Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gearóid Ó Colmáin on the Stealth Service Executive.

The Irish political landscape is becoming progressively bleak. Is there any way of getting rid of Fianna Fáil? How should we understand this world ‘fáil’, is it our destiny to have them or their destiny to have us? Are the people who run the worst health service in Europe, the feidhmeanas na seirbhíse sláinte ( the Health Service Executive), those comatose administrators of Hades, to be reinstated again?

There was much ado about the government’s National development plan last week with tonnes of money being flaunted. But it has been clear for a long time that there is a discrepancy between the possession of huge sums of money and the acumen required to convert it into an efficient administration. You are probably taking more of a risk entering some of our hospitals now than a lengthy sojourn in Chernoble! The word hospital in Ireland has come to signify that place you go to get sick! The Swedish word for hospital is ‘sjukhus’, literally ‘sickhouse’ like the German ‘Krankenhaus’. The irony is that these countries have health services that work! Another problem with the Feidhmeanas na Seirbhíse Sláinte is that it is generating so much bad publicity. This too could have serious consequences for our mental health. Have you felt that ineffable sense of despair every time you tuned into Prime Time on RTE recently with its interminable reports of sick people whose condition worsened once they entered the doors of the HSE? Bad news about the health service is making this country ill!

If this shambolic government is re-elected I suggest they change the name of Feidhmeanas na Seirbhíse Sláinte to DSE, The Death Service Executive. They could run a chirpy advertisement campaign which would go along these lines: ‘Are you having trouble dying? Get to your nearest hospital now and we’ll put an end to your misery. With overcrowding in our waiting areas, infectious diseases spreading rapidly and a conspicuous absence of specialists, we’ll have you dead in no time. The DSE, sponsored by Dante’s Inferno Ltd. Abandon all hope ye who enter in!’.

On a more cheerful note, all of this could end. But it should seem obvious to muintir na hÉireann that the Fianna have got to go! So what’s the alternative? Well, seeing as our only true socialist leader James Connoly was shot 90 years ago, and Irish democracy has always been a charade since then between two right wing parties, each trying to right wing the other out of power, our only hope now is in Fine Gael. Yes, Fine Gael, those rural crusaders, those harbingers of , harbingers of something, possibly, maybe? Can we put hope in Fine Gael? This is a silly question as they have no policies, no solutions, no coherent ideology other than questionable beliefs in some form of pan European Christian homogeneity with a celtic gloss. Fine Gael, wasn’t that the party who had a brief fling with that raving catholic fascist Eoin O Duffy in the 1930s? I’m afraid so. But to be fair they’ve calmed down a bit since then. Nowadays, all they are saying is that we should have a debate about immigration, which is code-language for ‘When we get into power we’ll send those effing foreigners home’. Again to be fair, I rather like Enda Kenny and I don’t think he is a xenaphobe. But there are plenty of xenophobes out there who vote for Fine Gael and he knows it. Every vote counts when you’re desperate! Poor Enda, his heart must be broken after Labour’s Pat pulled a Rabbite out of his hat yet again by equivocating about whether he would share power with Fianna Fáil, after telling the electorate that he would never ever do so. Yes, Rabbite was eloquent on Questions and Answers a while back with his pompous ‘’ what part of no don’t you understand?’’ So what part of no. yes/no no/yes, maybe, possibly if and when, don’t we understand? Seeing as Labour and Fine Gael seem to have squandered their chances of ousting Fianna Fáil, one can only hope that An Comhaontas Glas, the Green Party gets into power. Seeing as it is now accepted that the global heat is on and that Noah’s Flood is due for a come back, it might be prudent to vote for the Greens. You would probably still get Fine Gael, but at least you would get Fianna Fáil out. As well as that, we might get a public transport service and a health service that works. Imagine that! The thought of Fianna Fáil getting back into power again is the thought of the Stealth Service Executive, the oil dependent economy, the plutocracy whose motto is ‘don’t get sick if you need a public hospital’. It’s time to take the ‘fáil’ away from the ‘fianna’ and give it back to the people!

