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We believe the U.S. has a vital role to play by applying a single -- not a double-standard in its foreign policies towards human rights in Ireland. In particular, we believe the U.S. must not subsidize anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland. That is why the Irish National Caucus in 1984 initiated the MacBride Principles.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Is This Anti-Americanism, or What?
IS THIS ANTI-AMERICANISM, OR WHAT? By Father Sean Mc Manus President, Irish National Caucus
CAPITOL HILL. Saturday, December 30, 2006--- There has been concern among Irish-Americans that the people in Ireland were becoming increasingly anti-American. I think that concern is over-blown a bit. My own experience is that there is an anti-Bush feeling in Ireland, but it is not anti-American. Big difference.
However, a fascinating piece of apparent anti-Americanism has emerged from Belfast, all the more interesting in that it is not new but 30 years old. And it comes from our old friends in British Intelligence.
The just released 1976 British Cabinet Papers - published after the 30-year confidentiality rule - reveal that the SDLP had conflicted - feelings about America. Yet it was America that helped to make John Hume and international statesman.
The Irish News, Saturday, December 30, 2006, in a story headlined "Fitt shunned dinner over SAS gaffe" says:" The former SDLP leader, Gerry Fitt who died in 2005 failed to turn up at a dinner party at Stormont 30 years ago because he was embarrassed over a highly public gaffe concerning the SASŠMr. Hume said that the real reason for Mr. Fitt's absence from the dinner was that he was licking his wounds after his statement comparing the SAS to the CIA. This had brought ridicule from outside down upon the party and many of their own supporters had been complaining that they could not take this statement seriouslyŠ"
My, my, Saint John apologizing for his leader comparing the "bad" CIA to the" good" SAS!
Now, I'm no fan of the CIA, despite DeNiro's new, excellent movie, "The Good Shepherd", filmed in part right next door to my old office, 413 Capital St. SE, (In the movie Matt Damon is seen coming out of the drycleaners, Capitol Hill Valet, 409 East Capital St. SE).
However, I find it extraordinary that John Hume would make excuses for the notorious SAS that assassinated Catholics, carried out State-sanctioned acts of terrorism and colluded with Protestant death squads.
If that's not anti-Americanism, what is?
Father Sean Mc Manus President Irish National Caucus P.O. Box 15128 Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. 20003-0849 202-544-0568
To Become Issue in New Congress Capitol Hill. December 2, 2006----
The 1998 RUC-killing of an American- born Belfast man is set to become a hot issue in the New Congress that will convene in early January 2007. John Hemsworth was born in Kearney, New Jersey, on November 13, 1958 and after a few years the family moved back to Northern Ireland. As a young man, John would return to work in New Jersey for several years at different times. And in 1998, John had planned to return permanently to America, with his wife and young daughter. But police violence and anti-Catholic sectarianism destroyed this young Irish-American's dream. On January 1, 1998 John died in Belfast as a result of brutal and unprovoked beating by the now defunct RUC.
Arouse Conscience of Irish-America " We must arouse the conscience of Irish-Americans. It is a disgrace that the killing of this Irish-American has received such little attention, and it is an outrage that his family has received no justice", said Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus.
Fr. Mc Manus revealed that he was stricken with guilt when he received a letter in September from John's 72-year-old father, Michael, in Belfast imploring help: "Š The British Attorney General promised the family that we would have an inquest into my son's death but eight years have passed and nothing has happened. I wrote many, many letters to American politicians but not one gave me the courtesy of even an acknowledgement. It is hurtful that some of these politicians and the President's envoy can meet relatives of victims of the violence but never had the time to meet me. You would think that being the Father of a natural born American would be enough to give me preference. President Clinton once said, ' America looks after its own' but sadly this is not the case for my sonŠ"
Haunting Words Fr. Mc Manus expressed regret that he had not received the letter sooner but vowed to now take up the issue:" Can any self-respecting Irish-American read these haunting words of Michael Hemsworth and not feel compelled to do justice for his son? Irish-Americans have done many fine things for Ireland, now they must do justice for one of their own. And shame on us if don't".
Fr. Mc Manus is launching a campaign in the US Congress - with special attention to the New Jersey delegation - and will also pursue the issue with Dr. Mitchell Reiss, Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.
Plan of Campaign Fr. Mc Manus explained the plan: " (1) We want American pressure to make the British Government keep its promise to hold an inquest; (2) we want the Northern Ireland Ombudsman Office to re-open the case (to which it previously gave insufficient attention, according to the Hemsworths); (3) we want all Irish -American groups to rally to this cause, and we ask the international human rights community to take up the issue."
Fr. Mc Manus concluded by saying: " I have a lot of confidence in Special Envoy, Mitchell Reiss. He has shown great interest in individual cases, like Pat Finucane, and I'm sure once he is fully aware of the John Hemsworth case he will give it due attention and hopefully help to fulfill President Clinton's words, " America looks after its own". END