a brief history lesson for you: on january 30, 1972, british paratroopers opened fire on a group of unarmed irish protesters in derry (or londonderry, depends on who you ask). 14 were killed, and a number of others were wounded. the initial inquiry, conducted almost immediately after the incident, found that the troops were provoked and that their actions were justified. of course, the irish were incensed, and “the troubles” continued until roughly 2001, where after 9/11 the IRA decided to (mostly) lay down arms. january 30, 1972 was forever after known as bloody sunday, and u2 decided to immortalize it in a song.
apparently, over a decade ago tony blair, the then-prime minister, bowed to pressure from the families of the victims for a second inquiry. known as the saville report, it concluded that the *gasp* troopers were actually in the wrong, and what happened was “unjustified and unjustifiable”. i’d think that firing on RETREATING unarmed civilians would be unjustifiable. it shouldn’t take an inquiry to figure that one out.
then, wonders of all wonders, the new prime minister, conservative david cameron, ACTUALLY APOLOGIZED on behalf of the british government. sure, it’s almost 40 years after the fact, but that didn’t matter to the irish, who can hold a grudge like nobody’s business. for now, they’re just ecstatic.
i don’t have much to add to this, really. my parents remember more about “the troubles” and the various points to them, like the hunger strikes. it’s funny how much hope this could give countries around the world, those that have suffered through the oppression of empirism might stand a chance at getting out from someone else’s thumb.
now if only the israeli government would take a page from the tory’s book and work something out with the palestinians…