From Belfast to Bethlehem

(Telegraph-UK) - Editorial Tony Blair shares a belief with former president Clinton that the Northern Ireland peace process is a template for resolving conflict in the Middle East. But what does this model entail when exported from Belfast to Bethlehem? First, the Ulster model means the expenditure of vast amounts of prime ministerial time in micro-managing provincial politicians. Mr. Blair also appears to believe that clear distinctions can be made between terrorism for no discernible, rational purpose (such as September 11), and terrorism that has clear political purpose (a united Ireland as demanded by the IRA, a Palestinian state as demanded by the PLO and Hamas). This week Mr. Blair will no doubt be urging his guest not to insist that Palestinians forswear coercion before full-scale negotiations resume. In Northern Ireland, Mr. Bush will be able to see for himself how terrorists can endlessly cash in the tools of violence for startling political gains.

2003-04-08 00:00:00

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