been a subscriber to the Blanket for a few
months now and I have to say that I find the letters
of the readership somewhat disappointing.
whatever one may believe about Bush or US foreign
policy, it is not absurd to imagine that a supporter
of George Bush could also be concerned about Irish
Republicanism. Diarmuid Fogarty's response was a sorry
display of intolerance and closed-mindedness. His
article was riddled with anti-American bias and a
refusal to deal intelligently with someone with whom
he disagrees. Certainly he is not the only one who
has expressed shock and awe at the publication of
Hurley's articles. Some have responded to Mr. Hurley
in a thoughtful way, like Saerbhreathach Mac Toirdealbhaigh.
Many, however, have failed to present an argument,
giving air to nothing more than bias and declarations
that only their views should be expressed in the journal.
Isn't this a forum for free speech? I always imagined
that such a forum would include any side of an issue
without feeling the need to publish it "with
an immediate rebuttal." The publication of Hurley's
article led Fogarty to "conclude that you are
deeper in debt to the Yanks than I could have imagined
before." Does the presentation of Hugh Orde's
views imply a debt to the Brits?
I find that there is an unacknowledged, underlying
inclination throughout a lot of the articles to the
principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
To name just one instance of this, Fogarty refers
to the government of pre-invasion Vietnam as "a
perfectly good government." In fact, Vietnam
was in a state of civil war before the American invasion
and various forces were struggling for power, sometimes
at the expense of innocent civilians. Is it wrong
for American troops to inflict civilian casualties,
but alright for local Vietnamese political groups
in the name of revolution?
problem that I have with many articles is the ambiguous
stance on war. This isn't necessarily a problem with
the authors of the articles. They may have a very
sophisticated view of just war theory that I fail
to understand. Nevertheless, I don't think that there
is any sort of consensus on when (or if) a war can
be just, and I think that many of the issues that
I've already mentioned are due to this issue of clarification.
I think it's safe to say that nobody believes that
a war is just on the basis of the ability to win alone
(i.e. a stronger power is always right in attacking
a weaker power). It seems, though, that some readers
would say that a weaker power (an "oppressed"
group) is justified in attacking a stronger power
(the "oppressor") simply because they are
weaker. I think that such a simplification of many
conflicts is unfortunate. I personally do not believe
that the American Indian movement, for instance, is
justified in using violence when other non-violent
means of achieving their goals (the reasonable ones)
are available. Perhaps I could receive some clarification
on this matter.
I want to express my disagreement with the well written
article by Joanne Dunlop. I certainly agree with her
in maintaining that more options should be available
for women with unwanted pregnancies. However, I think
that it would be a grave mistake to see abortion as
a viable option to this problem. A woman's body is
certainly her own body and should be subject to her
own choice, but I think that an unborn child's body
should receive the same protection from the government
as the woman's. An unborn child (I know that my terminology
already betrays what I believe) is NOT part of the
pregnant woman's body, even if dependent upon the
mother's body for survival. An ideology that views
the "fetus" as a sub-person is a dangerous
ideology for a free democratic society. Every person,
regardless of age or degree of "independence"
deserves the equal protection of the state. Otherwise,
certain groups who have no voice of their own are
subject to systematic state-endorsed murder.