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Hillary’s Irish Peace Claims Get Punctured

From YouTube and the UK’s Telegraph:

Hillary lies about her “foreign policy achievements” in Ireland and China.

Nobel winner: Hillary Clinton’s ‘silly’ Irish peace claims

By Toby Harnden in Washington
08/03/2008

Hillary Clinton had no direct role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and is a “wee bit silly” for exaggerating the part she played, according to Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province.

“I don’t know there was much she did apart from accompanying Bill [Clinton] going around,” he said. Her recent statements about being deeply involved were merely “the sort of thing people put in their canvassing leaflets” during elections. “She visited when things were happening, saw what was going on, she can certainly say it was part of her experience. I don’t want to rain on the thing for her but being a cheerleader for something is slightly different from being a principal player.”

Mrs Clinton has made Northern Ireland key to her claims of having extensive foreign policy experience, which helped her defeat Barack Obama in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday after she presented herself as being ready to tackle foreign policy crises at 3am.

“I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” she told CNN on Wednesday. But negotiators from the parties that helped broker the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 told The Daily Telegraph that her role was peripheral and that she played no part in the gruelling political talks over the years.

Lord Trimble shared the Nobel Peace Prize with John Hume, leader of the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party, in 1998. Conall McDevitt, an SDLP negotiator and aide to Mr Hume during the talks, said: “There would have been no contact with her either in person or on the phone. I was with Hume regularly during calls in the months leading up to the Good Friday Agreement when he was taking calls from the White House and they were invariably coming from the president.”

Central to Mrs Clinton’s claim of an important Northern Ireland role is a meeting she attended in Belfast in with a group of women from cross-community groups. “I actually went to Northern Ireland more than my husband did,” she said in Nashua, New Hampshire on January 6th.

I remember a meeting that I pulled together in Belfast, in the town hall there, bringing together for the first time Catholics and Protestants from both traditions, having them sitting a room where they had never been before with each other because they don’t go to school together, they don’t live together and it was only in large measure because I really asked them to come that they were there.

“And I wasn’t sure it was going to be very successful and finally a Catholic woman on one side of the table said, ’You know, every time my husband leaves for work in the morning I worry he won’t come home at night.

“And then a Protestant woman on the other side said, ’Every time my son tries to go out at night I worry he won’t come home again’. And suddenly instead of seeing each other as caricatures and stereotypes they saw each other as human beings and the slow, hard work of peace-making could move forward.”

There is no record of a meeting at Belfast City Hall, though Mrs Clinton attended a ceremony there when her husband turned on the Christmas tree lights in November 1995. The former First Lady appears to be referring a 50-minute event the same day, arranged by the US Consulate, the same day at the Lamp Lighter Café on the city’s Ormeau Road.

The “Belfast Telegraph” reported the next day that the café meeting was crammed with reporters, cameramen and Secret Service agents. Conversation “seemed a little bit stilted, a little prepared at times” and Mrs Clinton admired a stainless steel tea pot, which was duly given to her, for keeping the brew “so nice and hot”.

Among those attending were women from groups representing single parents, relationship counsellors, youth workers and a cultural society. In her 2003 autobiography “Living History”, Mrs Clinton wrote about the meeting in some detail but made no claim that it was significant.

Rather than it being the first time the women had met, Mrs Clinton wrote: “Because they were willing to work across the religious divide, they had found common ground.”

Steven King, a negotiator with Lord Trimble’s Ulster Unionist Party, argued that Mrs Clinton might even have helped delay the chances of peace. “She was invited along to some pre-arranged meetings but I don’t think she exactly brought anybody together that hadn’t been brought together already,” he said. Mrs Clinton was “a cheerleader for the Irish republican side of the argument“, he added.

“She really lost all credibility when on Bill Clinton’s last visit to Northern Ireland [in December 2000] when she hugged and kissed [Sinn Fein leaders] Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.”

Responding to inquiries from this newspaper, Hillary Clinton’s campaign issued a statement from Mr Hume. “I am quite surprised that anyone would suggest that Hillary Clinton did not perform important foreign policy work as First Lady,” the statement said…

Hillary Clinton meeting with Belfast women in 1995 and the teapot she admired.

For the record, here is the sum extent of Mrs. Clinton’s remarks about her historic foreign policy achievement of bring peace to Ireland in her ghost-written autobiography, “Living History,” page 381:

While Bill met with the various factions, I split off to meet with women leaders of the peace movement. Because they were willing to work across the religious divide, they had found common ground.

At the Lamplighter Traditional Fish and Chips restaurant, I met sixty-five-year-old Joyce McCartan, a remarkable woman who had founded the Women’s Information Drop-in Center in 1987 after her seventeen-year-old son was shot dead by Protestant gunmen. She had lost more than a dozen family members to violence. Joyce and other women had set up the center as a safe house: a place for women of both religions to convene and talk over their needs and fears.

Unemployment was high, and both Catholic and Protestant women worried about young people in the community who had nothing to do. The nine women sitting around the table described how frightened and worried they were when their sons and husbands left the house and how relieved they were when they arrived safely back home. “It takes women to bring men to their senses,” Joyce said.

These women hoped that the cease-fire would continue and that the violence would end once and for all. They poured tea from ordinary stainless steel teapots, and when I remarked how well they kept the tea warm, Joyce insisted I take a pot to remember them by. I used that dented teapot every day in our small family kitchen at the White House. When Joyce died shortly after our visit, I was honored to be asked to return to Belfast in 1997 to deliver the first Joyce McCartan Memorial Lecture at the University of Ulster.

I brought the teapot with me and put it on the podium as I spoke of the courage of Irish women like Joyce who, at kitchen tables and over pots of tea, had helped chart a path to peace.

It is to laugh. Until you realize that this self-deluded person could be our next President.

(For a demolition of Mrs. Clinton’s other preposterous claims about her courageous speech in Beijing, please go here.)

And of course Hillary’s press agents at the New York Times have done their best to further this myth:

The Résumé Factor: Those 8 Years as First Lady

By PATRICK HEALY

December 26, 2007

As first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton jaw-boned the authoritarian president of Uzbekistan to leave his car and shake hands with people. She argued with the Czech prime minister about democracy. She cajoled Roman Catholic and Protestant women to talk to one another in Northern Ireland

Her personal interests also drew her to Northern Ireland, where she believed she could help foster peace as a female leader bringing together women split by the sectarian divide. She played host to a memorable meeting, one of the first of its kind, of Catholic and Protestant women in Belfast. “It gave everybody a safe place to come together and start talking about what they had in common,” Mrs. Clinton said

Never mind that Mrs. Clinton herself admitted that this “first of its kind meeting” had actually been going on for nearly ten years (since at least 1987) at the aforementioned “safe house,” when she happened by.

But what’s a few lies when we have a legend to create?

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, March 8th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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