Sinn Fein could do with losing some of its US friends

Eamon McCann sees a paradox in the fact that Sinn Fein is being lectured by a man many of them hold in contempt for his prosecution of the war in Iraq. But he believes it’s not so much paradox, so much that the party has been prepared to ignore fundamental differences in policy with its strongest supporters in the US.

The reason decent Sinn Feiners – and it’s useful to remind ourselves at this point that that’s the vast majority – must squirm in near-silence as their party is rubbished by an odious charlatan is that their leaders have been among Ireland’s most enthusiastic colluders in this hypocrisy over recent years. Some of us have had the disturbing experience of being told by people 30 years our junior to, “For Christ’s sake, grow up” when we’ve suggested that the jagged contradiction upon which they’d impaled themselves would do for Sinn Fein in the end.

He goes on:

On Tuesday, one dedicated supporter of the party remarked to me, “Jesus, that’s the end of it,” when word came that Congressman James Walsh of upstate New York had joined in demands that the IRA disband, and pronto. The reason Walsh’s defection hit hard was that he has arguably been Sinn Fein’s most doughty defender on Capitol Hill over the past decade. He is also one of Congress’s most forthright advocates of US aggression abroad, assuring New York station WRVO some months back that not only had the illegal, lie-based invasion of Iraq been a splendid idea in itself, but that, “In time it will be seen as a model.”