My friend Sean, like a lot of people in Ireland, tells a good story. He used to work for the National Roads Authority; they couldn’t call it the Irish Roads Authority, he liked to joke, because the abbreviation “I.R.A.” was already taken.
In 2010, Sean organized an event to celebrate the completion of a highway linking Dublin to Belfast, in Northern Ireland. You could now commute between the two capital cities, which had once seemed worlds apart, in under two hours. One of the grandees invited to celebrate on a stretch of road outside Newry in the north was Martin McGuinness, the former Irish Republican Army gunman who, like a number of ex-paramilitaries, had reinvented himself as a politician and helped engineer the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to the three-decade conflict known as the Troubles in 1998.
But as Mr. McGuinness prepared to deliver his remarks, he looked momentarily confused, like a man who had mislaid his eyeglasses. He whispered to Sean, “Where exactly is the border?”
For decades, the border had been an open wound slicing across Ireland, with checkpoints and watchtowers and vehicle inspections. Mr. McGuinness had fought a war to erase that border — and the British Army and Loyalist paramilitaries had fought a war to maintain it.
Now, it was gone.
At first, even Sean couldn’t locate where the Republic of Ireland ended and Northern Ireland began. Then he found a subtle tell, and pointed it out to Mr. McGuinness: the painted line demarcating the breakdown lane changed from solid yellow to white. “Can you give me a second, Sean?” Mr. McGuinness asked. He wanted to be alone, to contemplate the vanished boundary in silence.
It’s been over 50 years since the outbreak of the Troubles, in 1968, and more than 20 since hostilities formally ended, yet suddenly the conflict is everywhere. “The Ferryman,” Jez Butterworth’s terrific play about one family’s experience of the trauma of I.R.A. violence, is a hit on Broadway, and “Milkman,” Anna Burns’s trancelike evocation of tension and predation during the Troubles, won the 2018 Booker Prize. On Netflix, the scabrous comedy “Derry Girls” unfolds against the backdrop of the Troubles as well.
From the safe distance of the United States, or even England, it can seem as if these are simply period pieces. And if you visit Belfast or Derry today, they are bustling, vibrant and relatively safe. It’s easy to forget that a dirty, grinding, undeclared war was fought in Northern Ireland rather recently. It’s so easy to forget, in fact, that three summers ago, 52 percent of the British electorate appeared to have forgotten, when they voted to leave the European Union.
The British have long displayed a regally dismissive tendency to forget about the little island across the Irish Sea, and after 20 years of peace it may have seemed that what they used to refer to as “the Irish problem” had finally been solved. What they neglected to realize was that this new equilibrium, which many British and Irish people had come to take for granted, was facilitated by the European Union. Martin McGuinness couldn’t find the border because both the United Kingdom and Ireland were members.
Predicting how Brexit will unfold is a mug’s game. The very people charged with administering the divorce have no apparent sense of what the coming weeks may hold. Hard or soft Brexit, deal or no deal: Parliament keeps voting — most recently on Friday — yet each vote yields only more uncertainty.
Still, it doesn’t take much clairvoyance to see that if the United Kingdom leaves, the border must be reinscribed in some form. Doing so will be highly dangerous, for obvious economic reasons — but also because the tensions and grievances of the Troubles are not quite so safely relegated to history as British voters might like to think.
The Good Friday Agreement was a landmark peace deal, but it lacked one key component: It didn’t make any provisions for how to deal with the past. There was no South Africa-style truth and reconciliation process, in which people could reckon with the atrocities of the previous 30 years. There was no bargain over who should be held accountable for which of the 3,600 or so deaths, and who should receive immunity.
So while the peace may have endured, it is a very brittle peace. Roughly 90 percent of children in Northern Ireland attend schools that are segregated by religion. Every summer, ritualized marches and bonfires inflame tensions, setting off riots and sectarian violence. Towering barriers — “peace walls” is the official euphemism — bisect neighborhoods, preserving stability by separating communities. If you want to know how reconciliation is going, consider this: There are said to be more peace walls in Belfast today than there were at the end of the Troubles.
