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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Anthony McIntyre • 18 March 2007

This week has witnessed the emergence of yet another 'republican' group ready to mutilate its way to the Balsamic Republic of Ireland where the only freedom attained will be as sweet as vinegar. In countries like Saudi Arabia, it is your hand that is likely to be cut off. Under the Continuity Lenny Murphy gang facial amputation seems the order of the day.

Rumours abound as to what group was responsible for the brutal slaughter of Joe Jones and Ed Burns in separate parts of Belfast last weekend. Since the implosion of the Provisional IRA as a serious fighting force there has been no shortage of groups willing to step into the breech and fill it with absolutely nothing. At the start of the week the word doing the rounds was that the Continuity IRA bore responsibility. Since then the 'Contos', as they are colloquially referred to, have faded from the usual suspects line up and have been replaced by an even more obscure body called something that I can not even remember the name of. Seemingly a drink fuelled internal dispute among its members led to an orgy of murder that spanned the city.

The killers of Ed Burns and Joe Jones, if arrested and jailed, may appeal to people to give up their Saturday lunchtime to stand in the middle of one of the North's many roads and proclaim them political prisoners. They are as political in motivation as the killers of Robert McCartney. If ever the uniform of the criminal was made to measure it was surely for them that it was specifically cut.

What the cardboard commandoes skulking under the name republican hope to achieve defies rigorous intellectual investigation. They cannot pretend to be engaged in any liberation struggle. So unpopular are they that the PSNI has much more support in nationalist communities than any of the sect-like groups that continue to dabble in guns. There is no longer a war being waged in this country. The only groups to have fought a war, the Provisional IRA and the INLA, have long since ceased fighting it. If the remaining groups and gangs that possess arms, and in some instances spades, were to announce a ceasefire tomorrow would anybody really know? Would British soldiers or police officers feel any safer the day after the ceasefire was announced? They simply would not notice the difference.

Even if it is accepted that the best of those who remain in armed groups are not thugs and gangsters but people who subscribe to physical force republicanism with its long tradition of armed resistance, this is no reason to wax benign towards their mind numbing lack of strategic intellect or their determination to inflict physical force on a public uniformly hostile to its application.

The tradition of physical force republicanism has become a blight that has potential only to destroy the lives of its practitioners and of those who get in the way of its incompetence. It cannot shift the British one iota or make the slightest political change. Its adherents subscribe to a curious logic which some of them at least have the wit to appreciate makes no sense to anybody other than the true believer. The irrational fetishising of physical force leads to unthinking gratuitous violence carried out in the name of Ireland by people wholly impervious to what anybody else in Ireland actually thinks. Physical force of the few sits in stark opposition to republicanism of the many. Republicanism was designed to give the people sovereignty over the absolutism of the gun, not the other way round.

Criminality with airs, gun worship, bullying, the pseudo culture of respect should all be deprived of whatever cover they assume and be left in no doubt about the contempt the whole gamut of nefarious activity is held in. The 'do you know who I am? ' gangs should be granted their wish and accordingly be made known to everybody so that they may have no hiding place. Afford the butchers that stalk our streets masquerading as republican volunteers the slightest modicum of political recognition and the unbridgeable chasm between Tom McElwee or Michael Devine and the slayers of Ed Burns and Joe Jones starts to become blurred. The volunteers who died to proclaim the political validity of their armed actions should remain upon a coveted pantheon never to be placed side by side with the new 'comrades' of the CLM. The latter are lice in the locks of republicanism. Let their hall of fame be society's gutter.





























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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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18 March 2007

Other Articles From This Issue:

How I Almost Got My Ass Kicked at the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Lived to Tell About It
David Kruidenier

The Protestant 'Pat Finucane'
Father Sean Mc Manus, President, Irish National Caucus

Green Party Declines White House Invitation
Green Party Press Release

Assembly Needs an Opposition
David Adams

Belfast Hot Air
Anthony McIntyre

Citizen Tom
Dr John Coulter

A History of Nationalism in Ireland
Liam O Ruairc

Review of Challenging the New Orientalism
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad

Two Sides of a Coin
Dr John Coulter

Anthony McIntyre

Sinn Fein Batmen
Brian Mór

Launch of
Colm Mistéil

Reject the 'New' RUC
Republican Socialist Youth Movement

32 County Sovereignty Movement: Water Charges Are Illegal
Kevin Murphy

The National Irish Freedom Committee on Gerry McGeough
National Irish Freedom Committee

NIFC Free Form Video Discusses Elections, Abstentionism
Saerbhreathach Mac Toirdealbhaigh

America's 'Global War On Terrorism'
M. Shahid Alam

Iñaki de Juana Chaos
Anthony McIntyre

14 March 2007

Legal Aid Wrangle Continues
Michael McKevitt Justice Campaign

Statements on the Arrest of Gerry McGeough

Campaign for Noel Maguire
TJ O Conchúir

Paisleyites & Peelers
Anthony McIntyre

Equating Spectacle at Stormont with United Irishmen is Perverse
Tommy Gorman

Seacht mbuicéad caca go dtite ar a gcinn
Michael Gillespie

Nothing But the Truth
John Kennedy

Snapshot, 1993: Voters' Rights, MI5 Wrongs
Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh

Broad Church for Unionism
Dr John Coulter

The Man Without the Mask
Anthony McIntyre

The New Boyne Harriers
Brian Mór

UUP Possibilities
Dr John Coulter

Blinkered Vision
Anthony McIntyre

Damned by Debt Relief
Pauline Hadaway



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