness in the communities where we live. Through as much we can make a small, though important, contribution to help bring this criminal aggression to an end. It’s long overdue.


  1. Not a bad article Sean.

    I would have also mentioned that the West's plans were somewhat curtailed when Russia answered Assad's call for assistance. If the US/UK were intent on going in 'on the ground' in significant numbers other than as 'advisors', they were caught short and underestimated Putin's desire to re-invigorate national pride back in his armed forces.

    I agree with most of your article, but would mention that Europe is only just beginning to see the sweeping tide of refugees flood into her borders, and who know's were that is going to lead us.

  2. A good reason not to read the lies printed in the msm or listen to it on the propaganda box. Putin has been the spanner in the works as far as the imperialists have been concerned. Don't know what Russia's final aim is but the greatest shame is that he didn't act in time to save Libya. He had a chance and let it slip. Uncle Sam has shown his true colours and the Brit bastards are just true to form.

  3. Sean,
    Is there any articles, to your knowledge, by Mr Fisk on the Middle-East that mention Robert S. Ford? I would be interested in reading those.

  4. Because one side is evil does not mean that the other is not. Russia is also an imperialist power and has appalling human rights record against its own citizens -significantly worse than the UK or US. Also remember Russia is bolstering a regime in Syria that has used chemical weapons on its own citizens. And do you all think its ok for Russia to bomb the Kurds? The idea of the enemy of my enemy is my friend may be based more on hatred than is reasonably logical to discount the possibility that they can both be your enemy. Do not confuse Russian self interest with humanitarian intervention they are not the same thing.

  5. I was going to say the same,Christy Walsh. Although i agree with you i will correct you on one thing. Russia isnt bombing Kurds. Turkey is.

  6. Christy
    Sean managed to write one thousand words on Imperialism in Syria without mentioning Russia once in the whole article.

  7. peter, he did mention the word zionist, thoise dudes who nobody seems to want to mention who are behind nearly everything everywhere.

  8. Nice of UDR Pete to count the words. Maith thú a Pheadair, about all you've to offer it would seem (says it all). The unfolding events in Syria are of course part of a well-choreographed scheme, whose design is to present Putin and Moscow as a pole to the imperialists when in fact they're all pawns under the aegis of the same master. That is something I've argued for quite some time despite it being a tremendously unpopular analysis in what we might describe as the 'anti-imperialist camp' here in Ireland. For anyone who's been followig they would know I've stated long ago, from the ourset of this war in fact, that the Syrian people are unfortuantely pawns in a game between the Russians and the West. That's a separate matter though to the article I've written. Troll on hard a chara, if it makes you feel good and all that I'll not stand in your way but try not to let it get the better of ye...

  9. Sean

    Russia is not 'anti-imperialist' and are not "a pole to the imperialists'. Arguing that Russia has self interests is diluting its imperialism -the UK and US have self interests too so lets not call any of them imperialists then. Your history in recognizing that the Syrian's are pawns in this war does not excuse or dilute Russian imperialism. It seems you are merely expressing your bias or preference for one imperial power against 1 or 2 others which you do not like.

    The Russians have bombed the Kurds as well who they say are terrorists fighting Assad.

  10. Let's not forget that Russia waited until being asked by the Assad government in late September last year, to render military aid to the incumbent regime, something that is mandated in the UN's own constitution.

    Asking for permission or responding to requests for assistance militarily is never a thought for the US, they just try to do as they please and lie through their own media on their intentions.

  11. Sean
    I was merely pointing out a flaw in your argument. I covered Syria and Libya on my Master's last year using them as an example of interventionism. I respect your view on imperialism and admire your passionate defence of it but I think your articles always lack balance. I read many scholarly articles on the subject and yours in comparison is just a half baked polemic in my humble opinion. The real question here is why are you so angry? If you put polemic articles in the public realm they will be criticised but you seem incapable of accepting any criticism. I write one sentence and it yanks your chain so much you launch into another ad hominem diatribe. The "UDRPete" moniker doesn't annoy me, I am not ashamed of my past and If I were I would not have disclosed my background. The more shameful abuse from you was directed at HJ a while ago when you called him "a tout" and "probably Sean O'Callaghan". I lost my anger years ago, I urge you to do the same. Anger only damages the vessel that holds it....and all that.

  12. Peter

    I'm heartened to hear that Sean's jibes don't annoy you ... in truth I didn't expect they would.
    Neither do his ad hominems any longer knock much stir out of me.

    All be it late in the day, I've come to understand that any of us can, while in heightened states of emotional arousal, become more susceptible to what I've heard summarised as the 3 P's ... personalised, permanent and pervasive (un)thinking styles. Whilst in states of emotional arousal we become trapped in more primitive parts of the brain. Access to rational logical processing and discernment becomes increasingly diminished. (think here of the 'after-shock' of a right good flare up with the Mrs or any of your nearest and dearests and how long it can sometimes take to get your rational and logical brain back 'on-line')

    When in an aroused state, of which anger is only one of many, and dependent to the degree of arousal, any of us will find it damn near impossible to rationally address, in the moment, the substance of the other's position. If not careful or considerate, under such circumstances we are all capable of launching personalised, even vicious attacks.

    If such behaviour is left unchecked and constantly reinforced by repetition we can become trapped in time, permanently interpreting our world and our place in it from an outdated primal template. When this programme/template doesn't receive constant updating from the rational brain it becomes like a craft run ashore and held back from the flow of life.

    Beached on the shore and curtailed with an old clunking programme running our brain we are deprived from exposure to positive potentials emerging in the environment. Out of the full-flow, whether run-aground or left in stagnant backwaters, we will find ourselves deprived of opportunities for useful and fuller contextual re-frames.
    This in turn prevents chances for a more benign re-imagining or re-interpreting of the past evolving. The permanency, or rigidity of our mindset prevents exploration of alternative narratives. In this position we become almost incapable of adaptive and effective responses to our circumstances and more often than not lazily seek consolation for ourselves in only blaming 'the other' and circumstances ... rather than engaging in some honest self-appraisal too.

    Left unchecked such 'ways of being' will pervasively colour not just our experiences of the past and the present but also eventually malignly distort realistic expectations for the future. (One Ireland, One Vote, how are you)!

    That all of that is still running in certain quarters of our thankfully now post-conflict society is not to be unexpected. Indeed its even understandable. Outworking all this will of necessity take time, courage and patience.

    With that said, I salute 'UDR Pete' for how he conducts his engagements here on the 'Quill' and as 'IRA Mackers' (^_^) has previously stated the site would be even better for increased commentary from more of his ilk.

  13. the eminent brain expert with his hyperplastic neocortex hj speaks again. meanwhile back here in the serenghetti people like bres are getting angry, upset, passionate - call it what you will, at the mind boggling cruelty, evil, greed,degeneracy, war addiction of the military industrial complex. maybe u shud consider developing your testicles rather than ur brain and start getting real about what is going on in the world. anger is a great thing when used properly and no less a document than the sacred new testament bears witness to this.

    When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.

  14. "I covered Syria and Libya on my Master's last year using them as an example of interventionism."

    Straight up Q Peter when you did your Master's;Did you mention this or... this speech?

  15. Frankie
    Interesting stuff, especially the first article. At that time the intervention was only humanitarian in Syria and military in Libya. The comparison was between the two types of intervention. Go to google scholar and type in "R2P". The US and its allies have been using "Responsibility to Protect" or R2P to trump national sovereignty and justify interventions citing their failure in Rwanda as the root of its justification. There are some belter articles.

  16. Peter,

    in theory there should be no problem with responsibility to protect trumping national sovereignty. In practice has it ever happened sans an ulterior motive, with the possible cited exceptions of Tanzania going into Uganda in 78 and Vietnam going into Cambodia in 78? (even here regional power plays cannot be ruled out altogether). I was listening to Philip Gourevitch this morning from an old interview in which he made the obvious point that even World War 2 was not about saving the Jews. It was much more strategic than that.

