In the wake of the slaughter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, an atrocity driven far more by one man’s self-hatred and homophobia than any ideological allegiance to radical Islam, the usual suspects have demanded penitence from the world’s Muslim communities. This of course is not just unfair but illogical. As I pointed out elsewhere, the Irish don’t blame sixty-four million Britons for the past actions of the British death squads in Ireland, so why should Americans blame 1.6 billion Muslims for the past or present actions of militant Islamists? The latter represent no one but themselves, a minority of a minority (and in this case, a New York born minority of one). Fortunately most ordinary citizens in the United States recognise this truth, despite the sectarian and nationalist rhetoric of Donald J. Trump and co. In Britain several political parties, primarily of the right, used to discuss the playing of the “Orange Card”, a cynical pandering to the worse sentiments of the British unionist community in the north-east of Ireland or the stirring up of anti-Irish hatred in order to elicit parliamentary support in London. As Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Winston Churchill, was wont to say, “…the Orange Card would be the one to play. Please God may it turn out the ace of trumps and not the two.” It seems that Donald Trump has decided that the Islamist Card will be his ace in the hole as he faces into the 2016 presidential election.
Meanwhile the revelations about the Loughinisland Massacre of 1994, a gun attack by pro-UK terrorists on the tiny Heights Bar in rural County Down, reminds us that it is not rogue individuals but rogue nation states that one need truly fear. Brian Feeney, a newspaper columnist and former councillor with the SDLP, writing in the Irish News:
“The Ombudsman set his investigation against a backdrop of endemic collusion going back to the late 1980s beginning with how loyalists acquired the weapon used in the killings, a VZ58 assault rifle, a Czech version of the AK-47 with terrific firepower of 800 rounds a minute.
RUC Special Branch and the secret British military intelligence unit FRU knew which members of the UVF, UDA and Ulster Resistance were involved in importing the weapons and how they managed it because most were their agents.
None of them was ever arrested or investigated. The same lack of investigation applied to the UVF gang involved in the killings at the Heights Bar. So nothing new there.
Brigadier Gordon Kerr, the man who ran the FRU, knew all about the acquisition of weapons from South Africa by his agent Brian Nelson.
Many nationalists find it incredible that the weapons nevertheless made their way without being intercepted, not only to the north but to the farm of convicted former RUC reservist James Mitchell who on his own admission held the biggest UVF arms dump in mid-Ulster.
Many wonder if elements in British intelligence decided it was necessary to upgrade the firepower of their loyalist agents to compete with the newly acquired arsenal Colonel Gadaffi had supplied to the IRA in 1985-6.
The fundamental question is this. To what extent were loyalist terrorists directed by British military intelligence and RUC Special Branch?
We know that the UDA, a criminal conspiracy from the outset, was maintained as a legal organisation until almost the end of the Troubles despite being responsible for hundreds of killings.
If they were carrying out operations the security forces couldn’t do legally the reason for not banning them is obvious.
At bottom evidence suggests the British state decided early on to use any means they could to destroy the IRA. If that meant making loyalist murder gangs into state agents so be it.”
In other words, more proof of the former war by #DeathSquadBritain in Ireland. A war waged not by the British people as a whole but by their political classes until they realised that it was a war they could never hope to win.