Ruth Dudley Edwards: Gerry Adams's hate campaign against the Protestants of Ulster shows no sign of slowing
The methods change to suit the times, but the present guise remains malignant, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
Throughout his adult life, though the rhetoric has changed and the IRA has decommissioned, Gerry Adams's malign mission to demonise and demoralise Ulster Protestants has continued unchecked.
He and other leaders of his sinister cult still spread hatred and lies to poison young people in every generation.
In a fine Irish Times article last week describing the IRA's 1983 murder of his great-uncle Charlie Armstrong the day after Adams became president of Sinn Fein, Newton Emerson recalled Adams's reaction.
As well as being Ulster Unionist chairman of Armagh District Council, Mr Armstrong had been in the UDR, so, Mr Adams explained, that made him a "perfectly legitimate" target.
That Mr Armstrong was regarded as - in Seamus Mallon's words - "a friend to all councillors", who the night before he was blown up had requested a minute's silence as a mark of respect to a Sinn Fein councillor whose brother had been murdered by the UVF, cut no ice.
But as Mr Emerson noted, the IRA deliberately targeted liberal unionists: UUP Assembly Member and law lecturer Edgar Graham was shot dead at Queen's University three weeks later. In the same way, of course, it prioritised murdering Catholic policemen.
As Mick Fealty of the Slugger O'Toole website said in discussing Mr Emerson's article, liberals on both sides were anathema to the IRA, which wanted to dissolve the social glue that held neighbours together.
The IRA rarely murdered loyalist paramilitaries, he added, and we know of no plot to kill Ian Paisley, its best recruiting sergeant.
The justification of IRA murders by targeting anyone in uniform, or indeed anyone providing them with anything from petrol to pizzas, meant that most of the Protestant population was fair game.
But as the Provos realised that they had to abandon their failed military strategy, they set about undermining unionist culture, and refashioned history to render perpetrators as victims, victims as perpetrators, and all unionists as bullies and bigots.
In the 1990s the objective of the brilliant republican propaganda campaign was to paint every member of a loyal institution as a demon - provoking them to fury by covertly setting up intransigent IRA-led residents' groups to block parades while reciting to TV cameras pious rhetoric about terrified Catholics and supremacist Orangemen.
Catholic fears of loyalist pogroms were whipped up and there were arson attacks on Orange halls and boycotts of Orangemen's businesses.
In 1996, Mr Adams's heartland the Falls Road acquired an enormous mural with the heading 'Not All Traditions Deserve Respect'. It featured a hooded and robed Ku Klux Klan horseman with an Orange sash riding across a green landscape littered with skulls.
It was Mr Adams himself who gave the game away a few months after Orangemen had been vilified the world over when he was recorded gleefully telling a private Sinn Fein conference that the mayhem at Drumcree and elsewhere had been the result of "three years of work by Sinn Fein activists. They are the type of scene changes that we have to focus on and develop and exploit".
And so they did, and so they do, now misusing the Irish language and human rights under the guise of equality as a "Trojan horse to break these b******s" - i.e the DUP.
"The #DUPConference seems like nothing less than a KKK rally," tweeted an obliging Sinn Fein supporter. "Laughing off the denial of basic human rights."
As Mr Emerson chillingly confirms, Catholic schoolchildren have been brainwashed into believing that IRA violence was "regrettable yet inevitable and almost certainly warranted".
Having taught his movement that the IRA could more cleverly attack its neighbours through undermining their sense of culture and identity, Mr Adams claims to be a man of peace.
Gregory Campbell's silly "Curry-my-yogurt" joke was a godsend that is recycled again and again, as in Mr Adams's latest blog, where he asks if his grandchildren are to live where "their language and culture are…ridiculed, demeaned as second rate - as inferior?
"Where it is acceptable for some unionist politicians to make snide and nasty comments designed to humilitate?"
Mr Adams's hideous mission of hate continues unabated.
Ruth Dudley Edwards is the author of The Faithful Tribe: An Intimate Portrait Of The Loyal Institutions.