The conflict in the north and ‘international backers’… May 15, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, Northern Ireland, The Left.
Yasssamine Mathers writes in the CPGB Weekly Worker, which can be read here, about the arrest of Gerry Adams and she asks the following:
So why is Sinn Féin still supporting the peace process and why did it not ask for firmer guarantees at the time of the deal?
The reality is that at the time of the Good Friday agreement Sinn Féin/IRA had lost its international backers following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The party had little choice but to accept the conditions imposed by the UK government: it was not winning the war, and ambitions of office also played their part. Ironically SF’s current electoral success is based on nostalgia for that period and respect for the martyrs of the war, yet in seeking legitimacy and electoral success Sinn Féin keeps tripping over its past.
That’s an interesting thesis as regards Sinn Féin and the IRA losing ‘international backers’ but I’m trying to think of any that would have affected them substantially by 1998. Their support appears to have been not from the USSR or Eastern bloc (at least to any great extent) but instead from individual states, one thinks of Libya, or organisations like the ANC (and the history of those links is already very interesting and one would wonder is more yet to come on that score) that tended to plough their own furrow.
The USSR itself was notably circumspect about engaging too fully in the conflict. Tangentially this has been mentioned on the CLR in relation to the North before.
What do people think of the argument?