Terrorism strikes at innocent men, women and children -- because that's the nature of this ugly beast. It is so as much in Northern Ireland as it is in Manhattan or the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
The war against terrorism, however, apparently already has made progress in Ulster. There are signs at long last that warring Catholics and Protestants have heeded President George W. Bush's warning that the U.S. will fight those who practice terrorism no matter where they call home.
For all too many years, the Irish of Northern Ireland have been fighting old battles. Attempts to resolve differences long entrenched between old enemies have failed.
In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S., the leader of Northern Ireland's Catholic Republican movement, Gerry Adams, called on the Irish Republican Army to put its weapons aside. Adams, head of the Sinn Fein, a political party closely associated with the IRA, called for a resumption of the peace process in Ulster.
David Trimble, leader of Northern Ireland's Protestant Ulster Unionist Party, said a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland could be achieved if the IRA disarms.
Irish tempers are hot. Old wounds are hard to heal. But maybe -- just maybe -- the war on terrorism will score a victory in Northern Ireland.
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