Time and peace alone do not heal wounds. Far from it. On March 14, British authorities announced that they would prosecute a former paratrooper for shooting unarmed civilians during the 1972 massacre known as Bloody Sunday. One side protested that aging ex-soldiers should not be subjected to a “witch hunt”; the other protested that prosecuting only one of the soldiers who opened fire that day was inadequate. The gulf between the two communities is so pronounced that for the past two years Northern Ireland has had no functioning government. The power-sharing executive and assembly created by the Good Friday Agreement shut down because the Unionists and the Republicans couldn’t share power.
Were the Brexiteers simply blind to this context? Willfully blind, it seems. When he was challenged to visit the Irish border and talk to people who live there, Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading anti-European Union member of Parliament with the affect of a Harry Potter villain, sneered that he could learn nothing from “going and wandering across a few roads.”
But, as anyone who goes to the border discovers, you can’t ignore the past. Talk to people in Northern Ireland, and they’ll bring up events from decades, or even centuries, ago, with a visceral emotion that would make you think they’d happened just last week. Investigators are still churning up the soil, searching for the bodies of people who were murdered during the Troubles and buried in secret graves.
Make no mistake: The border is a scar.
And the scar is about to open. Brexit has foundered, in no small measure, on the question of how to cope with the Irish border. Prime Minister Theresa May has promised future technological innovations that would allow for a frictionless customs border, but for the moment, that is magical thinking. Under the withdrawal agreement rejected for a third time on Friday both the United Kingdom and the European Union are committed to a “backstop,” which, in the event that they have failed to negotiate a future relationship by the end of 2020, would prevent the abrupt reintroduction of a hard border. But that is, at best, a temporary measure.
Will the violence return? It already has. In January, a car bomb exploded in Derry. This month, a dissident group claimed responsibility for several unexploded letter bombs that were sent from Ireland to London and Glasgow.
I don’t believe that we will see a return to the full-blown violence of the Troubles. The paramilitary groups that oppose the Good Friday Agreement are marginal players, with none of the resources or popular support that empowered the I.R.A. and others. But then, conflicts seldom start because most of the population wants them to.
The Troubles ignited in the first place, in large measure, because limited acts of violence were met with irrational escalation. Station a customs man at a border crossing, and kids are going to throw rocks at him. So you bring in the cops to stand guard. Then some fool with a rifle shoots a cop. What happens next?
One solution, which the European Union proposed last year, was to shift the border, for customs purposes, into the Irish Sea, so Northern Ireland and the Republic could trade without barriers. The British government rejected this idea on the grounds that doing so would undermine the unity of the United Kingdom. It’s a further measure of the Brexiteers’ naïveté that they don’t realize that by forcing Northern Ireland to choose between the United Kingdom and Europe, they may have inadvertently hastened the eventual reunification of Ireland.
Some prominent Irish Republicans have already called for a referendum on the question of Irish unity. How strange to think it could be Brexit that finally gets the British out of Ireland — an outcome that three decades of appalling violence failed to achieve.
In the interim, we should all be watching Northern Ireland closely, and hoping that whenever Brexit happens and whatever form it takes, it does not bring back any version of the Troubles. Northern Ireland is a beautiful place, but it also a tinderbox, and to ignore the bloody history of the Irish border is to court disaster.
Patrick Radden Keefe (@praddenkeefe) is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author, most recently, of “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland.”
