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Thursday, September 11, 2008

"My heart just broke for the terrorist cause"

So here we have another dippy American actress glamourising the IRA and its illustrious work of the 1970s-1990s.

I UNDERSTAND that the IRA are, by virtue of being Irish, intrinsically cool to some in the US.

I UNDERSTAND that the IRA are OK because their targets were the English and not their good old friends in America - that nation that saved them from the potato famine, saved them from British oppression, and in which (obscurely when you think about it) huge numbers of people identify themselves as being 'Irish' because they come from Boston or New York and have great grannies from Tipperary.

And I UNDERSTAND that the issue of Irish Republicanism looks terribly black and white, terribly David and Goliath, and terribly easy to unravel in the eyes of people who can't be bothered to understand it properly: think Mel Gibson and his interpretation of Scottish nationalism for a nice wee comparison.

But it's still all a bit tiring, isn't it?

Many in America have tended to think of members of the IRA as being, in reality, much as they portray them in the movies: good looking (Daniel Day Lewis crossed with Brad Pitt crossed with Aiden Gillen with a soupcon of Colin Farrell, if you like), passionate and troubled souls who are perhaps misguided, yet glamorously violent and - here's the key thing - JUSTIFIED - freedom fighters. And as long as the knees they were capping and the children they were blowing up were located in Derry, Birmingham or London, they could continue funding the IRA to their hearts content and no harm done (Angelica Huston, you stupid bitch, I'm looking at you).

Interestingly, after America found itself the victim of a major terrorist incident (seven years ago today, in fact), many of those same people who had been quick to sympathise with the IRA's 'cause' (they have a cause, see, not like those pesky towel heads) found that, actually, they weren't really all that fond of terrorism after all.
It's no coincidence that the IRA's demotion to 'yesterday's terrorists', with funds drying up quicker than they could blink, happened at much the same time as Al Qaeda started to take violent action against what it saw as an internationally oppressive US.

Which makes these remarks by actress Rose McGowan (me neither) particularly surprising and particularly hilariously misjudged. Because while she might think she's on safe ground staying off the topic of Middle Eastern politics on September 11th, and promoting her movie by chuntering about the once-again-cute-but-dangerous Irish brand of terrorists, all you have to do is replace the phrase 'IRA' in the story below with 'Al Qaeda' and 'Belfast' for 'Kabul' and you realise just how completely she has got that wrong.

'Hollywood actress Rose McGowan has said she would have joined the IRA if she lived in Belfast during the Troubles.
McGowan stars in Fifty Dead Men Walking, an adaptation of IRA informer Martin McGartland's autobiography.
"My heart just broke for the cause," she told a news conference ahead of the film's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"Violence is not to be played out daily and provide an answer to problems, but I understand it."
The film also stars Jim Sturgess as Mr McGartland and Sir Ben Kingsley as his British handler.
It tells the story of how Mr McGartland joined the IRA at 16 after he was recruited by RUC Special Branch to infiltrate the group.
It chronicles his four years in the IRA between 1987 and 1991 before his cover was blown and he was kidnapped.
He escaped by jumping out of a window but was later resettled with a secret identity in Whitley Bay, near Newcastle upon Tyne.
However, his new name emerged after he was prosecuted for a driving offence, and in 1999 he was badly wounded in a gun attack, blamed on the IRA. Since then, MI5 has given him another name and moved him to another location.
Mr McGartland opposed the film for months but he now says he is happy with it following negotiations this week, which according to Reuters, included a £20,000 settlement whereby he agreed not to pursue legal action.
"The producers gave me a copy of the DVD and I watched it again ... and the more I watch it, I just love it," he said.
Canadian director Kari Skogland said Mr McGartland initially found it difficult to understand the film based on his life was not the same as making a documentary about him.
She said during filming in Belfast, advice from former IRA members on how to make a bomb and techniques for torturing informants helped to add authenticity to the project.
"I had many secret meetings in dark places. We were being watched by all sides, phones tapped, that sort of thing," she told the Hollywood Reporter.'

P.S. LOVING McGartland's quote about the movie he'd apparently hated until they bunged him £20 grand to shut up. "The more I watch it, I just love it". Anyone would think he was taking the piss.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the daft cow realizes there is NO difference between the actions of the IRA and the actions of al Qaeda.