Gearóid O Colmáin on The Colonized

‘Every time the question of the language surfaces, in one way or another, it means that a series of other problems are coming to the fore: the formation and enlargement of the governing class, the need to establish more intimate and secure relationships between governing groups and the national-popular mass, in other words to re-organise the cultural hegemony’.

Antonio Gramsci.

This year sees the accession of two new member states to the European Union, Rumania and Bulgaria. Two more languages, two new motifs to the great symphony of European polyglossia (many tongues). 2007 will also be the year in which official documentation of the EU is translated into Irish. It took our governments long enough to insist on the implementation of this legislation, and it shows how far we have matured since our own accession to the euro club in 1973. But just how important is it to have EU documents in Irish? To the common man or woman it is of little consequence. Why then, should so much money be spent producing literature that very few are going to read? It has symbolic importance, but is this good enough? Is it sufficient to awaken this country from its cultural slumber, its socio-linguistic malaise, the trauma of its nebulous past? Will we hear Gaelic spoken in Strasbourg and Brussels? Spoken Gaelic loud and clear.That is all that is required now. Rumours of the language’s death have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Irish language literature is flourishing and our Gaelscoileanna are among the finest in the country. Now is the time for assertion and confidence. We are one of the most rapidly growing multicultural counties in Europe with well over a hundred languages spoken in our schools. We are also a country that has emerged, albeit scared and wounded, from the nightmare of history. Many who have joined us from overseas (dream dár slua thar thoinn tháinig chugainn- some have come from across the wave- Amhráin na bhFiann, national anthem), have experienced colonialism and many speak minority languages.This should make us more sensitive to the existence and importance of foreign languages in our midst .Indeed, our situation is unique in Europe; a post-colonial country, now one of the richest nations in the world, still coming to terms with a history that was experienced for the most part in a language that is now foreign to so many of us. We are foreign to ourselves. This could be the greatest lesson of any cultural history. But we will only comprehend its meaning through openness and dialogue with other cultures.The Poles, the Bulgarians, the Rumanians, the Slovenians, the Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians etc have much to teach us about language and identity. Their integration and the continued interest in Irish language and culture shown by our immigrant communities portend much hope for our future. As Europeans we must resist the increasing hegemony of English throughout the EU. This is in all our interests. Europe has much to learn from Ireland in this respect. We have perhaps even more to learn from our African emigrants, whose histories and diverse cultures, languages and traditions were obfuscated through centuries of western misunderstanding.

We must not relapse into the kind of bureaucratic approach to the Irish language criticized by one of our greatest Gaelic writers Martín Ó Cadhain. Ó Cadhain contended that
‘Henceforward the Irish language movement would have to play an active role in the struggle of the Irish people to fulfil the aims of the 1916 manifesto. This is the reconquest of Ireland, the revolution, the revolution of the mind and the heart, the revolution in wealth distribution, property rights and living standards.’

This struggle is is far from complete, but now Europe has reclaimed the Gaels. The real reclamation must start here and now through the simple use of our beautiful foclóir Gaeilge! Athbhliain faoi shéan agus faoi mhaise daoibh!

TG4 mar Teilfís na hEorpa: An bhfuil rogha eile ann d’aonghnéitheacht, aonteangachas? ( Gearóid O Colmáin)

Óm sceol ar ardmhagh Fáil ní chodlaim óiche
‘s do bhreoigh ga bráth mé dála a pobail dílís;
gé rófhada atáid ‘na bfhál ré broscar bíobha,
fá dheoidh gur fhás a lán den chogal tríothu.
‘Om Sceol Ar Ardmhagh Fáil’

Séathrún Céitinn

Céard a cheapfadh Seathrún Céitinn dá n-amharcfadh sé ar ‘ardhmhagh fáil’, ar Éirinn inniú? Ó bhuníodh an saorstát i 1922, theastaigh ó na húdarais fuireach ó gach rud coimhíoch, gach rud a gcruthódh easaontas tríd díospóireacht a ghríosú i measc na ndaoine. An bhfuil sé sa chiall sin gur chóir dúinnn ‘broscar bíobha’ de Sheathrún Céitinn a thuiscint, nó an bhfuil brúscar ar leith i gceist anseo? Céard é bunús den bhrúscar din, cárbh as dó agus an bhfuil aon chaoi inar féidir linn fáil réidh leis?

