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CRY HAVOC AND UNLEASH THE DOGS OF WAR

By Patrick Van Roy On April 27th, 2019

Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

 

Guest Post by Paul McMahon

It’s been claimed that up to 200 British soldiers are under investigation for alleged criminal actions and may face charges for various incidents during the conflict in Ireland.

Needless to say this has caused outrage amongst British Army veteran groups and some sections of the British political establishment:  One veteran was told in a letter from his MP, a former security minister, that prosecutions of British soldiers were being driven by a “cultural Marxist hatred of our national history” on the part of the “liberal establishment”

 

New figures reveal scale of unsolved killings from the Troubles

Of the 1,186 killings that the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch is assessing:

45.5% are attributed to republican paramilitaries.

23% are attributed to loyalist paramilitaries.

28.5% are attributed to the security forces.

For the remaining 3% of deaths, the background of those primarily responsible is unknown.

Whereas Of the 94 deceased who make up the legacy inquests being dealt with by the Coroners Service :

60% were civilians who were not members of paramilitary organisations, 33% were members of republican paramilitary groups, 3% were involved in loyalist paramilitarism and 4% were members of the RUC.

81% were Catholic and 19% were Protestant.

55% were killed by state forces, 28% were killed by loyalists and 17% were killed by republicans.

Nine of the killings occurred after the Good Friday Agreement was signed but are still considered legacy cases by the Coroners Service due to their political nature.

Only four soldiers have been convicted of shooting civilians while on duty in the North , in circumstances where the courts ruled they were guilty of murder, and all four were freed aftera maximum of serving just five years of their life sentences, were paid salary lost while in prison and were reinstated back into the British Army. In stark contrast, tens of thousands of republicans and loyalists have spent time in jails during the Troubles, totalling an estimated 100,000 years.

The Good Friday Agreement of course released prisoners early on condition that they were convicted on charges prior to 1998, that they had served a minimum of two years in prison and that the release was on licence which meant they could be recalled to prison to finish their original sentence in the event of being arrested again in the future.

So, should these soldiers be investigated and where appropriate charged and punished for incidents occurring in a conflict zone? My own preference would be a general amnesty connected to a truth and reconciliation process along the South African model. This of course won’t happen as none of the protagonists in the conflict, Republicans, loyalists or the state, would ever tell the murky, squalid truth as they all have too much to lose. In that context I think it apt to investigate these soldiers and where appropriate they should face punishment in line with the GFA provisions and to do otherwise would create two legal systems.

69 Responses to “CRY HAVOC AND UNLEASH THE DOGS OF WAR”

  1. Many thanks Pat.

  2. anytime

  3. anytime

    “I’ll post pro-terrorist propaganda anytime. Keep it coming.”

  4. Oh FFS Pete, it’s an article and stats that are clearly witin the public domain.

    Should the murderer of a twelve year old schoolgirl face imprisonment?

    http://www.newrymemoirs.com/stories_pages/rememberingmajella_1.html

    More ‘pro-terrorist propaganda’ no doubt.

  5. I’m busy with this book……

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Manufacturing-Terrorism-Governments-Justify-Foreign/dp/190557097X

    Backed by a wealth of documentation, including court records, parliamentary inquiries and little-known but official publications, the author exposes the role of the deep state in brutal acts of terror. Exploring Operation Gladio, Northern Irish terror and, predominantly, Islamic jihad, he argues that intelligence agencies, the military and governments employ six key methods to manufacture terrorism: 1/ Blowback: attacking other countries and provoking violent responses. 2/ Proxies: creating terrorists (including al-Qaeda) and using them against enemies. 3/ Provocateurs: provoking individuals from minorities into committing terrorist acts. 4/ Green-lighting: allowing terrorists to commit attacks in order to justify specific policies. 5/ False-flags: committing terrorism and blaming it on designated enemies. 6/ Simulations: holding drills and exercises as covers for apparent terrorist acts.

    and the bit on the IRA/UVF/RUC/ is depressing. I underestimated the sheer evil at the heart of ‘British’ government and its lackeys in the IRA.

  6. I underestimated the sheer evil at the heart of ‘British’ government and its lackeys in the IRA.

    Didn’t you used to say that the IRA were a genuine threat to the British establishment? I wish you’d make your mind up but no doubt that will change again depending on whatever’s conveniant to the narrative you’re trying to push at the time.

    Anyway, should the soldiers be prosecuted or not?

  7. Didn’t you used to say that the IRA were a genuine threat to the British establishment?

    There were very few ‘operations’ that had not been either initiated or ‘green-lighted’ by ‘British’ officers that one must assume that even those that appear to have been genuine – Canary Wharf, targetted judges – were permitted to happen.

