January 5, 2016


When I Supported The Terrorists (David Marcus, JANUARY 5, 2016, The Federalist)

It was a chilly night in Philadelphia, back in the early '80s when it still looked like it does in the first "Rocky" movies. The crowd, some holding signs, marched in its circle, chanting the name Bobby Sands. Across the ocean, in the infamous H-Block prison in Northern Ireland, Sands, a member of the Irish Republican Army, lay dying of his hunger strike. It is a very early memory of mine, and one that underscores a basic fact about growing up in my Irish Catholic family. We supported the IRA.

Like most American supporters of the IRA, we did not celebrate the death of innocents, we did not hate Protestants, and we did not provide any material support. We did, however, believe that the United Kingdom was an occupying force in Northern Ireland, which the Irish people had a right to fight. Since a standard military engagement was out of the question, that left only acts of terror. [...]

There is little similarity between the goals and techniques of ISIS and those of the IRA. The latter was not typically targeting Americans, and they were not seeking to expand territorial control beyond the borders of the island. But there are striking similarities between the actions of the IRA and those of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas. In fact, the Irish and Palestinian terror organizations often worked in concert.

What I regret most is the negative attitude I felt toward anything English for much of my life.
In retrospect, I regret my feelings about the IRA, though clearly I had no impact on events. What I regret most is the negative attitude I felt toward anything English for much of my life. It took me until well into my twenties to read English history and philosophy without a bias against it. That was a loss for me, especially in terms of understanding the United States.

Posted by at January 5, 2016 4:47 PM