Re: More point/counter-point on Northern Ireland [part I] Part Ia

Karine Maucourt ([email protected])
Wed, 26 Aug 1998 12:38 +0200 (MET)

                Hi Liz and all U2 lovers !

        As i've noticed with all thess messages about irishness, there seem
to be some Irish-US people here. So, maybe our debate about NI conflict can
interest them. BTW, for those who are not interested, please skip this post.
Achtung ! This reply is in 2 parts : part Ia and part Ib.

        Well, let's go !

Liz wrote:
>I think--I *hope*--that you've dispensed with your preconceptions about
>"intolerant" Yanks (etc.) who support the Republican Movement in Ireland,
>or just the general concept of a reunified and democratic Ireland? And,
>as I've said in other posts, being firm in one's point-of-view and
>political opinions does not equal "intolerance", nor does it mean that I
>don't read and comprehend other opinions. In fact, I do make it a point
>to read some very anti-Republican opinions, too, if just for the ability
>to get a sense of where the opposition is coming from! ;-)

        The part of your previous message about this was a misunderstanding
about what i was saying. You thought, as i understood it, i could have a
self-esteem problem. In my reply to this, i didn't say you was (IMO)
intolerant because you're firm in your own point of view, but because you
accused to be unionist a NI person who simply disagreed with you. And this
reaction made me think you could't bear other opinions. IMO, this accusation
is a sign of intolerance. Moreover, i have no problem with the concept of
reunified and democratic Ireland. But i totally disagree with IRA behaviour.
Moreover, i'm not so sure IRA/Sinn Fein will be democratic, for instance
with women, as i've noticed in the movie "The Boxer" (especially at the
beginning of the movie). But it's another subject. I can reassure you, i
have no preconception about whoever. And it can be so, only because i always
listen (and not only hear) to all sides whatever the problem (not only for
the NI conflict, IMO this argument is valid for every conflicts). And i do
know Yankees are not more or less intolerant than other people :-D. I didn't
even know they were considered intolerant. In my opinion, it's not about
nationality but about each single person. You have intolerant people
everywhere. And it's even more complex than that, because you can also have
people very open-minded about some subjects and very single-minded about
some others. It's good you can read some very anti-republican opinions, but
do you really understand them ? Notice it's a question, not an accusation. I
mean, you can disagree with them and in the same time think you can globally
put yourself in their place. It's hard to do this, but if we strongly want
to understand someone, we can try at least. I think the NI persons who have
friends from both sides AND can talk with them about the conflict are
successful in this. Your previous message made me think you were unable to
take other points of view in account to form your judgement. But maybe your
writing said more than what you thought. Maybe you were angry at that time
and it made you excessive.
        Moreover, why the word one-sided made you so agressive ? I mean, if
you think you're one-sided in the same manner than MLK, where is the problem ?

>Well, then your argument isn't valid, because I do indeed seek out other
>points of view! ;-)

        I didn't say this, i said you didn't take other points of view in
account (according to how i understood your message). It's not the same
thing at all. So, your sentence above doesn't prove/explain anything.

>And the issue of supporting "violence" should never
>be used to deny the validity of anyone's point of view--

        You missed something here, my sentence was <IMHO, anyone who's sound
in body and mind can support blind violence WHEN there are other choices.>.
Notice i said <when there are other choices>, maybe you forgot to read this
part. And it's because of this part i thought i could say the whole
sentence. You can disagree with me about this, but take in account the whole
sentence, not only part of it. It will enlighten you.

>what about the
>Resistance in Europe during WWII?

        Sorry, you shouldn't talk about this. If i good understand, you
compare resistance against the nazis during the WW2 to IRA's activities in
NI/Britain. If there wasn't so much pain, i could say LOL ! Did you forget
resistance during the WWII in Europe was only against german soldiers and
Gestapo/Kapo ? Did you forget IRA activities had civils as targets as well
as British soldiers ? Did you forget the targets of the resistance never
were innocent civils (in France at least)? Your sentence makes me think you
don't understand at all the resistance during the WWII. I can teach you if
you want/need (without anger), i studied it very deeply during my schooling.

>Would Nelson Mandela, say, be "wrong"
>because he co-founded Spear of the Nation, the ANC's armed wing, and
>refused to renounce armed struggle?

