Troubles war statement mooted

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Barrack Room Lawyer, Jan 7, 2008.

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  1. The group set up to look at how best to deal with the legacy of the Troubles may ask the government to formally say it fought a war against the IRA.
    The Consultative Group on the Past held the first of seven public meetings in Belfast on Monday evening.

    The group, co-chaired by Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, is due to publish a report this summer.

    Sources have said it may ask the government to say the period known as the Troubles was in fact a war.

    This would be seen as highly controversial.

    Throughout the Troubles successive governments and the security forces said they were dealing with criminal activity and a breakdown of law and order in Northern Ireland.

    Republican and loyalist paramilitaries claimed they were fighting a war.

    If the government was to say it was a war, it could enable it to grant a form of amnesty to former paramilitaries willing to provide details of their activities as part of a truth recovery process.

    The report could also recommend that all groups involved in the violence should apologise for their role and consider signing an agreement that they will never again use violence for political ends.


    The group's first public meeting will be followed by others in Londonderry, Bangor, Ballymena, Enniskillen, Armagh and Omagh over the coming weeks.

    Mr Bradley said the meetings were an important part of the consultation process.

    "Since beginning our consultation in September we have met with a range of groups and individuals to listen to their views on how we can deal with our troubled past," he said.

    "We have also learned of the good work that has already taken place on this issue and we are determined to build upon that."

    The independent group was set up by former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain.

    Its aim is to provide a platform for people to express their opinions on how to deal with the trauma caused by the Troubles.
  2. Good or bad idea would depend on who would be formally declared the winner, surely.

    The winner gets to host the War Crimes Tribunal.
  3. I thought the WHOLE point of Op. Banner, was that they were criminals, so it was "Aid to Civil Power", not a "War".
    To concede that it was a war, is to concede the entire political point of the PIRA, that is they were "right".
    A pox on all Politicians!
  4. Too late - the pox has obviously set in some time ago and addled their brains.

    Can we now expect generous financial settlements to their POWs, gallantry medals and victory parades.. FECKERS
  5. A fair point but I don't agree with the specific point about the IRA. The problem is that only Nation States can really declare war on each other. The IRA can say it was a war but who were they fighting - all of the UK?

    Also HMG wanted it to be MACP and that paramilitaries were only crooks otherwise all sorts of problems would arise e.g. we shot X because he was a soldier - prove it. Also all sorts of sh1t in the Army etc Acts would have come into play.
  6. Hello,

    wouldn't declaring the troubles to be a war allow paramilitaries to be charged with a range of war crimes,starting with being illegal combattants?

  7. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    It's a shame it never was called a war by the various gobments. In war, you can hunt down, and shoot-to-kill all the enemy, rather than arrest them. You could even kill as spies those who operate in civilian dress.

    The opportunity to kill more of the bast@rds was wasted in my opinion.
  8. Sadly not. It seems it does, however, open the door to a complete amnesty. :x
  9. My appeasement of terrorists coming from the enemy within I fear.
  10. Time to hand my bedding in I think. So many valuable lives lost and all to mean nothing because some political gesture pisses it all away to ‘appease’ feelings, whose feelings? And a crarp statement about it being better this way.

    Roll on the war trials then.
  11. And here we go again. Look, it's very simple - we won, they lost. The fact that half of PIRA is walking around the streets and there's some appeasement going on is part of the price of victory; the fact is that the Six Counties are still in the UK, the Twenty Six Counties have abandoned any legacy aspiration to run the entire island of Ireland and the Troubles are over. Sure, it took 30-odd years, sure it cost thousands of lives, sure of that's unpalatable to those of us whose Army careers were dominated by the Province; we still won and they still lost.

    Ultimately, the British took a political problem and found a political solution to it. Seamus Mallon immortally called the Good Friday Agreement "Sunningdale for Slow Learners" and he was absolutely right. However satisfying it might have been to have clipped the top 100 or top 200 players, it would have achieved nothing, strategically. The strategy of bringing the Republican leadership into the political process was the right one and it's borne fruit.

    I do understand that the Province is still not a garden of peace, harmony and democracy and I do understand that having people from Cullyhanna beaten to death by gangs of chaps in masks is not immediately obvious as a sign of improvement, but it's still a hell of a lot better than it has been.

    I'll declare an interest - a lot of my 22 years revolved around the Province and I find much of what has happened quite difficult to live with - psychopaths being effectively let off scot-free for some of the most appalling crimes, for example, to say nothing of some of the types you see in NI politics nowadays - but I have come to the realisation that what we have is the least worst case.

    Well done to John Major and his people who, to my mind, were the ones who were actually responsible for the end of the Troubles, however much Blair and his trained monkeys (to say nothing of well-known naive Republican groupie Mo Mowlam) have tried to take the credit.
  12. I might be talking out of my arrse here, but if it is declared a 'war', would that not open the floodgates for the barstards to start trying to bring HMG and soldiers to trial for 'illegal' killing and the like.
    Compensation claims,
    Full independent inquiries,

    Seems pretty worrying to me.

    *Standing by to be told to shut the feck up*
  13. I think, actually, military have wider freedom to operate, as Biped points out, than in MACP. I am really not in favour of anything that would allow the Republicans to have valid reason to claim they were anything other than criminal terrorist scum but I can't see that it would make it any different on the compensation front. You can shoot at an enemy soldier just for moving in to your sight-picture, in a war, provided that they have not surrendered? Legal, under international law, even if you exceed your ROE. War + enemy military = legitimate target.

    IIRC, POWs can still be imprisoned by the civil power for activities against the law of the country they are operating in provided that these weren't part of formal military activities? Therefore catching them, trying them and chucking them in the Maze would still be legal even if they were subsequently recognised (no, please, no) as legitimate combatants. Dunno how Diplock courts would factor in this.
  14. While we are talking about appeasement but deviating the thread a little, does anyone know what has/is happening about the massively expensive Bloody Sunday enquiry that was started years ago by Bliar? Is it still going on? Has it been quietly dropped? Has it come to any conclusions? It has dropped off the horizon for a couple of years and I am puzzled as to what became of it.
  15. I do appreciate that in the main the troubles are over and maybe we have the best solution we could hope for. I also agree that the Conservatives took the necessary steps to start the process. But do we have to continue to kowtow, it was never a war and we can only be sorry that so many innocent lives were taken.