IAWM PRESS RELEASE 21 MARCH 2017
ON THE 14TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE US LED INVASION OF IRAQ THE IAWM CONDEMNS VISIT TO COBH HARBOUR BY USS DONALD COOK WARSHIP
The IAWM condemns the visit today, Tuesday 21 March, to Cobh Harbour in Cork of the US warship USS Donald Cook.
The USS Donald Cook is a destroyer, equipped with many weapons of mass destruction. "DONALD COOK's vertical launching system can launch long-range surface-to-surface Tomahawk cruise missiles, surface-to-air Standard missile variants, and anti-ballistic missile Standard missile variants. The 5-inch gun mount, 20-mm Phalanx mounts, and hull mounted crew-served weapons can engage surface, air, and land targets with precision."
The ship was used to fire Tomahawk Cruise Missiles on Baghdad on 20 March 2003 in support of the so-called “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. Since then Iraq has been devastated with more than one million Iraqi lives lost, many injured and displaced and has witnessed the rise of Da’esh as a direct result of the post invasion policies of the US and Britain.
Ed Horgan, a member of the Steering Committee of the IAWM and of Shannon Watch, noted that:
“This warship is no more welcome in an Irish port, than the US war planes that are being refueled at Shannon airport on a daily basis. The Tomahawk missiles fired from this ship can be fitted with nuclear weapons, so when it visits Cobh, we won’t know if it has nuclear weapons on board or not, because of course it will not be searched by our security forces. This visit is a breach of Irish neutrality because the US is at war in several countries in the Middle East, and Destroyers such as the USS Donald Cook have been used in the past to literally destroy people and property by launching Tomahawk Cruise missiles at cities such as Baghdad.”
Jim Roche, PRO IAWM noted:
“It is truly galling that such a warship could be allowed to enter Ireland’s supposedly neutral waters, especially on the 14th anniversary of the disastrous invasion of Iraq, an act which has brought untold suffering to the people there and total instability to the wider region. The blowback and legacy of that war is very visible today with the entire region now a cauldron of perpetual war, sectarianism and instability. The Irish Government should distance itself from the disastrous policies of the US, Britain and other world powers in relation to the interference in the Middle East and it should not be allowing the entry of this warship into Irish waters.”
Protests will be held at the presence of this warship in order to demonstrate that some Irish people at least wish to protect Irish neutrality and end Irish Government complicity with US war crimes in the Middle East.
This visit by the warship is not a FRIENDY VISIT, this is a BREACH OF NEUTRALITY VISIT.
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For more information on the IAWM see:
Website - www.irishantiwar.org
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