    I wish you’d make your mind up but no doubt that will change again

    If I get information that compels a change of mind, then I shall change my mind. I used to believe the holoco$t. You, by contrast, will never consider any information that would change your mind

  8. There were very few ‘operations’ that had not been either initiated or ‘green-lighted’ by ‘British’ officers that one must assume that even those that appear to have been genuine

    And the evidence for this is? Were Moutbatten, Bishopsgate, Downing St, Heathrow etc ‘greenlighted?’

    You, by contrast, will never consider any information that would change your mind

    I consider information which is verifiable and credible. Your mish mash of biased obscure websites and Youtube videos is rarely if ever any of these.

    Anyway, should the soldiers be prosecuted or not?

  9. Of course soldiers who commit murder should be prosecuted. All people who commit murder should be. It shouldn’t even be a questionable issue.

  10. Anyway, should the soldiers be prosecuted or not?

    I don’t know

    Paul McMahon, on April 27th, 2019 at 11:30 PM Said:

    There were very few ‘operations’ that had not been either initiated or ‘green-lighted’ by ‘British’ officers that one must assume that even those that appear to have been genuine

    And the evidence for this is? Were Moutbatten, Bishopsgate, Downing St, Heathrow etc ‘greenlighted?’

    Paul – see post at 10.49pm. Once it’s on t’internet, I’ll link accordingly.

  11. I saw the post at 10.49, hence:

    And the evidence for this is? Were Moutbatten, Bishopsgate, Downing St, Heathrow etc ‘greenlighted?’

    I don’t know

    Why not. You don’t have an opinion on the matter?

  12. Paul

    Allan is waiting for the evidence to emerge of How the IRA were controlled by Jews. Then he will post his opinion 😉

  13. This should get him started as a good basis for a ‘theory’ Colm 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Briscoe_%28politician%29

  14. “45.5% are attributed to republican paramilitaries.”

    And when it was the Royal Ulster constabulary which employed Catholics, the IRA deliberately targeted Catholic RUC officers.

  15. Thoughtful post, Paul.

    Bad show, Pete.

  16. Apl.

    I think you’ll find the IRA targetted any RUC members regardless of what religion they were.

    Sould the soldiers be prosecuted?

    Thank you Phantom.

  17. Pete Moore, on April 27th, 2019 at 9:35 PM Said:

    anytime

    “I’ll post pro-terrorist propaganda anytime. Keep it coming.”

    from the current king of toilet-paper journalism on ATW. Absolutely pathetic, Pete.

  18. Pete Moore has just become a Troll here on ATW nowadays. He seeks only to provoke and doesn’t really believe his own nonsense.

  19. Just what the wee six needs. More flegs:

    https://twitter.com/HelenSmythMe/status/1122060999262113794

  20. Paul Mc Mahone: “I think you’ll find the IRA targetted any RUC members regardless of what religion they were.”

    Of course, as the RUC was the symbol of civil society in Northern Ireland. But they particularly targeted Catholic RUC officers.

    It’s just now cricket to have Catholics doing well and working for the Crown. Goes against the ‘Republican oppression’ narrative.

  21. Let the past belong to the past. All conflict-related killings before the GFA should be consigned to history, regardless of how difficult that will be for the families of the victims to accept. While learning from the mistakes of the past, a society has to move on and look to improving the future for all people and making sure such a poliical situation as in NI before the Troubles never happens again.

  22. Of course, as the RUC was the symbol of civil society in Northern Ireland.

    Civil society? You’re having a laugh. The RUC were a heavily paramilitarised brutal arm of the state and seen as such by a wide section of society.

    Of course there were a minority of Catholics who joined the RUC. Some 10% of RUC men were Catholics, in fact, Catholic RUC man Sergeant Joseph Campbell was shot dead at Cushendall RUC station in February 1977 by fellow RUC man and UVF member Billy McCaughey specifically because he was a Catholic RUC seargent.

    The IRA targetted RUC men wherever and whenever they could regardless of religion and you claim of specifically targetting Catholic RUC men is a fabrication.

    Now, should the soldiers be prosecuted?

  23. Paul McMahon: “The RUC were a heavily paramilitarised brutal arm of the state and seen as such by a wide section of society.”

    Yes. The Republican section of society.

    Paul McMahon: “Now, should the soldiers be prosecuted?”

    I agree with Noel, “All conflict-related killings before the GFA should be consigned to history, “. So no.

  24. But that’s not the case Noel:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-47415011

  25. Yes. The Republican section of society

    And Irish nationalist and human rights groups.

