Originally Posted by feargale
You are not entirely off the mark there. The Soloheadbeg atrocity comes immediately to mind. Also, correct me if I am wrong, but in neither 1916-1922 nor in 1969-1995 can I think of a single instance where Sunday worshippers were attacked by Loyalists or Crown Forces (yes, I'm aware of Stone.)
In all these discussions of right and wrong I never see any reference to Just War Theory, which has its origins in ancient times in Egypt, India and China, and has been embraced in the West, particularly in Christian circles.
I will keep the headings as simple as possible:
1. Just Cause ( to correct a grave evil.)
2. Proportionality (benefits must outweigh harm done.) - I would like to hear the views of alot of bereaved and maimed people on that one.
3. Probability of Success - 1916 loses hands down. (So do the irregulars of 1922-23, but in fairness perhaps they were not aware that the IRA was spent. Collins knew it but dared not let his right hand tell it to his left hand.)
4. Good Intention, e.g. no unjust material gain for the participants. (OK, forget holiday homes in Donegal, but one or two very wealthy people straddling the border would have difficulty escaping censure.)
5. Last Resort - all peaceful alternatives have been exhausted. (ask John Hume or Seamus Mallon.)
6. War must be waged by a proper authority. That is generally taken as a lawfully elected government, but if the government is the problem there should at least be an attempt to test the mood of the oppressed people. William Smith O'Brien traversed the country to determine this before the 1848 Rebellion. In 1916 the voice of the Irish people was the Irish Parliamentary Party. The rebels were a minority of a minority. In the 1970s the voice of the Nationalist people of NI was the SDLP. In the line-up for just war endorsement I'm afraid the Balcombe Street murderers of innocent civilians would be at the very back of the queue.
To conclude, you are correct in maintaining that there was scum at work in 1916-23 as there was in 1969-95.
I agree with that, but all wars for good decent people who truely want to make the world a better place. You have scum in regular armies just as in guerrilla ones, there were certainly scum soldiers in the US army in Vietnam who massacred thousands of civilians, bombed that country back country back to the stone age & 10 years earlier destroyed the infastructure of Korea & killed a million people, to me that's a lot more scummy, than say the Bayardo bar attack, Tullyvallen or Darkley, although all three of them are the work of scumbags, I would rather 12,13 people dying than a million.
Or even take the British Army, I doubt anyone here doubts that the Ballymurphy massacre, Falls Road massacre and Bloody Sunday were the acts of complete scumbags but in comparsing they were nothing compared to the US Army;s Laconia massacre, No Gun Ri massacre or Mi Lai massacre and a study by Robert J. Lilly estimates that a total of 14,000 civilian women in England, France and Germany were raped by American GIs during World War II.
On your point 3. Yes, the Easter Rising in the way it played out with barely 1,000 Volunteers of the IRA taking part in the first day, but if the original plan with 16,000 Volunteers taking part & if the extra 20,000 weapons from Casmeant arrived there would have been a good chance of catching the British Army in a pinzer movment with Volunteer regiments & battalions moving from Cork, Limerick Kerry, Wexford, Galway, & companies & units from Tyrone, Armagh, Belfast & Donegal etc... would have stretched the several thousand or so British troops in Ireland on Easter Monday.
And certainly number 4, the Provisional IRA Volunteers & probably the Old IRA Vols there was no material gain what so ever, it destroyed Vols lives, they didn't get paid, (I think some regular Vols in the Old IRA were given money to live on), but the Provisionals got nothing, had to live house to house and rely on the kindness of people they didn't know very well, to fed them, to clothe them & give them a place to sleep.
Why I don't agree with is how long the Provisional's war went on for, mainly thanks to them there they achieved one of their main objectives, the end of the old, rotten Stormont in March 1972, that was huge. They should have taken Sunningdale as it offered more than the GFA in 1998.
I believe the the re-organization of the IRA in 1978 by Gerry & Martrin was either a military blunder or a calculated plan to further their own political careers.
The Adams leadership points to the Warrenpoint & Dunnganon ambushes in 1979 & the Bessbrook ambush in 1981 as a sign of their plan working, except South Armagh & East Tyrone Brigades (who carried out them ambushes &later ones during the decade) never went under this transformation, S. Armagh still & E. Tyrone still brough 10 - 12 Volunteers with them on operations while the Belfast, Derry & other urban areas brought 2-5.
I'm a Republican, not a Sinn Fein or a Dissident, I agree/agreed (agreed as in people who are now dead) with the likes of Paddy Rice, Brendan Hughes, Anto McIntyre, Gerard Hodgkins, Tommy McKearney, people like that, and people of the left like Eamon McCann, Seamus Costello & Bernadette Devlin.
And just on the moral difference between the Old IRA & PIRA, the PIRA made I think it was 11 or 12 people vanish, the OLD IRA made dozens more disappear. At least the PIRA had the balls to take on the British Army in gun battles, killing about 750 of them as well as 320 of the most well armed police force in western Europe, with Sten,Sterling SMGs, Bren LMGs, etc... the Old IRA killed mainly RIC & USC men that they probably knew about just over 750 of them and about 260 British soldiers.
Now I have great respect for people like Mellows, Lynch, Barry, Traynor, and even tho he was Free Stater Sean Mac Eoin for his great defence of the village of Ballinalee, in which up to 20 British forces were killed, it was probably the greatest military move by the IRA in the war after Crossbarry, as well as his leadership for the Clonfin ambush.
Just like in the Provisional IRA I respect people like Brendan Hughes & for his leadership during the Falls Curfew, Battle of Lenadoon & his Battalions attack on the British undercover unit the Military Reaction Force. Also people like Paddy Kelly, Jim Lynagh & Padraig Mckearney for their attacks on the Ballygawlley, Castlederg, Carrickmore, Tynan & The Birches RUC stations.