Re: Northern Ireland
"I think you mean "You can however blame Thatcher for refusing to negotiate with a bunch of murdering thugs until they promised to stop killing and maiming their fellow countrymen as well as 'the enemy'". Or is kneecapping anyone who speaks out against that sort of thing acceptable to you?"
At no point have I said I supported the IRA. You seem to be inferring that here. Don't conflate support for human rights as support for terrorism. The IRA were (some would say still are) murderous thugs. But it was the oppression of Catholics by the predominantly Protestant government in Northern Ireland, backed up by the UK government's refusal to condemn this oppression that created the circumstances that led to them. The IRA started out fairly non-violent, mainly they blew up radio transmitters in protest. They became the Provisional IRA as a direct result of the violence enacted upon the Catholics at the hands of Unionist terrorists, primarily the UVF. The UVF was responsible for the rise in hate crimes against Catholics, including the bombing of schools, which would eventually lead to the RUC itself running a campaign of violence and terror against Catholics in Derry. It was this continuing violence from the Unionist factions and the RUC that eventually led to the split of the IRA that created the Provisional IRA. When faced with such horrendous levels of terrorism, both from the UVF and the very police that were supposed to protect them is it any wonder that the IRA became increasingly violent in response?
So again I say, unless you've actually studied the history of The Troubles, or actually lived through them in Northern Ireland itself, then don't comment about something you clearly don't understand. Northern Ireland history is a complicated mess and not the black and white IRA = bad, everyone else = good that was spoon fed to the British public by the media over 30 years. It was the culmination of 400 years of oppression in Ireland that saw millions die unnecessarily in the famines of the C19th. It was the realisation in the Good Friday Agreement that these grievances needed to be fixed that finally brought peace to Northern Ireland, that allowed both sides to disarm. We're still left with a few die hard thugs on both sides, but they're now little more than criminal gangs. If you're going to condemn the IRA, then you must also condemn the RUC and UVF at the same time, as it was their campaigns of terror that created the Provisional IRA.