Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Do you hate us yet? Do you hate us yet?...

I turned on the radio this evening and caught the tail end of an interview on RTE's Drivetime program. It hasn't been uploaded to RTEs website yet so I haven't been able to listen to it properly. From what I could gather at the time an RTE journalist had been in Lebanon and interviewed a Lebanese politician who is linked to Hezbollah. During the interview the reporter asked the politician if he thought it was wrong for Ireland to let American forces pass through Shannon and would this turn Ireland into a possible target for Al Qaeda. Naturally the politician said yes it was wrong and could make us a target. Well he wasn't likely to say "Nah, no problem mate, sure we'd let them land here too if the runway wasn't full of shell craters"? Then the journalist asked about the status of Irish troops in Lebanon and what would happen if the conflict restarted? The politician responded that he hoped Irish troops would fight to assist the people of Lebanon. Again what would you expect? "Ah, sure lob a few shells our way, we wont take it personally"?

That made me think, but not wether it was right or wrong to let America use Shannon, nor should Irish peace keepers leave Lebanon for their own safety. Instead it made me think, what the hell is going through the minds of Irish journalists when they interview people linked to Islamic terrorism and press them to give a meaty quote on the status of Shannon? Are they trying to push Ireland onto the agenda of Islamic terrorism. "Please sir, we solved our own terrorism problems, can we have some of yours?" I realise "Ireland Terrorist Target" is a much better headline for grabbing attention than "Islamic extremist says: Where the f**k is Ireland?" but I'd much rather see the second one than the first.

Some journalists are like kids asking the same question over and over until they get the answer they want or the adult gets angry and scolds them. I'm not saying we should ignore the issues but it might be an idea to not go highlighting them to people who have probably never heard of anything coming from Ireland other than Guinness and U2. Ireland is not likely to even be on a terrorist hit list never mind high on that list but it looks like Irish journalists wont be happy until they force every terrorist in the Middle East to declare Ireland is a target. Eventually they will probably either attack to shut us up or just stop taking calls from the nagging Irish.

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