I just read a sentence in the International Herald Tribune that will have no doubt caused some British Army veterans a high degree of consternation:
[Water cannons] have not previously been used in Britain, but they have been regularly deployed by the British against crowds in Northern Ireland.
Rep. Peter King wonders whose side Eric Holder is on with respect to the investigation into alleged torture conducted by our intelligence agencies. That's all fine and good, and I am glad Rep. King is so tough on Islamist terrorism, but I imagine there are those in the United Kingdom who wonder whose side King was on in the 1980s when he shamelessly carried the PIRA's water.
"You will have thousands of lives that will be lost, and the blood will be on Eric Holder's hands," he said.
Civilians killed during The Troubles (1968-1998): 1,857 (and an additional 705 from an army currently fighting alongside U.S. Marines in Helmand Province, Afghanistan)
Easily the most eerie aspect of the last couple of days for me has been the sound on my car radio of Martin McGuinness, allegedly once a senior IRA commander, sounding just like a Northern Ireland Secretary of State from the Eighties.I think this is because McGuinness knows these attacks are as much a challenge to Sinn Féin as they are to British rule.
A police officer was shot dead in Northern Ireland last night as dissident republicans intensified their terror campaign aimed at destabilising power sharing in the province.Earlier tonight, I sat across from Craig Mullaney as he drank Jameson on the rocks while I drank Bushmills neat. Honestly, can we all just agree that politics aside, Bushmills is a far superior whiskey?
The policeman was shot in the head before 10pm in the Lismore area of Craigavon in north Armagh, 26 miles south-west of Belfast.
Later, around 12.20am this morning, there were reports that a black car had been raked with gunfire on the outskirts of Craigavon. There were unconfirmed reports that the car had earlier been rammed by a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) patrol.
The murdered PSNI officer, believed to have been an experienced officer who had been in the force for more than 20 years, was part of a patrol that had been called out to the Drumbeg estate after reports of suspicious activity in the area.
Speaking earlier today before the claim of responsibility, the Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, called the attack "wrong and counter-productive" and, in an unprecedented statement, said his party had a "responsibility to be consistent ... the logic of this is that we support the police in the apprehension of those involved in last night's attack".
It was not until a vote at a special meeting of Sinn Féin in early 2007 that the party ended decades of opposition to the province's Protestant-dominated police force.
Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, said: "I was a member of the IRA, but that war is over now. The people responsible for last night's incident are clearly signalling that they want to resume or re-start that war. Well, I deny their right to do that."...and finally...
At midday, hundreds of churchgoers from churches across Antrim gathered at the police cordon near the murder scene to hold a prayer service. Traffic was halted as congregations from the Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist churches came together to pray for the victims.
Guess who is funding the infernal F-22 over the objections of the Pentagon's senior leadership? The evil Republicans! Oh, wait... No, as it turns out, it's mostly Barack Obama's own party which is to blame.2. Experts Warn of Troops' Loss of Logistical Support (Washington Post)
Logistics, Logistics, Logistics. And not just in Afghanistan. The number of helicopters needed in Afghanistan is going to leave Our Brave Boys (and Girls) in Iraq stretched as well. I would link to the testimony delivered by Roger Carstens (CNAS alum) this past week but found the House Armed Service Committee website most unhelpful. The simple Senate Armed Services Committee website, by contrast, rocks.3. An Absurd Kerfluffle at the American University of Beirut
My friend Sean Lee, an instructor of English at my alma mater, had the crazy notion that maybe -- just maybe -- Lebanon's ban on films and books deemed "sympathetic to Jews" or filled with "Jew content" might be a tad bit anti-semetic. Angry Arab jumps into the fray, telling Sean he has no right as the "White Man" to speak up. This whole thing is ridiculous. Lebanon's censorship is a serious issue, and an instructor at AUB has every right to ask why he can't assign his students The Diary of Anne Frank. That other scholars would criticize Sean in this way is, frankly, shocking. (Note: AUB is subject to the laws of Lebanon. If The Life of Brian is banned by the authorities, the university has to follow this ban. So don't start writing angry letters to your congressman asking him to cut off funding to AUB.) If anything, these bans re-enforce sectarian identities -- all works deemed "offensive" to Christians and Muslims, like The Da Vinci Code, are also banned -- and explain how AUB can produce highly-intelligent and learned yet anti-Semitic Holocaust-deniers.4. Two Soldiers Killed in Northern Ireland (Guardian)
This is, incredibly, the first time British troops have been killed in Norn Ireland since 1997. Splinter groups are believed to be at their strongest in years, and all (Protestant) eyes will be on Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin to see how they respond to this. Remember, just 20 months ago the British Army more or less declared victory in Northern Ireland.