Sample Letter To Send To Your TDs

Here's a sample letter you might send to your TDs if they voted not to suspend the use of Shannon in the recent Dail debate (if you're not sure, the list of who voted and how is available here ) . Feel free to copy or use this letter as a template. It may not do much good but it's one way to keep the pressure up. Dear Sir, I am writing to you, as a constituent, to take issue with this Government's stance over the impending US-led war in Iraq, and the continued use of Shannon Airport by the US military for the build-up of that war. By voting to allow the US military to continue using Shannon this government has shown little regard for the opinion of the majority of the Irish public as shown in Saturday's poll in the Irish Times and by the extraordinary 100,000 people march in Dublin. You were elected to represent the views of the Irish people, not the President of the United States. We want no part in what amounts to a pre-emptive military strike against International Law and the UN Charter. Some of us think that economic concerns are not the be all and end all, certainly not when what is good for our business is extremely bad for a civilian population elsewhere in the world. A leaked internal UN draft document entitled "Likely Humanitarian Scenarios" dated 10th December 2002 (available at and widely reported in the mainstream media) predicts "as many as 500,000 people could require treatment to a greater or lesser degree as a result of direct or indirect injuries", based upon World Health Organisation estimates of 100,000 direct and 400,000 indirect casualties". It also warns "The outbreak of disease in epidemic if not pandemic proportions is very likely" and that "It is estimated that the nutritional status of some 3.03m people countrywide will be dire and that they will require therapeutic feeding (according to UNICEF estimates). This consists of 2.03m severely and moderately malnourished children under 5 and one million pregnant women" - Aid agencies will need to provide "food and necessities for some 5.4 million people" This is the real human cost of war, and this is what we are buying into by allowing the US military traffic pass through Shannon Airport. Yes, of course I am aware of Saddam Husseins' dreadful human rights record and of the effects of twelve years of pointless UN sanctions. I am also aware of the terrible cost that the tons of Depleted Uranium munitions fired by the US in the last Gulf War have had, both on civilians and on the troops that served there, and that any new conflict will bring a continued legacy of cancers, leukaemia and birth defects for generations to come. The Uranium from these "dirty bombs" will remain toxic for 4.5 billion years. Whatever motivations truly lie behind the headlong US push for war, second UN resolution or not, it comes down to this :- Do you consider these truly terrible consequences to be an acceptable price to pay for disarming/ousting Saddam Hussein, and do the Irish people want to be a part of it? I, for one, do not and it seems I am not alone. This Government's attempts to reduce the debate of these serious human issues to the level of economic concerns over US investment etc. is, in my opinion, offensive, selfish, and morally indefensible. The potential imminent threat of Saddam Hussein to the West has not been proven, CIA Director George Tenet has previously stated as much. Colin Powell's attempts at "proving" a terrorist link between Al- Quaeda and Iraq were less than convincing. This is not part of a fight against terrorism and as such hiding behind the UN resolution passed on Sept 12th 2001 as justification for our assistance to the US war-effort is disingenuous at best. The protests at Shannon exposed this Government's complicity in the build-up to war despite it's obvious desire for everyone to turn a blind eye, and forced the issue into the spotlight. If it wasn't for the protests and the peace camp, would we have been told that weapons are being transported through the airport, or of the scale of troop movements? I think not. We still have no idea what is being transported on US cargo planes headed for Kuwait etc. Do you? Peace protests will continue to highlight the situation here, as they will in many other nations around the world. The 100,000 people who marched in Dublin and the millions of people who showed their opposition to this war globally, made it clear that there are many, many people who place human lives above financial profit. Your current position is quite apparent. However, I implore you to reconsider and to acknowledge the very clear sentiment of the majority of the Irish electorate. I hope you will find the moral courage to vote in the Dail against the continued US military use of Shannon Airport, and to put the lives of the innocent before economic expediency. Yours sincerely,

Created By: frank black