Monday, February 12, 2001

My piece on Ireland attracted some feedback, as usual. Here's a selection:

Is the statement below really worthy of an anti-war website? It reads as a call to arms at the slightest hint of provocation.

"When you are publicly threatened with force there is only one time when you should give in - when you have to. Britain does not have to give in, and therefore it will be worse for Britain to get a reputation as a country that finds it easier to be persuaded by force than by the democratic process."

I guess is a bit less catchy.

And then, there's this:

I would like to expand on your excellent February 5, 2001 article "Minorities -- The Irish Case Study".

First a word of warning. My views are "politically incorrect" and expressed by someone from a Catholic Irish American background potentially "treasonous".

However unrealistic my ideas may seem to many, probably a great many, I would suggest they remember that any suggestion back in 1975 that the Soviet Union -- whose surrogates had been militarily victorious in Southeast Asia, the horn of Africa, former Portuguese Africa, Afghanistan, and Nicaragua, and seemed posed to win military victories in El Salvador and possibly Guatemala, whose actions had effectively rolled back U.S. influence and power around the world, and which had launched a formidable, and what appeared to be a successful, diplomatic initiative to "Finlandize" at least part of Western Europe -- would not exist within 15 years would also have been labeled "unrealistic".

What has to be realized, but which is denied by "republicans", Dublin, London, and Washington is that the problem in Northern Ireland is not one of religious minorities but of nations, not of religious freedom but of national existence.

The Protestants of Northern Ireland are as separate and distinct a nation from the Catholics of Eire as Catholic Croats are from Orthodox Serbs.

The problem in Northern Ireland is that the Catholic nation has historically sought, militarily, economically, and diplomatically, to abolish the Protestant nation. And it has never abandoned that objective to this very day. To paraphrase Clausewitz, the Belfast Agreement is simply the continuation of terrorism by other means.

There are two additional political outcomes to the ones you thoughtfully proposed.

The first is predicated upon the dissolution of the United Kingdom -- an occurrence which I earnestly hopes never occurs. In my opinion, it would be a "crime" against Western Civilization. But if it occurred, then Northern Ireland could unite with an independent Scotland. Such a union has a historic precedent. It would be the modern equivalent of the medireview Kingdom of Dalriada. The combined Protestant population of a potentially oil-rich country would be more than a match for the IRA, Dublin, the U.S. Congressional Irish Caucus, and Noraid.

The second, and dare I say the most "unrealistic", proposal is an independent Northern Ireland. But instead of territorial swaps with Eire which would make Northern Ireland smaller but more homogenous, Northern Ireland would be expanded -- from six counties to sixteen. It would include all of Ulster and all of Connaught.

The reason for such a proposal?

The government of Eire and the IRA have sought to destroy Northern Ireland. That requires that the aggressors be punished, not rewarded. And that the victims be compensated, not penalized.

The employment of military, economic, and diplomatic warfare by Eire and the IRA is now well documented. To me, some of the highlights of this aggression include:
- Dublin's congratulation to Hitler on the Munich Agreement in which Northern Ireland was referred to as Eire's "Sudetenland".
- The IRA's de facto alliance with Hitler.
- The IRA bombing campaigning in England from the end of 1939 to the middle of 1940.
- The need to station American troops in Northern Ireland for fear of a second front launched either by the Nazis or Dublin.
- Dublin's offer of asylum to the Nazis rulers towards the end of World War II.
- Dublin's financing the IRA in the 1960s.
- Dublin's plan to invade Northern Ireland in 1970.
- The IRA's de facto alliance with the Soviet Union, Khadaffi of Libya, and world terrorist organizations in its bid to destroy Northern Ireland.
What happens to the Catholic population in the enlarged Northern Ireland?

Patriation to the United States. I'm serious. It can be done effectively, efficiently, and rapidly.

Irish Catholic politicians (including, I believe, the IRA's man in Congress Peter King) have been demanding for years that the U.S. admit more Irish Catholics. This provides them with such immigrants.