  17. Christy, you've picked me up wrong and should read my comment again. I never argued Russia was a pole to the imperialists but that world order is attempting to present it as such and for its own purposes - not me. I reject those attempts and see in them what they are. I know what Russia and Putin represent don't worry. How could we consider a man with a personal fortune of $200 billion as 'anti-imperialist'? The short answer is we can't and Vladimir Putin is most certainly anything but. He is nothing more than another thug playing the game as far as I'm concerned. That it didn't appear in the article is because the focus was on the origins of the Arab Spring in the Central American intelligence wars under Reagan, feeding through Iraq, Libya and now into Syria using the same techniques from theatre to theatre. So it's not, as Peter suggests, 'a flaw in my argument' that the Russian presence has been excluded. That would be an entirely different piece. But maybe he, with his masters degree on the subject, might put his neck on the block and write it for us. In response to the lateral criticism about the quality of my writing, I can only say that I wouldn't expect my opinion pieces to match up with scholarly works on the same subject as I'm not an academic. I'm a plasterboarder from Omagh and wrote the article to give my perspective on what's happening and that's as far as it goes. For those who appreciated the piece, well and good. For those who didn't I have no problem accepting that. In terms of what HJ wrote I stopped reading a few paragraphs in as it was simply the same repetitive muck regurgitated from before but Pete, that you think I'm angry with you is absurd, I don't even know you. I was simply remarking how you had nothing better to say than I wrote a thousand words without mentioning Russian imperialism and that is the hallmark of a troll who just can't help himself. If something annoyed me it was that and not any criticism of the piece. If you had only offered some, instead of the usual smart-arsed response, I might not be writing this...

  18. AM
    Yes R2P in theory is a fine principle. It was endorsed by the UN at the World Summit in 2005 at the behest of the US and its allies who then promptly ignored it and allowed the genocide to happen in Darfur. It seems Sudan was not sufficiently important to the west. This hypocrisy undermines the whole principle. The west would not intervene in the famines of North Korea either so R2P's opponents argue that it exists only as a tool for western interference for its own narrow imperialist agenda and is not the grand humanitarian ideal of western civilisation. Here is an extract from my paper: the end it could be argued that Bush and Blair, who had said “never again” after Rwanda together with their western allies, ignored the genocide in Darfur because it was politically expedient to do so. The myriad problems of Darfur negated the will to fulfill the much-lauded promise of R2P and exposed the shortcomings and, at times, rank hypocrisy of state intervention and its vociferous exponents.

  19. Peter,

    for me the Responsibility to Protect the principle is fine. I like the wat Joshua Holland expressed it in 2011:

    Conceptually humanitarian intervention is a rather beautiful thing.
    State sovereignty had been seen as absolute for 350 years, but then the
    universal human rights regime emerged and the idea took hold that a
    state's responsibility to defend its people trumped its right to
    territorial sovereignty. When a state massacres its people rather than
    protecting them, the human family, working through broadly legitimate
    international institutions, would intervene, militarily if need be, to
    spare the vulnerable. This has become known as the "responsibility to

    It corrodes when it functions similar to the ICC (another great idea in principle) and hares off in pursuit of black Africans as if they are the only people to have committed genocide and war crimes. Pravda of all organs fashions a perception of the ICC which gains traction with its disproportionate emphasis on Africa.

    But if the ICC was a real court, if the ICC was really interested in upholding justice, if the Chief Prosecutor was a real judge upholding the law instead of insulting it, then why does he and why does the court he presides over not implement the same set of weights and measures for all?

    I still think Bagosora should be in jail and never released on the findings of the ICTR but just recoil at the inherent bias at the heart of the whole process.

    I doubt the West could ever have serious credibility in matters of pursuing war criminals like Assad and Saddam but not Netanyahu. To this day the Western polity still refuses to confront Kissinger, probably the greatest living war criminal.

  20. Jerome

    Sure, anger/passion are powerful motivators and can on the rare occasion be harnessed to good effect.
    Its a form of trance which causes one to narrow one's focus of attention. Its seductive insofar as it engenders a temporary sense of control and competency. There are positives to that occasionally but more often it prohibits the bigger picture emerging. Critically though it motivates people to take risks, risks that are usually poorly considered.

    Feel free to be angry, feel free to hang out with angry people. Its your choice. I'd rather not.

  21. Interesting that Bagasora, Assad and Saddam feature in your commentary Anthony and not Cheney, Bush or Blair. Yeah we got Netanyahu but it reads slanted to me. Whether deliberate or not, it would seem the product of media bias that encourages the former to be seen as mindless brutes, the latter as motivated by a 'responsibility to protect'.

    The key to all of this and where real responsibility lies can be found in the grim setting of Lower Manhattan on September 11th 2001. It's long past time we had a serious discussion on what really happened there. So powerful are the forces controlling society that people are afraid to speak out, for fear they'll be painted as lunatics (just look what they done to Charlie Sheen and our own Jim Corr). But until we confront the psychopaths behind this carnage, all of it linked to the horrific mass-murder on that chilling September morning, then in my view we are engaging in academia, controlled by a matrix of disinformation constructed to disguise the truth: we are ruled by psychopath murderers with no interest in protecting anyone, without concept of good or morality.

    On the matter of the International Criminal Court, there are charges filed there by an Italian Supreme Court Justice, Ferdinando Imposimato, detailing the crimes of Bush and Cheney on September 11th. They have been indicted for the murder of 3,000 New Yorkers, an event that led to the ongoing destruction in the Middle East and the deaths of millions. Imposimato compared 9/11, which he described as a 'false flag attack', with the 'strategy of tension' employed to destabilise Italian politics during the Cold War, which he helped expose to the legal process with actual results and convictions. So this is not conspiracy theory. If there were any genuine 'responsibility to protect' they would have protected their own, not used them as pretext to launch wars of aggression under the cloak of anti-terror and later R2P.

  22. On R2P, when I suggested a few years ago that the chemical attacks in Damascus were the work of provocateurs, to influence and justify an R2P intervention, I was near presented as mad. But then it started to come out, from Seymour Hersh to the UN's Carla Del Ponte, and the narrative changed to 'there might be something to this after all'. To me that shows how easily people can be led when they can go from one thing to another so quickly, depending on who's speaking.

    Not to be blunt but we need to wake up and smell the coffee. The 'right to protect' is of course a worthy concept but absent the correct legal framework it is not only worthless but a deceitful endeavour used to empower aggression. I advise that people look again and instead at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's UN submission on restructuring the international system, for which he was laughed out of the building. Another crazed madman they would have it, another danger to the community. A man of integrity spoke that day. The crazed madmen were the ones doing the laughing before walking out. He spoke of a new world order based on universal applicability of the law, the only way we can ever put a stop to what these monsters are doing. Will we support him or will we laugh with the others? Most, unfortunately, will simply move on, maybe in fear it might impact on their ‘neuroplasticity’. The sad truth is the comforts we enjoy are built on savage oppression of others. We can sit back in ignorance, avoid getting angry and be content with our lot, or we can stand together and face down this evil.

    A point worth finishing on, before heading to Donegal with my wife, is that this ISIS is in truth another part of the deception. For what are their crimes if not the perfect excuse for R2P? It's worth considering and let's remember, we've already seen their form: from the chemical attacks in the Ghouta to the bombings of Bologne and other such happenings in years gone by. And just to be clear, by 'their' we're talking western intelligence agencies. Have a good weekend folks, breathe the air and thank God you are able to do so.

