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  • Technorati: graph / links

    The government’s guide to terrorist supporters


    by Rumbold on 7th March, 2009 at 8:15 pm    

    Terrorist supporter

    (a) A Muslim, or someone of Asian origin, who may support terrorists.

    Course of action recommended: should be locked up for forty two days (or maybe even ninety). Evidence preferred, but not essential.

    (b) A non-Muslim white person who is well known for supporting terrorists. In addition, they killed a girl because of dangerous driving, while fretting about their public image rather than contact the emergency services, who might have saved her.

    Course of action recommended: knight them.



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Terrorism




    36 Comments below   |  

    1. Chris Baldwin — on 7th March, 2009 at 9:09 pm  

      Meh, I like him anyway. I bet he voted for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution though, which is surely a lot worse than liking the IRA?

    2. Chris Baldwin — on 7th March, 2009 at 9:10 pm  

      Oh, and if it annoys Simon Heffer it must be a good idea!

    3. Don — on 8th March, 2009 at 1:16 am  

      Of course it is offensive, but why bring race into it?

    4. Clairwil — on 8th March, 2009 at 1:25 am  

      I’m with you Rumbold. It beggars belief. Leaving that women to die should have been enough to rule him out.

      As for the Northern Irish aspect. All I’ll say is I’ve little patience for the descendents of Irish immigrants thinking their surname gives them any special insight into the situation. That said I very much doubt he was a true supporter of the PIRA (sending money etc). He’s just another bloated Irish- American having a cheap posture in other peooples misery.

    5. Eddie Lomax — on 8th March, 2009 at 8:10 am  

      The difference is, there’s only one Kennedy and he doesn’t have the support of thousands of Kennedy clerics or fellow stone worshippers. Maybe they should make him a Lord, like that Ahmed friend of yours?

    6. billericaydicky — on 8th March, 2009 at 8:44 am  

      The thirty years war in the six counties was never about religion, it was about civil rights. If the Labour government of Harold Wilson had stood up to Paisely and the Orange bigots in 1969 and given Catholics the same civil rights as Protestants there would have been no IRA.

      After the failure of the 56/62 campaign the IRA was virtually defunct.

    7. Rumbold — on 8th March, 2009 at 10:06 am  

      Don:

      Just to illustrate how hypocrtical this government’s policies are.

      Clairwil:

      Agreed.

      Billericaydicky:

      I think that religion played a big part actually. It wasn;t so much that they were fighting over religon, rather that religion gave the terrorists an important sense of identity.

    8. Ravi Naik — on 8th March, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

      Rumbold, Ted Kennedy made a fatal mistake when he was young. He should have gone to prison, but instead he did comprehensive social work in his State in these last three decades. He also said this in 2005:

      “We certainly hope that the leadership of Sinn Fein understands what an albatross the IRA is on them and for the cause of peace in Ireland”

      So, your post, in my opinion, is a cheap shot at Ted Kennedy. And I agree that bringing up the racial aspect is incendiary and totally unnecessary.

    9. MaidMarian — on 8th March, 2009 at 3:09 pm  

      ‘Just to illustrate how hypocritical this government’s policies are.’

      Rumbold - that is a lazy sentence. Things do not always reconcile neatly and even if they did some sort of sacrifice at the altar of ideological consistency is not always per se the right thing to do.

      The cynic in me wonders whether the word, ‘hypocritical,’ is used because you just can’t bring yourself (for whatever reason) to use the word, ‘racist.’ I don’t think this government is racist - do you Rumbold?

      I assume that you are the same Rumbold who, on the civil liberties thread, very rightly told me that making everything about identity politics was a bad thing? But you see, I am not going to call you a hypocrite - because civil liberties and this case are two different debates. You see the difference - failing to differentiate is just short-sighted moral equivalence.

      I realise it looks a bit like I’m getting at you - if so I apologise - I’m not. It’s just that this word, ‘hypocrisy,’ is becoming a lazy catch all substitute for argument and a denial of real shades of grey.

      Yes - the case you refer to in the article leaves a bad taste in the mouth. But your comment at 7 doesn’t tell me why - it’s just mouthing off isn’t it?

    10. Tom Griffin — on 8th March, 2009 at 4:00 pm  

      People who subscribe to the fixed idea that Irish-Americans, by definition, know nothing about Ireland really ought to check their own facts.

