The IRA and Sinn Fein are in trouble. So where does Gerry Adams go from here?
The biggest problem with Moloney's theory is that it presumes Adams will remain in control of events. It's one thing to manipulate your allies into doing your bidding when they are members of a famously disciplined organization like the IRA. But democracies are different. They're messy and unpredictable. Adams could hardly have predicted McCartney's grisly murder outside Magennis's Bar, and he could not have foreseen the popular anger over the IRA's cover-up. As anti-Sinn Fein momentum builds, it's looking more and more like things are spinning out of control for the master tactician. If Adams brought the peace process to this tenuous point thinking it would inevitably lead to IRA disarmament, one can only hope that at least that part of his master plan remains on track.
Scott MacMillan is a freelance journalist who lives in Cairo.
Photo of Gerry Adams by by ShowbizIreland/Getty Images.