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August 30, 2006

DUP Blamed For Power-Sharing Failure

News About Ireland & The Irish

BN 08/30/06 DUP Blamed For Power-Sharing Failure
BT 08/30/06 DUP Dodds Rubbishes 'Grand Tour' Prospect Of Fresh Talks
BB 08/30/06 Devolution Talks 'Better In NI'
BN 08/30/06 SF: Government Plan To Play 'Race Card' In Election
UT 08/30/06 McCord Calls For PUP Sanctions
BT 08/30/06 Bloody Sunday Computer Bill: Œ34m
NO 08/30/06 SF: Fees Must Be Tackled, But Not At Expense Of Justice
BB 08/30/06 Probe After Shots Fired At House
IP 08/30/06 Uproar As TD Questions Role Of British Monarchy
UT 08/30/06 Brian Kenney Backs 'Troubles' Museum
MA 08/30/06 Too Many Memories


DUP Blamed For Power-Sharing Failure

30/08/2006 - 11:42:38

The only outstanding issue facing the North's politicians
is whether Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists will form a
power sharing executive, it was claimed today.

As speculation mounted that British prime minister Tony
Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will host Leeds Castle-
style hothouse talks with the parties in Scotland or
England in October, Sinn F‚in Assembly member Alex Maskey
said his party was willing and ready to share power with
the DUP.

He also stressed Sinn F‚in's difficulties over policing in
the North could only be resolved if there were fully
functioning political institutions.

The South Belfast Assembly member said: "The only party
opposed to the restoration of the political institutions is
the DUP.

"That needs to be the focus of the two governments in the
run up to their November 24 deadline (for devolution).

"Other outstanding matters such as policing can only be
resolved in the context of functioning political

"The format and venue of any future engagement is a minor
issue. The reality is that the political negotiations have
already happened. The only remaining issue to be resolved
is anti-Agreement stance of Ian Paisley and his party.

"The DUP has a stark choice. They can either come to terms
with current political realities, or the process of change
will move on without them."

Mr Maskey was responding to Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg
Empey's call on both governments not to waste public money
on talks at an English or Scottish country estate with the

Officials in London and Dublin have been looking at
possible venues and are believed to be considering holding
the talks on October 9 or 10 on the back of another IRA and
loyalist paramilitary ceasefire assessment from the
Independent Monitoring Commission.

The North's politicians have until November 24 to decide
whether they can form a power sharing executive.

However, there is not much optimism that the deadline will
be met.

The DUP has warned Mr Blair and Mr Ahern it will not be
bounced into government with Sinn F‚in by the deadline.

It will instead base any decision on whether there is proof
that the IRA has abandoned its criminality and
paramilitarism for good.

Senior DUP figures have also insisted Sinn F‚in must also
publicly back the Police Service of Northern Ireland and
urge its supporters to engage with the police if it is to
be a credible partner in government.

UUP leader Sir Reg Empey warned last night another round of
hothouse talks outside the North would be a waste of
taxpayers money.

The East Belfast Assembly member said: "The cost of hiring
the venue, the associated security, flying over,
accommodating and feeding a large number of Assembly
members and staff is astronomical and a chronic waste of
public expenditure.

"The big house spectacular summit may have worked in the
past in terms of the optics and trying to generate a
pressure cooker environment, but in reality they achieved

"Can anyone in Northern Ireland name one big house summit
where a breakthrough was made?

"The answer is no. The contrary is true.

"Castle Buildings, Stormont and Hillsborough Castle have
been places where meaningful progress has been made in the


DUP Dodds Rubbishes 'Grand Tour' Prospect Of Fresh Talks

By Noel McAdam
30 August 2006

The DUP today struck a skeptical tone over the prospect of
new 'hot-house' negotiations to secure a deal on devolution
with Sinn Fein.

Senior Government sources have suggested the prospect of a
new Leeds Castle-type intensive effort in the second week
of October, possibly in Scotland, just over a month before
the strict November 24 deadline.

But DUP secretary Nigel Dodds said today: "We don't need a
hot-house, we need cool, rational judgment and delivery.

"Quite frankly we thought the days of grand tours of
stately homes have come to an end and the ability of Tony
Blair to sell anything is long tarnished and gone."

The North Belfast MP said 'New Labour gimmickry' of
setpiece talks was "devoid of substance".

