Apparently the former head of the Irish Republican Army and Queen Elizabeth shook hands under high security in England today.
The IRA and its’ various splinter organizations have been fighting an intermittent gruella war against Britain for the last hundred years. The organizations stated goal has been the creation of an independent Northern Ireland.
Despite the fact that the handshake makes great press, I’m not sure how effective the gesture is in terms of a national security strategy.
Judging by the level of security, the Queens people weren’t exactly convinced of the IRA’s intentions either.
The fact of the matter is that the IRA has splintered so much in recent decades that even if the queen shakes hands with the former IRA head, he may not speak for every element within the organization anymore.
Some IRA members still believe in the strategy of sporadic guerrilla car bombings, while other members have laid down their guns and given the recently devolved political processes throughout Scotland and Wales a chance.
My main point here, is that there’s not just one IRA anymore and we shouldn’t read too much into a single, highly guarded, handshake.