  23. Sean,

    you obviously didn't see Kissinger mentioned so the point of the comment appears to have gone unnoticed to you. But I have no inclination to explain or elaborate.

  24. Sean

    Maybe I did take you up wrong.

    In regard to your intellectual ability: you can hold your own and often do make strong arguments -your weakness is descending into intemperate personal attacks.

    On the UDRPete label; I never really saw that as one of your best attempts to be offensive (Peter confirms that he isnt) I figured it was your way of flagging Peter's political/religious background. I sometimes think that a bit unfair because it can sometimes appear that your are not responding to what Peter has to say but trying to undermine his contribution on basis of his former military/sectarian origins.

  25. On a point of clarification Anthony, I did not mean you were biased or had deliberately left anyone out. I was noting how the mainstream media impacts and encourages us to view the different individuals listed, how it can seep into our dialogue without us even realising. For me the West is thoroughly discredited and, as you said, has no mandate to pursue the like of Assad or anyone else. But not because they have failed to apply the same rules to Netanyahu or Kissinger. They are without credibility or mandate because they themselves have committed the most obscene war crimes and not only in far-flung remnants of empire but on their own people. When are we, as a society, going to discuss and confront the issue of false flag terrorism and the terrorising of our own communities to advance the agenda of imperialism overseas? The crimes of Assad and Saddam, as horrible as they well may be, pale into insignificance when set aside the truth of what is going on in our world. That's not to differentiate between one or the other or say his crime was bigger than ours but simply to acknowledge there is an insidious logic behind all of this which most people simply cannot or refuse to comprehend, our minds imprisoned by the corporate media who tells us, in the words of Chaplain, 'what to think, when to sleep and what to feel'. Peace a chairde, in getting a haircut then home for a shower and shave. Ramp up the wagon then the hillsides of Inishowen will soon be in sight...

  26. the 'whatever' was for hj, in case ur thinking it was for you bres. i am of the opinion that you are the only person on the quill who is talking sense and in time you will be seen as such. remember this stuff stays up on internet for a while - ages perhaps. therefore you should not be getting ur knickers in a twist with the polysyllabic know all wafflers who try to denigrate you and make a mockery of you. keep doing what you are doing and as brendan behan once said - fuck the begrudgers. you dont have to engage with them to the extent you do. i am just glad i know a few headbangers in the west here who know what happened on sept 11. and indeed the gulf of tonkien and all the false flags the maniacal elite have been carrying out for a long time now. as orwell once said - in a time of universal deceit telling the truth will be a revolutionary act - or words to that effect. beir bua comrade. keep speaking the truth and fuck em. im glad there are a few others out there exposing the maniacs behind the system. i am of the opinion they are doomed and we will reconnect to nature like our ancestors. all healing is out there in the hedgerows. i need more of it as i am still volatile but im working on it. the earth needs healing and not some political dogma. as bobby said - our revenge will be the laughter of our children - and not just irish kids - syrian kids, iraqi kids, london kids, afghan kids, ozzy kids, american kids, saordonian kids, tibetan kids, some day we will all realise we are one family under the all loving God. jah, rastafari and hare krishna and allah akhbar. he has many names but he is One and like his Son said - we must all be one. SOmeone told me recently that people arent ready to be told the truth about the way the world works, who our political leaders really are, what the royals get up to etc etc, as it is like being told your parents are psychopaths and lunatics. it made me think and still does. I know so many so called educated, informed people who just dont want to go there and i accept it now and dont let it get to me as much. Not that im apathetic or anything, i just speak my truth and move on and as i said earlier, im just glad i have a few dear friends-comrades who can relate to all this. its one of the reasons i regularly go off internet and everything as its important to calm the spirit and on a final note i reckon i would be dead now if i didnt meditate, its not just for the mind but protects the body too from all the harmful energies out there now. g'luck and i dont hate u hj either.

  27. Sean,

    You may be right, but the ones behind the scenes in power and pulling the strings are driven not by some sense of 'evil' intent, they are driven by base greed and nothing more.

    Religion and 'exporting democracy' is shameless window dressing.

    Follow the money. If you see who profits most from these wars, you will see who is ultimately responsible for them.

  28. Absolutely Steve, follow the money is a given when it comes to almost all large-scale criminal enterprise. Like the $2 trillion black hole in the US Defence spend that disappeared into the rubble of the Pentagon, never to be heard of again, when Hani Hanjour supposedly executed a 360 degree downward spiral at high speed, a manoeuvre even the most skilled of pilots would struggle to pull off in advanced fighter-craft and yet which he executed with precision in a Boeing 757 (despite being barely able to pilot a Cessna) before slamming into the western wall of the building, fortunately (for him) evading all anti-aircraft surveillance and defence systems in the most protected part of the planet and fortunately (for the US Military and its Five-Star Generals) striking the only civilian quarter of the building. That the records relating to the shortfall in question were all vaporised is as believable as the fact not one CCTV image exists showing what REALLY hit the Pentagon. Follow the money for sure and in that one incident alone we can see not one, not two but two TRILLION reasons why the Pentagon was targeted on 9/11. Arabs with box-cutters they say but surely that's only for the gullible at this point. Once we admit Hanjour, Atta and the other supposed hijackers were not controlling events that day then we begin to unravel the horrifying truth. Follow the money is right because war is a racket.

    'War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.'

  29. Grouch/Sean
    Serious question: how do you guys square your catholic faith with your anti-neo-liberalism and anti-imperialism? Do you believe that the church plays no part in the Military Industrial Complex despite the likes of former Blackwater C.O.O Joe Schmitz also being a Knight in the Opus Dei, and Swiss Guards being caught illegally taking large sums of cash out of Italy? It has always baffled me how people of the left can be faithful catholics.

  30. i dont think im anti anything. there is a paper i see in the library regularly called catholic worker. not dodging the question but maybe u shud ask them. personally, i think i excommunicated myself from the catholic church years ago. i believe the Holy Spirit guides the teaching of the Catholic Church but does not have control over free will of members. personally, i believe there would be no protestants if the romans back 500 years ago werent such a bunch of fatskinnycunts selling indulgences to gangsters to build their big churches. the catholic church , according to the bible, will not exist some day, humanity will be guided by the Holy Spirit then. i am not left wing, i am not right wing, a bird never flew on one wing and if catholics and prods knew how much God loved them they would be more like hare krishnas.

  31. Peter a chara, I am faithful only to the Almighty and not the institutions of man. According to St. Luke, the core and transcendent message of Christ was that 'the Kingdom of God is within'. Were I to proceed and lay out not just my interpretation of those beautiful and timeless words but my broader religious views, not only might it surprise you, you would likely think I'm mad (says you you do already). For me the opposite to what you consider baffling usually applies, in that I struggle to believe intelligent men can seriously hold there is no greater power in the universe than ourselves. There is a fundamental dichotomy in that, in that my contention indeed is that we ARE the greatest power in the universe, but only in the sense that all things are connected and derive from the one source, what we might call 'Yahweh' and of which we are part. In terms of the Vatican and its central role in imperialism I have written on that matter elsewhere before. Not for one second do my religious views determine my attitude to that wretched institution or inhibit my personal quest to see a more just and fair society. Like Grouch though, I prefer not to identify with the left-right paradigm, which for me is another instrument of control. For me there is world order which in its current form is manifest evil. For me there is a need for a new order based on cooperation not conflict, peace and not war. Will we see it? Maybe not in this life but the next

  32. time for the eyes to glaze over FFS.

  33. AM

    Isn't it... from imperialism to touchy feely molasses spirituality god crap. It's time to read the manual that came with my vacuum cleaner.

  34. Sean
    You said in a previous article that you said a decade of the rosary for the Loughgall dead so I took it that you were a practising catholic and as such supported the Vatican and its institutions. Sorry if I was being presumptuous.
    Science hasn't proved that there isn't a higher power in the universe, but from experience and history we can safely say that if a god does exist he/she doesn't give a flying fuck about any of us.

