The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Can You Hear Ho Chi Minh Laughing?

“The challenge then must be working towards the type of a united Ireland that best suits unionists."
- Gerry Adams in the Belfast Telegraph 28 June 2004
(Article by Noel McAdam.)

“Now, some think that the (Provisional) movement's new-found openness has more to do with smothering suspicion in the officers' mess that the toutery goes higher up - much higher up!”
- Article by Gail Walker in the Belfast Telegraph 29 June 2004.

Eoghan O’Suilleabhain • 1 July 2004

Gerry Adams is no Ho Chi Minh. He’d rather live on his knees. In fact, he’d rather we all lived on our knees. Says Gerry: "The challenge then must be working towards the type of a united Ireland that best suits unionists." Right, let’s have the tail wag the dog for a few more centuries. The Cruiser couldn’t agree more.

The type of a united Ireland that best suits unionists is the one where the 26 counties joins back up with the United Kingdom. Short of that, direct rule will do unionists for now even if it means having to deal with the noxious possibility of intermittent indirect rule with co-opted croppies to preserve the British colonial status quo in Northern Ireland. And ex-Republicans can have “parity of esteem” (because it’s just a whole lot of nothing anyway) but not Republicanism…because well it is a Kingdom after all.

Now imagine the response of Ho Chi Minh if Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon said to him: “Now listen hear Uncle Ho, there’ll be no Plan B (United Vietnam). Either we directly rule South Vietnam from Washington or we let our gerrymandered majority Catholic allies in Saigon rule it indirectly for us until a majority of them say otherwise”.

Can you hear Ho Chi Minh laughing? Even now after all these years.

National liberation requires a great command of will on both a micro and macro scale. The Vietnamese have it in spades. The Irish do not...for a lot of different reasons historical and otherwise. But to be fair, the Vietnamese also had a lot of outside foreign government assistance to help them fight their fight…and the Irish never really ever had much of that. But this is not a call to Irish arms. Nor though is it an invitation to unionist utopia working towards total British rule here because Gerry wants to be friends with Gusty.

When Catch-22 author Joseph Heller wrote the Pimp’s retort that it’s always better to live on your knees than to die on your feet, Heller was offering a reasonable alternative to a stark contrast: live or die. “Choose life. Always choose life”, said the old Italian pimp to the naive Nately. It beats fighting and dying if that’s the only alternative.

Give the devil his due. Tony Blair and his conniving Irish cohorts (with Bill Clinton egging them on) were able to convince most of the population on this island that there was only the choice between British pacification (indirect rule) in El norte… or violent chaos.

This manufactured illusion ought to go down in history as another major British propaganda coup…right up there with the sinking of the Lusitania and the Maximilian Letter.

If no one voted for the Belfast Agreement of 1998 how does that necessarily mean more violence? By 1998 most Republicans were happy to be on a cease-fire with no end in sight. However, the successful government and mass media manipulation of the population and political parties then caused a further cleavage of Irish Republicans that in turn enflamed subsequent internecine feuding and reactionary violence.

Radical rejection in the form of boycotts and a general refusal to engage with the invader anywhere would have prevented further factionalism and fostered a far better culture of Irish independence than the usual Brit tit dependence we are seeing now making 2016 no nearer than 3016.

“It is time for Republicans to reclaim the honour and integrity of the cause which sustained our beliefs”. This is a truism. It is time for all of us to gather together on at least an annual basis to recharge our batteries and to validate our perspectives. But not like some dour Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where someone gets up and says: “Hi, I’m Joe. I’m a Republican.” After all, who said politics couldn’t be a good time with music, debate and enlightenment for all?

The American populist Jim Hightower says it best: "For too long progressives have walked fearful of their shadows, whimpering and whining about what's wrong and fighting amongst themselves over crumbs. That time is over."

Check out his Rolling Thunder Down Home Democracy Tour as a possible Irish Republican template at

And let the revelry if not the revolution begin!




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent


All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

5 July 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Can You Hear Ho Chi Minh Laughing?
Eoghan O’Suilleabhain

The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia
David Adams

On Whose Side: Stakeknife
Mick Hall

Dogs and Lampposts
Anthony McIntyre

Towards a Republican Agenda for Scotland
Seamus Reader

30 June 2004

Flying the Flag
Dolours Price

The Police Process
Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA Prisoner Left "High and Dry"
Sean Mc Aughey

James Connolly and the Reconquest of Ireland
Liam O Ruairc

Venezuela 2004: Nicaragua's Contra War Revisited
Toni Solo


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