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Strange Bedfellows?

Eamonn McCann • 31 July 2005

Among politicians who gathered around Martin McGuinness and Rita O’Hare in Washington last week to welcome the IRA statement calling off its armed campaign were Congressmen Peter King and James Walsh.

Also last week, King told Newsday that “people like Tim Russert” should be shot.

Russert hosts NBC‘s "Meet the Press". His offence was to have had former US ambassador Joe Wilson as guest on the programme.

Wilson was the man sent by the Bush administration to Niger in February 2002 to check out claims that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellow-cake uranium in the country. He discovered that the claims had been based on a crude forgery, and that there was no truth at all in the tale. He duly reported this back.

The US and British governments ignored Wilson’s report and added the lie about Niger to the list of lies deployed to lure the world to war. Iraq was invaded in March 2003. In July, Wilson wrote a piece in the New York Times challenging the use of the Niger allegation.

Five days later, a syndicated columnist, Robert Novak, quoted unnamed Bush officials saying that Wilson’s trip to Niger had been a put-up job, an unauthorised jaunt organised by Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, whom he named. The trip wasn’t official, and Wilson wasn’t reliable: that’s why his report hadn’t been taken into account.

Since outing a CIA agent is a criminal offence, an investigation into the leak was immediately launched. Bush said publicly that any official of his who was discovered to have been involved would summarily be sacked.

The investigation, as happens, took on a life of its own. On the 13th of this month, it reached a grand jury, where it emerged that Novak’s source had been White House deputy Chief of Staff and close Bush confidante, Karl Rove. This posed the question whether a man who had broken the law to blow a CIA agent’s cover was suitable for high office. A cry arose for Bush to deliver on his pledge to sack the culprit.

It was at this juncture that King intervened with a defence of the war and an attack on the “liberal” media. "I think people like Tim Russert and the others who gave this guy such a free ride, and all the media, they're the ones to be shot, not Karl Rove."

Michael Moore responded on Friday: “Excuse me, Congressman King! Is that a threat to our media who at least are now waking up to the fact that there is indeed corruption and criminality taking place in this White House? Had our leaders and the American people listened to people like Joe Wilson there never would have been a ‘Bush War.’ I think that Karl Rove is the one that has been given a free ride at the expense of innocent lives taken…As far as I am concerned, he can rot in prison .”

King’s defence of lying to promote violence against innocent people was no surprise. He was shouting for war on Iraq as early as December 2001, scornful of the notion that UN support should even be sought. “The United States has the right and the responsibility, at the time of our choosing, to take action against Iraq.“

In May 2003, when Bush appeared on an aircraft carrier puffed up in a flying jacket with a “Mission Accomplished” banner as his backdrop, King mocked commentators who criticised the occasion as premature: “This was an incredible military victory…(The critics) are grasping at straws, they're desperate.”

I could go on. King’s record of support for illegal mass violence, particularly against Arabs, is almost second to none.

Almost, because there’s also James Walsh, who not only believes that what the US has done to Iraq is brilliant---he wants more.

Iraq, says Walsh, provides a “model” for how the US should handle other “troublesome” countries. Syria, presumably, and Iran. Slaughter them in thousands. Drive them to desperation. Fragment them into warring sectarian factions. And steal their resources while doing it.

Walsh is currently chairman of the Friends of Ireland group.

I assume that there are Sinn Feiners who believe that association with the likes of King and Walsh is inappropriate. But that’s all it can be. An assumption.













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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
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Index: Current Articles

1 August 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

An Open Letter to Gerry Adams
Dolours Price

The Inevitable
Anthony McIntyre

PIRA Statement 'Neither Surprising nor Historic'
32 County Sovereignty Movement

'Provisional IRA Should Disband Completely'
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

A Momentous, Historic, Courageous and Confident Statement
Jimmy Sands

When History Was Made
Brian Mór

Roundup on the IRA Statement
Liam O Ruairc

The Way of the Apache and Lakota
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Strange Bedfellows?
Eamonn McCann

Rewriting the Past to Suit the Present
Mick Hall

Shoot to Kill: Getting Away with State Murder
Eamonn McCann

Parents of the World Unite
Fred A Wilcox

31 May 2005

Justice is the Right of All Our Victims
Gemma McCartney

Quis Separabit? The Short Strand/Markets UDA
Anthony McIntyre

Civil Law as an Instrument of Resistance
Peter Mason

A Salute to Comrades
Dolours Price

Behaviour of Young Gets Worse
David Adams

Recognising Similarities, Delivering for the People
Mick Hall

One Republican Party
Dr John Coulter

Venezuela: A Common Brotherhood
Tomas Gorman

May Day versus Loyalty Day
Mary La Rosa

One Eyed Morality
Anthony McIntyre

Lying in Wait for the Dutch Tsunami…After the French Earthquake

Michael Youlton



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