America snubbing republicans..?

THE New York Sun launches a stinging attack on Sinn Fein, saying the party should not be in Washington on St Patrick’s Day and urging punitive action to be taken by the US Envoy Mitchell Reiss. The Irish Echo reports continuing uncertainty about the involvement of local parties in the White House event on St Paddy’s Day, and tells us that despite giving him a visa, a meeting between SF’s Gerry Kelly and a displeased Reiss was passed to a State Department official instead.

Writing in the New York Sun, Ed Moloney said Bush was in a difficult position regarding a meeting with Gerry Adams. Moloney wrote:

It is a tough decision, because either way the president will likely come under criticism. Banning Adams, as an angry administration source hinted the president is considering, will attract hostility from Irish-Americans, a constituency the Republican Party has been wooing in recent years, with some success. But allowing him to attend will leave the White House open to accusations that it has double standards on terrorism.

The Sun’s editorial was so stridently forthright in its attack, it almost sounded like a DUP press release:

Sinn Féin/IRA is one of the most anti-American political movements in Western Europe: its newspaper, for example, has described Colin Powell as a war criminal. Its foreign cognates are such terrorist groupings as the Palestine Liberation Organization, Hezbollah, the Colombian FARC and the Basque separatists of ETA. If it ever joins a coalition government in the Irish Republic, it will make the southern state more hostile to our interests: think of the difficulty which even the current Irish government had in securing landing rights at Shannon for American military aircraft during the liberation of Iraq.

It is intolerable that the commander in chief of the world’s only superpower should be humiliated in this way by a group of two-bit provincial hoods masquerading as freedom fighters.

St Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the Irish contribution to civilization. The Sinn Féin/IRA leadership represents the antithesis of that proud heritage. We do not need them here.

* * *

The Echo reported that the US President felt rather like Bertie Ahern does right now – frustrated and conned:

“It would be embarrassing after all these years of supporting the presence of Sinn Féin here as a player in the peace process to have to go back to our districts and say ‘they’re just a bunch of robbers,'” said one member of Congress who did not want to be identified.

Irish diplomats said plans for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House have been put on hold.

U.S. officials want a clearer picture of the bank raid, see the results of the meeting between Adams and Ahern in Dublin, and take into account the view of British Prime Minister Tony Blair before deciding how to proceed.

“The Taoiseach will definitely be handing over the bowl of shamrock, it’s a question of whether there will be anyone else there,” said one Irish diplomat. Meanwhile, uncertainty over the White House’s plans for St. Patrick’s Day has caused American University in Washington to delay assembling a presentation on the North because it has been unable to ascertain if representatives of the North’s various political parties will be in the city on March 17.

Indications this week from Irish, British and U.S. officials were that the uncertainty might continue for some days yet.

  • Dec

    To be lectured on theft by a newspaper whose chief investor is Conrad Black is a little much, no?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The BBC has a report on the above now

    Certainly there seems to be no rush by MLAs to pack their suitcases…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘think of the difficulty which even the current Irish government had in securing landing rights at Shannon for American military aircraft during the liberation of Iraq.’

    Funnily enough I was more concerned with the difficulty holiday makers had with the finger printing and ‘prove yourself innocent’ conduct post Homeland Security. Anyway, don’t the Free Staters know that when the USA needs an aircraft carrier they’ll use Shannon when they want to.

    ‘It is intolerable that the commander in chief of the world’s only superpower should be humiliated in this way by a group of two-bit provincial hoods masquerading as freedom fighters.’

    Too right, when it comes to murdering while masquerading as freedom fighters and bringers of democracy the good old USA really is in a league of its own. The IRA don’t even register.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Fair weather friends?

  • ulsterman

    west belfast get ready to for a few scud missiles.

    SF should never have been given a Whitehouse welcome. They are indeed a bunch of terrorists.

    Bush is a total hypocrite if he invites SF.

    As for the Irish vote in America. It has decreased so much that it is now meaningless.

    GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

  • James

    The letter from America:

    “St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the Irish contribution to civilization.

    A grateful world rejoices as the shamrock strewn masses prance past a reviewing stand of sectarian and homophobic geezers.

    This is serious stuff, El Gonzo, honest. Trust me.

    Party on.

  • cgmoron

    Ban Adams,
    I’m sure Fidel will be glad to have him in Cuba

  • Malin Foster

    Interesting comments on Adams/Sinn Fein/White House. I’m Public Forum Editor for The Salt Lake Tribune (SLC, Utah) and today received a letter from a Belfast man urging that Sinn Fein, et. al. be barred from the White House St. Patrick’s Day fests. I’ll likely publish the letter, but it will require considerable backgrounding before it’s meaningful at all to our readers. Most Americans are unaware of what the peace process is about.
    That’s primarily the fault of the U.S. news media, but most sobering is that the Bush White House — and certainly the president himself — really haven’t a clue about the hundreds of years of history that preceded the GFA. They simply don’t know what they’re dealing with. President Bush is likely taking all directions about N. Ireland from 10 Downing St. The only real interest Bush has in any part of Ireland is that U.S. war planes may continue to refuel at Shannon.
    Ed Moloney’s piece is also interesting. He Opines that Bush is in a rough spot over the St. Patrick’s Day invitations because he doesn’t want to be seen as hypocritical about terrorism. Let’s not forget that the U.S. finances terrorism by continuing to send multi-millions of dollars in aid to Israel. That’s not amusing at all to millions of American taxpayers.
    If the Bush administration cares even a tiny bit in at least appearing to have an interest in Northern Ireland (and appearances, not substance, are paramount with them), they can’t aford NOT to warmly welcome Sinn Fein at the St. Patrick’s festivities. Sinn Fein is involved in the ongoing peace process. Whether or not the IRA was involved in the bank robbery is irrelevant, even though Sinn Fein is clearly linked to the Provos. The bank robbery is a matter for the PSNI, not the White House. The peace process — including the bits that occasionally cross the Atlantic — must include ALL the players.

  • James

    I really do not understand why all of you people are making such a fuss over whether some bearded geezer who left his best days in the 70’s visits a Yale yuppie wannabee cowboy over here who half of us would never would vote for in a million years on my birthday, of all days.

    Really, chill out everyone. It would be far more constructive for everyone to send me 20 quid on St. Paddy’s day. Trust me.

    Mainland bank notes only, please.

  • Fraggle

    mainland, that would be euros then james