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That's a pretty snappy slogan, actually.

I'd pretty much concur with your analysis, from a mainland based perspective.

Mind you, there's a definite (and horrible) element to me of "playing the waiting game." In essence, both sides had to be convinced that they weren't going to get "total victory" and that came in part only with the passage of time.

That's a horrible thought because I'm suggesting that there wasn't many good ways to reduce the bloodshed.

I'll caveat by saying there were key moments, especially at the beginning, but one or two in the middle that might have been seized by one side or the other to make a difference, but I do feel for much of the middle period both sides were still so swept up in dreams of "total victory" that it's hard to see what could have been done to shorten the conflict.

I should note some extra factors:

  1. Not sure how much weight this had, but EU membership for Ireland definitely made a difference. It softened the national distinctions in a crucial way.

  2. More weighty, but difficult to assess from my relatively general knowledge is that there was a definite turning point in Irish government attitudes to the pIRA. The pIRA didn't just have broad-based support in the Catholic population of NI and the general population of Eire, they also had an ambiguous relationship with the government of Eire.

I don't have the knowledge to place the position of the Irish government in the relationship on the spectrum between "tacit support," "turning a blind eye" and "being politically unable to do much about them" but it was definitely in there at the beginning. It seemed to shift towards the beginning of the 80s and that seemed to have some slow impact on the pIRA.

So I'd add the notion that you need to engage with any official backers where possible as they can help influence the situation, not with immediate impact perhaps, but over time.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 12:34:57 PM EST
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Not really, apart from a few years in the '70s: the pIRA had the overthrow of the Dublin government and its replacement with a Marxist government among its aims as far I know, which made it pretty unpopular with the parties down here. They also were pretty much the only ones who killed members of our security forces, generally in bank raids and such things.

There was some talk very early on about all sorts of things, including an invasion of the North.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 04:05:24 PM EST
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i totally agree about your point on joining the EU.

for instance, if italy had not been part of the EU, bossi and the lega would have been able to do much more damage in italy.

as for nipping terrorism in the bud by taking care of needs, you put it brilliantly!

the parallel with terrible diet, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and the disease industry is all too obvious.

terrorists, and the evil fuckers who sponsor and encourage them, are like cancer cells in the population.

we need to remove the causes, not panic, or just seek prowess in chopping out tumours, poisoning or blasting them with death rays, that take a lot of healthy tissue out as well, (civil rights).


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 02:20:06 AM EST
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