The Big Question

The big question I find being asked at the minute is: What’s Sinn Fein at? My question is: What have they been at since the mid-1990s?

Not so much the “Road to Peace” as the road to constitutional politics, they embarked on the Armalite and ballot box strategy a decade before. Indeed, they stuck a political toe in the water back in 1981 when they decided to back candidates for election to Westminster and Leinster House during the hunger strikes. The candidates included two strikers and it was a Sinn Fein election campaign in everything but name.

The results of the elections encouraged the think tank in Sinn Fein to make a concerted effort to end the policy / tactic (depending on one’s interpretation) of abstention. Skipping past a few years of inside wrangling, the split with the traditional Republicans came in the form of the walk out at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in 1986 when stalwarts and former leaders Ruairi O’Bradaigh and Daithi O’Connaill left the meeting to form Republican Sinn Fein.
What interested me was the claims by the RSF faction that the Adams leadership were telling the remaining traditionalists that contesting elections was merely a tactic that the war would go on – whilst telling the politicos that the war was indeed coming to an end. It all sounds very confusing but the Adams leadership were not confused – they knew what they had to do and they knew how to go about it.
By the time of the 1986 Ard Fheis, the Adams faction knew the state of play. They realised the “long war” was a nonsense, that Irish Unity would not be achieved through force of arms. They needed to wind the military campaign down but with great care. Not all who supported abstention and the campaign had left with O’Bradaigh et al. The hawks would need to be handled gently and persuaded.

Not all were, thus the departure of Ivor Bell and others and then, dramatically Kevin McKevitt and Co who went on to found the Real IRA. But in the main, the Adams leadership kept the majority onboard.
So my question is not how, why or when did the Adams faction decide to wind up the PIRA campaign and take Sinn Fein into constitutional politics. What gave them the JUSTIFICATION or made them believe they had the RIGHT to take the Republican Movement in a direction they said they would NEVER take? They derided and ridiculed the Officials for their ceasefire and entry into constitutional politics and demonised the Old Guard who presided over the 1975 ceasefire. They made grandiose declarations that they would never end the campaign until Ireland was free. So, in that context, why did they feel they could do exactly what they ridiculed and berated, condemned and accused others for doing?

I believe they didn’t actually buy into the notion that they were the heirs of 1798. I don’t believe they even saw themselves as the heirs to 1916. I believe they regarded the PROVISIONAL Republican Movement as theirs to do with as they pleased. With the departure of the Old Guard, the leadership of the 1990s were the original founders of the PIRA and the Sinn Fein we know today. To put it crudely, It’s our thing so we will do as we please. We started it and we will end it.


I often wonder if John Hume thought likewise when he sacrificed the SDLP and gave their clothes to Sinn Fein?
We are where we are and I have posed a question to myself as well as others. It might not be an important question. It’s not exciting like RHI or an emotional hand-wringing eulogy to a retiring politician. But it is something I often wondered about. Anyone like to respond?

William Johnston




.Crimes Against Humanity

‘..the midwife of the ogre-friendly language showered upon us this day.’

‘Spin it, spoof it, anything but truth it’; salivate over Martin McGuinness as polite society might, McGuinness, indelibly, is one of the cruelest of modern serial killers. Whatever, his great friends and supporters: Ian Paisley Jr, and the Presbyterian minister David Latimer would have us think.

Salman Rushdie strikes a much more honest note, ‘When a tyrant falls, the world’s shadows lighten, and only hypocrites grieve’.

Latimer, the ‘Revisionist Reverend’ and Dudeist High Priest of the Derry and Strabane Presbytery took time out on Thursday night, presumably from writing his memoirs, ‘The Lies I Have Told ‘, to appear on BBC Northern Ireland News in order to ….well…. tell us some more.


images (1)

Inundated, he claimed, by unionists wanting Sinn Fein’s useful idiot to pass on their best wishes and prayers to McGuinness. I wondered how many among the imaginary multitude had been subjected to his malevolence? Why pray for McGuinness? Why not sacrifice a goat or do a rain dance in the midday sun? There is nothing out there that will listen to prayers for Joanne Mather’s killer in the absence of his own repentance.

Decades ago, when Latimer could pass himself off as a Protestant cleric, people may have listened, but having dumped Ephesians for An Phoblacht there just isn’t the same following anymore. People buy and enjoy fiction, just not Latimer’s fiction.

