Northern Ireland is having a rough time. Revelations of the terrorist Irish Republican Army’s (ira) association with Colombian terrorists led to the arrest of three ira members in Colombia. In October, a police raid on the offices of Sinn Fein, the ira’s political arm, revealed proof of that murky enterprise’s involvement in spying against the British government. The British prime minister, Tony Blair, then closed down the Irish parliament, and home rule again ceased in Northern Ireland.
Finally, as the British newspaper The Independent declared, Prime Minister Blair, having played most of the appeasing cards in his hand, had “no choice but to be courageous” (quoted in The Week, Oct. 26). This comment applied to a somewhat assertive speech delivered by the prime minister in October in which he declared that the ira must renounce violence for good or risk complete abandonment of the moribund Irish peace process. His speech centered on the “Good Friday Agreement,” a virtual treaty between the British government, the Catholic ira-Sinn Fein and the Protestant Ulster Unionists, the success of which is dependent upon ira-Sinn Fein decommissioning its terrorist armory. He stated that this agreement could no longer carry on “with the ira half in, half out of the process. It won’t work anymore” (ibid.).
But the prime minister stopped short of demanding that the ira disband, a move that The Independent claimed “would be a huge step for them, yet there is no other obvious step available to them” (ibid.).
Ira-Sinn Fein have always got their way in the end. The hint of further appeasement by the British government was obvious to some. The Week summed up the reaction of London’s Daily Telegraph to Blair’s speech, “[H]e still seems keener on dangling carrots before Sinn Fein-ira than using the sticks available to him. He held out the prospect of dismantling Britain’s military presence in Ulster, while making no mention of the ira’s alleged spying activities or its adventures in Colombia. Nor were specific sanctions mentioned, should the republicans choose violence over democracy” (ibid.).
To whom can the British government turn to save face and seek a solution to the Irish question?
There is an avenue available which would enable the British government to wash its hands of the matter and at the same time appeal to ira-Sinn Fein, though not to the Ulster Unionists.
Britain and the Republic of Ireland (southern Ireland) are both current members of the European Union. Within the context of the various EU treaties they have signed, both nations have a right of appeal to the European Court. In fact, within the terms of the EU treaties, the EU may intervene in such a conflict between member nations to settle it. If this were to happen, and if the EU were to interpose itself perhaps via its rapid reaction force replacing the British military presence in Ulster in a peace keeping role, then a whole new scenario opens up.
Ireland’s Prophetic Roots
Ira-Sinn Fein will not give in. They are the offspring of the ancient Danites, that old Israelite tribe condemned for their idolatry. Scripture refers to them as having rather unique tendencies. “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward” (Gen. 49:17).
What does this scripture mean? Note the marginal reference in the Authorized King James. An adder is referred to in the margin as “an arrow-snake.” There is duality in this analogy. The arrow snake refers to Dan’s peculiar habit of marking his way. Every Boy Scout is familiar with the practice of marking trails with arrows to assist those who follow to identify the correct path. Dan simply left behind the patriarchal name as a marker “by the way,” making it relatively easy to identify the wandering route of this tribe’s migrations from the Middle East to Western Europe and the British Isles.
However, there is yet another aspect to this scriptural analogy. This arrow snake, once commonly sighted in the Middle East, was noted for its ability to hide in ruts and holes in the road or “by the way.” It would remain concealed in such positions, then suddenly leap out and strike its prey. With horse-borne wayfarers, the arrow snake could strike with lightning swiftness at the horse’s hocks. The startled animal would often rear in fright, tossing its rider backward onto the road.
This character trait of Dan shows cunning, deceit and subterfuge as his strengths in attack. Classic guerrilla tactics! Not unlike the terrorist tactics of the ira, as they lie in wait, seeking to spring at any moment to rattle the British government’s appeasing methods of seeking peace in Ulster!
A European Solution?
Britain’s prime minister is in a bind with the threat of the failure of his attempts to obtain a solution to the Irish question. Will he play the EU trump card to get his government off the hook? There are some intriguing prophecies that indicate this possibility—and its outcome!
The Prophet Jeremiah lived anciently in southern Ireland and built a famous law school at Tarah. Jeremiah’s prophecy to the house of Israel, most significantly Britain in this end-time context, seems to point very directly to the Danite Irish-Celtic tactics, exemplified by ira-Sinn Fein in their horrific terror campaigns. “For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord” (Jer. 8:17). Here again is that inference to Dan’s serpent-like tactics biting his enemy. The modern-day bite is delivered by bullets and deadly plastic explosives!
And yet, in verse 16, we see a military force of such capacity emanating from Dan that it literally “devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein.”
The Irish-Celtic Danites do not, of themselves, possess such power, nor the propensity to develop it. Jeremiah’s prophecy, however, indicates that the final resurrection of the old “holy” Roman Empire, even now forming in Europe, will, having settled on the island of Ireland, swarm in a great blitzkrieg across Britain! “The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein” (v. 16).
Could it be possible that, as a last resort, worn down by the cruelly tenacious tactics of an incorrigible enemy, Britain might turn to the EU for deliverance from the plague of Irish terror? Such a scenario is entirely conceivable. And if it does happen, it is just possible that Britain will pull its troops out from tramping Northern Irish soil and hand over the peacekeeping in Ulster to that force which was ostensibly created for peace-keeping missions with the British government’s total endorsement; the new European rapid reaction force!
Should such a situation become a reality, then, with its troops already deployed in Ireland, the Eurobeast would find itself at a great strategic advantage when it is finally ready to pounce on Britain, in fulfillment of those ancient prophecies of Jeremiah.
Even as the final resurrection of the “holy” Roman Empire rises up before our eyes in Europe, watch Northern Ireland for the end game that may reveal Ulster as the foothold by which Britain’s traditional enemy from Europe, frustrated in past attempts to take Britain via the English Channel, finally gains purchase of old England—that “green and pleasant land” long denied Rome but ever claimed by the papacy as “Mary’s dowry.”