>> 31 Jul 2004

Laudation from the Libidinal

Bill Clinton, with typical false optimism, expresses hope that the Young Turks now at the helm of DUP policy making will have to foresight to betray the Unionist electorate in ways comparable to Trimble's groupies, in the name of career advancement and the attainment of a false peace. He does not fear the emergence of the Democratic Unionists as the pre-eminent force in Ulster British politics, as he obviously believes Robinson and Co. are blessed with the same degree of morals as he would be in a locked room with Monica Lewinsky in puris naturalibus.

America would, quite rightly, completely repudiate conferring political legitimacy on any form of terrorism. The question is: why have successive administrations there sought to encourage and foster a system of governance for the democratic majority in Northern Ireland that they themselves would resile from in their own country?

Let me lay out a few points to try to put the American politico-demographic situation into perspective. Irish American activists like to pretend that every Irish American is virulently pro-republican and, ergo, anti-British. The United States is a country with 284,000,000 people (the third highest population in world). 56% of the population are Protestants (comprising, overwhelmingly, people of British and German descent. Only 28% of the US population are Catholics - 79.5 million: people of Irish Catholic descent comprise a mere 18 million (less than 23% of the Catholic population and a trifling 6.3% of the total American population). Of these 18 million, probably around 500,000 to 700,000 have any sympathy - no matter how residual - for the aims of Irish nationalism. For successive US governments to bend in favour of a lobby speaking for a pathetically small number of American people - especially when the result is the piecemeal legitimising of terrorism in an integral part of its oldest and closest ally - is contemptible in the extreme.


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