FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hillary’s Lie

by EAMONN McCANN

Ask not what you can do for the peace process, but what the peace process can do for you.

Thus the approach of US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
Some may say that Hillary distorting beyond recognition any role she played in the North may not be a big deal. But it’s the matter which involves us, and it’s telling in its way.

Marcella Bombardieri of the Boston Globe has described Clinton

“telling and retelling one particularly moving story about bringing together Catholic and Protestant women in Northern Ireland …

“Clinton said she had hosted a meeting of enemies in the conflict. They had never been in the same room before, and ‘no one thought this was going to be a very good idea.'”

Sad, benighted people of Belfast. Never in their lives in the same room together. Such hostility that “nobody” thought it advisable even to try to bring them together. Until Hillary Clinton happened along aglow with goodness and, ignoring scepticism all around, insisted on “hosting” an unprecedented coming together.

By her account, this brave initiative where all else had failed succeeded in breaching the centuries-old sectarian barrier to produce an epiphany.

“A Catholic woman shared her daily fears that her husband wouldn’t come home at night. Across the table, a Protestant woman described the same worry about her son.

“And for the first time they actually saw each other not as caricatures or stereotypes, but as human beings who actually had common experiences as mothers and wives and people. One of the reasons why I’m running for president is to be constantly reaching out to try to bring people together to resolve conflicts and not let them fester and get worse.”

These events, according to Clinton, took place at Belfast “town hall.”
You’d have thought she’d have found space to mention this episode in her 2003 autobiography. But no. The 560-page Living History does include a description of an occasion in a community facility in Belfast to which she had been invited, attended by women community activists well known to one another, who had regularly been in the same room together. The meeting had been organised by the NIO.

Clinton’s fanciful new tale isn’t an exercise in personal aggrandisement. Nor is it a vague reminiscence mentioned in passing. It is a nicely-structured, detailed story which has come to form part of her standard campaign presentation. Marcella Bombardieri observes: “More than an isolated stump speech snippet, her Northern Ireland story speaks to the larger issue of whether her travels around the world as first lady qualify as serious diplomacy. That experience is a crucial element of her argument that she is the most qualified presidential candidate.”

The deft distortion has been professionally designed to fit into the presidential photofit constructed for the campaign. It is implicitly offered as a model for the Clintons’ style of engagement with a troubled world generally, soothing ancient enmities, bringing peace — in present circumstances, a very attractive message for an anxious US electorate.

It is a view which is reflected back here. The notion is about, and is rarely challenged, that the Clintons are held in equally high regard by all sections for their generous efforts to encourage us towards peace. We are even told explicitly that we “owe” the Clintons for this selfless beneficence.

The truth, and everybody knows it, is that the Clintons are much more warmly regarded by Nationalists than by Unionists. Bill Clinton is seen as having ranged himself on the Nationalist side since February 1994 when, against the wishes of John Major, he granted Gerry Adams a US visa.

This was, true, an important moment. It helped speed the IRA ceasefire seven months later by enabling the leadership to convince the membership that there was something tantalizing on offer if they changed their ways. Give up the guns and we’ll be well-got in the White House, was the message.

This was a factor in ensuring that when the Republican Movement abandoned the path of armed struggle, it veered to the right and not to the left.

This has been the most specific and identifiable effect on our politics of the involvement of US administrations, most importantly the Clintons’, in the political development of the North.

That done, now we are just being used.

EAMONN McCANN can be reached at Eamonderry@aol.com

 

 

 

 

Eamonn McCann is an Irish journalist and political activist. He can be reached at Eamonderry@aol.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail