12/31/2008

Persona non grata

The genocide continues unabated in Gaza and as it unfolds we begin to see the outlying dynamics of this election platform.


Israel has an election shortly and that corrupt traitor Abbas tries to use the suffering of the Palestinian people to press a political advantage against Hamas.

Ehud Barak told the Knesset that the Zionist death squads spent "months" preparing for the Gaza slaughter.

Israel has also rejected any calls for a truce as unrealistic!

"There is no room for a ceasefire," Meir Sheetrit, Israel's interior minister, said.

"The Israeli army must not stop the operation before breaking the will of Palestinians, of Hamas, to continue to fire at Israel."

They want to break the will of the Palestinian people? That will never happen!

Now we see the truth loud and clear.

This talk of rockets from Gaza was only a pretext for invasion and both factions in the Zionist cabal try to outdo themselves as war criminals before the Zionist electorate.

I wonder what the ratio is per votes/dead Palestinian.

Is one dead Palestinian child worth 10 votes and a mother worth 6?

I have no doubt that both Egypt and Abbas were complicit in this slaughter, it brings deep anger to my heart when I consider the ties that Sinn Féin has with Fatah.

Mubarak announced on Egyptian television on Tuesday that the Rafah crossing will not be fully re-opened until Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, regains authority in the territory.

"We will not deepen the division and that breach by opening Rafah border crossing in the absence of the Palestinian Authority and the European Union monitors,"

The other day he tried to claim that Hamas were stopping people from crossing but now it becomes clear that he is trying to use the suffering of the Palestinian people for political ends.

As it stands close to 400 people have been murdered by the Zionists, with close to 100 of those being women and children.

It comes as no surprise that the armed wing of Hamas has vowed to send rockets deeper into Israel than ever before if the Zionists continue their deadly bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

"We tell the leaders of the enemy - if you continue with your assault, we will hit with our rockets further than the cities we have hit so far," a masked spokesman for Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in televised comments on Tuesday.

"If you think that Hamas and al-Qassam will be crushed, we will rise up from the rubble,"

The Palestinian people have a right to defend themselves and their homeland from these Zionists squatters.

I was glad to see that strong condemnation of Israel from the Irish government during the week but I would like to see them go further.

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations Article 9, a receiving State may "at any time and without having to explain its decision" declare any member of a diplomatic staff "persona non grata".

I would like to see Ireland take a stand in Europe and suspend all diplomatic relations with Israel.

I was encouraged to hear that at least some political figures were suggesting this.

Richard Boyd Barrett of the Irish Anti-War Movement said that Ireland should “take the lead in Europe and end diplomatic relations with Israel”. He said Israel should be boycotted because it is “akin to apartheid South Africa”.

UPDATE:If anyone has an interest in the current slaughter in Gaza then I suggest you read this excellent article in the Observer by Johann Hari.

12/30/2008

Lynch's Fifth Column

I have to say that I always find the "30 year rule" releases highly amusing as most of the important stuff is never revealed anyway.

What did catch my eye was the possibility that Jack Lynch may have tried to thwart Thatcher by calling on the Irish people in Britain not to vote Conservative.

I have to say that I couldn't have seen it being successful as most of the Irish people I know in England would sooner shoot themselves than vote for the Tories. By and large they always vote Labour.

Irish ambassador in London Paul Keating analysed the possible impact of calling on Irish people in Britain to vote against the Conservative party.

Mr Keating warned against the approach writing: “Since Parnell’s time attempts have been made to use it but they have rarely if ever been successful and generally the attempt to use it militates against the position of the Irish people here and creates ill-will in Anglo-Irish relations.”

Queen’s University Belfast historian Brian Hanley said: “Such a call would have been received by the right in British politics as an attempt by a foreign government to create an electoral fifth column."

Still not even close with the carry on of the British and their influence in a foreign country, i.e. Ireland.

12/29/2008

Uncle Joe or Mass Murderer?

