14th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

14th May

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Sunday 14 May 1972

Martha Campbell

A 13 year old Catholic girl was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries in Ballymurphy, Belfast.

Monday 14 May 1973

Martin McGuinness was released from prison in the Republic of Ireland having served a six months sentence.

Tuesday 14 May 1974

Beginning of the Ulster Workers Council Strike

There was a debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly on a motion condemning power-sharing and the Council of Ireland. The motion was defeated by 44 votes to 28. At 6.00pm, following the conclusion of the Assembly debate, Harry Murray announced to a group of journalists that a general strike was to start the following day.

The organisation named as being responsible for calling the strike was the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC). The action was to become known as the UWC Strike. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Sinn Féin (SF) were declared legal following the passing of legislation at Westminster.

Saturday 14 May 1977

Robert Nairac.jpg

Robert Nairac (29), a member of the British Army, was abducted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) outside the Three Step Inn, near Forkhill, County Armagh.

His body was never recovered and he was presumed dead. He is listed as one of the ‘disappeared’.

[The IRA later stated that they had interrogated and killed a Special Air Service (SAS) officer. Nairac was posthumously awarded the George Cross.]

See Robert Nairac

Thursday 14 May 1981

Brendan McLaughlin, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner in the Maze Prison, joined the hunger strike to replace Francis Hughes who had died on 12 May 1981.

See Hungry Strike

[McLaughlin was taken off the strike on 26 May 1981 when he suffered a perforated ulcer and internal bleeding.]

Wednesday 14 May 1986

The pressure group ‘Campaign for Equal Citizenship‘ was established at a meeting in Belfast. The CEC argued that British political parties, such as the Labour and Conservative, should organise and stand for election in Northern Ireland. The CEC was also in favour of the full administrative integration of Northern Ireland into the United Kingdom

Saturday 14 May 1994

David Wilson (27), a British Army (BA) soldier, was killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during a bomb attack on a permanent Vehicle Checkpoint, Castleblaney Road, Keady, County Armagh.

Sunday 14 May 1995

The Sunday Business Post (a Dublin based newspaper) published a report of an interview with Peter Temple-Morris, then co-chairman of the British-Irish Interparliamentary Body. He expressed the view that Republican frustration with the lack of progress on all-party talks might lead to an end of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire.

Wednesday 14 May 1997

Gunmen tried to kill a taxi driver in Milford village, County Armagh.

The attempt failed when the gun jammed. The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) was believed to be responsible for the attack.

Betty Boothroyd, then Speaker of the House of Commons, ruled that the two Sinn Féin (SF) MPs would not be given office facilities at Westminster because they had refused to take their seats in the House.

In the Queen’s speech setting out the Labour governments legislative plans it was announced that the North Report on parades and marches would be implemented in 1998. In addition the European Convention on Human Rights would be incorporated into forthcoming legislation on Northern Ireland.

Thursday 14 May 1998

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, paid another visit to Northern Ireland to continue campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum. During his visit he delivered a key note speech.

Friday 14 May 1999

There were further political talks in London involving the two Prime Ministers and the leaders of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Sinn Féin (SF). Before the meeting Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF) expressed concern about the state of the ceasefires of the main Loyalist paramilitary groups.

He claimed that the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) had co-operated with other Loyalist groups in carrying out attacks on Catholic homes.

At the meeting Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, announced an “absolute” deadline of 30 June 1999 for the formation of an Executive and the devolution of power to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Proposals put before the parties were thought to have been agreed by, David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Irish Government, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Sinn Féin (SF).

[However the UUP Assembly party failed to endorse the proposals. The proposals would have seen the d’Hondt procedure for the appointment of ministers in a power-sharing executive triggered in the coming week, with full devolution achieved by the end of June, following a report on “progress” on decommissioning by Gen. John de Chastelain.]

Sunday 14 May 2000

Cyril Ramaphosa, former secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC), and Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, both of whom were appointed as arms inspectors arrived in Northern Ireland. The arms inspectors report to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

 

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Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To the Paramilitaries –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

10 People lost their lives on the 14th between 1972 – 1994

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14 May 1972


Marta Campbell   (13)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot while walking along Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

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14 May 1972


John Pedlow   (17)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died one day after being shot during gun battle between Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Loyalists, Springmartin Road, Belfast.

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14 May 1972
Gerard McCusker   (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot on waste ground, Hopeton Street, Shankill, Belfast.

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14 May 1973


John McCormac   (34)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died three days after being shot while walking along Raglan Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

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14 May 1973


Roy Rutherford  (33)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in derelict cottage, Moy Road, Portadown, County Armagh

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14 May 1977


Robert Nairac   (29)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Undercover British Army (BA) member. Abducted outside Three Step Inn, near Forkhill, County Armagh. Presumed killed. Body never recovered.

See Robert Nairac

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14 May 1980
Roy Hamilton   (22)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot at his workplace, a building site, Ballymagroarty, Derry.

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14 May 1981


Samuel Vallely   (23)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in rocket attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol, Springfield Road, Belfast.

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14 May 1984
Seamus Fitzsimmons   (21)

Cathc
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot by undercover Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) members during attempted robbery at Post Office, Ballygalley, near Larne, County Antrim.

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14 May 1994
David Wilson   (27)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed during bomb attack on British Army (BA) permanent Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Castleblaney Road, Keady, County Armagh.

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Proud to be a Loyalist – But I don’t hate Catholic’s

I am 

Unashamedly Proud of My Loyalist and British Heritage.

 queen union jack.jpg

In fact I want the world to know that despite what loony lefties and followers of Corbyn think – its perfectly normal to take pride in our country and celebrate and embrace our long and glorious history.

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Someone emailed me yesterday after visiting my website and praised me for writing about the history of The Troubles and commemorating the memory of all those who had died during the  30 year conflict.

So far – so good!

And then she asked me………..

“Did I hate Catholic’s and what I thought of a United Ireland ?”.

Well at this stage my antenna went up and I thought ” Here we go again “

Let me explain….

When I set up this blog/website  last year my primary objective was to promote my Autobiography Belfast Child and hopefully attract some attention from the publishing world and maybe one day see my book printed and share my story with the world.

That was the objective anyways and the process  has been long and full of disappointments – but I am now working with high profile ghost writing Tom Henry  to complete the book and his enthusiasm for the subject is feeding my dream.

 

I  have always   thought I had an interesting story to tell ( I would wouldn’t I ? ) and within weeks of launching the site I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was receiving a lot of visitors and people were commenting on my story. As of yesterday I have had more 100,000 visitors to the site and this figure is growing and increasing weekly by a few thousand and this I must say surprised me.

It had always been my aim to dedicate the book/my story to the memory of all those killed in the Troubles  and off course to the memory of  my beloved father John Chambers – who died way to young and left a wound in my soul that can never been healed or soothed.

So with this in mind I decided to use my website to tell the story of the Northern Ireland conflict and include an unbiased (mostly) comprehensive history of all major events and deaths in the Troubles. Due to my loyalist heritage and background this has not always been easy, considering I lived through the worst years of the Troubles among the loyalist communities of West Belfast and like those around me I was on the front-line of the sectarian slaughter and there was no escape from the madness that surrounded and engulfed us.

I blamed the IRA ( and other republican terrorists ) for all the woes of life in Belfast and  I hated them with a passion  – still do.

Growing up as a protestant in Northern Ireland  is unlike life in any other part of the UK or British territories and from cradle to grave our lives are governed by the tenuous umbilical cord that reluctantly connects us to the rest of the UK and Westminster’s corridors of power.

Unlike most other communities throughout the UK we are fanatically proud of our Britishness and we have literally fought for the right to remain part of Britain and have Queen Elizabeth II as the mother of our nation.

Long may she reign

shankill road where my soul was forged.jpg

If you have read extracts from my Autobiography Belfast Child ( It’s worth it – promise ) you will know that  I was raised within the heartlands of loyalist Northern Ireland – The Glorious Shankill Road.

The UDA ( Ulster Defense Force) and other loyalist paramilitaries governed and controlled our daily lives and lived and operated among us. The loyalist community stood as one against the IRA and other republican terrorists and although there was often war between the various different groups , they were untied in their hatred of Republican’s and pride in the Union.

The definition of loyalist is :

a. A supporter of union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

b. A person who remains loyal to the established ruler or government, especially in the face of a revolt.

 

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Why Ireland split into the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland

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A bit of history for you

A very brief  outlined of the beginning of the modern troubles

Whilst the Protestants’ clung to their British sovereignty and took pride in the union, our Catholic counterparts felt abandoned and second class citizens in a Unionist run state. The civil rights marches of the 60’s & Republican calls for a United Ireland were the catalyst for the IRA and other Republican terrorist groups to take up arms against the British and feed the paranoia of the loyalist community.

Northern Ireland descended into decades of sectarian conflict & slaughter. An attack on the crown was an attack on the Protestant people of the North and the Protestant paramilitaries took up arms and waged an indiscriminate war against the IRA, the Catholic population and each other. Many innocent Catholic’s and Protestant’s became targets of psychopathic sectarian murder squad’s. Murder was almost a daily occurrence and the killings on both sides perpetuated the hatred and mistrust between the two ever-warring communities. It was a recipe for disaster and Northern stood on the brink of all out civil war.

Growing up in this environment it is hardly surprising to learn that  I hated republicans and all they stood for. But that doesn’t mean I hated Catholic’s or Irish people and would  wish  any harm on them – I don’t and I didn’t.

It means I have a different point of view and democracy is all about freedom of choice and my choice is to maintain the Union with the UK and embrace and celebrate my loyalist culture and tradition. It also means I have the right to take pride in the union with the rest of the UK and I wear my nationality like a badge of honor for all the world to  see.

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proud to be british jason mawer

Jason Mawer has been warned twice to remove his jacket in case it offends someone

The unique Mod-style jacket in red, white and blue was made a few years ago for a Who convention in London

Pub landlord Jason Mawer has twice been asked in public to remove his treasured Union Jack jacket – for risk of it being ‘offensive’.

He was told to take off his valuable Mod-style Barbour jacket – designed in honour of legendary rock band The Who – by officials who appeared to be council enforcement officers.

On the second occasion the female official warned him: ‘Would you mind removing your coat it might offend somebody.’

See Daily Mail for full Story 

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In recent years it has become almost politically  “incorrect” to show any signs of pride in being British and mad lefties and their deluded disciples are always banging on about offending other religions and communities throughout the UK. The fact that the UK has such a diverse melting pot of different nationalities and religions  and is generally accommodating to them – is lost on these do gooders and they ignore our country’s  long history of religious and politically tolerance and instead accuse us of being  xenophobic  and this offends me no end.

Have they forgotten that it was our forefathers who fought and died for our great nation and our democracy is built on their ultimate  sacrifice for our freedom – they did not die in vain.

…back to the email

If you had taken the time to have a proper  look through my site you would be aware that I commemorate the deaths of all innocent people killed as a direct result of the conflict in Northern Ireland , regardless of political or religious  background  . I also cover the deaths of paramilitaries from both sides killed “in Action” as my objective to to give a complete picture of the history of the Troubles.

I receive lots of emails and comments about my site and although most of these are positive –  a few ( normally from republicans ) accuse me of being a loyalist and somehow responsible for the all the deaths in Northern Ireland’s tortured history. Generally I ignore these emails as they are so far of the mark – if they had taken the time to read my story they would know a bit more about my history and know that I preach love – not hate!

