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Rewriting the Irish Conflict

If you are interested in a complete rewriting of the Northern Ireland conflict then David Ensor’s report on CNN this week fitted the bill. Ensor, the network’s national security correspondent, did an hour long CNN Presents special on how other countries handled terrorism.

Of course, when it came to the British, the Northern Irish situation loomed large. Ensor decided to show how the British had defeated the IRA terrorists by clever use of carrot and stick tactics.

The two witnesses he brought forth would certainly speak for a miniscule portion of Northern Ireland’s population. Well-known informer Sean O’Callaghan and well-known dissident Marion Price provided all the cover that Ensor needed for his proposition.

Price, who is a member of the dissident Republican wing, stated that she believed that the British had won the battle hands down — well she would, wouldn’t she?

O’Callaghan spoke of the horrific atrocities he committed as part of the IRA and how the brave British forces defeated them. No other voices were heard apart from a former senior RUC officer who made his force sound like a bunch of teddy bears in the face of awful provocation.

Another “unbiased” witness was the former head of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington, who, surprise surprise, extolled the virtues of her organization and their intelligence gathering.

We’re sure there is a considered debate to be had over who won what in Northern Ireland, but this extremely one-sided view was not it.

Dobbs Rants On

As we are on the subject of CNN, it appears that Lou Dobbs, who presents Lou Dobbs Tonight every weekday night, has become unhinged on the question of illegal immigration.

Every night Dobbs pounds away at the issue with the most blatant and racist reporting that you can find on any network.

Lou Dobbs

It is hard to know how the reporters who weekly go out to report and interview every extremist on this issue can stomach working for a man who has long ago crossed the line to outright racism on this subject.

Recently Dobbs went a step further, suggesting that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City, be cancelled because Americans should be Americans only, and should forget about ethnic roots.

Even his guest, whose name escapes me, who was also a rabid anti-immigrant advocate, found that too much to stomach, but Lou was sticking to his convictions.

Dobbs was once a great financial reporter and analyst. Now he has become a cipher of every lunatic fringe extremist on immigration these days.

A Balanced View

If you want a very balanced view on the immigration debate look no further than the November issue of the American Prospect magazine which devotes its entire issue to the topic.

American Prospect is a Democratic leaning publication (www.prospect.org), so its views are considerably to the left of Dobbs as can be imagined.

Doris Meissner

However, there is an outstanding contribution by Doris Meissner, former head of the INS under President Clinton, who revisits the 1986 immigration reform bill known as IRCA.

Nowadays it is fashionable to dismiss IRCA as a failure, but as Meissner points out it was incredibly successful in lifting millions out of the shadows and contributing to American life.

Her point was that the employer sanctions never worked, because quite simply, there were too many powerful employers who did not want them to. That looks like being a problem again this time.

Meissner was the wife of Chuck Meissner, Clinton’s economic envoy to Ireland who was tragically killed in a plane crash that also took the life of Ron Brown, Clinton’s secretary of commerce.

Feeney’s Prospects

Interestingly, the American Prospect November issue was sponsored by Atlantic Philanthropies, the organization founded by Irish American Chuck Feeney which is among the largest philanthropic organizations in the world with an endowment currently of $4.3 billion.

Feeney, who co-founded Duty Free Shops (DFS), and later sold them for a fortune, has given all his wealth away, including over $700 million to educational establishments in Ireland.

Feeney was very active in the Irish immigration movement in the 1980s and played a leading role in funding many critical aspects of the activities back then.

Now he has agreed again to become an advisory committee member of the new group started by the Irish Voice, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR), showing that he has still has a deep interest in the issue.

Bloomberg’s Supporters

Interesting to note that immigrant New Yorkers, including many Irish, voted in far greater numbers for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg than U.S.-born city residents.

Although Bloomberg beat Democratic challenger Fernando Ferrer with a whopping 56.7% percent of the vote, 62.9% of immigrants voted for him in his contest against Ferrer — a six point better margin.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s margin was especially high in areas such as Queens and the Rockaways, as well as Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, all Irish strongholds which shows that the outer borough Irish probably voted for him in record numbers.

The fact that one of his main strategists was Irish-born Adrian Flannelly of the Adrian Flannelly radio show no doubt helped too.


 © IrishAbroad.com 2009