"The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything"~Joseph Stalin


I see that Joseph Stalin has come third in an all time greatest Russian poll commissioned by Rossiya, one of Russia's biggest television stations.

Stalin was beaten into third spot behind Alexander Nevsky who fought off European invaders in the 13th century to preserve a united Russia and reformist Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin, who was assassinated in 1911.

There has been widespread international unrest at "Uncle Joe's" supposed rehabilitation by the current Kremlin regime

Indeed the owner of the Television Station that commissioned this poll pleaded with viewers to pick a different candidate. It is for that reason that I believe the above quote is rather appropriate.

Stalin was one of the most controversial leaders of the 20th Century; many rank him on a power with Hitler due to his devastating purges of the 1930's.

Others view him as the undisputed leader of the Second World War after his country struck all the killer blows that led to the downfall of the Nazi regime.

I have to admit that the admiration that many on the left have for Stalin has never stood easy with me.

I have known members of my own movement who have considerable respect for this mass murderer. Indeed I know a well know Belfast SDLP Councillor who almost wants to have Big Joe's children with the amount of Stalin memorabilia in his office.

So the question that must be asked is who and what was Joseph Stalin?

There were some good points to Stalin and anyone who denies this denies a central part of his discourse.

Bearing the brunt of the Nazis' attacks, the Soviet Union under Stalin made the largest and most decisive contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany during World War II. 4 out of every 5 Nazi soldiers who were killed were killed by the Red Army.

It was for that reason that Big Joe was declared the Times Man of the Year in 1942/43.

Under the Stalin Soviet government people benefited from some social liberalisation.

Girls were given an adequate, equal education and women had equal rights in employment, improving lives for women and families.

Stalinist development also contributed to advances in health care, which significantly increased the lifespan and quality of life of the typical Soviet citizen. Stalin's policies granted the Soviet people universal access to healthcare and education, effectively creating the first generation free from the fear of typhus, cholera, and malaria.

Soviet women under Stalin were the first generation of women able to give birth in the safety of a hospital, with access to prenatal care.

Education was also an example of an increase in standard of living after economic development.

The generation born during Stalin's rule was the first near-universally literate generation. Millions benefitted from mass literacy campaigns in the 1930s, and from workers training schemes.

Engineers were sent abroad to learn industrial technology, and hundreds of foreign engineers were brought to Russia on contract. Transport links were improved and many new railways built.

Under Stalin's rule, the Soviet Union was transformed from an agricultural nation into a global superpower.

While all these advances are laudable I must ask the question...at what price?

At what price did the Soviet Union become a global superpower?

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."

The above quote for me symbolises all that was corrupt and evil about Stalin, the fact that he was factually correct does not diminish the evil behind it.

His forced Agrarian policies at the start of his rule cost the lives of up to 10 million Soviet citizens. Progress, either political/economic or cultural can never be justified off the back of suffering.

His demented paranoia lead to the "Great" Purge of the 1930's when millions of Soviet citizens were wrongfully incarcerated or flat out executed at Gulag labour camps for purely political reasons.

Stalin's leadership was reinforced by a powerful cult of personality and in the 1950's Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin's eventual successor, would denounce Stalin's rule and cult of personality, thus initiating the process of "de-Stalinization".

I have nothing but respect for the Soviet Union and the role they played in defeating Nazism through from my perspective this was achieved despite the role of Stalin not because of him.

His purges cost the country dearly and it wasn't until he left the war in the control of his General's that his country began to prosper against the Nazi enemy.

There are many things that I admire about the Soviet Union, not least its incredible anthem, however Stalin was not one of them.

12/28/2008

What can be done to stop Israel?

As the Zionist War Machine wages on in Gaza I began to think about what could be done to stop, once and for all, this despot regime.


The Middle East is a tinderbox and the thousands of Arabs taking to the streets in Yemen, Ramallah, Cairo etc is testament to that fact. One of the interesting things is that they are not only condemning Israel but their own spineless leaders as well.

Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, has already called for Palestinians to unite in order to wage a third intifada against Israel.

I don't think that anyone wants to see a return to suicide bombers but that will be the outcome unless action is taken by those in a position of responsibility and power.

The simple fact is that the Zionist War Machine is funded by the USA. One third of their Foreign Aid Budget goes to Israel.

It is America who must be influenced to stop funding this genocide and in my opinion that can only be achieved by turning off the oil.

In this economic crisis The Arab League have a unique opportunity to put the screw into the West.

The founding principle of the Arab League is to "draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries."

If the plight of the Palestinian people does not cover all of the above then I don't know what does.

What also has become clearer is the semi-motivation of the Zionists in this instance and it was let out of the bag by Ephraim Sneh, former deputy Israeli defence minister.

He said

"The fact that Hamas, for a year and a half, controlled Gaza and turned it into an Iranian base at the gates of Israel is a situation that is inconceivable and unacceptable to us."

"The blame is on Hamas... When they took over, they didn't bring in investors, they brought in instructors from the Revolutionary Guards of Iran.”


The Zionists are mobilising a land force at the gates of Gaza and the Arab League must act before it is too late.

If they shut off oil to any Western nation that gives succour to Israel then we would have an economic crisis of which the West could not withstand.

The Arab League has the power to make a great difference the only question is if they have the courage to take the steps that they must.

12/27/2008

Israeli Massacre of Palestinians

I see that the Zionist regime has once again renewed its blood lust when it massacred over 200 Palestinians in the Gaza strip.



This has been the single biggest Palestinian loss of life since 1967.

Zionist Aggression Minister Ehud Barak said "it won't be easy and it won't be short. There is a time for calm and a time for fighting, and now the time has come to fight,"

It would appear that the Zionists will not be happy until every man, woman and child of the Palestinian Nation are wiped out.

Where have I heard of that kind of hate before...I wonder?

Mustafa Barghouthi, the former Palestinian information minister, said

"This is not an attack on the Hamas. It is an attack on the whole population and the free will of the people of Gaza."

That for me is self evident with this attack.

I have always been a supporter of Fatah as they seek a secular and socialist Palestine however the stench of corruption has surrounded them and the Palestinian people made their choice in the form of Hamas in Gaza.

Their choice must be respected!

My support for the Palestinian people in unconditional, the same can't be said for its political parties and Fatah in particular.

I see that the West continues to appease the Zionist aggressor

The Brit PM had this to say, "I am deeply concerned by continuing missile strikes from Gaza on Israel and by Israel's response today,"

So his primary concern is not the murder of 200 Palestinian Citizens? What a surprise!

The USA, Israel's biggest benefactor, was her usual benign self when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued this despicable statement

"The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza,"

It was Israel that broke the terms of the Egyptian negotiated truce by refusing to open the border crossings and end their disgusting blockade against the people of the Gaza.

The most honest response I have heard thus far came from a Palestinian Housewife in the Jabalya refugee camp.

“Since six months ago, we have had almost no supplies through the crossings, no food, no medicine, no gas, no water. What truce are you talking about? I support the truce, but a truce that brings us basic rights as Palestinians, not a truce that is only good for Israelis ... this served only one side, Israel.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would need to do a lot more than simply condemn the "aggression" in Gaza.

The PLO and other Palestinian Resistance organisations should avenge this attack with utmost severity.

I would echo the sentiments of my Bloglaigh Na hÉireann Comrade Julius Geezer when he said

"I'm of the opinion that I won't see a resolution to this conflict in my lifetime. If there is a Palestinian state based on the Camp David/Taba discussions it will quickly fail because it will be based on injustice, illegality, and the legitimization of land-grabbing criminality. The chances of a bi-national state emerging, based on equality for all, are not good to say the least.

In the short term the hapless Abu Mazen should show a grain of integrity and cut off all contact with Israel, and it is to be hoped that all Palestinian resistance groups will retaliate against this murderous aggression. There is a time for peace, but it's not when a clique of cowardly murdering thugs are slaughtering your people."

