To read the news, the average US citizen would have no idea that Ireland's soldiers are serving in Afghanistan. Only seven of them, but they're there, doing their unique bit. They have certain types of, shall we say, experience, that makes the Irish contingent a valuable component of the coalition that is fighting against the insanity of religious fundamentalism.
The Irish soldiers are the resident experts when it comes to bombs. It's the Irish Army Ordnance Corps that heads up training for the NATO forces that dispose of bombs. Why the Irish, one might ask. Why the Irish indeed.
Bombs and their components and methods of detonation give clues to the origins of the bombers. It is now thought that bombers from Al-Qaeda in Iraq have gotten into Afghanistan to share their murderous knowledge of explosive devices with their fellow loons. Where did the Iraqi group learn how to make bombs? From the thugs who terrorize the peaceful people of Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. And who, pray tell, taught Hezbollah and the PLO how to blow up and maim? None other than the IRA.
The clever bombers of the IRA, having perfected their techniques during the Troubles, exported their murderous efficiency to the Muslim whack-jobs of the Middle East, in exchange for cartloads of cash. The Irish members of the ordnance corps, familiar with IRA bombing techniques and bomb construction, are perfectly suited to instruct their fellow soldiers in the ways to defuse the bombs that the Taliban learned how to make from the IRA.
So next time Gerry Adams turns up at a fundraiser, hat in hand, looking for donations to Sinn Fein and the continuing struggle for a united Ireland, think of the young man or woman who was sent to Afghanistan, only to come home without an arm, a leg, a hand. Without part of their brain and skull. Know that the money you gave him all those years ago are serving a radically different purpose than what was originally stated. The blood of the wounded soldier, damaged beyond repair in Afghanistan or Iraq, is on Gerry Adam's hands. Is it any wonder that Ian Paisley won't shake that fist? And Sinn Fein is demanding that American military flights be banned from the Shannon stop over, citing the death of Iraqi civilians at the hands of American soldiers. Excuse me?