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东方心经马报资料图 今晚**【的】【扛】【把】【子】，【是】【一】【个】【瘦】【高】【的】【汉】【子】，【手】【长】【脚】【长】，【走】【起】【路】【来】【虎】【虎】【生】【风】，【应】【该】【已】【经】【是】【名】【进】【化】【者】【了】。 【当】【晚】，【他】【便】【摆】【下】【酒】【宴】，【为】【罗】【乾】【与】【苏】【酥】【洗】【尘】。 【说】【是】【宴】【席】，【其】【实】【也】【就】【是】【泡】【面】【加】【上】【清】【酒】【香】【肠】。 【但】【有】【资】【格】【吃】【上】【这】【些】【的】，**【里】【也】【就】【那】【么】【几】【个】【人】。 【大】【帐】【篷】【里】，【开】**【日】【里】【舍】【不】【得】【开】【的】【大】【灯】，【七】【八】【个】【男】【人】，【加】【上】【苏】【酥】【罗】
【仅】【从】【萨】【迪】·【霍】【特】【本】【萨】【迪】【的】【神】【情】，【高】【弦】【还】【真】【判】【断】【不】【出】【对】【方】【的】【真】【实】【意】【图】。 【如】【果】【萨】【迪】·【霍】【特】【本】【萨】【迪】【诚】【心】【邀】【请】【高】【弦】【去】【德】【黑】【兰】“【验】【货】”，【探】【视】【那】【些】【加】【拿】【大】【人】【近】【况】【的】【话】，【那】【倒】【也】【算】【得】【上】【一】【件】【好】【事】；【可】【萨】【迪】·【霍】【特】【本】【萨】【迪】【要】【是】【打】【着】，【忽】【悠】【高】【弦】【这】【个】【在】【其】【眼】【里】【视】【为】【巴】【列】【维】【国】【王】“【走】【狗】”【自】【投】【罗】【网】【的】【小】【算】【盘】，【就】【居】【心】【叵】【测】【了】。 【见】【萨】【迪】
【因】【为】【有】【时】【课】【间】【她】【会】【拿】【起】【来】【看】【时】【间】，【偶】【尔】【可】【能】【会】【顺】【手】【放】【在】【书】【桌】【上】，【然】【后】【这】【时】【有】【同】【学】【刚】【好】【过】【来】【跟】【她】【聊】【天】，【她】【就】【会】【一】【时】【没】【注】【意】…… 【那】【有】【这】【个】【机】【会】【的】，【就】【只】【可】【能】【是】【班】【上】【的】【同】【学】【了】。 【班】【上】【的】【同】【学】…… 【那】【会】【是】【哪】【个】【同】【学】【呢】？ 【一】【时】【间】【真】【的】【很】【难】【有】【头】【绪】【的】。 【她】【又】【没】【想】【过】【会】【有】【人】【趁】【她】【不】【注】【意】【碰】【她】【手】【机】，【所】【以】【根】【本】【没】【去】【注】
【安】【然】【嘴】【角】【抽】【抽】，【刚】【想】【说】【些】【什】【么】，【就】【被】【徐】【婉】【连】【衣】【服】【带】【人】【推】【进】【了】【试】【衣】【间】。 “【好】【了】，【好】【了】，【虽】【然】【你】【出】【现】【了】【幻】【听】，【不】【过】【我】【原】【谅】【你】【了】，【快】【换】【衣】【服】【吧】，【换】【好】【了】【出】【来】【给】【我】【看】【看】！” 【隔】【着】【木】【门】，【安】【然】【听】【着】【徐】【婉】【的】【话】，【一】【脸】【无】【语】。 【门】【还】【没】【锁】【上】【呢】，【安】【然】【透】【过】【门】【缝】【看】【到】【门】【口】【的】【徐】【婉】，【然】【后】【突】【然】【眨】【了】【一】【下】【眼】【睛】。 【悄】【悄】**【的】【就】【开】东方心经马报资料图 今晚【穆】【嘉】【言】【这】【会】【儿】【最】【烦】【有】【人】【对】【她】【拉】【拉】【扯】【扯】。 【很】【明】【显】【她】【都】【已】【经】【这】【么】【痛】【苦】，【还】【来】【欺】【负】【她】。 【抬】【起】【拳】【头】【正】【准】【备】【反】【抗】。 【看】【着】【那】【个】【人】【的】【一】【瞬】【间】，【忘】【记】【了】【自】【己】【的】【初】【衷】。 【满】【眼】【的】【不】【可】【置】【信】。 【眼】【泪】【在】【眼】【眶】【里】【打】【转】，【倔】【强】【地】【不】【肯】【掉】【落】。 【她】【的】【手】【指】【在】【轻】【轻】【地】【颤】【抖】，【抬】【起】【胳】【膊】【慢】【慢】【碰】【上】【他】【的】【脸】。 【小】【心】【翼】【翼】【地】【轻】【点】【了】【一】【下】，
