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Gerry Adams

March 19, 1995

* Re "How Much Is the Irish Vote Worth," Commentary, March 14: The last time I looked, Sinn Fein was a legal political party in Great Britain. If the British government was so worried about Sinn Fein's activities, why did it not simply ban the party some time ago? Clearly, if the British view were to be believed, Sinn Fein called for the violent overthrow of the British government in Northern Ireland and was backed up by the violent activities of the IRA.

Martin Fletcher's argument seems to be that allowing an alleged mouthpiece of a terrorist organization to raise funds for his legal political party in the United States without concretely renouncing the use of force amounts to hypocrisy on the part of the U.S. government and undermines the peace process. Yet the same U.S. and British governments that have attempted to deny Sinn Fein representatives access to the media have allowed the Democratic Unionist leader, the Rev. Ian Paisley, tremendous access to the media and the pocketbooks of the American and British public. Yet Paisley has never renounced the use of violence.

Without the money which Adams wishes to raise in the United States, Sinn Fein's message will be drowned out by the official cacophony. I applaud President Clinton for his bold stand.

RICHARD M. GEE

La Crescenta

* Having returned recently from Belfast, I can agree quite a bit with Stephen Games' views (Opinion, March 12). But he was too light on President Clinton.

Why would Clinton give so much to a known terrorist or invite him not only to the St. Patrick's Day party in the White House, but invite him to solicit funds for this terrorist organization? Can Moammar Kadafi or Saddam Hussein be far behind?

WILLIAM J. ARLOW

Huntington Beach

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