Press-Release

UNPUBLISHED LETTER TO IRISH TIMES RE. LACK OF MEDIA COVERAGE OF CARNAGE IN MOSUL, IRAQ

Sir,

why is there no media and public outcry over the appalling indiscriminate killing and destruction in Mosul, which according to the mainstream media has recently been ‘liberated’? Surely the impact on the civilian population is comparable to what occurred in Aleppo last year, which received widespread media coverage?

In his report from the war front (Body bags in the boot: the battle for Mosul, News Review 15 July 2017) which was high in emotion but short on facts and analysis, RTE reporter Fergal Keane tells us that the Iraqi authorities do not want us to know either the number of civilian casualties killed by coalition airstrikes nor the number of military casualties.

The Iraqi authorities have probably inherited this practice from their paymasters in the US military who have always refused to count the victims of their war games. It is however the duty of investigative journalists to try to ascertain these figures.

Keane could have quoted the recent detailed report by Amnesty International, that refers to the figures produced by the monitoring group Airways, which estimates that during the four-month period of February to June this year over 5,800 civilians have been killed due to attacks by Iraqi and coalition forces alone. For comparison that is three times the number of civilians that were killed in Northern Ireland during the 30-year conflict.

It is likely that some of these were killed in the massive attack that caused the four-storey deep crater that Keane describes. It is clear that western coalition and Iraqi forces have shown a flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians not unlike their counterparts in Da’esh. This terrible violence only worsens the suffering of ordinary Iraqis and deepens the sectarian strife set in train by the disastrous Bush / Blair invasion of 2003 and weakens the possibilities for peace and justice in Iraq anytime soon.

IAWM CONDEMNS THE INCLUSION OF MILITARY AIRCRAFT IN BRAY AIR SHOW

IAWM PRESS RELEASE 20 APRIL 2017

The Irish Anti-War Movement welcomes the celebration of aviation on display this weekend at the Bray Air Show but condemns the inclusion of military aircraft.

While tourism and entertainment for families are important during the holiday period, air shows, such as that planned for Bray this weekend, involving the type of military aircraft that are involved in killing thousands of people in the Middle East in unjustified wars are inappropriate and an example of war tourism.

The F18 fighter jet and the Swedish Vigen are current military jets. Jordan and the UK RAF, who are both represented at the Bray Air Show, are currently carrying out bombing raids in Iraq and Syria.

Other examples of Irish involvement in such war tourism in recent times include the favourable and uncritical media coverage given to several young Irish men, former members of the Irish and British forces, who seemed to have become bored with their military service and went to fight with Kurdish separatist forces in Syria and Iraq. People who claim to be Christians helping to break up sovereign states at enormous cost to the peoples of these states are not heroes. This is just as much terrorism as is the actions of foreigners who claim to be Muslims fighting with ISIS.

Edward Horgan of the IAWM Steering Committee said:
“Conditioning the minds of young children to normalizing military aggression is wrong. Those young Irish men fighting in the killing fields of the Middle East may well have been exposed as children to militarized air shows, and western films and other media that glorify war and fail to put war into its proper context of the gross violation of the human right to life and peaceful existence.”

Jim Roche PRO of the IAWM said:

STOP THE TERRORISM, STOP THE WARS! - IAWM statement on the Manchester Atrocity

IAWM PRESS RELEASE 23 MAY 2017

The Manchester Atrocity

The horror and tragedy inflicted last night on the people of Manchester, especially the young people, will be condemned by all decent human beings. The Irish Anti-War Movement along with everyone with any sense of human solidarity will extend their sympathy and support to the victims, their families, friends and all the people of that city.

Anti-War activists, however, have a duty to say more than this – just as we had a duty after Paris or Nice or 9/11.

John Molyneux, Secretary of the IAWM said:

“If, as seems likely, this atrocity was the work of an Islamist suicide bomber our first duty is to raise our voices against any attempt to exploit the terrible event to stir up hatred, division or racism. Ordinary Muslims will be just as appalled at what has happened as everyone else – in some ways even more so.

Our second duty is to say, yet again, and despite the fact that some of our rulers won’t want to hear it, that these awful outrages have a political and historical context. They are a distorted and deranged aspect and consequence of the wars and dismemberment that have been visited on the Middle East and other parts of the Muslim world by imperialism for many decades, indeed for a century going back to the infamous Sykes – Picot Agreement and the Balfour Declaration of a hundred years ago.”

