Legitimate Violence.

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To continue from the thread Why do the world hate or love USA? which somehow turned into a soapbox for Irish nationalism:

When is it ok to fight? Most people believe that defense is a legitimate excuse for violence (Ramirez, 1993), but that carries its own problems; namely a self-fulfilling prophecy of escalating violence.

To put the situation in brief, we can see it as such:

Act of aggression → Violent defense → Further aggression (retaliation) → Violent defense

…and so on.

Are the “defenders” vindicated in their defense? At what point does a valid defense become criminal? Is a defense that specifically invites hostility against civilian populations different than one which does not?

References

Ramirez, J. M. (1993). Acceptability of aggression in four Spanish regions and a comparison with other European countries. Aggressive Behavior, 19, 185-197.

 
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Wow, that was pretty quick. I requested a thread like this and I got one. I’m pretty much against using violence to prevent more violence because it usually ends up in a vicious cycle, no matter how good the intentions were.

 
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For the sake of establishing context, do you mean on a person-on-the-street level or international tensions kind of violence? Edit: or both/anything?

 
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::Rolleyes:: Okay, then how do you propose to stop the original Aggressor if not through violence?

which somehow turned into a soapbox for Irish nationalism:

Dissident Irish republicanism, if you please.

 
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Originally posted by Syneil:

For the sake of establishing context, do you mean on a person-on-the-street level or international tensions kind of violence?

You can take it either way, I am looking at it as organizational confrontations for the moment.

Originally posted by Iggyshark:

::Rolleyes:: Okay, then how do you propose to stop the original Aggressor if not through violence?

Social change? “Legitimate” military defense that does not target civilians? I am asking for your ideas and opinions here. I should ask this as well; has violence freed Northern Ireland?

 
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In personal cases, it is rather hard to make a general law for. Let’s say person X attacks person Y. Person Y knocks out person X, but for good measure breaks his bones to stop him from getting back up. Would the latter be appropriate for self-defense? I’d say this is to be treated the same as if person X simply knocked out person Y. It is, however, very hard to make general rules for, since you cannot say up until which point person X would be able to still be a threat for person Y in different circumstances.

In the case of war, I cannot back up any statements with international rules (if you need those) since I have to sleep soon. In my opinion, it would be “self-defense” as a country to defend yourself with all your might against an invading country, but never to turn over and fight them on their own ground. This would be a hard decision to make, though. It also depends which two countries they are, but let’s assume they are not part of any pact. That way, both would feel to keep on attacking each other, since obviously their nations are now both at risk. It may sound morally wrong, but what can you do? A country attacks you, you will have to fight back. If you do, you have the option of retreating after successfully fighting them back to their own country and probably allowing them to recover and build up, or to fight them in their own country when you are strong.

That is why pacts are beginning to form up. No country can attack another within the pact without being attacked by the entire group of countries that signed the pact.

 
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Social change? “Legitimate” military defense that does not target civilians? I am asking for your ideas and opinions here. I should ask this as well; has violence freed Northern Ireland?

Actually, it’s come the closest. The British are only willing to “negotiate” whenever forced through arms. Each and everytime it comes down to hammering out the details, swift talkers sell out.

The Good Friday Agreement? Directly caused by the troubles.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty? Directly caused by the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence of 1919.

On a smaller scale, armed rebellions have freed entire cities (if for short periods of time), such as the bogside and Dublin during the Easter Rising.

 
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Darkruler -

In personal cases, it is rather hard to make a general law for. Let’s say person X attacks person Y. Person Y knocks out person X, but for good measure breaks his bones to stop him from getting back up. Would the latter be appropriate for self-defense? I’d say this is to be treated the same as if person X simply knocked out person Y. It is, however, very hard to make general rules for, since you cannot say up until which point person X would be able to still be a threat for person Y in different circumstances.

I believe in most cases it comes down to immediate threat and reasonable response. Generally once you have immediately reduced the threat (knocked the hostile person out, established a barrier), anything further would be considered excessive. However you are right that it is hard to make rules for all cases.

In the case of war, I cannot back up any statements with international rules (if you need those) since I have to sleep soon. In my opinion, it would be “self-defense” as a country to defend yourself with all your might against an invading country, but never to turn over and fight them on their own ground. This would be a hard decision to make, though. It also depends which two countries they are, but let’s assume they are not part of any pact. That way, both would feel to keep on attacking each other, since obviously their nations are now both at risk. It may sound morally wrong, but what can you do? A country attacks you, you will have to fight back. If you do, you have the option of retreating after successfully fighting them back to their own country and probably allowing them to recover and build up, or to fight them in their own country when you are strong.

