Friday, March 18, 2005

The Shame of Irish Tribalism

Yesterday, in Washington D.C., we saw two examples of Irish tribalism and how it causes so much trouble! The first was the visit to The White House by the five McCartney sisters of Belfast. Their brother was brutally murdered by the IRA, which has since tried to impose the Irish version of "omerta", the code of silence, on the 70 witnesses present! The world, and even some Catholics in Northern Ireland, is outraged. And support for the IRA in such useful foolish circles as Teddy Kennedy's has dried up.
Meanwhile, Irish-American Mark McGwire was telling a Congressional committee that he would not tell them about other player's use of anabolic steroids. He couldn't do that, it would be a violation of "the code of silence". I did not see the movie, but wasn't that a theme in "The Gangs of New York" where violence and thuggish behavior ruled the day and "the code of silence" was the norm? Well, why don't you take your peasant ways and go back where you came from, because in America we have a legal principal known as misprision of a felony. This makes complying with "the code of silence" a crime in of itself. You become a de facto accessory to the crime. I do not know if Northern Ireland has the same type of laws, but if I were in charge there I'd start hauling potential witnesses in for questioning. If I found someone who was present in the bar, I'd charge them and put them on trial for misprision of a felony before a jury of voters (many of whom will belong to other "gangs" and might like to see an IRA sympathizer rot in gaol)! We'll see how long the "code of silence" holds up under threat of imprisonment!

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