Did McGuinness complete his journey?

McSlaggart

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You may be missing an important point, one that McGuinness, amongst others, seemed to be coming to accept (though I may be mistaken in this) - namely that)
Yes you are. Do you have any evidence to support this claim?
 


DavidCaldwell

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Yes you are. Do you have any evidence to support this claim?
Some things McGuinness said, such as

"The IRA were involved in quite a number of incidents which resulted in the accidental killing of innocent people and the term used by the relatives of those people who were killed was that they were murdered," he says. "I wouldn't disagree with that. I'm not going to disagree with their analysis of what happened to their loved ones."
Is that the same as saying the IRA carried out murders? "It's the same as saying that I accept that, in the circumstances where innocent people lost their lives, then it's quite legitimate for the term murder to be used."
Martin McGuinness: 'Most people don't care whether I was in the IRA or not' | The Independent
 

PBP voter

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No.

His movement from overt violence was not made willingly. There was no transformation on a road to Damascus, He only abandoned terrorism because the IRA had lost the war and he wanted to salvage what he could, both for his party and for himself.

As for "current Republican emphasis on the importance of equality" people should realise that they are using 1984-speak when they talk of equality. We saw their equality from Conor Murphy, Gildernew and Ruane.
Was a wise move.

Unionist majority is gone.

If SF were boycotting elections it wouldn't.

The nat vote in the early 90s was around 33-34% in elections. In reality it was much higher. SF got it out.
 

Glaucon

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Was it really necessary that people who had no say in the matter of the "armed struggle" had to be burnt to death, blown to pieces and shot dead in front of their families?
Of course not. There was never any moral justification whatsoever for the sort of "offensive" violence we saw during the Troubles (that excludes the brief period in 1969-1970 when Nationalist areas were left at the mercy of pogroms by Loyalist mobs and had to be defended by any means necessary).

The PIRA strategy was predicated on the belief that violence could be exercised in such a manner as to make Northern Ireland ungovernable and thereby sap the will of the British people to rule via colonial military methods. As the PIRA never had the ability to inflict the sort of mass destruction and indiscriminate killing that, for example, the RAF meted out over Germany from 1943 to 1945, that belief was evidently fantasy. In other contexts the same basic strategy has worked more effectively (e.g. the FLN in Algeria) but that involved killings amounting to the millions and ethnic cleansing of the settler population (as well as a moral degeneration that has seen that country sink into a permanent dictatorship).

At the same time, it shouldn't be forgotten that the British state is literally soaked in the blood of the Irish people. It invaded, colonised and ruled Ireland by the power of the sword alone. It partitioned the country against the will of the vast majority of the nation and enabled a vicious self-governing sectarian statelet to emerge in its stead, which laid the ground for the explosive violence that erupted in the late 60s. There is plenty of 'guilt' to be shared on all sides.
 

PBP voter

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1973.

If only Unionists and republicans just went with this in 73 instead of another 25 years of madness.

Northern Ireland Constitutional Proposals

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by Command of Her Majesty,
March 1973

(f) A Northern Ireland assembly or authority must be capable of involving all its members constructively in ways which satisfy them and those they represent that the whole community has a part to play in the government of the Province. As a minimum this would involve assuring minority groups of an effective voice and a real influence; but there are strong arguments that the objective of real participation should be achieved by giving minority interests a share in the exercise of executive power if this can be achieved by means which are not unduly complex or artificial, and which do not represent an obstacle to effective government.
 

ger12

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By the lights of large strands of Nationalist tradition, Martin McGuinness was a great man, not only for his role as a peace-maker, but also for the determination, bravery and leadership he showed during the conflict.

One of the reasons why, on his death, McGuinness has been widely honoured is that, while the wider world, on the whole, believes that what McGuiness and the IRA did in the conflict was wrong, it accepts that a Republican viewpoint would see McGuinness’ actions as justified. Arlene Foster and Bill Clinton were doing what Martin Luther King articulated – “I judge a man by his principles, not my own”.

If you agree with my initial statement, you might want to consider the implications of “By the lights of …”. This implicitly recognises that there are other viewpoints. If we accept the principle of the equal worth of all people, then due weight has to be given to the full range of viewpoints and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that we need move towards judging right and wrong, justice and injustice with due consideration to all viewpoints, to all people.

This would have been the final step in Martin McGuinness’ journey from conflict to peace. He would have recognised that, although the IRA’s actions were justified from a Republican point of view, they were not justified from other points of view – most importantly, from the point of views of the victims of the violence. And he would have come to conclusion that, in consequence of this and the fact that there were alternatives, the IRA violence was wrong.

Norman Tebbit has stated very publicly that he believes that McGuinness never made this step, never “atoned for his crimes.” I myself believe that McGuinness did complete his journey and did realise that it would have been better if there had been no IRA violence.

Why do I believe this? McGuinness acknowledged publicly that those bereaved by the IRA generally see the killings as murder. McGuinness was an intelligent man and would know that current Republican emphasis on the importance of equality implies that this viewpoint is no less valid than the Republican viewpoint. Hence, it follows that one cannot make any simple conclusion that the killings were right. And if they were not right, then they were wrong.