Bhí mé ag féachaint ar an teilfís aréir, ag dul ó stáisiún go stáisiún ag iarraidh rud éigin súimiúil a aimsiú. Níl sé éasca sa lá atá inniu ann. An rogha a bhí agam ná clár meiricánach nó clár ceanann céanna méiricánach eile! Fiú amháin I TG4? Fiú amháin I TG4. sea, fiú amháin I TG4! Is ea an consensus communis faoi láthair ná go gcaithfidh tú an seafóíd sin a chraoladh má theastaíonn uait go leor airgead a bhailliú chun do stáisúin a choinnéal beo. Níl aon dabht ach go bhfuil an ‘seafóídeacht’ de chultúr na hÉorpa tar éis tarlú le teilfís réaltach ag dul o neart go neart. Ach má fhéachann tú ar Arte nó TV5, tá I bhfad níos mó chultúr agus níos lú de ‘bhroscar bíobha’ ó na Stáit Aontaithe, bolscaireacht de chultúr agus de shocaí atá fíordhifriúil den chultúr atá againne san Eoraip. An bhfuil alán den chogal sin ag fás tríd ár gcultúir éagsúla faoi láthair? Níl aon amhras ach go bhfuil. Agus is cúis imní í do gach éinne agus ní amháin sa tír seo, ach don Eoraip ar fad, cé go bhfuil an fhadhb is mó sa tír seo.

O bhunaídh TG4 deich mbliain ó shin, tá sé tar éis clú agus cáil a bhaint amach mar staisúin chultúrtha inar féidir linn cláracha faisnéise, cláracha intleachtúla den chéad rang a fheiceáil. Beidh an stáisúin neamhspleách an bhliain seo. Tá suil agam go mbeidís in ann níos mó chultúr a chraoladh agus níos lú brúscar. Ba chóir go gcraolfaidís níos mó chláracha i dteangacha éagsúla, níos mó ilteangachas, gan a bheith ró féin-lárnaithe. Má tá rud ar leith á cháineadh faoin gcultúr gaelach sa tír seo, is ea go bhfuil an iomarca Gaelgeoirí ag caint faoin nGaeilge, faoin nGaeltacht, ag caint futhú féin. Níl aon leighis don circle viceux ach ár dtreoir intinne a leathnú amach fad fad na hEorpa, mar i bhfírinne, is sa Mhór-róinn atá tuiscint agus bá maidir le cultúr agus oidhreacht le fáil. Mar sin, ba choir an ‘broscar bíobha’ a lúann Céitinn a thuiscint i gchomhthéacs den chaoi inar bhfuilimid ag brath ar chultúr Sasanach-meiricánach amháin, agus ár meon sáinnithe ina Weltanschaunng cúng frithintleachtúil. Ergo, mholfainn dá gcraolfaidís cláracha i bPolainnis, i Laitvís, i Liotuáinis agus mar sin de. Dá bhrí sin, béimid in ann muid féin a lonnú i gchomhthéacs oiriúnach dúinn mar phobal mionlach na hEorpa, atá níos cosúla do mhuintir na Seice, nó mhuintir na Laitve ná d’Éireann mar a tá sí faoi láthair is í gan teanga agus féinthuiscint.


