James and Phil on Ireland

D OC donaloc at peterquinn.com
Mon Nov 11 08:55:32 MST 2002

Before I go further - I would like to correct my attribution of Jaing
Zemin's recent speech at the CPC congress to Deng Xiao-Peng. As Keith
Bennett noticed, it would indeed be amazing considering that he's been dead
for five years now. Compliments on making me feel like a clutts. The last
time I felt such a fool was when Phil collared me for mis-appropriating a
Mao quotation.

James Daly wrote: By the way Phil, I agree with everything you say about the
past and present
of the Irish struggle. But I disagree with your prediction, seemingly still
shared by some Sinn Feiners, that a united Ireland is on the cards, which
also seems to have been the line on which the deal was sold in the first
place. Blair has from the beginning made the Good Friday agreement a stick
to beat Sinn Fein with. Talk of American interests' being compatible with a
united Ireland seems to me not only speculative, but mechanical and
economistic in approach. The "Unionist community" is a very healthy stumpy
tail wagging two dogs -- all Ireland (including all shades of republicanism)
and Britain -- and, as far as its policy towards Ireland goes, a third, the

>Unfortunately, I also cannot see anything radically different coming from
those individuals and parties you select as hope for the future.

James, you shouldn't encourage Phil - he used to say this before he recanted
and allowed for the possibility that reunification was 'compatible' with US
Imperialist interests.

As for yourself, talk is easy. Why do you maintain such a position? On what
material basis, do you make such statements - or am I being too economistic
in demanding evidence? Do you really think that Sinn Féin is being part of a
tail being wagged by Unionism. If so, I would wonder if you still live in
Ireland. I do not know of anyone who would believe that apart from a few
anti-Agreement Republicans (who you apparently appear to reject in any
case). Such a position would be very much a small fringe in any Republican
community here in the North.

I am strongly of the belief that Sinn Féin has now almost got a hegemonic
grip on Nationalist opinion in the North - perhaps I am wrong but it's my
experience. If Unionism was wagging the tail, then it wouldn't have just
collapsed Stormont (their most prized possession coming out of the GFA).
Currently, in place are the Cross-Border Implementation Bodies and these,
despite combined Unionist and Civil Service campaigns, are likely to remain
operational throughout at least the initial period of the suspension.

Apart from that, I think that your [brief] critique of the conflation of
Irish Republican objectives for National Self-determination and the
interests of US capital for global hegemon is good - indeed, I have argued
such myself previously. Who was it that said that Ireland could become the
Cuba of Europe - some US Govt general/official?

As far as Danielle's question on whether Sinn Féin officials should talk to
US officials - I think that they should, after all the current strategy
attempts to involve the US people and, by extension, their Government in the
Peace Process {in which British military forces will disengage from Ireland
and its affairs [although that is becoming much more difficult just now]}.
It is undeniable that many US citizens are favourably disposed towards a
just solution of the British problem in Ireland (through their identity as
Irish-Americans) so it is not a simple 'No to US Imperialist involvement' as
we might advocate in places like East Timor/Iraq or the like. Part of
Ireland is *already* militarily occupied by a sub US-imperialism and it
would appear only sensible that the Irish people use every weapon they can
in the struggle to get these out of their country.

I understand such decisions may offend the sensitivities of self-professed
revolutionaries and hard-core fanatics who don't seem to understand the
realities of dealing with overwhelming forces. But that's life and that's
the sort of stuff you have to do to win. By extension, the same people would
have criticised Lenin for availing of free transport (and money??) from
German Imperialists in 1917.


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