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Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
An interesting move in the talks to bring a final peace settlement to Northern Ireland. The talks now focus on admitting Sinn Fein to power sharing in the government of Northern Ireland, a move the DUP, the main Protestant party, opposes on the grounds that Sinn Fein is the political wing of the IRA. The DUP does not want alleged "terrorists" in the govrenment.
At a crtitical juncture in the talks, Rev. Ian Paisley, head of the DUP, received a sudden telephone call from President Bush urging a quick resolution of the issues and the admission of Sinn Fein to the government. Britain's Guardian carries the story in "Bush in Peace Plea to Paisley," where it is revealed that
Mr Bush was anxious that a deal be secured and told Mr Paisley to call him at any time if further help was needed.
President Bush has shown almost no interest in Norther Ireland during his first term. Why now the suddent interest? A few possibilities:
- He is doing a favor for Britain's Prime Moinister Tony Blair in trying to speed the settlement of the issue.
- He wants to signal to the world that he is not focused exclusively on the Middle East.
- He sees the peaceful settlement of the Norther Ireland crisis as an essential element in his global war on terrorism.
- He knows that a settlement in Northern Irealnd is a sure path to a Nobel Peace Prize.