At the news from Fál’s high plain I cannot sleep.
I am sick till doom at the plight of its faithful folk.
Long have they stood as a hedge against hostile trash
But a lot of cockle has grown up through them at last.

dá n-amharcfadh sé- if he were to view
theastaigh ó na húdarais- the authorities
coimhíoch- foreign, exotic.
easaontas- dissension
a aimsiú- to find
seafóídeacht- stultification, dumbing down
ilteangachas- multilingualism
ár dtreoir intinne- our mental direction
Mhór-róinn- the continent
Weltanschaunng cúng frithintleachtúil- narrow, anti- intellectual worldview.

Coimhlint i Somáile: ruaigeadh na moslamach agus dul chinn cinn na foréigne ( Gearóid O Colmáin)

Is docúl go síolraíonn moréis na n-Éorpach ó shibhialtacht na n-Gréig fadó. Chum na Gréagach an focal ‘barbaroi’ chun cur síos a dhéanamh do Pheirsis, mar gur shíl siad nach raibh inti ach bar bar bar! Ní raibh morán meas ag na Gréagaigh do dreamanna eile, afach, cé is moite de na Ceiltigh.Dúirt na Gallaigh a bhí lonnaithe san Anatolia le Alexander nach raibh eagla orthu roimh éinne. Ach shil na Gréagaigh go raibh dream eile ina chonaí níos faide ó dheas tharr na Ejiptigh, agus an t-ainim a thug siad orthu, ná Aetóipigh. Dúirt Homer gur ndeachaigh na déithe go dtí an Aetóip gach bliain chun feis a chéilúradh ar feadh dhá déag lá. Shíl Herodotus go raibh Aetóip ina theorainn an domhain. Dúirt sé chomh maith go raibh na Ethiopaigh ceann de na daoine is dathúila ar domhan. Is cinnte anois go raibh sé ag caint faoin régúín sin. Is meascán de chultúr sean, ard, morga é An Aetóip. Tá suas le 82 teangacha á labhairt sa tír, ach is iad Amharic agus Béarla na teangacha oifigúila. Is tír í an Aetóip a mhair neamhpleách ó na mórchumhachtaí eorpaigh go dtí daorsmacht Mussolini i 1935.

Thainig An Aetóip ar ais ar mheán domhanda le déanaí le coimhlint i Somalia. Dúradh go raibh grúpla mileata moslamach ag iarraidh déachtóireacht fhíochmhar a bhunú sa tír, is iad ag siniú cumhacht mhoslamaigh ar fud an réigúin. Is cinnte nach bhfuil na moslammaigh mileata na An tAontas Islamach na gCúirteanna sa réigúin ro-fhorbartha ó thaobh cearta daonna de, ach ba choir a thuiscint chomh maith an drochstaid a bhí ann roimhe sin. Is í an fhadhb is mó sa réigiún ná morgthacht pholaitiúil agus ní raibh riaracháin chóir dhaonlathach i Somalia le blianta ach rialtas soip faoi scáth bagrach de Ethiopia. Bhí siad lonnaithe i Baidoa go dtí le déanaí. Bhris coimhlint amach arís i 1978 agus anois is arís o 1982.

Fuair An Aetóip cabhair arís anois ó Na Stáit Aontaithe. Thug siad trealamh mileata dóibh agus de réir foinsí áirithe, bhí siad páirteach san greas mileata roimh nollaig. Scaoil siad buamaí ar fud dheiscirt na tíre. Tá sé dealraitheach, afách, go dtiocfaidh an rialtas soip ar ais go Modadishu anois chun an folús polaitaíochta a líonadh. Dár leis na Stáit Aontaithe, bhí gníomhaithe tábhachtacha ó Al Qaida ina chonaí sa tír. Ach níor fuarthas aon fhianaise chun é sin a chruthú. Cáineadh na Stáit Aontaithe ón Aontas Eorpach agus na Náisiún Aontaithe as a hionsaithe sa Somalia, ach mar is eol dúinn go léir, ní chaillaíonn sé sin faic faoi láthair. Dúirt Uachtarán na hAetóip Meles Zenawi go dtógfaidh siad a trúpaí as Somalia nuair a thagann saighdúirí ón Aontas Afrach ar ball. Ach cé go ndéanann rialtas na Stáit Aonaithe alán stocaireacht faoina mbua i Somalia, tá sé deacair a thuar conas a n-éiróidh leo rialtas buan cothrom a bunú sa tír le tacaíocht d’fhormhór na ndaoine. Tá gach cosúlacht ann go gcloisfidh muid níos mó faoin gcoimhlint súid ar ball. Is léir le fada an lá nach bhfuil feis na n-Déithe á chéilúradh sa réigiún a thug Homer Aetióp air.


