Thursday, March 10, 2005

What's Your Problem. Ireland?

In the news today: A host of news about troubles for the IRA.

Disband the IRA? The mere thought is absurd.

It might be possible to get the pseudo-military nationalists to do so in an 'official' capacity. But the deep-rooted feelings that gave rise to the IRA in the first place will remain in the hearts of the most fervent nationalists of √Čireann.

It will only be a matter of time before a splinter group operating out of a basement in Belfast, bombs a parade. The only real question is "who will be the first?" Which pocket of angry nationals will get to lay claim to being the first to lash out in violent protest? In fact, the idea of being first may even serve as a carrot and rush the process along once the idea of 'being the ones to righteously break the peace' has seeded.

It is only a matter of time. Take the most recent cease fire in Palestine. All well and good. The Palestinians and the Jews laid off each other for how long? Weeks? Did it get to months? I'm too lazy to do a search to find out. In any case, it only took until the other week before someone decided that there were still violent points to be made. Someone whose agenda was functionally, but not ideologically divorced from the powers that be. Someone who COULD NOT BE CONTROLLED.

I have strong Irish blood, and of the various nationalities that make up my personal weave of DNA, the Irish portion is that which I connect with the best. But I constantly find myself having to turn my back to any connection to the violence. The Irish have been rising in proto-military fashion for centuries now and it has yet to actually solve anything. I know that much, but it repulses me to have that as part of my heritage, so I have had a tendency to avoid the depth of the history about it.

Yes, all nations pretty much have some sort of violent history to be ashamed of, but Ireland's is on going to this day. "We" have never got past it. We aren't alone in that, but there are numerous nations that are doing a pretty good job of living in an enlightened state beyond violence... the country I live in strives valiantly to do just that - not always successfully, but the point being, Canada tries. Perhaps, I'm being a hypocrite here - disbanding the IRA constitutes 'trying.' But the definition becomes rather specious in this case.

Again with the self-criticism: Germany is among the best examples of a country with a violent history. A violent, recent history (with the prime examples being from the last century). But really, the past 50 years have been pretty tranquil - at least on this side of the one-time Iron Curtain. A lot of the peace can be attributed to the vociferous education of the populace - the young - of their historical transgressions. Which probably means I should go and read Trinity... Hmmm. I think I just convinced myself. (Maybe not Trinity exactly, but read up on the history in any case.)

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