Just because I am proud of the union and my British heritage does not mean I hate Catholics or Irish people or any others for that matter – in fact I judge no man on his colour , creed , religious or political background (apart from Republican Terrorists ).

I judge people on their humanity and empathy towards others and the world around us . Life is for living – so live and let live.

Anne Frank

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
Anne Frank

Great Mosque of al-Nuri Destroyed – The Heart of Islamic State’s Twisted Caliphate

Battle for Mosul

Destruction of al-Nuri mosque ‘shows IS defeated’

is flag ruined

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the destruction of an ancient mosque in the city of Mosul is “an official declaration of defeat” by so-called Islamic State (IS).

Iraqi forces say IS blew up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its famous leaning minaret as jihadists battled to stop advancing pro-government troops.

IS said American aircraft had destroyed the complex, a claim denied by the US.

Aerial photographs show the complex largely destroyed.

The mosque, which was more than 800 years old, was where in July 2014 IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi demanded allegiance in his first and only public appearance following the declaration days earlier of a “caliphate”.

The mosque’s destruction has brought widespread condemnation.

Lazare Eloundou Assomo, deputy director of the UN’s cultural organisation Unesco, said the “iconic” mosque could have helped foster “reconciliation and peace” in Iraq in future.

What happened to the Great Mosque?

The Iraqi commander in charge of the offensive to retake Mosul said troops were within 50m (160ft) of the mosque when IS “committed another historical crime”.

Footage released by the Iraqi forces shows the ancient landmark being demolished.

See BBC News for full story

 

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Caliphate: 

A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة khilāfa) is an area containing an Islamic steward known as a caliph (Arabic: خَليفة khalīfah pronunciation (info. • help))—a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad (Muhammad ibn ʿAbdullāh), and a leader of the entire Muslim community.

Isis chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears in first video

Image result for Isis chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears in first video

July 214

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamist militant group Isis, has called on Muslims to obey him, in his first video sermon.

Baghdadi has been appointed caliph by the jihadist group, which has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

The video appears to have been filmed on Friday during a sermon at the al-Nouri Mosque in Mosul, northern Iraq.

It surfaced on Saturday amid reports that he had been killed or wounded in an Iraqi air raid.

It was not clear when the attack was supposed to have taken place.

In the sermon, at Mosul’s most famous landmark, Baghdadi praised the establishment of the “Islamic state”, which was declared by Isis last Sunday.

Experts say the reclusive militant leader has never appeared on video before, although there are photographs of him.

“Appointing a leader is an obligation on Muslims, and one that has been neglected for decades,” he said.

He also said that he did not seek out the position of being the caliph, or leader, calling it a “burden”.

“I am your leader, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, support me, and if you see that I am wrong, advise me,” he told worshippers.

See Here for full story

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History & Background

of

Great Mosque of al-Nuri

Image result for Great Mosque of al-Nuri

The Great Mosque of al-Nuri (Arabic: جامع النوري‎‎) was a mosque in Mosul, Iraq.

It was famous for its leaning minaret, which gave the city its nickname “the hunchback” (الحدباء al-Ḥadbāˈ). Tradition holds that the mosque was first built in the late 12th century, although it underwent many renovations over the years. Most of it was destroyed on 21 June 2017, during the Battle of Mosul. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) claims that the USA destroyed it, while Iraqi troops claim ISIS was responsible. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that the destruction of the mosque was ISIS’ “declaration of defeat.

Nouri Mosque
منارة الحدباء.jpg

The minaret of the Al-Nouri mosque in 2013
Basic information
Location Mosul
Geographic coordinates 36.343193°N 43.126872°E
Affiliation Sunni Islam
Country Iraq
Year consecrated 1172–1173
Destroyed 2017
Minaret height 45 metres (148 ft)

The Great Mosque of al-Nuri (Arabic: جامع النوري‎‎) was a mosque in Mosul, Iraq.

It was famous for its leaning minaret, which gave the city its nickname “the hunchback” (الحدباء al-Ḥadbāˈ). Tradition holds that the mosque was first built in the late 12th century, although it underwent many renovations over the years. Most of it was destroyed on 21 June 2017, during the Battle of Mosul. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) claims that the USA destroyed it, while Iraqi troops claim ISIS was responsible. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that the destruction of the mosque was ISIS’ “declaration of defeat”.

Tradition holds that Nurettin Zengin (Nur ad-Din Zangi in Arabic) the Turkish atabeg built the mosque in 1172–1173 during the Abbasid Caliphate, shortly before his death. According to the chronicle of Ibn al-Athir, after Nur ad-Din took control of Mosul he ordered his nephew Fakhr al-Din to build the mosque:

[Nur ad-Din] rode in person to its site and viewed it. He climbed the minaret of the mosque of Abu Hadir, looked down on the site of his mosque and ordered that the neighbouring houses and shops should be added to the land that he viewed but that nothing should be taken without the willing agreement of the owners. He put the Sheikh Umar al-Malla in charge of the project, a pious and good man. The properties were purchased from their owners at most substantial prices and the construction began, on which large sums were expended. The building was completed in the year 568 [i.e. AD 1172-3].

In 1511, this mosque was extensively renovated by the Safavid Empire.

Minaret

 

The minaret and mosque in 1932

 

 

The mosque was well known for its leaning minaret, known as al-Hadba’ (“the hunchback”). Grattan Geary, a 19th-century traveler, described the minaret’s appearance:

It is several feet out of the perpendicular, though it starts fair from the ground, and at the top, before putting on its gallery and dome, it regains an erect posture. Its attitude is that of a man bowing.

When the cylindrical minaret was built it stood 45 metres (148 ft) high, with seven bands of decorative brickwork in complex geometric patterns ascending in levels towards the top. By the time the traveler Ibn Battuta visited in the 14th century it was already listing and had acquired its nickname.

The design of the minaret follows a form originally developed in neighboring Iran and Central Asia and shares similarities with other minarets in northern Iraq, such as those in Mardin, Sinjar and Arbil.

According to local tradition (which resolutely ignores chronology), the minaret gained its tilt after the Prophet Muhammad passed overhead while ascending to heaven. The minaret bowed itself in reverence but could only regain its balance after its top joint had been kinked in the opposite direction. According to local Christian tradition, however, the mosque’s tilt was due to its bowing towards the tomb of the Virgin Mary, reputedly located near Arbil.

Modern history

Both the mosque and its madrasa were dismantled and reassembled in 1942 in a restoration programme undertaken by the Iraqi government. The minaret remained unrestored, although attempts were made in 1981 by an Italian firm to stabilise it. The bombing of Mosul during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s broke underground pipes and caused leaks under the minaret that further undermined it. The lean later worsened by another 40 centimetres (16 in).

The cause of the lean was disputed – some have blamed the prevailing wind – but local officials have attributed it to the effects of thermal expansion caused by the heat of the sun, causing bricks on the sun-facing side to expand and progressively tilt the minaret. In recent years cracks proliferated along the base of the minaret, which leant nearly 3 metres (9.8 ft) off the vertical. It was listed by the World Monuments Fund as a site of concern due to the ongoing risk of collapse.

The structure was targeted by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants who occupied Mosul on 10 June 2014, and previously destroyed the Tomb of Jonah. However, residents of Mosul, incensed with the destruction of their cultural sites, protected the mosque by forming a human chain and forming a resistance against ISIL.

Rather than destroying the site, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared during a Friday prayer in this mosque on 4 July 2014 to declare the formation of a new caliphate.

The mosque, including its minaret, was destroyed in June 2017 – according to the Iraqi Prime Minister, by ISIS fighters.

Destruction

Image result for Great Mosque of al-Nuri blown up

By June 2017, the Battle of Mosul had progressed to the stage that ISIL-controlled territory in Mosul was limited to the Old City area, which included the mosque. On 21 June 2017, Iraqi government forces reported that the mosque had been blown up by ISIS forces at 9:50 PM and that the blast was indicative of bombs being deliberately placed to bring it down .

ISIL’s propaganda ministry Amaq claimed an airstrike by the United States is responsible for the destruction, but this claim does not appear to be substantiated by any information. Iraqi forces were within 50 meters of the mosque before the explosion which appears to have been an attempt to kill members of the approaching army by members of ISIL. Aerial photos of the destruction were released by the Iraqi military a few hours later.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated that the destruction of the mosque was ISIS’ “declaration of defeat”. BBC News journalist Paul Adams wrote of the mosque’s destruction as ISIS’ “final act of angry defiance before finally losing their grip on Mosul”

 

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The IRA Greenbook

The IRA Greenbook

IRA Green Book poster

The Green Book is a training and induction manual issued by the Irish Republican Army to new volunteers. It was used by the post-Irish Civil War Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Cumann na mBan, (“League of Women”), along with later incarnations such as the Provisional IRA (PIRA). It includes a statement of military objectives, tactics and conditions for military victory against the British government.

— Disclaimer –

The views and opinions expressed in these documentary are soley intended to educate and provide background information to those interested in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. They in no way reflect my own opinions and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or factual errors.

This military victory was to be achieved as part of:

“the ongoing liberation of Ireland from foreign occupiers”

The Green Book has acted as a manual of conduct and induction to the organisation since at least the 1950s.

Extracts

What A Volunteer Should Do When Arrested!

1. The most important thing to bear in mind when arrested is that you are a
volunteer of a revolutionary Army, that you have been captured by an enemy force,
that your cause is a just one, that you are right and that the enemy is wrong and
that as a soldier you have taken the chance expected of a soldier and that there is
nothing to be ashamed of in being captured.

2. You must bear in mind that the treatment meted out to you is designed to break
you and so bleed you of all the information you may have with regard to the
organisation to which you belong.

3. They will attempt to intimidate you by sheer numbers and by brutality.
Volunteers who may feel disappointed are entering the first dangerous threshold
because the police will act upon this disappointment to the detriment of the
volunteer and to the furtherment of their own ends. Volunteers must condition
themselves that they can be arrested and if and when arrested they should expect
the worse and be prepared for it.

 

ira green book image.JPG

 

History

Image result for irish republican army iconic pictures

Because the IRA and later republican groupings have been identified as illegal organisations (the PIRA, IRA & Cumann na mBan have been proscribed – declared illegal – in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and a number of other countries)

 

The Green Book has been distributed and published secretly. It is published at unknown printing presses and distributed to or shared with IRA volunteers as they are accepted for active duty. Due to this secrecy only two editions of the Green Book have so far been released into the public domain. The first, published in 1956, appears to be intact.

Image result for Seamus Twomey ira

The second, publication date unknown but dating to the 1977 detention of then IRA Chief of Staff Seamus Twomey, has only been released in three parts (referred to here as the 1977 edition). With the beginning of the latest IRA ceasefire and the 2005 ending of their campaign, it seems unlikely that a new edition of the manual will have been issued in recent years by the IRA. However, it is possible that known/unknown groupings have issued a more recent version.

Volunteers’ treatment of the Green Book

The Green Book is issued to IRA volunteers as part of their training and is considered a secret document which should not be revealed to, or discussed with non-IRA members. In order to protect the organisation, disclosure of its training material and any other training documents, including the Green Book, would most likely carry stiff penalties up to and including Court Martial. Once issued, each volunteer is expected to study and learn from his/her copy of the manual, to apply the rules given in it, and to apply lessons learnt from it. While the manual is clearly not all the training a volunteer could expect, it gave a broad overview meant to go some way to preparing the volunteer for active duty with the organisation.