Deranged as he often appears by the constant fluttering of bats that occupy his theological belfry, I initially thought his appearance was to announce his candidacy in the forthcoming elections for the Legalise Cannabis Party. Only someone on cannabis could claim that when the organisation that McGuinness ruled over, strung Paul Quinn up in a Co Monaghan barn and clubbed him to death, it did so peacefully.

Even without the trademark Woodstock waistcoat, his commentary was no less psychedelic. Straight from the gospel of guff we heard him preach, to us ungrateful types, the parable of the ‘Cup & Saucer’


St Martin, the Enniskillen Bomber, in his unceasing benevolence towards unionists had once buttered Latimer’s scones but moreover, he had generously inherited a genetic disease so that Latimer could promote the peace process in praising him publicly. And In promoting the killer, Latimer diminishes those who were killed.



Reconciliation? No, merely the latest installment of self-serving publicity seeking that explains more than anything why David’s Church Of The Latter Day Dudes will remain Ulster’s slowest growing religion.

Willie John Nixon

Tony Blair and the IRA: The ‘On The Runs’ Scandal by Austen Morgan. Published by The Belfast Press.

Perhaps the greatest atrocity carried out by the PIRA in England was the joint bombing of Regents and Hyde Parks. The grotesque nature of the attacks were played out on televisions screens and newspaper front pages across the world. Who could not have been touched, as they read of the terrible suffering that a bomb, with over 30 pounds of nails packed around it, inflicted on human and horse?


The bloodied carcasses of horses spewn on London’s streets and mixed with the dead of the Queen’s Guard still haunts many today. Around an hour later, in Regents Park, the band of the Royal Green Jackets, played to a crowd of 120 spectators. As the music of Oliver entertained the crowd, a bomb exploded under the bandstand, killing and injuring both musicians and bystanders. The only redeeming factor of the day was the bravery of injured and the remarkable recovery of Sefton the horse. Two decades later the suffering and loss would be compounded, by the government who, in all effect, protected the perpetrators.

On Tony Blair’s last day as prime minister, 27th June 2007, the structure was put in place, which would see the main suspect in the Hyde Park Bombing issued a letter of comfort. This would have a dramatic effect on the rule of law. Austen Morgan states that this has been “interrupted significantly by the peace process. ”

There had been whispers and theories for a decade. Had a secret deal been done between the British Government and the IRA, which would see mass murders forgo due process and, indeed, be free, under government protection, despite evidence that would prove them guilty? The answer was to come on 21st February 2014, when a British court ruled that an abuse of process had taken place and that the trail of the lead suspect could not continue.john_anthony_downey

So what was the driving force behind such appalling decisions being taken? Johnathan Powell would say that there was a prolonged threat of a return to violence by republicans when he told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee ” At any stage you could have tipped this back into war. ” Blair also stated “I did believe there was a chance of it (the peace process) collapsing. ” But this is contradicted by the likes of Tim Dalton, who stated that Gerry Adams told him that the PIRA “would not go back to violence” as “their own community would not allow them. ” This was also backed up by John Hume who briefed the UDA in the Maze Prison to that effect. It is hard to believe that the Irish Government were being brief that the PIRA were unable to return to an armed campaign and the British Government were not. Even UDA prisoners were being made aware of this “strategic weakness” something which Austen Morgan states “the UK failed to use tactically. ”

Sir Quinton Thomas was one of the main architects of the Belfast Agreement (1998). After his retirement and knighthood, he was tasked with being an advisor to the NIO on the subject of “outstanding criminal investigations” . In January 2001, he finalised 77-page report, Clean Sheets: dealing with outstanding criminal cases was sent to the NIO. Quinton was to form the opinion that any criminal cases, which might arrive out of historical offences, that might have been committed by Security Force members would not be covered by the amnesty he proposing. He would state “Despite the difficulties, the better course is to exclude the security forces from any amnesty scheme. ” This was “because the greater public (and British) interest ” lay in doing so. Austen Morgan observes that this decision “was to play later into the hands of republicans.” Quinton put forward a number of options but astutely, he said that Option 3, an “automatic amnesty” “will minimise the contamination of the system of justice.” But this contamination had already begun and the secret deals between corrupt government and a murderous mob will resonate for generations. By 2005, the government would try and put in place a proviso that would include all participants in that had taken part in the Northern Ireland conflict but this scuppered by republicans. During the early 2000s, there were intensive talks between the British Government and republicans, interestingly Northern Ireland’s future Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory acted on behalf of a number of those, who were of interest.