    Thanks for replying you two and sorry to AM if we are boring him!

  35. Peter/Christy,

    they say the best way to get a seat alone on a bus is to wear a T shirt with the logo on it "Today I am going to talk to you about Jesus".

    Unicornology and the rest of it can be discussed elsewhere. We want rational discussion on this blog rather than religious gunk.

  36. At the risk of incurring the Blogmeister's fury, my thinking is that nothing is separate but rather is 'one' - one infinite and eternal 'consciousness' from which all derives while remaining part of the whole. So if all that exists, including ourselves, is in truth of one then there can be no death. There is only life itself, which is both infinite and eternal. In such we find the truth of who we are but it's difficult for the mind to assimilate the information, as the body wants to reject it.

    The body wants to believe there is nothing higher than itself. I accept that I have one and that I experience life, in this form, partially through that same body. But it is not the sum of existence or who we are, instead being only a reflection born of consciousness. Who we are is more magnificent and wondrous and awe-inspiring than we could ever and possibly imagine. We might describe this as the sheer perfection of totality itself.

    Thus Christ, in His divine wisdom, told us: 'be not afraid, I go before you always'. For there is a benevolent force or 'presence' behind and between everything in our world, and beyond, and it is here we find the Kingdom of God. Not in buildings or in books but there and within ourselves, in the subtle connection that exists between the conscious mind and all of Creation. Keen not to bore anyone further perhaps we might call this one. A conversation for another time and place it would appear...

  37. Sean,

    stick that shit over on Bates & Wilkes. Fucked if I am staying up to wade through it and moderate comments. I'm for bed. Treat religion like you do your dick. Alright for your own amusement but not to be waved in public.

  38. Sean,
    Good article but you omitted to mention The Yinon Plan.

  39. There ya go, fucking religion is shown to be behind the veiled sectarianism.

    Telepathically accepting as your master a long dead jew zombie, because a woman made from the rib of a bloke who was made from dirt listened to a talking snake and ate a fucking apple from a magical tree is obviously true.

    Shove it up your hole Sean, religion is a cloak that allows men to salve their conscience before committing unspeakable acts of cruelty.

    And Peter, in Science the onus of proof is on the claimant. If you claim there is a 'higher power' then it's up to you to prove it, as much as the religious would like the opposite to be true.

  40. I haven't a sectarian bone in my body Steve and you'd be surprised what my views of the Protestant tradition, with whom I have more inter-relation than you'll ever know, might actually be (not that I intend discussing them with an ignoramus like yourself). Alas, yet more guff and from another who seems to think he walks on water...

  41. I dare say I am not alone in not believing a single word of that Sean.

  42. Steve,

    I don't think Sean's religious opinion can be cited as an explanation of his sectarianism even where you think he is being sectarian. Communal Catholics with no attachment to religion have been very sectarian in their attitudes. I think Sean is very blinkered but not attitudinally sectarian.

    My real problem with the discussion is why pollute a decent political exchange with religious wackery? What invariably happens is that there develops a tendency for readers to think that the same thought processes that produce religious opinion are also producing political opinion. That leads to the political opinion being ignored or lumped in with the religious guff.

    People must always be free to have a religious opinion - if they want to worship god, the devil, FSM, that is up to them. Worship stones if they so choose but don't throw them at us. But they should also assess how it might impact on their wider arguments if they introduce it into discussion.

    If in the middle of a reasonably sane discussion about Syria were I to start talking about the role of the unicorn in shaping events or the like, I am not going to be taken seriously.

    Admittedly, my eyes glaze over when it starts - it is like meeting the Jehovah Witnesses at the door unexpectedly. As Christy says, reach for the vacuum cleaner manual.

  43. “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..”

    Mr Milton got it right about trance states all those years ago.

    Glad to hear though that Jerome and Sean can compensate themselves occasionally with some positive peaceful trances too. I suppose it'd be unfair to completely knock their belief systems, belief systems which in all likelihood are useful enough attempts at ameliorating their anxieties and their reactive responses to the vicissitudes of everyday life.

    Its not always easy to live in the world and it sure ain't always fair. Facing existential uncertainty and impermanence, accepting life on life's terms and acknowledging our limitations over so many events has its challenges. Its not much wonder that so many cling to the comfort blankets of ideology and/or theology.

  44. Ok I apologise for swinging the comments toward religion but it has always amazed me (as an atheist) that people can rage against the machine while being part of a machine every bit as evil.

  45. AM

    Perhaps, but years of experience tell me that religion pervades all facets of the afflicted's mind. I find it hard to believe that it would (in this instance) make an exception.

    As I have said before, religion is a cloak people like to wear to be utter cunts to others and somehow salve their conscience as being 'righteous' while they are doing it.

    Fascism and religion often walk hand in hand.

  46. Steve,

    I understand that religion has an effect on how we perceive things. It makes the fantastical seem pretty ok. My point here is that you are accusing Sean of being sectarian. I have not seen that in him despite his ad hominem attacks on those he disagrees with. Finding the UDR anathema is not sectarian although Peter should not have to bear the brunt of that hostility simply for having a different idea. And when Sean taunts him "UDR Pete" the balance of the discussion slips Peter's way without him having to say one further thing.

    I never think of the concept "love" when religion is mentioned. I always see it in terms of the hatred it spawns. But that is all far cry from labelling as sectarian a person simply because they have a religious viewpoint. It is a tactic the Left often employ when they seek to censor people - they accuse them of being racist for example because the peephole the Left are attacking might have a problem with some or many aspects of Islam.

  47. Peter,

    people are free to discuss religion here but it is a wet blanket thrown over intelligent discussion when they go into preach mode. Bates and Wilkes is filled with that type. They can talk their socks off over there all they want. In Sean's case he was responding to a direct question before he went off on one so we don't want him over with bates & Wilkes. Just keep the discussion rational no matter how heated it might get and sprinkle the fairy dust elsewhere.

  48. anthony mac intyre - the censor offender,

    'Unicornology and the rest of it can be discussed elsewhere. We want rational discussion on this blog rather than religious gunk.' so okay anthony i'll only comment with you and your fellow pseuds about nietzche, marx, camus and other nerds.

    'stick that shit over on Bates & Wilkes.'
    'Treat religion like you do your dick. '

    lovely stuff mackers.

    heres a little quote for you anthony.

    "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."

    bres a chara, i shall meet you hopefully on another forum, i dont need to put up with the above comments, looks like he is a bit of a censor himself, and an offensive one at that.

    anthony macIntyre - the offensive censor.

  49. That a man who would ignore the wilful and reactionary role of the British state in its terrorising of the Irish people into submission, to sustain the illusion in his own mind that what happened here was somehow democratic and not aggression on the part of an occupying power, that he would speak of fascism and level that charge against others while presumably keeping a straight face is quite simply risible. Indeed that he considers himself 'socialist' is an obvious joke. No socialist in their right mind could ignore what this man continues to ignore. No socialist worth their salt could view the British occupation of Ireland as anything other than the outworking of violent imperialism.

    On the earlier and erroneous charge of sectarianism, I don't really need to justify myself to the trolls on this site but I would strongly resist that charge. This is just one example but a few years back I participated in a cross-community venture where young teenagers were taken to the battlefields of France, among them the Somme. The reasoning involved was to help break down sectarian division, taking youngsters from across the divide on a shared experience to break down barriers, something I have been working on for over 20 years despite being only a young man myself. And just to be clear, all of these ventures we have funded ourselves and there is no economic reward for anyone involved, we do it for the right reasons only.

