That is one side of the coin of liberty. When we adjourned for the Christmas holiday the prospects were bleak. It was in mid-February 1998, on the flight from Dublin back to the United States, that I began to devise a plan to establish an early deadline for an end to the talks. He stayed up all night at the White House, telephoning several of the delegates at critical times in the final hours of negotiation. Most importantly for its survival, the agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by the people of Ireland, North and South, in a free and democratic election. "This conflict can't be ended." But to succumb to the temptation to retaliate would give the criminals what they want: escalating sectarian violence and the end of the peace process. Peace and political stability are not too much to ask for. In Belfast, they told me, there is a high correlation between unemployment and violence. Despair is the fuel for instability and conflict everywhere.
George J. Mitchell,
Toward Peace in Northern Ireland,
22 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1136
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol22/iss4/1