Christopher Hitchens on Northern Ireland

Kevin Myers wrote in his tribute to Christopher Hitchens in the Irish Independent here
"Christopher was fascinated by Northern Ireland, where I was then living, and which he had visited."  
Segregated Schooling

In my post 'Christopher Hitchens, segregated schooling and Northern Ireland' I cited the celebrated Anglo-American polemicist who said:
"[Segregated schooling is] Cultural suicide. Don't let it happen to you. Don't let it happen where you live. Look at how wonderfully it worked, what happened in Northern Ireland when it was allowed to segregate Protestant and Catholic schools. [Hitchens internal dialogue:]
"After all they have different faiths. 
Oh they do? 
I thought they were both Christians. I can't arbitrate between this. 
No, they should have separate schools which should never meet. Never inter-marry. Never socialise."
How beautifully that worked out."
Read in full here. In another essay, this time for Vanity Fair Magazine titled 'Londonistan is Called', Christopher Hitchens wrote:
"Tony Blair is far too indulgent to this phenomenon (Muslim immigration). It is his policy of encouraging "faith schools" that has written sectarianism into the very fabric of British life. A non-Muslim child who lives in a Muslim-majority area may now find herself attending a school that requires headscarves. The idea of separate schools for separate faiths—the idea that worked so beautifully in Northern Ireland—has meant that children are encouraged to think of themselves as belonging to a distinct religious "community" rather than a nation."

Northern Ireland politicians

In my post entitled, 'Christopher Hitchens, religion, Northern Ireland and its "Barbaric, sectarian party leaders"'  I wrote what Christopher Hitchens said of Northern Ireland during a debate on religion. His most salient comment was on party leader, of whom he called:
"...barbaric, sectarian party leaders..." 

"Baghdad, Banja Luca, Basra, Beirut, Belfast*, Belgrade, Bombay, Bosnia..."

In a debate on religion available here, Christopher Hitchens cites the above list of cities which included Belfast to make the point that he wouldn't feel safe walking down a dark road towards a group of men leaving a prayer meeting.

Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley 

Writing for Slate Magazine in April 2007 with a post entitled, 'These Men Are "Peacemakers"?
Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams make me want to spew,'
"The main force that opposed it [peace agreement] initially was led by Ian Paisley, a brutish Calvinist street thug with covert sympathizers in the police force. The main force that opposed it  [peace process] eventually was the Provisional IRA, which gladly accepted the sectarian challenge and which preached the insane idea that Irish Protestants could be bombed into some deranged concept of a Fenian republic. 
The British laws of libel forbid me to tell what I heard when I was a young reporter in the pubs and back streets of Belfast, but I'll put it like this: Both Paisley and Adams know very well of things that happened that should never have happened. And both of them, in order to arrive at that smug power-sharing press conference, have had to arrange to seem adequately uninformed about such horrid past events."

The hypocrisy of Ian Paisley's refusal to give interviews on a Sunday

Christopher Hitchens pointed out that he said to Paisley that the Monday papers were written, edited and printed on the Sunday. See that here.

Further reading:

 - Ed Moloney's theory that Gerry Adams sanctioned Northern Bank robbery:

Writing 'Gerry's Kids' in Slate Magazine, Scott MacMillan quoted Ed Moloney who presented a theory that Gerry Adams sanctioned the 2004 Northern Bank robbery:
"Ed Moloney, an award-winning journalist and author of A Secret History of the IRA, says Adams may have sanctioned the robbery knowing the ensuing outrage would force the hand of the hard-liners in his midst, leaving them with a stark choice: Either go back to war, a political non-starter in the post-9/11 world, or, if republicans are to preserve the credibility they have gained both on the island and in London and Washington, lay down their arms for good. In other words, republicans can run a major political party, or they can be ostracized and lumped in with Osama Bin Laden."
In full here.

- Authoritarianism of IRA:

Again, Scott MacMillan writing for Slate Magazine cited Ed Moloney:
"Ed Moloney raised this point on Irish radio last Thursday, and he was nearly drowned out by fellow panelists who accused him of displaying insufficient enthusiasm for the IRA declaration. I asked Moloney via e-mail what he thought about the "unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process" mentioned by P O'Neill. Moloney was dubious, to say the least. "The Army Council does not and never has consulted its membership about anything. If they did, the peace process would never have happened," he replied. "What happens is that there are meetings at various levels, people are told what the leadership plans to do and the question asked, 'Does anyone have a problem with that?' Brave is the man or woman who stands up and says 'Yes, I have a question.' "
Read in full here.

- Why the Northern Ireland question is not analogous to Israel/Palestine

In an article for Slate Magazine, 'Hamas isn't the IRA' Michael Weiss gives a great analysis of why the parallels simply can't be drawn.

In full here.

- Why the Troubles was a waste of time 

In 'Gunsmoke and Mirrors' the Guardian's Irish Correspondent, Henry McDonald explains how the IRA's campaign of violence was a waste of time and how all killed died in vain. Here's the overview:
"What Adams had to say was even more instructive. He talked about the community once being on its knees - an appeal to those scarred in memory by the loyalist pogroms of 1969. His speech was full of references to nationalist equality and parity of esteem. In short, he was re-packaging the so-called armed struggle as somehow the outworking of the old civil rights struggle. Gunsmoke and Mirrors challenges this epic piece of myth-making. Henry McDonald, himself from the republican Markets area of Belfast, talks to ex-IRA men about their real motivations for starting their war. It had nothing to do with civil rights. The settlement which Sinn Fein/IRA finally secured in 2007 is almost identical with one that had been on the table thirty years earlier. McDonald exposes the memorialist culture which continues to rewrite history to justify the unjustifiable. McDonald gets past the cheap hagiography of terrorists and the wasted lives of a generation to focus on one essential truth: none of the IRA's principal war aims was achieved. The whole sorry business was a waste of time. The people who died, died in vain."

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