Should Adams Be Meeting With US Warmongers?

Danielle Ni Dhighe danielle at
Fri Nov 8 14:15:34 MST 2002

Belfast Telegraph
7 November 2002

Should Adams Be Meeting With US Warmongers?
By Eamonn McCann

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

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

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

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

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?

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