President Eisenhower, in a press conference in 1954, talked about the “falling domino” principle as it applied to Indochina. In the context of that conference, the reporters were concerned about the on-going hydrogen bomb program. Why couldn’t we just stop now? Eisenhower spoke of tyranny, of national interest, and of the interconnection between nations.
So here is it is, fifty-six years later, and the domino theory seems, finally, a reality. Only this time the geography has widened to include more than just one region. Dominos are falling all over the place.
The domino called Northern Ireland was long-overdue for a tumble, but it looks as though it may have happened at long last. What the Belfast Telegraph calls a mafia economy — “Sicily without the sunshine” — has come onto the world’s radar again, and for the same reasons: outlaws reigning in a supposedly civilized land.
Sinn Fein and the IRA have a long history of fascism dating back to World War II and their sympathy with the Nazis. The Republic of Ireland (the South), newly born in the Easter Rising of the early ‘teens and twenties of the last century, remained “neutral” in the War, though many of her young men went off to fight in the British services. But Dublin itself was a haven for Nazis; sympathizers among the Irish population were numerous. To give the devil his due, their reactions — coming as they did after centuries of domination by England — had more to do with anti-British feeling than it did with the reality of Hitler.
Sinn Fein — meaning “we ourselves”* or “ourselves alone” — briefly had a proud history in the birth of the Irish nation. My aunt, born in 1916, was named Ellen Sinn Fein Sullivan — her American father having come to Ireland to found the film industry was quickly caught up in the fever of independence and found himself in gaol briefly for his outspoken American talk. But “Alone” has its dark side. A divided house cannot stand, and Ireland is all-too-famous for division and recrimination. They have hung separately for generations.
Now Sinn Fein and the IRA are infamous for their mafia-like control of businesses in Ireland. No one dare stand up to them. And as sure as shamrocks appear in the florists’ shops, every year on this date Gerry Adams waltzes over to America and collects the sentimental money from clueless Irish descendants raised on vague talk about the Troubles and the bloody English… “for the stranger came and tried to teach us their way/they scorned us just for being who we are.” All over the Northeast of America they’ll be bellying up to the bar and singing “Galway Bay” till they’re hoarse.
Meanwhile, back in Belfast, the murdering IRA will be soldiering on, robbing banks, intimidating the populace, murdering the dissidents.
There’s no way to tell in advance what will be the tipping point in any situation. When the IRA murdered McCartney, it was the whim of the tyrant. McCartney’s chum “dissed” a mobster in a bar and before it was over, McCartney lay eviscerated, bleeding to death on the sidewalk while the IRA closed down, cleaned up, threatened everyone, and shut the phones so help couldn’t be called until after McCartney was dead.
What they failed to take into consideration — nor would it have been of any concern to them anyway — was the five Mc Cartney sisters. They refused to “shut it up.” Like Mukhtar Mai in Pakistan, they named the tyrant and they called for justice. The IRA offered the only justice they knew: they’d kill the murderers if the family would stop.
Instead, the five McCartneys are off to America, off to the White House to see the President. Their unheard-of courage has caught the conscience of the crowd and now no one will talk to Gerry Adams…or rather, no one important. He’s still giving speeches to the union members in New York and Boston who will gather to listen. And U.S. special envoy to the peace process, Mitchell Reiss, will listen to him. But Ted Kennedy, his old friend these many decades, won’t be among them.
|The sisters have been invited to the White House and the Capitol Hill speaker’s luncheon. They will also meet with Sen. Kennedy, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Sen. Christopher Dodd.|
Like all the other terrorists (the IRA has trained and worked with the PLO and FARC), the Sinn Fein/IRA domino is falling as surely as has that of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Ukraine — and all the way back to the Big Domino: the Berlin Wall. Perhaps they will see it coming in time to move toward the rule of law. Not likely, given how difficult it is to live as a former terrorist.
Meanwhile, Bush soldiers on, bringing into his circle those who would spread the mantle of liberty, those who have known the cost of tyranny. The McCartneys made the list and Gerry Adams will be gnashing his teeth in the outer darkness.