1977 and 1956 editions

Both known issues of the Green Book were in existence while the IRA, (in the case of the 1956 edition), and the PIRA, (in the case of the 1977 edition), were engaged in a military campaign. In 1956, this was the Border Campaign, in the 1970s it was the Provisional IRA campaign 1969-1997.

Commonalities and differences exist between the two documents. This demonstrates that the Green Book is a living document updated periodically. These updates are made to reflect changes in;

  • political policy and social structure,
  • military strategy and tactics of the organisation,
  • military strength of the organisation and,
  • the technology/tactics of the organisation’s enemies,

While splits in the IRA since 1922 up to the 1950s do not appear to be noted in the 1956 document, developments in the fields of insurgency and counter-insurgency are. Both T. E. Lawrence and Field Marshal Sir William Slim are quoted.

The 1977 edition appears to have been more heavily influenced by the work of Brigadier General Frank Kitson.

By the 1977 edition, the document had increased in scope with length remaining around the same. Some doctrinal sections from the 1956 edition were still appearing, while new sections aimed at combating the counter insurgency efforts of the British Army and RUC had appeared. Notably the 1977 edition would have existed alongside the IRA’s change in tactics towards the entirely self-reliant cell structure.

The 1956 edition on the other hand discusses the use of the IRA flying column – en masse attacks by large groups of volunteers against concentrations of the enemy. Another notable facet of the 1977 edition is the attention paid to mental preparation of IRA Volunteers, this being the time of the IRA’s “Long War” strategy. Readers of the 1977 edition are warned:

“The Army as an organisation claims and expects your total allegiance without reservation. It enters into every aspect of your life. It invades the privacy of your home life, it fragments your family and friends, in other words claims your total allegiance. All potential volunteers must realise that the threat of capture and of long jail sentences are a very real danger and a shadow which hangs over every volunteer…”

“..Another important aspect all potential volunteers should think about is their ability to obey orders from a superior officer. All volunteers must obey orders issued to them by a superior officer regardless of whether they like the particular officer or not”.

The 1956 edition, contains no such warning but appeals to the “Guerrilla code.” In ‘Chapter Five – Organisation and Arms’ the reader is advised:

“Leadership will not come so much by appointment as by the trust the guerrillas place in their commander. He must be worthy of that trust if he is to succeed. Instead of discipline of the regular army type there will be a more stern battle discipline: agreement on the job to be done, and the need to do it, and obedience to the guerrilla code, these take the place of the unthinking army type discipline. Breaches of the guerrilla code — desertion, betrayal, breach of confidence in any way — must be severely dealt with on the spot”.

Contents of the Green Book

The book contains information on:

  • political philosophy of the IRA,
  • Irish history in terms of struggle against the occupation of Ireland,
  • the military objectives of the organisation,
  • the military strategy for Guerrilla fighters,
  • the military equipment and tools that can be used by Guerrilla fighters,
  • the military equipment and training for tools available to the IRA,
  • propaganda techniques within the theatre of operations,
  • interrogation techniques and how to resist them.

The book has also included references to the training, development, and tactics employed by Regular & Irregular/Specialist forces in modern armies – particularly those of the British Army.

Green Book historical context

The 1956 document couches the violence and occupation of the island of Ireland in a long history of armed resistance to occupation. The first Chapter is entirely taken up with providing this history from the viewpoint of the organisation. It provides information on the Kerne, the battle of the Yellow Ford, Owen Roe O’Neill, the 1798 Rebellion and United Irishmen, James Fintan Lalor, and the Tan War.

All are described as being within the context of legitimate resistance to the occupation of Ireland. This discussion is largely romanticised and aimed at demonstrating a lineage of “armed struggle” from which the IRA assumes its legitimacy in the fight against “occupying forces in Ireland”.

One entry in this discussion is the fact that the efforts of IRA guerrillas were the direct cause in ending the British occupation of the 26 counties of Ireland—the territory that would become the Irish Free State, and later the Republic of Ireland. The 1956 manual also implies that the bulk of the IRA’s work in “freeing Ireland from occupation” is over. This indicates both a “southern” perspective on Irish independence and an underestimation of the resistance they would encounter during the Border Campaign, that was aimed at the end of British rule in Northern Ireland. With the publication of the 1977 edition this assumption of an easy victory in ending partition had been dropped and the “Long War” strategy adopted.

The 1956 edition summarises the result of the violence during the 1919-1921 Irish War of Independence (referred to by republicans, who considered independence as having been only partially achieved, as the Tan War) with this passage:

“The hammer blows of the guerrillas destroyed the British administration. The guerrillas acted in small numbers in the right localities and compelled the British to disperse to find them. Then as the British searched, they hit them at will by means of the ambush. Communications were systematically destroyed and even the British army’s transport system in the country was disorganised.”

“The enemy’s intelligence service was completely dislocated. The R.I.C.– the eyes and ears of British rule- was demoralised. British justice courts could not operate–for the people ignored them. The British gradually were forced to evacuate the smaller, more isolated garrisons. They concentrated in the larger towns. The areas evacuated came under sole control of The Republic. The next step was to isolate the larger centres and keep cutting communications and constantly hitting the enemy. In time these would have been evacuated too. Thus ended the last great phase of guerrilla operations against British rule in Ireland.”

Compare to the Marxist intrepretation in the 1977 edition, published during a new campaign and new conditions of waging war. The “struggle” is couched in more socio-economic terms, terms which would have made more sense to a generation living through unemployment and economic hardship in post industrial revolution Northern Ireland (referred to here as the “six counties”). It is also an indication of the influence of Marxist Philosophy that permeated the IRA in the late 1970s:

“The objective of the 800 years of oppression ‘is economic exploitation with the unjustly partitioned 6 counties remaining Britain’s directly controlled old-style colony’ and the South under the ‘continuing social, cultural and economic domination of London’. This last led to Irish savings being invested in England ‘for a higher interest rate’ and many hundreds of thousands of boys and girls from this country had to emigrate to England to seek the employment which those exported saving created.”

“Another aspect of economic imperialism at work is the export of raw, unprocessed materials: live cattle on the hoof – mineral wealth, fish caught by foreign trawlers, etc. Further, from 1956 on, the Free State abandoned all attempts to secure an independent economy, and brought in foreign multi-national companies to create jobs instead of buying their skills and then sending them home gradually. Africanisation’ is the word for this process elsewhere. Control of our affairs in all of Ireland lies more than ever since 1921 outside the hands of the Irish people. The logical outcome of all this was full immersion in the E.E.C. in the 1970s. The Republican Movement opposed this North and South in 1972 and 1975 and continues to do so. It is against such political economic power blocks East and West and military alliances such as NATO and the Warsaw Pact.”

While the 1956 edition does not engage in any legitimisation of the struggle beyond the historical context of resistance to occupation, the 1977 edition does – claiming direct legitimacy from the members of the Second Dáil who transferred their authority to the IRA in 1938 after the takeover of the IRA Army Council by Seán Russell.

This had always been the official ideology of the IRA, however after the split between the Provisional IRA and the Official IRA in 1969 it was probably deemed necessary to lay more of a claim to the historical struggle than the pre-split IRA had felt necessary. The 1956 edition would have also been published for use during a period when the failed S-Plan or Sabotage campaign was within living memory of younger IRA volunteers. Newer volunteers needed to be reminded of previous IRA activity in the “struggle for liberation”:

“The moral position of the Irish Republican Army, its right to engage in warfare, is based on:

  • (a) the right to resist foreign aggression;
  • (b) the right to revolt against tyranny and oppression; and
  • (c) the direct lineal succession with the Provisional Government of 1916, the first Dáil of 1919 and the second Dáil of 1921″.

“In 1938 the seven surviving faithful Republican Deputies delegated executive powers to the Army Council of the I.R.A. per the 1921 resolution. In 1969 the sole surviving Deputy, Joseph Clarke, reaffirmed publicly that the then Provisional Army Council and its successors were the inheritors of the first and second Dáil as a Provisional Government.”

In November 2003 during testimony to the Saville Inquiry on the events of Bloody Sunday alleged former Chief of Staff of the IRA, Martin McGuinness, denied that he had ever read such a book before he claims to have left the IRA in the 1970s. McGuinness reportedly said:

“When I was in the IRA there was no such book, I don’t know when it came into existence.”

When asked what the phrase “green book” meant, he stated: “I think it means the book was green.”

Extracts

Court Martial Procedure.

14. At any time it so desires, the Court may go into private session to decide on points
which may arise, such as the admissibility of evidence.

15. When all witnesses have testified, Defence Counsel will sum up and make closing
address to the Court. This will be followed by summing up and closing address of the
Prosecuting Counsel. The Court then goes into private session to consider its verdict and
sentence.

16. For breach of any General Army Order, the Court shall not have power to impose a
lesser penalty than that laid down in such order.

17. The verdict and sentence of the Court shall be set down in writing and signed by the
three members. This, together with a summary of the evidence, must be forwarded by the
President to the Convening Authority. Sentence is subject to the ratification of the
Convening Authority. Note: In the case of the death penalty, sentence must be ratified by
the A/C.

18. The accused may forward an appeal against the verdict or sentence or both to the
Adjutant-General who will place it before the Competent Authority. The appeal should
be forwarded by accused through his O/C. who in return will forward it to the AdjutantGeneral
with a signed copy of verdict and sentence and a summary of the evidence. The
Competent Authority may order a new trial or reduce the penalty but may not increase
the penalty imposed by the Court.

The Guerrilla / The Volunteer

The 1977 edition of the Green Book is very much focused on the mental strength of the volunteer. The manual is eager to draw a clear distinction between volunteer and his enemy:

“A member of the I.R.A. is such by his own choice, his convictions being the only factor which compels him to volunteer, his objectives the political freedom and social and economic justice for his people. Apart from the few minutes in the career of the average Brit that he comes under attack, the Brit has no freedom or personal initiative. He is told when to sleep, where to sleep, when to get up, where to spend his free time etc.”

In the 1977 edition the term Guerrilla is dropped in favour of “volunteer”, the new edition also stresses that this volunteer is part of a movement with common aims and objectives. From the PIRA’s point of view this would have been necessary to combating competing interpretations encountered in the community and the propaganda efforts of the enemy it faced:

“Before we go on the offensive politically or militarily we take the greatest defensive precautions possible to ensure success, e.g. we do not advocate a United Ireland without being able to justify our right to such a state as opposed to partition; we do not employ revolutionary violence as our means without being able to illustrate that we have no recourse to any other means. Or in more everyday simple terms: we do not claim that we are going to escalate the war if we cannot do just that; we do not mount an operation without first having ensured that we have taken the necessary defensive precautions of accurate intelligence, security, that weapons are in proper working order with proper ammunition and that the volunteers involved know how to handle interrogations in the event of their capture etc, and of course that the operation itself enhances rather than alienates our supporters.”

The 1956 edition on the other hand stresses the physical aspects of IRA operations:

“Outside of the support he [the Guerrilla] gets from the people among whom he operates-and this support must never be underestimated for it is vital to his eventual success-he fights alone. He is part of an independent formation that is in effect an army by itself. He must be self-contained. If necessary he must act alone and fight alone with the weapons at his disposal- and these very often will not be of the best. He must find his own supplies. His endurance has to be great: and for this he needs a fit body and an alert mind. Above all he must know what he is fighting for- and why.”

Military objectives in the Green Book

The 1977 edition describes the military objectives of the IRA as:

“The position of the Irish Republican Army since its foundation in 1916 has been one of sustained resistance and implacable hostility to the forces of imperialism, always keeping in the forefront of the most advanced revolutionary thinking and the latest guerrilla warfare techniques in the world.”