      Far from supporting the IRA in the 1980s and 90s as Heffer claims, Kennedy was one of the ‘four horsemen’ who worked with John Hume and the Irish Government towards a settlement along the lines of what ultimately became the Good Friday Agreement.

      See for example this story about Taoiseach Jack Lynch’s visit to America in 1979:
      http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,946357-2,00.html

    11. Rumbold — on 8th March, 2009 at 5:54 pm  

      Ravi and MaidMarian:

      Actually, I think rasing the spectre of racism is justified. After all, there is a legitimate question when one killer who has supported extremists is knighted, while others are arrested without trial. Ted Kennedy did indeed condemn the IRA in 2005,but the real test is whether he condemned them before 2001 (when September 11th happened). Whether he has done good works since is laregely irrelevent. His views and past behaviour should disqualify him from any honour. After all, we wouldn’t give an honour to a killer released from prison for doing good things, so why give him an honour just because he is a Kennedy and because Gordon Brown was visiting the Americas?

      Such an honour has also made it more difficult, in my view, to reassure Muslims that anti-terror legislation is not targeted against them, but extremists in general. How can this claim stay plausible when a killer terrorist supporter gets knighted?

      Tom Griffin:

      Like Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and many other prominent Americans like to claim credit for the peace in Nothern Ireland. But it was really three men who made the peace possible: David Trimble, John Hume, and Osama Bin Laden. The Labour government cynically destroyed the credibility of the first two and then made peace with the extremists (Admas and Paisley). If any American deserves a pat on the back it is George Mitchell.

    12. MaidMarian — on 8th March, 2009 at 6:08 pm  

      Rumbold - Well, yes - but my question to you was whether you think that the government is racist? Is it? And if so, who specifically?

      I assume, incidentally that you do not think that ‘Islam’ is a ‘race.’

      You talk about reassuring Muslims - so what? Why should Muslims’ angst, or anyone else’s be preferenced? If I came on here and said that I would like to be reassured that religiously based gangs should be the subject of far more policing why should my views take precedence?

      By all means criticise this decision, but reducing this to an identity politics hissy-fit is the worst king of lowest common denominator-thinking.

      There is more to debate than using every issue as a stalking horse to waggle the collective genitalia at New Labour.

    13. Tom Griffin — on 8th March, 2009 at 6:44 pm  

      Rumbold,

      I am not sure why you are still maintaining that
      Kennedy ’supported extremists’ until 2001.

      Here is what John Hume wrote about him in 1996:

      “The influence of these powerful American leaders of Irish extraction in Washington, notably Senator Edward Kennedy and then Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill, brought the issue to a point where the Carter administration adopted an initial position on Northern Ireland. As a result, the support for violence from the United States was contained and, in fact, dropped. That this should have been maintained during the past years of political vacuum in Northern Ireland is an extraordinary achievement. There are many men, women and children in Northern Ireland who are alive today, I am convinced, because of the political courage and concern of these men.” (John Hume, Personal Views, p.136.)

      The idea that the British Government deliberately sacrificed Hume and Trimble is an after the fact rationalisation that overlooks the internal failings of the SDLP and DUP.

      The SDLP vote actually grew for most of the peace process alongside that of Sinn Fein, but the party failed to produce a new generation of leaders.

      As for Trimble, the British Government spent years trying to ‘Save Dave’ long after it was clear to most observers that he would be overtaken by the DUP.

      Kennedy may very well be a flawed human being, but his approach to the conflict turned out to be a lot wiser than the one advocated by the Telegraph. Maybe that is why they resent him so much. As the saying goes, We are punished most for our virtues.

    14. fug — on 8th March, 2009 at 6:55 pm  

      a common theme in PP indignant ‘how can this be happeneing’ posts is a stange idea of static technotratic standards and non-recognition of the fact that people change. its bad because it keep you petty, superficial and aloof.

      quote ‘x’ event , pre ‘t’ negotiation, quote mr ‘y’ about event ‘x’ at ‘t2′ and cry double standards and hypocricy.

    15. Rumbold — on 8th March, 2009 at 7:51 pm  

      MaidMarian:

      “Well, yes - but my question to you was whether you think that the government is racist? Is it? And if so, who specifically?”

