In 18 68 when Gladstone was asked to form a Govt. he accepted and said “My mission is to pacify Ireland” less than 50 years later there was what has become famous as ‘The Easter Rising’ renowned in songs and stories etc. and also the single most successful recruiting agent for Irish Independence and the IRA ever seen; the reason? Britain did what was quite common in such circumstances they reacted with wrath and unspeakable cruelty and the Irish remember it well. Britain was of course reacting to a rebellion against the Crown and they did not mess about; the prevailing wisdom was that the victors had to make an example of the losers and they did. Not much later they did the same with Germany after the first world war and both of these conflicts were to come back and bite them later; Germany of course in a far more serious way.
Further back when Henry “orator” Hunt the famous radical dissenter addressed the mighty crowd at St. Peter’s Field Manchester in the cause of parliamentary reform in 18 19 the meeting was attacked by cavalry and 15 were killed and as many as 700 injured; the reformers called it the ‘Peterloo Massacre’ to link it with Waterloo which was 4 years earlier when many who fought there that day had been hailed as heroes; that was the time right there to get your money on Parliamentary reform it became a stick on because; time had marched on and people easily heard about Peterloo and they, like the Irish later would remember.
An English character in the great novel “Ulysses” by James Joyce remarks rather grandly in a Dublin pub conversation “We English have treated you Irish rather harshly, it seems history is to blame” well; today I remembered this and more as I heard the conclusions from the “Bloody Sunday Report” many people waiting 38 years for this would be unaware that this was in fact “Bloody Sunday mark 2” in 19 20 not long after the Easter Rising the Royal Irish Constabulary and the British Army fired into a crowd at a football match at Croke Park Dublin and killed 12 and injured many more; it was a Sunday and hence became “Blood Sunday Mark1” You see since the ‘Rising’ Ireland had been looked after by a courageous band of well spoken well behaved chaps who became affectionately known as the “Black and Tans” whose idea of a good night out was to raid a pub get drunk then murder torture and burn down houses; their favourite game was removing finger nails with pliers and you should have seen what they did to the men; yes indeed there is “previous” here.
In any case “why is he writing all this” I hear you mumble well; it’s because it ties in with what I have been saying about the Israeli Defence Force and the Gaza Boat Raid this is what can happen when young men wearing uniforms are allowed to run wild with no control over them and; today’s report tells us what we all unquestionably knew by now; the British Army; not for the first time; from Ireland to Iraq and many points in between are as guilty as hell. The report and the details are very disturbing indeed and it cannot be allowed to end here; just like the boat raid these were murders and you can’t have a murder without a murderer and in this case the murderer’s commanders who are the ones who sit where the buck stops or at least where it should stop, but will it?
There will be a predictable outcry about dead soldiers and civilians throughout Ireland’s troubled past which is entirely understandable but; if you (the Govt.) want to go down the road of indiscriminately shooting people who are demonstrating in favour of what you see as the enemy then you should be aware that this kind of reaction is not without precedent. In the Second World War it was common for the Nazis to react to the killing of one of their soldiers by Italian Partisans for instance by murdering hundreds of non combatant Italian villagers and burning down their homes and farms (Israel?) It’s not the answer is it?
As human beings we must think of those people who fought the deceitful and scheming British State for all these years to prove their loved ones innocent; we must think of all those who suffered because this incident made matters worse. More died and were blown up because of the entrenchment caused by these actions and the lies of the British State and; last but not least we must think of the Soldiers who did the killing and this is the hardest thing of all for the victims who lost loved ones. These Soldiers were not much older than some of their young victims and they have now been living with the fact that they gunned down unarmed innocent civilians for 38 years; unless of course you take the line that is being taken for the apologists of Israel’s war crimes and say that they were armed with deadly stones and bottles. I would not like to carry such guilt around with me for life and I admit I do not know whether I would be able draw a line under it and forgive but I know that if I could not forgive then I would at least blame the real guilty ones, that is the British Army Commanders in charge of the whole bloody fiasco but; we have been here before have we not; will we ever learn?