>> 28 Jun 2004

Clarke, Wide of the Mark

Please take some time to study this nonsense from The Times' Ireland correspondent, Liam Clarke. Even by the woeful standards of contemporary journalistic discourse on Northern Ireland, this article is devoid of any semblance of analytical accuracy.

For example, Clarke takes Melanie Phillips to task over her contention that the British State had to accommodate the IRA due to its failure to defeat them militarily. Among the more risible statements is Clarke's belief in the so-called republican 'acceptance' of Northern Ireland's constitutional right to exist. The term 'acceptance' implies, however muted, an acknowledgement of reality grounded in a set of righteous principles. Since when has the republican movement even tacitly accepted the continuation of the Union?

Sinn Fein/IRA's current strategy is a hybrid. The IRA retains weapons intact to threaten violence as a means of advancing republican aims. Simultaneously, Sinn Fein seeks to wield power in a devolved administration to enable it to hollow out the political and constitutional fabric of the State from within, rather than blatantly attacking it from without. Contrary to Mr Clarke's sanguinity, today's political process reflects an emboldened Irish republican arrogance, not a castrated one. If republican military enfeeblement had really been the outcome of this war of attrition, would Clarke also believe in the inevitability of 'joint authority' in the event of Unionist long-term refusal to share power with unrepentant terrorists? Where exactly does this non-sequitur fit in with his angle on pro-Agreement Unionist 'victories' in the Belfast Agreement?


Post a Comment

Back to TOP