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Classifying Adams as a terrorist is foolish

| Friday, March 19, 2004

Before I begin addressing the points made by Derek Webb, I want to emphasize that I detest terrorism or violence in any circumstance. That said, Webb’s letter concerning the visit of Gerry Adams is symptomatic of the foolish, moralistic approach to foreign policy promulgated by the Bush administration. Webb calls the IRA “a terrorist organization that has plagued the northern six counties for decades.” This is an overly simplistic analysis of the group and is indicative of ignorance about the history of British occupation in Ireland.For many years, Irish Catholics in the North of Ireland lived as second-class citizens in a Protestant-dominated society. Northern Ireland was designed to be a Protestant state for Protestant people. With the RUC and the British Army actively assisting Protestant thugs in their repression of Catholics, the Catholic community had no recourse but to turn to the IRA. The British Army had initially been sent to Northern Ireland to protect Catholics from loyalist violence. Instead, these soldiers massacred unarmed demonstrators in Derry on Jan. 30, 1972. The IRA began its campaign against the forces of the oppressive government because Catholic citizens had no one to protect their basic human rights.I do not condone terrorism, but I certainly understand the plight of the Catholics of the North. My own father was born and raised in West Belfast and has had firsthand experience with the discrimination and hatred from the government there. I implore people like Derek Webb to stop seeing the world in black and white. Of course the Ulster Unionists do not support Gerry Adams; his very goal is to end their repressive hegemony and policy of discrimination in the six counties. To exclude men like Gerry Adams from the peace process is absolutely foolhardy. Sinn Fein has become the largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland, and Gerry Adams, himself, has been instrumental in engineering the peace process, from the cease-fire of 1994 to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. In order to achieve lasting peace in Ireland, the voices of all sides must be heard.

Brendan MageeseniorDillon HallMarch 18