Fri, 11 Feb 2000

Irish peace process in danger

Why should anyone be surprised that the IRA has refused to hand over so much as a single bullet in the cause of peace? From the very beginning, the terrorists were adamant that they would never "decommission" their weapons, though ministers from (Prime Minister) Tony Blair down promised they would.

Now the truth can no longer be avoided. Gen. John de Chastelain says that the IRA has not moved a millimeter. And once again the peace process has become a frantic scramble to stave off disaster.

But in some respects, the disaster has already occurred. Sinn Fein/IRA has secured the release of nearly 200 terrorists from jail.

Meanwhile, the Unionists are left divided, embittered and wrung dry of every concession. They are the real victims in this sorry saga of broken promises and ignored obligations.

The politicians must now decide whether peace can best be kept alive by going further down the road of gangster morality. Or whether the law-abiding Unionist majority, who have already given so much, will be asked to make further sacrifices.

-- The Daily Mail, London