In January 2014, written evidence was produced in the Downey case. It covered Kevin McGinty’s appraisal of Sir Alasdair Fraser’s role. He would state that there was a reluctance on Sir Alister’s behalf to implement the scheme. This was because of the “actual and perceived impartiality” was of the most “crucial importance” for the “maintenance of public confidence”. Confidence could be damaged due to fact that the “administrative scheme would only benefit one side of the community.” The very structure of the government proposal and its implementation was profoundly flawed, in that it administered justice or the lack of it on the grounds of political/religious affiliation. Since the 15th Century, Iustitia, Justitia, has been depicted blindfolded and holding both scales and sword. Under the leadership, first of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Cameron she was blinded, her scale was tipped and sword broken.

This partisan use of the judicial system was carried out under the radar of most observers. The reason being that process could be challenged in the courts if the general public became aware of the situation. Lord Goldsmith told John Reid that if the minister conceded to Sinn Fein’s demands it could cause a “constitutional crisis”. Lord Williams would later write to the government stating that “It would…be an unlawful fettering” of his “discretion” and that the government’s policy “would amount to an amnesty”, which was illegal without a parliamentary decision . Lord Williams would also tell Peter Mandelson that he was “seriously concerned that the exercise” which “is being undertaken has the capacity of severely undermining the confidence in the criminal justice system.” He would then continue “I am not persuaded that some unquantifiable benefit to the peace process can be a proper basis for a decision based on the public interest. ” The concerns put forward by senior figures in the judiciary, both in Great Britain and Northern Ireland did not dissuade New Labour from continuing to put its pernicious and partisan plan into action. It is to the credit of a number of legal figures that an unfettered form of shadowy amnesty is not in place.tonyblairarmagh1998

By early 2002, the government had put a form of amnesty together in the form a consultation. This would have an independent commissioner grant immunity to those Sinn Fein put forward. This scheme was to exclude all but republicans. William Fittall was to act as a sounding board for the views of David Trimble. He would state, that while Trimble would have to oppose the bill, he (Trimble) might not endure political impairment if the scheme involved some form of “determination of guilt” and “subsequent licencing arrangement”. Later in March of that year, Trimble wrote to Blair setting out his stall on the matter. The subterfuge continued until press reports in November brought the policy to the public’s attention. Trimble then disengaged with the process.

While the widespread violence of the past was to be curtailed by the PIRA leadership, it still continued criminal activity on a grandiose scale. While Nelson’s eye was being applied to those who were suspects in over 300 hundred murders, robbery, extortion, and fuel laundering were lining the PIRA’s coffers. Most notably of these: The Norther Bank robbery, which was undertaken by the PIRA’s Director of Intelligence. By September 2005, the PIRA had supposedly decommissioned its full military arsenal. This was contradicted by Tony Blair, who when giving evidence to NIAC, in January 2015, stated that December 2006 was a critical moment, in which, “it was going to go down. ” How it would have gone down, given that this was over a year after PIRA decommission, is not alluded to. But the inference is of a return to violence. There are two positions here, one is that intel was not filtering to the government or that the PIRA, despite all we are being told, still constitutes a threat to the United Kingdom. Either way, negotiating with a terrorist threat and dilution of the justice system and has weakened the constitutional integrity of the British State.

Austen Morgan’s work does a great service to the people of the United Kingdom. It analyses a part of history that was meant to stay hidden from the public and does so in great detail. His forensic mind untangles the web spun by both terrorist and nameless mandarins in what must be one of the British Government most shameful episodes.

Tony Blair and the IRA: The ‘On The Runs’ Scandal by Austen Morgan is available in paperback and Kindle editions from The Belfast Press Limited.

It is available in both Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon. 