The U.S. takes in nearly one million legal immigrants a year so it will be able to take in all, or virtually all, of these Irish Catholics with relative ease over a five year period. Cuba and Vietnam provide examples of such organized population transfers to the U.S..

Since the U.S. has been involved in the affairs of Northern Ireland, directly or indirectly, but almost always to the determent of Northern Ireland a case of moral responsibility can be leveled against Washington demanding that it takes in these Irish Catholic immigrants. This would be adopting the same argument that Third World activists have successfully used to have the U.S. take in "immigrants" from Central America and Haiti.

This is just a brief outline of a possible peace settlement. In politics anything is possible. Just remember the history of the former, and I emphasize former, Soviet Union between 1975 and 1991.

Definately different, although I must stress that I think that ethnically cleansing either population would be barbaric.

The Northern Minority

Not everyone thinks that ethnically cleansing the Prods was bad, though. This American IRA supporter, who's appeared here before, just denies it happened.

A more reasoned dissent came from the Republic of Ireland:

You contend that the collapse in the relative demographic strength of the southern minority can be primarily attributed to the hostile environment of newly independent southern Ireland.

Furthermore, you contend that this collapse indicates that the minority in the South was more poorly treated that the minority in the

The evidence does not support these contentions.

There were several causes of the demographic collapse of the Sothern minority. Roughly considered, they are:

1- Political/cultural: The Protestant minority, in the main, considered themselves British. Many thus felt no affinity to the new, non-British state. Hence, many emigrated.

In the same vein, the Southern minority, who by and large constituted the "elite" of Southern Irish society were naturally enough replaced by Catholics.

2- Economic: As the best educated, and let's be frank about this, the most industrious segment of Southern Irish society, they had the most to gain from participating in the mass emigration that marked most of independent Ireland's history

3- Religious: The minority's demographic decline was also driven by the RC church's insistence that the children of mixed marriages
be brought up Catholics.

There is no debating the fact that the Southern minority suffered sharp decline in independent Ireland. However this decline cannot
be primarily attributed to the sort of brutish state sectarianism that the Northern minority endured.

Ultimately, the more benign experience of the southern minority was not due to a triumph of Catholic character, but more the result of the fact that the Southern minority, in contrast to the Northern minority, were too weak, too geographically dispersed to pose any real
threat to independent Ireland. As such, the new state did not expend energy oppressing them.

And this from a Southern Irish Protestant:

As a Southern Irish Protestant, however, I must take issue with your allegations of widespread discrimination against Protestants in the South. There was hardly any burning of houses, etc, once the Anglo-Irish War was over. Although there were subsequent glaring examples of bias against Protestants (eg, the famous 1950s case in which De Valera personally intervened to block the appointment of a protestant librarian in Co Mayo), in my experience, Catholics treated Protestants with considerable respect.

You should read Mary Kenny on this subject. She records how the few Protestant merchants and shopkeepers in her small childhood town (I forget which one) were actually thought of as being rather better than the majority population in some ways. Notably, they would never give a short measure or try to rip you off in their shops. They were generally esteemed for their high standards and for their (real or perceived) greater sophistication. Any envy of them was mild in form and expression.

I was born in Dublin in December 19xx, and lived there until 1988, and have never encountered anti-Protestant bias, except in the form of the occsional, harmless joke ("bush baptists", "West Brit", etc). I was one of three Protestants in the Navy and was given every facility I needed to pursue my "bush baptism", and was always excused Mass Parades. (The idea was that I would trot off to the local C.o.I., but in fact, I was more interested in my spirituous than spiritual welfare!) The Southern Protestants have dwindled not because of "institutional Catholicism", but because they have left the country (my older brother and myself) or outmarried (my younger brother).

An interesting point of view, although this is not the sole view of the Irish community.

Simon Jenkins, again

I know I've been off air for some time, so you expect something more than my (odd) obsession with Simon Jenkins. But here's two more Times articles:

The Holy Land has seen enough crusades
Why flying will never be the same again - on the military industrial complex

Bookmark this

Justin Raimondo has gone through his bookmarks, and produced an article woth bookmarking itself. It is teeming with news sources.


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