NO doubt, Sinn Féin will dismiss as blatant British propaganda the chilling analysis of the party's role in Irish politics outlined in the current report of the influential Economist Intelligence Unit. And blatant propaganda it is. rkm -------------------------------------------------------- http://www.examiner.ie/pport/web/opinion/Full_Story/did-sgmwh7SQaMy4QsgadLjt5C321I.asp 05/11/05 Economist analysis - Report puts ball in Sinn Féin's court NO doubt, Sinn Féin will dismiss as blatant British propaganda the chilling analysis of the party's role in Irish politics outlined in the current report of the influential Economist Intelligence Unit. But despite its establishment image, it would be simplistic to reject out of hand this contentious overview of politics in Ireland. With an election looming, and whether Sinn Féin likes it or not, the conclusions probably reflect an undercurrent of doubt and unease in the minds of many people around the country about the agenda being pursued by republicans. Posing the question 'whither the provisional movement?' the analysis suggests the answer will have a central bearing on the political future of the island of Ireland. Its fundamental question is whether Sinn Féin and the IRA are evolving to "become fully democratic or whether its use of democratic means is merely tactical and designed to achieve undemocratic ends". Bluntly, it goes on to claim "the evidence points towards the latter, more worrying scenario". In other words, IRA disarmament was purely tactical. It is pertinent to note that the jury is still out following the IRA's July 28 announcement that it would cease activity. According to the recent report from the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), covering a six-month period from March to August, the IRA was almost entirely inactive since declaring it would end all activity. Significantly, the commission probe covered only one month following the IRA's ground-breaking initiative. Hence, its reminder that while initial signs were encouraging, its assessment was inevitably limited. Yet, according to the Economist, the IRA's military capability "remains fully intact". Reiterating that intelligence gathering, surveillance, and criminal funding were incompatible with democratic politics, it accuses the IRA of still using violence, physical threats and intimidation to enforce its will in areas where it holds sway in the North. Controversially, the report finds it hard to envisage the leopard changing its spots. Even if leading republicans seek change, it doubts the capability of an organisation with a culture of violence and lawlessness to change profoundly. Its failure to give republicans the benefit of the doubt will rightly be seen as a flaw in the argument and will open the Economist to charges of engaging in dirty tricks to militate against Sinn Féin. Politically, it foresees a threat to political stability from a hung Dáil if, as expected, Sinn Féin gains seats. And with all mainstream parties opposed to joining the party in coalition, it predicts "a weak, ineffectual and short-lived minority government". Despite the Taoiseach's stated opposition to the idea, it sees Fianna Fáil getting into bed with Sinn Féin, effectively empowering republicans to advance their central goal of ending British rule in Northern Ireland. Going ever deeper into the realm of speculation, it warns of political uncertainty and instability, with Sinn Féin seeking to influence the executive branch of government to prevent illegal IRA activities being subject to investigation by law enforcement agencies and sanction by the judiciary. In this highly unlikely scenario, it says the even application of the rule of law would be disrupted and the institutional integrity of the Irish state undermined. While its closing argument stretches credulity to breaking point, the overall thrust of the analysis effectively puts the ball in Sinn Féin's court. North and south of the border, the challenge facing republicans is one of unequivocally embracing democratic politics while utterly eschewing violence and criminality. Only thus will Sinn Féin establish beyond any shadow of doubt that the political scenario outlined by the Economist smacks more of propaganda than prophesy. -- -------------------------------------------------------- http://cyberjournal.org "Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World" http://www.cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Apocalypse_and_NWO.html Posting archives: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/show_archives/?date=01Jan2006&batch=25&lists=newslog Subscribe to low-traffic list: •••@••.••• ___________________________________________ In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.