The enemy is described as:

“The establishment is all those who have a vested interest in maintaining the present status quo in politicians, media, judiciary, certain business elements and the Brit war machine comprising, the Brit Army, the U.D.R., R.U.C. (r) [reserve], Screws, Civilian Searchers. The cure for these armed branches of the establishment is well known and documented. But with the possible exceptions of the Brit Ministers in the ‘Northern Ireland Office’ and certain members of the judiciary, the overtly unarmed branches of the establishment are not so clearly identifiable to the people as our enemies as say armed Brits or R.U.C.”

The military objects of the IRA in 1977 are presented as closely tied to the political objectives of politicising the citizenry. Rather than the tactic of surgical strike, the tactic of continuous escalation or the strategy of what has been called the PIRA’s Tet offensive is preferred:

“By now it is clear that our task is not only to kill as many enemy personnel as possible but of equal importance to create support which will carry us not only through a war of liberation which could last another decade but which will support us past the ‘Brits Out’ stage to the ultimate aim of a Democratic Socialist Republic.”

“The Strategy is:

  1. A war of attrition against enemy personnel which is aimed at causing as many casualties and deaths as possible so as to create a demand from their people at home for their withdrawal.
  2. A bombing campaign aimed at making the enemy’s financial interest in our country unprofitable while at the same time curbing long term financial investment in our country.
  3. To make the Six Counties as at present and for the past several years ungovernable except by colonial military rule.
  4. To sustain the war and gain support for its ends by National and International propaganda and publicity campaigns.
  5. By defending the war of liberation by punishing criminals, collaborators and informers.”

The 1956 edition stresses the military objective and barely mentions political objectives. It contains a lot of practical advice on operating as a Guerrilla fighter and how to inflict damage on targets. No mention is made of the establishment of “a Democratic Socialist Republic”. This can probably been seen in the context of the IRA keeping pace with social changes and the material aspirations of Irish men and women living within the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

At the time of the Border Campaign the communities the IRA came to rely on were not politicised to the same degree as those in 1977. A lack of support within their host community is commonly given as the reason for the failure of the Border Campaign. This edition of the Green Book even goes so far as to announce the aim of restoring the Irish language as the national language, an aim not mentioned in the earlier edition.

Military equipment in the Green BookThe 1977 edition of the Green Book makes little mention of arms and equipment available to the volunteer. The one entry that does appear deals only with the issue of tactics as affected by lack of weaponry:

“Tactics are dictated by the existing conditions. Here again the logic is quite simple. Without support Volunteers, Dumps, Weapons, Finance, etc., we cannot mount an operation, much less a campaign. In September 1969 the existing conditions dictated that the Brits were not to be shot, but after the Falls curfew all Brits were to the people acceptable targets. The existing conditions had been changed.”

The 1956 edition goes into a lot of detail on arms that the volunteer can expect to encounter and how to use them. Explosives are detailed alongside what the Guerrilla should know about handling & preparing them. The sabotage techniques and weaponry available at the time had mostly ceased to be commonly used by the late 1970s, namely:

Detonators are also detailed with physical descriptions, handling instructions, and burning rates. Detonators covered include: Cordtex and FID.

Small arms listed range from the revolver, to the shotgun and submachine gun up to the flame thrower, which was almost never used, except for an attack on British soldiers of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. It can be assumed that the use of these weapons, or at least supplies of them, had been diminished when the 1977 edition was published. Given that the organisation was having troubles with internal security, it may have also been considered a security risk for the IRA to detail its available weaponry too closely.

A generation earlier, IRA units operating during the S-Plan / Sabotage campaign did not have access to the above material, with the exception of Gelignite. IRA explosive devices of the 1930s and 1940s were prepared using materials such as Potassium chlorate, Carbide, Saxonite, Iron Oxide, Aluminium, sulfuric acid etc. By the time of the Northern Campaign (IRA) c. 1942, IRA Eastern Command, in cooperation with IRA Western Command could raise 12 tons of weapons and explosives at short notice. This was excluding the tons of weapons and explosives seized during the S-Plan campaign.

When the IRA split in the early 1970s into the Official IRA and Provisional IRA they divided the arms held in IRA weapons dumps. The Provisional IRA got the majority of these weapons. For details on the types of arms recently decommissioned by the IRA as part of their permanent cesation of violence see the article on the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning and a breakdown of the PIRA’s weapons before decommissioning took place in September 2005.

Propaganda techniques in the Green Book

The 1977 edition stresses that the volunteer is ultimately responsible within the framework of the movement for ensuring the formulation, dissemination and efficiency of propaganda. This process was to begin within the mind of the volunteer himself:

“A new recruit’s immediate obstacle is the removal of his (her) ignorance about how to handle weapons, military tactics, security, interrogations etc. An O.C.’s [Commanding Officer] might be how to put a unit on a military footing; an I.O.’s [Intelligence Officer] how to create an effective intelligence network; a Cumann na mBan Chairman’s how best to mount a campaign on a given issue, e.g. H Blocks etc., and for all members of the movement regardless of which branch we belong to, to enhance our commitment to and participation in the struggle through gaining as comprehensive an understanding as possible of our present society and the proposed Republican alternative through self and group education.”

The stated war objectives of the IRA within the 1977 document included the success of national and international propaganda as a war objective:

“We exploit these mistakes [mistakes by the British Army] by propagating the facts. So it was with their murderous mistakes of the Falls Road curfew, Bloody Sunday and internment, which were exploited to our advantage support- wise as was the murder of John Boyle in Dunloy.”

The 1956 edition is a lot more practical, suggesting a more limited, less well oiled organisational machine of the IRA then than today:

“The main channels of information available to the guerrillas are newspapers, leaflets, radio, word of mouth. Other methods may be worked out and new ones invented. For example: Painting of slogans, proclamations and manifestoes and so on. All the means of winning the confidence of the people must be utilised. The ideas of the movement must be so popularised that no one is in doubt-least of all the enemy-that it will win eventually.”

“This information service must function continuously to get maximum results. Among the things it must do are:

  • Show weakness of enemy position and propaganda used to bolster that position.
  • Show what is wrong with political and social order.
  • Suggest remedies and how they can be brought about.
  • Be in touch all the times with thinking of the people.”

“The world must know and understand what is being done, what the enemy is trying to destroy and why, and the way these things can be ended and peace restored and freedom won. The use of regular bulletins for foreign newspapers and news-agencies becomes a necessity. The bulletin should be of the documentary type: no room for emotional pleas or the like. Just the facts.”

While IRA volunteers also engaged in the above efforts, the techniques are not described in the 1977 Green Book.

Interrogation techniques

The 1956 edition contains no details on how to react to internment, capture, interrogation, or interrogation techniques. This was no doubt an oversight on the part of the IRA, one which they came to regret with the successful interrogation of IRA volunteers captured by their enemies.

By 1977, with the launching of the IRA’s campaign in Northern Ireland in 1969, the technical capabilities & anti-insurgency apparatus of the RUC, as well as the Regular and Specialist forces of the British Army had advanced. Coupled with this were technical advances in the intelligence gathering and interrogation techniques of those forces. The combination of these factors alongside political determination to capture and kill IRA forces and subdue the nationalist population of Northern Ireland led to changes in the Green Book.

Much more stress was placed on resisting interrogation in what has been called The Green Book II.[7] If captured, the PIRA volunteer is warned to remain mentally implacable:

  1. “The most important thing to bear in mind when arrested is that you are a volunteer of a revolutionary Army, that you have been captured by an enemy force, that your cause is a just one, that you are right and that the enemy is wrong and that as a soldier you have taken the chance expected of a soldier and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in being captured.
  2. You must bear in mind that the treatment meted out to you is designed to break you and so bleed you of all the information you may have with regard to the organisation to which you belong.
  3. They will attempt to intimidate you by sheer numbers and by brutality. Volunteers who may feel disappointed are entering the first dangerous threshold because the police will act upon this disappointment to the detriment of the volunteer and to the furtherment of their own ends. Volunteers must condition themselves that they can be arrested and if and when arrested they should expect the worse and be prepared for it.”

A series of tactics employed by interrogators are listed along with the stages the interrogation process the volunteer should expect to go through: physical torture, subtle psychological torture, and humiliation.

The remainder of the document persists in a similar vein, constantly stressing the dangers of submitting to interrogation techniques. This highlights the increasing threat the PIRA realised interrogations were having against the organisation. Most likely this was a result of experience gained throughout the 1970s and during the Border Campaign when arrest and imprisonment of IRA/PIRA volunteers seriously impacted the operational effectiveness of the respective organizations.

See also

The Green Book (Muammar Gaddafi)

 

 

and………………….

ira green book image

Lychee Dog Meat Festival – STOP It NOW!

Belfast Child

The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival

stop this torture.jpg

The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, commonly referred to as Yulin Dog Meat Festival, is an annual celebration held in Yulin, Guangxi, China, during the summer solstice in which festival goers eat dog meat and lychees. The festival spans about ten days during which it is estimated that 10,000–15,000 dogs are consumed. The festival has been criticised by animal welfare supporters.

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Lychee and Dog Meat Festival

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Lychee and Dog Meat Festival
玉林荔枝狗肉节
Dog meat hotpot.JPG
A dog meat dish from Guilin, Guangxi, with the tail used as decoration.
Status Active
Genre Festival
Begins 21 June
Ends 30 June
Frequency Annually
Location(s) Yulin, Guangxi
Coordinates 22°38′N110°09′E / 22.633°N 110.150°E / 22.633; 110.150Coordinates: 22°38′N110°09′E / 22.633°N 110.150°E / 22.633; 110.150
Country China
Inaugurated 21 June 2009 (2009-06-21)[1]
Most recent 21 June 2015 (2015-06-21)
Previous event 2015
Next event 2016

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The Curious Case of Otto Warmbier

The Curious Case of Otto Warmbier

 

otto frederick warmbier.png

 

Otto Warmbier: Trump condemns ‘brutal’ N Korea as student dies

US President Donald Trump has called North Korea a “brutal regime” after the death of a US student who had been jailed there for more than 15 months.

North Korea returned Otto Warmbier, 22, to the US last week, saying he had been in a coma for a year and that it was acting on humanitarian grounds.

His parents said he had been subjected to “awful torturous mistreatment”.

Mr Warmbier, who was jailed for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel, did not regain consciousness.

Mr Trump said that a “lot of bad things happened” to Mr Warmbier, but added: “At least we got him home to be with his parents, where they were so happy to see him, even though he was in very tough condition.”

President Trump said Mr Warmbier’s death had deepened his administration’s resolve “to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency”.

“The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in told CBS News on Tuesday it was “quite clear” that North Korea had “a heavy responsibility in the process that led to Mr Warmbier’s death”.

Otto Warmbier at his trial, March 2016

See BBC News for full storyBBC News for full story

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History & Background

Image result for Otto Frederick Warmbier young

Otto Frederick Warmbier (WARM-beer; December 12, 1994 – June 19, 2017) was an American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea from January 2016 to June 2017 after being convicted of “hostile acts” against the country. Warmbier, then 21 years old, confessed to stealing a political propaganda poster and was sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor.

The United States made diplomatic efforts to seek Warmbier’s release. A U.S. State Department spokesman said Warmbier’s harsh sentence was a response to U.S. sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear activities. According to his father, Warmbier’s confession was forced, and he was abducted by the North Korean government for political purposes.