It sounds like Merton’s (?) analysis on the inevitability of war in certain situations, I will dig it up and post a quote when I find it. In such situations I think both countries are in the same standing, and both have a legitimacy in their actions.

That is why pacts are beginning to form up. No country can attack another within the pact without being attacked by the entire group of countries that signed the pact.

Amusingly enough, the “greatest” series of pacts in history were ostensibly for just that reason, and it brought us WWI. Not contradicting your point or anything, just an interesting thing to note.

Iggy -

Actually, it’s come the closest. The British are only willing to “negotiate” whenever forced through arms. Each and everytime it comes down to hammering out the details, swift talkers sell out.

Closest since when? The modern conflict can be traced back to the 60’s, and they still haven’t made progress. Have they brought any concrete gains to aid “their people” in all this time?

Also, what exactly is the problem with the current rule by the British?

 
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Closest since when? The modern conflict can be traced back to the 60’s, and they still haven’t made progress. Have they brought any concrete gains to aid “their people” in all this time?

Actually, it goes right back to the 12th century Norman invasions and the 1649 Cromwellian re-conquering. Questioning a groups effectivity is besides the point of motivation and justness.

Also, what exactly is the problem with the current rule by the British?

State murder, racism, genocide, slavery, etc…

 
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I don’t believe violence solves any ills, unless it is pure defence, say a country defending itself from being invaded by another.

 
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Originally posted by Conco:

I don’t believe violence solves any ills, unless it is pure defence, say a country defending itself from being invaded by another.

QFT

 
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Actually, it goes right back to the 12th century Norman invasions and the 1649 Cromwellian re-conquering. Questioning a groups effectivity is besides the point of motivation and justness.

So now you are arguing it is ok to fight an invasion that ended 9 centuries ago? I think you just vindicated every terrorist group in the world.

State murder, racism, genocide, slavery, etc…

Can you provide examples? Especially genocide and slavery.

 
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ended 9 centuries ago?

If it had ended, we wouldn’t have six occupied counties mo chara.

Can you provide examples? Especially genocide and slavery.

Gladly.
State murder in Gibraltar
Racism in belfast
How An Gorta Mor was Genocide
Slavery
More state murder
I believe I linked to Carol Ann Kelly’s brutal slaying in the previous thread, but you can read through the stories of many more if you wish.

 
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Are there any legal (I’m thinking more international) restrictions upon what constitutes legitimate violence by both governments and people? Or is it pretty much up to the individuals in question?

 
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If it had ended, we wouldn’t have six occupied counties mo chara.

Invasion and occupation are different things.

State murder in Gibraltar

While the cover-up is certainly shady, I should note all three people killed were members of the IRA. Now assuming we accept the IRA as a terrorist group, do you still think they should have been afforded treatment as criminal civilians, or as members of an opposing military force?

Racism in belfast

One man abused does not connote an instance of institutionalized racism. The response of the ARN in this case was appropriate and all that is needed.

How An Gorta Mor was Genocide

This I think was actually covered something I linked before. I don’t know enough to classify it one way or another, so I can hand you that one. That being said, it would have perhaps justified certain acts of violence at the time, but not really today.

Slavery

Like the above case, I think this is something many people are at least tangentially aware of. It does not, however, justify current violence.

More state murder

This site puts military events in the same group as accidents, bomb attacks pinned on Irish groups, and vigilantes.

Now the last link is the sort of thing I am looking for; a proof of systematic abuse that shows clear fault. I am not interested in historical examples all that much unless they can be tied to present day issues. If the Irish militias are fighting to protect their people from abuse or something of the sort than I can understand; if they are doing it just because they want to be their own bosses I have less sympathy.

The loyalists seem to be the most brutal party here, if anything the British need to clamp down on them.

Originally posted by SithDoughnut:

Are there any legal (I’m thinking more international) restrictions upon what constitutes legitimate violence by both governments and people?

You mean like the Geneva Conventions? There are also various human rights statutes that apply.

 
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It’s definitely a tough grey area, I think the current system at the moment with self defence is the best solution so far, even if it isn’t ideal. You definitely get people on streets push other people and wait for them to punch them just so they can fight back and not get in trouble even though they provoked them. So it’s a bit dodgy in that regard, however the alternative would be worse of someone getting bashed straight out without anyone else being able to help without going to jail.

