America, Britain, Iraq, and Ireland

Just a quick observation.
If I were someone whom the religious leaders in Iraq (the ones who, at the end of the day, are the only ones with the possibility of controlling the violent militias) actually listened to, I would IMPLORE them to think about what's more important: wether one is a Sunni or Shia muslim, or wether or not one would like to see Iraq have any sort of viable future for its citizens for the next 200 years. It's only fair that I bring this up today on the 90th anniversary of the Sinn Fein rebellion in Ireland.
Even the people who consider themselves quite familiar with Irish history and the IRA and the 1916 rebellion often times know very little about the rebellion that happened more than one hundred years before that (more than 200 years ago) that was called the United Irishmen rebellion. In fact, one of the leaders from that rebellion has gained quite a bit of notoriety as his name, Wolfe Tone, is also the name of a very well know irish traditional rock band that plays a large repetoire of what are referred to as "Irish Rebel Songs." What is often not known about him, and indeed not known about half of the people who took part in the 1798 United Irishmen rebellion, was that he was protestant. Yes, PROTESTANT.
MOST people who are somewhat familiar with the situation in Ireland as a whole before 1922 and in the North ever since are well aware of the division of alligence along religious lines: Protestants generally favor remaining a part of the United Kingdom, while Catholics generally favor (re-)uniting with the southern 26 counties of Ireland.
News Flash: PROTESTANTS AND CATHOLICS ARE ALL CHRISTIANS. Brothers and Sisters, like. Yet there are factions (still to this day) among both parties that would think nothing of killing each other. Sound familiar to anyone who's heard about the civil war brewing in Iraq between Shia and Sunni?
News Flash: SUNNI AND SHIA ARE ALL MUSLIMS. , like. Are Sunni Iraqis and Shia Iraqis not ALL IRAQI?!?!? Why must we always turn on each other? Lets have a look at what happened in Ireland following the 1798 Rebellion wherin Protestant AND Catholic alike fought side by side against oppression.
1798: Protestants and Catholics in Ireland are United.
The British occupying force realized that Ireland could be quite a troublesome possession, so they devised a brilliant plan of Divide and Conquer. They went out of their way to foster divisions between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, and as such worked it out so that the Irish were SO FUCKING BUSY FIGHTING EACH OTHER that, come 1840-1860 (generally known as THE IRISH FAMINE) when England was hit (MUCH MUCH WORSE THAN IRELAND WAS!) by a blight that killed off alot of their agricultural products and as such were having difficulty feeding their populations, the irish were too pre-occupied with the STUPID protestant/catholic fight to notice or be able to do anything about the fact that the british occupying forces were TAKING ALL OF THEIR FOOD and shipping it off to england, leaving them with NO FOOD ON WHICH TO SURVIVE.
*Takes deep breath and goes out for a quick cigarette.*
During that time Ireland's population dropped from 8 million to around 3 million.
*Takes another cigarette*
Numbers are vague and differ depending on your source, but roughly 3 million DIED and roughly 2 million made their way to America. (and boy they were busy when they got there, today 44 million americans claim irish descent).
All for the sake of what said To The People Of EXACTLY NINETY YEARS AGO TODAY was "differences carefully fostered by an alien government."
118 years passed between the time of the United Irishmen rebellion and "The Irish Rebellion" that eventually led to a divided, torn, and (for a long long time) awfully poor land, a state that remained right up until EU funds saved the Republic in the 1990s. Thats TWO HUNDRED YEARS.
If things continue as they are going in Iraq, NONE OF US will live to see the day when Iraq can become anything other than a decimated torn and broken land.


Anonymous said...

if you substitute oil for food in the highlited red area you get... ? (Get it? Oil For Food?)

EdoRiver said...

Smashing good post! It only slightly occured to me about the similarities of Irish situation and Iraq, when I wrote my post at Treasure of Bagdad's blog. I didn't do more than read Wikipedia on the issue. I was in England for a summer holiday in the 1970's and things were starting to ramp up.
Nice connections! these are what make reading blogs more satisfying for me. I have become "addicted" to the US soldiers and Iraqi blog sites.

misneach said...

Regarding the concerted attempts to divide the population of Iraq from the outset:

"Let's Play Musical Chairs...
The nine-member rotating presidency is a failure at first sight. It’s also a failure at second, third, fourth… and ninth sight. The members of the rotating presidency, composed of 4 Shi’a Muslims, 2 Sunni Muslims and 2 Kurds, were selected on a basis of ethnicity and religion.

It is a way of further dividing the Iraqi population. It is adding confusion to chaos and disorder. Just the concept of an ethnically and religiously selected council to run the country is repulsive. Are people supposed to take sides according to their ethnicity or religion?"
-Written by RIVERBEND on Baghdad Burning, Tuesday, August 26, 2003