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MSNBC's Malcolm Nance angers Irish after comparing left-wing Sinn Fein to US Republican Party because it ‘represents terrorists’

MSNBC's Malcolm Nance angers Irish after comparing left-wing Sinn Fein to US Republican Party because it ‘represents terrorists’
MSNBC analyst and former US Navy officer Malcolm Nance has upset many Irish republicans, who accused him of ignorance, after he compared the conservative Republican Party in the US to the Irish left-wing party Sinn Fein.

“We should stop referring to the Republicans as being like the Taliban. They`re not. That is a unified homogeneous group,” said Nance during a Thursday MSNBC segment on domestic terrorism.

“They’re more like Sinn Fein, the political branch of the provisional Irish Republican Army,” he argued in a bizarre comparison, waxing about the IRA’s insurgency against Great Britain that was “all settled in the 1990s” – an apparent reference to the Good Friday Agreement which brought relative peace to Northern Ireland after 30 years of sectarian and political conflict.

Nance then accused the Republican Party of wanting to “have a political warfare in the houses of Congress,” and warned that such a conflict “will eventually start playing out in the streets.”

Following the segment, Nance doubled down on the unlikely comparison, tweeting that the Republican Party is “more like the Irish political group Sinn Fein” because “they represent insurgents/terrorists politically.”

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While Sinn Fein was once the political arm of the IRA during the ‘Troubles’ of the late 1960s to late 1990s, it is now one of the largest political parties in Ireland and has a left-wing ideology of Irish republicanism and democratic socialism.

It holds seats in both houses of the Irish legislature, as well as in the Northern Ireland Assembly across the border, and the House of Commons – though it does not take its seats in Westminster. The US Republican Party is one of the two largest parties in the United States and has a right-wing ideology of free market capitalism and social conservatism.

Nance’s comparison was condemned by Irish republicans and others on social media, who called it “ridiculous and ahistorical” and questioned how a self-proclaimed expert on counterterrorism could make such an ignorant remark.

“Do not bastardize or misrepresent what Sinn Féin, the IRA or Irish Republicanism stands for by comparing it to the swill that is American republicans,” one furious person wrote, suggesting it revealed his lack of critical thinking and knowledge of history.

“Americans need to stop talking about irish politics when they really have no clue,” another person tweeted, while a woman from the Irish county of Monaghan wrote, “This is your ‘intelligence’ community. Probably the starkest illustration of why your country lost Afghanistan.”

After one American declared that she liked listening to “experts” like Nance because they “know what is going on” and “what they are talking about,” an Irish woman shot back, “Then I suggest you don't listen to Mr Nance when it comes to Irish politics/ history.”

Nance has repeatedly suggested that former president Donald Trump was a Russian asset and even claimed that Trump gave “subliminal orders” to white supremacist terrorists.

Andrew Sullivan, the former editor of the liberal New Republic magazine, has described Nance himself as a conspiracy theorist.

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