June 6, 2000
Theeeeyyyyy're back. Those fun loving criminals in the IRA have just tried to blow up Hammersmith Bridge in London. Of course, the badge under which they are running is that of the continuity IRA, but it is the same terrorists. This well-known military installation has been the target of previous bomb attempts, for the obvious reason that it is a strategic asset in the continued British "occupation" of Northern Ireland. That's right, the bridge served the nefarious purpose of allowing London inhabitants to cross from one end of the Thames to the other. Obviously a legitimate target in the struggle for liberation. However, what does this mean for the much-vaunted peace process in Northern Ireland?
One of the most cherished myths is that the IRA is not committing terrorist offences, so could not have committed this. This is plainly wrong. The bomb that blew up Hammersmith Bridge was made of Semtex, just like the one that killed so many in Omagh. Only the IRA had Semtex, which they received from the Warsaw pact during the Cold War, and they were rather jealous of keeping it. If the Semtex was genuinely stolen or given away by a defecting IRA quartermaster, then there would be bodies floating in various Irish lochs and tributaries, as stealing weapons is considered a capital offence within the Provisional IRA. The very fact that there has been Semtex used and no retribution meted out on "splinter" groups, is evidence that the work was carried out with the knowledge, approval and help of the Provisional IRA. In effect, it was carried out by the IRA. No amount of phony condemnations can cover this. The IRA did it.
The timing of this event was exquisite. The "peace process" got back on track last week when the largest party in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionists accepted that the IRA's plan for cursory audits of their arms dumps was acceptable in lieu of decommissioning. The IRA, through its front organisation Sinn Fein, again has a share in the government of Northern Ireland. Now it must keep the momentum going. It wants the removal of British troops and the emasculation of its most effective adversary, the Royal Ulster Constabulary. While the removal of British troops has been going ahead (freeing them up for intervention elsewhere) there has been serious disquiet over the disbanding of the RUC because it will give the IRA a free hand. As the IRA knows the best way for the British government to dance to its tune is to start raising the spectre of a London bombing campaign. Of course, they cannot take responsibility for this outrage, so they will have to find someone else to do it for them.
The ideal vehicles for the continued terrorism of the IRA are two minuscule splinter groups, the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA. Both these groups were set up by those opposed to the "Peace" process. There any similarity between the official history and the truth ends. The two groups are remarkably inactive for two groups who want to continue a terrorist operation. There has been no recruiting of an American network of sympathisers to raise funds, no extortion of Catholic businesses and no raids on the arms stockpiles of their parent organisation. Recruitment apart, there has been no attempt to build a credible terrorist threat. So how do these groups continue? Through the blessing of the IRA. These groups have been infiltrated by the IRA, how else could they recruit except through the IRA. These moles keep a lid on the organisations, while at the same time acting as a conduit for the armaments and intelligence that these small groups cannot gather for themselves. In return they carry out the operations that the now half-respectable IRA cannot carry out for itself. If they did not exist, they would have to be invented; in effect, they were.
The amazing thing is that this is not reported in the British press. There has been an orgy of denial. This is not just in the government controlled BBC or the pro-IRA Guardian, but among opponents of the peace deal such as the Daily Telegraph. The use of Semtex, the lack of activity and sudden ability to launch operations "on the mainland" and the general uselessness of the splinter groups are not commented on. Instead, the duplicitous "condemnation" of the bombing, by the IRA commander Martin McGuinness, is reported, as if that in itself proved that the IRA did not do it.
We have been here before. Last year the market town of Omagh was bombed killing 29 people and maiming more. This was also done with Semtex. A splinter group, this time the Real IRA, claimed responsibility. Since then there have been no arrests, leading many to ask whether this was a deliberate cover up by the British government desperate to keep the IRA on board. The IRA and their front organisation Sinn Fein were unwilling to help the police, arguing that they were in Northern Ireland illegitimately. The subtext was that they were not willing to allow the operatives to be arrested. Why not?
As always, an almost obsessive interest in these matters has been played by Bill Clinton. The pressure on the British to keep up the increasingly thin facade of the peace process has been immense. This has meant that unapologetic terrorists are now in charge of schools and health care in a province of the United Kingdom. It has at least partly played a part in the escape from justice of particularly nasty killers. It has also brought back terrorism to the streets of London. It is not just Colombia and Serbia that suffer from American interference (although they suffer to a far greater degree). When the State Department next compiles its list of terrorist supporting states, please be sure they include Clinton's America there.
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