LEHER retired as a satirist upon hearing that Henry
Kissinger had won the Nobel Peace Prize.
perhaps those who strive to comment rationally on
world affairs should desist now that the Ulster Unionists
and Fine Gael have joined forces to discredit Sinn
Fein by putting it about that the Shinners aren't
in favour of war. Useless, namby-pamby Provos, no
stomach for bombing when it comes to the crunch...
critics timed their comments to embarrass Gerry Adams
on his visit to north America this week. Yesterday,
Adams met with one of Washington's most militantly
pro-war officials, Richard Haass.
he is set to address a now-traditional, no-scruffs-admitted,
$$500-a-head Friends of Sinn Fein grub-fest at a luxury
hotel in Manhattan.
he's to be feted at a reception at the mansion of
New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, a leading member
of the Ancient Order of Homophobes.
of those he is scheduled to glad-hand will, then,
be gung-ho supporters of the "war on terrorism"
and of the planned assault on Iraq.
it's been calculated, depicting him as less than whole-hearted
about US proposals for war might wrong-foot the Sinn
Fein leader even as he makes his statesmanlike way
along the dignitaries' line-up.
drive the point home, the unionists are distributing
copies of statements by Sinn Fein representatives
urging the Dublin Government to withdraw permission
for US war planes to refuel at Shannon while en route
to drop bombs on Iraqis.
Fine Gael intervention came at the weekend from the
former Cabinet Minister, now TD for Waterford, Austin
the button-down blueshirt wing of the party, he took
a subtly different tack from the true-blues of the
UUs. Deasy was livid that the Bush regime had allowed
the Adams events to go ahead: "Sinn Fein is the
political wing of a terrorist organisation...I think
it's hypocritical of the US administration...when
they are involved with a 'war on terrorism' and are
planning an attack on Iraq."
Having slaughtered Afghan wedding-guests, farm labourers,
school-children and the like in multiples of the numbers
killed in the US by their protégé Osama,
and with an imminent intention dramatically to increase
their killing rate in Iraq, where's the sense in the
Bush administration encouraging citizens to lionise
the leader of a party associated with, er, violence..?
approaches of the unionists and the Fina Gaelers may
be somewhat different. But it's the same point they
converge on: Bush's violence - the no-warning bomb
attack which killed six civilians in the Yemen on
Sunday being the latest example - either isn't really
violence at all or, if it is, is good violence, acceptable
violence. Certainly, it doesn't come into the category
implied in such phrases as, "There can be no
political justification for violence."
contradiction can be observed at its most acute in
the person of Haass.
known in these parts as Bush's point-man on Ireland,
he is, of course, much more.
Director of Policy Planning at the State Department
and with the rank of ambassador, he was Bush's policy
co-ordinator on Afghanistan and has played a significant
role in the expansion of US involvement in Colombia.
is among a tightly-knit group at the heart of the
Bush administration - with Vice-President Dick Cheney,
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General
John Ashcroft, FBI boss Robert Mueller, CIA chief
George Tenet, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Richard
Myers, etc - who are contemptuous of suggestions that
UN support should be a condition for a US attack on
Iraq (or anywhere else) and who are adamant that the
Zionist regime in Israel should be given a free hand
to inflict whatever cruelties it chooses on the people
Ulster Unionists and Fine Gael say that people of
this sort shouldn't meet Adams. A better question
is, how does Adams defend meeting with them?
article was first published in the Belfast Telegraph
and is carried here with permission from the author.
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