No ceasefires, no pre-conditions for talks
Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness asked British direct ruler Peter Brooke on Sunday last what Britain's response would be ``if the IRA's armed struggle ceased'' but he received a curt response. Brooke dismissed McGuinness' question in three sentences, saying Sinn Féin ``cannot be expected to be treated in the same way as any other political party''.
The British response showed once again that Britain's primary interest is not in ending the conflict through real dialogue but in maintaining its control, whatever the cost.
McGuinness' simple query cut directly through the lies covering Westminster's warmongering in Ireland. Again and again the IRA is told by the British ``lay down your arms and we will talk''. But when a republican speaker asks what such talks would be about, the shutters come down.
What had Brooke to hide? Why could he not respond to the question with an answer detailing Britain's willingness to talk peace? Because Britain has no plans of peace - only ones of war.
There is no question - talks or no talks - of the 30,000-strong British garrison laying down its arms or demilitarising the northern statelet.
A cessation of hostilities can only come about when the conditions for peace are created. The onus is on the British to create those conditions.
Phoblacht, Thursday 22 February 1990