President Biden Goes to Ireland


President Biden will travel to Ireland to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement:  the key to the Northern Ireland (NI) peace process, the search for justice and restoration of democracy.  As if attempting to warn him off, Britain’s MI-5, the  chief tormentor in the North, raised the terror threat  from “Substantial” to “Severe.” This is in keeping with the Conservatives policies to promote instability in the colonies to justify the ‘sovereignty-by-military occupation.” The response from the White House was classic ‘Joe’: “They can’t keep me out.” 

 American’s can be forgiven for laughing at Britain’s stunt:  the very voice that turns up the heat also raises the alarm. Republican dissidents nowadays number less than 200 and welcome American interest and concern. So, if history is any guide, the real threat of violence in NI lies chiefly with British double agents in the ranks of Republican dissidents and from loyalist assassins surgically deployed against Irish citizens for decades by MI-5, British Army, and police.   

Rishi Sunak, is Britain’s 5th Conservative Prime Minister in 7 years. He recently updated British post-Brexit foreign policy   issues in   a document titled Integrated Review, March 2023, a collection of  sugar-coated  platitudes and empty promises.  It   represents the very best of British deceit, hypocrisy, and arrogance noteworthy only  for omitting any reference to Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement (or its obligations) and for limiting references to the European Union, the world’s 3rd largest economy. This is to reinforce the charade that the conflict in Ireland is internal to the UK.   

Mindful of that folly, President Biden will be upbeat of GFA progress even as Secretary of State Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and Executive Advisor Mike Donilon seek answers on issues like the obstruction of a functioning  NI Assembly,  the abandonment of the rule of law in the ‘amnesty’ bill before Parliament and the petulant and  incendiary remark of Boris Johnson on the status of the Unity poll.  Why do these questions remain after 25 years?  

Harvard Professor Maya Jasanoff depicts Brexiteers as “…steeped in half-truths and imperial nostalgia.”  Others like journalist Peter Foster of the Financial Times claims Britain’s Conservatives have “an undiluted commitment to sovereignty preferred to economic growth.”   NI unionists claims of a ‘democratic deficit’ were easily dismissed by  Britain’s highest court but  historically they prefer the rule of the gun, not the rule of law.  The only real ‘democratic deficits at issue are:  Britain’s unilateral partitioning Ireland after election defeats in 1918/1919; 50 years of severe voter restrictions against Catholic /Nationalist communities; Parliament ignoring the NI vote to Remain in the EU and the very current obstruction of majority rule in NI by Britain’s support of loyalist abstention from the Assembly they no longer control.  

Surely the British people, if not their leaders, must recognize that if America’s bi-partisan GFA support from President’s and Congress is to be ignored or undermined that diminishes the so-called ‘special relationship.’ Such antagonism remains an impediment to normal US-UK relations not only in matters of trade but in issues like human rights and the rule of law.  It is not just political leaders in the United States that have become more ‘woke’ to the harm inflicted upon our other allies like Ireland and those in the European Union.   The sympathies of our citizenry may shift from tourism and royal pageantry to anger.  The U. S. cannot ignore  the loathsome collusion killings of innocent Irish citizens or  Britain’s legacy of smothering and manipulating of  Irish democracy.  America, you have your wake-up call!!   

Michael J. Cummings,  
Guest Commentator 

Michael J. Cummings, a native of Springfield, Mass. is a graduate of St. Anselm’s College (B. A., 1968) and  New York University (MPA., 1970) . He co-founded  the American Brexit Committee in 2016 and served  as Secretary. from 2016-March, 2023.  He is a former member of the National Boards of the Irish American Unity Conference (1996-2013), the Ancient Order of Hibernians (2001-2008), and the Irish Northern Aid Committee (1988-1996). He also served as Chairman of the Capital District Irish National Caucus (1979-1982).   He worked for the State of New York for 36 years in various capacities including as Assistant Deputy State Comptroller and Director of the Justice Court Fund.  He served on the Peace and Justice Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.  


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