    I agree with Noel, “All conflict-related killings before the GFA should be consigned to history, “. So no.

    Fair enough position, as long as it applies right across the board. If this were to apply I also suspect that you’d have thousands of former prisoners taking massive legal action to have their convictions and sentences expunged.

  26. “If this were to apply I also suspect that you’d have thousands of former prisoners taking massive legal action to have their convictions and sentences expunged.”

    Your idea of ‘this’ and my idea of ‘this’ clearly do not share any commonality.

    If a criminal or murderer has been tried and convicted by due process. Then that conviction and sentence should stand. There is no need to allow convicts to take legal action other than if they can show there was some material irregularity in the evidence provided to convict.

    If we can give Martin McGuinnes and Gerry Adams a free pass for their past atrocities. Then we can afford the same licence to those who were acting on the Governments instructions. So, no to the Soldiers should not be prosecuted.

  27. If a criminal or murderer has been tried and convicted by due process. Then that conviction and sentence should stand.

    Then why shouldn’t other criminals and murderers face the same due process?

    If there’s a cut off line for convictions and I was a former prisoner I know that I’d certainly be fighting to have it applied rectrospectively claiming that there was a de facto due legal process operating.

    If we can give Martin McGuinnes and Gerry Adams a free pass for their past atrocities

    AFAIK McGuinness served a prison sentence for possessing of ammunition in the 1970s and Adams was convicted only for attempting to escape from Long Kesh during internment.

    What ‘free pass’ was given?

  28. It is useless. Partisans are only satisfied with selective prosecution.

  29. “But they particularly targeted Catholic RUC officers.”

    Did they though?

    In 1998 the RUC was 8.0% Catholic. Over the course of the Troubles the IRA killed 270 RUC officers. 247 were Protestant, 21 were Catholic, and 2 were not from Northern Ireland.

    So 7.8% of the RUC officers killed by the IRA were Catholic. So actually the IRA killed a slightly (very slightly) lower proportion of Catholic RUC officers.

    “Then we can afford the same licence to those who were acting on the Governments instructions. So, no to the Soldiers should not be prosecuted.”

    They were acting on government instructions? So the government instructed them to execute civil rights protesters? Ordered them to execute a catholic priest for giving someone the last rites? Ordered them to shoot a disabled man in the back? Ordered them to murder a 15 year old child? Ordered them to collude with loyalist terrorists?

  30. Largely agreed Mahons. My own personal preference as outlined above:

    My own preference would be a general amnesty connected to a truth and reconciliation process along the South African model. This of course won’t happen as none of the protagonists in the conflict, Republicans, loyalists or the state, would ever tell the murky, squalid truth as they all have too much to lose. In that context I think it apt to investigate these soldiers and where appropriate they should face punishment in line with the GFA provisions and to do otherwise would create two legal systems.

  31. //But that’s not the case Noel:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-47415011//

    I know it isn’t. That’s why I said “should be”.

    I also meant of course all injuries caused, damage to property, wrongful convictions,etc – i.e. the entire Troubles.

    For reasons stated. But also because any further criminal convictions on one side or the other does nobody any good. The killings and injuries and injustices were done in the context of the Troubles and the injustices in that part of Ireland. What good does it do Republicans today to see Soldiers A to Z convicted for some killing, or for Unionists and their supporters to see some IRA man jailed? All they get from it is some kind of retrospective satisfaction and a case to be cited in arguments, where the other side isn’t listening anyway.

    I’d like to think that most of the killers on all sides would have led harmless lives had they lived in some other place or at some other time. The problem was the political set-up, and securing a political settlement with justice for all is what people should now be focussing on.

    By the way, anyone any ideas on how the new party Aontú will do in the local elections, maybe picking up votes and seats from SF? Seamus?

  32. “By the way, anyone any ideas on how the new party Aontú will do in the local elections, maybe picking up votes and seats from SF?”

    I don’t see them doing well truth be told. While Sinn Féin support in the south is a little different in the north it is worth pointing out that 75% of Sinn Féin voters voted Yes in the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment. A similar number of Fine Gael supporters voted the same way. A pro-life breakaway from Fine Gael in the south did really badly in the elections and aren’t expected to feature. It is unlikely that a pro-life breakaway from Sinn Féin (especially one that has aligned themselves with the anti-immigrant lobby in the south) would do well there.

    In the north they could do a little better but again I can’t see them making much headway. Maybe in Dungiven and rural Derry as they have the backing of the Brolly family (I think Francie is standing for them). But in general I can’t see them doing well.