    Anyone who knows me knows that the last thing I am is sectarian. Indeed I'm very open to alternative narratives and to alternative experiences, even where they are outright opposite to my own. We are currently working on a project here where children from the town meet on a Saturday evening to explore their differences and find what unites them, building for a future without the divisions which have been inserted into our society by imperialism for imperialism's ends.

    As I said previously, I'd venture this Steve Ricardos chancer has done zero of a similar nature and is no more than a gobshite who can't contain himself while trolling the Internet. That some people on here are free to say what they like, when they like, without even casual observation being passed by the blog host as they offer insult after insult and all while others are treated differently, does not go unnoticed. It is what it is. If you's want to talk on Syria let's talk on Syria; if you's want to talk on religion let's talk on that. If you's want to discuss the undemocratic and violent occupation of Ireland we can do so also but why should those who level insult not expect a response in kind and why should the responder indeed be singled out for the 'ad hominem attacks', as though they only emerge from one source? Just to be clear, that's a rhetorical question I don't expect answered but the trolls, it would seem, have their work done here well

  50. Sean,

    playing the victim does not wash.

    Too often you have resorted to nastiness and insults when dealing with your critics. Probably more than anyone else on the site. But it is your own argument that suffers. Why not try winning the point instead of scoring it?

    Jerome G,

    is that you gone ... again?

  51. that should be making the point not scoring it!

  52. and peephole should be people ... religion, it really does drive you insane and you no longer see what is in front of you LOL

  53. "fred is dead."
    God, 25 aug 1900

    yes, now i'm gone.

  54. That's not necessarily true Anthony, religion has more to offer than we might realise and can play an important role in our efforts to achieve a full understanding of life's true purpose. That aside, for people to be lambasted for having religious beliefs and basically told 'get to fuck out of here', all while our eminent brain surgeon and his repetitive spleen about 'living life on life's terms' is given free reign time and again, would seem a glaring double-standard. That you's aren't reaching for the vacuum instructions every time that nonsense goes up suggests to me religion is not the issue but that your minds are essentially closed, even to a critical conversation on its merits or lack of. That's not to say he should be censored, he's free to write what he desires. It's simply to illustrate what is a subtle if important point.

    As for the earlier assertion that I'm 'playing the victim' well that's just hogwash. The trolling that goes on here at times is unreal. Indeed people were pulled up in relation to it previously. That I sometimes react might be ill-advised but it doesn't change that others appear free to label me as they like unchecked, all while I get the short end of the stick when I respond in kind. As I said though, it is what it is, it's hardly the end of the world, just something that doesn't go unnoticed at my end. In other news, Frampton fights Quigg this weekend. I must be hoping they both knock each other out, what with one being an Orangie and the other a Brit. That my wife is half English and my brother's fiancée a Protestant from Bangor doesn't come into it. Indeed I must hate them too, trapped as I am in the reactionary and sectarian prism that is my warped mind. Yep, sounds about right...

  55. Sean,

    the site has a clear preference for steering clear of religious gunk. It can go on the Bates & Wilkes section. It is laid out very clearly there that it exists for that type of thing.

    Occasionally The Pensive Quill, like most other blogs and websites probably, gets showered with a swathe of toxic mush. Amongst the slingers are Nazis, racists, cranks, crackpots, sexual fetishists, trolls, sockpuppets, hate purveyors, obituary defacers, obsessive stalkers, whisper weasels, smear merchants, personal abuse vendors, religious whack jobs, tyre kickers, finger wagging bores fluent in bollix and not short on prolix, monikers launching personal attacks rather than exchanging ideas, and a sundry of others whom we generally ignore. We tend to hit the delete button the minute a comment from them appears without even reading the content.

    If people start talking about unicorns and mermaids they can go over there with Steve Finnian and the rest of the religious loons. Religion as you can see from the above para is not the only gunk that finds a home there.

    Trolls are something you label people whose arguments you have difficulty with. The list gets longer. I am not sure you know what a troll is. Jerome G is as close to one as we have or used to have but even then he is not trollish to the point of being an outright troll.

    The vacuum cleaner manual gets reached for quite a bit and Henry Joy weakens his own case with prolix. But as tedious as it can be it is at least rooted in something tangible.

    You don't respond in kind - you continuously respond with nastiness and bad tempered attacks to even the mildest of disagreement and take off in flights of fancy that the site is dominated by unionists despite the statistics showing you to be talking real hogwash. 4 out of 100 comments were from unionists.

    I don't think you are sectarian and expressed that view but I am hardly the only person to have noticed how nasty you can be to people who don't share your views. It makes it easy for them to ascribe a fascistic strain to you. And what it does for your republican political argument is something you should reflect on before committing yourself to outbursts.

  56. To me trolling is in part the following someone around the Internet, trolling their comments or articles with the sole focus of playing the man and not the ball. Maybe that's not the correct definition but either way it's a distasteful practice which I admit, yes, gets under my skin. That I get tagged as 'nasty' while others are given blanket immunity, no matter what level of vitriol they throw at me, no longer comes as a surprise

  57. Sean,

    the poor me/poor mouth won't work here. We are not sentimental. Most of your nastiness has come from an inability to deal with criticism. It has not been in response to trolling at all. Had you have dealt with criticisms much more intellectually rather than nastily you would not have people yanking your chain just because they know they can get a response. You have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory so often in exchanges that I have lost count. And it is solely because you display that authoritarian republican trait that cannot tolerate dissent from whatever it is you promote.

    Trolling is not your problem: intolerance is.

    If you think your ideas can get some sort of free ride here and not be subject to criticism you are in the wrong place.

  58. Clearly the free ride is given to others, time and time again. It doesn't bother me, it is what it is and lies beyond my control

  59. Conspiracy theories and religious sentiment go hand in hand. They invariably need some devil who is a trouble maker always out to do the conspiracy theorists over.

    What is not reasoned in is unlikely to be reasoned out. We waste our time even trying.

  60. Reasoned in or reasoned out the free ride is invariably given to others and that's the long and the short of it. There is no 'conspiracy theory', only the historical record

  61. Much like your historical record of the unionists dominating the comments section of the site ... 4 out of a hundred.

  62. The ironic thing is, the first comment on this article is me commending you for it Sean, and I meant it.

    Glad I am not the only one who has noticed that you play the 'troll' card the instant you don't like someone disagreeing with you. And as for 'having no problems with others having a different viewpoint? Bullshit. The first sign of that and you go off like Hitler in the bunker.

    Oh, you are shining example of cross-community familial relations? I married across the divide, so what?

    And flinging shite my way saying I make excuses for British Imperialism? Try to keep up son, I no longer class myself as British. The older I get the more I realise that politics is just another way for cunts to control the historical narrative to fit their own agenda.

    AM- maybe I did over reach, but I have seen this shoe fit many times.

    For the record- I AM a socialist but very much from a 'PUL/British' family in a 'staunch' area, I come here to learn and I make no bones about that.

    But as I grew up in a Loyalist estate I can understand their thinking when it comes to politics, it does not make me a loyalist however.

    Nor would a family member marrying a Jew make me Jewish.

  63. 'The ironic thing is, the first comment on this article is me commending you for it Sean, and I meant it' - well it sure didn't last long but that aside, how my interpretation of British state crimes against the Irish people, in our own country which is occupied by that same state, makes me sectarian or reactionary is beyond my current levels of understanding. I doubt it is yourself who struggles to keep up - with rational logic that is - ably facilitated by those who let your twisting and harrying go forward as though it were actually based on truth. When I say something like the above it's classed as a personal attack. And yet you can call me a liar, a bullshitter, a hypocrite, a fascist, a reactionary, sectarian and everything else. And for whatever bizarre reason it's held in another light. Go figure...

  64. Probably because, like your rant above, it is incoherent and full of grammatical errors that people find it hard to take you seriously Sean. You come across as full of rage when perceived slights of opposing viewpoints are aired.

