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Dublin Opinion >>
Armed Struggle, delusions and romantic notions
Monday April 28, 2008 17:17 by Larry Connolly
A brief look at the state of the Republican movement.
When I joined the republican movement, I was a young Idealist. I recognised the right of the IRA to wage war on occupation forces. This has not changed, nor has that right. But the conditions have. I have also slowly become a realist, I have analysed the current situation, I’ve heard from the ordinary grass roots and ex POWs (the people who actually took risks, while the majority of people who encourage armed struggle sat tucked up in bed).
Some people believe, the leadership of certain armed groups are compromised. It was suggested to me, that people who stand in senior positions in republicanism, are in fact agents for one or another state. It is said these people won’t let volunteers take overt aggressive action against enemy forces. If the pistols are there for shows of strength, wouldn’t it be better to fire them at the enemy forces? If the leadership don’t believe in armed struggle, why don’t they issue a directive similar to the directive in the border campaign? (When they ordered IRA volunteers to dump arms).
I can only surmise that a lot of volunteers in the IRA feel the struggle is going nowhere. Many are in prison for absolutely nothing. These men should be out with their families and friends. In the past 6 Years, no British soldier or RUC man has been harmed by the IRA. Other republican groups have managed to inflict damage on the RUC, why haven’t the IRA? These are the questions being asked by everyone.
It’s time for everyone who purports to support armed struggle to look at the situation and analyse what has happened. Since the IRA reorganised in 1986, the army has not inflicted a single casualty. It’s all well and good for these so called supporters to write about former republicans and their obsession with them (and everything they do). How many times did the Sinn Fein or the IRA issue statements about the sticks during the war? Was it weekly? Like Sinn Fein now seem to do about former republicans. A lot of the people who rant about former republicans or encourage armed struggle (usually in the bar room or on the internet), won’t be on the front. They are the romantic fools who will never lift a stick, let alone a gun (Mao would call them paper tigers).
Above all the situation on the ground is different; it’s different to what it was even 7 years ago. At this present time, there is no appetite for armed action. The nationalist community are more concerned with who’s dealing drugs in their areas, who’s driving the stolen car around at high speed, who’s robbing their houses, who’s beating up and murdering their citizens. If the Republican movement wish to gain any support. It is from here they should start, otherwise they are doomed to fail repeatedly, without the working class, no armed movement will ever be successful.