Is docúl go síolraíonn moréis na n-Éorpach- it is likely that the arrogance of the European derives from…
cur síos a dhéanamh- to describe
dreamanna- people
cé is moite de- except for
lonnaithe- settled
is dathúila- most handsome
na mórchumhachtaí- big powers
daorsmacht- oppression
coimhlint- conflict
morgthacht- rottenness, corruption
daonlathach- democratic
rialtas soip- puppet regime

Gearóid O Colmáin on the burning of books and people

Das war ein Vorspiel nur.
Dort wo man Bucher Verbrennt,
verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen

Heinrich Heine

On may 10th 1933 in Bebelplatz in Berlin, the SS took thousands of books from the libraries of the Humboldt University and piled them in a pyre, where they set them alight. The books were by Jewish authors and academics. The quotation above is written in the square today where the books were burned and reads, ‘that was only a prelude.where men burn books, there too some day they will burn humans’. The ethnic Jews of Europe had soared some of the greatest heights of European culture, Mendelsohn, Mahler, Kafka, Mann, Marx, Spinoza, Einstein, Chagal, Kandinsky, the list of intellectual achievements is staggering. Some of the worst acts of barbarism took place in Yasenovatac concentration camp in Croatia where the psychopathic Ustasha regime, lead by Anton Pavelitch, undertook the systematic annihilation of Jews, Orthodox serbs and communists at the Yasanovac concentration camp, where up to 1 million people died. The catholic church played a central role in this holocaust, led by Monsignor Alyosius Stepinac, a committed fascist and antisemite who would later be tried for crimes against humanity by Tito’s communist regime. In spite of this, however, he was promoted to Cardinal in 1953 by Pope Pius XII and sanctified by Pope John Paul II in 1995. The Vatican has since produced an impressive corpus of lies in order to hide their nefarious role in the Croatian holocaust. One glance at the literature on the net and you will be regaled with mendacious versions of his life. However, the documentary and photographic evidence against Stepinac is incontrovertible. Cathal O Shanlon’s documentary ‘Ireland’s Nazis’ reveals the extent to which this country acquiesced and in some cases participated in the pervasive anti-semitism of the time by refusing to take in our share of Jewish asylum-seekers, while welcoming fascist murderers from Croatia, France, Belgium and Germany, many of whom escaped to Ireland through connections in the Roman Catholic Church.

It makes the blood run cold to think that Eamon De Valera, a man who fought alongside James Connolly in the Éirí Amach of 1916, could have harboured fascist sympathies. Yet he did. As did the ideologue of the unwitting Irish populace, Eugenio Pacelli or Pope Pius XII. The Irish government of 30’s and 40’s banned almost any edifying book they could get their hands on, driving free thinkers from this country in their thousands . One of the first victims of censorship was the Tailor and Antsy, a book full of ribaldry, derision and sexuality, steeped in the rural sagacity of West Cork’s Gaelic culture, a world view that was unpalatable to the government of the time, whose monoethnic conception of Éire as the land of ‘comely maidens’ and ‘bucolic bliss’ was not reflected in the world of the tailor. The Seanad debated its alleged ‘filth’ for four days banning it outright. It was subsequently burned by a local priest. An act of despicable barbarism. Could this have happened in the Isola sanctorum doctorumque, the island of saints and scholars? A land famed in medieval Europe for its love of learning and pious humility? The land of Eriugena the philosopher( whose magnum opus was also burnt by the Church) and Dicúil the geographer? Should we not be bibliophiles (lovers of books) rather than bibliophobes ( fearers of books) in this island that brought the light of learning to medieval Europe?