Operation Demetrius: A Review

od1When George Santayana, made his observation, “History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten.” He could easily have been making it about the subject of Martin McCleery’s work Operation Demetrius and its Aftermath. The populist thought on the introduction of internment is clear; it was a failed attempt by the former Northern Ireland Government, which callously targeted the innocent. But history is like observing an impressionist painting. If you are too close then your analysis will only observe how the paint is applied and the hue of the colour. The overall effect of the artist’s work will not be seen, only a mash of colour and texture merging into an indistinguishable mass. It is only when the observer stands back from the subject that they can see the whole work. But if this observation is from too far, the intricate makeup and complexity is lost. Sometimes, not very often, a historian is able to put a subject in complete perspective. This is what McCleery has achieved in this work: an almost 20/20 vision look at internment. This achievement is made possible through the amalgamation of historical documentation and the personal recollections of some of the protagonists. All of which are set in context by the author’s analytical expertise.

The work also challenges supposed accepted truths: that the British Army was one of main supporters of its use. Evidence is produced that shows that GOCNI, Tuzo, and CGS, Carver, were both initially opposed to the introduction of internment. The army believing that the IRA could be dealt with within a period of months if a robust engagement policy was put in place.

The policy had other critics, the Police Federation, the Law Society, and even Ian Paisley, who would state that the internees should be brought “to a court of law” and evidence shown. This was “the basic principle of British justice” he would further remark. His friend Desmond Boal would compare the practice to that carried out by Nazi Germany. This was the main problem with such a tactic, the government found itself in a pincer movement between two opponents willing to make every opportunity, of any situation. This according to Robin Baillie was a “political fight for survival”. Ultimately, a fight that would be lost. The irony should not be lost on the fact that the two protagonists, making up that pincer, now form the government forty years on.

IRA man Tommy Groman would state that “we wanted to get behind the public reaction” to internment. By the 23rd of August, 1971, Tuzo would state “the other side had already won a propaganda victory.” This victory had been effectively foretold by the RUC Special Branch. When they stated, in a report, that “republican, opposition politicians, the civil rights movement and the Catholic Church” had in their combined front, “an expertise and a capability,” which the Northern Ireland regime could not “effectively match,” in the sphere of propaganda.

The work also revealed that there were suggestions that a mole in the Northern Ireland Civil Service tipped off the Provisional IRA to the likelihood of interment. Tommy Gorman would state that “I was expecting internment as an IRA volunteer” and that he had “been on the run for several months”. Joe Cahill corroborated this by saying that “senior IRA members” had been “instructed in late July” – a month before its introduction – “not to sleep at home.” This forewarning would lead to an estimated 2000 IRA activists still at large in the weeks after its initial use. Field Marshal Carver was also of the opinion that “poor intelligence” and the “short notice” given for the operation, was responsible for its shortcomings. This was also mixed with suspicion, that the Northern Ireland Government had used it as a tool for political suppression, more than a precision instrument in the fight against terrorism. Despite this, the figures, as provided, cast serious doubt on the claims that internment did not target IRA members and that it was totally inadequate.

Interment also caused a domino effect on long term issues. Its failure cost the Northern Ireland Government its political existence, causing decades of political uncertainty. The treatment and privileges that were given to the internees would transcend into political status and, in turn, laid the foundation for the 1981 hunger strike. It would also prove to be the final break between the Roman Catholic community and the British military. The resulting clamour of IRA activists to go to ground, caused by interment, spread their network and increased the organisation’s support, spreading violence and ultimately prolonging the Troubles.

Perhaps the book’s best asset is its style. While most academic books have a sluggish and dense writing style, which can leave the reader struggling through the work, as if traversing a bog wearing boots that are too big, this is not the case with McCleery’s work. It is fluent, lucid and articulately written, which drives the reader on. This is something of a talent and a rarity, in the all too often, stuffy and formal literature of academia.

There is of course, one major downfall with the work and that is the price. As with most academic history books it has a hefty price for the consumption of a wider audience. Which is a shame, as it is a work, well worth investing in. But this will not, I am sure withhold a well-researched and well-written work from the shelves of most.

Operation Demetrius and its Aftermath: A New History of the use of Interment Without Trial in Northern Ireland 1971-75. By Martin J. McCleery. Available through Manchester University Press Price: £70.00. Hardcover.

Clifford Peeples.


Operation Success: A Plan of Domination

op 1

PB Success or Operation Success was a CIA directive aimed at the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala, The operation took place in between December 1953 and June 1954. It was the natural progression of Operation Fortune, the CIA plan of destabilisation of the Arbez government. PB Success was the first CIA operation of its kind in the Americas, It would use a formula that had been put together in Iran under the codename operation Ajex.

