A report published by a California-based human rights group has criticised the Bush administrations’ record on Ireland and called for the election of Senator John Kerry as United States President.
The report, by Northern Ireland Alert, documents the United States Presidential candidates’ activities to date on Irish concerns. It covers the actions of Sen. Kerry, Sen. John Edwards, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the Administration during past and recent times.
The report called for “a more balanced, thoughtful approach” and concluded that a Kerry Administration would likely benefit the peace process.
It found President George W. Bush deficient based on his failure to adhere to key tactics employed by President Clinton in negotiations leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, including personal commitment and a willingness to take risks for peace.
The report also detailed the current unfavorable regard that people in Ireland and Europe hold for President Bush, suggesting that “the President’s track record at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere no longer allows him to be perceived as a committed, honest peace broker in Northern Ireland”.
As for President Bush himself, the report concludes, “[his] personal activity has been well short of proactive on working to restore Northern Ireland,s local governance and dealing with immigration, deportation, and extradition issues at home.
“Those shortcomings, and his inability in Ireland to personally be regarded as an honest broker with a credible resume of respecting international law and human rights principles, dampen our present appraisal of him”.