Former US diplomat cautions against Irish Nato involvement

ÁINE McMAHON - IRISH TIMES

Ann Wright, a former US diplomat and the highest ranking member of the US military to resign over the Iraq war, has cautioned against Ireland getting involved in Nato.

Ms Wright was special guest at a joint Irish Anti-War Movement/ Peace and Neutrality Alliance meeting in Dublin yesterday. She is most noted for having been one of three state department officials to publicly resign in protest at the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

“I would urge the citizens of Ireland to really push back on this attempt to get Ireland as a part of the Nato forces. We have seen what has happened in Afghanistan and the numbers of Afghans that have been killed in by military operations,” said Ms Wright.

Ms Wright praised Ireland’s record of neutrality but warned it was now being “shopped around” by Nato. “They are trying to get Ireland to join up with them .The secretary general of Nato, Rasmussen, is here today to try and convince the Irish Government to join up with Nato,” she said.

Slippery slope

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on a visit to Dublin this week, encouraged Ireland to get involved in more Nato projects and to develop its defence forces. Ms Wright described any involvement of Ireland with Nato as a “slippery slope”.

“It’s a much different road than working with UN forces doing peace keeping operations in Lebanon, [as] Ireland has done for a long time.”

Video Archive: "Confronting War Ten Years On" STWC conference, 9th February 2013. London, UK

Tariq Ali from Stuart Platt on Vimeo.

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Owen Jones from Stuart Platt on Vimeo.

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COL. ANNE WRIGHT PUBLIC MEETING, TEACHER'S CLUB, PARNELL SQ., DUBLIN 1. 8.00PM, THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2013.

14/02/2013 - 20:00
14/02/2013 - 22:00

Col. Ann Wright, the highest ranking officer to leave the US Military in objection to the US war in Iraq, will be the main speaker at a Public Meeting organised jointly by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance and the Irish Anti-war Movement in the Teacher's Club Dublin on Thursday 14 February at 8.00pm. Other speakers include Roger Cole, PANA and John Molyneux, IAWM.

This is one of a series of meetings and engagements that Ann will be undertaking around the country that include events in Belfast, Galway and Shannon.

 

Report finds Ireland facilitated illegal US rendition programme - EOIN BURKE-KENNEDY, IRISH TIMES, 060213.

Report finds Ireland facilitated illegal US rendition programme

EOIN BURKE-KENNEDY

Ireland was one of 54 countries that helped facilitate the CIA’s secret detention, rendition and interrogation programme in the years after the 9/11 attacks, according to a new report.

The report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a human rights advocacy group, said foreign governments aided the US counterterrorism offensive in various ways including by hosting CIA prisons on their territories; detaining, interrogating, torturing and abusing individuals; assisting in the capture and transport of detainees; permitting the use of domestic airspace and airports for secret flights transporting detainees.

Its Globalising Torture report identified 136 people who had been held or transferred illegally by the CIA, the largest list compiled to date.

It also provided new information about the CIA’s handling of both al-Qaeda suspects and innocent people caught up in its global counterterrorism network.

The report said Ireland permitted the use of its airspace and airports for flights associated with CIA extraordinary rendition operations.

Its evidence against Ireland was based on a number of sources including three high-level reports from the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the United Nations, which expressed concern about the country’s “alleged co-operation” in the CIA rendition programme.

It also cited documents from a legal case brought by extraordinary rendition victims against Jeppesen Dataplan, a company that provided flight planning and logistical support services for CIA extraordinary rendition flights, and which indicated that Ireland allowed use of its airspace and Shannon airport for CIA rendition flights.

‘Moral cost’ 

Movie: Winter Soldier

IFI Dublin - Friday 1st-3rd February 7.10pm Friday, 2.30pm Saturday, 3.10pm Sunday

 

John Pilger: "Islamic terrorism" is the invented excuse for theft of Africa's riches

John Pilger - johnpilger.com
30 January 2013

A full-scale invasion of Africa is under way. The United States is deploying troops in 35 African countries, beginning with Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. Reported by Associated Press on Christmas Day, this was missing from most Anglo-American media.

The invasion has almost nothing to do with "Islamism", and almost everything to do with the acquisition of resources, notably minerals, and an accelerating rivalry with China. Unlike China, the US and its allies are prepared to use a degree of violence demonstrated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Palestine. As in the cold war, a division of labour requires that western journalism and popular culture provide the cover of a holy war against a "menacing arc" of Islamic extremism, no different from the bogus "red menace" of a worldwide communist conspiracy.

Reminiscent of the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, the US African Command (Africom) has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for American bribes and armaments.
Last year, Africom staged Operation African Endeavor, with the armed forces of 34 African nations taking part, commanded by the US military. Africom's "soldier to soldier" doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. Only pith helmets are missing.

It is as if Africa's proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master's black colonial elite whose "historic mission", warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the promotion of "a capitalism rampant though camouflaged".

A striking example is the eastern Congo, a treasure trove of strategic minerals, controlled by an atrocious rebel group known as the M23, which in turn is run by Uganda and Rwanda, the proxies of Washington.

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