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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, July 29, 2005

One's man terrorist...

Prime Minister John Howard calls the IRA "terrorists" who "murdered people." "The reason that the British security forces and police are so effective in responding to terrorist attacks", he says, "is the bitter 30 years' experience of dealing with the IRA. There was nothing heroic about the IRA campaign, although it is still shrouded in romanticism in the eyes of some."

Let me get this straight. Howard is comfortable comparing the IRA struggle - brutal, criminal and uncompromising as it once was - to the recent London attacks, carried out by men with absolutely no comparative ideology, motives or ideals. It's so politically convenient labelling every act of violence as a terrorist act, therefore negating any distinguishing reason or background. The London suicide bombers are completely irrelevant to the IRA campaign of the 1970s and 1980s. Once again, "we" are the unwitting victims of "them."

Of course, Howard presented former "terrorist" Nelson Mandela with an Order of Australia in 1999.


Blogger paul said...

No such thing as a former terrorist- Mandela still is one.

Friday, July 29, 2005 12:01:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Well, that's a unique position. Not many people share that view, but there you go. Guess any campaign that uses violence to advance its aim is terrorism in your eyes.

Friday, July 29, 2005 12:04:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Wait a second...I thought the major motive/grievance of the terrorists in London according to you was to get US out of Iraq?

What the hell would you call the IRA goons, thugs and hit-squads of the past decades? Freedom fighters?

Friday, July 29, 2005 1:22:00 pm  
Blogger Albert Ross said...

Of course the HMG's security services have some direct experience of playing away - so to speak.

The Dublin/Monaghan bombings on 17th May 1974 which killed around 35 and the Gibraltar 4 murders were perpetrated by them.

One man's terrorist...

Friday, July 29, 2005 1:45:00 pm  
Blogger Albert Ross said...

What the hell would you call the IRA goons, thugs and hit-squads of the past decades? Freedom fighters?

Most assuredly. If you take a longer view of Irish history the Provisional IRA was the direct successor of the government of a 32 county Ireland proclaimed by Pearse in 1916. It therefore had every right to take military action against both the quite illegitimate government of the British province of Northern Ireland and that government's sponsor.

That there was errr... collateral damage is a matter of regret.

Friday, July 29, 2005 1:53:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Any of you experts heard of Bloody Sunday? Shab? I expect you'll be airing your expert views on this event over at your blog.

Friday, July 29, 2005 4:30:00 pm  
Blogger Shay said...

What the hell is Paul on about? Disappointed that Mandela let down the Aryan race by helping to put the kaffirs in office are you? For the record, Mandela did take part in and sanction bombings, but they were hits against infrastructure and very carefully designed to avoid casualties.

As for the IRA, I'm willing to accept such grandstanding from Howard as long as he admits the equally criminal actions of the British in the same conflict. And as he is visiting the British Prime Minister without so much as a mention of culpability I assume that this will never happen. But dear, wasn't it so brave of him to go and visit the troops in Iraq. No wait... isn't Iraq supposed to be safe for democracy now? Dammit, I'm confused. Time for a drink.

Friday, July 29, 2005 11:47:00 pm  

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