Warmbier fell into a coma in North Korea and was released in June 2017, after nearly 18 months there. According to North Korean authorities, Warmbier’s coma was a result of botulism and a sleeping pill, but U.S. physicians cast doubt on that claim. Warmbier arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 13 and was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for immediate evaluation and treatment. He was diagnosed with

“severe neurological injury.”

His father believes that he was “terrorized and brutalized”.

Warmbier died on June 19, 2017, six days after his return to the United States.

 

 

Otto Warmbier
OttoWarmbier.jpg
Born Otto Frederick Warmbier
December 12, 1994
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Died June 19, 2017 (aged 22)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Wyoming High School (2013)
Alma mater University of Virginia
Known for Arrest and detainment in
North Korea
Parents
  • Fred Warmbier (father)
  • Cindy Warmbier[1] (mother)

Early life

Otto Warmbier was born on December 12, 1994, to Fred and Cindy (née Garber) Warmbier and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a family of American-Jewish descent and was one of three children in the family.

His father, Fred Warmbier, owns his own business, a metal-finishing company, that was featured in Forbes for its rapid growth in 2015. In 2014, he contributed to the The New York Times blog titled You’re the Boss about running a small business. Otto worked as an intern at the company from 2010 to 2013.

Otto Warmbier graduated from Wyoming High School in 2013 as the class salutatorian. At the time of his trip to North Korea, he was a junior at the University of Virginia, where he was studying for a double major degree in commerce and economics and did an exchange at the London School of Economics.

Otto was a brother of the Theta Chi fraternity. He was active in the Hillel Jewish campus organization at the University of Virginia, and had visited Israel in a Birthright Israel heritage trip for young Jewish adults. He had two younger siblings.

Trip to North Korea

 

The Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, where the alleged theft took place

Fred Warmbier stated that his son Otto was traveling in China at the end of 2015 when he saw a company offering trips to North Korea. He decided to go because he was adventurous, according to his father, who accused the tour operator of specifically targeting young Westerners with slogans like,

“This is the trip your parents don’t want you to take!”

Fred Warmbier said the China-based tour operator, Young Pioneer Tours, advertised the trip as safe for U.S. citizens. Danny Gratton, an adventurous British sales manager, met Warmbier in Beijing as the two boarded the tour flight to Pyongyang. The two struck up a friendship and were roommates on the trip. They stuck together from the time they got to Pyongyang until Warmbier was arrested.

Warmbier traveled to North Korea for a five-day New Year’s tour of the country organized by Young Pioneer Tours. Ten other U.S. citizens were in his tour group.

During his stay at the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, Warmbier allegedly stole a propaganda sign from a staff-only floor of the hotel. The poster said,

“Let’s arm ourselves strongly with Kim Jong-il‘s patriotism!”.

Harming such items with the name or image of a North Korean leader is considered a serious crime by the government.

A video purporting to show the theft was released by state-run Korean Central News Agency on March 18, 2016. In the 18-second low-resolution video, an unrecognizable figure removes the sign from the wall and places it on the floor, leaning it against the wall. This action is shown twice, followed by a higher-resolution picture of the sign on the wall. The face of the person removing the poster is not seen during the video clip.

Arrest and conviction

On January 2, 2016, Warmbier was arrested for theft just prior to departing North Korea from Pyongyang International Airport. Gratton witnessed the arrest.

“No words were spoken. Two guards just came over and simply tapped Otto on the shoulder and led him away. I just said kind of quite nervously, ‘Well, that’s the last we’ll see of you.’ There’s a great irony in those words. That was it. That was the last physical time I saw Otto, ever. Otto didn’t resist. He didn’t look scared. He sort of half-smiled.”

The others in his tour group left the country without incident. His crime was described as “a hostile act against the state” by the North Korean news agency KCNA.

Warmbier was tried and convicted for the theft of the propaganda banner from a restricted area of the hotel. His trial included his confession, CCTV footage, fingerprint evidence, and witness testimony.

In a press conference on February 29, 2016, Warmbier repeated his confession that he had stolen the banner to take back to the United States. He said he stole it for the mother of a friend who wanted it as a souvenir to be hung on the wall of a church in his hometown of Wyoming, Ohio. He said that she offered him a used car worth $10,000 as payment, and that if he was detained and didn’t return, $200,000 would be paid to his mother in the form of a charitable donation. Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was

“suffering from very severe financial difficulties”.

He also said he was encouraged in committing his act by his desire to join the Z Society, a “semi-secret ring society” and philanthropic organization at the University of Virginia.

Warmbier read the following statement at his trial:

I never should have allowed myself to be lured by the United States administration to commit a crime in this country. I wish that the United States administration never manipulate people like myself in the future to commit crimes against foreign countries. I entirely beg you, the people and government of the DPR Korea, for your forgiveness. Please! I have made the worst mistake of my life! Please! Think of my family.

On March 16, 2016, two hours after U.S. envoy Bill Richardson met with two North Korean diplomats from the United Nations office to press for Warmbier’s release, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.  Human Rights Watch called the sentencing “outrageous and shocking”, while U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that it was clear that North Korea used arrested American citizens for political purposes despite its claims to the contrary.

Sometime in the month following his trial, Warmbier suffered an unknown medical crisis that caused severe brain damage. His condition was not conveyed to anyone outside North Korea, and Swedish envoys who represent the United States’ interests in North Korea were not able to see Warmbier after March 2016.

In May 2017, Warmbier’s father said he and his wife wanted their son to be part of any negotiations between the United States and North Korea.

Release

On June 12, 2017, Rex Tillerson, the United States Secretary of State, announced that North Korea had released Warmbier. Tillerson also announced that the U.S. State Department secured Warmbier’s release at the direction of President Donald Trump. Tillerson said that the State Department continues discussing three other detained Americans with North Korea.

Warmbier’s parents told The Washington Post that Warmbier was medically evacuated, saying they were told by North Korean officials that Warmbier had contracted botulism sometime after his trial and had fallen into a coma after being given a sleeping pill. They learned he was in a coma only one week before his release. Richardson was in contact with the family and said Warmbier urgently needed medical attention.

After 17 months away, Warmbier was flown from New Chitose Airport to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and then to Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport where he arrived shortly before 10:20 p.m local time on June 13, 2017, and was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where doctors tried to determine what caused his coma and if there were signs of recoverable brain function.

Prior to his arrival, a doctor with the Cincinnati Health Department discussed Warmbier’s case and expressed skepticism over the claim that botulism or a sleeping pill caused the coma. His father reported that he had received a call from President Trump at his home asking about the welfare of his son and the family. He also reported that Tillerson and U.S. special representative Joseph Y. Yun had made the transition possible.

Medical condition and death

On June 15, 2017, physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center stated that Warmbier had suffered extensive brain damage, which is consistent with a cardiopulmonary event rather than a head injury, and there was no sign of physical abuse.

Warmbier’s father held a press conference that day, but declined to answer a reporter’s question as to whether or not the neurological injury was caused by an assault, saying he would let the doctors make that determination. He stated that they did not believe anything the North Koreans had told them.

Neurologist Daniel Kanter, director of the neurocritical care program at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, said on June 15 that Warmbier was in “a state of unresponsive wakefulness”—a condition commonly known as persistent vegetative state. He was able to breathe on his own, and blink his eyes, but otherwise did not respond to his environment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed he had suffered extensive loss of brain tissue throughout his brain.

Kanter stated that Warmbier’s brain injury was typical of a cardiac arrest that caused the brain to be denied oxygen. Doctors also said that they did not find any evidence of physical abuse or torture; scans of Warmbier’s neck and head were normal outside of the brain injury.

Doctors said they did not know what caused the cardiac arrest, but that it could have been triggered by a respiratory arrest.

Brandon Foreman, a neurointensive care specialist at the hospital, confirmed that there was no sign of a current or past case of botulism, which can cause paralysis but not a coma.

Medical records from North Korea showed that Warmbier had been in this state since April 2016, one month after his conviction. During his release, the North Koreans provided a disk containing two MRI brain studies, dated April and July 2016 showing damage to the brain.

He seemed well nourished. Fred Warmbier expressed anger at the North Koreans for his son’s condition, saying,

“There is no excuse for any civilized nation to have kept his condition secret, and denied him top-notch medical care for so long.”

Warmbier died in the hospital at 2:20 p.m. on June 19, 2017, at the age of 22. His parents and two siblings survived him. His family issued a statement expressing their sadness, thanking the hospital staff for their actions.

President Trump later issued a statement regarding Warmbier’s death, “There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him

Happy Fathers Day to Me & my Dad in Heaven!

Fathers day and my kids have spoiled me as usual , mostly chocolate & books which are two of my favorite things.

cropped

Having said that Jude seems to have eaten his way through most of my chocolate and me thinks this was his cunning plan all along.

cropped three

Also thinking of my beloved father John Chambers , who died way to young and is missed each and every day.

Dad & Me

Dad and Me

Also thinking of my wonderful father-in-law Royston , who is terminally ill and currently in hospital.

George “Johnny” Johnson the “Dambusters Legend ” – Made an MBE

 George “Johnny” Johnson

Last British Dambuster George ‘Johnny’ Johnson appointed MBE

George "Johnny" Johnson

The last surviving British member of the Dambusters raid has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

George “Johnny” Johnson was 22 when he took part in the 1943 air raid using experimental bouncing bombs in Germany.

The 96-year-old, who has been the subject of a number of campaigns to get him knighted, said the MBE was “as much honour” as he could “really expect”.

He added he was “pleased” and “very grateful to all those who signed the petitions and made this possible”.

Bomb-aimer Mr Johnson, who now lives in Bristol, is the last British survivor of the 133-strong squadron which dodged anti-aircraft fire to drop the four-tonne skipping bomb on dams in the Ruhr Valley.

Codenamed Operation Chastise, eight of the 19 planes were lost, 53 men died and three were captured.

George "Johnny" Johnson

See BBC News for Full Story

Squadron Leader George Leonard “Johnny” Johnson, DFM MBE (born 25 November 1921) is a retired Royal Air Force officer and the last British survivor of the original members of No. 617 Squadron RAF and of Operation Chastise, the “Dambusters” raid of 1943.

George Leonard Johnson
The crew of Lancaster AJ-T sitting on the grass, posed under stormy clouds.jpg

Johnson (far left) together with Joe McCarthy and the crew of Lancaster AJ-T pictured at RAF Scampton, 22 July 1943
Nickname(s) “Johnny”
Born 25 November 1921 (age 95)
Hameringham, Lincolnshire
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service 1940–1962
Rank Squadron Leader
Unit No. 97 Squadron RAF
No. 617 Squadron RAF
No. 100 Squadron RAF
No. 120 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars Second World War

Awards Distinguished Flying Medal

Member of the British Empire

Early life and education

 

George Johnson (known within the family as Leonard) was the sixth and last child born to Charles and Ellen Johnson. He was born in the village of Hameringham in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. His mother died when he was three, leaving his father, a farm foreman, to bring up the family in somewhat poor conditions. The family lived in a tied cottage, his oldest sister Lena largely being responsible for his early upbringing.

Johnson attended school in the village of Winthorpe until the age of 11. Through a bursary scheme set up for the children of agricultural workers, he was sent as a boarder to the Lord Wandsworth Agricultural College in Long Sutton, Hampshire. He was active in sport, playing football, cricket and participating in athletics, winning several events. He passed his School Certificate, leaving school in December 1939.