Peace can not be achieved while the jackboot of Zionist aggression is firm on the throat of the Palestinian people.

The Arab Nations must show common cause with the people of Gaza and wider Palestine and do all in their power to ensure that the days of Zionist expansion and aggression are a thing of the past.

Victory to the Palestinian people! Tiocfaidh Siad Lá!

UPDATE. The Zionists launch a second day of attacks and the death toll in Gaza is now up to at least 280.

It would seem that the once mighty Fatah party is now little more than a puppet when you consider the wimpering reaction of Mahmoud Abbas. Shame on him! I hope the electorate in the West Bank give him the answer that he deserves at the first available opportunity.

Judas is alive and well and living in Ramallah!

12/26/2008

By their actions...

"The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen". ~Tommy Smothers


I'm not one for Christmas Messages; the Pope didn't even get a look in our house never mind the English Queen.

That being said I had a sneaking regard for Channel 4 when they choose Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for their "alternative" Christmas Message.

I don't agree with Dr Ahmadinejad on a lot of issues, his denial of the holocaust, treatment of Christians in Iran, Capital Punishment, treatment of women etc.

I am however a believer in Free Speech and Channel 4 has once again shown themselves to be against the grain in relation to the British Establishment line.




I found his message positive, even if his knowledge of Christ's teachings was a bit suspect.

I think that such positive engagement is necessary as we try to reach out the hand of friendship in the Middle East.

No doubt the Zionists and their friends in Whitehall will be appalled at this Muslim ( or any Muslim who isn't blowing themselves up for that matter) being granted airtime but that should just be a sign to Channel 4 that they are doing the right thing.

It's all well and good being a champion of Free Speech when it comes to causes and people you support; the true test is when you offer the same rights to your enemy and those you disagree with.

12/24/2008

Beannachtaí na Nollag

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;.." or so the story goes.


It's that time of the year again and I have to wonder where the last 12 months have gone. It has been a mixture of good and bad, that's what life is though.

I have to say that Christmas does not mean to me what it once did. I know that it's the celebration of the birth of our Lord but that magic of childhood is no longer there. About 15 years ago I would have been going insane with excitement at this stage.

Christmas is a time for children and this will be the first year in our house when none of us are "for Santa", due to the fact that my youngest brother is now 11yrs old.

Christmas is also a time when we remember those that we have lost, grand-parents, aunts and uncles. I attended two wakes last night and a funeral today so I do think that puts life in perspective.

We often complain and think we have troubles, we only kid ourselves.

Even though some of the magic is gone in relation to Christmas I still love Christmas Eve, there is just something festive about it.

In relation to Balrog I have a lot of work to do over the next few months to restore it as a place of serious political debate. I don't like what it has become of late but I have put far too much work into this blog to allow it to fall.

I ask everyone to cut me some slack, I will be tough with the new rules in the short term but I hope it will be back to normality in a short while.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you and yours have a nice break and enjoy some good company.

To those who will not be having a Happy Christmas I say to you that you will be in my prayers.

Now, time for an Irish Coffee...

Nollaig Beannaithe agus Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh.

12/23/2008

Holy Father must take action

I am disgusted but hardly surprised that the Church have "closed ranks" in relation to the scandal surrounding Bishop Magee in Cloyne.


His handling of child sex abuse allegations mark a return to the dark old days. His handling has been severely criticised by Children’s Minister Barry Andrews, Mr Andrews called on the former Papal secretary to "consider his position".

“In the education system in most other countries there would be lay people involved in the running of the schools and a report as damning as this would make their position untenable,”

“I’ve said I think the Bishop should reflect on that and I think it encapsulates my concerns.”


Bishop Magee's handling of this sad and disgraceful episode has also been criticised by an internal Church inquiry which found that child protection practices in the Co Cork diocese were "inadequate and dangerous", thereby potentially exposing vulnerable young people to further harm.

