Thursday, February 25, 2010

Northern Ireland's Peace

Well, this is alarming news, especially as there are signs that it may not be a one-off, isolated incident. I began talking about Northern Ireland in my Global Terrorism class today (I always start off with "Sunday Bloody Sunday" from Rattle & Hum in order to have them hear Bono's awesome speech that is all the more powerful because it came on the day of the Enniskillen Bombing in November 1987) and had to try to convey to my students that the Troubles once seemed every bit as intractable as the Israel-Palestine question. The peace has held in Northern Ireland for more than a decade now (and really ought to be seen as the signature foreign policy accomplishment of the Clinton administration) and so presumably is strong enough to weather the occasional flareup. But if the IRA is determined to return to the way of the gun the way of the gun will prevail.

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