Sunday, March 13, 2005

W stands for War on Terror"

As I had expected, irritating the hot-tempered and emotional President Bush when he has lent you his credibility isn't a smart thing to do, as Yasser Arafat learned to his cost and Gerry Adams now seems to be discovering, according to the Telegraph.

Mr Bush now views Mr Adams in the same unfavourable light as he did Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader, a senior presidential adviser said last night. "At the White House, Adams is now regarded with the same sort of disdain as Arafat," the adviser told The Telegraph. "The President no longer considers Mr Adams a reliable partner for peace. He doesn't want to meet him." [...] Mr Bush's displeasure has forced Mr Adams to abandon plans to raise money while in America. The United States government made it clear that it would not grant him a visa that permits fund-raising, this newspaper has learnt. Sinn Fein had claimed that Mr Adams had chosen not to raise money "to avoid it being made into a contentious issue''. In reality, he was told not even to bother applying for the appropriate paperwork for the week-long visit, which began in Ohio yesterday. American officials are also demanding major concessions from Sinn Fein, most significantly that the IRA be disbanded.

Adams is probably calculating that he can live with riling the White House, given that the Irish electorate isn't concerned about Bush's anger and that friends on Capitol Hill will cover him from the consequences. That might be a serious misjudgment.