UK defence minister

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orathaic
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UK defence minister

#1 Post by orathaic » Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:14 pm

https://www.thejournal.ie/johnny-mercer ... 6-Apr2021/

So am I missing something? I thought the Boris Johnson had decided to not prosecute former military personnel guilty of shooting protestors in Northern Ireland...

What changed?

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Re: UK defence minister

#2 Post by Octavious » Wed Apr 21, 2021 8:53 am

Parliamentary process? I'm sure we've discussed this before quite recently. What a Bill looks like in its first readings tends to be somewhat different to what it looks like at the end.

Also worth pointing out that nowhere in the civilised world does anyone prosecute people who are guilty. People prosecute those suspected of a crime, and then guilt or lack of guilt is determined.

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Re: UK defence minister

#3 Post by orathaic » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:49 pm

It is know that the shoot people, it is likely that it was a crime. Whether the state chooses not to prosecute their own military for following orders is not a matter or morality or criminality. It is a question of politics.

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Re: UK defence minister

#4 Post by Octavious » Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:04 pm

Shooting terrorists, on the other hand, is very much to be celebrated. Determining exactly what has happened is undoubtedly a matter for the law.

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Re: UK defence minister

#5 Post by orathaic » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:18 am

Octavious, you may not be aware, but 'terrorists' rarely wear uniforms. And the shooting of unarmed civilians is what gave the 'terrorists' their biggest recruitment surge in 50 years...

It directly caused 30 years of paramilitary violence and demonstrated how much of a failure UK official policy had been in setting up the two teir state in the first place.

And the result of the peace process was to give everyone equal voting rights, among other civil rights issues peaceful protestors were shot over.

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Re: UK defence minister

#6 Post by orathaic » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:14 am

Just for clarity. Do you think it is morally justified to take up arms (violence) against your state (terrorism) in responce to your state sending troops to shoot at members of your community (Catholics)?

This is text book self-defence in my reading of the situation. I mean, you could take any number of other examples where the state determines that a given population is undesirable. Like being Japanese-American during world war 2, or a Russian speaker in Ukraine today. Or a Uyghur or Tibet an in modern China...

I suspect in all cases we would agree that is it wrong for the state to go in and shoot people, even if they are protesting their civil rights.

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Re: UK defence minister

#7 Post by Octavious » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:51 am

Half my family is Catholic, ora. The concept of treating them as a separate community is alien and seemingly unique to the Irish mindset. Quite a lot of the troops in question will have also been Catholic, and it will have been seen not at all as putting down a Catholic uprising and very much as shooting the bastards trying to kill them.

IRA members were clever sods, and used the civilian populace as human shields. A particular favourite disguise of the IRA gunman, when not planting bombs on family cars or shopping centres, was that of a mother with a pram. They had no qualms about killing civilians, and actively engaged in strategies designed to provoke the army into shooting back and hitting innocents, which they could use for propaganda purposes. Whether that's hiding gunmen amongst civilians or provoking hot-headed youths who were too young to know better to lob rocks and firebombs at the army in the hope they'd shoot back.

They were scum, pure and simple. May they burn in hell.

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Re: UK defence minister

#8 Post by orathaic » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:53 pm

Unfortunately, the victims in question were not IRA members. In most cases.

But again I will ask the simple question, is it acceptable to take up arms against a state which is killing members of your community?

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Re: UK defence minister

#9 Post by Octavious » Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:15 pm

Simple question, my arse. There's nothing remotely simple about it. People who treat it as such are typically trying to justify something they know is indefensible. Extreme pro-lifers, for example, using doctors killing members of their community as an excuse to bomb abortion clinics and attempt the murder of medical staff.

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Re: UK defence minister

#10 Post by flash2015 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 3:13 pm

orathaic wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:53 pm
Unfortunately, the victims in question were not IRA members. In most cases.

But again I will ask the simple question, is it acceptable to take up arms against a state which is killing members of your community?
The discussion of when violence is justified is an ethical debate which has gone on for centuries.

A big goal of democracy, for all its faults, provides an alternative to violence. This is why I believe the discussion in the other thread is nuts. If you take away the right of most people to vote, you are pretty much guaranteeing more violence. The right goal is to get MORE people, not less involved in the political process...so that they can see there are non-violent means to achieve political objectives.

I have had some sympathies for the Irish Republican cause in the past...but rightly or wrongly, a majority of people in Northern Ireland want to stay inside the UK. There has been at least one vote allowing Northern Ireland residents to choose whether to stay with the UK (1973) and it was won overwhelmingly by those that wish to stay. Would we have got to the Good Friday agreement though without violence? I don't know.

Since 2001 we have got taught like Pavlov's dogs that once someone or some organization has been called "terrorist" the underlying cause behind it automatically has no merit too...and any and all responses to that "terrorism" are automatically justified (e.g. killing non-violent civilians because they may be even remotely linked...or support the same cause as those labeled "terrorist"). At least that is my understanding of Octavious's argument. I don't subscribe to that. I would have to make a judgement on a case by case basis here. Can you give specific examples of activity by the British military which may be prosecuted?

The most important cause on my mind at the moment is of course the situation in Burma where my wife still has many relatives and friends. She personally knows people that have been murdered by the military. She has relatives in jail too. The military have of course labelled the protestors "terrorists" to trigger our Pavlovian response that their cause is automatically wrong and any behaviour taken against them is OK.