If so, then why did McGuinness not express some regret? One possible answer is simply that it was not yet the right time. Republicans were both perpetrators and victims of the violence. It is only human nature that dead friends and family weight more heavily in our minds than dead strangers. When you feel that, overall, you are the wronged one, it is difficult to say sorry.

I believe that, together with McGuinness and Paisley, most of us here have completed the journey. Most of us would agree that, as Vivabrigada puts it, “it wasn’t worth a single life.” Again, we, on all sides, find it difficult to say sorry, but we do wish that “many things had been done differently.”

I have two questions.

Firstly, for anyone who disagrees with Vivabrigida’s statement – is this possibly because you are seeing things only from a distance, from far away from Belfast or only from the present time?

Secondly – do you agree that McGuinness completed such a journey from conflict to peace?
I've been thinking about this during the week funny enough.

I don't think I agree with you though. I find the media coverage that's simply ignoring the beginning of his journey, the struggle for civil rights, quite distasteful and very wrong. I'm not sure that were he to go back to that time that he would have acted differently. It was of that time. The neglect to explore (for political reasons) the state sponsored terrible treatment of nationalists back then is a great pity and loss to people who want to understand the beginning of McGuinness's journey.

He was protecting his community. That's where he started out. And finished.
 

McSlaggart

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" the accidental killing of innocent people and the term used by the relatives of those people who were killed was that they were murdered"
That was nothing more than acknowledging a terrible truth of "war" that the innocent are often slaughtered. I love the film the Dambusters and yet when you reflect the object of the mission was mans bravery to slaughter civilians....and industry.

[video]https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+dam+busters+theam&&view=detail&mid=913359AED37D4F27FEFB913359AED37D4F27FEFB&FORM=VRDGAR[/video]
 

derryman

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@derryman

You seem to be disregarding totally the views and interests of the victims of Republican violence. Why should your views be so much more important than theirs? Or perhaps I am being unfair and you are taking their views into consideration. If so, please let me know.
I have never disregarded any victims or their views or feelings. I have great sympathy for all the victims. I would put it to you that all of us are victims of misrule and discrimination and reprisals even Martin mc Guinness. But I thought this thread was about Martin mc Guinness.
 

DavidCaldwell

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He was protecting his community. That's where he started out. And finished.
I disagree. The bombing and killing were not defensive - they were attacks on people outside his community. Moreover, they gave rise to reprisals from Loyalists and oppressive security measures from the state - reprisals and measures that could have been predicted, and in fact were so predicted and even wished for by PIRA strategy ("ungovernable except by colonial policing methods").
 

ger12

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sgtharper

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That was nothing more than acknowledging a terrible truth of "war" that the innocent are often slaughtered. I love the film the Dambusters and yet when you reflect the object of the mission was mans bravery to slaughter civilians....and industry.

[video]https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+dam+busters+theam&&view=detail&mid=913359AED37D4F27FEFB913359AED37D4F27FEFB&FORM=VRDGAR[/video]
The object of the mission was to destroy the Dams for sound strategic reasons, not to "slaughter civilians", though it was inevitable that some civilians would die. In the context of the most destructive war in human-history, and given that the defeat of Nazism was an absolute moral necessity, posing as it did an existentitial threat to the world, and that for every day the war continued literally tens of thousands of lives were being lost anyway, it was not an unreasonable action.
 

ger12

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I disagree. The bombing and killing were not defensive - they were attacks on people outside his community. Moreover, they gave rise to reprisals from Loyalists and oppressive security measures from the state - reprisals and measures that could have been predicted, and in fact were so predicted and even wished for by PIRA strategy ("ungovernable except by colonial policing methods").
I'll head now, I've no wish to spend hours debating something which is plainly (to me) so obvious and fundamental to the whole discussion on McGuinnes and "the troubles". I do not agree with your viewpoint, it's not based on the reality at that time for a community treated with contempt that resulted with gerrymandering supported from London.

Redrawn boundaries introduced to restrict voting rights. Protestant dominance ensured at the polls.

We are a people who suffered for hundreds of years under a brutal colonisation, that imprint doesn't just disappear.
 

InsideImDancing

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I'll head now, I've no wish to spend hours debating something which is plainly (to me) so obvious and fundamental to the whole discussion on McGuinnes and "the troubles". I do not agree with your viewpoint, it's not based on the reality at that time for a community treated with contempt that resulted with gerrymandering supported from London.

Redrawn boundaries introduced to restrict voting rights. Protestant dominance ensured at the polls.

We are a people who suffered for hundreds of years under a brutal colonisation, that imprint doesn't just disappear.
He's a very dishonest poster. Move on, Ger.
 

ger12

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He's a very dishonest poster. Move on, Ger.
Unless s/he begins to look deeper at this, s/he won't understand other views, like Martin McGuinness's or understand the depth and breadth of the conflict. Pity.
 

ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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I disagree. The bombing and killing were not defensive - they were attacks on people outside his community. Moreover, they gave rise to reprisals from Loyalists and oppressive security measures from the state - reprisals and measures that could have been predicted, and in fact were so predicted and even wished for by PIRA strategy ("ungovernable except by colonial policing methods").
The problem with that is you can flip it on its head and accuse the Loyalist/British side of making the PIRA inevitable...which gets us nowhere. You're asking did McGuinness complete his journey, ask why did he set foot on the journey in the first place?

It's easy to abhor violence...who doesn't, but the question really should be what is the right thing in a context where violence becomes inevitable which history shows repeatedly to be an existential reality of being human. An easy statement is that if the six counties had been governed differently since 1921 we wouldn't have seen violence, but that's a what if and brings us no closer to anything as it's unchangeable now.

Society in the six counties was struggling before the conflict, an unequal society with open wounds, the conflict made it thoroughly dysfunctional, McGuinness with the help of others put it on a footing to return to peaceful normality. That alone would be an achievement, that he did it through partnership with former blood adversaries is monumental.

And Unionists should take stock now, the existential threat to Unionism is no longer Republican or Nationalism but instead comes from outside the six counties in the form of Brexit through the breakup of the UK. Where Nationalists may have an opposing political viewpoint, they at the least have some level of understanding of Unionism and ironically can be the only ones counted on in terms of understanding of the dangers presented by change outside everyone's control. When Paisley and McGuinness set foot on the road, it was Paisley that pointed out that the interests of the North were their prerogative in dealing with Westminster and Dublin.

This is truer now more than ever, completing the journey means accepting each other's politics and focusing on the greater good.
 

Supra

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Supra, InsideImDancing,

You may be missing an important point, one that McGuinness, amongst others, seemed to be coming to accept (though I may be mistaken in this) - namely that, for issues such as the question of whether violence is justified in a particular situation, it is not enough to consider one's own opinions about the matter. It is also important to consider the opinions of other people - particularly if they are going to be the victims.

You would not accept an analysis of Bloody Sunday that considered only the opinions of the likes of Soldier F, without consideration of those who died. Why, then, when addressing the question of whether PIRA's campaign was justified, do you seem not consider the opinions of the people and communities targeted by the violence?

Perhaps I am being unfair on you. I realise that I will have only a very limited picture of your thoughts, which may well be more nuanced than the necessarily brief comments here (which I may in any case be failing to fully understand).
NO, we are at different starting points. I believe that no man is an island. No community is an island and no one idea exists. I believe all my actions and positions are subject to the actions and decisions made by others. I have many ideals that conflict with others but in order for me to live by those ideals others must act by the same ideals. Such as my opposition to violence and my will to live in a secure environment. If I live in a community that has chosen violence and it is visited upon me I might deny my opposition to violence in order to protect my desire to live in a secure environment.

This is not me justifying violence, I am still opposed to violence. However, if I decide to deny my ideal of living in security to stay faithful to my opposition to violence I may be rewarding and encouraging violence by default. With the result being I live in an insecure environment.
This is still true when I consider the views of everyone.
You assume that considering the views of everyone leads to peace, I disagree. It does not. Like I said in my first post, you are on a side whether you know it or not.

I believe the only reason we now have peace is because all sides decided to be peaceful. If one side had have decided to continue with violence then the peace options was off the table and unavailable to the other sides. Regardless of how much those other sides wanted peace the one side makes that impossible. It is why arriving at peace is so difficult. If 3 or four sides diagree they fight, if they agree to fight, they fight. If one disagrees and three agree, they fight. It takes all sides to agree on peace.
 

Mushroom

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If McGuinness failed to complete his journey can we hold Bus Eireann partly responsible?
 

edifice.

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McGuinness was adept at revisionism just as much as those who use it to denigrate him. Two points stand out; on his membership of the IRA, which he placed great emphasis on not denying for kudos re the Adams scenario, he said he joined it 'to defend his community' as if that was the raison detre of the IRA when it wasn't. He also made much of the deliberate British ploy of casting him as the hawk to Adam's dove which flies in the face of his community defence stance. He never once said he joined the IRA to kill for a united Ireland.

Secondly the strategic transition of moving republican demands away from withdrawal and toward equality within partition demonstrates that at his core his involvement in the RM was based on a concept of armed civil rights and not separatist warfare. And the British knew this and had his and Adams' full measure.
 

McSlaggart

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The object of the mission was to destroy the Dams for sound strategic reasons, not to "slaughter civilians", though it was inevitable that some civilians would die. .
One target of the bombing was the Ruhr is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany.
 

Hans Von Horn

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I don't believe that McGuiness sought to atone for anything. In the early part of his life he believed that violence was the best means to achieve one's aims. In the later decades of his life he reallsed the futility of such violence and as such pursued a differeent path. It really is as simple as that.
The peace process was about the second stage of using violence to extort a concession. The value proposition is in offering peace once violence is demonstrated.
 


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