    Then you pull out the emotional crutch that is religion, which is clearly a massive issue in the North, and one can only surmise that you like so many others have been blinkered by it.

    But perhaps I am wrong, maybe you are not possessing a fascistic outlook, but you most definitely display an inordinate rage when anybody dares go against your narrative.

    You have cried troll too often and now been pulled up on it, from here on it will be very difficult to give any credibility to what you say, however much vitriol behind it.

    Very like the Shinners these days in fact.

  65. Sean
    Maybe it is unkind to call you sectarian as we don't know you. However you do write eulogies for your beloved East Tyrone Brigade who, as you know, carried out many murders of innocent protestants. So when you list your impressive anti-sectarian credentials it sounds like the Ukipper who says "I'm not racist, some of my friends are black".

  66. Steve,

    pulling people up for grammatical errors in the comments section where responses are often rushed is nit picking. We can make sense of what people say unless they are Michael Henry regardless of the grammar.


    this would go to the heart of what sectarianism is. Eulogising IRA dead hardly qualifies in the sectarian category. People like yourself might find it unpalatable or even obnoxious but unless the IRA people concerned were targeting people on the grounds of their religion and nothing else, the charge of sectarianism would not stand.

    The UDR was widely regarded within nationalism as a very sectarian regiment that harassed people (and worse) purely on the grounds of their religious background. I am sure you eulogise them but it does not strike me that you are sectarian. You just see things in a different way, a way that is vastly different from our own, and one we could not countenance. None of it makes you sectarian per se. Same has to apply to Sean.

    I wonder if he engaged rather than exploded might you have a different take?

  67. Peter

    eulogising fallen IRA members isn't of itself proof of a sectarian mindset. Placed in the broad context IRA volunteers were seen by CRN's as necessary community defenders. They were held in similar esteem in their own communities as I guess UDR members were held in theirs.

    We best not forget there was a time when you would have held AM as a legitimate target and a time when he and others here would have considered you in a similar vein.

    You're right it is unkind to call Sean sectarian, as you say you don't know him. Neither do I, save through these pages but I am prepared to accept the veracity of his reporting of his youth work and his intentions in that regard. Whatever differences of opinion that we may regularly have, my sense is he's as honest as any of us on here.

    For a man who has obviously a fair degree of intellect its a shame he gets wrong footed by his passions so often ... but there again I was that man too!

  68. Given all we are learning about the role of the British state during the conflict, a role defined by its wilful targeting of civilians as the main thrust of strategy and policy, surely it's those who deny this happened, that none of it has 'the slightest ring of truth to it' and who continue to extol its democratic virtues, weirdly while claiming some form of anti-imperialist attachment, surely it is they who are without credibility.

    If you want to 'cut to the thrust' then this is where it's at. The inability of 'Steve Ricardos' to admit the state's behaviour, for which the evidence is irrefutable at this point, was disguised by cries of fascist! reactionary! sectarian bigot! and all the rest, bizarrely while claiming to be subject to 'ad hominem' attacks.

    That his own attacks soon followed from one thread to the next (his inability to accept the anti-democratic nature of the state with it) and that this was all allowed to pass is one thing. But that it basically ends with you, Mackers, aligning yourself with this deceitful narrative, describing me as the source of insult while everything that has been said against me has been totally ignored, is something else and the reality of what's going on here in the latter end of this thread.

    No doubt you will dispute that but you should read again how and where this developed before jumping on the bandwagon. As Christy suggested, for all we know these profiles are intelligence operatives sitting in a room, to paraphrase his words, 'the same people who orchestrated the bombing of Omagh'. Who knows but one thing is clear, some are given free reign on this site to say what they like and about whom they like. No rage or insult there, not at all.

    Peter, thanks for acknowledging my 'anti-sectarian credentials' but the notion the East Tyrone IRA was defined by sectarianism to me runs untrue. I can see, yes, the 'defenderist' impulse (probably not the right word given the thought police are even now trolling my grammar) that likely brought many into the rank but it was not a sectarian entity.

    It was a group of young, salt of the earth men, many who ended in the grave long before their time, determined to strike back at an occupation regime that had oppressed them throughout their entire lives. It might be difficult for you to accept that and to acknowledge how the nationalist community was treated but it does not alter that the hideous wrongs inflicted, as a matter of routine, created conditions where some felt no other option existed.

    Where they right in everything they did? No. But where they motivated by sectarianism? It has to be no also. IRA men may have hated your regiment - as in truth did the rest of us - but we did so because of your own sectarianism and your own treatment of an entire community based on their religious affiliation - not on the basis of your religion.

    The IRA war was defined by its targeting of the British military and the infrastructure of state, even though, of course, it did not always turn out as planned and yes civilians were undoubtedly killed. The British war though was defined by its concentrated effort to target the civilian population itself and this now is emerging as the policy of choice. The scary thing is it was not mindless but deliberate and methodical, skilfully executed to achieve specific results as part of a so-called 'strategy of tension'.

    We might not like to hear that but it's much closer to reality than we think. That the state is so focused on preventing this narrative emerging, with its blocking of information on the grounds of 'national security', only lends further weight to this line of thinking.

  69. Sean,

    more self analysis, less self-pity, might go a long way.

  70. Sorry AM I can't agree. I wouldn't eulogise anyone who was involved in the murder of innocents. If you want to eulogise the IRA in East Tyrone you have to remember that they carried out many sectarian murders. People like Norman Stronge, Davy Wilson and John Kyle were murdered purely because they were PUL. I was told that the person who murdered them died at Loughgall. Now according to Sean this man is a "Hero of Ireland" and is currently on a cloud somewhere with his favourite sky fairy. If I were to eulogise Stevie McKeag what would that tell you about my attitude to the CNR community? Sectarian much?

    As for Sean's anger, I recognise it as I used to have it myself. Hopefully he'll get over himself.

  71. Anthony, a bit of honesty on your own part would go along way also. You've let a multitude of 'ad hominems' pass against me without issue only to agree with my attacker that I'm the source of insult

  72. Peter,

    the UDR as a regiment was engaged in the widespread sectarian harassment of Catholics. Sectarianism is an attitude that is not reserved only for those who kill on sectarian grounds. Norman Stronge if I remember rightly was killed not because he was a Protestant but because of his long standing involvement at the heart of the unionist political establishment and a strong British military background. He was killed at a time when the IRA was taking punitive action against unionism because of attacks on H-Block activists. That will not endear you anymore to the idea of killing him or his RUC son (If memory serves me right). What it does do is weaken any claim that he was killed for no other reason than he was a Protestant. John Kyle I think was killed for auxiliary work he was carrying out for the security services not because he was a Protestant. Again subject to the vagaries of memory his killing was part of a campaign kick started by the IRA killing of a Tyrone builder in Dublin - Seamus McEvoy who sold portacabins to the RUC. He was a Catholic. Where sectarianism fits into that I don't know

  73. Sean,

    let's leave it up to the readers to judge honesty.

  74. And why would we do that? The reader can decide on this how or he or she so decides but it doesn't change that you have continually ignored all the insulting - and indeed baseless - charges levelled against me while acceding to the narrative I am the antagonist. If you were honest you'd reflect on the course of the conversations and admit there's a legitimate point to that. Instead we get your own version of self-pity with this 'let's leave it to the readers'

  75. Fair enough AM, I was trying to (badly it seems) make a point about Sean's habit of completely losing it when challenged though.

    But I agree, I was testy in my response and picking upon grammar should be beneath me.