"It's more spin. In fact in my view it's a distraction.

"The fact is that the forum for judging and delivering
already exists in the Assembly which (Secretary of State)
Peter Hain has so far treated with contempt.

"November 24 is an entirely arbitrary date of the
Governments' making. We all know the issues which have to
be dealt with and the work should be left to the Assembly."

Talks, potentially starting on October 9 or 10, would
follow the latest Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC)
report which the Government hopes will deliver a positive
assessment on IRA activity and criminality.

Mr Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern have already signalled
the need for a further round of intensive talks and had
been expected to return to Northern Ireland again in

But no venue has yet been identified for the talks which
could be based on the Weston Park model from 2001, away
from the media glare.


Devolution Talks 'Better In NI'

The DUP have said they would prefer any intensive talks
aimed at restoring devolution to be held at Stormont.

It is understood the British and Irish prime ministers are
considering hosting talks in Scotland in October.

One official said it was hoped a positive report from the
Independent Monitoring Commission could provide a
springboard for several days of talks.

UUP leader Sir Reg Empey said "big house" talks would be a
waste of money. Sinn Fein said the venue was "minor".

It is understood the talks are scheduled for the second
week of October.

Alex Maskey of Sinn Fein said the only remaining issue to
be resolved was the DUP's "anti-agreement stance".

Sir Reg said Castle Buildings, Stormont and Hillsbrough
Castle have been places where "meaningful progress has been
made in the past".

He added: "The cost of hiring the venue, the associated
security, flying over, accommodating and feeding a large
number of assembly members and staff is astronomical and a
chronic waste of public expenditure.

"The big house spectacular summit may have worked in the
past, in terms of the optics and trying to generate a
pressure cooker environment, but in reality they achieved

"Can anyone in Northern Ireland name one big house summit
where a breakthrough was made? The answer is no. The
contrary is true."

Direct rule

DUP sources told the BBC that the party has not yet been
officially approached but would prefer more work is
concentrated at the assembly.

SDLP deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell said: "It's hard to
think what any further fancy castle talks will achieve,
except a hole in the public purse.

"Getting the process moving again is hardly rocket science.
It should not take trips to far off places to figure it
out. All that parties have to do is face up to their

"The DUP needs to accept power-sharing and the Agreement.
Sinn Fein needs to accept policing and a lawful society.

"If these parties are serious about getting a deal, they
will do this. If they aren't, they won't. It's as simple as

On 15 May, Northern Ireland's politicians took their seats
in the Stormont assembly for the first time since October

While there is no immediate prospect of a power-sharing
executive being formed, the government hoped recalling the
politicians would help to pave the way towards a deal in
the autumn, by its deadline of 24 November.

Devolved government was suspended over allegations of a
republican spy ring.

The court case that followed collapsed and one of those
involved, Denis Donaldson, later admitted working as a
British agent.

Direct rule from London was restored in October 2002 and
has been in place since.

The Preparation for Government Committee was set up to
identify obstacles to the return of devolution. It has been
meeting over the summer months.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/30 16:37:15 GMT


SF: Government Plan To Play 'Race Card' In Election

30/08/2006 - 16:15:21

Sinn F‚in's justice spokesperson Aengus O Snodaigh has
accused the Government of being "ruthlessly committed to
exploiting, and creating, fears over immigration to Ireland
for electoral benefit".

O Snodaigh was restating Sinn F‚in's opposition to the
introduction of bio-metric ID cards for non-EU nationals.

The Dublin South-Central TD said: "In 2004 Fianna F il and
the Progressive Democrats combined to play the race card in
the Local and European elections in the hope that it would
prevent their collapse at the polls by proposing a
referendum that, in defiance of the Good Friday Agreement
and the principles of the 1916 Proclamation, stripped
children born in Ireland of their citizenship.

"Reports that the Government intends to force non-EU
nationals to carry bio-metric identification cards comes
from a similar desperation to avert electoral defeat by
playing the race card.

"These people, in Ireland legally, are already obliged to
register with the State. Biometric cards for non-EU
nationals are unnecessary and discriminatory, and raise a
host of civil liberties and privacy issues.

"No doubt, come the next election, politicians from Fianna
F il and the PDs will pose for photographers while signing
anti-racism pledges.

"But beyond the photo-ops is a Government ruthlessly
committed to exploiting, and creating, fears over
immigration to Ireland for electoral benefit."