What would a land of learning and pious humility be in the twenty first century? A philosophical culture that thrives on the differences between people, differences that make us question our own way of being as well as that of the other, a cosmopolitan nation composed of the diversities of human understanding. Páidraigín Haicéid, a Gaelic poet of the seventeenth century spoke of how ‘an Ghaeilge ghrinnshlitheach, Gaelic of the subtle paths’ was antipathetic to the interests of the clergy of the time. In a fulminating verbal tirade against dogma entitled ‘Do Chuala mé Inné’, Haicéad says

Fuagraim tréad an chaolraigh chuimsithe
‘s a bhfuath, a Dhé, tar éis mo mhuintire.

I condemn the herd of narrow censors
And the hate they bear my people, O my God.

If history teaches us anything, it is that ‘caolraigh chuimsithe’, the narrow censors of Human diversity, always fail in the end. But in order to learn the lessons of history, we rely on the ‘grinnshlí’, the subtle path of understanding, sometimes revealed to us in those epiphanous moments, such as when speaking a foreign language we nod and say, oui, je comprend, tak, rozumiem, sea, tuigim, tuigim anois.

Gearóid Ó Colmáin looks for the truth about Éire

Supposing that Truth is a woman- what then? Is there not ground for suspecting that all philosophers, in so far as they have been dogmatists, have failed to understand women- that the terrible seriousness and clumsy importunity with which they have usually paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and unseemly methods for winning a woman?

Frederich Nietzsche

On a cloudy afternoon last June, I sat in a Café in Bretagne reading Nietzsche’s book, Beyond Good and Evil. I had just read the first page from which the above quotation is taken, when my colleague who was reading a copy of Metro Eireann I had given him, asked ‘’ what does Eireann mean?’’ Éire is my motherland’’, I replied.’’ But descriptions of her vary and she has been much fought over.’’ As we gazed out at the vast Atlantic Ocean, I ventured yet another description of Éire.

It has been claimed that two major periods of immigration to Ireland brought Gaelic civilization. The first is usually dated around 500 BC, the other at the later date of about 300 BC. Most historical texts about Ireland refer to the Milesian invasion. The relative truth of this myth is the source of much scholarly debate. Milesius was, according to Irish mythology, a Spanish king. He had a wife named Scota.Scotia became the name used by Latin writers for Ireland ( whence the word ‘Scotland’ which was settled by the Irish in the 5th century AD).

It is said that when the sons of Milesius arrived in Ireland they met with a goddess who appeared to the ancient poet Amhairghin in three different guises under three different names. She first appeared high up on the Slieve Mis mountains. Greeting the invaders, she introduced herself as Banbha and asked the poet to call the island after her. Farther inland, on Cnoc Áine, she appeared again under the name of Fodhla and again asked the poet to call the island after her. Again Amhairghin did not refuse, but it was upon the Cnoc Uisneach or the Hill of Uisneach where the goddess appeared under the name of Éire that the island got its name. Éire was often referred to as Inis Fáil- the Isle of destiny, because Gaelic genealogists traced the origin of the Gaels back to an area near Asia Minor via Egypt, where it was foretold that the progeny of Milesius would inherit the Western Isle.

There have been many invasions and settlements of this island since the time of Milesius. Danish, Norman French, English and today’s diverse melange of immigrants from around the globe, to many of whom perhaps Éire is again, Inis Fáil, the Isle of Destiny. Irish poets since Amhairghin have imagined Éire as a woman, the goddess mother who nourishes and holds us in her verdant embrace. The notion of Éire as a woman who had been sullied and raped by British occupation was a cogent feature of Irish poetry in both Gaelic and English. Yeats, conjuring the nationalist spirit, memorably asks’

‘did some woman’s yellow hair madden every mother’s son?’

