What would it actually take to get Sinn Fein excluded from the Northern Ireland Assembly?. There have been massive riots over the last few days, well-documented reports of punishment beating and shooting, attempts to re-arm the IRA (while simultaneously releasing a few rusty old rifles and useless explosives), the arrest of three IRA operatives in Cuba training the FARC in bomb-making techniques, you name it. The last accusation is by far the most important. This alone should have put the IRA on the State Department's list of terrorist organisations with global reach. Of course that will never happen - there's far too many terrorist groupies in State and Congress. It does however illuminate the simply unbelievable degree of mealy-mouthed hypocrisy that Tony Blair is willing to stoop to.
Sinn Fein is an absolutely vile organisation. Its core supporters envisage an Ireland united under some sort of Maoist revolutionary banner. The INLA, a splinter group and now almost defunct, is more conventionally Marxist-Leninist. There has always been more than a whiff of Fascism in Irish nationalist politics (witness the refusal of the de Valera government to give the Allies naval bases on the Atlantic coast, and his unseemly haste to sign the book of condolences - in Berlin - after Hitler redecorated the bunker with the contents of his skull). The SAS should be hunting the IRA down and executing them like their colleagues in the Royal Marines are hunting down al Qaida scum in Afghanistan (although hopefully with a rather better record of kills). But of course that won't happen. There's a 'peace process', don't you know, and just like the one in Israel, it's a lot of process and bugger-all peace.
Blair has (in spades) the Euro-Weenie disease of thinking that if you just get people round a table, then they'll find some common cause and stop being beastly to each other. Of course what happens is the classic terrorist stitch-up: they pocket any concession given and refuse to budge from their original position. Any attempt at pressure is dismissed as 'not helpful' and 'a mistake', with the implicit threat of a return to violence. It is a no-win situation. The only way to cut the Gordian knot is to refuse to deal with terrorists, while simultaneously killing as many of them as possible. British intelligence knows who and where the major players are. They could be taken out over the course of a lazy weekend. Baader-Meinhof was not destroyed by discussion: the German police just rounded them up and stuck them in jail (and then they mostly killed themselves after the failed Mogadishu hijacking, har har). Needless to say, none of this is ever going to happen.
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