Fein President Gerry Adams will be in Buffalo as the
guest of Congressman Brian Higgins this St. Patrick’s
Day [Update: Adams never showed up, due to hold-ups in airport
security]. Adams is in the United States for his annual
St. Patrick’s Day fund junket to raise money for the political
wing of the Irish Republican Army. What better time for Adams
to raise money for Ireland’s continued struggle to free
itself from British occupation than from drunken Irishmen celebrating
their heritage and feeling nostalgic for the old sod? So who
better for Adams to latch onto than a first generation Irish
Congressional doofus like Higgins? After all, the one thing
done efficiently in Congress is fundraising.
is taking advantage of the effete Higgins’ entree into
the wallets of wealthy Irish Americans, would it be too much
to ask that Gerry sit our boy Brian down for a little talking
to about the war in Iraq? You see, Brian just doesn’t
get it. Higgins’ stand on the war to date has been abysmal.
He’s what you would call it a play-it-safe Democrat. If
Higgins were a politician in Ireland, however, he would not
be a friend of Adams and Sinn Fein.
Adams can talk some sense into Higgins on the war. If he does,
Adams will tell Higgins that the first lesson of Ireland is
not to invade and occupy another country. He’ll tell Higgins
that Sinn Fein and he are in favor of immediate withdrawal of
American and British troops from Iraq. Not only that, but they
support the right of the Iraqi people through the insurgency
to wage war against the occupation. That means that Sinn Fein
and Adams support the right of Iraqis to attack American and
British soldiers occupying Iraqi territory. On the other hand,
it also implies the right of Iraqi Kurds to defend themselves
against their Arab persecutors.
further point out to Higgins that it is vital for the working
class people of America to campaign against the war and the
end of the occupation. He can explain to Higgins that what the
United States is doing in Iraq and in the Middle East in the
name of the American people means that it is up to the people
to be involved in ending it. So far Higgins has done nothing
to try to end the war.
to the Western New York Anti-Iraq-War Lobbying Delegation which
met with Congressman Higgins in January, Higgins has had ample
opportunity to voice opposition to the war in Iraq and has failed
to do so.
in Iraq” Resolution congratulating Iraq on holding successful
elections included Bush Administration pro-war rhetoric. A majority
of Democrats attempted to strip the resolution of its pro-war
rhetoric. Higgins voted with the Republicans, an alarmingly
routine move on his part.
Petition for the “Homeward Bound” Bill would bring
to the floor for full debate a resolution requiring the President
of the United States to develop and implement a plan for the
withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Higgins refused to sign onto
the discharge petition, preferring a continuation of the Bush
Administration’s war objectives without allowing for any
debate by the Congress.
Resolution to Re-Deploy U.S. Forces from Iraq (the Murtha Bill)
currently has 99 co-sponsors. John Murtha (D-PA), the leading
military expert of his party, well regarded among generals,
conceives of withdrawal taking place in a phased manner over
six months at most. Brian Higgins considers the Murtha idea
of beginning that withdrawal immediately as “idiotic”
(declared over local radio).
the End the War in Iraq Act, would prohibit the use of funds
to deploy armed forces to or for further aggression within Iraq,
providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal of US forces from
that country. Brian Higgins has declined to support that bill
without articulating any special reasons.
Permanent Bases in Iraq” resolution would declare that
it is the policy of the United States not to enter into any
base agreement with the government of Iraq that would lead to
a permanent US presence in that country. Brian Higgins says
he opposes any permanent US presence in Iraq, but refuses to
join the Barbara Lee (D-CA) Bill.
has not supported any of the bills pushing inquiry of the White
House over the disclosures in the Downing Street Memo or about
the systematic use of torture by covert White House policy.
Nor is he expected to support measures to determine whether
President Bush and Vice-President Cheney have failed to respond
to requests for information on the allegations that they misled
the Congress and the American people over the grounds for war
and employed torture as an instrument of war.
Adams probably despises the gentle Mr. Higgins as much as we
do but maybe he can have a little sympathy for him. They were
both born on October 6th, so maybe in some cosmic way it is
Gerry Adams’ duty to take little boy Brian under his wing
and show him what it means to stand up for the people that you
represent. Then maybe he might also tell him that Third World
debt should be cancelled, the environment should be protected,
private corporations should be kept out from the public sector,
diversity should be respected and equality defended. Then, last
but not least, Gerry Adams could tell Brian Higgins there is
a close affinity and affection between the Irish and Palestinian
people. “The most fitting legacy to President Arafat is
for the international community to act immediately to ensure
that the Israeli Government remove its troops and illegal settlements
from Palestinian lands and a return to the negotiating table,”
Adams has said.
that be a hoot?