  33. What good does it do Republicans today to see Soldiers A to Z convicted for some killing

    Daniel Teggert, a neighbour and family friend of ours was shot by the paras during the Ballymurphy Massacre in Aug 71 Noel. One of his daughters is married to a cousin of mine. The family don’t necessarily want convictions but what they do want is an official admission that their father was an absolutely innocent civillian and an apology for the shooting.

  34. Both Francie and Anne Brolly are standing for them in Local Gov Seamus. Francie in Limavady and Anne in Benbradagh.

  35. Anne had to pull out. She took a retirement package in 2014 that prevents her from standing. So I think one of the Brolly kids (not Joe) is standing.

  36. Yes, you’re correct.

    I’m just looking here and it seems that Proinnsias Brolly will run in his mother’s place.

  37. It was in the Irish News a couple of weeks ago. I couldn’t remember which Brolly was standing in her place.

  38. It rains so much in Ireland Brollys are always needed ☔️😉

  39. Have you ever been under a brolly Colm?

  40. “Have you ever been under a brolly Colm?”

    Show us were Joe touched you Colm. Show us on the doll.

  41. Honestly you two are sex mad. I make an innocent comment about rain and umbrellas and you turn it into FILTH !

    Well done 😉

  42. I think Colm’s the type who would enjoy being covered by a brolly.

  43. An anthem, lads?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2F0GcmK3C0

  44. I think the Brolly Anthem would be Joe’s rant about Seán Cavanagh in 2013 set to music.

  45. That’s quite nice Noel.

  46. Joe Brolly is a legend. I could listen to him/read his articles all day long.

    Handy corner forward in his day.

  47. I’m not a fan of Joe Brolly . In my opinion his biggest saving grace is that he isn’t Pat Spillane or Colm O’Rourke.

    Though to be fair to Joe Brolly my biggest criticism of him is that he loves the sound of his own voice. And being a barrister who is the son of two politicians it probably isn’t surprising that he loves the sound of his own voice.

  48. “because any further criminal convictions on one side or the other does nobody any good.” Since when does justice have a sell-by date? Justice always does good. The lack of justice causes problems. Justice is too important to dispose of for any reason.

  49. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_limitations

    I get your point – but many countries do have statute of limitations rules for violent crimes ( usually not for murder though )

  50. I agree that leniency, such as a statute of limitations, should be scaled to the severity of the crime with murder at the top of severity. I can see a statute of limitations for a minor crime but not for murder for several reasons with the main reason being once a life is taken it can not be restored. But the statute of limitations still operates under justice, ie, we believe after a certain time it is just not to prosecute certain crimes. But I believe an amnesty for murder, such as mentioned above, is discarding justice altogether and I think that is outright wrong and bad for society.

  51. // But I believe an amnesty for murder, such as mentioned above, is discarding justice altogether and I think that is outright wrong and bad for society.//

    NY, how come it’s always a topic about NI that makes you get so principled?

    There is murder committed by all sides in war; I mean simple murder, not mass murder to the extent of a “war crime”. How many Americans were convicted for such murders in WWII or Vietnam? Does it bother you that so many got off without any punishment for their crimes? Have you ever complained about it here?

    Killings in NI took place more in a war context than a simple criminal situation (although often the distinction can get blurred). The different players were not out for selfish gain, nor for material gain for a larger group. Their ends were always political in nature.

    So while the conflict continued there were, in many ways, understandable reasons why each side acted as it did. But once the conflict has been resolved, these reasons disappear.
    A clear line has to be drawn, and the time the GFA was signed is at least as good as any other.

    While it would certainly be excellent news if each side were to own up to all its actions in the past, and apologise for all the hurt caused, there should be no further convictions.
    In fact, the risk of conviction is one of the main obstacles to the process of truth, apology and reconciliation. It must end for all sides.

  52. Is the ” No Apology No Surrender Bloody Sunday ” photo genuine?

    Who was wearing the shirts, where?

  53. Phantom, it was a demonstration, about two weeks ago, by British army personnel and vets against the news that many veterans could now be prosecuted on the basis of the findings in the Saville report. I presume it was in Whitehall.

    Although the lettering of NO SURRENDER could have been taken from a Loyalist gable wall in Belfast.

    See

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/25/up-to-200-ex-soldiers-being-investigated-over-troubles-allegations

  54. The slogan has tended to crop up in loyalist circles in recent years. The shirt itself was at a march in London a few weeks ago.

  55. This to me gives more indication that these were intentional murders by an utterly unrepentant, criminal element in the military.

  56. //This to me gives more indication that these were intentional murders by an utterly unrepentant, criminal element in the military.//

    Indeed. And the choice of slogans is a timely reminder of the nexus of British conservative politics, british army, unionist parties and loyalist death squads that confronted the Nationalist population at the time.

