McCain Was Wrong on Ireland
Recently, Senator Barack Obama asked me to join a distinguished group of leaders who will advise him on Irish American affairs. As the chairman of the Friends of Ireland in the U.S. House of Representatives, it was a great personal honor to be chosen to serve on this senior advisory panel.
I know both Senator Obama and Senator Joe Biden share my longstanding desire to strengthen Irish-American political, economic and cultural ties. And I am certain that an Obama administration will make the pursuit of permanent peace and stability in Northern Ireland a top priority, will enact comprehensive immigration reform that keeps America 's doors open and will improve the quality of life of Irish Americans, and will restore America 's standing in the world.
Like many of us, Obama and Biden come from Irish stock.
Senator Obama's great, great, great grandfather on his mother's side set sail from Co. Offaly in 1850, arriving in New York and eventually settling in Ohio. Senator Biden, who was born in the Irish American stronghold of Scranton, Pennsylvania , traces his ancestry to Co. Mayo.
Since the eighties, Obama has lived and worked on the South Side of Chicago, a neighborhood known for its large and prominent Irish American community. This experience has given him a first-hand account of the remarkable contributions made by Irish immigrants to the United States.
I strongly believe the peace process in Northern Ireland is one of the most significant foreign policy accomplishments in recent memory. And the role the United States played in that effort was indispensable.
The peace accord in Northern Ireland, based on principles developed by George Mitchell, should be viewed as a model for successful conflict resolution around the globe. I know that Senator Obama agrees, and the creation of the advisory panel is an indication of the commitment his administration will bring to securing lasting peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
Just last week, he welcomed the latest report of the Independent Monitoring Commission that concluded the IRA does not present a threat to peace or democratic politics in Northern Ireland. That report was another reminder that the sectarian conflict is now well and truly over.
But while Northern Ireland experiences a period of unprecedented transformation, progress needs to be made by the political parties on the outstanding issues such as the devolution of policing and justice powers.
I am confident that as President Barack Obama will be an enthusiastic supporter of the historic power-sharing government. And I am thrilled that he has pledged to visit the island of Ireland during his administration.
By contrast, John McCain has spent years ridiculing and minimizing U.S. efforts to help resolve the Troubles.
In an article in Foreign Affairs, he said President Bill Clinton's efforts were "romantic" and accused him of undertaking his tireless work for peace in order to curry favor with Irish Americans.
He criticized the decision to grant Gerry Adams a visa, a development now considered crucial to the success of the peace process.
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"RECOVERY" My Arse The Country is in so much debt just about paying interest while borrowing 1 bl per month They have just been caught robbiThe New York Times questions Ireland’s highly-praised economic recovery
A bit of sleight of hand, I think. Rather than look into cleaning up the economy in the US, they'd rather try to find someone worse off. I wonder if tOffensive NFL sign outside restaurant just a symptom of a larger problem
Hi Chuck, if we get rid of red, what will Carl Rove do? After all it was his idea to associate red with the Republican Party.How Christmas was in my father’s time
I don't mean to be rude but I am aghast as to why your Father walked barefoot in the middle of Winter & also such a distance as every small villag