Skip to comments.These Irish eyes are smiling at White House snub of IRA
Posted on 03/13/2005 3:19:42 AM PST by elhombrelibre
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
Happy St. Patrick's Day to my fellow hyphenated Irishmen. And the good news about this St. Paddy's Day is that for the first time in a decade the official observances will not be disfigured by the presence at the White House of Gerry Adams.
Adams is usually billed as the "President of Sinn Fein," which in turn is usually billed as the "political wing" of the IRA. This artful form of words is supposed to suggest some kind of distinction between "President" Adams and the murkier fellows who do all the bombing and killing and knee-capping. In fact, as the Irish government recently revealed, "President" Adams is a member of the Provisional IRA's ruling "army council" -- i.e., the fellows who order all the bombing and killing and knee-capping.
So instead of one more chorus of "The Wearing of the Green," it's the wearing out of the welcome for Adams at the White House. In his place, President Bush will welcome the fiancee and five sisters of Robert McCartney. McCartney was a Belfast Catholic and a Sinn Fein supporter, but he made the mistake of getting into an argument with a Provisional IRA big shot in a pub in January. The other "Provos" present grabbed McCartney, beat him with iron sewer rods, slit him open from his neck to his navel, severed his jugular and jumped on his head, causing what was left of it to lose an eye. There were 70 witnesses in the bar but none of them saw a thing.
Depravity-wise, what exactly is the difference between McCartney's murder and the lynching of the four U.S. contractors in Fallujah? None -- except that the organization responsible for the former has enjoyed a decade of White House photo-ops.
Bridgeen Hagans, the late McCartney's fiancee, and his sisters are in America as part of their campaign to persuade some of the dozens of witnesses to his killing to come forward. They're reluctant to do so because, as in any third-rate gangster state, testifying against the local warlords can be severely injurious to one's own health. Recognizing that they had a public relations disaster on their hands, the IRA then offered to make amends to McCartney's grieving loved ones. You're right, they said, it was all a mistake, but don't worry, we're really sorry about it -- and, just to show how sorry we are, we'll murder his murderers for you. As an afterthought, they acknowledged that, as a lot of folks were upset by the brutality of the McCartney whack job, when they got around to murdering his murderers, they'd eschew the sewer rods, abdomen-slitting, etc., and just do it nice and clean with a bullet straight to the head. Very decent of them.
There's a lesson there in the reformability of terrorists. The IRA's first instinct is to kill. If you complain about the killing, they offer to kill the killers. If you complain about the manner of the killing, they offer to kill more tastefully -- "compassionate terrorism,'' as it were. But it's like Monty Python's spam sketch: There's no menu item that doesn't involve killing. You can get it in any color as long as it's blood-red.
For the last 3-1/2 years one of the most persistent streams of correspondence I've had is from British readers sneering, ''Oh-ho. So America's now waging a war on 'terror,' is she? Well, where were the bloody Yanks the last 30 years? Passing round the collection box for IRA donations in the bars of Boston and New York, that's where.''
They have a point. Blowing up grannies and schoolkids at bus stops is always wrong, and the misty shamrock-hued sentimentalization of it in this particular manifestation speaks poorly for America, the principal source for decades of IRA funding. On the other hand, it was the London and Dublin governments, not Washington, that decided they were going to accommodate the IRA, Her Majesty's government going so far at one point as to install Gerry Adams and his colleagues in the coalition administration of Northern Ireland, making IRA terrorists ministers of a crown they don't even deign to recognize.
Now Tony Blair & Co. profess to be shocked to discover that the leopard hasn't changed his spots. But, until January, if you raised the IRA's vicious methods of retribution against dissident Catholics, British officials would chortle urbanely and assure you it was just a little ''internal housekeeping'' by Adams and his chums.
