Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Iraq, Fintan Double Standard O’Toole and 2007

Ah Fintan O'Toole Fintan Fintan Fintan what are we going to do with you. Yesterday in the Irish Times apart from the piece on the Irish Election site. We had a piece from the boald Fintan. Basically it is about Martin Cullen's meeting and "welcoming back of US troops from Iraq" in New York over Paddies weekend. Which included a wreath-laying ceremony in New York. And he told the audience that Ireland was proud of the contributions made by many Irish men and women to the uniformed services of New York and the US. The unit he was with was the 69th the "Fighting Irish" who took sustained 13 deaths in it tour of Iraq.

All fairly ok now you say. However then Fintan goes into his usual spiel. He says that because of the killings they sustained that it is was hardly surprising that they had a shoot first ask questions later attitude. Then he details the case of some Italian Journalists that they shot in a tragic accidents. He gives out that because of this Italians are angry and then says about the decision to say "Ireland was proud of the contributions" that "it is hard to know whether the stupidity of these decisions is greater then their immorality". He finishes of with how Iraq is failing and American public doesn't want it anymore and the neo-cons admitting they were wrong yadda yadda yadda. Now just in case any of you anti-war people are going right on Fintan is the man and I am an evil sugar. I ask you this question if Martin Cullen had said that to about a British Army regiment one that served in Northern Ireland. Lets just say the parachute regiment. Would Fintan be highlighting the case (the many cases) where this regiment shot un-armed innocent Irish citizens? Go on about British occupation of the six counties how the British public no longer want the North, how their rule of the North has ruined the North and how they will leave Northern Ireland "with a toxic residue of tribalism and sectarianism" . How all the pro-union conservatives now admit they are wrong. Would he of the decision of Martin Cullen to meet with the Parachute regiment "it is hard to know whether the stupidity of these decisions is greater then their immorality". No of course not Fintan would be praising Mr Cullan for reaching out to the other side. Going on about how democracy has won over the gun man. I am sure he would pull out Connolly's quote " I pray for all brave men who do their duty according to their lights". He would wax lyrically on about how far we as a nation has come that even if we disagree with a countries policies we can respect the brave men that risked there lives for their country and only then can we really find peace. But alas the nation has yet to go as far as to accept Connolly's words extend to all people not just British Soldiers that kill Irish people. It extends to all armies in the world. Agree with the war or not but the troops in Iraq are not the ones that started it the blame. If blame is required it lies solely at the feet of the administration. The soldiers task is to do and die not to question why. Using the lives or deaths of the soldiers for political point scoring is shameful whatever side do it.

But how will all this reflect on the next general election. Will Iraq become an issue will the Greens Socialists and Labour that demonstrated in Shannon last week get a bump in the polls. I think not the level of demonstrations over the Iraq war have dropped dramatically from what they once were. A mere 500 turned up at the last one. True it was after Paddies day and some people might have sore heads but if people were passionate about it they would be out. But they are not they are passionate about crime, health and education. In a few weeks no one here will remember Martin Cullen’s speech but some solider who risked his/her life for the Iraqi people (whether you believe in the war or not that is what the solider personal believed) but one of them might remember and that is all that matters.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Update 28/03/06: Fintan O' Toole responds to an letter about his column.He refers to the Parachute Regiment but not his own feelings about the Parachute regiment.
lynx http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2006/0328/2382613603OP28FINTAN.html