Bush is a hypocrite.
US president wants us to believe he feels such outrage
at innocent people being butchered by thugs on the
streets of Belfast that he cannot stomach being
in the same room as those he identifies as the thugs'
erstwhile political associates.
he makes a holiday in his heart at the thought of
hundreds, maybe thousands, of innocent people being
blasted to bits in Fallujah by far better-equipped
and more ruthless thugs operating on direct orders
demands due process for Belfast, while denouncing
as outriders of terrorism any who defend due process
for the thousands interned without trial and put
at risk of torture and murder by his own administration.
reason decent Sinn Feiners - and it's useful to
remind ourselves at this point that that's the vast
majority - must squirm in near-silence as their
party is rubbished by an odious charlatan is that
their leaders have been among Ireland's most enthusiastic
colluders in this hypocrisy over recent years.
of us have had the disturbing experience of being
told by people 30 years our junior to, "For
Christ's sake, grow up" when we've suggested
that the jagged contradiction upon which they'd
impaled themselves would do for Sinn Fein in the
Tuesday, one dedicated supporter of the party remarked
to me, "Jesus, that's the end of it,"
when word came that Congressman James Walsh of upstate
New York had joined in demands that the IRA disband,
reason Walsh's defection hit hard was that he has
arguably been Sinn Fein's most doughty defender
on Capitol Hill over the past decade.
is also one of Congress's most forthright advocates
of US aggression abroad, assuring New York station
WRVO some months back that not only had the illegal,
lie-based invasion of Iraq been a splendid idea
in itself, but that, "In time it will be seen
as a model."
it hadn't been for the bank heist and the murder
of Robert McCartney, Walsh would have been striding
through the shamrock-strewn streets of Syracuse
this afternoon in perfect step with a top Sinn Fein
leader, and anybody back home who suggested to a
Sinn Feiner that this was inappropriate would literally
have been laughed at.
same calculated ambivalence has been on display
in relation to policy here, too, and, again, helps
explain how the Republicans have managed to mire
themselves in a horrible mess.
only a couple of months since commentators were
speculating, reasonably, that Sinn Fein might soon
be in coalition government with Right-wing parties,
North and South. All it had to do was break with
the IRA. That is to say, the armed struggle and
its ersatz, underlying ideology apart, there was
nothing about Sinn Fein which the establishment
viewed as threatening its interests.
nothing new in this, either. One of the most striking
aspects of Republican history has been the speed
and ease of the absorption into the conservative
mainstream of each group which broke with the IRA
and armed struggle.
reason Fianna Fail has been particularly enraged
by the turn of events is that they understand this
better than any other party in Ireland. After all,
they are one of the groups concerned.
Fein is now being told on all sides it must immediately
choose between, on the one hand, ditching the IRA
and fully embracing the status quo or, on the other
hand, maintaining links with the IRA and marching
message from the White House, Downing Street, Leinster
House and every mainstream commentator is - go into
government, chastened, on a Right-wing programme,
or reconcile yourselves to irrelevance.
these are not the only options. Turning off the
path of nationalist armed struggle doesn't necessarily
mean turning Right.
Left, brothers and sisters. Forget the baubles of
bourgeois office. Stay out of alliance with neo-liberal
war-mongers. Build the opposition, North and South.