There is a clip in Peter Taylor’s film about Loyalism, in which a leading Loyalist says the following or something similar, “God did not sprinkle looney dust over our community one night and the next day we woke up and went on the rampage, killing and maiming the first Catholic we came across” Indeed they did not; and on reading the report issued by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudswoman Nula O’Loan, into her enquiry into collusion between the Mount Vernon UVF and members of the RUC Special Branch, it becomes pretty clear the only looney dust that was contributed to what was already a highly combustible situation was put there by the UK Security Forces and with the full knowledge of powerful people within the heart of the UK State apparatus. Who coldly calculated that if enough innocent working class Catholics were murdered, it just might turn their community against the PIRA or at the very least put pressure upon it’s Army Council to enter into peace talks.
Thus the order went down the Security Forces chain of command to entice the more psychotic members of the UVF and UFF to set up murder gangs. The quid-pro -co was to be immunity from prosecution; and not only for the murders they carried out on behalf of their new patrons, but also for their criminal activities as a whole. Plus if their collars were felt by an over keen or off message member of the RUC, the terrorist would be baby sat throughout their ordeal. An additional sweetener was offered up to keep these depraved loyalist warriors of the UK State on side, they would be offered the opportunity to rake in a tidy sum by touting on their own community. Not being the type of people to look a gift horse in the mouth, by the time the armed conflict came to a halt with the second PIRA cease fore, two thirds of the leadership of the loyalist paramilitaries were in the pay as registered touts of either the RUC/PSNI, British Army Intel/FRU or MI5.
Shamefully, it has become increasingly clear that it is not in the interest of the north’s main political parties to demand a public enquiry into this security force collusion in criminality. Thus we have had the despicable spectacle of the Unionist Party’s, who have based themselves throughout the troubles on supporting the rule of law, denigrating Nula O’Loan and the report she has issued, whilst defending those serving PSNI officers who have refused to be questioned by the Ombudsman’s officials. Which is today’s equivalent of cheering on those members of the security forces who burned down the Steven’s inquiry teams Belfast office.
Sinn Fein despite much huffing and puffing down the years on the issue of State collusion in criminality, has been little better. Seemingly fearful if they demand an inquiry, it will undoubtedly open up the question of the degree of collusion that took place between the security forces and rogue members of the PIRA. What we have is the UK governments Northern Ireland Office, the UK media and the new Stormont political establishment, the DUP and SF all wishing to move collusion into the dustbin of history. So that they can, they claim, move on and get to work tackling the real problems the people of the north face in the here and now.
Such an argument is complete and utter hogwash, for a society that does not understand and learn from its past is doomed to repeat it; indeed it looks very much like this may well be already happening. Only this time it is not in Ireland but Iraq, could it be that some of the same security services officers have exported their evil strategy of colluding in criminality with local loyalist thugs from the north of Ireland to that unfortunate land, after all the British originally imported such criminality into Ireland from their practice in Kenya when putting down the independence struggle there.
Almost every day Shia Death Squads are going about their business killing scores of Iraqis, who just happen to be Sunni Muslims. Whilst the media, much as it did when something similar happened to working class Catholics in the north of Ireland, puts these murders down to psychotic terrorists working independently of the main parties and who it is claimed are bent on provoking civil war.
But if we take a step back, the main insurgency against US/UK forces comes from within the Sunni community of Iraq, whilst the murder gangs are almost exclusively Shia, Admittedly Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian Al Qaeda leader in Iraq set the whole thing in motion, but he is no longer alive and since his demise Sunni insurgents have been ordered not to participate in sectarian attacks on Shia Iraqis. [It looks increasingly like al-Zarqawi may have been a CIA asset all along]
It is also a fact that these Shia Death Squads are linked with the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which is responsible for the Iraqi police and numerous intelligence organisations, [which act as liason bottlenecks with the US/UK occupation authorities] Just as the Death Squads in the north were undoubtedly linked to the RUC Special Branch and in all probability MI5 and army Intel, something similar may well be occuring in Iraq. Thus there is a commonality between current events in Iraq and what happened in the north/NI back in the 1980s early 90s.
This is yet another reasons why there must be a public enquiry, or at the very least a Truth and Reconciliation Commission which will look into the whole sorry business of UK State collusion with death squads in the north of Ireland, No matter if they are serving members of the PSNI or any other State organization, or were members of the UDA, UVF or IRA.
If the UK State is not prepared to order such an inquiry, due to the similarity of what went on in the north with what is occurring in Iraq today, the international community has a duty to instigate such an inquiry. For collusion in murder by a State is a war crime, and there is one thing that all the political Party’s in the north now appear to agree on, that the frightful years between 1969 and 1997 can now be described as a war.