The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Lacking Credibility

Bert Ward • 25.02.03

Should people be surprised at the Congressman Gilman's list of human rights abuses that Father McManus has taken up? (The Blanket 23 February 2003) It is, I accept, inevitable that if one casts one's net into the sea of human rights abuses some abuses will get through. It depends on the quality of the net and the size of the mesh. On this occasion to quote the Congressman, Father McManus took up "individual human rights cases, like the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four to the political assassinations cases of Pat Finucane and Rose Mary Nelson; from the Hunger Strikes of Bobby Sands and his nine colleagues to the general mistreatment of political prisoners;"

These abuses were caught in his net.

Some that got through include the victims of the Birmingham pub bombs, Bloody Friday; Judge Maurice Gibson and his wife Cecily on the 25 April 1987, killed by a 500lb bomb near the border as they drove home from their holidays, Edgar Graham, barrister and university lecturer, shot by two gunmen outside the Queens University library 7 December 1983, the Abercorn restaurant bomb, the Shankill fish shop bomb, Enniskillen, the Disappeared, Paddy Gillespie the human bomb, and on and on. All of these victims, without exception, were killed by republicans. Assuming that Congressman Ben Gilman's list is the definitive list, we have to ask why it was these particular abuses that got through Father McManus's net. Why these and not the others? Did he not regard these as abuses of human rights?

If two people are looking at a table, one standing and looking down, the other kneeling and looking up, are they seeing two different tables or are they looking at the same table but from different vantage points? This is the simple question that Father McManus has to answer. If he fails, as Congressman Ben Gilman's list implies, then his claim to be opposed to all violence lacks credibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles



11 April 2003

 

Other Articles From This Issue:

 

Critique of the Anti War Movement

Liam O'Ruairc

 

A Diversion from the Task
Eoin O'Broin

 

Bush and Blair Summon the Irish Contras...
Anthony McIntyre

 

Not Firm Ground But Wet Sand: Prevaricating for Peace

Paul Fitzsimmons

 

Irish Leaders Miss Chance to Speak Out Against War
Eamon Lynch

 

London Update
FRF

 

Baghdad: First They Cheered and Then They...
Anthony McIntyre

 

America's Dual Mission

M. Shahid Alam

 

War: It Already Started
Paul de Rooij

 

Lacking Credibility
Bert Ward

 

7 April 2003

 

Adams Will Tell Bush He's Anti-War
Eoin O'Broin

 

Stand Firm
Davy Carlin

 

Anti-War Human Rights Activists on Trial
FRF

 

First We Take Basra, And Then We Take ...Basra Again
Anthony McIntyre

 

Belfast - Building an Anti-War Movement

Davy Carlin

 

 

 

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