        Why do you seem to think i agree with Nelson Mandela violent actions
? You make a statement without knowing my thought ???? I understand your
question like that. BTW, i disagree with all people who kill innocent people
just to force everybody to think like them, or act like they want, even if
it's for a fair cause.

>And what about violence from the
>state, or committed on behalf of the state?

        If i say i agree with the lyrics in BTBS, is that enough for your
understanding ? ;-) Obviously, I also think there is no excuse to violence
committed by a state.

>I see a very selective sort
>of condemnation at work here--it's "blind violence" when it comes from the
>Irish republicans, but if, say, Bill Clinton wants to push the world to
>the brink of war over the situation in Iraq, _he's_ not "violent"?

        Well, your co-workers are insane ! Do you know here in France we
have an association who tries to help the Iraq children ? Do you know
newspapers and opinion denounce for years the blocus which is only useful to
bring poverty and famine to Iraq population ? And now the french politic
power begins to take care of this. :-)

>MLK Jr. himself recognized that the oppressor did not have the right to
>dictate to the oppressed how they must wage their struggle--in other
>words, no preconditions. True, King advocated that the oppressed must
>seek to find a better, less destructive way of struggle, but that is
>exactly what the Republicans in Ireland have been doing for years
>now--pushing to create the conditions wherein the struggle can be fought
>by purely political methods, not violence.

        I suppose you mean killing/hurting civils by bombs is a "less way of
struggle". I suppose you mean killing/hurting civils is the best way to push
"to create the conditions wherein the struggle can be fought by purely
political methods, not violence". Can you see the problem here ? Do you
think i can ever agree with this statement ? Do you allow me to doubt ?
Explain to me how you can even believe that. Sinn Fein propaganda or what
else ? Just a suggestion...

>Try reading King's proposals
>on resolving the Vietnam War--they're remarkably similar to the IRM's
>proposals on resolving the situation in Northern Ireland!

        Your hypothesis is that i didn't already read MLK's proposals ? Are
you sure of this ? ;-) BTW, i didn't read IRM's proposals on resolving the
situation in NI. Can you send me a copy of them ? Let me know if you can,
i'll e-mail you in private my personal address.

        About Viet-Nam war, don't forget US soldiers were sent there to
maintain peace and, by the fault of their stupid government, brought a
foreign war to a country which really didn't need that. And i don't even
talk about the US arms used during this war that US politics could never
justify in any way. And i do know a big part of US people disagreed with
this politic.
        And you're saying MLK allowed his followers to kill innocent civils
like IRA did it ????????? Because it's not really the republican ideas i
condemn but the way Republicans used to impose their ideas, evne if their
ideas seem to be fair.

>I have no objection to anyone who prefers to use nonviolence as a method;

        Great. :-)))

>I favor it myself, you know. By the same token, I don't endorse any and
>every organization that uses force, either--

        And it's why you support Sinn Fein for so long years as i understood
it in one of your previous posts, Sinn Fein which used violence and made
kill civils sometimes for so long years by their armed section named IRA as
you know it...
        And i don't even talk about IRA punishment against catholics, as
kneecapping (we've discovered its existence here in France some years ago).
You're making fun of me or you've forgotten this or you simply ignored it ?
        And don't say to me Loyalists made this too, i do know it but you
don't support any loyalist movement, as i can suppose.

>deliver me from folks like
>Rage Against the Machine, who actually support groups like Sendero
>Luminoso in Peru!

        Sorry, i can't help you about this ;-) Just don't buy their albums.

>Also, I think it totally oversimplifies King's ideology to say he was
>merely opposed to "violence"--as I've stated above, he _clearly_
>distinguished between the violence of the oppressor and the oppressed,
>identified systemic injustice as the root of all violence, and did see
>areas where common struggle could be waged, both by those who were
>nonviolent and those who supported more "militant" action. The idea is to
>resolve the root causes of violence, not demonize and cast the blame on to
>anyone who feels compelled to militant acts in opposition to injustice.

        I can understand what you mean, but i can't understand how
civils'death, whoever causes the death, can help to resolve the root causes
of violence. I think it just can justify more violence from the other side.
Can you explain to me how violence, as long as it's turned towards civils,
can resolve it ?

        More in part Ib...

        In the name of love


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b2 on Wed Aug 26 1998 - 03:23:55 PDT