The explosive Cloyne report, compiled by the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) and published on the internet last Friday evening, found Bishop Magee took minimal action over a series of child sex abuse allegations against two of his priests.

Newry-born Bishop Magee, who was private secretary to three different Popes, apologised to clerical sex abuse victims in the wake of the damning report but refused to resign.

The 'Voice of the Faithful' lobby, which campaigns for more accountability in the Irish Catholic Church, said that if Bishop Magee fails to step down, Pope Benedict should exercise his supreme authority by demanding his resignation.

Sean O'Conaill, the acting coordinator of 'Voice of the Faithful' said that this response from Bishop Magee was not good enough and he should go.

"The NBSC report on the management of two child protection cases in the diocese of Cloyne shows clearly that, three years after the Ferns report in 2005, an Irish bishop had failed to ensure that the safety of the children of his diocese was paramount in the minds of all those answerable to him for the safety of Catholic children,"

"Other children were thereby still being endangered at this late date -- despite the guidelines supposedly adopted by all Irish bishops in the wake of the Ferns report. We therefore call upon him to resign this office immediately. In the event of his failing to do so, we call upon the Holy Father, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, to exercise his supreme authority to request the resignation of Dr Magee."

I have to say that I am angered by the lack of response from Cardinal Sean Brady.

He is supposed to be the Primate of All-Ireland and a Prince of the Catholic Church however he has shown himself unworthy to occupy the seat of St Patrick and St Oliver Plunkett.

He should be operating a zero tolerance policy in relation to child protection policies.

I have to concur with Sean O'Conaill and "Voice of the Faithfull"; if Bishop Magee will not step down by his own choosing then the Holy Father should step in and demand his resignation.

Every moment of delay weakens the authority of the Church and damages the faith of those that the Church is meant to lead.

"But when Jesus saw, he was much displeased, and said unto them, suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."
Mark 10:14

12/22/2008

Better late then never

Danny McIlhone, one of the Disappeared, was laid to rest today by his family.

For the best part of 30 years his family have been denied this opportunity and it is with them that my prayers are at the moment.



I have spoken about this issue before on Balrog; the Disappeared is one of the biggest blights on the IRA.

I don't want to get into the whole "was he/she a tout" as for me it's a non issue at this stage.

Even if these people did something wrong their families should never have been denied the opportunity of a Catholic burial for them.

As a somewhat religious person this grates on my conscience a lot.

The families are innocent in all of this yet in some ways they have suffered the most.

I am glad that Gerry Adams has called on all those with information to come forward.

It's time to bring closure to these people; they deserve that much at least.

12/21/2008

Bobby Sands MP

I see that Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has been reported to the police for telling children that Bobby Sands was "a local hero".


Caitríona was speaking at a prize-giving ceremony at St Colm's High School in Twinbrook last week.

What's the problem here? I can't see how telling the truth can be a criminal offence.

Bobby Sands was from Twinbrook and the people there are quite rightly proud of him, as are a great many more in Ireland and around the world.

Bobby joined a pantheon of Republican Martyrs like McSweeney and Ashe when he invoked that ancient Brehon legal convention, Hunger Strike.

He laid down his life for his friends, comrades and the struggle in general. He did this out of love, love of his country, her people and her future.

Just as a bit of perspective we can view how Bobby was and is viewed around the world.

The Global Reaction

Europe

In Rome, the President of the Italian Senate did what the Brit Speaker couldn't bring himself to do by expressing the Italian government's sympathies to the Sands' family.

In Milan, 5,000 students burned the Union Flag and shouted "Freedom for Ulster" during a march.

In Ghent, students invaded the British Consulate.

In Paris, thousands marched behind huge portraits of Sands, to chants of 'The IRA will conquer'.

In France, many towns and cities have streets named after Sands. Examples include Nantes, St Etienne, Le Mans Vierzon and St Denis.

