The peace process, after all, is not some secret around which swirl the overriding imperatives of this or any nation’s ultimate national security.
It is, rather, a legacy handed down by years of effort on the part of private individuals and sensible politicians on both sides of the Atlantic.
That it now might be hostage to hidden hands in the National Security Council is worrying.
Not that the NSC lacks a role. Indeed, it was from within its offices that the Clinton administration launched itself on the historic U.S. bid for a lasting peace in Ireland.
But we all knew that at the time. We knew the personalities in play and, with the passage of time, what they were attempting to achieve.
It amounts to a significant step backwards that the policies being directed from Washington at the various North parties can’t be entirely traced to either the president, the secretary of state, Ambassador Mitchell Reiss or indeed the NSC.
If the administration is of entirely one mind then let it state as much. If there is conflict in the administration over the approach to Ireland, let this be aired.
The administration would do well to listen carefully to the likes of Congress members such as James Walsh and Richie Neal. They have been around the block on Ireland many times.
A better approach to the peace process does not imply simply opening the fundraising doors to Gerry Adams.
What it amounts to, as Congressman Walsh has rightly argued, is treating all the parties on an equal footing.
From such equality of treatment will come the progress that everyone desires, of that we are certain.