      They probably don’t mean to be- it is more that given the far-left extremist past of many in the upper echelons of the Labour party (Darling, Mandelson, Reid, Benn, etc.), they are more naturally inclined towards the IRA then Islamists. This was one of the conflicts that many of them would have had to have picked a side on during their university days and formative political years. But can you tell me why it is okay to support one group of terrorists but not another?

      “You talk about reassuring Muslims - so what? Why should Muslims’ angst, or anyone else’s be preferenced?”

      Logically, if group x is justified in feeling under pressure from the state and media, then it is best to try and show group x that they are not under attack, merely elements within that group. Treating bad people from different groups differently does not help.

      Tom Griffin:

      “The idea that the British Government deliberately sacrificed Hume and Trimble is an after the fact rationalisation that overlooks the internal failings of the SDLP and DUP.”

      Both parties had internal failings, but the real reason for their eclipse was classical political trickery by New Labour. They used the moderate parties to advance their agenda, knowing it would weaken the parties because the extremists would attack it, and then once the moderates died the extremists were co-opted to the process with promises of power and favours. The fact that the DUP and IRA are still the largest parties in the Assembly should tell you everything you need to know.

      And with regards to Ted Kennedy, he was one of the most prominent voices in American politics who failed to condemn the IRA.

    16. comrade — on 8th March, 2009 at 9:08 pm  

      The fact that the DUP and IRA are still the largest parties in the Assembly should tell you everything you need to know.

      Just a little correction, UVF and IRA

    17. Tom Griffin — on 8th March, 2009 at 9:31 pm  

      And with regards to Ted Kennedy, he was one of the most prominent voices in American politics who failed to condemn the IRA.

      Apologies for the length, but this letter to the London Review of Books from Arthur Schlesinger Jr answers the point better than I seem to be able to:

      J.D.A. Wiseman (Letters, 15 November 2001) claims that ‘Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts has supported anti-British terrorists for the last three decades.’ This is a pack of lies. For the last three decades Senator Kennedy has consistently and forcefully opposed IRA violence. In the summer 1973 issue of Foreign Policy he wrote: ‘The violence and terror must be ended. I condemn the brutality in Northern Ireland. I condemn the violence of the IRA . . . I condemn the flow of arms or any funds for arms from the United States or any other country to Northern Ireland.’ In 1976 he joined Governor Hugh Carey of New York, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and Congressman Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts in a St Patrick’s Day statement calling for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. In a passage aimed directly at Noraid, the organisation that raises money in the US for the IRA, the four Irish-American leaders exhorted American citizens ‘to renounce any action that promotes the current violence or provides support or encouragement for organisations engaged in violence’. On St Patrick’s Day 1977, they said: ‘We appeal to all those organisations engaged in violence to renounce their campaigns of death and destruction and return to the path of life and peace.’ The next year Senator Kennedy called on Irish America not to support in deeds, words or funds any terrorist organisation. And so on, through the long and bloody years. ‘I unequivocally condemn today’s IRA bombing in Manchester,’ he said on 15 June 1996. In July 1996, he said: ‘I unequivocally condemn those involved in violence. I hold no brief for the IRA, and the vast majority of Americans don’t either.’ June 1997: ‘I am sickened and outraged by today’s murders by the IRA.’

      It is true enough that Senator Kennedy has not faithfully followed the British Foreign Office line on Ireland, if this is a cardinal sin. His views have closely paralleled those of his friend of many years, John Hume, the former leader of the SDLP. Senator Kennedy supported a US visa for Gerry Adams against Foreign Office wishes; it is generally agreed today that the visa led to the IRA ceasefire and the Good Friday accords. More recently, Senator Kennedy has called on the IRA and all paramilitary groups to decommission their weapons and execute the Good Friday programme. It is appalling to represent Senator Kennedy as in any way a champion of violence. He knows intimately what violence means.

      Arthur Schlesinger Jr
      New York
      http://www.lrb.co.uk/v24/n02/letters.html

      Both parties had internal failings, but the real reason for their eclipse was classical political trickery by New Labour.