McCord Calls For PUP Sanctions

The father of a loyalist paramilitary murder victim is to
urge a paramilitary ceasefire watchdog to impose tough
sanctions on the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP).

By:Press Association

Raymond McCord is to brief the Independent Monitoring
Commission (IMC) on the latest death threats against him.

The Belfast man`s claims that Special Branch shielded an
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) agent involved in killing his
son Raymond Jr, 22, are at the centre of a major inquiry by
the police ombudsman.

A report into the probe, due to be published next month, is
expected to reveal shocking levels of collusion in a series
of loyalist terrorist murders.

Although Mr McCord has been threatened throughout his nine-
year justice campaign, he has now been alerted to an
imminent plot to kill him.

Police went to his heavily fortified home twice in 24 hours
last week to warn him that the UVF unit from Mount Vernon,
north Belfast, who beat his former RAF operator son to
death and dumped his body in a quarry outside the city, had
targeted him.

They planned to kill him because of his involvement in the
ombudsman`s investigation, he was told.

But with the IMC preparing its latest assessment of
loyalist and republican paramilitaries for publication in
October, Mr McCord is to lobby for action against the UVF-
aligned Progressive Unionists.

He is meeting commissioners Lord John Alderdice, former
Speaker in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and Joe Brosnan,
ex-secretary general of the Irish Department of Justice, at
their Belfast headquarters.

IMC findings of UVF violence have previously led to PUP
leader David Ervine`s Assembly salary being cut, and Mr
McCord is demanding further punishments.

He said: "They were penalised in the past and it didn`t
teach them a lesson.

"The only way it seems to hurt this party is to hit them in
the pocket."

Mr McCord insisted that the body has a critical role to
play in scrutinising terrorist violence.

"There`s a need for the IMC the same way there`s a need for
the ombudsman`s office," he added.

"If you are not involved in crime there`s no need to worry.

"The IMC is not in place to keep David Ervine happy.

"They are there to tell the truth, and I will be giving
them details of these death threats.

"The UVF are still doing what they have always done:
intimidate and target people, especially within the
unionist community."


Bloody Sunday Computer Bill: Œ34m

Saville IT œ8m more expensive than TOTAL cost of BSE

By Mark Hookham
30 August 2006

More than œ34 million has been spend on computers and IT
systems during the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, it can be
revealed today.

New government figures show the inquiry forked out on
average œ4.3 million a year between 1998 and 2005 to pay
for the high-tech IT system used at its hearings in Derry
and London.

The total œ34.1 million expenditure is œ8 million more than
the total cost of the UK's second most expensive inquiry -
the BSE inquiry chaired by Lord Philip, which cost œ26

It is also greater than the œ21 million spent on the
inquiry into the UK's worst serial killer, Dr Harold

One MP last night branded the expenditure as "horrendous".

The figures were revealed in a written answer from direct
rule minister Paul Goggins to the Conservative's shadow
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Theresa Villiers.

The answer states the money was spent on the
"implementation of IT systems to support the work of the

The highest years of IT spending occurred between 2000 and
2003. A total of œ7.2 million was spent in 2000, œ5.8
million in 2001, œ7.1 million in 2002 and œ5 million in
2003. Last year, the inquiry's IT costs were œ3.7 million.

The inquiry, chaired by Lord Saville, used a computer
programme which provided a virtual reality model of the
Bogside as it was 30 years ago.

It also placed volumes of witness statements and
transcripts online.

During hearings in Great Hall of the Guildhall in Derry,
equipment was used to display complicated legal documents
on huge screens suspended from the ceiling so members of
the public and the families of those killed could follow
every word.

Transferring the inquiry to the Methodist Central Hall in
London for a year added to the huge IT costs.

An NIO spokesman said: "On January 29 1998 the Prime
Minister announced that a full and independent inquiry into
the events of Bloody Sunday would be established.

"To date the cost of the Saville Inquiry is œ172m". (see
graphic, right)

"How the Saville Inquiry, which operate independently of
government, spends their funding is a matter for them."

DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said: "This amount
of money is horrendous.

"I cannot imagine there is another public inquiry anywhere
in the world that can run up a bill for œ34m for the
provision of IT equipment."

Confusion reigned among ministers last month over the true
cost of the inquiry.

