I am surfing the web and chasing up on various ideas and thoughts that I have had over the last few weeks. In particular along the theme of that old forgotten chestnut “a terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”.
A great friend of mine, Johnny Marsh (Johnny HJ to a few), once took a leak against my Great Great Grandfather’s statue in Wexford, Ireland whilst hitching around that part of the world. He announced this proudly to me over a pint when he returned. It has taken until now for me to determine that in fact it was his Great Uncle who was called by the same name – John Edward Redmond.
John Edward Redmond Junior, still to this day unaffected by the disdain of my dear friend Johnny HJ, was not honoured by a monument but by the legacy of freedom at a big price.
Ireland was a hotbed of subterfuge. Cromwell invaded and injected Protestant Loyalists into the country having massacred many Catholics. After many years Parliament agreed to Home ruel for the Irsih except for the 6 districts in the North – these would be dealt with later. This area, that had only ever been considered as Ireland and only annexed to England for a temporary period after Home Rule, is what we know as Northern Ireland.
So, we inject Protestants into a country then carve out that Protestant area from the agreement and now claim that because the majority in this area are Protestant that this area must remain separated from the rest of Ireland! Wow!
If we not return to the original thought – what is a terrorist, we can start to see that there really are two sides to the story. Ask yourself the question, are the IRA monsters? The Kurds, are they terrorists? This most simpe of questions that we have all asked no doubt in our youth is forgotten when we talk of Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Uganda – look at each of the stories here and you will see a much more complex story. Are there any universal truths that can guide us in finding the way forward in these discussions? What would King Solomon have said?