      The British Government was the last major actor in the process to accept the reality of the UUP’s demise. Here’s Jonathan Powell’s account of a meeting between Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern on 6 May 2003:

      “Tony and Bertie discussed Northern Ireland politics and Tony said to Bertie that the DUP would be impossible to deal with and would reject all North/South co-operation. However frustrating David Trimble was, he was better than the DUP.” Jonathan Powell, Great Hatred, Little Room, p.227.

      The British Government postponed the 2003 assembly election to help Trimble. By the time it went ahead, they believed, based on private polling, that he would win.

      When he lost, Powell wrote “All our hopes of building agreement out from the centre in Northern Ireland were dashed”.

    18. MaidMarian — on 9th March, 2009 at 12:13 am  

      Rumbold - ‘They probably don’t mean to be’ - Sorry, is that a yes or a no? It appears to be a cop-out.

      ‘But can you tell me why it is okay to support one group of terrorists but not another?’

      That is quite a cheap shot - I thought more of you than that. ‘Support terrorists,’ please! Rumbold, you do understand that there are shades of grey don’t you. That ’support’ is not a always-and-everywhere unconditional absolute? That in the real world there are choices between rubbish and very rubbish choices, decisions that necessarily are going to brass some people and interests off?

      That cheap shot you take is a total denial of complexity and confuses politics with government. The latter necessarily includes mucky compromise and - yes contradctions.

      ‘Logically, if group x is justified in feeling under pressure from the state and media, then it is best to try and show group x that they are not under attack, merely elements within that group.’

      Justified according to who? Community leaders? The anti-war internet chatterati? The Sun editorial writers?

      At least tell it like it is - you want to pander to religion and preference its outrage. Whether you want to do so because you see it as a good stalking horse to attack New Labour or you really believe in the Muslim cause I will leave to you. Or are the shades of grey?

      Would you start pandering to the BNP if Griffin said that BNP supporters are all feeling under pressure from the state and media? Do you see what a hostage to fortune you are holding out - what genture would you make to the BNP?

      There is a difference between your ‘elements in that group’ and an inflated sense of victimhood. Certain identity groups seem to have formed a view that the phrase, ‘we are angry and radicalised,’ means that they have carte-blanche.

      Or do you think that I am an insensitive racist for daring to question identity politics orthodoxy.

    19. munir — on 9th March, 2009 at 10:55 am  

      Ravi Naik

      ” Rumbold, Ted Kennedy made a fatal mistake when he was young. He should have gone to prison, but instead he did comprehensive social work in his State in these last three decades. He also said this in 2005:

      “We certainly hope that the leadership of Sinn Fein understands what an albatross the IRA is on them and for the cause of peace in Ireland”

      So, your post, in my opinion, is a cheap shot at Ted Kennedy. And I agree that bringing up the racial aspect is incendiary and totally unnecessary.”

      Also, he isnt a Muslim.

    20. Ravi Naik — on 9th March, 2009 at 12:16 pm  

      That is quite a cheap shot - I thought more of you than that. ‘Support terrorists,’ please! Rumbold, you do understand that there are shades of grey don’t you. That ’support’ is not a always-and-everywhere unconditional absolute?

      I have to say I am very surprised by Rumbold’s post, who is using every trick of the book from wingnut tabloids and other cheap publications.

      To dismiss Ted Kennedy’s life with two single and non-sequitur events: his fatal and foolish mistake when he was young, and his support for an United Ireland - and compare it with suspects of Islamist terror, to then conclude that such difference of treatment is because of racism, is totally disingenuous.

      If anything, Ted Kennedy should refuse such “honour” from an Empire that has made fatal mistakes as to partition countries on the basis of religion, and bringing about so much misery and deaths in these regions. Oh, that was some decades back, but no redemption is possible, eh?. And it’s not like the British didn’t do campaigns of terrorism of their own to crush any rebellion, which Rumbold seem to be defending if we follow such mindset.

      Also, ETA and IRA - bastards as they were - they did call in before an explosion to avoid civil causalities. Should one pretend that such actions do not matter, when comparing with 9/11 and 7/7?

    21. mac — on 9th March, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

      I’m utterly amazed that you chose to illustrate a point by linking to an article in the Telegraph that actually uses the phrase ‘Fenian murderers’ (and let’s not pretend it was meant in another way than as a slur), Fenian being a word generally accepted to be derogatory and deeply offensive slang for Catholics. Or perhaps I’m just to sensitive being an Irish Catholic and all and it’s PC gone mad!