  76. Norman Stronge was in his 80s and shot dead in cold blood by a "hero of Ireland"? Some hero. As for Kyle that was an excuse trotted out many times to excuse the sectarian murder of protestants. Another was "he was in the UDR or UVF" when they clearly weren't or had left the forces years before. And what is the excuse for the murder of Davy Wilson? Republicans like to think their campaign was morally right/justified and non-sectarian but it wasn't and well you know it. Physical force republicans were a minority within their own community throughout the Troubles lest we forget.

    I understand the anger against my regiment, the actions of some were purely sectarian and inexcusable. We can debate the rights and wrongs of the Troubles until were are blue in the face but murdering an innocent because they belong to the 'other side' is an evil that should never be glossed over or explained away. Yes I do find the eulogising of sectarian murderers obnoxious from whatever 'side'. When Sean rages against the evils of the Brits will eulogising these murderers it is rank hypocrisy in my opinion.

  77. Henry Joy
    I completely disagree that CNRs thought of the IRA as necessary community defenders. The vast majority of your community did not support the IRA. The stoops ruled right up until the ceasefire. Maybe they were community defenders in small areas in 69/70 but after that they were murder gangs pure and simple.

  78. why do you bother bres, seriously, ur good energy could be better used in a less hostile, close minded and tyrannically rational forum. and rationalism is the greatest tyranny of all. it is the reason the world is fucked. eggheads and nerds have fucked up Gods beautiful planet with their bullshit.

    "Fred is still dead."

    God, 23 february 2016.

  79. Sean,

    if you say something interesting I'll pick up on it.

    Peter, ah the tone has changed I see. That will hardly annoy us or change remotely the substance of what has been said.

    Norman Stronge might have been killed in the wrong, might have been the victim of a total injustice, might have been a soft target - but none of it means he was killed because he was a Protestant.

    No idea who Davy Wilson was so for that reason did not comment on his death.

    Did Mr Kyle not supply the security services with some service or other? That is not to justify his killing but to try and pin down the reason he was killed.

    Ex UDR were killed because it was wrongly argued that they were not ex-UDR or that they were gathering intelligence. I recall a guy called Ronnie Funston being killed and he had I think been out of the UDR 14 years. My response at the time was WTF. But as wrong as his death was it was not because he was a Protestant. There were any number of more accessible Protestants than ex- UDR.

    I have long since addressed the issue of the IRA campaign not for the most part being sectarian so you can revisit the arguments if you wish. I have no inclination to go over them all again. So despite you presuming to know what I know when in fact I don't know it, no, in my view the IRA campaign was not a sectarian campaign. But there were many sectarian facets to it and in one era in particular it was very sectarian with Protestants being targeted for no reason other than they were Protestant. Kingsmill being one - an IRA war crime on a par with Bloody Sunday.

    I think you understate the case by referring to the actions of some UDR. Sectarianism was experienced by most nationalists as an institutionalised regimental practice and culture. The hatred for the UDR from the SDLP supporter in the rural areas who had little sympathy with the IRA says a lot.

    murdering an innocent because they belong to the 'other side' is an evil

    we can agree on that.

    It is not just Sean who eulogises their own side. It is a time honoured human trait. It becomes a problem not when we do it but when we try to prevent others from doing it for their own dead. If a memorial plaque was set up outside my home in memory of a British soldier or RUC member who had been shot dead there I would do absolutely nothing to interfere with it. I might not pay it any attention but I would certainly not deface it or desecrate it or make those who came to reflect on the loss of their loved one feel they were doing something terribly wrong. But I would not erect it nor advocate that it be erected.

    It's called being human ~ with all the flaws and favouritisms that goes with it.

  80. Jerome,

    you are back. Already. These final departures are becoming repetitive. But you are always welcome here!

  81. Peter

    I spent time in jail with IRA people who voted SDLP -they came from country areas and told me that the SDLP represented their families interests better than SF did. In Belfast I lived close to an interface and many SDLP supporters liked the idea of the IRA keeping its guns and were uncomfortable with the idea of decommissioning -in turn apparently, SDLP supporters provided good safe houses. I know a few people who were strong IRA supporters but would not have any time for SF and I have heard IRA people say that they swore an oath of allegiance to the IRA and not SF; thus their oath was not transferable.

    And likewise, the UDR was a minority in its community just as the IRA was in its so that is a weak point. I recall often hearing on media reports that the IRA had asked that anyone who had left the Security Forces to let them know through an advice centre that they had resigned to avoid them being targeted by mistake. That is not saying the IRA were not at times sectarian, which they were, but the UDR was sectarian all the time.

  82. 'If you say something interesting I'll pick up on it.' A useful means, as ever, to avoid conceding the point. You have stood by while a host of insults were directed at me, only to emerge on the side of my attackers. That is a fact borne out by a simple read through the comments, both on this thread and the others of relevance. Whether you 'pick up on it' or not is ultimately irrelevant

  83. Anthony a chara, the double standard is that obvious you can't even deny it and instead are attempting to deflect. But as I said long ago, it is what it is and is hardly the end of the world. Where you see 'playing the victim' there is nothing other than a passing comment on what is a clear and obvious truth. Have a good day yourself, the point is moot when all's said and done but regardless and as I said from the beginning, it has not gone unnoticed

  84. Christy
    I can tell you lived near an interface as you hold an extreme view of the situation. In large parts of the country during the Troubles there was little or no violence, there are very few interface areas. Catholics in these areas did not support the IRA or view them as defenders. Neither you nor HJ can speak for catholics in quieter areas.

    As for saying the UDR were always sectarian, don't be preposterous. There were hundreds of catholics in our regiment especially amongst officers. Were they sectarian too?

  85. Peter

    we can split hairs on this from now to eternity if you wish but eventually any unbiased observer would have to concede that a guerilla army could not have operated as effectively as it did for twenty-five years without a fair modicum of support, albeit tacit to the largest degree it still sustained the campaign for a quarter of a century. That is an undeniable given. In fact, as I've argued previously, the campaign began to falter and loose that tacic support once the loyalist murder gangs became somewhat more selective in their targeting of CRN's. Once they included professional and middle-class targets the impetus for peace became greater. And as you well know, there's now a strong and widely held belief that many of these murders were state directed.

    I like AM note a change in the tone of your responses. I'm strongly of the opinion that any more reductionist, black and white thinking adds little possibility for furthering mutual understanding. We've seen where Sean gets with this. I didn't expect more of the same from you. We all need to develop more nuanced positions and exercise some restraint if we are to co-operate with each other and live alongside each other peaceably.

    I'm not suggesting Unionists need to wear sack-cloth forever and a day but they do need to fess up to and keep in mind their treatment down the years of CRN's. They need to accept their part in creating the necessary conditions for conflict which in turn allowed the Provisional IRA to emerge. As I've said elsewhere any argument that they (PIRA) were an 'immaculate conception' is totally unsustainable.
    Step back up to the plate Peter. There's a shared responsibility for the peace just as there was for the war.

  86. Peter

    I am not a Catholic so did not pretend to be speaking on their behalf. However, I was responding to your mistaken view of the SDLP and its dominance in Nationalist areas -its grassroots members were not all opposed to the IRA no matter how staunchly SLDP they were -is it unthinkable for you to imagine that even in quiet rural areas some SDLP homes were used as safe houses or even arms dumps? As I have said members of the IRA and their families were voting for the SDLP in country areas but were covertly fully behind the IRA -so much so that occasionally 1 or 2 of them got caught in action.

    That there were Catholics in the UDR did not change its sectarian make up or core ethos. The UDR was not the only force that employed Catholics -in fact some even employed active members of the IRA, such as Scapatichi for example. Inversely, there were protestants in the IRA, I know this because I know 2 of them but I am sure that probably would not make the IRA more acceptable to you. The phenomena of 'Castle Catholics' has always been known throughout Irish history.

  87. The short version is a thread about the proxy war between the West and Russia in Syria has descended into six county...whataboutery..

