Press-Release

IAWM Statement on the Massacres and Oppression of the Rohingya people

IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT (IAWM) PRESS RELEASE: 17 SEPTEMBER 2017

IAWM Statement on the Massacres and Oppression of the Rohingya people

The IAWM unequivocally condemns the appalling treatment of the Rohingya people by the Myanmar regime.

Almost 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have been forced to flee their homes in western Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Hundreds have died making the perilous journey into neighbouring Bangladesh in recent weeks.

They are fleeing from the Myanmar military regime’s latest crackdown. Entire villages have been burned to the ground and widespread killings and rapes have been reported.

The senior United Nations (UN) human rights official, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, has described the treatment of the Rohingya as a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.
Around a quarter of the Rohingya population has now been forced out of Myanmar by fear and terror.

As Muslims the Rohingya do not have citizenship rights under racist laws in Myanmar, a Buddhist majority country.

The military dictatorship that has ruled Myanmar since 1962 has persecuted the Rohingya, but sadly it is not just the country’s military rulers that are to blame.
Mynamar’s Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi has denied the latest atrocities have even taken place, blaming “terrorists” for spreading an “iceberg of misinformation”.

When the latest military crackdown began, Aung San Suu Kyi claimed the Rohingya were “Bengalis” and that they had set fire to their own homes. Aung San Suu Kyi is not just complicit in what’s going on, but explicit about supporting it.

The Irish Anti-War Movement also condemns the British and other Western governments for their support for the Burmese military and calls on the Irish government to make a clear statement of condemnation of what is being done to the Rohingya people and to express opposition to any collaboration with the Regime.

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IAWM condemns the use of the Irish Naval Service patrol vessel, the LE Samuel Beckett, to sell arms at the London Arms Fair.

IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT (IAWM) PRESS RELEASE: 10 SEPTEMBER 2017

The IAWM condemns the use of the Irish Naval Service patrol vessel, the LE Samuel Beckett, to sell arms at the London Arms Fair.

The Irish Naval Service patrol vessel LE Samuel Beckett left its home port of Haulbowline Co Cork on Friday evening and headed for London to participate in the infamous DSAI Arms Fair. Its expected time of arrival in London Port is 11.45 am on Sunday 10 September.

This ship was purchased in 2014 at a cost of about €71 million and two other almost identical ships have been purchased in the meantime bringing the cost of the three vessels to about €213 million Euro. €213 million would build a lot of social housing for the homeless, even if we do need some naval patrol vessels.

In March this year another naval vessel, the LE Aisling, was sold for €110,000 and is reportedly being converted into a luxury yacht. If it is suitable as a luxury yacht then one has to ask why was it not upgraded to continue in service with the Irish Naval Service, rather than replaced at a cost of €71M?

The LE Samuel Beckett will not be available to protect our fisheries or provide emergency marine rescue services while in London, where its apparent duties will be to help sell lucrative military equipment for the global arms industry. This is outrageous given that the Irish Government has declared Ireland to be a neutral state. It also represents serious misuse of Irish taxpayers funds at a time when over 8,000 people are homeless.

STOP THREATENING NUCLEAR WAR ON KOREAN PENINSULA

Irish Anti-war Movement Statement, 09 September 2017

STOP THREATENING NUCLEAR WAR ON KOREAN PENINSULA

The Irish Anti-War Movement is deeply concerned about the extremely dangerous current impasse between the US administration and North Korea, and the increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula. These tensions are exacerbated by equally aggressive and irresponsible verbal threats of nuclear destruction coming from Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Un is continuing missile launches and nuclear tests despite universal opposition. No one wants a nuclearised Korean peninsula, but there is no agreement on how to stop what could end up in the worst case scenario as a nuclear first strike, deliberate or accidental, by the US or North Korea, which could kill and maim millions of people and create a massive refugee crisis.

North Korea says it is open to dialogue with the U.S. if Washington ends its “hostile” policies, including military exercises with South Korea and sanctions. The U.S. sees these demands as nonstarters as long as the North continues to conduct nuclear and missile tests. Dialogue is being blocked by preconditions on each side.

The US is pushing for even more harsh trade sanctions on N Korea ‘and those who trade with North Korea,’ which would include China. Besides preconditions, another thing preventing talks is the imperialistic arrogance of Trump and Nikki Haley; the latter stated that the US was 'insulted' by the idea of treating the North Koreans as equals. The Trump administration is also clearly stuck on the idea that superior military force can coerce victory, even though since Vietnam that has been proven to be false in country after country and war after war.

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".

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