I remember reading, well into the 1960s, in the Irish newspapers, syndicated opinion pieces by the American journalist Walter Lippman. He was born in 1889, had established himself comfortably before the First World War, advised Woodrow Wilson, won a Pulitzer Prize at least once and been given the accolade “The Father of Modern Journalism.” For what it is worth, modern journalism stinks for the most part.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour Lippman wrote that the fact that neither Japanese nationals, nor Americansof Japanese ancestry had performed any act of sabotage within the United States was certain proof that they were conspiring to do so. He supported the rounding up in California of about 140,000 of innocent American citizens and their internment. Lippman was still regarded as a fount of wisdom when he died in the 1970s.
Michael McDowell’s prestige, even in Ireland, is not a shadow of Lippman’s. True, he has held high public office, but the neo-liberal Progessive Democrat party, of which he was a decoration, has left less trace than the grin of a Cheshire Cat. McDowell worries for the survival of Fianna Fail, Europe’s most naïve Babes in the Wood that they might be devoured by the Big Bad Wolves of Sinn Fein, whom McDowell believes are controlled by the IRA.
I believe, as apparently do the security forces of Ireland, Britain, and the rest of the world, that the IRA has disarmed and disbanded and is no more likely to rise again than the late, unlamented, Progressive Democrats. .’