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Questionnaires of life or death

[ by Charles Cameron — sometimes the answer to a simple question is a matter of life ansd death ]

Two days ago, the New York Times ran a remarkable article about a retired IRA gunman, Sean O’Callaghan, titled Behind Flurry of Killing, Potency of Hate. At the heart of this article was what I call a DoubleQuote in the Wild — an observed and noted parralelism, in thoughts and or events, with echoes and implications far beyond the two particular instances in question. It’s that DoubleQuote I want to present to you here, drawing on two other news reports for my presentation.

I examined the idea of a jihadist life or death questionnaire a short while back, as exemplified in the upper panel here and the Nairobi slaughter to which it refers:

When I read the second quote in the lower panel, however, it gives new context to my understanding of the first.



  • BBC, Ten dead in Northern Ireland ambush
  • Telegraph, Nairobi shopping mall attacks
  • 2 Responses to “Questionnaires of life or death”

    1. joey Says:

      I have relatives in Tyrone in Northern Ireland, who I visit occasionally.  My Family name Mc Cullagh, is quite common in that part of Tyrone.  However, there are two ways of spelling the name, the other way is Mc Cullough.
      The Mc Cullagh’s are Catholics,  The Mc Cullough’s Presbyterians.
      At first I didn’t understand peoples interest in how I spelled my name
      “Ah Mc Cullagh!, and how would you be spelling that?” 

      When I realized what they were up to it gave me an unpleasant feeling.  

    2. Charles Cameron Says:

      I can quite see why you’d find that a less than happy discovery, Joey! What’s in a name, asks Shakespeare — quite a bit, it seems. 

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