In a statement issued today the IAWM noted its dismay on hearing that the UK is establishing a permanent military base in Mina Salman Port in Bahrain.
It is claimed by the British government that this is to 'reinforce stability' in the region but the IAWM noted that it is likely to have the opposite effect. Imperial adventures by western governments, including the British Government, have long been a major source of instability and conflict in the Middle East and especially in the Gulf. The last thing the region needs is increased military presence from Britain.
Moreover there is a specific reason to oppose military and other collaboration with Bahrain, namely the country's appalling and well documented human rights record. Bahrain was always an undemocratic state dominated by a minority and ruled by an authoritarian royal family. When the people of Bahrain rebelled during the Arab Spring they were met with brutal repression (with the aid of the Saudi Arabian army). Since then there have been innumerable human rights abuses, including the jailing and torture of doctors trained by the Irish College of Surgeons, for the 'crime' of treating injured protestors.
Only last week a woman pro-democracy activist, Zainab al-Kharwaja was sentenced to 3 years in prison for tearing up a picture of King Hamed. She is the third member of her family to be jailed for political opposition.
It is clear from this announcement that western powers are happy to use Bahrain for militaristic purposes while ignoring its appalling human rights record. Neither the UK nor any other country that claims to be a democracy should be associated with this regime.
JOHN MOLYNEUX, SECRETARY, Tel: 085 735 6424
CRISIS IN IRAQ - UNPUBLISHED LETTER SENT TO IRISH TIMES, IRISH INDEPENDENT AND IRISH EXAMINER
IAWM STATEMENT ON IRAQ CRISIS - 27 AUGUST 2014
• US bombing of Islamic State forces is no answer to sectarian violence
• No to further western military intervention in Iraq
• Hypocrisy of western powers in different responses to Iraq and Gaza
Our rulers, aided by much of the media, are softening us up to accept more US and western intervention in the Middle East with various atrocity stories creating hysteria and fear. No doubt the atrocities are real – the beheading of US journalist James Foley is obviously appalling and must be condemned, as must the slaughter and expulsion of unarmed civilians in Iraq - but these stories are selectively presented to demonise the USA’s current enemies while ignoring equally brutal atrocities from their friends.
America’s ally, Saudi Arabia, regularly beheads people. It beheaded 19 people in the first half of August 2014 and in January 2013 beheaded a seventeen year old Sri Lankan servant girl. Being beheaded or dismembered by bombs dropped from 30,000 feet, as so many Iraqis and, more recently, the people of Gaza have suffered, is no less inhumane.
The Record of Western Policy
IAWM STATEMENT 10 AUGUST 2014
• NO US MILITARY INTERVENTION IN IRAQ
IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT (IAWM) Press Release, 04 August 2014
MORATORIUM UNTIL TUESDAY 05 AUGUST AT 11.00AM
• Clare Daly TD, artist Robert Ballagh, Rev. Patrick Comerford and others to speak at IAWM press event on World War 1 commemorations
The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) issued a statement today to coincide with the 100th anniversary of World War 1 noting that it will hold a press event in Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin at 11.00am on Tuesday 05 August to launch its new pamphlet "World War 1: What did they die for?", and to formally release its statement on the World War 1 commemorations. The IAWM pamphlet includes essays by Raymond Deane, John Molyneux, Jim Roche and Steve Woods.
The press event will be addressed by Clare Daly TD, artist Robert Ballagh, the Chair of CND the Revd. Patrick Comerford, former MEP Patricia Mc Kenna and writer, historian and secretary of the IAWM Steering Committee, John Molyneux.
The IAWM statement has been signed by over 75 people including Christy Moore, Sinead Cusack, Robert Ballagh, Felim Egan, Raymond Deane, Trevor Hogan, Prof. Kathleen Lynch, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Clare Daly TD and various other people from Irish cultural, academic and political life.
The IAWM statement noted the importance of commemorating the dead, including the 49,000 Irish soldiers, of World War 1 but stressed that the supposed good cause for which they died should be exposed for the imperial slaughter that it was.
Irish anti-War Movement (IAWM) Press Release, 01 August 2014
MORATORIUM UNTIL TUESDAY 05 AUGUST AT 11.00AM
To coincide with the 100th anniversary of World War 1, the Irish anti-War Movement (IAWM) will hold a press event in Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin at 11.00am on Tuesday 05 August to launch its new pamphlet "World War 1: What did they die for?", and to formally release its statement on the World War 1 commemorations.
The event will be addressed by artist Robert Ballagh, the Chair of CND the Revd. Patrick Comerford, former MEP Patricia Mc Kenna and writer, historian and secretary of the IAWM Steering Committee, John Molyneux.
The IAWM statement has been signed by over 50 people including Christy Moore, Sinead Cusack, Robert Ballagh, Felim Egan, Raymond Deane, Trevor Hogan, Prof. Kathleen Lynch, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Clare Daly TD and various other people from cultural, academic and political life.
Full IAWM Statement here:
IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT STATEMENT ON FIRST WORLD WAR COMMEMORATIONS
August 2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Far from being a "war to end all wars" or a "victory for democracy", the war was a military disaster and a catastrophe for humankind which left 16 million dead and 20 million wounded, many horribly so. Britain alone suffered almost 900,000 military deaths and a further 124,000 civilian deaths. Life in the trenches was a living hell. Desertions were punished by firing squad. Those who survived were deeply scarred with many suffering debilitating long-term effects.
The war became a testing ground for new mechanised techniques of mass killing with the development of tanks, gas warfare and aerial bombing that encouraged huge profiteering through the armaments industry. In the US alone, for example, war profits saw the creation of 21,000 new millionaires.