He continued:

“It is necessary, even today, to remember that the horror of Manchester has been experienced not hundreds, not thousands, but tens of thousands of times by the people of Afghanistan, of Iraq, of Syria, of Libya, of Yemen and elsewhere.”

Ed Horgan of the IAWM Steering Committee also noted that:

"On 15 April 2017 up to 80 children were killed near Aleppo as they were lured to a car bomb while they were being evacuated from war-torn villages. These 80 Syrian children were no less precious or important that the children in Manchester".

IAWM EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH VICTIMS OF CHEMICAL ATTACK BUT CONDEMNS OVERNIGHT AIRSTRIKE BY TRUMP ON SYRIA

IAWM PRESS RELEASE 07 APRIL 2017

• SUPPORT IRISH SYRIA SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT PROTEST AT RUSSIAN EMBASSY TODAY

• IAWM CONDEMNS OVERNIGHT AIRSTRIKE BY TRUMP ON SYRIA

• AN ESCALATION OF THE WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER

The IAWM supports the protest called by the Irish Syria Solidarity Movement today (Friday) 07 April, assembling at 6pm at Christchurch in Rathgar and marching to the Russian Embassy in Orwell Rd, Rathgar.

It is vital that we show solidarity with the victims of this brutal attack on Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province, apparently carried out by the Syrian regime, which appears to have involved chemical weapons, and has now killed 80 civilians. It is also vital that we show solidarity with all the victims of this proxy war.

Assad’s and Putin’s forces along with others have bombed and killed Syrian civilians and caused havoc for the people of Syria.

The IAWM also condemns the overnight attack on a Syrian airbase ordered by Donald Trump. This escalates the Syrian proxy war further and will undoubtedly lead to further civilian deaths and only prolong suffering for the people of Syria. The IAWM believes that there is no military solution to this conflict and that a political solution must be found.

The overnight US airstrike is a cynical attempt by Trump to reassert US influence in Syria and to deflect from the civilian deaths that he has caused in Iraq, Yemen and even in Syria.

The NGO Airwars, which monitors civilian casualties from airstrikes in the Middle East, has claimed that "almost 1,000 non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March -- a record claim".

During the last part of March alone:

-- US aircraft bombed homes, a school and a hospital in Tabqah, Syria, killing 20 civilians.

-- A US-led coalition airstrike on a school that was housing 50 families displaced by the fighting near Raqqa, Syria, killed at least 33 civilians.

IAWM CONDEMNS LATEST ATROCITY IN SYRIA AND THE HYPOCRISY OF WESTERN AND RUSSIAN POWERS

IAWM PRESS RELEASE 05 APRIL 2017

IAWM CONDEMNS LATEST ATROCITY IN SYRIA AND THE HYPOCRISY OF WESTERN AND RUSSIAN POWERS

The aerial attack on Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province, apparently carried out by the Syrian regime, which appears to have involved chemical weapons, is another terrible outrage in the war which has devastated Syria since 2011. More than 72 people are now reported dead, 20 of these children, and over 200 horribly wounded.

Like with so much reportage from Syria it is difficult to untangle the truth of who is responsible for the carnage. This latest atrocity, whether it is a direct chemical attack by the Syrian regime or a conventional attack on a rebel weapons compound holding chemicals as the Russian Government is claiming, only exposes the games of the outside forces involved in Syria's proxy war.

While condemning this attack the IAWM contends that any further military intervention by outside forces can only prolong the horror of this war for the Syrian people and most be resisted by anti-war and peace activists. This appalling attack therefore must not be used as a justification for yet further Western escalation especially following Donald Trump administration's recent announcement of the deployment of 1,000 ground troops in the country.

This latest atrocity only adds to the litany of recent carnage in the region.

Not so avidly reported by the Western media however is the Western backed assault on Mosul across the border in Iraq which is also causing a huge number of casualties. It is estimated that the US-led coalition bombing raids have killed around 1,500 civilians in March alone and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. On 28 March one US strike alone caused the deaths of 112 civilians in Mosul, according to a CNN report.

The IAWM condemns all these attacks and calls for the withdrawal of all foreign militaries from the middle east and for peace negotiations to ensue.

THE IAWM CONDEMNS VISIT TO COBH HARBOUR BY USS DONALD COOK WARSHIP

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:

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