Why U.S.-Ireland Alliance should be de-funded
There was a major attack on Irish America in the Irish Times last Saturday, purporting to be an insider view on how Irish America has been misleading the Irish government.
The article concludes by stating, “For too long official Ireland has allowed those who claim to speak for Irish America to lead it up the garden path. The path leads not to a bed of roses but to a dead end."
Really? So the Irish American involvement in the peace process was a bad thing? The outreach for a special envoy that led to George Mitchell, the visa for Gerry Adams that helped lead to an IRA ceasefire, the continuing efforts to help Ireland economically which will culminate this September in a gathering of over 100 Irish American business leaders in Dublin at a diaspora conference is all a mistake?
Pray who would make such assertions, and what kind of leadership do they envisage?
This is where it becomes interesting. The writer, Niall Stanage, is from the unionist tradition in Northern Ireland, educated at Oxford University. He wrote a book last year about the Obama campaign that savaged Irish Americans, and stated they had no clout whatever in American politics.
He has been setting himself up in recent years as an “expert” on Irish America, though truth be told he would be unrecognized by 99.9% of our community.
If this sounds like a script that the British government might be very happy to write then you get the message. Who is Stanage and where has he sprung from? Is his own background important here as Irish America adjusts to the post-peace process reality?
More to the point, who is aiding and abetting Stanage? That would be Trina Vargo, head of the U.S.-Ireland Alliance which sends a dozen or so well heeled American students to Ireland every ear on a rip-off of the Rhodes Scholar program, and gets millions from Ireland, Britain and the U.S. government for doing so. Vargo, a Portuguese American with little Irish heritage, latched on to the issue when she worked with Senator Edward Kennedy.