Guatemala was a country literally owned by a small group of individuals and multinationals. Seventy percent of the land was owned by just two per cent of the populace and an amazing forty two percent of the totally land mass of Guatemala was held by the US conglomerate, United Fruit Company. Despite its mass holdings; it had control of the main ports, railroads and the telephone infrastructure, it paid no taxes to the Guatemala state. It was granted exemption by the previous regime. These vast interests earned it the name El Pulpo – The Octopus.

download (9)

In 1950, a charismatic, ex-army officer, Arbenz, won the precedential election and embarked upon a series of reforms. His most ambitious was Decree 900 which was to redistribute land to the agrarian poor. This was to bring diplomatic problems with the US to a head, due to the effect it would have on United Fruit. Arbenz’s reoperations offered United Fruit one million dollars for land earmarked for redistribution, the price the company had originally valued the land. This was turned down and they now demanded a price 16 million dollars.


United Fruit had very impressive contacts within the US administration, its contacts include the Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, the CIA Director Allen Dulles, two brothers who had worked for United Fruit. The Assistant to the Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs John Moors Cabot owned stock in the company and his brother, Thomas was an ex-president of the company.

This impressive group found a receptive ear with President Eisenhower. One of the main focuses of Success was the use of psy-ops. Both CIA and United Fruit employed the brilliant propagandist Edwin Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud. He would state:

 If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it.

This would be backed up by false radio station that transmitted from Miami and local journalists were bought by the CIA to publish fictional news stories. Howard Hunt would later say of the operation:

 What we wanted to do was to have a terror campaign…much as the German Stuka bombers had terrified the population Holland, Belgium and Poland at the onset of WWII.

The propaganda war was won.  Just 400 rebels and CIA lies would overthrow the Arbenz government, mostly through fear not might. The overall effect of Operation Success was to increase tension during the cold war and ultimately lead to the Cuban missile crises.


While those in the CIA saw it as an outright success: they would use it as a template for most of their future operations and it was to bring about the School of the Americas;  which trained large numbers of right wing militias, that would bring turmoil to the South American continent. The CIA did not understand the ripple effect that the action would have on the wider world. It was the catalyst that radicalised Che Guevar and countless others in Latin America.

bitter fruit

Despite the promise of elections, Guatemala was to remain in a state of turmoil for almost half a century which would result in death toll of over 400.000 people. While those in the Eisenhower Whitehouse, celebrated its success, they were unaware of the decades of instability and misery that Operation Success would bring about. Bissell would state this was a turning point for the CIA as

 “Many of us who joined the CIA did not feel bound to observe ethical rules.”

The Belfast Dockworker’s Strike and James Larkin.



“It would be Larkin’s boast that the basic core of the strike which he, a Catholic, was leading, was Protestant and Orange.” (Patterson, 1980, p.68)


The 1907, Belfast Dockworker’s Strike, is often viewed as a seminal moment in Irish history. It is romanticised, as period of time in the tumultuous and sectarian history of Belfast, when workers threw aside religious/political differences for the good of the working-classes.  For a few months in the summer of 1907 members of the Orange Order and Republican Socialist banded together to challenge big business’ treatment of workers.  This was the first time that a “serious test of the Trades Disputes Act 1906”   was to take place since it had been passed in parliament.  It would also see the only munity of police officers in the history of the RIC; they would strike and refuse to act against fellow workers. But it was the ability of an unknown Liverpool docker and union organiser, James Larkin, which would really capture the public imagination and lay the foundation for more decisive and successful struggle in Dublin.


James Larkin was born to Irish migrant workers, in Liverpool in 1867.  His parents had migrated to Liverpool from County Armagh, due to the adversity caused by famine and economic hardship.  He would find work at the Liverpool Docks, the largest in the country, outside London, when he was old enough.  He would be known for his hard work ethic, earning him the moniker “the rusher”, and was to reach the position of foreman by 1903.  A year later he would marry the daughter of a Baptist preacher, Elisabeth Brown.  By 1905 he was to have an influential role in the Liverpool strike.  He was appointed temporary organiser of National Union of Dock Labourers. This would soon be made permanent, with his travelling to organise branches.


