Keeping the Peace
In the April 6 issue’s “The Week,” you ran a paragraph about the recent attacks on soldiers and policemen in Northern Ireland. The piece unfairly and incorrectly stated that the “Troubles” have never really ended. True, tensions still exist between Nationalists and Unionists, but the peace process that achieved the Good Friday Agreement (1998) and the subsequent IRA disarmament and regional devolution is still intact and extremely successful.
What’s more, the radical mosquito groups responsible for the attacks not only lack popular support, but also lack the support of old Republican hardliners.
Christopher D. Mercado
The Editors reply: The Good Friday Agreement has been better than nothing, but an imperfect instrument all the same. The Stormont parliament had to be suspended, for instance. And under cover of the agreement, fortified walls separating the communities remain in place, and low-level communal violence has persisted. Dissident IRA groups are estimated to be 300 strong, enough to do much harm, and too many to be dismissed as “mosquito.”
The Reality Is Much Worse
In the March 9 issue I read “The Long View,” by Rob Long, which consisted of excerpts from the unread parts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Was this a joke or a serious article? I was appalled at what I read and wanted to find out if I had been fooled. Would you please clarify this for me? When I called up the bill online to search for these parts I couldn’t find them, though it showed only 407 pages of the whole thing.
Rob Long replies: I’m ashamed to say I made up those excerpts out of whole cloth. Entirely my own fancy and conjecture. The actual American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a lot funnier.
In “Democrats and Businessmen, Sitting in a Tree . . .” (April 6), Jonah Goldberg stated that GE had spent $20 billion on lobbying in 2008. The correct figure is $20 million.