The Irish Anti-War Movement

Irish Anti War Movement (Iawm) Press Release 28 July 2022

The IAWM supports the intent of Sabine Coyne Higgins’s letter to the Irish Times calling for peace negotiations in the Russia Ukraine war. She is right to point that almost all wars end in ceasefires and peace talks so the question arises as to why the agony should be prolonged any further for the people of Ukraine and indeed for young Russian conscripts.

There is one vital aspect to this horrific war not often aired enough but suggested in one line from the anti-war poem from which Sabine Coyne Higgins quotes – “Age after age, their tragic empires rise” – namely that since the unjustified Russian invasion of Ukraine almost everything that western powers have done has served only to escalate the conflict with little or no attempts made to diffuse tensions, call for a ceasefire and peace negotiations. The pitiful attempts by the leaders of Germany, Italy and France to broker some kind of negotiations were undermined immediately by the USA and Britain, with the utterly discredited Boris Johnson trotting off to Ukraine as much to shore up his failing premiership as to show any sincere solidarity. US President Biden and his team, the main players in NATO, have made clear all along that their aim is to use the war to weaken Russia, all while supporting the vilest regimes elsewhere in the world as witnessed by his recent grovelling visits to the apartheid state of Israel and the despotic regime of Saudi Arabia.

Irish political leaders rightly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine but what else have they done? Where is the expression of Ireland’s long held tradition of neutrality and support for diplomatic efforts to end conflicts? Instead they cavort with NATO leaders in Madrid and elsewhere, are largely silent at the UN Security Council, openly threaten Ireland’s neutrality all while supporting the mad rush to EU militarisation.

As well as being a war of aggression by a large imperialist power – Russia against Ukraine – the war on Ukraine has long since become an inter-imperialist proxy conflict between two large powers, that of Russia and NATO, and more particularly between the two nuclear powers of Russia and America. Western political leaders feign solidarity and support for Ukrainians while sleepwalking us all into World War 3 with all the potential horrific consequences for humanity and the planet, while sacrificing the people of Ukraine to the chimera of empire. 

Instead of cow towing to this insane escalation of a conflict by the major imperial powers Irish political leaders should use the moral authority of Ireland’s credible neutral status to call for an immediate ceasefire and diplomatic efforts to end this horrible war. We can then refocus on the challenges of tackling world hunger, nuclear weapons proliferation and climate change which threaten not just the people of Ukraine but the survival of all humanity.


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