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Irish peace process and America
December 7, 2000 5:56 PM   Subscribe

Irish peace process and America Bill Clinton is heading to Ireland to sort out the Irish peace process.Over the past four years he has made consistent efforts to resolve a conlfict that has lasted for the past 30 years.

Now, however, as the Ameerican voting spectacle continues and public trust in the American political system is being gradually eroded, it seems likely that the ability of the White House to help resolve regional disputes will disappear completely. Lets face, who's going to trust two adults that seem intent on behaving like spoilt children
posted by druadh (13 comments total)


 
Ok. America's "ability of the White House to help resolve regional disputes" stems from money*. Not from some kind of moral authority. The election results will affect that not a whit.
*And the tanks, planes, and potential corporate investment that brings.
posted by lbergstr at 8:54 PM on December 7, 2000


Um... I don't think tanks and planes are what's needed in NI, lbergstr. Investment, yes. Involvement, yes. Clinton's been dedicated to the process, fair play to him.

Someone keep GWB away from NI, please.
posted by prolific at 10:22 PM on December 7, 2000


That link above will lead you to the main Ireland.com page. Here's a link to the article.
posted by prolific at 10:25 PM on December 7, 2000


I've said this before - if it wasn't for Clinton NI might well be a version of Bosnia right now.

And yes, if Dubya gets involved in "Ahur-lund" we've had it.


posted by tomcosgrave at 2:47 AM on December 8, 2000


if it wasn't for Clinton NI might well be a version of Bosnia right now!

That's a funny thing to say.
posted by Mocata at 3:43 AM on December 8, 2000


Tom, I know you're speaking from Dublin, but isn't it a bit of an exaggeration to equate the N. Ireland troubles with the bloodbath in Bosnia?
posted by lagado at 4:56 AM on December 8, 2000


Tom, I know you're speaking from Dublin, but isn't it a bit of an exaggeration to equate the N. Ireland troubles with the bloodbath in Bosnia?

Possibly not: if anything, the media has overstated the numbers in Bosnia in order to justify action, and understated the numbers in NI because the punishment beatings and killings take place within the tight estate communities.
posted by holgate at 8:00 AM on December 8, 2000


The point is not Bosnia, money, investment or any of that stuff - the point is that with the situation in America the way it is at the moment, America's credibility as 'honest broker' is seriously undermined
posted by druadh at 8:33 AM on December 8, 2000


Northern Ireland will not find peace until it realized the extent to which their problems have become _organized crime_ problems.

Very significant outlaw groups which are nominally Loyalist or Republican are in fact organized crime gangs, with a complete range of Mafia businesses: drugs, prostitution, illegal weapons trafficking, gambling, and protection rackets.

These gangs use the convenient hammer of sectarian differences to protect their franchises.

Also, the "true believer" factions (those which aren't basically crime gangs) tolerate / protect them, because they are a reserve of funds, manpower and weaponry to be drawn upon if the true believers ever needed to return to open war for (or against) continued British rule in Northern Ireland.


posted by MattD at 12:00 PM on December 8, 2000


Well, where do you think the Mafia got their start? Originally, they were a resistance movement trying to kick foreign conquerors out of Italy. Lots of organized crime syndicates grew from similar origins.
posted by harmful at 12:11 PM on December 8, 2000


Lagado and Moccata - I believe what I say to be true.

You have armies of people with explosive and weapons, bent on killing each other and people of the opposing side.

Given the size of Ireland, it was hardly going to be same scale as Bosnia, but the conflict is the same - ethnic hatred of the other. Fear of others who are different. Clinton helped to catalyze a deal and sent George Mitchell over to help bring the deal to fruition - and if that had not happened we would have been looking at a serious situation. And if you look at our history - we have had Bosnian type conflicts before....genocides etc etc.
posted by tomcosgrave at 6:14 PM on December 8, 2000


Before the good friday agreement loyalist gangs had embarked on a policy not unlike the actions of the bosnian/serb paramilitaries in that they firebombed catholic residents out of *loyalist estates*, painting murals of *100% Loyal* on walls once successful. A number of massacres aimed at the catholics were also perpetrated. The IRA bombed Englands mainland and shopping streets in profoundly loyalist areas. It bore more similarity to Bosnia than anywhere in the EU. Luckily Clinton made a fantastic appointment in assigning George Mitchell to broker the deal. Apart from that his participation has been limited to him massaging the egoes of NI's *political leaders*, and them massaging back
posted by shakabu at 12:07 PM on December 11, 2000


Shakabu - they've been doing that for years and years. My Catholic uncle was intimidated out of his mostly Loyalist / Protestant housing estate in the early 80's. They said they'd firebomb the house and kill his wife and kids. They went to the police (RUC) and were met with indifference.

It's hardly a new thing.

Of course, hardline Republicans can be just as bad. It happens on both sides. And for all their bombing in England, the IRA and their ilk have done most of their damage in the North.
posted by tomcosgrave at 2:37 PM on December 11, 2000


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