Royal Air Force

Image result for Johnson married Gwyn Morgan

Volunteering to join the Royal Air Force in 1940 as a navigator, he was instead selected for pilot training. However due to the difficulties in processing the vast numbers of recruits at the time he was posted to various establishments around England and it was not until June 1941 that he was finally sent to Florida to begin his pilot training. As is common practice within the British armed forces Johnson’s surname led to him being nicknamed “Johnny”.

Johnson did not make the required grade during his pilot training and as a consequence he opted to become an air gunner. In July 1942, Johnson was posted to No. 97 Squadron RAF at RAF Woodhall Spa where he was initially designated as a spare (reserve) gunner. This however gave him the opportunity to fly with numerous crews in the squadron, his first operational sortie being a raid on Gdynia in Poland on 27 August 1942, forming part of the crew under the command of Squadron Leader Elmer Cotton. En-route to the target the aircraft suffered an engine failure forcing the pilot to abort the mission and return to Woodhall Spa. The following night the crew were part of a successful raid on Nuremberg.

Johnson continued on squadron operations as an air gunner until the opportunity came along for him to train as a specialist bomb aimer. Undergoing a course at RAF Fulbeck in November 1942, he returned to No. 97 Squadron filling the vacancy for a bomb aimer with the crew of Joe McCarthy. Initially Johnson showed reticence in operating with an American skipper, however having met with McCarthy he changed his mind.

Johnson’s first sortie as part of McCarthy’s crew was as part of a raid on Munich on 21 December 1942, conducted in bad weather. Attacked by night fighters on their way to and returning from the target, the Avro Lancaster lost all power on one engine and developed problems in another, forcing McCarthy to land at RAF Bottesford. Together with this crew Johnson conducted a further 18 missions with No. 97 Squadron, bringing him to the end of a full operational tour, followed by a leave, after which he spent six months working in a non-combat training role.

Operation Chastise

Selected to be part of the specialist No. 617 Squadron RAF, Johnson arrived at RAF Scampton on 27 March 1943. It was at this time that he was due to marry, however due to the requirements of the training for the upcoming raid all leave had been cancelled. Johnson appealed to his new Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who eventually relented giving Johnson four days leave.

McCarthy’s crew in Lancaster AJ-T (T-Tommy) were detailed to attack the Sorpe Dam, the structure of which differed considerably from the other main targets insofar as it being an earthen dam as opposed to the gravity construction of the Möhne and Eder dams, thus necessitating a completely different type of attack. Like the rest of No. 617 Squadron, Johnson had practised dropping his bomb as the aircraft flew straight towards the target at low level. However on the afternoon prior to the raid when the five crews detailed to attack the Sorpe Dam received their briefing, they were told that they had to fly along the dam wall and drop their mine at its centre. It would roll down the wall and explode when it reached the correct depth. The specialist bomb sight developed for the raid would also be of no use.

Due to various losses and technical issues en-route to the target, AJ-T was the first Lancaster to reach the Sorpe, and McCarthy soon realised how difficult the attack would be. Although there were no flak batteries, the attack would require the aircraft to be flown low across the nearby town of Langscheid, with its prominent church steeple, followed by the aircraft having to drop even lower so the bomb could be released. It was not until the tenth attempt that the crew were satisfied, with Johnson finally releasing the bomb.

For his part in the raid Johnson received the Distinguished Flying Medal. Along with other members of the squadron he received his medal in an investiture at Buckingham Palace.

Subsequent operations

Following the Dams Raid, Johnson was commissioned in November 1943. As an integral part of McCarthy’s crew Johnson participated in a further 19 missions during his time with No. 617 Squadron until April 1944. By this time his wife was pregnant resulting in McCarthy insisting Johnson stand down. Reluctantly this request was accepted, Johnson was “screened” (classed as “tour expired” or, in effect, due for a rest from operational flying). He was subsequently posted to a Heavy Conversion Unit back at RAF Scampton where he became a bombing instructor until the end of hostilities.

At the end of the war Johnson qualified as a navigator so he could receive a permanent commission. He joined No. 100 Squadron RAF operating the Avro Lincoln before transferring to RAF Coastal Command where he served with No. 120 Squadron RAF operating the Avro Shackleton. This was followed by a tour in the Far East before he returned to the UK.

Johnson was promoted to flight lieutenant on 7 September 1948. He continued in the RAF until 1962, retiring with the rank of squadron leader.

Post RAF

Following his career in the RAF Johnson became a teacher. He initially taught in primary schools subsequently becoming involved in adult education before he undertook a period in teaching psychiatric patients at Rampton Hospital.

On his retirement Johnson and his wife moved to Torquay where they both became active in local politics. A member of the Conservative Party, Johnson became a local councillor and went on to become the Chairman of the Constituency Party

Personal life

 

Johnson married Gwyn Morgan in April 1943, having met her during a posting to Torquay in 1941. Together they had three children, the marriage lasting until Gwyn’s death in August 2005.

For a short time following his wife’s death he decided to withdraw from public life. However, alongside Les Munro, he was at the forefront of the 70th anniversary commemorations of the Dams Raids in May 2013. He now lives in Westbury on Trym, Bristol, and continues to give interviews on the various aspects of his active service and particularly concerning Operation Chastise. In 2015 he was awarded the Lord Mayor of Bristol‘s Medal.

Johnson’s autobiography, George “Johnny” Johnson, The Last British Dambuster was published in 2014.

Johnson was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on June 16th 2017.

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Johnny meets mascot for the first time in 70 years

Johnson Bailey 5523 lores

See Dambusters Blog for full story

See Dambusters 

See Triple Aces 

                                                                       —————————
‘I HAD SEVEN SECONDS TO DROP THE BOMB’

Back The Sun’s campaign to honour the last British Dambuster hero George ‘Johnny’ Johnson who risked his life in the 1943 ‘bouncing bomb’ raid aged just 22

Squadron leader George ‘Johnny’ Johnson describes how the Lancaster dived to just 30ft over the dam in WW2 mission

See The Sun for full story

Image result for George Leonard "Johnny" Johnson, with wife

 

 

Quds Day – Anti-Israel Al-Quds Day march coming to London

LONDON MAYOR FACES CALLS TO BAN ‘TERRORIST SUPPORTING’ ANTI-ISRAEL MARCH

 

The views and opinions expressed in this documentary/page are soley intended to educate and provide background information to the subject in question.

They in no way reflect my own opinions and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or factual errors

LONDON MAYOR FACES CALLS TO BAN ‘TERRORIST SUPPORTING’ ANTI-ISRAEL MARCH

Image result for london mayor

An online petition calling to cancel the annual ‘Al Quds Day’ rally in the British capital had garnered nearly 8.5 thousand signatures as of Wednesday.

Thousands of advocates have called on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to cancel an upcoming anti-Israel rally in the British capital due to concerns that the march propagates displays of antisemitism and terrorism.

The controversial event is scheduled to be held in the UK on Sunday as part of the annual ‘Al Quds Day,’ which Iran initiated in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and opposition of Israel’s existence and is held on the last Friday of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

As of Wednesday afternoon, an online petition entitled “BAN The Extremist, Terrorist Supporting Al Quds March In London On June 18th” had garnered nearly 8.5 thousand signatures.

The petition was launched by the group North West Friends of Israel, a grassroots pro-Israel organization in Britain that works to counter antisemitism and the BDS movement.

See: The Jerusalem Post for full story

The Jerusalem Post - Israel News

 

Quds Day (Jerusalem Day

History & Background

Quds Day (Jerusalem Day; Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem), officially called International Quds Day (Persian: روز جهانی قدس‎‎), is an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan that was initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 to express support for the Palestinians and oppose Zionism and Israel‘s existence, as well as Israel’s control of Jerusalem. Nominally, it exists in opposition to the Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) celebration instituted by Israel in May 1968, and which Knesset law changed into a national holiday in 1998.

In Iran, the government sponsors and organizes the day’s rallies, and its celebration in that country has had, down to at least 2012, a decade-long tradition of voicing anti-Semitic attacks.  Quds Day is also held in several other countries, mainly in the Arab and Muslim world, with protests against Israel’s occupation of East JerusalemRallies are held in verious cities by both Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the world.

Quds Day
Al-Quds 2014 Berlin 20140725 173841.jpg

 

Quds Day 2014 in Berlin
Observed by Iran, and other countries and communities
Type Ideological
Significance Demonstrations against the existence of Israel, and its control of Jerusalem; solidarity with the Palestinian people
Begins Last Friday of Ramadan
2016 date July 1
2017 date June 23
Frequency annual
Related to Anti-Zionism
New Antisemitism

History

 

March in Malmö, Sweden; Al-Quds Day 2008

Quds Day demonstration in Berlin, 2011

An annual anti-Zionist day of protest was first suggested by Ebrahim Yazdi, the first foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and a liberal, to the leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ruhollah Khomeini. The context was one of deepening tensions between Israel and Lebanon at the time. Khomeini took over unacknowledged Yazdi’s idea, and on August 7, 1979, he declared the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan each year as Quds Day, in which Muslims worldwide would unite in solidarity against Israel and in support of the Palestinians.

Khomeini declared the “liberation” of Jerusalem a religious duty to all Muslims.That day, he stated:

I invite Muslims all over the globe to consecrate the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as Al-Quds Day and to proclaim the international solidarity of Muslims in support of the legitimate rights of the Muslim people of Palestine. For many years, I have been notifying the Muslims of the danger posed by the usurper Israel which today has intensified its savage attacks against the Palestinian brothers and sisters, and which, in the south of Lebanon in particular, is continually bombing Palestinian homes in the hope of crushing the Palestinian struggle.

I ask all the Muslims of the world and the Muslim governments to join together to sever the hand of this usurper and its supporters. I call on all the Muslims of the world to select as Al-Quds Day the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan—which is itself a determining period and can also be the determiner of the Palestinian people’s fate—and through a ceremony demonstrating the solidarity of Muslims world-wide, announce their support for the legitimate rights of the Muslim people. I ask God Almighty for the victory of the Muslims over the infidels.

Iran celebrates the event characteristically by putting on public display poster images of the city of Jerusalem, thematic speeches, art exhibitions reflecting the issue, and folkloric events. In Lebanon, the Hezbollah organization marks the occasion by a substantive military parade organized for the last week of Ramadan. Since 1989, the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan observes the event by hosting academic conferences, whose venue from university to university varies each year. Arab societies generally pay the occasion lip service in order to make a show of solidarity with the cause of Palestinian aspirations for nationhood.

Quds Day has actually become a day for protestors in Iran and in other societies:

“to attack the legitimacy of the state of Israel and threaten the United States”.

The day is also marked throughout Muslim and Arab countries. During the First Intifada in January 1988, the Jerusalem Committee of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference decided that Quds Day should be commemorated in public events throughout the Arab world.[13] In countries with significant Shi’a populations, particularly Lebanon, where Hezbollah organizes Quds Day observances, there is significant attendance at the day’s events. Events are also held in Iraq, the Palestinian Gaza Strip, and Syria. Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine endorse Quds Day, and hold ceremonies. Outside of the Middle East and the wider Arab World, Quds Day protests have taken place in the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Sweden, France, the United States, as well as some predominantly Muslim countries in east Asia.

According to the BBC, while the idea behind Quds Day originally was to gather all Muslims in opposition to the existence of Israel, the event has not developed beyond an Iranian experience. Apart from rallies, usually funded and organized by Iran itself, in various capital cities, the ritual never took root among Muslims at large.

Quds Day events

 

Shamshad Haider from the Muslim Congress speaking during the 2015 Quds rally, Chicago.