On July 2, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, in arguing
against an inquiry into the London 7/7 bombings, said the
Bloody Sunday cost was œ400m.

Later that week, Government officials said it was œ163m,
but on July 11, then Defence Secretary John Reid told the
House of Commons that it was œ185m.

In 2002, Ministers said they expected the final cost of the
inquiry to be œ100m. Legal bills account for more than half
the cost of the inquiry.

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry team was yesterday unavailable
for comment.

? Cost of implementing IT systems to support the work of
the Bloody Sunday inquiry:

1998 œ1.1m; 1999 œ1.6m; 2000 œ7.2m; 2001 œ5.8m; 2002 œ7.1m;
2003 œ5m; 2004 œ2.6m; 2005 œ3.7m


SINN FEIN: Tribunal Legal Fees Must Be Tackled, But Not At
Expense Of Justice - O Snodaigh

/ Responding to reports this morning that 80%
of total tribunals costs result from legal fees, with
individual barristers earning several million euros each,
Sinn F‚in Justice Spokesperson Aengus O Snodaigh said
legislation must be accelerated to address this issue but
restated that the Government's current proposed legislation
is unacceptable.

The Dublin South-Central TD said: "The Minister for Justice
published a Tribunals of Inquiry Bill last year and it was
provisionally scheduled to commence passage through the
D il last January. That never happened and the issue has
since dropped off the government's agenda.

"The Bill itself is highly problematic for those seeking
tribunals in an effort to uncover the truth. The huge
quantity of taxpayer's money going to wealthy legal
professionals is a major concern that must be addressed
promptly. However, the Government must not be allowed to
use the issue of costs as a Trojan horse to introduce a
Bill that, as it stands, follows in the footsteps of
similar British legislation the aim of which was to deny a
full inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane.

"The British Government's Inquiries Act 2005 amounts to
another effort to limit the scope of future inquiries into
the cases of those murdered by state collusion. It has
rightly been condemned by a range of civil and human rights
organisations. We believe that the Tribunals of Inquiry
Bill published by Minister McDowell, and agreed by this
Government, attempts to do the same. Rather than furthering
the cause of justice this Bill would instead limit the
potential of future public inquiries to uncover the full

"It would effectively give the Government power over
whether to establish a Tribunal of Inquiry at all, its
terms of reference and its members. It would grant the
Government the power to suspend or dissolve a Tribunal for
unlimited reasons and to prevent the publication of a
Tribunal's report. This is completely unacceptable and will
not instil any confidence amongst either the general public
or more crucially those victims of injustice seeking the


Probe After Shots Fired At House

A shot has been fired into a child's bedroom at a house in
County Tyrone. Two other shots were fired through a living
room window.

The incident occurred in the Lisnafin Park area of Strabane
at about 2300 BST on Tuesday.

A man and a woman were awakened by someone ransacking their
living room.

No children were at home at the time and there are no
reports of injuries. Police have appealed for anyone with
information to get in touch.

'No justification'

Sinn Fein councillor Jarlath McNulty said the people of
Strabane wanted nothing to do with violence.

"I'm very disappointed if this is what Strabane is turning
into, that people attack someone else's house and there can
be no justification for it," he said.

"You can't justify firing shots into a bedroom where a
child could be sleeping."

SDLP assembly member Eugene McMenamin said: "It is
appalling to think that we could be talking about a murder
in Strabane this morning.

"I would call for anyone with any information on this
incident to contact the local PSNI as soon as possible."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/30 14:24:41 GMT


Uproar As TD Questions Role Of British Monarchy

By Trevor O'Sullivan

AN IRISH politician caused outrage last week when he
debated what role the British monarchy would have in any
future 32-county Ireland.

Fine Gael TD Gay Mitchell was speaking at the annual
`Collins-Griffith Memorial' at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin
when he broached the controversial topic.

But his comments immediately garnered the wrath of both
Unionists and Republicans.

The politician eventually backtracked on his remarks and
said that as a constitutional nationalist he was interested
in looking at Ireland's relationship with Northern
Ireland's unionist population.

He later widened his argument to ask what role the British
monarchy would have if a united Ireland came about by

"Are we prepared to actually think out of the box and say,
well how - if this is to come about - it will be
accommodated?" he asked.

