Thursday, June 23, 2011

Medieval Neanderthals Riot

But as the deluge subsides and the waters fall short, we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again. The integrity of their quarrel is one of the few institutions that has been unaltered in the cataclysm which has swept the world. Winston Churchill - 1919.


Oh deary me ! On Monday and Tuesday night Belfast saw its worst rioting in years. Thankfully it was calmer last night. The above quote by Churchill illustrates articulately as only Churchill could how some people in Northern Ireland never seem to be able to move on. Of course Churchill was talking about how at the end of the First World War Britain was soon forced again into dealing with Ireland just as it had been in 1914. The 16 million war dead of Europe had not caused the Irish to put their own problems in prospective. This is how Churchill viewed it then. It is how I view it now. The violence this week was centered around the Short Strand, the Catholic enclave in Largely protestant East Belfast. The violence was mainly orchestrated by the Ulster Volunteer Force, a terrorist organisation that is supposed to be on ceasefire. Dissident Republicans were clearly in the mood to respond and they did so with bullets. And the truth is, provoking a loyalist reaction is what they have been trying to do for years. The objective of the dissident campaign is to worsen the security situation, in order to get British soldiers back on the streets. In short, they want to restart the Northern Ireland troubles and all the sectarian slaughter that comes with it. And that is the key word, sectarianism. Those still on the fringes, those who want to fight on have only one real motive, sectarian hatred. A great example of this is the Real IRA. The RIRA is an organisation that expressed its opposition to the Good Friday Agreement by slaughtering 31 people in Omagh. It is an obscene movement populated by directionless youths and conflict junkies who miss the good ol days when their lives had some meaning. They dislike being able to walk from the Falls Road into the City Center and back in safety. They miss the danger. They have plenty of cousins across the Peace Line who feel the same and who would have responded by now if they were more organised. And that is what is so worrying, the latest reports suggest that the riots were led by a new younger breed within the UVF leadership that has been critical of the groups inaction in the face of the resurgent Republican violence. It seems the dissident republicans may be getting their wish. They may be successfully provoking a reaction from the Shankill Road. The only thing that will stop it, is strong leadership from former paramilitaries in Sinn fein and the UDA that support the Peace Process.

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