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IRA: TERROR FOR PROFIT
For decades, Ulster (Northern Ireland) has been scourged by the violent terrorism of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Ostensibly, the IRA seeks to unite all of Ireland under the government of the Republic of Ireland in the South.
Truth be told, the IRA has the same love for the government of the Republic of Ireland that Al Qaeda has for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Both terrorist groups blackmail their "allies" for financial support and political cover.
The IRA is somewhat like the FARC in Colombia. They started out with an ideology, and no doubt many of the rank and file supporters (especially beyond the ranks of the actual terrorists) sill are motivated by ideological aims. The IRA leadership, however, has morphed into a mafia with training and supplies coming from Libya, PLO and the FARC.
I have seen pictures of the IRA banner and the PLO flags displayed in solidarity. During a recent visit to Ulster I personally saw a Basque separatist (ETA) flag in an IRA neighborhood, and a big wall mural expressing the slogan of the French revolution's guillotine - fraternité, egalité, liberté.
IRA leaders are getting very wealthy smuggling oil, cigarettes and other commodities from the Republic of Ireland to Ulster. They are heavily invested in legitimate businesses.
Many Catholics do not support the IRA, but dissenters are shot. Nearly twenty-five percent of the IRA's victims have been Catholics. This has chilled Catholic dissent, giving the false impression that Catholics all support the IRA.
My host while I was in Ulster has had numerous credible death threats and is in court trying to get a permit to have and carry a concealed handgun. He frequently buys a new car and seldom returns the way he came. He took me to the spots where the IRA murdered his uncle and his father. After 1972 when the British government became obsessed with disarming the citizenry, it refused to allow the Ulster Defense Force personnel to go home with guns. That is when the IRA killings increased sharply. Gun control has predictable, and negative, results.
IRA militants have cleansed Protestant neighborhoods. They begin by stoning the homes on the main drag, breaking windows and making life unbearable. This drives the price of the house(s) down and an IRA family moves in. Their kids begin to harass the Protestant kids, and the stoning of nearby homes accelerates. Stores get stolen blind and closed down. Eventually the whole neighborhood goes 100% Catholic.
I visited an 80+-year-old lady who lives in a Protestant enclave -- an island surrounded by a sea of Catholic neighborhoods. She regularly removes the stones from her yard that are thrown at her house from the Catholic neighborhood on the other side of the fence. One day, as she was sitting in her living room, a bullet shattered the glass of her window. Her community responsibility is to lock the pedestrian gate at night and open it in the morning. Kind of like a medieval city.
It is hard to imagine living in such conditions, but how can they sell their homes at a fair market price? People are trapped. This has gone on for years and continues now during the "cease fire." Ethnic cleansing of this type has also taken place in rural areas.
Consistent with the appeasement orientation of the British socialist government, the police do nothing to pursue vandals and bullies and thieves. And of course, self-defense is a big no-no. The British police presence is almost non-existent, being largely confined to fortresses complete with guard towers and festoons of razor wire all around.
There was a brief interlude when British Special Forces "removed" the IRA problem by cutting off many of the heads of the hydra. This was not PC, and the resulting peace came to an end with the removal of the Special Forces.
Another short-lived un-PC policy had put (oftentimes) plainclothes constables outside known IRA killers' homes. As the IRA thugs would exit in the evening (i.e., not going to any legitimate job), the cops would ask something like: "Who are you going to kill tonight, Johnny?" At that point the thug went back inside for the night. No killings took place during the few months this program was in operation.
Now the terror through intimidation and murder continues and the IRA remains embedded in the Ulster body politic like a parasite sucking the life out of a human body. Bombings in London led to the British negotiating a cease-fire that restrains the police without hampering the operations of the IRA. British supporters of the cease-fire are like those false prophets of Jeremiah's time - they proclaim "Peace, peace; when there is no peace."
The British government illegalizes armed self-defense (or virtually any self-defense at all) by declaring that the use of virtually any force under any circumstance is "unreasonable" and punishable. There will be no peace in Ulster as long as it remains a government-enforced victimization zone. At least the IRA is happy.
Those interested in more information about William Frazer and the victims group he represents can go to www.victims.org.uk.
I interviewed William Frazer on my show, Live Fire, and it is available on the web at www.gunowners.org/radio.htm.
© 2004 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved
Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.
GOA lobbies for the pro-gun position in Washington and is involved in firearm issues in the states. GOA's work includes providing legal assistance to those involved in lawsuits with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the federal firearms law enforcement agency.
Pratt has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programs such as NBC's Today Show, CBS' Good Morning America, CNN's Crossfire and Larry King Live, Fox's Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC's Phil Donahue show and many others. He has debated Congressmen James Traficant, Jr. (D-OH), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Vice President Al Gore, among others. His columns have appeared in newspapers across the country.
He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution & Militias, 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.
Pratt has held elective office in the state legislature of Virginia, serving in the House of Delegates. Pratt directs a number of other public interest organizations and serves as the Vice-Chairman of the American Institute for Cancer Research.
"IRA leaders are getting very wealthy smuggling oil, cigarettes and other commodities from the Republic of Ireland to Ulster. They are heavily invested in legitimate businesses."