realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Mary McAleese, Al Gore and Speaking on Your Behalf

The Jeddah Economic Forum looked like the place to be this weekend.
Not only did our own Mary McAleese tell the world that we all abhor and condemn the publication of the cartoons, but Al Gore told the JEF that America Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions.
Captain’s Quarters has all the dirt on Gore. Who, not being a president, was thankfully not speaking on any country’s behalf. And was speaking through his hat.
Irish bloggers who are giving out about McAleese’s comments, which were spoken on our behalf –
Irish Eagle wants to know if there’s a poll – do we all abhor the publication of the cartoons? I certainly don’t and I have misgivings about them – namely should we go out of our way to annoy moderate Muslims? Where is that going to bring us in the War against Terrorism?
It goes without saying that we all abhor violence (doesn’t it?) but my father was saying that even on the Late Late on Friday it seemed that most supported the publication of the cartoons and the right to publish the cartoons.

Planet Potato says she does reflect the official Ireland stance - But I would expect that the President of our country would have had a better response prepared than the spineless response that was given - a response that panders to those who would dictate that because of "multiculturalism" we must adopt our own society so as to avoid giving offence to other cultures. I might give out, but I think the President reflected the words of Ireland inc quite correctly.
Unfortunately this is too true.

United Irelander says - Imagine then my surprise and outright disgust to learn that Irish President Mary McAleese, the woman supposed to represent myself and the Irish people, has actually come out and CONDEMNED the publication of the cartoons in question!...... Her comments are atrocious. Who the hell are this 'We' you refer to, Mary? How dare you tar all Irish people with your sad and pathetic views!I for one completely support the publication of these cartoons because I believe in freedom of speech. I am not a Muslim and have no desire to live my life based on Muslim laws. I have no problem personally with people poking fun at religion.

Little Green Footballs’ thread on the issue degenerates in to Irish stereotyping which is quite unfortunate.
This Saudi blogger was much impressed with McAleese.

Medh Ruane wrote about this trip in Saturday’s Irish Independent. It’s quite a good article apart from a lapse into some liberal brain disconnect - President Bush faked a commitment to women's human rights when he pretended to promote democracy with the Saudi elite. He even used the repression of women as a reason why he was waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq. So when PBS, the US TV station, decided to rerun Death of a Princess last year, Bush was able to silence American dissent for a few more months.
Is it just me, or does that paragraph smack of hysterical paranoia determined to never trust Bush, regardless of the facts?
Ruane goes on say –
And to her shame - ours also - Ms McAleese will not show solidarity with Saudi women, under the guise of protocol. She'll wear one of her amorphous Irish designer outfits and has actually agreed to having her Irish female companions wear abayas.
The only reason Saudi protocol 'allows' her to dress as a woman is that it never anticipated having a female Head of State. So McAleese is sending a symbolic message that oppressing women is a matter of culture, not human rights.
What if she made a symbolic statement instead - by wearing the abaya herself? Taking on the mantle of oppression literally would be totally respectful to Saudi protocol but would show that this woman, this Ms McAleese, prefers to abase her own status rather than prop up a system no decent citizen should support.
Protocol and the ability to protest are difficult aspects of the Presidency. That’s why Presidents get to make speeches.
It’s a pity McAleese brought up the issue of the cartoons in the context of speech that should have had better and more important soundbites, like the treatment of women, democracy and the importance of economic freedom.

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1 Comments:

Blogger planetpotato said...

All this abhoring and condemning is boring me. I wish someone would come out and say "I applaud the violence" or "good on ya Iran". Some backbench FF types would be good candidates for this sort of thing.

February 14, 2006 10:16 a.m.  

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