[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: IRA stands down: 'Must wait and see'

Friday, July 29, 2005

IRA stands down: 'Must wait and see'

Today was the most horrible weather i've experienced in quite a while; cold, continous rain and winds so hard that bins were filled with broken umbrellas. I was cheered up by the headlines of the IRA's statement to end its 36 year long armed campaign in Northern Ireland. What to took 11 hard years to work may soon become reality. Sinn Fein spokesperson Martin McGuinness even flew to Washington to announce it.
First of all, we have to see if all sections of the Real & Provisional IRA will take the orders to stand down and decommission. If so, visual proof must be provided to the public and respective governments, something that the IRA hasn't yet agreed to. So all we have are words at the moment- oral promises are easily broken. The DUP and UUP remain skeptical of their intentions.
There is still the question of the IRA's criminal activity and terrorism abroad, such as the famous 3 alleged IRA members incarcerated in Columbia. So if the volunteers do put down their arms, what will they do next? Are they willing to pursue Irish unity through peaceful political means or will they seek opportunities elsewhere through the barrel of a gun? With the rise of international terrorism and existing global crime, these ex-IRA volunteers can easily find a new market for their skills. So although we might see a dawn of a new era in Northern Ireland, the worrying aspect of growing global terrorism still looms.