In Oslo, demonstrators threw a balloon filled with tomato sauce at Elizabeth Windsor, Head of the British Crown Forces.

In Spain, the Ya newspaper said Bobby's death was "an act of heroism."

In Poland's Lech Walesa paid tribute, "Bobby Sands was a great man who sacrificed his life for his struggle."

Soviet Union

Pravda described it as 'another tragic page in the grim chronicle of oppression, discrimination, terror and violence' in Ireland.

In Liverpool a march in support of Sands took place from Upper Parliament Street to the Pier Head, chanting "Bobby Sands MP".

USA

The US Congress and state and local governments passed resolutions honouring Bobby's sacrifice and sent letters of condolence. The New Jersey state legislature noted his "courage and convictions”

The International Longshoremen's Association in New York announced a twenty-four-hour boycott of British ships.

Over 1,000 people gathered in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral to hear Cardinal Terence Cooke offer a Mass of reconciliation for Northern Ireland. Irish bars in the city were closed for two hours in mourning.

In Hartford, Connecticut a memorial was dedicated to Bobby Sands and the other Hunger Strikers in 1997, Set up by the Irish Northern Aid Committee and local Irish-Americans, it stands in a traffic circle known as "Bobby Sands Circle," at the bottom of Maple Avenue near Goodwin Park.

Cuba

In 2001, a memorial to Sands and the other hunger strikers was unveiled in Havana,

Africa

The ANC not only sent representatives to the funeral but Nelson Mandela sent a personal message from his prison cell.

Asia

In Tehran, Iran, President Bani-Sadr sent a message of condolence to the Sands family and also sent a representative to the funeral. An official blue and white street sign was affixed to the rear wall of the British embassy compound saying (in Persian) "Bobby Sands Street" with three words of explanation "militant Irish guerrilla".

The official Pars news agency called Bobby Sands' death "heroic".

The Hindustan Times said Margaret Thatcher had allowed a fellow Member of Parliament to die of starvation, an incident which had never before occurred "in a civilised country."

In the Indian Parliament, opposition members in the upper house Rajya Sabha stood for a minute's silence in tribute.

The Hong Kong Standard said it was 'sad that successive British governments have failed to end the last of Europe's religious wars.'

A large monument dedicated to Irish protagonists for independence from Britain, including Bobby Sands, stands in the Waverly Cemetery in Sydney, Australia.

How could Bobby Sands not be a hero and inspiration to thousands of people, his self sacrifice is a shinning example of hope in the face of adversity

New Order

I have to say that I am more than a little angry at the moment. Certain posters on this blog have abused the platform that I provide for debate over the last couple of days.



Everyone is well aware of the rules I set in relation to posting.

Rule 1. Do not libel anyone on Balrog.

Deaddog has broken that rule and is now banned, if he appears under a new name I will be banning that person as well. I find it nothing short of cowardly for anonymous posters to cast aspersions over named individuals when they themselves lack the testicular fortitude to back up their allegations with their own name.

Some people seem to believe that they can use Balrog as their very own South Armagh version of the Sunday World. I will not be standing for that, if you want to set up your own blog then go ahead but you will not be hijacking mine in order to smear sound Republicans and their families.

Rule 2. No Sockpuppets

Deaddog/Camlough Republican/Blackrain etc are all the same person posting from the same unique IP. I don't allow sockpuppets on Balrog.

Rule 3. No derailing threads

I have warned Percy about this on a number of occasions, the warnings stop now. Percy is now banned from Balrog and any future post from him will be deleted.

Anyone who has read Balrog for any length of time will know how much I value Free Speech. I'm sorry that I have to curtail that right because of its abuse by people like Percy.

The Paul Quinn case is banned as a matter of discussion on Balrog unless there is a specific post on that topic.

I don't have the time to dedicate to Balrog that I once had, I hope for that to change in the New Year but until it does comment moderation will be in place.

I would rather delete the entire blog than have to deal with this kind of childish nonsense.