  57. It is also a clue to the fiction that the British have been perpetration for decades. For decades any time British Army misconduct, not just in terms of their massacres of innocent civilians but also of other actions, the official line of the British is that the British Army served in Northern Ireland with distinction and were let down by a few bad apples. Now that it comes time to prosecute the few bad apples the British are now claiming that all British soldiers, even the bad apples, served with distinction.

  58. The image is taken from the article linked at the top of the page Phantom:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/25/up-to-200-ex-soldiers-being-investigated-over-troubles-allegations?fbclid=IwAR1H7OxNal8gxD3wJq2d12EIABoF3ujnsFybqoiSusXvpfz5DVZxI5kEhLU

    Thousands of current and former service personnel protested against the prosecutions of troops over actions on Bloody Sunday and other occasions. Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

    These have also started appearing in loyalist areas and towns in the wee six:

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-slams-portadown-banner-in-support-of-murder-suspect-soldier-f-38026682.html

    Whereas these are being sold in the ‘Progressive’ Unionist Party shop in Belfast:

    https://twitter.com/HelenSmythMe/status/1122060999262113794

    https://unionjackshop.com/product/paras-no-apology-no-surrender/

    I’m sure Pete’s putting his order in as we spaek.

  59. Those would be the worst excuses for soldiers that anyone has ever seen.

  60. Noel

    “NY, how come it’s always a topic about NI that makes you get so principled?” I am always principled no matter the topic.

    “The different players were not out for selfish gain, nor for material gain for a larger group. Their ends were always political in nature.” Hogwash. Many were out for glory, admiration, self-enrichment, etc. Some British soldiers broke the law in pursuit of glory, promotion and other selfish reasons. Some paramilitaries broke the law for similar reasons plus self-enrichment.

    All murders should be investigated until all evidence is exhausted. Murder is the most grave crime. An amnesty for murder is the greatest violation of justice. An amnesty for murder is an insult to the deceased’s family and friends. In addition, an amnesty for murder lessens its graveness in the perception of society.

  61. Many were out for glory, admiration, self-enrichment, etc

    How many and how do you quantify it ‘Darkie?’

  62. Do any of the local pro Union people choose to make any criticism at all of the ” no apology for the massacre” shirt wearing soldiers

  63. They tend to ignore it, or vaguely support it. Many unionist politicians have jumped on the “soldiers are being persecuted” bandwagon.

  64. Last Saturday at Belfast City Hall Phantom:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLdnpKsUZ2Q

  65. Even if you don’t want soldiers to be prosecuted – a position taken by more than one ” nationalist ” here – you would think that there would be comment made about the wearing of shirts with inflammatory words like that.

    To me, those soldiers ( or whatever they are ) are little better than Barry McElduff. They both mock murdered innocents in their own vile way.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjBjdvO6ffhAhWKTd8KHeerBogQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.irishtimes.com%2Fnews%2Fireland%2Firish-news%2Fex-sinn-f%25C3%25A9in-mp-mcelduff-will-not-be-prosecuted-over-kingsmill-tweet-1.3681516&psig=AOvVaw0jz4v02LM43lMEdUshjj6t&ust=1556713975351208

  66. https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2019/03/29/news/concerns-raised-abut-soldier-f-banner-in-co-antrim-1585859/

    https://www.derryjournal.com/news/soldier-f-banner-in-portadown-town-centre-offensive-and-should-be-taken-down-jackson-1-8894068

    https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2019/04/27/news/rally-in-belfast-in-support-of-british-soldiers-1607211/

  67. I still wonder whether or not Barry McElduff’s was a deliberate attack on innocent victims. McElduff is a clown but he has no history of that sort of stuff. He does have history of putting random objects on his head.

    https://www.irishnews.com/news/2018/01/08/news/sinn-fein-s-barry-mcelduff-s-comedic-career-1226643/

    It was poor judgement (in general an MP shouldn’t be acting the clown). But I don’t think it was a calculated attack on victims.

  68. Thanks for sharing that.

    It looks like the gangs still rule those areas with an iron fist.

  69. More ‘pro-terrorist propaganda’ no doubt.

    The family of a man whose skull was used as an ashtray by members of the Parachute Regiment after he was shot dead have spoken of their “deep distress.”

    http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/northernirelandnews/2019/05/11/news/british-soldiers-used-shot-catholic-man-s-skull-as-ashtray-1617500/content.html?fbclid=IwAR0qCwhA12D9NXK02ReTZLBBE0pzOVEoo-hYwIkX4ygjzkr7SS4ik1v799Y