If you have a problem, if no one else can help..

With a week to go before the expected return of the temporary assembly, Sinn Féin has announced that Gerry Adams is to embark on a rather grandly titled “peace mission to Middle East” [btw, I wouldn’t mention Martin’s trip to Sri Lanka – Ed].. where [assuming the Israeli Government let him in – Ed] he expects to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and members of the Palestine Legislative Council, including Hamas – currently designated a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US, who are, reportedly, not impressed. Of course, SF has been in contact with organisations in the Middle East for some time, notably through their former director of international affairs, Denis Donaldson, who, as mentioned here, used those contacts in efforts to secure the release of Beirut-held hostage Brian Keenan.

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  • Garibaldy

    “It’s all right lads, I’m here now”.

    The arrogance is astounding.

    Say he’s visiting to share experiences, but to say on a peace mission (like he was Kofi Annan or Jimmy Carter meeting all sides with the good wishes of all parties to the conflict) is ridiculous.

    Unless of course he’s there to give advice on ending violence when the Americans finally get round to saying enough is enough.

  • Brenda

    He’s there about inclusive dialogue and HUMAN RIGHTS.

    LOL

  • Crataegus

    Garibaldy

    I must confess my initial reaction was similar to your own. Struck me as farcical and add to the mix the prominent British spies (really adds to your credibility in the Middle East) in the organisation that Gerry never belonged to, and one begins to think this is a further step into an escapist fantasy world. Saga of the SF Peace Keepers. Those fearless sons of Ireland on their life long mission for peace.

    But then I remembered there is likely to be an election in the South before next summer and well you never know some of the electorate may be impressed. You know the one’s that vote for SF, and the one’s rolling around sides splitting well they are never going to vote SF anyway.

    By the way expect a lot of guff about the importance of dialogue and if you ask me Gerry pulled the short straw, Sri Lanka is a much nicer destination.

  • Turbopaul

    Clam down it is only the evolution of Gerry Adams.

    Don’t all politicians, when they are very near to the end of their tenure look towards an international audience, an elder statesman role perhaps?

    Not forgetting Martin McGuinness as well, Mary Lou can be the new Martin McGuinness!!!!!!

    Its Connor time, Connor Murphy for leader of New Sinn Fein!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry could’nt miss the oppotunity.

  • Turbopaul

    Wish slugger comments box had a built in spell-check for lazy oiks like me!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Turbopaul

    Wouldn’t it be really funny if he fell victim to a kidnapping, oh to see him decked out in orange

    Yeah, I would LMAO if subsequent to Gerry being kidnapped, Connor Murphy became leader of New Sinn Fein and they went on the win next years general election in the South.

    A wonderful way to have a snigger wiped off the face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Garibaldy

    Crat,

    Fair point about the elections. Now that decommissioning isn’t jepp him on the TV every night, PSF need to find a new way of exploiting their best asset. TV coverage = votes.
    I’d like to see how (if at all) the Israeli media covers this.

    Maybe Marie Jones could call her next play ‘The Self-Importance of Being Adams’.

  • Garibaldy

    that should say now that decomissioning isn’t keeping him on the TV etc

  • Pete Baker

    Undoubtedly, Crat, the forthcoming election plays a major part in the over-enthusiastic presentation by SF… but there may be cause to suspect that the actual reason for the invitation from President Abbas – and Adams’ fitting this trip into his schedule – may have something to do with the revelations regarding Donaldson’s past.. there would be re-assurances to be given, after all.

  • bob

    maybe this will be a positive thing? who knows if it helps one less bullet being used, why not? Who do you think convinced republicans likewise, Davi Trimble and John Hume.

  • Bob

    all credit to Hume for giving Adams a political platform to speak from. Republicans would not have accepted the agreement without Adams having a voice. Maybe some peoples answer is to go back to killing but sorry if Palestine can improve as much as this place has in ten years. Good luck Gerry.

  • Garibaldy

    Bob,

    This might well be a positive thing, but the spin put on it is beyond silly. And let’s remember that the conflict there dwarfs our own, and is of a different nature. On top of that the Oslo Accord was 1993, before the first Provo ceasefire. I doubt that the Palestenians need lessons in negotiating.

    Pete,

    I enjoy a good conspiracy theory myself, but I think that’s a stretch. Given that the Palestentians have lots of their own problems with informers, and that anything that Donaldson may have told the Brits/Yanks/Israelis will be useless now, I doubt Denis Donaldson concerns them a great deal. The links between the groups were never as close as some people would like to suggest.

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    I’m much more a follower of the cock-up, rather than conspiracy, theory approach to events… but I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss that theory here.

    Adams’ credentials and reputation with these groups would be at stake.. he could have reason to assure them personally.

    It’s just a thought on the interesting, and long standing, connections between such groups.. nothing more.

  • Dualta

    Crat, “[i]But then I remembered there is likely to be an election in the South before next summer [/i]

    Nail on the head sir. You know that the transition to ‘democratic’ politics has firmly taken place when long suffering persons are exploited for a photo op.

  • Garibaldy

    Pete,

    If they were still involved in underground activity, then yes. But Adams’ reputation now comes from the votes PSF garner, and their (sometimes) role in government, and influence with the British and Irish governments and public opinion. Even their connections to other parties in the EU and the yanks give them a status that is reflected in this invitation.

    Dualta,

    I’d say all sides here have been adept at using suffering to their own advantage for some time.