By 1907 Belfast was the fastest growing city in the United Kingdom.  Its industrial base was flourishing, as was its shipbuilding.  It had become the world’s most prolific linen producer and had the world’s biggest shipyard.  By this point it was also the third largest port in the British Empire, only being surpassed by London and Liverpool, with an annual tonnage of just over 3.000.000 tonnes.  It was in this background: mass industrialisation that James Larkin first became acquainted with Belfast and its dockers.  In January, 1907, the emergent Labour Party picked Belfast as the venue for its first party conference. James Larking was picked as a representative of the National Union of Dock Labours at the conference.


The first signs of trouble came in early summer when The Belfast Steam Company refused to recognise the right of its workers to organise a union. The company was owned by Thomas Gallaher who, had had a run in with Larkin over organising his tobacco workers.  Gallaher brought labours in from Liverpool and would not re-employ the workers or meet Larkin.  Dr Austen Morgan, sates that it was not the numbers involved that was important but only when it “spread through picketing, causing considerable economic and social dislocation in central Belfast” that the authorities started to take notice.  The dispute initially involved one hundred and sixty workers who were mostly Protestants.  Dr Austen Morgan would relay that the origins of the dispute are now confused when he stated, “The strike took place within the protestant community, contrary to historical mythology”.  This was the remarkable aspect of the strike: a considerable number of not only Protestants but also members of the Orange Order became fervent supporters of Larkin. Alex Boyd and Lindsay Crawford with other orange leaders had “created favourable conditions for the local labour movement “at the time.  Later speaking in Dublin, Larkin would say that orange supporters:


“…were there that day to say that the old sectarian curse had been banished for ever in Ulster.  Ninety per cent of the strikers were members of the old Orange Institution.” 


As well as, the significance of the sectarian divide being breeched, a major historical incident was to take place within context of the historical event we know as the Dockers’ Strike: the Police Mutiny.  During the 1907 Dock Strike, RIC offices influenced by the rhetoric of Larkin and who had sympathy with strikers began to agitate for better conditions for police officers.  While the police rate of pay was much better than the dockers and carters, they could not reside in lower-class neighbourhoods, this led to a large part of their income being exhausted on rent or lodgings. In late June, a number of letters started to appear in the Belfast print media. They complained about conditions, long hours and stated the police “were willing to strike” and went on that they “need a Larkin of their own”. Larkin would comment on the feelings within the Belfast RIC region and the fact that the police “were working eighteen hours a day, and they would go on strike too – only they dare not”.  This would soon turn from literary rebellion to literal.



On the 19th July, just a number of days after the coal-carters’ lockout, a detective constable stationed at Roden Street, William Barrett, refused to accompany blackleg drivers.  He was suspended from duty.  Within three days the Irish News had published a circular, in which, Barrett called for a meeting in Belfast’s Musgrave Street.  Around three hundred officers attended and a petition was sent to the government, with the resolutions that the meeting carried.  Barrett was dismissed as a result of the action.  On the 27th July five hundred men, half the police officers stationed in Belfast marched from Musgrave Street to Custom House Square, carrying Barrett on their shoulders.  On the Monday, 29th, the Irish News carried the headline “Belfast Police Make History.”  The next day, Dublin Castle moved twelve hundred troops into Belfast and transferred almost third of the police stationed in the city to other areas.

This action brought the strike to an end but the remarkable events in Belfast would give a lasting loss in the labour movement’s psyche of what might have been.    The foundation, that would ensure that nothing like the 1907 strike would take place again, was laid in 1906. The Liberals had won the British General election of that year and soon the national question or Ireland’s Home Rule would soon take central stage.  This would prevent the circumstances, that brought Larkin to the fore, enabling him to unite different side of the sectarian divide on class and social issues, from happening again. Professor Henry Patterson would observe “The strike’s conclusion and developments outside Belfast forced an end to their myopia.”

Emmet Larkin would regretfully remark that “This break up of an alliance so pregnant with possibilities was the real tragedy and lesson of Belfast in 1907”.

The Smoke Rises Once More


You could ask almost anyone, what were you doing on the eleventh of September 2001 and they would know.  It seems that the whole world was watching as Muslim fanatics attacked, what they term, as the evils of the West, in the guise of New York’s World Trade Centers. Could something that has changed the world so much and the people and powers behind it not be mentioned in the Bible?  The forces that were unleashed upon Western Civilization, at the beginning of the Twenty First Century, have their origin in Middle East of the Seventh Century and have a prime place in Bible prophecy.

