Northern Ireland's unionists learn a lesson from the enemy.

Opinions about events beyond our borders.
Sept. 16 2005 11:45 AM

What's Good for the IRA ...

Northern Ireland's unionists learn a lesson from the enemy.

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The world bought into the charade. Belfast's Protestant working classes learned a different lesson, and their repugnant leaders have done little to dissuade them from it. Gunfire, wrote Fintan O'Toole* in Dublin's Irish Times on Tuesday, is "the one form of eloquence that, in the strange world of the peace process, is sure to be heard." The lesson is that violence, and the threat of more violence, is the surest way to remain politically relevant.

Correction, Sept. 16, 2005: The original version of this article misnamed Fintan O'Toole as "Fintal O'Toole."

Scott MacMillan is a freelance journalist. He is writing from Dublin.