"Or alternatively, are we saying that we are abdicating
solely to Provisional Sinn F‚in, the role of being
advocates for a united Ireland in the Republic?

"I think that would be a disastrous thing to do."

Fine Gael said it supported the idea of a united Ireland
and said the questions raised by Mr Mitchell were nothing

DUP assembly member Ian Paisley Jnr condemned Mitchell's

He said: "What I think Nationalists have really got to
grasp and what they have failed to grasp is what part of no
thank you do you not understand?

"Unionists are unionists.

"They want to remain in the union."

Mitchell's notion of a future role for the British monarchy
in Ireland was also denounced by Irish internet users
posting on a politics website.

One poster said: "What the hell is Mitchell thinking?

"The men and women of 1916 who fought to give us the right
to choose would turn in their graves."

Another poster accused Mitchell of showing contempt.

It said: "Collins is rolling in his grave. How dare
Mitchell disrespect the Republic - those who gave their
lives for it so we may be free. FG can never call
themselves Republican after this."

Most posters to the site said they despised the idea that a
British monarchy would have any role in Irish politics.


Brian Kenney Backs 'Troubles' Museum

A museum should be established in Northern Ireland
reminding people of the sacrifices made during the
Troubles, according to singer Brian Kennedy.

By:Press Association

The Belfast singer-songwriter turned novelist, who has
recorded with Van Morrison and Ronan Keating, backed the
campaign for a Living Memorial Museum chronicling the
history of the 25-year conflict.

No firm site has been earmarked for the proposed museum and
funding has not been secured for the venture which is being
planned by the Healing Through Remembering (HTR) community

Mr Kennedy said: "I strongly support the work of HTR in
trying to ensure that something positive emerges from the

"A living memorial museum will not only help us remember
those affected by the conflict but will reinforce the
message that it must never happen again."

A separate museum, which is being planned on the site of
the former Maze Prison near Lisburn, will preserve the
history of prisoners during the Troubles.

Healing Through Remembering has appealed for ideas from the
public for its museum.

Early suggestions include a mobile exhibition or even a
tent as well as a permanent building.

However it could even be a book, DVD or an online

The group is also debating whether to involve Government or
maintain complete independence.

Mr Kennedy added: "Few people in Northern Ireland have not
been affected in some way by the conflict. Hurt and
heartbreak were felt by many families over many years."

HTR was launched in 2001 to look at ways of dealing with
the past and the conflict.

The group asked children and adults from across Ireland,
Britain and abroad to contribute to their debate on a

A series of public workshops will take place at venues
including Belfast, Armagh, Enniskillen, London and Dublin.

Submissions, to be sent by September 30, will also form an
exhibition while HTR considers its next step.

The Maze museum plan sparked controversy earlier this
summer when unionists accused Sinn Fein of seeking to
create a shrine to the hunger strikers.

Republicans wanted parts of the prison including the
hospital where the 10 protestors died in 1981 to be
preserved but said it would include input from all

The Government has launched a series of consultations on
the design of the Maze museum as well as separate plans for
an entertainment complex and multi-sports stadium catering
for football, rugby and gaelic games.


Too Many Memories

Larry Kirwan of Black 47 on why he won't be seeing Oliver
Stone's 'World Trade Center'

By David Templeton

THE NEW Oliver Stone film, World Trade Center, would-on the
surface-seem to be the perfect cinematic subject for an
emotionally powerful post-film conversation. Set during and
just after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the film tells the
gripping real-life tale of Port Authority officers Will
Jimeno (Michael Pe¤a) and John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage),
two of only 20 survivors to be pulled alive from the rubble
of the Twin Towers. It's the story of regular folks forced
by extraordinary circumstances to reach beyond their fears
and frailties in order to help total strangers. What could
be richer fodder for conversation than that?

Author-playwright-musician Larry Kirwan, the lead singer
and guitarist for the gritty New York-based Irish rock band
Black 47, whose downtown Manhattan pub appearances have
always been heavily attended by members of the New York
Fire Department, saw his huge fan base cut in half when the
World Trade Center came down.

"I have no interest in the world in seeing that movie,"
says the Irish-born Kirwan, speaking by phone from New
York. "It's been five years, and I think the initial shock
and hurt of 9/11 has worn off a bit, but there's still a
deep scar underneath the surface, especially if you knew
people who died in the World Trade Center, or if you saw it
fall with your own eyes. It's a very personal subject to a
lot of people."

