Response to Kirsten's letter on neutrality

Last week Niall Andrews, continuing a family tradition of playing good cop to the rest of his party's bad cop, called for an abandonment of any neutrality aspirations and our joining an EU force to counter US dominance. This argument is shared by both Fine Gael and Labour. Proinsias De Rossa has pushed for Europe to adopt "an agressive global stance with economic and monetary powers being buttressed by equally powerful diplomacy and a world wide position supported by a military capacity" (quote from a socialist MEP document presented to the EU and signed by DeRossa). Also John Bruton has called for Ireland to join a European Rapid Reaction Force that would take part in "prolonged" campaigns "as far away as Africa". So here we have the three largest parties united in their opinion about the future of Irish neutrality. This is a sign that our neutral aspirations will vanish out the backdoor, the preferred un-straight forward approach adopted by our nation's leaders when it comes to our wishes. Anyway the argument that Europe would be a civilising counter weight to the US is an anti-American argument as it implies that Europe is innately more reasonable than the US. France, the second greatest arms sales profiteer from the Iran/Iraq war that left 1 million dead, is in no position to talk civilisation. Britain are one of the largest providers of arms in the world, selling arms to various dubious sorts around the globe. Other European countries benefit from conflicts abroad in this way also and, in my opinion anyway, any country that profits from the sale of killing machines is in no position to think itself civilised. Europe does not want to rein in the United States, it wants TO BE the United States. If Ireland gives up on neutrality then our troops will risk their lives not as peace keepers (as they have honourably done up to now, often being fired upon by US and British weapons in the process) but as the murderous minions of corporate interests. Remember too of course that our neutrality should not rest on the actions of our military alone but on the use of our amenities also. Hundereds of tons of depleted uranium shells were rushed through Shannon during the second week of the invasion of Iraq. This went 'unnoticed' by our government and press (except for Phoenix magazine). The harm that depleted uranium can do has already been posted about on this site. It leaves atmospheres radioactive for generations causing cancer by the truck load. The Iraqi cancer casualties from the use of DU in the first Gulf war were still coming out of the wood work by the time progress dictated the nation needed another dose. An accident in Shannon would, needless to say, have been an utter disaster. To transport even the smallest fraction of this muck in the US you need the clearence of their Nuclear Regulatory Commission. For all I know the transportation of DU through Shannon is still going on. Afterall, DU might still be needed to convince those pockets of resistance just how free they really are. By the way I've heard that the use of DU in warfare is banned by the Geneva Convention, Hague Convention and Stockholm Declaration. Rather than being seen as backward, Irish neutrality could be held up as an example. When giving TDs hassle I suggest you only concentrate on those in the smaller parties (not including the pro-Dalek PDs) and independents who might force the issue. Forget about FF, FG and Labour, unless you're thinking Michael D.

Created By: Garret Shanley