Thursday, July 28, 2005

IRA Goes Non-Violent

The IRA announced today that it has renounced violence. According to the IRA's statement:
All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means.
I have always been a supporter of Sinn Fein (the IRA's political wing) and their goals, but I increasingly became an opponent of the IRA's tactics as they shifted increasingly away from targeted assassinations to mass-murder bombings. Nothing justifies targeting civilians. That said, Sinn Fein and the IRA's struggle was a national liberation movement for much of its history. Their goals were independence and a social democratic state.

But understanding times have changed, especially with the London bombings and the McCartney murder, Gerry Adams and company have made a strategic and moral decision to end the armed campaign. Hopefully through politics, Northern Ireland will finally find the peace and the prosperity that has graced the country's south.

This is a historic day. Yet we should still be skeptical since the IRA has had problems with internal discipline in its past. We'll see if the more radical elements within the struggle comply with their leaders.

Now, back to vacation...