Right on time for the latest peace settlement in Northern Ireland comes the tinny yapping of those who believe America should have nothing more to do with Northern Ireland.
Niall Stanage, a journalist based here, made an ass of himself last year for some incredibly stupid comments to the effect that Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration were no longer interested in Northern Ireland and Hillary herself would not personally intervene.
That was shortly before Hillary went to Northern Ireland herself and directly negotiated with the parties there after appointing a key Irish American advisor Declan Kelly as her point person on Northern Ireland.
In the last few weeks I believe there were up to twenty phone calls between Hillary Clinton and the parties in Northern Ireland in trying to find a solution,while Declan Kelly was on the ground for almost two weeks helping with the negotiations - political ones that is, Mr. Stanage, in case you didn't notice.
Stanage however, is still insisting that America was not interested in the Irish peace process Here is what he wrote yesterday. "Although the U.S. has an economic envoy to Northern Ireland, no special political envoy has been appointed by Obama, as had been the case in both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knocked down a bizarre story that she would appoint herself to that role last summer. And, despite rumors that swirled of an imminent Clinton appearance late last month, while she was on a trip to London and the talks remained deadlocked, no such mission materialized."
Oh Lord. I suppose Hillary's trip to the north, the first ever stand-alone visit by a Secretary of State was not a political engagement with her as envoy? Or the fact that she will meet personally with both leaders from Northern Ireland later this month? Or that details of an economic conference on Northern Ireland to held in America are being put together?
Or indeed, that Obama invited the two Northern Ireland leaders to the White House for St. Patrick's Day? That sure doesn't sound like an administration that is looking to back away from Ireland at all. Or indeed the fact that Hillary is encouraging talks between Irish American leaders and groups from other ethnic conflicts countries with large communities in America to see what lessons can be shared.
As usual Stanage has but one source on all his stories, Trina Vargo, the head of the US-Ireland Alliance, who for some reason desperately wants to convince people that Irish Americans have no clout in America any more — as against I suppose the bankrupt Irish property developers who provided much of the major funding for the US-Ireland Alliance
Strange world we live in, where journalists persist in writing a version of history and events that is proven to be far wide of the facts that it is almost comical.Except there is nothing comical about bad and biased reporting.