The Blanket

Should Adams Be Meeting With US Warmongers?

Eamonn McCann • Belfast Telegraph, November 7, 2002

TOM LEHER retired as a satirist upon hearing that Henry Kissinger had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Similarly, 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...

The 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.

Tonight, 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.

Tomorrow, 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.

Many 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.

So, 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.

To 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.

The Fine Gael intervention came at the weekend from the former Cabinet Minister, now TD for Waterford, Austin Deasy.

From 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."

Quite. 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..?

The 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."

The contradiction can be observed at its most acute in the person of Haass.

Although known in these parts as Bush's point-man on Ireland, he is, of course, much more.

As 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.

He 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 of Palestine.

The 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?


This article was first published in the Belfast Telegraph and is carried here with permission from the author.




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It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
- Arthur Calwell
Index: Current Articles

17 November 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


The People Who Can't Be Bought
Bernadette McAliskey


Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolutions
Liam O Ruairc


For Stormont & PSNI

Brian Mór


Should Adams Be Meeting With US Warmongers?
Eamonn McCann


Justice Not Revenge
Anthony McIntyre


Arbitrary Imprisonment

Sam Bahour and Michael Dahan


Support The Life Savers and Not The Life Takers
Davy Carlin


14 November 2002


The Legacy of Seamus Costello
Liam O Ruairc


A Balancing Act
Martin Patriquin


The Legal Fictions And The Awkward Questions
Anthony McIntyre



Brian Mór



Brian Mór


Guess Who's Back

Brian Mór


Arbitrary Imprisonment

Sam Bahour and Paul de Rooij


Iraq. Palestine. Give Your Support.
Davy Carlin


The Letters page has been updated.




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