Monday, March 16, 2009

Good News From Northern Ireland

A couple of weeks ago there were sectarian killings in Northern Ireland (I wrote about them here). In a piece in today's NYT, David Park reports that the initial response has been a unified condemnation of the violence and a determination not to let it lead to a renewed cycle of revenge:
Something quite remarkable has happened in this country as the hours have turned into days. It started with ordinary people interviewed on television and radio who invariably expressed an abhorrence of “returning” or “going back.”

... Across towns and cities people of all traditions assembled to protest in dignified but powerful silence. There was a constant reiteration that what had been achieved could not now be lost, that a peace process, for all its problems, could not be usurped and subverted by the gun.
This is very good news.

. Will it last? Is Park drawing big-pictures conclusions too quickly about people's responses to the attacks?

139. Does Ireland (the Republic) have any troops in either Afghanistan or Iraq?

140. Across the Channel: What's Gordon Brown's level of popularity at the moment? He was getting panned last summer, then riding high in the fall --- where's he at now?

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