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    Sorry, perhaps you’ve mis-interpreted my comment. The “credentials and reputation” relates directly to those groups in the Middle East, in the past and the present.. not how Adams may want to be perceived here.

  • Crataegus

    Pete

    The UK is the common enemy and I doubt if reassurance is the issue for would any Palestinian group entirely trust SF given the track record of moles and the support in the USA. Whilst reassurance may be given it would be received with a pinch of salt. More important than reassurance would be opinion of public attitudes in Britain or for some to bracket SF in a context that makes resolution here more difficult..

    Does the Peace process here suit the aims of any Palestinian group? At best they would be humanitarian and wish us well, but there would be those who would prefer instability.

    So why the invitation? Is it in some way to enhance the standing of President Mahmoud Abbas? I can’t see Gerry being of more than fleeting interest. As for the presentation to the Palestinian-Israeli Peace Forum I can’t see it having much weight.

    The reason is anyone’s guess but perhaps it is simply that they were short of guest speakers?

  • Pete Baker

    Crat

    At a guess, and it is only a guess, besides the presentation by SF to the local audience.. I can’t help feeling that re-assurance that there has been no compromising of past, or present, activities may have been sought..

    Whether any subsequent re-assurances are accepted totally is a different matter..

    As for the impact in Palestine of The Process here… negligible.. if that.

  • Crataegus

    Pete

    You may be right, but unfortunately I don’t see the Palestine issue being at a stage where an agreement is likely, at least not in the near future.

  • Pete Baker

    Neither do I, Crat, neither do I.. it’s what makes the SF presentation of this particular visit so interesting..

  • spies like us

    Given that donaldson was working for the Brits when he went to the MIddle East…well, to say that raises questions is an understatement!

  • Garibaldy

    Pete,

    I meant that Adams’ reputation internationally now comes from the influence he has due to the reasons I outlined above, i.e. his access to political power structures and public opinion means he can promote the Palestenian cause to some extent/keep it in people’s minds, and so he is more important now than when there was limited cooperation between factions of the PLO and the Provos when both were commited to violence. Abu Mazen or Hamas gain no kudos from meeting Adams, but PSF might use their influence to help make Irish government policy more favourable to the Palestenians. The Cubans court people like Adams for the same reason.

    In these terms it doesn’t matter if Donaldson was a tout, or even if Adams were one. The limits of his political action are set primarily by his electorate, not anything else. Well, except perhaps the Americans sometimes.

  • Crataegus

    Garibaldy

    It has to be more than PR and simply keeping the plight of Palestine foremost in our minds they also have to convey a positive image.

    So you see this as a wish to be seen associating with ‘good’ terrorist, people who in the eyes of many have made the transition from violence to peace, and by so doing they are sending a message (impression) that they are seriously considering such a move themselves? If so then the message must be directed more at politicians rather than the general public because the nuances would be lost on most. In any case the public opinion that matters is firstly in Israel and secondly the USA. It may make some incremental difference to a few and I suppose every bit helps.

    I’m for bed.

  • bob

    Garibaldy

    You forget there is now a different leadership who are not as adept to negotiating. If a former combatant talks to them it will be much more respected than the threat of a us armed military. My point still is good luck gerry even if you only save one life.

  • memorystick

    ahem, as much as I am irritated by Gerry, I wouldn’t wish the getting kidnapped on anyone and to the person who seemed very amused by the idea of him getting his head hacked off – ur a sick, sick guy

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Memorystick,

    I had my attention drawn to those comments this morning. They are now removed.

    Brenda,

    You are long enough here to know the boundaries re “playing the man”. It applies to public figures as much as to other commenters.

    Shoutback,

    You should read (or indeed re-read) Slugger’s rules for commenters before making further comment!!

    Further breaches will lead to a swift yellow card (a prelude to a red and a swift exit from Slugger)!

  • T.Ruth

    Gerry will be able to give advice on the impact in our community of many aspects of crime and terrorism including murder , assassination,torture,kidnapping,bank robbery,bombing;destroying the economy and businesses;revolutionary tax on small businesses.
    He will be able to assure the Palestinians that long periods of terrorist warfare will have devastating effects on everyone involved.He will no doubt point out that no one’s mandate gives them the right to murder fellow citizens but if he does it will ring very hollow with many members of our own communities back home.

  • fair_deal

    “You forget there is now a different leadership who are not as adept to negotiating”

    The PLO were hardly deft negotiators despite their supposed experience

  • andy

    I think Fair Deal is right- the Palestinancs have consistenly played an admittedly poor hand very badly. If you look at where the Palestinians are now compared to 93, or indeed at virtually any stage incrementally before that, I think you could probably compare them unfavourably with the relative achievements of Irish Republicans.
    The Palestinians have basically lost an armed conflict (or a number of them) and been completely sidelined, The Provos lost an armed conflict (to all intents and purposes) and have got a fairly large scale invovlement in government and a number of their more minor demands met.

    I don’t really see the problem with this whole episode. If it helps, great – if it doesn’t, no real harm done.
    Someone above was pointing out the alleged hypocricy of Adams campaigning for peace. Have they not heard of Kissinger?

  • Pete

    If Gerry’s giving it the personal touch, maybe Bairbre’s word with Hamas before the election wasn’t good enough?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5246330.stm

  • Gum

    [btw, I wouldn’t mention Martin’s trip to Sri Lanka – Ed]..

    Why not Pete??

  • andy

    The Sri Lankan peace process fell apart somwhat after Martin’s visit.