DUBLIN, Ireland -
The outlawed Irish Republican Army is observing its peace commitments and is not an obstacle to a revived Roman Catholic-Protestant administration for Northern Ireland, the British and Irish governments declared Tuesday in their most optimistic comments on the subject.
Leaders of both governments lauded IRA commanders and said they were no longer planning violence or illegal activity of any kind.
The British secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, and Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell said Protestants no longer could cite IRA activity as a reason for refusing to cooperate with Sinn Fein, the IRA-linked party representing most Northern Ireland Catholics.
"I was happy to be able to report to my colleagues that, as far as we are concerned, the Provisional IRA is adhering 100 percent to the commitments it has made," McDowell said, using the formal name of the modern IRA.
McDowell said he believed the IRA would stick to its July 2005 pledge renouncing the use of violence for political purposes. He said this was "a reasonable assumption, given the evidence that we have."
The British and Irish governments have set Nov. 24 as a final deadline for Protestant and Catholic politicians to vote together to revive power-sharing, the central goal of Northern Ireland's 1998 Good Friday peace accord. A previous coalition suffered chronic breakdowns and collapsed in 2002 over an IRA spying scandal.
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Well this article was an interesting find considering the topics I have been writing about in the past week or so. In July 2005 the IRA pledged to put down its arms and renounced violent activities for the advancement of political purposes.
The governments of Northern Ireland and Great Britain respectively have stated that the IRA has complied with its pledge and that they are not an obstacle to the Roman Catholic-Protestant administration of Northern Ireland.
Now with the disarming of the Provisional IRA, the political party Sinn Fein, which is linked to the IRA and who represents most Catholics in Northern Ireland, will be able to go about the process of making sure that the Catholics are represented equally and that those people with too much energy have a place to focus said energy.
Now take what the IRA has done to achieve peace and put that up against Hamas, who everyone likes to remind me was elected democratically, and you will see that Hamas time and time again came to cease-fire agreements with Israel, but has repeatedly and maliciously attacked Israel over and over as if to spit upon the agreements they should have honored.
Just because they have democratically elected Hamas does not mean that they are not terrorists, from the beginning the United States has refused to deal with Hamas because we rightly consider them to be a terrorist organization.
If the Palestinian people want a terrorist organization such as Hamas to represent them, then they will feel the repercussion from that action. I feel no pity towards people who choose to be lead by the likes of Hamas and their ilk.
This is the difference between the IRA and Hamas/Hezbollah, you can actually talk and reason with the IRA, while you will not be able to come to terms on all things with the IRA, they are at least civil enough to want peace and pursue those ends.
I commend the IRA for this act of peace and civility and hope it was not made in vain.
I also wish for the destruction of all terrorist organizations that seek to destroy our great ally in Israel and who kill and maim our soldiers on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan, for these are our true enemies.
I fully support Israel in its military conflict in southern Lebanon and hope that Hezbollah will be crushed and killed in the manner in which they have inflicted upon the Israelis.