Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm Bored of Feeney Bile

The present Ms O'Neill works for a NGO that deals with, amongst other things, "conflict resolution" in areas like the "previous" Yugoslavia. Through her I've been priveledged to meet people that don't really fit in the usual stereotypes of what a Serb, Croat,Bosniak or Kossovan should be: one of my most poignant discussions was with a young Serb born in Krajina who informed me that the most traumatic moment of her life was when she awoke one morning to hear that the BBC World Service was now describing people like herself as "Rebel Serbs "living in Croatia" Her family had lived in that particular village for more than a hundred years. And as someone who'd been brought up to regard herself as a Yugoslav, no better, no worse than her Croatian, Bosniak and ethnic Magyar fellow citizens, this came as a bit of a shock.

Needless to say,their village and surrounding district was eventually cleansed of "rebel Serbs" without so much of a chirp from the kind of "bleeding hearts" who have a coronary everytime Israel decides she's going to sort out those pesky terrorists which keep bombing her schools.

Can't think why, but I was thinking of her when I read Feeney's latest piece of sectarian/racist stereotyping this morning.

Chekhov has done a pretty good job of fisking Feeney here, but still couple of points I'd like to make:
"The arrangement is the price unionists have to pay for making themselves so objectionable over the 50 years they had a free hand here."

No. The present corrupt arrangement at Stormont is the price paid by HM Government to primarily stop SFIRA from continuing their terrorist insurrection in 1994, the Unionists were an incidental third party.
"It is exactly the same penalty the Christians of the Lebanon had to pay for trying to exclude the Muslims."

The Lebanon was created to preserve the diminishing minority of Maronite Christians of Mount Lebanon, just as the north was devised to preserve the diminishing minority of unionists in Ireland
. "

Oh dear.

No. When the state of Lebanon was formed by the French in 1920, it was largely a Christian (Maronite) area, albeit with substantial Muslim and Druze minorities. It was only after the Civil war of the 70s and 80s that the Christian population started to dramatically decline (there's probably a parallel there with what happened in the border counties in N.Ireland 1970-1994, but I don't think that's a road Bigotted Brian will be wanting to go too far along).

When N.Ireland was formed,the number of "Unionists" living in Ireland as a whole was actually more than it had been 40 years earlier (ie at the time of the First Home Rule Bill). This overall figure did change in the period 1920-40, but basically because the Irish Free State was a "confessional" as opposed to "consociational" democracy, for one reason or another the non-Roman Catholic population dramatically declined.

Anyway.....back to Brian's dodgy Lebanon comparison.......

According to the 1946 Lebanese unwritten National Pact (agreed to but "not forced" on the Maronites), different religious communities were represented in the government by having a Maronite Christian president, a Sunni Muslim prime minister, and a Shiite national assembly speaker.

So, once again, lazy research by Feeney, although we should be grateful, I suppose, that even he is now wearying of the Boer=Unionist=Southern States Redneck comparisons.

This bit, however, I did find interesting:
Speaking of Ulster, B.B. said:
"But it ain't and never will be because of the population mix, just as this place ain't and never will be, which is why it has to be run by a consociational system."

"Never" will be?

Even in Brian's Thirty-Two County Utopia where all forms of religious and political bigotry will no longer exist?
That's not what we've been promised by Bobby Sands amongst others.

And finally, why do I get the impression that Feeney just really isn't that big a fan of western liberal democracy?

All of which is another way of saying the big battalions in the executive have just handed out a sharp lesson in political power to the minnows.

It's crude and it's brutal but it's the way this system works. Watch and learn

The Maronites OF THE Holy Land by Father Louis Wehbe, O.C.S.O


Chekov said...

Thanks for the info on Lebanon O'Neill. I'm not tremendously conversant with the history there. Any reading you would recommend?

O'Neill said...

"A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered"
By Kamal Salibi

is a pretty balanced and good one to start with. It’s very analytical and unlike Feeney(!)’s version very well-researched.