I guess wars change the rules a lot since they have a duty to protect the people in there country, so must make very different decisions compared to throwing your own life on the line.

TLDR ; There is legitimate violence. However fear is better, keep the criminals too afraid to attack, and you won’t have to self defence.

People that are so against violence that they won’t fight back to a person about to kill them just makes me sad….

 
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You mean like the Geneva Conventions? There are also various human rights statutes that apply.

Oh yeah… how did I forget them?

 
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Invasion and occupation are different things.

I suppose, but one leads to another.

While the cover-up is certainly shady, I should note all three people killed were members of the IRA. Now assuming we accept the IRA as a terrorist group, do you still think they should have been afforded treatment as criminal civilians, or as members of an opposing military force?

I believe they should be treated like off duty, unarmed, military personnel in neutral territory.

One man abused does not connote an instance of institutionalized racism. The response of the ARN in this case was appropriate and all that is needed.

You asked for examples, I can find more if you’d like.

This I think was actually covered something I linked before. I don’t know enough to classify it one way or another, so I can hand you that one. That being said, it would have perhaps justified certain acts of violence at the time, but not really today.

And I repeat, the british government has no right in Ireland, never had, and never will. We should just forget past “mistakes” and accept them as “benign”?

Like the above case, I think this is something many people are at least tangentially aware of. It does not, however, justify current violence.

Same deal. I thought we were supposed to judge people by their actions, not by the colour of their skin?

Irish militias are fighting to protect their people from abuse

Exactly.

The loyalists seem to be the most brutal party here, if anything the British need to clamp down on them.

They would, if they didn’t support them through collusion. They have a long history of supporting loyalism for obvious reasons.

 
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I believe they should be treated like off duty, unarmed, military personnel in neutral territory.

Alright, in that case it is murder if it occurred as stated. I am still torn, as there are plenty of claims that they were in fact there to kill. Now I don’t know the truth of the matter, but I did find this note:

“However, the result [of the inquest that found the killings lawful] was overturned at Strasbourg in 1995 when Britain was found to have used excessive force and breached the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Court statement

Perusing the statement makes it sound like a massacre, I’ll have to read through it in detail later.

You asked for examples, I can find more if you’d like.

Any proof of institutionalized racism is what I need. Single examples don’t help much unless it is to establish a trend.

And I repeat, the british government has no right in Ireland, never had, and never will.

Who has a “right” to that land? Why do their “rights” trump others?

We should just forget past “mistakes” and accept them as “benign”?

If people can’t let go of the past, war will go on forever. I don’t expect it to happen but I think it is reasonable to ask.

prove that Irish militias are fighting to protect their people from abuse

Exactly.

You haven’t shown abuse. You have shown (1) fighting between militias and British military forces, (2) a single act of discrimination, (3) two historical events that are concerning but not current examples of abuse, and (3) a random list of people killed by various groups and circumstances.

They would, if they didn’t support them through collusion. They have a long history of supporting loyalism for obvious reasons.

Then there is one example of abuse such as I was asking for. If you can expand on things like this you would have a case.

 
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Any proof of institutionalized racism is what I need. Single examples don’t help much unless it is to establish a trend.

https://www.indymedia.ie/article/2955 This should be what your looking for I believe.

Who has a “right” to that land? Why do their “rights” trump others?

Honestly, I’m not sure what you’re asking or what to say in response. If in fact, anything can be said.

If people can’t let go of the past, war will go on forever. I don’t expect it to happen but I think it is reasonable to ask.

Why record history at all then? What evidence is there that things will improve if the british are left in charge? What evidence is there that they have changed at all? In my opinion at least, eternal war would be better than eternal suffering.

prove that Irish militias are fighting to protect their people from abuse

How would you like me to do that? I could link to CIRA statements, but that would be just as much proof as British statements to the contrary.

 
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https://www.indymedia.ie/article/2955 This should be what your looking for I believe.

I have to say that is rather concerning. In this case I would say armed defense against such acts is justified.

Honestly, I’m not sure what you’re asking or what to say in response. If in fact, anything can be said.

If one person can claim legitimacy fighting over a piece of land, I don’t see why you could claim others are not legitimate doing the same.

Why record history at all then?

There is a difference between being aware of the past, and killing people for it. I am not precluding it as something to note in the overall scheme, I just don’t like it when people use the past as a means of attack. The people who managed slavery and such are dead and gone; we should remember what happened, but to punish people who had nothing to do with it is meaningless.

