Press-Release

IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT STATEMENT ON THE CHARLIE HEBDO ATROCITY


IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT STATEMENT ON THE CHARLIE HEBDO ATROCITY

11 January 2015

The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) unequivocally condemns the terrorist murders of Charlie Hebdo journalists in Paris. As an anti-war movement we are opposed, and have always been opposed to terrorism in all its forms. We strongly insist on the right of journalists to practice their trade and, regardless of the content of what they write or publish, nothing can justify their murder in general or this atrocity in particular. It is shocking, as the Committee to Protect Journalists notes, that since 1992 alone, 1109 journalists have been killed in the course of their work.

The Charlie Hebdo atrocity is not a random act of evil. It has an historical and contemporary context which does not excuse it but which has to be understood. Like other terrorist atrocities such as 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London or even the Birmingham Pub bombing in 1974 (all of which claimed more lives) it is a bitter fruit of the legacy of western imperial interventions, war and racism. It is completely the wrong reaction to the latter - wrong because it is brutal and reactionary in itself, and wrong because it plays into the hands of reactionaries, warmongers and racists. Nevertheless, it is a reaction to these things.

In particular in France it is a reaction to:
a) French imperialism’s long and atrocious history of colonialism in North Africa and elsewhere, but especially in Algeria where the French Government continue to meddle
b) the French state’s support for the US-led war in Afghanistan, for Israel’s continuous subjugation of and wars against the Palestinians and for its intervention in Mali
c) systematic racism in France itself, especially against Muslims

IAWM LETTER PUBLISHED IN IRISH TIMES TODAY RE CHARLIE HEBDO KILLINGS

Press Release 090114

From Irish anti-War Movement

LETTER PUBLISHED IN IRISH TIMES TODAY RE CHARLIE HEBDO KILLINGS

Sir,

the horrific murders in Paris must be roundly condemned. It should be possible to criticise and satirise both public figures and ideology without such actions from young men, alienated and angry as they may be.

It is equally important that the response to the attacks does not lead either to an increase in future terrorist attacks or a rise in attacks on Muslims. Hatred and revenge are not the answer to the grief that the relatives of the victims are experiencing.

The French Government could lead effectively in calming the widespread public anger and grief by reflecting on its own dubious foreign policy, which along with that of other western powers has fostered instability, sectarianism, oppression and hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed and injured, all of which has ultimately led to a rise in terrorism. We should remember that the response of the French Government to the brutal suppression by Tunisian dictator Ben Ali to the calls for democracy by peaceful protesters was to offer to send 300 French paratroopers.

IAWM CONDEMNS IRISH GOVERNMENT'S COMPLICITY IN U.S. TORTURE REGIME


IAWM CONDEMNS IRISH GOVERNMENT'S COMPLICITY IN US LED TORTURE REGIME

NO TO BRITISH MILITARY BASE IN BAHRAIN!

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
JIM ROCHE, PRO. Tel: 087 6472737

CRISIS IN IRAQ - UNPUBLISHED LETTER SENT TO IRISH TIMES, IRISH INDEPENDENT AND IRISH EXAMINER

CRISIS IN IRAQ - UNPUBLISHED LETTER SENT TO IRISH TIMES, IRISH INDEPENDENT AND IRISH EXAMINER

 

IRAQ - US bombing of Islamic State forces is no answer to sectarian violence

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
Something else our rulers and much of the media fail to explain is the background to the sudden rise of the Islamic State Forces (ISF, formerly ISIS). We are supposed not to know that the US and its allies such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia funded and helped them in order to fight Syrian president Assad. Now, because they are threatened by the growing power of the ISF, they turn even to that ‘evil entity’ Iran for assistance, and they also look likely to side with Assad whom only last year they were threatening to bomb.

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