I've just seen on RTÉ that the US State Department has denied a visa to Rita O'Hare, Sinn Féin's representative in Washington.

I'm struggling to comprehend the logic of this decision. Rita's in and out of the US all the time. If the Bush administration has decided it wants to start playing hardball with Sinn Féin (and why start now?), it seems odd that they would pick on her and not Martin McGuinness, who was to accompany her on her next visit.

And not merely odd but incredibly short-sighted. Because of the amount of time she spends in the US, and the fact that she is, essentially, the key liaison person between Sinn Féin and America, she'd be a lot more sensitive and sympathetic than most republicans are to US sentiment on the issues we're involved with. Some would call her too sensitive and sympathetic, in fact. She has a much keener sense than most of us have of how and why to keep the Yanks onside - and consequently, it's in their interest to keep her onside. This isn't really the best way to do it.

1 comment:

hensons said...

bizarre - why now?

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