President Obama’s visit to the Group of Eight summit has created a political row in Ireland after an outspoken liberal lawmaker on Wednesday denounced the U.S. president as a “war criminal” for his drone use and his decision to arm the Syrian rebels.
Parliamentarian Clare Daly said her country’s government had showcased the country “as a nation of pimps, prostituting ourselves in return for a pat on the head,” The Irish Times reports.
The “unprecedented slobbering” during Obama’s two-day visit to Northern Ireland, she said, had even led to speculation that “you were going to deck the Cabinet out in leprechaun hats decorated with a bit of stars and stripes to really mark abject humiliation.”
The Irish head of government, Enda Kenny, called the remarks “disgraceful.”
“I think they do down the pride of Irish people all over the world who are more than happy to see this island being host to the G-8,” he said.
“And for you to stand up and criticize the American president for giving a continuation of support for a fragile peace process in Northern Ireland, where over 3,000 people lost their lives in 30 years, is a disgraceful do-down.”
Daly’s pique appears to have been provoked by the White House’s announcement last week that it will provide “military support” for the Syrian rebels after accusing Bashar Assad’s forces of using chemical weapons.
Ireland has remained neutral since shortly after its independence from Great Britain in 1922, and was one of the most vocal critics of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
“This is the man who is in essence stalling the Geneva peace talks [scheduled for next month] by trying to broker enhanced leverage for the Syrian opposition by giving them arms — and to hell with the thousands more who’ll lose their lives, or the tens of thousands who will be displaced,” Daly said.
“This is the man who has facilitated a 200 percent increase in the use of drones which have killed thousands of people, including hundreds of children.” – The Hill