So London and Dublin have only themselves to blame for the present situation. By enhancing the prestige of the terrorists, they've enabled Sinn Fein to supplant moderate Catholic political parties in both Northern and Southern Ireland. Because they no longer have to engage in the costly and time-consuming business of waging war against the British Army, they've been free to convert themselves into the emerald isle's answer to the Russian Mafia. They recently pulled off the biggest bank heist in British history -- snaffling just shy of 50 million bucks from the vaults of Ulster's Northern Bank. What do they need that money for? Well, it helps them fund their real objective: the takeover of southern Ireland.
In hindsight, the '90s were the apogee of terrorist mainstreaming, with Yasser and Gerry given greater access to the White House than your average prime minister of a friendly middle-rank power. And in return for what? Nothing other than the corrosive impact on weak-willed Westerners desperate to believe that all terrorists can somehow be accommodated if you just roll out the red carpet for them. Witness Robert McNamara, the Kennedy/Johnson defense secretary who popped up last week with a particularly fatuous observation even by his own standards: As Associated Press reported, ''McNamara added that the threat of terrorists using a nuclear device could be reduced if the United States in particular tried to understand terrorists' anger and motivations.''
As we now know, even the saner end of the terrorism business is difficult to house train. If your main expertise is in killing people, it's hardly surprising the prospect of being deputy transport minister in Belfast seems a bit tame. President Bush, unlike his predecessor, is under no illusions about the trustworthiness of Adams, any more than he was of Arafat's. After he declared his "war on terror," many on the right mocked the idea of being at war with a phenomenon. But the IRA has long ties to the PLO and to Latin American terrorist groups: Terrorists gravitate to other terrorists. So this March 17 the president is merely following the logic of his own post-9/11 analysis. St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland. The least Bush can do is chase them out of the White House.
The inimitable Mr. Steyn always gets his subject right!
Indeed he does. :-)
"There's a lesson there in the reformability of terrorists. The IRA's first instinct is to kill. If you complain about the killing, they offer to kill the killers. If you complain about the manner of the killing, they offer to kill more tastefully -- "compassionate terrorism,'' as it were. But it's like Monty Python's spam sketch: There's no menu item that doesn't involve killing. You can get it in any color as long as it's blood-red."
A lesson to remember
"Worst... Secretary of Defense... Ever..."
Poor excuse for a man too.
President Bush, Congressman King and Gerry Adams share a light moment after discussing the Irish Peace Process at the annual Speaker's St. Patrick's Day Lunch.
Mr. President, please tell the despicable terrorist-lover Peter King, Congressman from Long Island New York that if he doesn't publicly denounce the IRA you will ensure that he has Republican competition when he is next up for reelection.
Tell your cabinet to freeze him out if he does not comply.
I had no idea Steyn considers himself Irish American.
And tell him to lay off the taters too and lose a few pounds.
This article didnt mention any connections with Senator Fat Ted.
I recall a while back - it must have been 2001 or 2002 - he had a column saying he was always being accused of being Jewish by those who think anyone who doesn't want to throw the Zionists to the PLO lions must all be Jews. He's certainly got the gift of many fine Irish writers and if you look at his picture on his home page you'll see he could easily pass for an Irishman. I could see him sipping a jar of stout in some Irish pub. And he's definitely got a sense of sarcasm; he's almost a Brendan Behan type with his humor.
Great photo! Look closely at the facial expressions and body language of these three men. Bush is practically in Gerry's face with that little "not-a-smile" smile. Gerry's face looks like he has gas, and his hands are balled up- did GW just refuse to shake his hand? Meanwhile, the congressman looks like he's hoping to sell Bush a used car...
As an Irish American from NYC I know the type very well and I am not impressed.
My recommendation to the President stands: give Peter King an offer he cannot refuse.
You're not impressed with Steyn, or do I misunderstand?
Now hold on there - didn't Mr. Clinton fix the whole IRA problem when he was president? I remember some big press about the deal he brokered. So what's up with that?
Yes, McNamara set the gold standard for cluelessness at Defense. Cohen comes in second. It's a wonder we have survived...
Yeah, Clinton fixed that, the Balkans, and the Middle East.
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