【做】【一】【个】【有】【张】【有】【弛】【的】【梦】 【梦】【一】【段】【有】【起】【有】【落】【的】【情】 【望】【一】【双】【有】【名】【有】【姓】【的】【眼】【睛】 【深】【记】【一】【只】【有】【棱】【有】【角】【的】【影】 【我】【想】【把】【思】【念】【附】【注】【在】【每】【个】【落】【幕】【时】【的】【宁】【静】 【我】【想】【把】【爱】【情】【标】【注】【在】【每】【朵】【浪】【潮】【尖】【的】【汹】【涌】 【如】【流】【沙】【在】【寂】【寞】【的】【海】【滩】【上】【驻】【停】 【如】【流】【星】【在】【浩】【瀚】【的】【宇】【宙】【中】【睡】【醒】 【也】【写】【一】【句】【不】【懂】【世】【界】【的】【爱】【憎】 【也】【走】【一】【段】【不】【问】【输】【赢】【的】【旅】【程】 【只】
【此】【话】【一】【出】，【几】【个】【长】【老】【脸】【色】【一】【变】。 【若】【是】【真】【的】，【那】【比】【在】【外】【布】【置】【的】【装】【置】【更】【危】【险】，【他】【还】【有】【可】【能】【在】【山】【谷】【内】【部】【设】【了】【局】！ 【若】【是】【他】【们】【直】【接】【把】【这】【消】【失】【给】【放】【了】【出】【去】，【邯】【山】【就】【一】【定】【会】【变】【了】【计】【划】，【或】【者】【是】【寻】【找】【另】【一】【个】【方】【法】。 【如】【果】【他】【们】【在】【山】【谷】【内】【有】【内】【应】，【那】【他】【们】【的】【人】【偷】【偷】【溜】【进】【去】，【也】【不】【会】【让】【人】【察】【觉】【到】【什】【么】。 【这】【一】【下】【子】，【众】【人】【纷】【纷】【陷】【入】
【约】【瑟】【芬】【夫】【人】【觉】【察】【到】【乔】【安】【和】【平】【克】【顿】【的】【异】【样】【神】【态】，【猜】【出】【两】【人】【多】【半】【是】【通】【过】“【传】【讯】【术】”，【正】【在】【与】【审】【讯】【室】【外】【的】【某】【人】【交】【流】，【就】【又】【给】【自】【己】【点】【上】【一】【支】【烟】，【默】【默】【地】【想】【着】【心】【事】。 【审】【讯】【室】【中】【的】【寂】【静】【持】【续】【了】【数】【分】【钟】，【乔】【安】【和】【平】【克】【顿】【交】【换】【了】【一】【下】【眼】【色】，【最】【后】【由】【平】【克】【顿】【轻】【咳】【一】【声】，【打】【破】【沉】【默】。 “【夫】【人】，【刚】【才】【葛】【莱】【森】【警】【长】【在】【隔】【壁】【审】【问】【了】【本】【案】【的】【重】【要】
【又】【是】【一】【阵】【寂】【静】，【羽】【凤】【拱】【手】【道】：“【属】【下】【愿】【往】!” “【你】【们】【呢】？”【陈】【一】【凡】【淡】【淡】【瞟】【了】【他】【一】【眼】，【对】【其】【他】【人】【问】【道】。 “【属】【下】【愿】【往】!” “【属】【下】【愿】【往】!” 【众】【人】【稀】【稀】【落】【落】【的】【回】【答】【道】。 “【那】【好】，【给】【你】【们】【一】【天】【时】【间】，【去】【吧】!”【陈】【一】【凡】【挥】【手】【道】。 “【一】【天】？【这】【是】【不】【是】……”【众】【人】【又】【瞪】【大】【了】【眼】【睛】，【这】【可】【是】【驱】【逐】【一】【位】【十】【方】【天】【域】【中】，