FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hillary’s Lie

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

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

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

September 20, 2018
Michael Hudson
Wasting the Lehman Crisis: What Was Not Saved Was the Economy
John Pilger
Hold the Front Page, the Reporters are Missing
Kenn Orphan
The Power of the Anthropocene
Paul Cox – Stan Cox
Puerto Rico’s Unnatural Disaster Rolls on Into Year Two
Rajan Menon
Yemen’s Descent Into Hell: a Saudi-American War of Terror
Russell Mokhiber
Nick Brana Says Dems Will Again Deny Sanders Presidential Nomination
Nicholas Levis
Three Lessons of Occupy Wall Street, With a Fair Dose of Memory
Steve Martinot
The Constitutionality of Homeless Encampments
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The Aftershocks of the Economic Collapse Are Still Being Felt
Jesse Jackson
By Enforcing Climate Change Denial, Trump Puts Us All in Peril
George Wuerthner
Coyote Killing is Counter Productive
Mel Gurtov
On Dealing with China
Dean Baker
How to Reduce Corruption in Medicine: Remove the Money
September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail