won the war, Now let's win the peace"
it's not some Brit or Yank general after the fall
of Baghdad or Basra. It's Sinn Fein's annual 'sound-bite'
from a veteran to rally the troops who might be doubtful.
Nothing like a self-congratulatory 'pat on the back'
to make everyone feel we're in control. Unless I fell
asleep and have just wakened up, I don't remember
any Brits waving white flags in West Belfast, Tyrone,
Derry, South Armagh or anywhere else for that matter.
Far from it! No spoils of war for the rank and file
anyway! Just humiliation after humiliation, Mitchell
Principles, Weapons beyond use, Stormont etc, etc,
etc, and there's more to come- joining the RUC(PSNI)
Board of Informers, disbanding the Provisionals and
dare I say it -No I won't! Alright I will- Police
we're talking about surrender I was looking through
the Annals of History when I came upon another surrender
with lessons that you would think would have been
learned by now. This event took place 400 years ago
about this time of year too. However the submission
of Hugh O' Neill was not a shoddy, shameful affair
like this latest capitulation of the Sinn Fein Leadership.
O'Neill and Red Hugh O'Donnell had fought a long and
hard campaign, had walked most of the country and
with the aid of Scottish Galloglass won many battles
great and small against the English. Events though
turned against O'Neill, many deserted the great chief,
some through bribery others just to save their own
lands and necks. Hugh O' Neill himself was willing
to hold out but famine ensued in Ulster-3000 died
in Tyrone alone.
English after their success disarmed the whole country
from end to end. Gaelic chiefs including O'Neill had
to surrender their lands to the crown; they were then
re-granted whatever lands the crown saw fit-usually
far less than they originally held. 'Surrender and
Re-grant' it was called but a promise had to be given
'not to raise arms against the crown in future'. Sound
familiar? They say that history repeats itself and
you would think we would learn by our mistakes by
now--well some do some don't!
see Bush and Blair are up in arms about the treatment
of their soldiers taken prisoner in Iraq-pot calling
the kettle black! Remember the Afghan War, prisoner
taken to Cuba hooded, shackled, some drugged. Remember
the fuss the American Gov. made when the Red Cross
asked to visit the prisoners.
only have to look at Ireland to judge Britain's record
in its treatment of POW's. Apparently it's against
the Geneva Convention to film prisoners or treat them
in a degrading way. Well I must ask the Red Cross
to come to Maghaberry sometime as prisoners here are
videoed and recorded every time we step out of our
cells (except of course when a Republican is attacked.)
I wonder if Strip-searching is termed degrading for
we get plenty of them, legal visits-prisoners not
notified or solicitors told blatant lies that prisoners
had refused the visit. Boxed visits-where a prisoner
and his relatives are put in a boxed room and separated
by a full dividing screen. Boxed visits are normally
reserved for criminals who abuse drugs but in an attempt
by the NIO to criminalise Republicans it is often
used as a weapon against us. Since we refuse to be
criminalised we refuse boxed visits. Our relatives
have to return home without seeing their loved ones
most after travelling a long distance and going through
the security checks, body searches, guard dogs, drug
dogs, and insults from loyalists and screws. Our relatives'
determination never ceases to amaze and inspire us.
have been made that ammunition used in the murder
of six people in the Heights Bar in Loughinisland
came from Ballykinlar army base. Locals know the real
truth, not only was there ammunition from Ballykinlar
in the area that night but two land rovers were parked
in a laneway half an hour before the shooting. No
statement has ever been made by Ballykinlar army base
on troop movements that night.
the one-sided war for control in Iraq a familiar statement
was made by the armies-'Car failed to stop after a
warning as we thought our lives were in danger we
opened fire (just to protect ourselves you understand!)
All occupants (women and children) were killed.' In
a press statement by Tony Blair to the people of Iraq
he said "We are going to liberate you",
he forgot to add "even if we have to kill you
to do it".
in the Gaol here another Republican POW was assaulted
this week. The assault took place in sentenced wings.
One Republican prisoner who is outnumbered 11-1 by
loyalists was walking round the exercise yard when
boiling water was thrown over him from one of the
windows above. Finally I was about to highlight the
issue of the non-arrival of post at the gaol but it
seems some-one got a parcel through today (Friday
Is mise le meas,
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