Éire, the blond-haired maiden, rouses her children to fight for her.
British imperialist thinkers often exploited Ireland’s mythological femininity to justify their ‘masculine’ Anglo-saxon rule. In the stultifying climate of early post-independence Ireland, the gallant role of women in the struggle for national self- determination exemplified by the militant Cumann na mBan,(association of women) was often played down. De Valera described Cumann na mBan as ‘unmanagable revolutionaries’.

The patriarchal Catholic Church was always less than sympathetic to the veneration of the daughters of Eve, other than in her de-sexualised form as the Virgin Mother. But the passive de-sexualised goddess contained in the oriental idea of the Virgin Mother is quite foreign to the conception of women and goddesses in Celtic mythology. The Irish Achilles, Cúchullainn, was himself trained by a female warrior called Scathách. Irish mythology abounds in stories of women warriors such as the intrepid Queen Maeve of Connaught who took on the men of Ulster, which is recounted in the epic saga ‘An Táin Bó Cuaillgne’ The Cattle Raid of Cooley.

Maybe some of the points I have made might explain why foreign women often refer to Irish ladies as ‘ tough’. It might just be a ‘celtic’ phenomenon. I like to think of the celtic woman as a proto-feminist, a feral, audacious freedom-fighter. And what then if we ask the question concerning truth? Who is Éire and how can we know her? If with Nietzsche, we contend that there are no historical truths, just descriptions, then we should say we will never know all of Éire, however skilled or seemly our methods are of winning her.

Impireacht mhéiriceá: Cinniúint sholéir nó tragóid dhomhanda?

Tagann na pictúirí uasfásacha ar an scaileán beagnach gach lá faoi láthair ach ní thugtar aire dóibh a thuilleadh. Táimid clóite leis na tuairiscí faoi ionsaí sceimhlitheoireachta. Eiríonn muid bréan den scéal anniseach céanna gan stad gan staonadh ón tír mhíámharach súid darb ainm An Iaráic. Tír báite i bhforéigean, scriosta le coimhlint inmheánach. An Iaráic, cliabhán na sibhíaltachta anallód, blár na n-ainghníomha sa lá atá inniu ann. Óna firicí atá acu faoin gcogadh súid atá siad á chailliúnt, dealródh sé craicáilte go mbeidís chun níos mó trupaí a sheoladh chun na réigiún, ach is é sin atá ar intinn ag Uachtarán Bush anois cé go bhfuil easaontas á taispeáint sa Washington i measc na seanadóirí eile. Ní he sin amháin atá á chur isteach ar pholaiteoirí agus ghníomhaithe frithchogaidh araon, áfach, tá raflaí ag bailliu nirt le fada an lá go bhfuil sé ar intinn ag Bush agus a chomhrádaithe sa tionscnamh ‘New American Century’ ionsaí a dhéanamh ar Iaráin chomh maith. An bhfuil an t-uachtarán as a mheabhar? An bhfuil muid ag caint faoi Caligula nó Nero eile anseo? Cen casus belli bréagach, cén bholscaireacht bhithiúnta a gcruthofar chun dullamullóg a chur ar mhuintir mheiriceá go bhfuil iomghábh ann maidir le hIaráin?

Ach má fhéachann tú ar chursaí i bPalestín atá ag dul in olc, na hionsaithe a rinne Na Stáit Aontaithe sa tSomáile ar na mallaibh agus an tsainn gheopholaitíoch inar mhaireann An Mheán Oirthear faoi láthair, is soléir go bhfuil siad gafa i straitéis mharfach, tollán ciamhar gan slí amach. Bheadh slí amach acu dá mbéidís stuama agus ciallmhar go leor a admháil gur ndearna siad botúin mhillteanach, botúin a chosnóidh i bhfad níos mó ná trí trillúin dollar do gheilleagar meiricánach dár le foinsí áirithe. Tá cás Bush cosúil le Macbeth sa chaoi sin agus bhféidir go bhfhéadfadh sé a rá anois

‘ For mine own good all causes shall give way: I am in blood stepp’d so far, that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.

