Stop the War/CND Statement: Woolwich killing of a British soldier - 23 May 2013

Stop the War/CND Statement: Woolwich killing of a British soldier
23 May 2013     Stop the War Statements
Woolwich killing of a British soldier
Statement by Stop the War Coalition and CND
Supported by Cage Prisoners
23 May 2013

The attack in Woolwich on 22 May was horrific. There can be no justification for a murderous attack on an individual soldier in the streets of London. It must have been awful too for the local people who witnessed it.

The Woolwich attack, carried out by two men now shot and wounded and under arrest in hospital, appears to represent a phenomenon that was pointed out nearly a decade ago by the security services in Britain: that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would lead to a growing threat of terrorism in Britain. Many of us have long predicted that these sorts of attacks would happen because of the war on terror.

The men claimed that the killing of the soldier was in response to the killing of Muslims by British soldiers in other countries. One said that the government did not care for people and should get the troops out.

The response from the government has been to declare this a major terrorist incident. We do not yet know whether they had wider connections or whether this was a one off incident.

But the government response fails to deal with the political causes underlying such attacks. There were no such cases in Britain before the start of the ‘war on terror’ in 2001, which led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The consequences of those wars have been devastating for the people of those countries and further afield. Up to a million died in Iraq and 4 million were made refugees.

Tens of thousands have died in Afghanistan. Fighting still continues and in Iraq looks like descending into civil war in some parts of the country.

Is a 'surgical strike' in Afghanistan any more palatable than a surgical hacking in Woolwich? 24 May 2013 John Hilley

Is a 'surgical strike' in Afghanistan any more palatable than a surgical hacking in Woolwich?
24 May 2013     John Hilley     United Kingdom

In essence, is state killing not terrorism? Would the bloody outcomes of Nato strikes ever appear so graphically on front pages the way they have for the Woolwich killing?
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By John Hilley
Zenpolitics
23 May 2013

Would the bloody outcomes of Nato strikes, like the one that killed this child, ever appear so graphically on front pages the way they have for the Woolwich killing?
A man, a soldier, is brutally murdered on a Woolwich street. Politicians rush to emergency meetings.

Reporters survey the scene, run 'terror warning' front pages and ask how such an atrocity 'could ever happen here'.

Yet, beyond the standard political condemnation and media 'examination', what more humanitarian thoughts and questions might be invoked over this horrific death?

The first compassionate thought should always be with the immediate victim, the person or persons killed, the life taken. That means all persons killed, all life taken, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq or on 'our' streets.

The next thought, equally human, but of more compassionate purpose, should be to ask ourselves why these kind of violent attacks are happening.

Is it enough, or even useful, just to feel appalled by such violence? Is it remotely helpful just to condemn?

Or is it more productive and humanitarian to ask what compels or encourages it?

An ITN report on the killing noted: "A British soldier killed not in war, but at home" - war, presumably for such journalists, being something that can be visited upon others, in their countries, but not here in 'ours'.  

PROTEST - CLOSE GUANTANAMO BAY DETENTION CENTRE, DÁIL EIREANN.

Come along to the IAWM Protest at 1.00pm this Thursday 23 May at Dáil Eireann and make your voice heard.

Send a clear message to the Irish Government that we want these prisoners released and that the Guantanamo Bay detention centre should be closed for good.

For over 100 hunger strikers, death is preferable to life in Barack Obama's Guantanamo 11 May 2013 Marjorie Cohn

For over 100 hunger strikers, death is preferable to life in Barack Obama's Guantanamo

There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where not being charged with a war crime keeps you locked away indefinitely and a war crime conviction is your ticket home.

John Pilger: Dance on Thatcher's grave, but her funeral was a propaganda stunt fit for a dictator 25 April 2013 John Pilger

John Pilger: Dance on Thatcher's grave, but her funeral was a propaganda stunt fit for a dictator

Perhaps it is too easy to dance on her grave. Her funeral was a propaganda stunt, fit for a dictator: an absurd show of militarism, as if a coup had taken place.


Double standards on bombing coverage - letter in Irsih Examiner, 200413.

Double standards on bombing coverage

While our thoughts are rightly with the victims of the Boston bombings in what Taoiseach Enda Kenny called “this senseless and terrible event”, we might reflect on the contrasting standards applied to equally appalling or worse acts from elsewhere in the world.

Last week 11 children and one woman were killed by a Nato air strike in Afghanistan. This Afghan bombing is only one of many that are killing civilians every week. Do we know the names of these Afghan children and the woman? Did our Taoiseach issue a statement labelling this as a “senseless and terrible event”?

Judging by the response of our political leaders and the media coverage to these two events it is hard not to conclude that western lives are valued much more highly than those of people in Afghanistan or the Middle East — which is one of the reasons why western leaders promote perpetual war with apparent ease.

Jim Roche
PRO Irish Anti War Movement
PO Box 9260
Dublin 1

Guess who is not coming to Margaret Thatcher's funeral - Lindsey German - 120413.

Guess who is not coming to Margaret Thatcher's funeral

The importance of Margaret Thatcher's warmongering is reflected in the Falklands theme of her funeral arrangements -- something Tony Blair does not seem to regard as "tasteless".

TUI courageously opposing apartheid in Israel


TUI courageously opposing apartheid in Israel
Irish Examiner - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The courage and the humanity of the TUI in supporting the boycott of cultural and academic exchanges with Israel is to be applauded.
US and European leaders appear to blindly carry the baggage and guilt of the Holocaust, thus denying freedom, with justice, for the six million non-Jewish inhabitants of Israel and Palestine.

  The two-state solution is obviously no longer an option, with the fragmentation and non-contiguous reality of available territory for a viable Palestinian state.

  Israel, therefore, has the choice of supporting an army that is forever in conflict with its non-Jewish citizens, including the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, or of becoming a true democracy based on the principles of justice and equality. That would mean embracing all of the people who are currently victims of racism in an apartheid state system.

  Well-intentioned citizens of Europe may have very little influence in changing the appalling circumstance of those people living in misery under occupation.

  This change can only come about when western leaders are reminded by their electorate of their much-vaunted commitment to human rights.

  That electorate’s conscience has been informed by courageous and influential organisations, such as the TUI.

  Daniel Teegan
 Union Hall
 Co Cork