Typical that LetsGetAlongerists are getting all worked up about the SDLP successfully objecting to a Recruitment Poster for the British Air Force (“RAF”) in the Brandywell area of Derry.
Fair play to the SDLP …they know Derry.
I dont know how LetsGetAlongerists would feel about a “Vote SDLP” poster outside Frizzels Fish Shop on the Shankill Road in Belfast….or indeed a “Join the IRA” poster.
Yes youre right…it wouldn’t happen.
And you might even say that its not the same thing at all.
Well….you might be wrong about that.
January in Derry….just a half mile from where fourteen Derry civilians were murdered by British paratroopers in 1972.
Yeah Yeah…tell me the LetsGetAlongerist spiel about how important the Legacy of the Past was and tell me that SDLP in Derry should “get over it”….it was forty one years ago, they might say.
Of course its true that many Catholics in Norn Iron fought for the British in World War Two. Indeed a Victoria Cross holder is in my wife’s wider family circle.
Not that it did him a lot of good after the War ended.
Indeed I had THREE uncles who flew over London during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
Uncle Siegfried, Uncle Helmut, Uncle Wolfgang.
Hmmm 1940….. 2013…..That might be too soon for the LetsGetAlongerists. A tad hypocritical.
It never ceases to appall me that that branch of a nation’s armed forces which inevitably in conflict inflicts the most damage on civilian life causing civilian fatalities without distinction of age, sex or infirmity yet is least held to blame and rarely, if indeed ever, held to account for what surely in many cases must amount to war crimes of a major scale. Instead the image of the “Brylcreem” Boys of the RAF and USAF “Flyguys” , even that of the defeated Lutwaffe of the otherwise much maligned Third Reich is that of clean-handed heroes, battling each other in the skies as did jousting knights of yore.
Yet government itself is acutely aware of the atrocities committed by its own air force. It is only very recently (2012) that a memorial to Bomber Command was erected to the wartime RAF on the Embankment as for so long the British Government were not eager to draw attention to its wartime activities so that even its war commander, Sir Arthur Harris (bart.) was much shunned. He is known to the public as ‘Bomber’ Harris but among his RAF contemporaries was referred to as ‘Butcher’ Harris, perhaps a more fitting sobriquet for a man who once declared that he would” Bomb Dresden all over again.” While all German forces were open to indictment for atrocity and denied the defence of “only following orders” it would be unthinkable, for example, that RAF ground crew would ever be considered as complicit in the bombing of civilians under Milton’s maxim that “he also serves who only stands and waits.”
We know of course that history is written by the victor, which is why USAF atrocities such as the dropping of Agent Orange in Vietnam and the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have never really been examined in depth with a view to prosecution before an international court. (We might note here that the USA will never permit its citizens to be tried before any international court while it yet railroads the citizens of other countries into such courts for their efforts in dirty civil wars which were covertly ignited by US proxy forces for God knows what reasons.)
The moral is: if you desire to slaughter many innocent people and yet remain untainted by any opprobrium or be thought of as a psycopath – Join the RAF ! Join the USAF ! You know it makes sense.
Yes…not just Air Forces but also the guys who sit in bunkers and can launch missiles, knowing it will involve civilians (likewise submarines).
The numbers horrific and the odds stacked in favour of people who push buttons.
I suppose there is a difference between bombers and fighters but the nature of an Air Force is imperialistic….the conflict is usually “aggressive”.
Move on to 2034, did you hear about the dissident group that used a drone on the Strand Rd cop shop.
Heard the O/C used to be in the RAF years ago.
A spokesman for new Democratic Republican Unionist Party stated, “these people have no future and will never get off the ground”.
Hopefully I wont be around then.
quite right – and these people should not be allowed in schools either
Good point. Although I would like to see Republic establish Officer Training in North. There are prolly proportionately more Northerners in Irish Army than British Army.
In the early eighties I drove my brother and his mate to Dundalk so they could sign up, my brother dipped out but the mate went on to become a captain and served in the Lebanon in the artillery. Why is the Irish Army not opening its recruitment offices in Belfast and Derry? in fact why stop there? Surely the Irish govt should, in the spirit of shared space, have offices in major centres of population, to handle things such as passports, tourism and such. Who knows, RTE may even give the region a proper service.
Currently have a member of the extended family in Lebanon. Also a couple of his friends who are from the North.
Wasn’t there a fella from the Falls Rd in the 1970s who killed several of his fellow Irish soldiers in a Lebanon watch tower.
Think he got involved with some strange Dublin based Nazi/white power group.
He ended up doing 25 years in prison.
Was a strange tale indeed.
Yes. I think he killed three, one of them was from Lurgan. He tried to blame it on some Lebanese civilians.
I thought the Lebanon case happened in the 1970s.
Surprised it was later, 1982.
Thought the 27 years was tough by local standards ie the North.
Turns out he was released in 1993/94 but turned to drug dealing within months and was returned to prison.
He finished his sentence in the North and is now out.
Similar case in Edinburgh about the same time but that involved a jeep full of cash for army wages.