From the EIR Archives – Northern Ireland Deal Renews Hope (April 24 1998)

On April 10, an historic agreement was signed between
previously warring parties in Northern Ireland and the
governments of Ireland and Britain, to end 30 years of
bloodshed, known as the Troubles. Without President
Clinton’s personal intervention, this would not have
happened, in what the Queen’s Privy Council considers
its backyard. The new agreement, while not perfect,
means that the killing can stop, and the two-centuries long
collaboration for economic growth between
America and the Emerald Isle, can begin anew.
But, as with the Clinton administration’s Dayton
Accords halting the Bosnian conflict, if peace is not
accompanied with economic development, the agreement
will not hold. A New Bretton Woods agreement
among nations, combined with a worldwide drive to
build the Eurasian Land-Bridge, is the only hope to
secure this peace accord.
Solving the Northern Ireland conflict had been a
priority of President Clinton as early as 1992, when he
made a campaign pledge to grant Sinn Fein President
Gerry Adams a visa and to appoint a special envoy to
work on the Northern Ireland problem. In 1993, British
officials, including then-Prime Minister John Major
and Northern Ireland Secretary Patrick Mayhew, visited
the White House and worked against granting
Adams a visa. But, because of the strong Irish-American
lobby in the United States, as well as the role of
Ireland’s then-Prime Minister Albert Reynolds and
Northern Ireland’s leader of the Social Democratic and
Labour Party John Hume, President Clinton had allies
with whom to pursue his commitment for peace.
One year later, on Jan. 30, 1994, the Clinton administration
granted a visa to Adams, which President Clinton
hailed as an opportunity to “help advance the cause
of peace in Northern Ireland.” In February, Adams travelled
to the United States and made a presentation on
the prospects for peace. In March, Irish Prime Minister
Reynolds attended the White House St. Patrick’s Day
festivities. After a meeting with him, President Clinton
said, “In the earliest days of our Republic, the American
dream has often been the story of Irish-American

achievements. In the words of the Irish poet Thomas
Kinsella, we must set no limits to the possible.” Then,
in early August, the President made a bold intervention,
over the objection of the U.S. Departments of State and
Justice, to grant Joe Cahill, a former Irish Republican
Army leader, a visa to enter the United States. On Aug.
31, 1994, the IRA announced a cease-fire. The President
had won his gamble.
One Irish journalist, Niall O’Dowd, commended
the President “for not taking the British point of view,
as the Reagan and Bush administrations have done for
almost 15 years.”
In a May 1979 feature, EIR reported that Ireland
was the fastest-growing economy in Europe. It had surpassed
all other industrialized countries in rates of manufacturing
output, capital investment, and GNP. “The
population of Ireland is rising for the first time since
the Great Famine,” we wrote. “The 150-year hemorrhage
of forced emigration which has drained the country
of its most valuable resource—its labor power—is
being halted as more and more high-technology jobs
are created every year.” Precisely what the British
feared, and so, the British-fueled Troubles escalated,
and free-trade globalizers undercut that capital-intensive
But now, President Clinton has the chance to
change history for all mankind, not only for Northern
Ireland. Only by eliminating poverty born of underdevelopment,
can one beat swords into plowshares. Hundreds
of billions of dollars for infrastructure development,
as outlined in the Eurasian Land-Bridge
program, to gird the globe with railways, power plants,
and water systems, is the way to eliminate the British
dogs of war. Ireland, North and South, under the terms
of the new agreement, could be united economically.
EIR commends President Clinton, his envoy Sen.
George Mitchell, and all the signatories to this agreement,
for their unswerving commitment to peace. But
now, the command decisions made to secure this agreement
must become a precedent for the tough battles ahead: building a new just, monetary system.

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