Posts Tagged ‘I.R.A.’

Je Suis Charlie: Cartoonists Tributes, and the Racist Backlash

January 9, 2015

Mike over at Vox Political has a further piece on the aftermath of the shocking massacre of the staff of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. In his article Charlie Hebdo update: French mosque attacked, Mike reports that three blank grenade were thrown at a Paris mosque, and shots were fired at nearby kebab stand. He says of this apparent reprisal against innocents, who had nothing to do with the attack, that

This is, of course, exactly what the terrorists wanted. Terrorists always want to set people against each other, for the wrong reasons. The vast majority of Muslims are likely to have been as horrified at the terror attack as everyone else – but what are they supposed to think, now that innocent Muslims are being attacked by idiots?

Here’s the real voice of Islam, in the words of Vox Political commenter ‘Nightentity’ yesterday: “Those that believe these so-called Imams are ignorant of their faith and will believe anything they hear that makes them seem intelligent and all knowing to the other ignorant [people].

“Terrorism is not Islamic, you don’t cause suffering to the aged, the weak and the innocent, you don’t hide behind masks and scarves, you stand like a man and fight a man’s battle. These terrorists are cowards and weaklings for they hide behind a faith that does not condone what they do.

“These terrorists are only out for power and control, they are not true Muslims in any sense of the word.” [Bolding mine]

This is entirely correct. One of the aims of terrorist organisations, from the Russian revolutionaries through to the IRA, is to provoke further reprisals and attacks against the people they claim to be defending by the authorities, in order to create further disaffection and radicalisation. I don’t believe for it was an accident that the savage attacks on Charlie Hebdo were carried out when they were. Germany this week has been torn by demonstration and counterdemonstration by and against Pegida, an anti-Islamic organisation. Pegida’s name is an acronym for ‘Patriotische Europaer Gegen der Islamisierung des Abendlands’, or ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West’. And last week, in France itself, a Right-wing television host, Zammour, was finally sacked. Zammour seems to have been an extreme Right-wing bigot of the same stripe as Glen Beck, the American nutter, who declared that the young victims of Breivik’s massacre in Norway all deserved it because they were anti-Semitic Nazis. No, really, he did. Zammour was thrown out because he declared that France’s five million Muslims should all be deported. This ran chills down the spines of genuinely patriotic French people, as it recalled the deportation of the Jews to their extermination in the Nazi death camps under the Occupation.

The attacks on Charlie Hebdo were timed to coincide with this period of stress and potential conflict over Islam in Europe. I don’t think it is any other than an attempt to provoke further violence and civil war between Muslim and Non-Muslim.

Much of the anti-Western Islamic polemic is against Western racism, portraying White Europeans and Westerners as viciously racist, and contrasting this with the supposedly non-racist nature of Islam. It’s clearly aimed at disenfranchised non-White Muslims, who may themselves have been victims of racism. I reject its view of the West and western society. The attack on Charlie Hebdo, and the further threats of attacks and atrocities in the West by al-Qaeda and Isis, are designed to make White westerners behave according to the Islamist stereotype of them as racist bigots. That way, the Islamists can spuriously claim to have shown the true, racist nature of Western society and gather further support.

It’s obvious from this that, whatever we do, we should not let them. Non-Muslim and Muslim should stand together now to prevent further hatred and violence.

Mike’s article also has some of the visual tributes from fellow cartoonists to the murdered staff of Charlie Hebdo. Uderzo, who with Goscinny is the writer and creator of the world’s favourite ancient Gaul, shows Asterix and Obelix bowing in dignified respect. The two other cartoons, by Steve Bell and Lew Stringer, are a direct comment on the stupidity and cowardice of the attackers themselves.

Mike’s article is at It needs to be read.

Mrs. Thatcher, Talks with the IRA and Islamist Terrorists

July 9, 2013

The opinionated, and very well-informed Yorkshireman of the Another Angry Voice website has this article taking apart some of the spurious right-wing claims about Premier Thatcher’s supposed achievements. One of the claims he tackles is that Margaret Thatcher did not kow tow to the IRA. AAV’s point of view is that Mrs. Thatcher, by continuing the war against the IRA, actually did more harm than good, costing innumerable lives and perpetuating the sectarian divisions and bitterness in Ulster.

There’s clearly much truth in this. Years ago the BBC did a series on how Mrs. Thatcher appropriated Winston Churchill’s heroic view of British history to provide historiographical support for her regime. One of the speakers was a former Republican terrorist. This particular individual said that they found it far easier to recruit members during Mrs. Thatcher’s premiership than under her Conservative predecessor, Ted Heath. This was partly due to her invocation of Winston Churchill. For Brits Churchill is the hero, who saved Europe and gave Britain its finest hour as we took on the might of Nazi Germany and its jackbooted allies. For Irish nationalists, however, Churchill is the monster, who unleashed the Black and Tans and their atrocities.

Apart from the force of Mrs. Thatcher’s rhetoric, I’m not actually sure how staunchly opposed to the I.R.A. she actually was. Way back in the 1990s the Financial Times reviewed a history of the Troubles and the negotiations between the British government and the IRA by a senior figure in either the IRA or Sinn Fein. The author states that after the bombing of Canary Wharf, the British government initiated secret talks with the Republicans. He recalled how very strange it was to be saluted by a British soldier, when he entered a British army base where the negotiations were being held.

Not only does this show that Mrs. Thatcher was indeed prepared to ‘kow tow’ to the IRA when it finally suited her, it also demonstrates her duplicity. Part of the Conservative’s rhetoric during Mrs. Thatcher’s administration attacked the Labour Party and the Left for its lack of patriotism in its sympathy for Irish Nationalism. Some of that criticism is perfectly valid, considering the suffering caused by the IRA. However, it also shows that even while she was attacking the Left as an unpatriotic threat to Britain, she was doing exactly the same.

Another myth that needs to be tackled is the recent that claim that Mrs. Thatcher would have stood up to the Islamist terror groups that now operate in Britain. This is doubtful, as Mrs. Thatcher’s policies towards Afghanistan are part of the reason the Islamist radicals are in Britain in the first place. Under Mrs. Thatcher, Britain offered sanctuary to members of the Mujahideen in the proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. These included some deeply repulsive individuals responsible for quite horrific atrocities. One of the individuals Mrs. Thatcher allowed to claim asylum was responsible for the bombing of a Soviet passenger aircraft. The target had been a number of Russian officers on the flight. The casualties also included tens of schoolchildren being taken back to school in Russia. Under the Blair administration the government and police certainly did not want to take action against radical Islamist preaching and terrorist activities. Those moderate Muslims, who attempted to inform the authorities were ignored. Nevertheless, this seems to represent a policy that once again, can be traced back to Mrs. Thatcher.

If would appear from this that, far from being the Iron Lady, who never gave in to terrorism, she was quite prepared to do so, or give aid and sanctuary to its perpetrators, when it suited her to do so.