In Iran, the day’s parades are sponsored and organized by the government. Events include mass marches and rallies. Senior Iranian leaders give fiery speeches condemning Israel, as well as the U.S. government. The crowds respond with chants of:

“Death to Israel”, and “Death to America“.

According to Roger Howard, many Iranians under the age of 30 continue to participate in Quds Day events, though proportionately less than those on the streets. He adds that many Iranian students on campus say in private that the Arab–Israeli conflict has “nothing to do with us.”

1980s

On Quds Day 1985, amid the “war of the cities” of the Iran–Iraq War, Iraqi bombers and long-range missiles struck 14 cities, reportedly killing at least 78 people and wounding 326. According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, the sound of the exploding bombs and missiles in Tehran was drowned out by the crowds chanting:

“War, war until victory 3/8.”

On Quds Day 1987, held shortly after the outbreak of the First Intifada, effigies of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Israeli leaders were burned in Iran “as a sign of Moslem nations’ revolutionary wrath against Zionism, imperialism and apartheid.” In Tehran, President Ali Khamenei said the Palestinians:

“should resist and fight Zionism. This is the message of the whole Iranian people who chant the ‘Death to Israel’ slogan.”

On Quds Day 1989, Iranian parliament speaker Hashemi Rafsanjani said that Palestinians should kill Americans and other Westerners in retaliation for attacks by the Israeli military in the occupied territories:

“If in retaliation for every Palestinian martyred in Palestine they will kill and execute, not inside Palestine, five Americans or Britons or Frenchmen, they (Israelis) could not continue these wrongs. It is not hard to kill Americans or Frenchman. It is a bit difficult to kill (Israelis). But there are so many (Americans and Frenchman) everywhere in the world.”

1990s

Fearing an Israeli military strike, Hezbollah cancelled its annual Quds Day rallies in 1992 for the first time in the group’s history. 10 days earlier, a suicide bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina destroyed the Israeli embassy there and killed 29 people injured 242 others. Hezbollah was implicated in the attack.

In 1994, Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani told demonstrators,

“Can Israel really remain? In my opinion it cannot. That artificial entity cannot survive.”

In 1998, former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani stated that Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians exceeded those of Adolf Hitler against the Jews. He added,

“The Zionist regime is a fake government and homeland which is shaped with millions of homeless Palestinians and hundreds of thousands of Muslim martyrs… I’m sure that in the future we will have Islamic Palestine. I’m sure nothing will remain as the territory of Israel.”

In 1999, a reported three million people attended Quds Day rallies in Iran. In Tehran, a resolution was read aloud calling for struggle :

“until the aggressor Zionist regime is annihilated.”

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri told worshipers at Friday prayers, “There is no country named Israel. There is Palestine, and the thieves who have occupied the houses of Palestinians should be removed from those houses.” In Beirut, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah told thousands of supporters, “On Al-Quds Day, I reaffirm to you that Israel will be eliminated one day, God willing.” At the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Syria, protesters carried a banner that read:

“America is the enemy of God.”

2000–2008

Over one million people, with over 100,000 in each of Iran’s eight largest cities, marched in the 2005 Quds Day protests in Tehran and other cities across Iran. Protests were staged throughout the Middle East and the wider Arab World, with over 30,000 Bahrainis marching in Manama, and 6,000 Hezbollah volunteers marching in Beirut.

In 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened any country that supports Israel, and said the U.S. and its allies had “imposed a group of terrorists” on the region with their support of the Jewish state. He added that Israel no longer had any reason to exist and would soon disappear:

“This regime, thanks to God, has lost the reason for its existence. Efforts to stabilize this fake (Israeli) regime, by the grace of God, have completely failed… You should believe that this regime is disappearing.”

That year, Hezbollah did not organize a mass rally for Quds Day, stating it was unnecessary because it had recently held a demonstration on September 22 to celebrate what it declared to be its

“victory” over Israel in that summer’s conflict. In the place of a mass event, the day was commemorated with an “invitation-only event in a concert hall [which] featured an orchestra, a choir and several anti-Israel speeches.”

The 2007 Quds Day protest saw millions of Iranians march in support of the Palestinians. During the rallies in Tehran, President Ahmadinejad said that the “creation, continued existence and unlimited (Western) support for this [Zionist] regime is an insult to human dignity.”

The protests also featured signs denouncing the U.S government for its support of Israel.Over 3,000 people marched in Damascus carrying Palestinian flags. Hezbollah organized marches in the city’s Yarmouk refugee camp.

2009 Quds Day

Supporters of Iranian opposition groups used the 2009 Quds Day to stage protests against President Ahmadinejad and the Iranian government in response to the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential election. Estimates put the opposition protest in the tens of thousands, with participants shouting slogans in support of former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the candidate who received the most votes in the presidential elections.

Rejecting the government’s support of Palestinian militancy, opposition protesters chanted,

“No to Gaza and Lebanon, I will give my life for Iran.”

There were reports of similar protests in Isfahan, Tabriz, Yazd and Shiraz.

Iranian state TV played down the unrest, and state-funded Press TV reported that millions of Iranians marched for the Palestinian cause in Iran and different countries throughout the Middle East and the world.

Independent sources estimated

“tens of thousands” to over 100,000 in Tehran, many of them bused in by the regime. At least ten anti-government protesters were arrested during the demonstrations. An angry crowd of Ahmadinejad supporters attacked Mousavi’s car while shouting “Death to the hypocrite Mousavi.”

In other cities Basiji militiamen attacked protesters.

As he has done on previous such occasions, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked intense criticism and condemnation from Western governments in particular. He stated,

“The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false … It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim.”

His statements drew immediate condemnation from the governments of the United States, Russia, and the European Union.

In Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, used the occasion to call for popular resistance to replace the regimes in the Middle East with regimes that are ‘convinced of war in order to send their armies to war.’

2010 Quds Day

 

Demonstration against Al Quds Day 2010 in Berlin.

At the 2010 Quds Day rally in Tehran, Iranian President Ahmadinejad again predicted the demise of Israel, stating, “If the leaders of the region do not have the guts, then the people of the region are capable of removing the Zionist regime from the world scene.” He dismissed any Israeli military threat to Iran’s nuclear program, declaring,

“The Zionist regime is nothing and even its (Western) masters are too small to conduct any kind of aggression against Iran and the rights of the Iranian people.”

Ahmadinejad also proclaimed new peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians as “stillborn and doomed.

” The tens of thousands of Iranians participating in the rallies continued the regular chants of “Death to America! Death to Israel!”

The day before the rallies, Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted, “Israel Is A Hideous Entity In the Middle East Which Will Undoubtedly Be Annihilated.”

 

Israeli flags being burnt at the 2011 Quds Day demonstration in Nishapur, northeastern Iran.

In Lebanon, the day after the resumption of direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary-general, declared that:

Our nation cannot ignore and forget this cause (al-Quds) because it is part of our religion, our religious commitment, our culture, our civilization, our morals and values and our past history . . No one has the right to give up one span of its land, one grain of its sacred sand, one drop of its water, or one letter of its name. Al Quds Day is the day for announcing this ideological, legal, historic true constant position. On this day we make the announcement that neither al-Quds nor even one of its streets nor even a neighbourhood of its neighbourhoods – and not only all of al-Quds -may be an eternal capital for the so called state of Israel. Al Quds is the capital of Palestine, and as we have said in the past, it is the capital of earth and the capital of heaven one way or another.

In Quetta, Pakistan, a suicide bomber attacked Pakistani Shias holding a Quds Day rally . The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least 65 people and wounded 160.

2012 Quds Day

 

Protesters against the 2011 Quds Day demonstrations in Berlin.

On 17 August 2012, millions of Iranians commemorated al-Quds Day, where they waved Palestinian flags, chanted “Death to Israel and America,” and burned Israeli and American flags. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called to destroy Israel, which he termed an “insult to all humanity” and called to remove the “Zionist black stain.” Ahmadinejad said that “the Zionist regime is a tool to dominate the Middle East,” as well as that world powers are “thirsty for Iranian blood.” Ahmadinejad stated that “The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour.

Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of (Palestinian) land, in the future this story (of Israel’s existence) will repeat.” He further stated that:

“The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land. … A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionist.”

In Lebanon, Hezbollah Leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah stated in a televised speech that, in the eventuality of a future Israeli attack on Lebanon, only a few rockets fired by the group’s militia could cause massive casualties, given its well-planned target list, explaining that:

Hundreds of people turned out in Gaza to protest the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem. A spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said:

“We are committed to the right of return and to liberation of prisoners and resistance against the occupation as long as it is on our land”.

In Bahrain, dozens took part in the protests, which were dispersed by security forces’ tear gas.

2013 Quds Day

On 2 August 2013, Quds rallies were held in “the United Kingdom, Australia, Iran, the United States, and across the Muslim world”. While Iranians were commemorating al-Quds Day, Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported that newly elected President Hassan Rouhani said:

“the Zionist regime is a wound that has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be removed,”

although ISNA later retracted the statement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by saying “Rouhani’s true face has been exposed earlier than expected,” and warned that despite the election of the so-called moderate, “the objective of the regime – to acquire nuclear weapons to threaten Israel, the Middle East and peace and security throughout the world – has not changed.”

Outgoing Iranian President Ahmadinejad addressed Al-Quds day crowds, warning of an impending regional storm that would uproot Israel. He also said that Israel “has no place in the region.”

Canada

In Toronto, Canada, a crowd of approximately 400 held an Al-Quds Day rally. One of the speakers, Elias Hazineh, a Christian, reportedly elicited cheers from the crowd when he declared an ultimatum to Israelis:

“You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine. When somebody tries to rob a bank the police get in, they don’t negotiate and we have been negotiating with them for 65 years. We say get out or you are dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand.”

Hazineh then concluded his speech by quoting from the Koran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and steeds of war – that’s the only thing that they’ll understand!” A video of the event, including Hazineh’s speech, was later posted online. Those remarks drew swift condemnation.

2014 Quds Day

On 25 July 2014, Iran’s Press TV claimed that millions of people from around the world rallied in a show of support for Palestinians.This year’s rallies were held with a higher turnout as Israel and Hamas began renewed armed conflict on July 8 in Gaza.

Britain

Thousands of British demonstrators joined the rally on international Quds day demanding justice for “killers of Gaza children” in central London. The march ended with a rally outside the US embassy.

Germany

 

File:AlQudsDayProtestBerlin2014.webm

Quds Day 2014 in Berlin

More than a thousand people gathered at Adenauerplatz in Berlin for a demonstration against “zionists” calling for a free Palestine while thousands of police were on alert to avoid possible conflicts between protesters and pro-Israeli groups on Quds Day. Approximately 700 pro-Israel marchers also held a rally according to the German police.

Jurgen Grassmann, the chief organizer of Berlin’s Al-Quds Day March asked the demonstrators not to shout “Allahu Akbar”. He reminded them the fact that they had gathered against Zionism and not Judaism, advising the protestors to “Keep Allah in your heart, but don’t say so out loud.”

Iran

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians in the capital Tehran and more than 770 other towns and cities throughout the country on international Quds day took part in massive rallies to express their support for the Palestinian resistance against Israel.The event took on added significance this year given the ongoing Israel and Hamas conflict in Gaza.

South Africa

Almost 5,000 pro-Palestinian rallied in the streets of Cape Town, to express their support for the people of Palestine. The rally commenced from Keizergracht Street in District Six towards the Parliament. The protestors delivered a memorandum calling the government to take solid measures against the Occupation of Palestine to the Parliament. According to the Voice of the Cape, it called for the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador and also urged the protesters to boycott local stores which stock products manufactured in the occupied territories of Palestine.

