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March 14, 2005
Irish-American Politicians Drop Sinn Fin, Finally

Americans of Irish descent have always had a soft spot for the old IRA and Ireland's struggle for freedom. Not only do they see the Irish as a parallel to the American revolutionaries, but most of their ancestors fled Ireland as a result of British colonalialism, maladministration, and outright oppression. This has led us to keep blinders on to the nature of the modern conflict in Northern Ireland. American politicians of Irish descent have proven to have a soft spot in their head for supporting the modern IRA's political wing, Sinn Fin, despite the IRA being little more than an American-style street gang -- opposing Loyalist groups of exactly the same timbre -- more reminiscent of a Baader-Meinhof without the discipline.

Those days have come to an end, at least for now. CNN reports that Gerry Adams has finally been shunned by the American government, even those politicians he once counted on for influence and power in Northern Ireland:

U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy has called off talks with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams set for St. Patrick's Day. ...

Adams has already been refused a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House and will not be attending the St. Patrick's Day lunch hosted by U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. ...

One of Sinn Fein's top supporters in the U.S. Congress, New York Republican Sen. Peter King, also has called on the IRA to disband. King said the IRA had made a series of poor decisions that had sparked anger in Irish-American circles.

I'd say it has. First, the IRA engineers one of the largest armed robberies in UK history, making off with 22 million ($50 million US) with which to fund itself. Given the nature of the IRA, which had promised to disarm itself and go legitimate but never actually complied, this sudden influx of funding portends more violence and illegal operation. Shortly after that, a number of IRA operatives killed a man who tried to stop a bar fight in a Catholic neighborhood in NI. Some of these murderers are rumored to have a high rank in the IRA.

Instead of turning these geniuses over to the police, the IRA and Sinn Fin stonewalled, and then the IRA offered the family a deal which sounded like someone had watched The Godfather too often. They met with the family of the victim and offered to shoot the men responsible, although it remains unclear whether that meant killing them or merely kneecapping them, a favorite IRA method of disciplining its members. Horrified, the family declined the offer and instead told the world about it. Sinn Fin defended the offer, proving to the world that they would forever remain apologists for terror and gangsterism.

Most Americans of Irish descent know better than to involve themselves in The Troubles. We understand that Northern Ireland isn't 1922 all over again and that the only solution to NI's problems will be found with the people of Ulster, the Republic of Ireland, and the UK. If nothing else, 9/11 taught us not to deal with terrorists. However, some among us continued to celebrate Adams, Sinn Fin, and pour money into their coffers, and politicians like Kennedy and King lent that credibility. Shame on them for not stopping it before, but at least give them credit for doing the right thing now.

But the best credit should go to the White House and George Bush, who had to put up with Adams for the first four years thanks to Bill Clinton's useless entanglements with Sinn Fin. This year, Adams will find himself outside the White House on St. Patrick's Day while Bush hosts the family of the IRA's latest victim instead. Now that's a move for which I can raise a pint of Guinness in support.

UPDATE: Some American politicians still don't get it, as Large Bill points out. Is mr an trua .

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 14, 2005 5:25 AM

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» Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams from Secure Liberty
As we come up on Saint Patrick's day this Thursday, the conflict in Northern Ireland is back in the news, however indirectly. President Bush has decided to shun Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, in the wake of the murder of Robert McCartney outsid... [Read More]

Tracked on March 14, 2005 8:34 AM

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