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

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

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

November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail