I’m sitting in my hotel room in Derby (pronounced “Dahby”), listening to the BBC News discuss today’s announcement that the IRA has announced an end to terrorist attacks.
It’s an interesting – and hopeful – piece of news. They have been running down the history of IRA violence since the 1970’s, and point out that over 3,000 people were killed in the IRA conflict. I hadn’t thought of it as being that deadly, thinking more of the polite warnings before bombs were set off in London in the 1980’s.
The interesting question, obviously, is the effect of 7/7 and 7/21 on this decision.I’ve been dining with my co-workers – part of the reason for my trip is to take the folks here out and get to know them. They’re young information workers, hip, liberal, anti-war marchers almost to a man.
And the bombings have made them quite willing to see the Muslim community in the U.K. placed under close watch; the radical imams deported or jailed, their anti-Western mosques closed, and their disaffected young followers deported – or jailed. Political correctness? Fuggedabout it. Civil rights? “What about the civil rights of the victims?” they reply.
This is a big deal. The political cost of terrorism just went up. I think the IRA just did the math and decided that a change was necessary.
It’s never been free…note Hammes’ book talks about this loss in his discussion of the second Intifada… but somehow I’m wondering of the cost hasn’t gone up dramatically.
I’d always assumed that the IRA had been badly weakened by 9/11, as much of it’s financial base in the 70’s and 80’s was in the American Northeast. And I can’t believe that the donations were as forthcoming in October.
It’ll be interesting to watch and see how tis plays out.