Islam is the fastest growing religious system in the world today – out of every six people on the planet today, one of those is a Muslim.  From the remotest islands of the Philippines to worlds financial centers of London and New York Militant Islam is alive. It has entered a new “Golden Age” and is now converting large numbers on all continents. With its rise comes one of the most significant events in world history.



Winston Churchill made the following observation, at the age 25, in 1899:

“How dreadful are the cures which (Islam) lays on its votaries!  Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog…It has already spread throughout Central Africa raising fearless warriors at every step…were it not that Christianity is sheltered…the civilization of modern Europe might fall.”

These words tell of the serious problem that the British and American peoples find themselves in today.

The Bible contains within its pages, prophecy – almost one third of its entirety is devoted to future events. Despite this fact very little has been written concerning Islam with this in mind. It is this, the place of Islam in world events, as foretold in Bible prophecy, that has primed Pastor Alan Campbell produce this vital study. This book will be of great interest to both Christians and non-Christians alike.

The Bible tells us to, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come…”Matthew 24:42. and again in Mark 13:37, the Lord directs, “I say unto all, Watch.”  The Word of God tells us to look for the Lord’s return and it gives us a formula, if you like for this.  It sets out future events that we might know that it is the Word of the Living God and challenges us to look at history and current events in light of his Words.   This is in order, that we might realize that He has a plan for mankind and His creation. His challenge is:

“Remember the former things of old: I am God and there is none else: I am God and there is none like me.  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from the ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isaiah 46:9-10.


So look and wait!  The Lord has given us this command and know, “there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh know…what shall be in the latter days.” (Daniel 2:28.).  It is time to study the Word of God has to say, “shall be in the latter days” – yes, today!  

Today, we stand on the edge of the greatest event of all time: the Lords return.  Forces, both evil and good are now being mustered – like pieces on a chess-board.  The modern mind has learned to pour scorn on such thinking but because it is no longer fashionable to believe such things, does not make it any less true.    Bible teacher, Dr. F.J. Huegel said this about our modern disbelief in evil and its plan:

   “There is nothing our age so needs as a re-valuation of evil. The force of terrific circumstances which threatens to wreck civilization and which are causing men’s hearts to fail them for fear…demand a fresh investigation of the springs of evil.  If in other days it mattered little whether the Biblical definition of evil was taken seriously or not – today I must know, as for never before, the foundation of human welfare are being threatened.  The conflict has become so fierce, so maddening, so desperate that – well, one would just like to know who or what it is we are fighting…Is the primary source of evil a super-natural being who hates God and who is bent turning man against Him so he may capture for himself the devotion of men…”

There is a real force of evil at work in the world today.  It has a plan and an objective – it is this: its plan of turning mankind from the worship of the God of the Bible to the worship of a false god, this is what we will shine a spotlight on.

Forty years ago, it would have been seen as foolish to predict the reemergence of Islam as a force to be reckoned with, however, the Bible tells us that it will try and resurrect itself – this is what is occurring today

Hilaire Belloc, British historian, writing in, The Great Heresies – 1938, said this on the imprudent belief that Islam was a spent force:

“…it has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and has been for more than a thousand years its opponents.”


“The suggestion that Islam may re-arise sounds fantastic – but this is only because men are always powerfully affected by the immediate past:- one might say that they are blinded by it…”


“But not so very long ago, less than a hundred years before the Declaration of Independence…Vienna was almost taken and only saved by the…army under the command of the King of Poland…on a date that ought to be among the most famous in history.”  


September 11th, 1683.



The current phase in militant Islam had its origin in 1979, with the success of the Islamic revolution in Iran.  Ayatollah Khomeini’s supporters’ defeat of the western backed Shah, infused Islam’s new warriors with a belief that the time was right to start preparing the way for a worldwide revolution.  The view of the black clad and bearded figure Khomeini, with a detached look thundering out bellicose statements was the first warning of this new age.  Khomeini warned the world of the terror to come:

 “We shall export our revolution to the whole world.  Until the cry ‘Allah Akbar’ resounds over the whole world.  There will be struggle.  There will be Jihad…Islam is the religion of militant individuals…Islam will be victorious in all the countries of the world and Islam and the teachings of the Quran will prevail all over the world …This is the duty that all Muslims must fulfill”

The Ayatollah embarked upon a campaign of reinvigorating militant Islam in the Middle East after a time of extended secularization, which began after the First World War.