Kirwan's moving 2005 memoir, Green Suede Shoes: An Irish-
American Odyssey, ends just after Sept. 11, a day that has
affected the music of Black 47 ever since. Known for the
raw intelligence and wry wit of its songs, Black 47 -which
will hit San Francisco's Red Devil Lounge on Sept. 8-has
always celebrated the actions of unextraordinary people,
working-class folks whose primary act of heroism is getting
out of bed each day and going on with their lives. Black
47's 2004 album, New York Town, is a stirring collection of
tracks that tell the story of pre- and post-9/11 New

Presented in a gorgeous series of loosely unconnected
songs, the album reflects how New York was transformed that
day, and how that change continues to touch the people who
live there. Kirwan lives about a quarter of a mile away
from the World Trade Center, and he was at home, reading
about the New York Mets, when the attacks began.

"There's no question that New York changed, in a matter of
seconds, on Sept. 11," Kirwan says, "and the change isn't
just that two important buildings went down and that 3,000
people died. A certain spirit left the city at that point.
Those 3,000 people were young; they were go-getters, they
were out there living the dream of New York. That
particular zest that they had, the feeling of adventure and
that belief that nothing could curtail them-that spirit had
been felt all over New York City until those planes hit
those buildings.

"When their collective spirit was snuffed out, there was a
huge void left behind. I still feel it."

Immediately following the collapse of the towers, as armies
of rescue workers replaced the throngs of day workers who
once filled the streets, Black 47-which had a standing
Saturday-night gig at Connolly's Pub in midtown Manhattan
every winter-began to play there every single Saturday
night. At night, while the rest of the area was deserted
and all the shops and cafes were dark, word spread that
there was one show still bringing some life to the
devastated downtown. Crowds made up of surviving
firefighters, cops and rescue workers packed Connolly's
each week for Black 47's shows.

"It was really strange," says Kirwan, "because crossing
Times Square was like walking across one of those Old West
towns where the tumbleweed rolls through it. There was
nobody there. So those shows on Saturday nights, they were
intense, because people really needed to let their hair
down, they needed to try and breathe a little.

"At the same time," he continues, "those first few weeks,
we didn't know who was dead and who was alive. We had so
many fans who were in the Police Department and the Fire
Department. It was just incredibly, incredibly hard, but it
was like a mission for us, it was something we felt we had
to do. We didn't know all of our fans' names, but we knew a
lot of the faces of the regulars who had always come to our
shows before 9/11. So the band, we sort of put it together,
face by face, and that's how we eventually figured out
which of the regulars were dead. We started paying
attention to those people who didn't show up, and we
eventually figured out who was gone.

"And then," Kirwan says, "as more and more bodies began to
be identified and the Times started printing 30 or 40
pictures a day of people who'd been killed, we'd suddenly
play these gigs where people would come up to us with
pictures from the paper and ask us to play "James Connolly"
or "Banks of the Hudson," saying, 'This was my friend's
favorite song. Would you play it?'"

"You know what the worst part was?" he asks. "The worst
part was when we didn't recognize the face. These were
people who had had a really visceral connection with our
band, and now they were dead-and we didn't know who they
were. It didn't feel right. I suppose that's part of why I
won't see the movie. It's not that I'm avoiding reliving
those days. I don't need to relive them. They're still
right here."

There's one other reason Kirwan says he will not bring
himself to see World Trade Center-and why so many other
people seem similarly disinclined to see the film: the war
in Iraq.

Explains Kirwan, "One of the awful things about 9/11 is
that the opportunity we were given at that moment, the
opportunity to change the world for the better, that
opportunity was lost-all because we have a venal,
unimaginative person as president. Think about that. Right
after 9/11, the United States would have done anything to
change itself. We would have given up driving one or two
days a week. We would have willingly rid ourselves of our
complete dependence on foreign oil. We would have changed
the way we view and communicate with the rest of the world.
A Winston Churchill-type person, had he been in charge of
that moment, could have changed the world.

"Those kinds of opportunities come along every 30 or 40
years, and we lost it," Kirwan says. "That is the true
tragedy of 9/11. Our opportunity to turn the world upside
down for the better was squandered, because we let this
evil person lead us into a war in Iraq, and he used the
memory of the victims and heroes of 9/11 to take us there."

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