Saeed al-Sahaf may be the twenty-first centurys
first great comic genius. Mr. al-Sahaf is, though,
today best known as the Iraqis recent - if not current
- Minister for Information, itself a comical title
in light of the quality of information
he was spouting as Iraqs troops were being routed:
e.g., The [American] infidels are committing
suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad
As our leader Saddam Hussein said, 'God is grilling
their stomachs in hell.
while Mr. al-Sahaf may be in a league of his own in
spin-doctoring, it must be said that he does not have
a monopoly on misrepresentation.
premiers of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland,
and the United States met at Hillsborough earlier
this week and made there, doubtless with the very
best of intentions, the following statement regarding
the planned British-Irish Joint Declaration
shelved at least temporarily earlier today: These
proposals, built on the firm ground of the Good Friday
Agreement, hold out the prospect of enormous progress.
plain and painful fact of the matter is that the GFA
has much more the quality of quicksand than of bedrock;
firm ground is simply a false description,
at least vis-à-vis the firmness required for
even medium-term governmental stability. Numerous
articles - including The
Fundamental Problem Of Non-Constitutional Law Vis-À-Vis
The Northern Ireland Question (The Blanket,
Belfast: 9 March 2003) and Republicans
Big Risk (The Blanket, Belfast: 17
March 2003)) - have attempted to make this point.
if a genuine peace is to be achieved in Northern Ireland,
a necessary step is fundamental and unvarnished honesty
in the process, the prospects, and the sacrifices
that each side will need to make towards that end.
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