For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad
— G.K. Chesterton
*Irish Gaelic sinn féin : sinn, we (from Middle Irish, from Old Irish) + féin, self (from Middle Irish, from Old Irish).
Very good post. Strange how Sinn Fein/PIRA has evolved into an almost Sicilian organization, more like la Cosa Nostra than an underground rebel army. Perhaps this is the natural consequence of being sub rosa for so long.
Excellent stuff. The history of Sinn Fein gangsterism goes back a long way. I grew up listening to tales of how the local “lads” in the Cork-Limerick-Tipperary border area, during Ireland’s “War of Independence (1918-1921), would sometimes split the proceeds of a bank robbery among themselves. That’s how they later managed to buy a decent farms. Rebel movements have always provided cover for gangsters. Sure, there were idealists, but there was no shortage of cute hoors, either.
Not ‘strange’ at all. The Irish are a very clannish bunch. And they were like that before the British did their durty deeds.
The Sinn Fein gangsters and good guys were notoriously intimate. My O’Mara relatives –Limerick mayors for many generations — did more than pose for pictures, I’m sure. It’s the old “making omelets” thing, is it not?
Somehow in your exhaustive study of history you neglect to mention the blue shirt facist movement and the IRA’s actions that helped defeat that movement. The Blue Shirts eventually morphed into Fine Gael.
I’m glad there are people who read this blog who know more than I do. That way I get to learn things I’d never have known otherwise.
“Exhaustive” is a little snarky this late in the day: St.Patrick’s Day is a week gone now…
“Exhaustive” is a little snarky this late in the day: St.Patrick’s Day is a week gone now…
I like to think I choose words for effect, but not unfairly. Your post seemed to look for all the bad things the Republican movement has done and for nothing positive. I believe that if I had the time I could go toe to toe with you on the issue. In the end it would prove nothing. If you wish to believe that the IRA just appeared on the scene out of nowhere as sort of orcs, go ahead. To believe such a thing is to admit to worse than being non exhaustive.
A post is not meant to be a history book. It is an attempt to explain one’s ‘take’ on a particular event or series of events. Since this is a blog on terrorism, and since the IRA has been synonymous with ‘terrorism’ for quite some time, and since it is running aground on the turning tide of history vis-a-vis the rising demand for lawful behavior, and since it was St. Patrick’s Day and Gerry Adams was suddenly non-grata in the pubs of Boston…all of these led to my post of March 17th.
More than anything, though, was the sadistic, casual slaughter of McCartney and the courage of his sisters in the face of Sinn Fein and the IRA –these events were the catalyst for this post. Otherwise I could as well have cut and pasted St. Patrick’s Prayer, which is not a bad petition considering the times in which we live.
It is always individuals who are interesting, and movements which make the history books. Perhaps the advent of the internet and of blogs will change that. “The End of History (Books)” — to coin a title.
So this is a blog, that was a post. This is not a history book, though it is written material for my descendants to look at someday.
“A post is not meant to be a history book. It is an attempt to explain one’s ‘take’ on a particular event or series of events.”
Fair enough. I answered you, I believe fairly. You said in your post that “Sinn Fein and the IRA have a long history of fascism.” That is wrong. That is all I’m saying. I hope that you are not offended. If you can prove that Irish Nationalism is any worse than American or British, fine. A link to someone else’s one sided page is weak.
Yes, there were facistic elements amongst them, but it was a minority. Generally the attitude was the enemy of my enemy and no more evil than Churchill’s statement about allying with the devil himself. Interstingly, Winnie håd some rather admiring comments about Hitler pre war.
I don’t believe I was snarky. Snarky is ” could as well have cut and pasted St. Patrick’s Prayer,”
How in the name of God can someone be taken seriously with history when they state that sinn fein means “ourselves alone” where does the alone word appear in sinn fein. The whole lot of ye go away a study basic Irish and then your bitterness my stop clouding some basics of infants school.