Dár ndóigh, níl an t-uachtarán Bush cosúil le Macbeth o thaobh treithe de. Ní raibh sé ina throdaí fíochmhar riamh, níl sé cróga nó éirimiúil agus ní raibh morán treithe maithe aige ach an oiread. Ní hé Bush atá traigóideach i gcás seo ach a híobartaigh sa Mheán Oirthear. Ach tá forsaí na Stát Aontaithe sáinnithe san ‘aporia’(Gréagis- gan slí) polaitaíochta anois agus léiríonn sé an aporia dá n-ideolaíochta i gcoitinne a tá ag brath go hiomlán ar ola agus chogadh seasta.

Ag fanacht le tagairt Shakepeare, tá comharthaí láidir ann go bhfuil Tony Blair nó mutatis mutandis Lady Macbeth, ag taispéaint iomlua meanman scéiniúl chomh maith. Bhí sé in absentia nuair a phléigh siad an cogadh sa Dáil Shasana le déanaí. B’shin an chéad uair ó rinne siad an chinneadh tubaisteach cogadh a fhearadh ar Iaráic, go raibh díospóireacht chuimsitheach faoin gcoimhlint i nDáil Shasana. Le slad mór tubaisteach ar fud na sráideanna agus íorghal dhochríochnaithe, fhíochmhar ag leathnú ar fud fad na hIaráice agus Afghanistan, is léir nach bhfuil fonn ar Blair dul i ngleic leis na fadhbanna a thuilleadh. Tá snua an éadóchais air anois. D’fhéadfaí a áiteamh go mhacallaíonn a hiompar sáinn de Lady Macbeth, nuair a d’fhoghlaim sí an ceacht arnaidh faoin bhforéigean
‘nought’s had, all’s spent,
where our desire is got without content;
tis safer to be that which we destroy
than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.’

Ní féidir a thuar céard a tharlóidh sa Mheán Oirthear anois. Ach is léir go bhfuil Na Stáit Aontaithe ag druidim deiridh a chumhacht dhomhanda. Tá siad ró-sínithe ar fud an domhain faoi láthair chun bheith in ann cobhsaíocht nó Pax Americana a bhunú. Agus le forbairt eagnamaíochta agus polaitaíochta an tSín, is ceist ama í sular gcailleann siad a n-inniúlacht mhíleata de bharr easpa airgid agus easaontais sa mbaile. Iomorra, b’fhéidir an lá a fhoghlaimíonn siad a ceacht thuas luaite, béidh deireadh curtha le tromluí meiricánach agus tús úrnua arís den bhrionglóid


Cinniúint sholéir nó tragóid dhomhanda- manifest destiny or global tragedy
ionsaí sceimhlitheoireachta- terrorist attacks
coimhlint inmheánach- internal conflict
cliabhán na sibhíaltachta- cradle of civilisation
blár na n-ainghníomha- field of atrocities
dealródh sé- it would appear
easaontas- dissension
bholscaireacht bhithiúnta- nefarious propaganda
iomghábh- great danger
ghníomhaithe frithchogaidh- anti-war activists
raflaí ag bailliu nirt- rumour gathering strength
ar na mallaibh- recently
tionscnamh- project
ag dul in olc- getting worse
stuama- prudent
dár le foinsí áirithe- according to certain sources
ag brath go hiomlán ar ola agus chogadh seasta. – depending completely on oil and permanent war
iomlua meanman- mental agitation
íorghal- fighting, combat
ceacht arnaidh- hard, severe lesson
cumhacht domhanda- global power, planetary potentate
ró sínithe- over stretched
inniúlacht mhileata- military competence
Iomorra- indeed, moreover
Tromluí- nightmare
Bhrionglóid- dream