|"While certain elements of the peace process (such as the early release of terrorist convicts) seem dubious, I think today's developments should be cautiously welcomed."|
You know, when I read that public statement by the IRA I am reminded of North Korea's "concessions" to the United States. So the IRA, a criminal terrorist organization, promises not to commit its most heinous of crimes - for now, but a return to murder as a means to an end is dependent on the "ifs" of whether x, y and z are achieved in the near future. The most telling statement by the IRA in that public annoucment was, "We reiterate our view that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate." Caution, in regards to their promises, is well placed; but I am not so sure whether welcoming these developments, however cautious, is prudent.
At this point however, the IRA may be telling the truth. The unending series of concessions by the British government over the last decade or so, in respect to the IRA, should give the IRA reason to hope to succeed without terrorist acts. In my opinion, there are many parallels to the IRA's tactics, to that often employed by Hamas and the new PLO factions. The socialist/liberal success in blurring what defines a 'terrorist' organization, along with their success of reshaping the world’s public opinion along lines that legitimizes many of the IRA’s goals and tactics, may have made their victory inevitable. Acts of overt terrorism, could interfere with the continuing process of undermining British resolve from within.
Of course an alternative explanation is that the IRA itself has evolved into something that is less than a terrorist organization; however, I am highly skeptical of the concept of 'reformed' terrorist organization. I have heard people argue that a return to their tactics of the 70s is no longer possible, and that the Irish Catholics would not tolerate or support such a thing. In my opinion, I believe that the Northern Ireland issue has evolved into another version of the so-called Palestinian "resistance" to "occupation" - world sympathy strategy, with a dash of historical revisionism, and a hefty amount of moral equivalence whenever comparisons are drawn between their actions and the British governments.
(Edited by George W. Cordero on 7/28, 10:01am)