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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Monday, March 26, 2007

It's taken thirty years, and countless deaths.. vitriolic accusations and counter-accusations.. thousands of people living in literal fear for their lives, and those of their children..
But today, for the first time, Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams had lunch together, and emerged to tell a news conference that they had agreed to a power-sharing agreement, that would allow the Stormont Assembly to finally take control of Northern Irish affairs.
No handshake at the end.. each making a speech that promised a 'better future' for those in the Province..
But a landmark. One with more import than the 'Good Friday Agreement', in that it actually will allow each side to argue it's points, one side for Unionism, the other for Republicanism, within a Parliamentary setting..
Two sides, hithertofore diametrically opposed, finally, seemingly, reconciled to non-violent debate on the future of their situation..
One must wonder, if such a timeframe is in the cards, for Iraq. For a time when Sh'ia and Sunni representatives will sit, and announce that they are finally committed to working together.
It's a timeframe that will be closely analysed both in London and Washington, for the thought of maintaining a 'peacekeeping force' in that area, while factions do their best to destroy each other, would be intollerable..
However, it may well be, that we in the West have committed ourselves, as did the British government's over these past 30 years, to keeping a presence, for as long as it takes.
Keep in mind though, that in Northern Ireland, it was a case of Western terrorism fighting Western terrorism, and both fighting the RUC..
A slightly different scenario in the Middle East.
But nevertheless, Ian Paisley will be looking forward to May the 8th, and to becomming Northern Ireland's Prime Minister. The fact that he will have to share power with a man, once a sworn enemy, will give the 80 year old Paisley no qualms however, for a process has finally begun.

The word from Iran on the whereabouts and condition of the 14 men and 1 woman, servicemen in the British Navy, is that all are 'safe' and 'being treated well'. However, just what those terms actually amount to, is debateable. Tehran is refusing to reveal where these British subjects are being detained, as would be expected in any case. For should their actual location be released, a pre-emptive strike against that detention centre would be highly probable..
But what is now being taken into consideration is, that the elite Revolutionary Guard may have planned, and executed this adventure, on their own. This faction of the Iranian Army is, in effect, working under Laws of their own making, and could have worked without the knowledge, or blessing, of either Ahmadenejad or Khameini.
They have said though, that these prisoners are not being held against the release of five Iranians held by coalition forces in Iraq.. there is another agenda in place here.
It's a worrying time for the British Foreign Office, for while indeed the Revolutionary Guard may be entirely and soley responsible for these kidnappings, there is also an equally good chance that they're working, under Presidential Warrant, so to speak, to provoke an international situation..
One which will certainly work, in the Arab World, to Iran's favour.
If they get away with this, and there are no reprisals, the political ramifications will be enormous.
Effectively, it means Iran can freely thumb it's nose at the West, the UN, and all others who might try and curtail their uranium enrichment program...
For if we won't go to war to rescue own own.. it's highly unlikely we'll take any more than diplomatic action against anything else they might do..
These captured servicemen are undergoing 'interrogation' as this is being written, and have no doubt, since the moment they were kidnapped last Friday..
God help them.
And God damn us, for allowing such a situation to arise.. for our 'addiction to oil', and our reluctance to enter an energy rehab program with determination..

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