    The only way to stop the "he said she said" is to do what the Berliners done a few years back and take sledge hammers to the oxymoron's that carve up the place and knock them down. Then starting this September put all 4 yr olds into the nearest school and educate them together...And teach them how to read, write and think for themselves and ban religion from school....

    A few years ago Anthony said that the only way to uncover the truth is for historians, investigative journalist's and the passage of time (30 yr rule etc) to be left alone and do their job... He first floated the idea around 2005 in a Radio Ulster Talkback interview (if memory serves me)...

    Otherwise people resign yourselves to your youngest kids and in some cases your grandkids growing up in the same hate filled, divided society than most of us grew up in...

  88. Frankie nails it.

    Peter, I knew plenty of UDR men who WERE sectarian, but like you I knew a few country Catholic UDR men (good men too). But the point remains, while sectarianism may not have been a core 'ethos', the men's bigotry was not forgotten when the uniform was donned.

    And I also recently read Gerry Bradley's book were he flat out states that some 'operations' were not given to a company in the Belfast Brigade as they were seen as being 'too sectarian' so it's quite obvious bigotry was a two way street.

    Neither the PRM or UDR had a professed constitution of sectarianism but you'd have to be bloody blind to miss it.

    But as Frankie said, get rid of the segregated schooling and as AM said let the historians work it out in the future or we will all end up like Sean and see everything through green tinted (or Orange) glasses.

  89. HJ
    As with all exchanges online it is difficult to convey precisely how you are feeling. If you detect a change in tone it was not that way from my side. I do accept joint responsibility for the mess HJ. But whatever your view of the beginnings and first phase of the Troubles you must admit that by the 80s it was a petty little sectarian war where more and more innocent civilians were being senselessly murdered. If people want to eulogise about the people doing the killing, be it SAS, UFF or IRA then so be it, but I think they are deeply wrong.

  90. Peter

    thanks for your prompt reply. My internet connection is on the blink and hence only access to phone keyboard. Settling in to watch the leaders debate on RTE so I'm going to adjourn until I can access the big keyboa.

  91. Peter

    It was always sectarian, especially in the absence of equality; the Civil Rights Associations call for 'one man one vote' was an appeal to end the sectarian administration of the 6 counties. Discrimination and sectarianism went hand in hand with Unionist supremacy -and that did not begin to emerge in the 1980s. The B-Specials were modernized and given military uniforms because their militancy did not resemble a police reserve, hence, the creation of the UDR. In turn the UDR was a main supplier of loyalist weaponry and intelligence right through the Troubles. As one former UDR man (now DUP Councillor) told me that he and all his colleagues in the UDR "had a dim view of all Catholics as either members or supporters of the IRA" he said that any that were killed or injured got what they deserved.

  92. watching it as well Henry Joy. Would say "enjoy" but HTF could anybody enjoy that lot?

  93. Steve what about having educated kids with no glasses......Just 20/20 vision

    You said before you don't give a fcuk about the British Royal family and would like to see the back of them...When God save the Queen is played, do you stand up and sing it?

  94. Just in from a meeting but one quick comment on the ongoing argument about who was responsible for what, it's surely more credible at this point that the events some describe as a petty sectarian war were in fact the outworking of a carefully directed 'strategy of tension', born of Kitsonian counter-intelligence thinking and orchestrated by Britain to herald in its so-called peace process. That aside, I am in full agreement with Frankie and have long-argued the same point. Until we send our kids to the same schools then we will never break down inter-communal division. The sooner this happens the better but vested interests seem not to want it. I wonder why, given that sectarianism still represents the lynchpin of the partition system...

  95. Frankie,

    I stand up when it's played, as I do when in the South when the Soldier Song comes on. I like my balls were they are thank you very much.

    No, as a matter of principle I do not sing the words though.

  96. Steve, Peter and to the rest of you PUL-er's who pass by. I get the protestant bit and the Ulster part. I am at a loss as to why you want to be loyal to a bunch of parasites. That's what they are. Prince Andrew's daughter Beatrice has more air miles than Richard Branson...( Check this out)..The Queens husband (apart from being a racist) is an ex heroin dealer. If anyone actually thinks Harry was in the front line, then they're drinking too much tap water. William only works part time. Probably because he is giving kate one for Ulster on their new kitchen tops and keeping the blue line alive.

    Then we have call me Dave putting his flute into a dead pigs mouth , only for SamCam to read about it and think "Fcuk that was in my mouth" ..And the former British PM (who signed off on the Got Fcuk All) Charles Lynton , well he is gay...Then again knowing today Gerry Adams is still covering for child rapists,...And no one wants to go near Kincora.... Makes me wonder...

    Putting aside the legal end of things concerning the now infamous BC tapes. The concept was perfect. Former Republican and loyalist's telling their versions of warts and all and at least one former RUC officer...Well, that was the best shot the six counties had to understand what actually happened. We know it was for fcuk all..

    But going back to my original Q Steve, Peter and the rest of the PUL-er's, Why are you loyal to parasites?

  97. Henry JoY

    "In fact, as I've argued previously, the campaign began to falter and loose that tacic support once the loyalist murder gangs became somewhat more selective in their targeting of CRN's. Once they included professional and middle-class targets the impetus for peace became greater. And as you well know, there's now a strong and widely held belief that many of these murders were state directed."

    I think you give the Loyalists too much credit, their rationale was more 'kill 3 taigs and one will be a Sinn Fein supporter'. Collateral they were prepared to live with. It was then out of frustration at not being as 'militarily' capable as the RM that they started the horrendous mass murder attacks on bars and bookies et cetera.

    The reasoning evolved into 'get them squealing so much they tell the Provo's to stop'. This was exactly the thinking behind David Irvine's response when Provo's asked for an end to the sectarian tit for tat, but to be allowed to continue to hit Brit military targets without reprisal ( never going to happen due to the Loyalists thinking they ARE British!)

    Irvine's response was 'Fuck off but thanks for letting us know we are getting to you.'

  98. Steve,

    I have emailed the guy and asked him if we can reproduce the piece. It is very good.

    The way to contact us is send an email address to the comments section and we will not publish it but will send you contact details via email


  99. Frankie
    I am no monarchist. I like our Queen, she has done a great job. When she goes then I'll think again. When you travel as much as I have you learn that our Queen is probably the most respected head of state in the world, and that the UK is a bloody good country. I'm loyal to that.

  100. Peter

    yes the conflict eventually became internecine insofar as it became destructive to both sides. However it wasn't sectarian in the literal sense that it was about religious dogma. The conflict, as with all conflicts, had its genesis in an imposition of will. It was about power and control ... classical top-dog underdog outworking.

    The underdogs rightly decided they wanted change. Some wanted equality and others wanted to place themselves in the positions of top-dogs. The incumbent top-dogs, as is their wont, resisted. The rest as they say is warfare and history.

    That ballads are written about 'gallant heroes', that bulldogs, wolfhounds and terriers are fondly remembered and commemorated is the way it goes for some. Meanwhile, the rest of us have the responsibility of contributing to the necessary conditions where all of the pack can feel equally valued and respected regardless of breeding. If the pack is to survive and thrive we must keep an eye on the present and an eye to the future. The future and the present must be rightfully and usefully informed by the past. We will not be well informed by the past if we overly characterise it as sectarian. There's more to glean from it if viewed through the prism of power ... its distribution, use, misuse, abuse and consequences thereof.

    The mess is over,
    Let us go in peace.

  101. Frankie,

    I have already said to you before, I am no 'PUL'er, though I am from that community.

    I am a dissenter. I have no interest in Monarchy and Britain's history is not something to be proud of. Sure, there are good things but a lot is built on the blood of others too.

    Fuck being Irish, British, Unionist or Republican. I am human.