Comparing the evolution of IS and the IRA

There is a remarkable parallel between the rise of the so-called Islamic State (IS), and the evolution of the IRA in Northern Ireland, says the BBC’s Peter Taylor, who covered the conflict for over 40 years.

The force of the comparison hit me when I was recently in Iraq investigating where and how the leadership of IS came together, for a BBC Two This World documentary. It was forged in a most unlikely place, an American internment camp in the sands of southern Iraq called Camp Bucca, named after Ronald Bucca, a New York fire fighter killed in the 9/11 attacks.

Over 20,000 suspected Iraqi insurgents – mostly Sunni – were incarcerated there until its final closure following the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.

Key elements of the IRA’s leadership also came together three decades earlier in an internment camp in Northern Ireland known as Long Kesh. Camp Bucca and Long Kesh have entered the folklore of the two insurgencies.

  • Ron MacDonald

    Lesson learned: don’t imprison combatants, execute execute them.

    • barryjr

      That or lock them up in solitary confinement with no contact among prisoners.

  • The IRA were violent Marxists.

    ISIS, fairly similar.

    That the IRA and even ISIS have been given any sort of sympathy is social devolution.

    • Closer in political ideology that is commonly noted;)

    • T.C.

      The Provos were supported, financed and guided by their Soviet masters in Moscow, who also enabled arms shipments through client states like Libya and some funding from champagne and union leftists in Boston. Classic destabilization techniques used by the communists everywhere to over-throw stable, democratic governments.
      Now evidence is surfacing that the Saddam’s Bath’ist henchmen – hard leftists to a man with plenty of connections to the old way of doing things as communists – are behind the sudden rise in the Islamic State.
      Provos, Islamic State terrorists, and BBC reporters. All useful idiots for socialism and too stupid to realize it.

  • Pat

    Both funded by Americans one way or another.

  • k

    Losers of war still do not like to be taken over, even, if they started it
    Making everyone be friends by forcing them to live cheek by jowl =has NOT worked
    Stop it NOW!
    At the end of the day everyone likes their own odd behaviour
    Some like Sharia Law, some like Democracy, some like a monarchy, some like a Pope, some like to use the Joo Joo medicine, some like Western medicine, some like alternative medicine …. let everyone evolve in their own way!
    We have technology which means the world IS multicultural and we all have the ability to influence each other… you don’t have to bull doze everyone with different value systems into cities = it has NOT worked anywhere! The more people are crammed together… the more each persons value system starts rubbing each other the wrong way…and add poor economies to that=powder keg
    You can see this on small scales such as blended families
    different family cultures + different biological problems + blood is thicker than water = make for a very hard time !
    In Britain you have had …
    20 YEARS OF BRITISH ELITES ALLOWING MUSLIM VALUE SYSTEMS TO RAPE 1000’s (possibly 1 million) OF BRITISH WHITE GIRLS AGES 10-16
    and….!!!!…. THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE ALL THE INFIDEL WOMEN OF ALL AGES WHO HAVE BEEN RAPED OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS!!!!!

    ENOUGH PANDERING AND WHIMPERING TO THE DICTATES OF MULTICULTURALISM BECAUSE !!!!THAT!!!! IS WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE WOMEN IN BRITAIN AND THE REST OF EUROPE! THESE MUSLIM MEN ARE JUST DOING WHAT THEY DO EVERYWHERE…. INDIA, CHINA, THAILAND, JAMAICA, SOUTH AMERICA, MIDDLE EAST, SAUDI ARABIA
    DOES THE WEST HAVE ANY OTHER VALUE BESIDES ACCOMODATING EVERYONE ELSES BELIEF SYSTEM? DOES THE WEST “STAND” FOR ANYTHING???? SEEMS TO ME BRITAIN HAS BEEN VERY ACCOMODATING TO MUSLIM MEN!
    If you do not want groups forming terror gangs then you have to nip this stuff in the bud …sweeping it under the carpet means it grows WAY OUT OF HAND!
    DO YOU REALLY THINK THE ENGLISH DEFENCE LEAGUE ARE FAR RIGHT??? THEY ARE AGAINST GROOMING GANGS AND SHARIA LAW…I would not call their street protests of 1000’s FAR RIGHT! I would call that civilized objection … and when there are THAT many in a protest in the lazy West
    ELITES SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO THE GRIEVENCES least you be brought up on charges of treason later … or worse WAR through elite mismanagement!
    I am not anti-anyone … but I… like every normal human being…prefer my own value system… largely Christian based and there are enough variances in the Christian belief system to tick me off without adding everything else on top of it
    Multiculturalism has wandered FAR AWAY from the moral ground.
    Remember there is always a leader … usually the ethnicity with the highest numbers of people is leader so… if that leader likes minorities Great if not then be…aware…
    Always best to admit a failure and try to fix it than to go down with the ship

  • Ed

    It is axiomatic these days that anyone who’s gone through “Journalism” school is infused with the idea that underdogs are always right. Defending the “little guy” against big forces is such a reflexively automatic reaction among this bunch it’s downright boring and stupid. Memo to media: Sometimes the “little guy” is an asshole!!!