Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More Appeasement

According to ministers for the British and Irish governments the IRA are no longer involved in any criminal activity and there's therefore no reason why anyone should object to their return to government here via Sinn Fein. It's not the IRA, NI Minister Peter Hain (hot tip to succeed as next Deputy PM) tells us, it's just elements within the IRA.

The IRA is no longer involved in any centrally organised criminality, the British and Irish governments believe.

The key phrase here is "centrally organised" because as the Independent Monitoring Commission has already revealed, members of the IRA are involved in organised crime here; heavily involved in their own terms. The IMC then goes on to state that they cannot be certain to what extent the proceeds of crime are passed on to the IRA themselves. Funny really as they then say-

"PIRA [Provisional IRA] continues to raise funds and we also believe that it looks to the long term exploitation of the proceeds of earlier crimes, for example through the purchase of property or legitimate businesses. Some senior members are involved in money laundering and other crime.

Money has become a key strategic asset. There has been some restructuring in the finance department, possibly in reflection of the changing circumstances.

PIRA also seems to be using experts and specialists able to assist in the management of illegal assets."

Hey, but there's no real proof of any involvement in organised crime, right? As the DUP's Nigel Dodds so succinctly points out, "This latest assessment from the secretary of state lacks credibility and will be treated by the vast majority of people in NI as yet another ham-fisted attempt to bluff the community and its political representatives into establishing an executive including Sinn Fein."

And the British and Irish government would like to completely ingore the fact that the IMC also concluded that the IRA continues its intelligence gathering, lied about decommissioning all of its weapons and it is involved in the process of exiling; forcing individuals and whole families to flee their homes. Not to mention their vigilante control over whole communities.

Sure sounds like a group you'd like to have in government doesn't it? This, folks, is the other side of Tony Blair's stance on terrorism- outright appeasement to avoid a return to conflict. I'm sure that the jihadis are quite aware of it too; continue to bomb, murder and threaten for long enough and they too will be invited to No. 10 for tea and quite possibly be able to take seats in Parliament without swearing alleagiance to the Crown.

It's worked for Sinn Fein/IRA, why not them too?

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