Pakistan

Thousand of people in many cities across Pakistan marched in support of Palestine. The Jamat-e-Islami political party organized rallies in several cities. Popular Shia cleric Syed Jawad Naqvi orchestrated a separate rally in the city of Lahore.

Syria

International al-Quds rally took place in Damascus, starting from he entrance of al-Hamidiyeh market towards the Umayyad Mosque. Popular figures and representatives of Palestinian and Syrian forces accompanied the rally. The demonstrators claimed to support the resistance until Palestinian freedom is achieved.

Nigeria

In Nigeria, the 2014 Quds day procession took place in 24 major cities, mostly in the north of the country. The processions were organized by Nigerian Islamic Movement. The processions were all conducted peacefully except in Zaria, the abode of the leader of the movement, Ibrahim Zakzaky; where the Nigerian Army reportedly opened fire on the participants and killed 35 people, including three (3) biological sons of the head of the movement.

2015 Quds day

 

A woman participating 2015 Quds day rally, Chicago.

Austria

According to Samuel Laster, the editor-in-chief of the online news outlet Die Jüdische (The Jewish), 700 people participated an anti-Israeli rally in Vienna, while 150 pro-Israel counterprotesters hold a similar event to support Israel.

Britain

In London, a protest was organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, which accused the BBC of “bias in their reporting of the situation in Palestine” while sharply criticizing the United States for its “heinous support of Israel.”

Germany

Almost 700 people participated the 2015 Quds Day rally in Berlin, Germany. The participants chanted “Child murderer Israel” and other anti-semitic slogans, according to German media outlets. A counter-rally comprising 250 participants was also held. Several members of Neturei Karta, a Jewish religious group opposing Zionism and calling for a dismantling of the State of Israel, took part in the rally.

Iran

Millions of people hold rallies in 770 cities across Iran chanting “Down with America” and “Death to Israel” on Al-Quds Day.

US

Almost 250 people participated in a Quds Day rally held in Chicago. Besides focusing on the “continuing siege of Gaza”, the speakers “called for the U.S. to end military aid to Israel.” Almost 150 people formed a rally at the CNN center in Atlanta to support the Palestinian people and call for the US government to stop supporting the state of Israel.

2016 Quds day

Britain

Demonstrations in London were organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) on Sunday, 3 July 2016. The terminus of the demonstration route is the U.S. Embassy at Grosvenor Square. Counter-demonstrations were organized by Suffolk Friends of Israel (SFI).

Iran

Demonstrations took place across Iran on 1 July 2016. According to the Washington Post, “tens of thousands” of people marched in the capital, Tehran. Some protesters trampled on Israeli flags, and some chanted “death to Israel” and “down with the USA.”

At a sermon in Tehran on Al-Quds day, IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami claimed that over 100,000 missiles in Lebanon, as well as thousands more throughout the Islamic world, were ready :

“strike at the heart of the Zionist regime. They will prepare the ground for its great collapse in the new era. … They are just waiting for the command, so that when the trigger is pulled, the accursed black dot will be wiped off the geopolitical map of the world, once and for all.”

North America

Al-Quds Day demonstrations were scheduled for several cities in the United States and Canada. In Toronto, the demonstration route began at Queen’s Park, the provincial legislature, and proceeded to the U.S. Consulate. In Toronto, Calgary, New York City, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles, the Jewish Defence League organized counter-demonstrations.

Fallen Hero’s – L/Cpl James Ashworth

Lest We Forget

Cpl James Ashworth 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards killed in Action Afghanistan 13 June 2012

L/Cpl James Ashworth

1st Battalion Grenadier Guards

Killed in Action Afghanistan 13th June 12

James Thomas Duane Ashworth, VC (26 May 1989 – 13 June 2012) was a British soldier and posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was killed in Afghanistan on 13 June 2012 as he led his fire team in an attack on an enemy-held compound. The award was gazetted on 22 March 2013, having been confirmed by the British Army earlier in the week.  Ashworth is the 14th recipient of the award since the end of the Second World War.

James Thomas Duane Ashworth
Born 26 May 1989
Died 13 June 2012 (aged 23)
Nahr-e Saraj District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Buried at Corby, Northamptonshire
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 2006–12 
Rank Lance Corporal
Unit Grenadier Guards
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan

Awards Victoria Cross

Early life

Ashworth lived and grew up in Corby, Northamptonshire, where he attended Lodge Park Technology College. A keen sportsman, he represented his school at both football and basketball.

In 2006, aged 17, Ashworth joined the British Army following his father who had previously served in the Grenadier Guards.[3]Ashworth trained at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick before being posted to Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards, which is focused on public duties and state ceremonial events in London.

He was identified as being capable of becoming a paratrooper and was assigned to the Guards’ Parachute Platoon, which is part of 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment. In his three years in the platoon, he took part in Operation Herrick 8 and was deployed to exercises overseas on three occasions. He was deployed to Canada before joining the Reconnaissance Platoon for Operation Herrick 16.

Death

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Victoria Cross

Despite the ferocity of the insurgent’s resistance, Ashworth refused to be beaten. His total disregard for his own safety in ensuring that the last grenade was posted accurately was the gallant last action of a soldier who had willingly placed himself in the line of fire on numerous occasions earlier in the attack. This supremely courageous and inspiring action deserves the highest recognition.

 

Victoria Cross citation for James Ashworth VC

On 13 June 2012, Ashworth was serving as part of the Reconnaissance Platoon, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. He was on a patrol in the Nahri Saraj District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was leading a fire-team, clearing out compounds, when his team came under fire from Taliban armed with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades from several mud huts. Ashworth charged the huts, providing cover for his team who followed in single file behind him.

After his fire-team took out most of the insurgents, Ashworth pursued the final remaining member. He crawled forward under cover of a low wall while his team provided covering fire and acted as a diversion. When he got within 5 metres (16 ft) of the enemy, he was killed as he attempted to throw a grenade.

Captain Michael Dobbin, commander of the platoon, who was awarded the Military Cross for repeated courage throughout the operational tour, said about Ashworth,

“His professionalism under pressure and ability to remain calm in what was a chaotic situation is testament to his character. L/Cpl Ashworth was a pleasure to command and I will sorely miss his calming influence on the battlefield. Softly spoken, he stepped up to every task thrown in his direction.”

After his death, his body was taken to Camp Bastion and was then repatriated to the United Kingdom.

On 16 March 2013, British media reported that Ashworth was to be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery and this was confirmed by the Ministry of Defence on 18 March 2013.

His citation was read out at the Grenadier Guard barracks in Aldershot. He was only the second person to be awarded the medal during the Taliban insurgency, after Bryan Budd for his actions in 2006. Ashworth is the 14th person to be awarded the Victoria Cross since the end of the Second World War.

The Victoria Cross was first awarded for actions in the Crimean War of 1854–56, and is the highest British military award for bravery.

Image result for L/Cpl James Ashworth

Lance Corporal James Ashworth (right) with a colleague in Afghanista

Victoria Cross citation

The announcement and accompanying citation for the decoration was published in supplement to the London Gazette on 22 March 2013, reading

St James’s Palace, London SW1

22 March 2013 The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Victoria Cross to the under-mentioned:

ARMY

Lance Corporal James Thomas Duane Ashworth, Grenadier Guards, 25228593 (killed in action).

On the 13th June 2012 the conspicuous gallantry under fire of Lance Corporal Ashworth, a section second-incommand in 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards Reconnaissance Platoon, galvanised his platoon at a pivotal moment and led to the rout of a determined enemy grouping in the Nahr-e-Saraj District of Helmand Province.

The two aircraft inserting the Reconnaissance Platoon on an operation to neutralise a dangerous insurgent sniper team, were hit by enemy fire as they came into land. Unflustered, Ashworth – a young and inexperienced noncommissioned officer – raced 300 metres with his fire-team into the heart of the insurgent dominated village. Whilst two insurgents were killed and two sniper rifles recovered in the initial assault, an Afghan Local Police follow-up attack stalled when a patrolman was shot and killed by a fleeing enemy. Called forward to press-on with the attack, Ashworth insisted on moving to the front of his fire team to lead the pursuit. Approaching the entrance to a compound from which enemy machine gun fire raged, he stepped over the body of the dead patrolman, threw a grenade and surged forward. Breaking into the compound Ashworth quickly drove the insurgent back and into an out-building from where he now launched his tenacious last stand.

The village was now being pressed on a number of fronts by insurgents desperate to relieve their prized sniper team. The platoon needed to detain or kill the final sniper, who had been pinned down by the lead fire team, and extract as quickly as possible. Ashworth realised that the stalemate needed to be broken, and broken quickly. He identified a low wall that ran parallel to the front of the outbuilding from which the insurgent was firing. Although only knee high, he judged that it would provide him with just enough cover to get sufficiently close to the insurgent to accurately post his final grenade. As he started to crawl behind the wall and towards the enemy, a fierce fire fight broke out just above his prostrate body. Undaunted by the extraordinary danger – a significant portion of his route was covered from view but not from fire – Ashworth grimly continued his painstaking advance. After three minutes of slow crawling under exceptionally fierce automatic fire he had edged forward fifteen metres and was now within five metres of the insurgent’s position. Desperate to ensure that he succeeded in accurately landing the grenade, he then deliberately crawled out from cover into the full view of the enemy to get a better angle for the throw. By now enemy rounds were tearing up the ground mere centimetres from his body, and yet he did not shrink back. Then, as he was about to throw the grenade he was hit by enemy fire and died at the scene. Ashworth’s conspicuous gallantry galvanised his platoon to complete the clearance of the compound.

Despite the ferocity of the insurgent’s resistance, Ashworth refused to be beaten. His total disregard for his own safety in ensuring that the last grenade was posted accurately was the gallant last action of a soldier who had willingly placed himself in the line of fire on numerous occasions earlier in the attack. This supremely courageous and inspiring action deserves the highest recognition.

Personal life

Ashworth played football both for his regiment, and for a local team near his home. He was a supporter of Tottenham HotspurHe has two sisters and two brothers, one of whom is also a soldier

 

 

 

 

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Hello – Sinn Fien/IRA?

Sinn Fien/IRA

I’m sick of every man and his  dog slagging off the Unionist Community of Northern Ireland in the wake of the DUP’s sudden rise in profile  and politically clout!

Among the many uninformed and out right ridiculous  claims I keep hearing about the DUP’s relationship with Loyalist Paramilitaries. Especially from some Labour MP’s , which is laughable in itself…

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Hello  what about Sinn Fien/IRA ?

They are lead by a bunch of psychopathic killers , drenched in the blood of the innocent  and by some fickle twist of fate find themselves in positions of power – oh how the Barman Adams has managed to carved out a good life  for himself & a legacy (Bloody) that insures his name will always be associated  with my beautiful home town Belfast.

It  tortures my soul that Adams and his like have literally got away with mass murder and to rub salt into the wounds – they seem to have benefited from their brutal pasts and in my book that’s wrong!!

 

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Many of my family and friends in Belfast voted for the DUP not because they supported them , but because they where tactically voting against Sinn Fien/IRA and although I have  many reservations about some of their policies and hardline views , I am happy to see a Unionist  Party in a position of power , where they can hopefully do some  good for not just the Loyalist community of Northern Ireland , but for all the people of Northern Ireland.