a member of the Labour Committee on Ireland I helped
organise the meeting at which Gerry Adams addressed
delegates to the 1983 Labour Party Conference in Brighton.
The LCI campaigned in the Labour Party for British
withdrawal from Ireland. Central among its arguments
was that withdrawal was the application of the socialist
and democratic principle of the right of nations to
self-determination: that nations should have the liberty
to form and choose governments free from external
rule or domination.
one's view of this argument as applied to Ireland
- and while supporting the end of the war in the North
I believe it still holds true - the principle of the
right to self-determination was at the heart of the
entire post-war decolonisation movementt. Be it India,
Kenya, Algeria, the Congo, Korea or Vietnam, mass
struggles and bloody wars were fought for the right
to self-rule against European and US colonial power.
coming war against Iraq, while economically about
the control of Iraqi oil, is politically the first
step in the reversal of the entire post-colonial settlement.
By overwhelming force of arms or the threat thereof,
the US will seek to install compliant regimes to replace
those which do not fit the needs of western neo-liberalism.
the Bush administration struggles to maintain popular
support for this war in the US, 'official' Ireland
in the form of the Taoiseach is prepared to perform
the despicable role of helping legitimate Bush by
publicly associating with him. Perhaps they hope to
get some of Irish America on side for the slaughter?
Truly wretched therefore, is the presence of the Sinn
Féin delegation at Bush's public-relations
amount of prattle about the peace process can hide
the fact that those who have claimed the mantle of
the struggle against colonial rule in Ireland are
happy to sit and sup with those who would impose it
by force in Iraq. How are the peoples of the Middle
East, Africa and Asia to understand that basking with
Bush is the immediate requirement of a peace process,
the aim of which is to form a coalition government
with a rabid supporter of this war - David Trimble?
Is the urge to get into bed with Trimble so great
as to require Bush's Sham-rogue blessing right now?
The enduring image will be the smiling Ahern-Adams-Bush
photo-call: Republican Ireland lends succour to the
imperialist on the eve of the declaration of war.
the bombs fall on Bagdhad, Sinn Féin will have
time to reflect on how they have been used, or on
their duplicity. Fianna Fáil and the PDs appear
happy in their subaltern role. But hundreds of thousands
took to the streets of Dublin on February 17 under
the slogan: Not in my name. The same applies to this
shameful Washington junket: not in our name, Bertie
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