Neutrality

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.”

Open Society Justice Initiative report confirm 'Ireland facilitated CIA renditions'

Eoin Burke Kennedy - The Irish Times

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

The report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a human rights advocacy group, said foreign governments aided the US’s 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 handling of both al-Qaeda suspects and innocent people caught up in the counterterrorism programme.

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 program.

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 use of Shannon airport for CIA rendition flights.

US court records from another case involving Richmor Aviation, a company that operated CIA extraordinary rendition flights, also show that at least 13 flights operated by Richmor involving US personnel landed in Ireland between 2002 and 2004.

UNPUBLISHED RESPONSE TO IRISH TIMES COMMENT AGAINST IAWM PRO IN EDITORIAL

Sir,

the Irish Times editorial (‘Ireland’s Vocation’, Saturday 08 December) claims our observations on the OSCE gathering in Dublin last week miss the point. An honest portrayal of our Press Release issued last Thursday would challenge such an assertion.

The OSCE gathering is even more ironic given that, as Mary Fitzgerald reports (08 December), member states failed “to agree any decisions in the area of human rights and civil liberties”. Ironic too is the fact that peaceful protesters in Dublin were not allowed their democratic right to protest by the Guards on Thursday evening.

The sorry fact is that the claims made by the OSCE on its website regarding concerns for “human rights, conflict resolution, ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources and promoting the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms” are just not credible given the practices of the participating countries. Such practices include the widespread abuse of human rights, restrictions of free speech and media activity, use of torture, harassment of NGOs, support for dictatorships and the proliferation of warfare and nuclear weapons.

Galway Alliance Against War AGM THURSDAY 13/12 8PM

13/12/2012 - 21:11
14/12/2012 - 21:11

GAAW’S ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING THURSDAY 13TH DECEMBER 2012 @ 8PM SHARP RICHARDSON’S, EYRE SQ, GALWAY

Guest Speaker:
MICHAEL RANDLE – The veteran British Peace Activist and writer. Michael has been imprisoned on a number of occasions for his peace activities. It was during one spell in Wormword Scrubs jail (1962-63) that he got to know the Soviet spy George Blake. In 1966 he carried out his most adventurous actions: along with Anne Randle, Pat Pottle and(Limerick-man) Seán Bourke he helped Blake escape from prison.

The programme for this year’s AGM will be as follows: Our guest speaker will address the meeting, followed by ample time for Q&A, plus a thorough discussion. Then, we will turn to AGM business including a review of past activities and a discussion of future ones. On the night, resolutions can also be proposed from the floor.
 
GAAW membership:€1
GAAW postcards re: Stop Drones Through Shannon: 30c

GALWAY PEACE GROUP “IN THE WARS” WITH CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE TACTICS
This Thursday evening at 8pm in Richardson’s of Eyre Sq Galway the Galway Alliance Against War will hold its Annual General Meeting. There is much speculation that the group is about to develop new civil disobedience tactics in its campaigns against Ireland’s involvement in the US “war on terror”.

Ireland ‘unwise to host OSCE collection of warmongers’ - LETTER IN IRISH EXAMINER, 10 DEC. 2012

Ireland ‘unwise to host OSCE collection of warmongers’

Monday, December 10, 2012

It is deeply ironic that Ireland as a neutral country should be lavishly hosting such a collection of warmongers and abusers of human rights all at the same event.

Islamophobia, the left and the Arab Spring

John Molyneux - Irish Anti-War Movement committee member

[N.B - this article is the view of the author and does not necessarily represent those of movement as a whole]

One of the strengths of the Irish Anti-War Movement (and, it should be said, of the Stop the War Coalition in Britain) is the clear stand it has taken against Islamophobia, as both a condition and a consequence of its alliance with anti- war elements in the muslim community.in mobilising against the Iraq War and the ‘War on Terror’.

This is important because Islamophobia has become the main, or one of the main, forms of racism (along with Anti-Gipsy racism in Eastern Europe) in contemporary Europe.

Historically racism has passed through several phases each building on but also modifying the previous phase: 1) anti-black racism that arose out of and justified the slave trade in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; 2) the racism of imperialism (including anti- Irish racism, at its height in the late 19th and early 20th century; 3) anti – immigrant racism, especially in the second half of the 20th century. The first emphasised the sub-human and savage nature of black people so as to exclude them from the ‘rights of man’ being fought for by the European bourgeoisie at this time. The second shifted the emphasis to “childlike” and “immature” character of non- European peoples to justify their being taken under the wing of their colonial masters. The third focussed less on biological inferiority and more on cultural difference, making the economically required presence of immigrants in Europe into a “problem”.

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