After Paris: Stop the Terror, Stop the Wars

Irish Anti-War Movement Press Statement 16 November 2015

After Paris: Stop the Terror, Stop the Wars

The Irish Anti-War Movement believes it is necessary to break out of the vicious cycle of war, terrorism and more war and more terrorism in which we have become locked.

The appalling events in Paris come 14 years after 9/11, (itself a response to previous wars and occupations in the Middle East) and the launching of George Bush’s so-called ‘War on Terror’. These 14 years have seen wars on and in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and elsewhere and yet, predictably the terrorist attacks continue. And still there are those like Francois Hollande and David Cameron who want to respond with more war and more bombing.

The day before the Paris atrocity David Cameron and US Secretary of State were celebrating the killing of so-called ‘Jihadi John’ by a drone strike. The day after the Paris slaughter Francois Hollande says he will respond with ‘merciless war’ and France launches massive air strikes on the IS held city of Raqqa. But no one should imagine that these drone strikes and bombing raids only kill targeted terrorists – on the contrary they kill hundreds and cumulatively thousands and thousands of ordinary people thus fuelling further bitterness.

The anger and rage inevitably unleashed by the horrifying attacks in Paris are then replicated in Syria, Iraq, or wherever the war is unleashed. The bitter desire for revenge continues.

The Irish Anti-War Movement says we must break out of this cycle by stopping making war in the Middle East or, where the Irish Government is concerned, assisting the making of war by allowing the US military use of Shannon.

We also declare out total opposition to any kind of backlash against ordinary Muslims here in Ireland or against the desperate refugees still fleeing from these appalling conflicts. The IS or other terrorists are no more representative of Muslims than the Ku Klux Klan represents the average American. While many of the refugees are fleeing the violence rained on them by the Assad regime, others are fleeing precisely the terror of IS. All of them are fleeing war and the kind of horror which struck Paris – only their countries have experienced it many times over. We believe it would be grossly inhumane to respond to the atrocity in Paris by turning our backs on the refugees drowning in the Mediterranean or facing the winter in camps.

Finally we note that on November 12, the day before the Paris attack, there was a terrorist suicide attack, claimed by ISIS, in Beirut which killed 43. This did not receive even a fraction of the media coverage of Paris and none of the political response. This disparity reflects not the fact that for the media some lives matter far more than others but also the fact that for our governments some terrorist attacks can be more easily used to justify their military and economic, i.e. imperialist, agendas. The Irish Anti-War Movement rejects those ‘news values’ and those agendas.

In line with these views the Irish Anti-War Movement is supporting the Refugees: We Haven’t Forgotten – Solidarity Rally organised by United Against Racism on Saturday 21 November 1pm at The Spire and the Public Meeting on ‘The Bitter Fruits of The Iraq War’ organised by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance at 3.30pm on Sat 21 Nov at the Labour History Society, Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Rd.

The Irish Anti-War Movement will also be holding a public meeting saying ‘Stop the Terror, Stop the Wars’ on Thursday 26 November – details to follow.

END

Contact:
John Molyneux, Secretary, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 085 735 6424
Jim Roche, PRO, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 647 2737
Edward Horgan, Steering Committee IAWM, 085 8519623
Glenda Cimino, Steering Committee IAWM 086 1249456
Memet Uludag, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 7919307
Michael Youlton, Chair, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 815 9487
Gearóid Kilgallan, Steering Committee IAWM, 01 2800866

For more information on the IAWM see:

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