Friday 24 February 2017

We need vision in the desert to find our route back

We have much to learn from another tiny country that has had great adversity, says Marc Coleman

'YOUR greatest triumphs are still to come... and if they [who disagree] keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed: is féidir linn." As Obama's words rang out last Monday, a thought entered my mind: "Are you watching, Morgan Kelly?"

Actually, Morgan was on my mind for another reason: if he is right, then Obama is not the friend we want to believe him to be. "Yes we can" and "Yes we will" are different statements. And as tempting as the after-glow of Monday is, real friendship is not based on avoiding the truth, but confronting it in the knowledge that the friendship will survive.

Last week I was in a such a country. Like Ireland, it has excellent ties to the US. Unlike Ireland, it knows how to use them. Hours after Obama's speech, its prime minister publicly disagreed with him on a matter of vital importance to that country. And yet the two men remain friends.

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