The fading light of international interest…

Jim Dee, Daily Ireland’s former US correspondent, has a think piece for Foreign Policy In Focus in the US on the Peace Process. His judgement: the blame for the lack of a deal rests on Ian Paisley. Much of his Irish analysis focuses on the last year, but the most interesting aspect is the effective withdrawal, if not departure, of the US as a major player in brokering a deal. Northern Ireland barely figures in any of the Bush administration’s Foreign Policy concerns.

Bruce Morrison, a former Democratic congressman from Connecticut who was instrumental in getting Bill Clinton interested in Ireland, said the White House has no leverage with unionists. “It has nothing to give them, or take from them,” said Morrison. “This is not a priority for the Bush administration. And all the rest of this Kremlinology is a waste of energy. It is not a priority. Their priority is Iraq.”

One Washington insider with many years of involvement in Irish affairs was even more blunt about the state of play: “Who’s worried about Ireland? It doesn’t matter. Nothing bad is happening in Ireland. They can play silly deckchairs-on-the-Titanic games, but there is nothing there. There’s no iceberg. So who cares?”