After the Defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, Muslim states rejected fundamental Islam and embraced socialist doctrine.  Saleh Habibi made the following observations on the falling away:

“They pronounced the word ‘Allah’ every now and then.  But that was done out of habit and signified nothing.  Prayers were still preformed by most people, but that too was little more than a ritualistic act.  Islam was considered decadent and dying and the future was shaped in the West.  People had been won over by the idea of having a good life in this world, regardless of the questions that would be asked in the next.”

Iran’s revolution was the beginning of the ended for the westernizes in the Middle East. Johaiman Bin Muhammad at Mecca cried these words concerning the end of pro-western regimes:

“The hour promised by our Prophet – blessed be his soul – when Islam shall triumph over impiety has arrived.  I and my brothers have dispatched by the will of the Almighty to put an end to the rule of corrupted, depraved and eternally doomed princelings who have brought shame to Arabia and its Muslim people.”

Others were to join with Khomeini in this new cycle of religious intolerance which started to sweep the world.  Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud warned those who might stand in the way of the Islam expansionism in this manner:

“We shall never call for or accept a negotiated peace. We shall only accept war – Jihad – the holy war, We have resolved to drench the lands of Palestine and Arabia with the blood of the infidels or to accept Martyrdom for the glory of Allah.”

Mohammad Abed al-Selam, in his book, Al-Fareda Al-Gaaba, The Missing Commitments, which has become the Jihadist’s handbook,  promotes the view that Jihad is the only Islam can fulfill its destiny.  A destiny, which is: world domination.  He says this, “The Islamic invasion is coming to Rome,” and goes on to tell the reader that in the past Allah used fire, floods and other methods to deal with the infidels.  Since the foundation of Islam, however, Allah has ordered the Muslim to take the law into their own hands. It is their duty kill and torture those who are seen as the enemies of Allah.

The founder and Supreme Guide of The Muslim Brotherhood, Shaikh Hassan al-Banna, made the following comment:

“It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”

Islam is in its very nature is uncompromising. The Islamic fundamentalist, Hussein Mussavi said:

“We are not fighting so that the enemy recognizes us and offers us something.  We are fighting to wipe out the enemy.  We will not take the path of shame.”    

Ayatollah Fazl-Allah Mahalati, one of the formulators of the Islamic international terrorist movement, penned these words:

“A believer who sees Islam trampled underfoot and who dose nothing to stop it will end up in the seventh layer of hell. But he who takes up a gun, a dagger, a kitchen knife or even a pebble with which to harm and kill the enemies of the Faith has his place assured in Heaven.  An Islamic state is a state of war until the whole world sees and accepts the light of the True Faith.”

There are a number of recurring themes in a lot of the statements from the leaders of Islamic terror: that of  world wide domination and all-out war against the unbeliever. Again the words of Shaikh Hassan al-Banna, tell us a lot, “The dagger, poison, the revolver these are the weapons of Islam against its enemies.”

The teaching of Islamic fundamentalism, is quite clear, they are engaged in a holy war and it is the duty of every Muslim to participate in it. One of the saints of Islamic fundamentalism, Sayyed Muhammad Qutb, wrote, “For every one of the believers must fight this war.”



Islamic judge, Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali poured scorn on those who would propagate the view that Islam is a religion of peace that is so prevalent in western political thought.  These are his comments:

“Those who are against killing have no place in Islam, Our Prophet killed with his own blessed hands.  Our Imam Ali killed more than seven hundred on a single day.”

If further evidence was needed of the violent nature of Islam and its true intentions, the words of Shaikh Morteza Motahari, tell us all we need to know, “Islam is not Christianity.  Islam is the religion of agitation, revolution, blood.”   



                The warning is clear and the intentions of militant Islam are there for all to see.  The following statement from Dr. Israr Ahmed, Amir of the Tanzeem, is the bell toll of warning:

 “The process of the revival of Islam in different parts of the world is real.  A final showdown between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim
world…, will take place soon…prepare yourselves for the coming conflict.”