The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Not Firm Ground But Wet Sand: Prevaricating For Peace

Paul Fitzsimmons • 10.04.03

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf may be the twenty-first century’s first great comic genius. Mr. al-Sahaf is, though, today best known as the Iraqi’s recent - if not current - Minister for Information, itself a comical title in light of the quality of “information” he was spouting as Iraq’s 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.’”

But, 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.

The 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.”

The 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.

Perhaps 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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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles

11 April 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Critique of the Anti War Movement

Liam O'Ruairc


A Diversion from the Task
Eoin O'Broin


Bush and Blair Summon the Irish Contras...
Anthony McIntyre


Not Firm Ground But Wet Sand: Prevaricating for Peace

Paul Fitzsimmons


Irish Leaders Miss Chance to Speak Out Against War
Eamon Lynch


London Update


Baghdad: First They Cheered and Then They...
Anthony McIntyre


America's Dual Mission

M. Shahid Alam


War: It Already Started
Paul de Rooij


Lacking Credibility
Bert Ward


7 April 2003


Adams Will Tell Bush He's Anti-War
Eoin O'Broin


Stand Firm
Davy Carlin


Anti-War Human Rights Activists on Trial


First We Take Basra, And Then We Take ...Basra Again
Anthony McIntyre


Belfast - Building an Anti-War Movement

Davy Carlin




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