      Oh, and the reason why religion gave the IRA terrorists a sense of identity is because to be a Catholic in Northern Ireland in the 1960 and 1970s was to be a second class citizen and to live in fear of being attacked by Protestant mobs, B-Specials and their own bloody police force.

      The argument you are making is too simplistic. The Troubles was a completely different kettle of fish and innocent Catholics died at the hands of B-Specials and British army squads. And lets not forget what helped made the IRA what it became in the 1970s and 1980s - Bloody Sunday. I condemn all killing but I can see the complexities of what happened in Northern Ireland and I commend Ted Kennedy for having the strength to support a United Ireland (and not, as you maintain the IRA killings).

      Oh, and yeah he was a scumbag for letting that girl die and then lying about it but that has nothing to do with implied support for terrorism.

    22. Rumbold — on 9th March, 2009 at 7:30 pm  

      Since this post has gone up, there have been a number of extremely critical comments from regulars whom I know and respect, and other comments from those who I don’t know, but who also made very good and detailed points. Upon reflection therefore, I would admit that it was a poor post.

      I still don’t think that Ted Kennedy should have been knighted (because of the killing), and I still think that it is legitimate to contrast the government’s approach to Islamist and Irish terrorists. However, I was approaching Ted Kennedy’s attitude towards the IRA in too simplistic a manner, and it was also a distorted comparison. Apologies.

      Mac- I always think of Fenian in the historical sense, and didn’t realise that it had now obtained a pejorative usage.

    23. Don — on 9th March, 2009 at 7:32 pm  

      Stylish, Rumbold, stylish.

    24. Rumbold — on 9th March, 2009 at 7:46 pm  

      Thanks Don.

    25. Ravi Naik — on 9th March, 2009 at 7:46 pm  

      Stylish, Rumbold, stylish.

      I agree. Rumbold is classy, and a big asset to PP.

    26. Rumbold — on 9th March, 2009 at 7:54 pm  

      Thanks Ravi.

    27. soru — on 9th March, 2009 at 8:04 pm  

      It’s a fair bet that of those currently involved on the fringes of radical islamist politics, in 30 years time some will be dead and some will be knighted…

    28. Andy Gilmour — on 10th March, 2009 at 8:14 am  

      Rumbold - maybe a small footnote updating the original post may be in order? Otherwise, good to see someone saying ‘mea culpa’ for a change. :-)

      soru - agreed. I know he’s not exactly “radical”, but being somewhat of a git didn’t stop Sir Idiot Sacranie from achieving the distinction…

    29. mac — on 10th March, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

      Absolutely classy I agree and sure point a) needs to be made again and again and again and debate like this is always healthy

    30. douglas clark — on 10th March, 2009 at 7:23 pm  

      Rumbold @ 22,

      It takes a big man to admit that. You are indeed a class act.

    31. Rumbold — on 10th March, 2009 at 7:58 pm  

      Thanks Douglas, Mac, and Andy. This is what I love about Pickled Politics, We have debates and change our minds.

    32. MaidMarian — on 11th March, 2009 at 10:02 am  

      Rumbold - Every credit.

      A minty breath of fresh air.

    33. Tom Griffin — on 11th March, 2009 at 5:58 pm  

      Rumbold - Fair play.

      ‘Fenian’ is often intended as a term of abuse these days, but not everyone would necessarily take it as one!

    34. comrade — on 11th March, 2009 at 7:53 pm  

      Tom

      ‘Fenian’ is often intended as a term of abuse these days, but not everyone would necessarily take it as one!

      Have you used it on Falls Road lately?

    35. Rumbold — on 11th March, 2009 at 8:09 pm  

      Thanks MaidMarian and Tom.

      Tom- exactly. Especially as the main republican party is still called Sinn Fein.

    36. Tom Griffin — on 11th March, 2009 at 9:30 pm  

      Comrade,

      No I haven’t and wouldn’t. I’m not taking issue with your point, and certainly not defending Heffer’s use of the word, just saying that the actual Fenians are not something to be ashamed of.

      Rumbold,

      As it happens , the word Fenian is not related to the name Sinn Fein. In fact, if anything, it comes from the same root as Fianna Fail.

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