I don't know whether Gerry Adams had a hand in Jean McConville's killing.
I have been reading "D-Day" by Antony Beevor, and am appalled at the atrocities and tragedies that afflicted both combatants and noncombatants, with quite a few incidents of people executed merely on what seemed plausible suspicion.
My memories of Vietnam are etched with images of the recently killed: a young soldier with his face hanging off and an old "mama sahn" machine-gunned during a "hot landing" of copter-borne GIs. I recall a forward area noncom assigned, in order to satisfy a parental inquiry, the task of obtaining a soldier's last words. The last word: "Fuck!"
We GIs all agreed with Gen. Sherman.
When people are in a combat mode, it makes little difference that certain officials characterize combat actions as criminal or terrorist behavior.
In the minds of the IRA killers, McConnell was a "spotter" and needed to be eliminated. But the dragging her off as her children watched aroused great public indignation. Yet emotions were running hot in the wake of ghastly incidents afflicting the Catholic citizenry. That's the way war is. Beevor tells of young GIs who, when a buddy was killed, suddenly acquired a passionate hatred of Germans. Irrational, but that's human nature. Catholic militants inflamed Protestant militants and vice versa in a vicious cycle. Irrational. But that's part of the psychology of war.
The horror of the McConville kidnaping and slaying is typical of the anguish that war generates. The McConville children were among the many who grieved during the Troubles.
In the midst of the passions of war, it is hard to remember that it is often so that the wrong people get hurt.
War is hell.
And may God be with the McConvilles and all who suffered during the Troubles.
As Christians, we must remember (hard as it is to do so) that the killers who survive are also war's victims. Not a few cases of post traumatic stress disorder stem from the pangs of remorse over terrible deeds.
Until we learn the ways of peace, then it may well be so that this saying points back at us:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Apologies for the misspelling of the McConville name in the original post. A mitigating circumstance is that I have been under extreme cyber harassment, and that has severely affected my ability to write and edit. Such cyber-bullying by persons disrespectful of the right of free speech has been going on for years, but reached outrageous proportions about two weeks before the McConville post.
A computer was destroyed by military-style malware, bypassing four layers of security, and since then my internet access has been fraught with difficulties. I am tempted to wonder whether there exists a secret "no-compute" list secretly rationalized by the Justice Department against activists who have been targeted as "terrorist connected" by secret accusers.