July 27, 2016

America, land of the planters

A 1914 painting of the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony
I use the title ironically, since for zealous Irish republicans "planter" is the epithet and pejorative of choice for the unpersuadable and defiant unionists in Ireland. Yet, if Ireland's protestants are planters, what of America's white christians?

Christopher Hitchens said in a TV debate:
"It goes back as I said to the initial beginnings of Islamic fundamentalism. The first attack on this country was in 1788 by Muslims who said that, "The koran gives us the right to punish and enslave infidels.” That is Bin Laden’s ideology. Bin Laden wants the restoration of the Caliphate. The Caliphate is an empire, he’s pro-empire, not anti-imperialist… He’s for the banning of all music, all books, all philosophy. And this because he cares about the Palestinians? Any one who believes this is a fool."

The American leftist writer Dylan Matthews of Vox.com wrote:
"It's weird how leftists saw the Northern Ireland situation as imperial when most Northern Irish don't want to be part of Ireland."
Conor Cruise O'Brien wrote:
"I was expected at least to fall into line with the view that the troubles in Northern Ireland were caused by British imperialism. When instead I said that, in relation to Northern Ireland, it was the IRA who were the imperialists, since they were trying to annex by force a territory a large majority of whose inhabitants were opposed to them, my remarks appeared either incomprehensible or outrageous to a number of people who had liked what they heard about me much more than they like what they were hearing from me.”
John Redmond said:

"[Ireland has] its feet firmly planted in the groundwork and foundation of a free nation."

John Hewitt wrote in 'The Colony':
'For we have rights drawn from the soil and sky,
The use, the pace, the patient years of labour,
The rain against the lips, the changing light,
The heavy clay-sucked stride, have altered us;
We would be strangers in the Capitol;
This is our country also, nowhere else;
And we shall not be outcast on the world.'


Conor Cruise O'Brien said in 1978:
"The Provisional IRA from the beginning of the seventies moved in to exploit that situation [the systematic ignoring by Weetminster of the workings of Northern Ireland devolution up to the time when the Civil Rights movement among Catholics, and protestant reactions to that movement]. Their object has not been, and is not, just or mainly the liberation of Catholics, but the unification of Ireland first by elimination of the British seen as “responsible for partition”, and then by coercion of the protestants. The people who have suffered most, and are placed in most danger, by the IRA campaign and by its objectives, are the Catholics of Northern Ireland."
John Banville said in September 1994 responding to news of an IRA ceasefire:

"Those of us who have always thought of the IRA, and indeed Sinn Fein, as neo-fascist, are deeply worried by the respectability they have won now in Dublin, London and Washington."
Fintan O'Toole wrote:
"This belief encouraged the IRA republicans to adopt in the 1970s a classic terrorist position—shared at the time with groups like the Baader-Meinhof gang in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy—that violence would produce a reaction which would display the state in its true, fascistic colors. Instead of trying to alleviate the suffering of ordinary Catholics, the IRA was intent on destroying rational reform and provoking repression. 
A defense of the IRA’s bombing campaign written in 1976 and published in its own newspaper was entirely explicit about this."
In response to the Gerry Adams apology for the murder of prison officer Brian Stack, Eilis O'Hanlon wrote:
"It’s hard to think of a senior political leader in any other democracy who would get away with this behaviour. Does Angela Merkel go for rides with the Baader Meinhof gang? 
…If they could stop being so indulgent towards offensive terrorist pantomimes, that would be nice too."

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