In the Burma case though, they don't have a democratic avenue currently to achieve their political goals. They have tried to demonstrate peacefully but the government has been jailing thousands and killing protestors indiscriminately. The government has shutdown most avenues for disseminating information about what is going on internationally and there really isn't much of a stomach for a robust international response, especially by its most important neighbours (i.e. ASEAN).

In this specific scenario, I do believe violence against the military government may be justified. Given the resource weakness of the resistance, this violence may need to be achieved by "asymmetric means" which in the West we have been taught is "terrorism" and therefore automatically bad. Of course it is a hard topic because there is a real danger that you become what you despise. But in this specific case, I struggle to see alternatives here. There are no easy answers.
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Re: UK defence minister

#11 Post by orathaic » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:15 pm

Just in reference to voting and Northern Ireland:
In jurisdictions where the political and economic spheres are dominated by one ethnic, religious or racial group, property qualifications have been used as a way to exclude members of other ethnic, religious or racial groups that may disproportionately lack the required resources. This was the case in Northern Ireland, where a property requirement was used to exclude indigenous Irish Catholics from voting in elections for seats in the Stormont Parliament until 1969.
Now, I did not make any claims about this kind of discrimination being justification for violence, but the fact is the Ulster Unionist Party ran the statelet from it's establishment up until 1972 (when direct rule was brought in from Westminster). This was indisputably because the statelet was established to give them a majority, and they proceeded to gerrymander the system so even non-unionist majority towns/cities were represented by Unionists.

What I am claiming is that this discrimination was justification for civil rights protests, which sought equal access to social housing and to civil service jobs, among other things.

These aims were ultimately achieved in the good Friday Agreement (along with a political route to Irish unification, and the abolishment of the RUC who had been associated with the violence against civil rights protestors and the Catholic minority).

The facts was that the state responce to these protests (no compromise, followed by violent repression) makes more sense in a system where the Unionist Political establishment had complete control for 50 years and felt that any compromise yo uld lose them power. The violent repression by the state, along with internment of suspected IRA members was the direct cause of the 30 years of violence, and ultimately failed, when the peace achieved the goal of those civil rights protestors. (the IRA campaign also failed, in that their aim of Irish Unification was not achieved through violence, though the peaceful political means they have used in the last 2 decades looks like it will ultimately succeed).

Today, the Tories deciding not to prosecute those responsible for the violent murder of their own citizens justufies the violent campaign. It is a clear message that they believe it is OK to murder us. I disagree. I believe violence was wrong and holding the perpetrators to account sends an important message. One which the Tory party doesn't want to acknowledge about their past.
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Re: UK defence minister

#12 Post by orathaic » Wed May 12, 2021 8:58 am

Some good news yesterday:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-56986784

Victims of the British Military found innocent.

Oct, do you still propose it is OK to kill innocent citizens?

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Re: UK defence minister

#13 Post by Octavious » Wed May 12, 2021 11:36 am

Interesting use of the word "still" in that sentence. Remind me where I proposed this? Or is your habit of inventing arguments to fight against dialled up to 11 this week?

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Re: UK defence minister

#14 Post by orathaic » Wed May 12, 2021 1:53 pm

Just all of your claims supporting the decision not to prosecute state sponsored murders.

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Re: UK defence minister

#15 Post by Octavious » Wed May 12, 2021 2:35 pm

So I've proposed no such thing? Glad we've cleared that up. I accept your apology

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Re: UK defence minister

#16 Post by orathaic » Wed May 12, 2021 10:46 pm

I think it is Boris Johnson who is apologising.

While you make claims that
Shooting terrorists, on the other hand, is very much to be celebrated.
In a conversation about shooting your own citizens. Thanks.

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Re: UK defence minister

#17 Post by Octavious » Thu May 13, 2021 12:42 am

Are you trying to be deliberately thick again? I don't quite follow what you're trying to achieve. There is no audience you're playing to, and even if there was they are perfectly capable of reading the handful of paragraphs here and realising what utter gobshite you're sprouting.

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Re: UK defence minister

#18 Post by flash2015 » Thu May 13, 2021 2:53 am

Perhaps I can help here with clarifying the issue? Here is what you said first:
Octavious wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 8:53 am
Also worth pointing out that nowhere in the civilised world does anyone prosecute people who are guilty. People prosecute those suspected of a crime, and then guilt or lack of guilt is determined.
This is wonderful. It is great that you emphasize the importance of due process.

But then you say:
Octavious wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:04 pm
Shooting terrorists, on the other hand, is very much to be celebrated.
Wait, what? So as soon as you label someone a terrorist those "due process" ideals you were so concerned about go away?

The Burmese government labelled their anti-coup protestors "terrorists". So if they shoot the "terrorists" we should all be celebrating?

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Re: UK defence minister

#19 Post by Octavious » Thu May 13, 2021 3:57 pm

I don't understand your confusion. The question being asked is whether the military personnel are guilty of unlawful killing. If the people they shot were terrorists then they were legitimate targets and clearly no crime was committed, unless they were shot whilst surrendering. If they were not terrorists then there is a case to answer and a deep understanding of the situation must be pursued in order to establish whether the soldiers acted improperly and could be guilty of an offence.

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Re: UK defence minister

#20 Post by orathaic » Thu May 13, 2021 7:17 pm

Perhaps you missed the thread it went
Me: not investigating the killing of innocent citizens by the state is wrong
Oct: hoho what if they were terrorists?
Me: hey look, proof they were innocent
Oct: yes, exactly as I said all along.

Trooll.

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