How would you like me to do that? I could link to CIRA statements, but that would be just as much proof as British statements to the contrary.

Mainly it would have to involve a claim of “proper use of force in defense”, which is somewhat difficult to cover as we see in this thread. If anything I would say provide proof that the violent acts, in aggregate, are targeted towards the parties causing immediate offense. You have shown that the loyalists are not necessarily doing that, but I haven’t seen much on the British themselves nor the nationalist Irish groups (well perhaps excepting the British, I haven’t finished reading the other thing yet).

 
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I have to say that is rather concerning. In this case I would say armed defense against such acts is justified.

I’m glad I was finally able to make myself clear and that you’ve taken the time to bear with me.

If one person can claim legitimacy fighting over a piece of land, I don’t see why you could claim others are not legitimate doing the same.

Which is exactly my problem. It seems so obvious to me, but the “we were here first” argument is, well weak. The “we have been here so long now that it doesn’t matter” arugment isn’t exactly just either.

There is a difference between being aware of the past, and killing people for it. I am not precluding it as something to note in the overall scheme, I just don’t like it when people use the past as a means of attack. The people who managed slavery and such are dead and gone; we should remember what happened, but to punish people who had nothing to do with it is meaningless.

The same political parties and political views that allowed this to happen exist to this day. The same Monarchy reigns. Nothing has changed, why should the response change?

Mainly it would have to involve a claim of “proper use of force in defense”, which is somewhat difficult to cover as we see in this thread. If anything I would say provide proof that the violent acts, in aggregate, are targeted towards the parties causing immediate offense. You have shown that the loyalists are not necessarily doing that, but I haven’t seen much on the British themselves nor the nationalist Irish groups (well perhaps excepting the British, I haven’t finished reading the other thing yet).

As I’ve stated, the British support the loyalists through collusion Another Collusion link One man’s admittance to Collusion On a less irish related note, British collusion is systemic as seen here
And as to proper use of force? Here’s a list of provo actions. And a list of CIRA actions.

 
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Which is exactly my problem. It seems so obvious to me, but the “we were here first” argument is, well weak. The “we have been here so long now that it doesn’t matter” arugment isn’t exaclty just either.

That is why I prefer to stick with arguments that relate to current treatment of indigenous peoples. As in, the here and now is more important than “what may be.” National borders are the cause of most of humanities greatest tragedies.

Nothing has changed, why should the response change?

This is why I mentioned self-fulfilling prophecies and…wait I didn’t mention the other. There is a concept that generally relates to individuals, but I am going to throw it on the situation here. It is called the defensive attributional style, and it relates to a specific type of threat response. To keep it short, it means a person with this attributional style is more likely to see things as threats and to respond aggressively. This aggressiveness causes those around you to in term field more threats, as you are essentially a bully. Thus you have ultimated fulfilled the initial prophecy as people do treat you more aggressively since you have responded more aggressively to what was initially an innocuous or otherwise low threat situation.

The basic problem is that if you go into things with a negativistic mindset (this happened in history, why would it change) you are in effect making it more likely that you will receive a negative response in return. This makes it impossible for anyone to move forward to a productive conclusion.

This doesn’t mean you should forget history, but try not to judge the people you come across for the iniquities of their forefathers (bible phrase).

And as to proper use of force? Here’s a list of provo actions. And a list of CIRA actions.

I heard that the IRA actually calls ahead before they set off bombs, is that true? If anything events like this one make more sense.

I should make a note; events like Gibraltar are somewhat “evened out” by those like the M62 coach bombing. With the latter, off duty personnel traveling with families were targeted in an attack.

 
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I heard that the IRA actually calls ahead before they set off bombs, is that true? If anything events like this one make more sense.

We do. The aim was never to kill people. By planting one bomb and calling all the stations, we disrupt the entire economy with hopefully minimal civilian casualties.

I should make a note; events like Gibraltar are somewhat “evened out” by those like the M62 coach bombing. With the latter, off duty personnel traveling with families were targeted in an attack.

You could make that argument. I have to say, the targetting of family is regrettable, but mainland england, unlike gibraltar was never neutral territory. It would be a more effective argument if there were more incidents like it. Again, in all wars, some casualties are expected. You do what you can to avoid them, but urban combat makes that not always an option.

 
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Haven’t the IRA disbanded, disarmed etc. now? I don’t know if that goes for all the splinter groups but I’m sure there was some kind of ‘official statement’ a while ago.