NATO, RUSSIA AND IRISH NEUTRALITY; UNPUBLISHED LETTER SENT TO IRISH TIMES ON 03 FEBRUARY 2022

Sir,

Ms. Alanna O Malley‘s opinion piece (Irish neutrality is not a free ride on the back of NATO, 02 February) asserts that Geraldine Byrne-Nason’s contribution to the debate at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday, and in particular “by making Russia answerable in this public forum“ somehow ingratiates Ireland with the mantle of a more credible neutrality thus potentially asserting “our identity as proactive peacemakers“.

A quick review of Ms. Byrne-Nason’s speech however paints a somewhat different picture. While she certainly called for the need for "de-escalation, diplomacy and dialogue" she is quite clear that the tension in Ukraine arises only from Russia’s military build-up. NATO’s aggression is not mentioned once. It gets a free ride on the culpability front.

We should not be surprised by this partisan stance given, not that Ireland accepts a free ride from NATO as Ms. O Malley suggests, but that successive Irish Governments have actively supported it over the last 20 years and continue to do so.

Millions of US troops and a number of extraordinary rendition flights have stopped at Shannon Airport on their way to and from disastrous wars with the full and unquestioned imprimatur of successive Irish Governments. This collusion with NATO member states continues as we read in your newspaper of the military exercises carried out by the RAF (“British aircraft increase activity off Ireland ahead of Russian drills", 01 February), ironically on the same day that Ms. Byrne-Nason was highlighting Russia’s aggression. That such exercises occurred "within the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ)" is noted without a hint of embarrassment or concern by your reporters and met with silence from the Government. It does not require much serious investigation to ascertain that such military exercises by NATO countries have frequently taken place within the Irish EEZ - just ask the fishermen.

If the Irish Government is sincere about the honourable ambition of acting as an honest broker between warring nations that would allow it as Ms. O‘ Malley suggests, to "assert our identity as proactive peacemakers“, then it must condemn unequivocally and equally the dangerous warmongering of both NATO and Russia over Ukraine and call for all military exercises within the Irish EEZ to stop. It could start doing this, in a non-partisan manner, at the UNSC. And of course it should once and for all remove the free-riding facility to the US military at Shannon Airport.

Yours etc.

JIM ROCHE,
PRO Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.

HOSTILE STATES TOWARDS IRELAND - ED HORGAN LETTER IN IRISH NEWS; 011221

Dear Editor

Statements made by the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Major General Sean Clancy (Ireland ‘a target for hostile states’ Sunday Times, November 21) should cause concerns for the Irish Government and the Irish people. Without naming Russia directly, he nonetheless has targeted Russia as a hostile state, using questionable reports of “foreign military vessels and aircraft having entered Irish controlled waters and airspace with their transponders switched off”. John Mooney fills in the blank space by saying: “Russian naval vessels and aircraft have done this”. Clancy goes on to say that hostile states “represent not just a risk to critical infrastructure but to every aspect of Irish society as they use hybrid warfare to undermine democracy”. Russia and Nato have been engaging in dangerous confrontations usually hundreds of miles off the Irish coast but there has been no credible evidence that Russia is a ‘hostile state’ towards Ireland. Such an inappropriate assertion by the Chief of Staff is a serious diplomatic insult to a friendly state. Those who threaten Irish sovereignty and Irish neutrality are not the Russians, who have never been a threat to Ireland. During World War 2 it was Germany and Britain that posed a serious threat to our sovereignty. A few Russian bombers flying many miles off the Irish coast must be compared with an estimated 15,000 aircraft associated with the US military landing and refuelling at Shannon airport over the past 20 years. The most serious threats to democracy internationally in recent decades come, not from Russia, but from the US and its Nato allies, who have overthrown the sovereign governments of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and left these countries in chaos, and caused untold suffering with their support for civil wars in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, all involving gross breaches of international laws including the UN Charter.

Edward Horgan,

GE2020 IAWM PRESS EVENT and PUBLIC DEBATE - RECLAIM IRISH NEUTRALITY

IRISH ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT (IAWM) PRESS RELEASE: 02 FEBRUARY 2020

• RECLAIM IRISH NEUTRALITY

• CLOSE THE SHANNON WAR PORT

The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) will host a press event in Buswell's Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin at 11.30 am this Wednesday 5th February to call on the Irish electorate to vote for those candidates and parties that will support the IAWM’s call for the next Irish government to reclaim Irish neutrality, stop the complicity in foreign wars and end the facilitation to the US military at Shannon Airport.

Those attending the press event so far include:

• Richard Boyd Barrett TD, People before Profit (President IAWM)
• Aengus O Snodaigh TD, Sein Féin
• Paul Murphy TD, RISE
• Representative from Solidarity
• et al

The IAWM is calling for people to vote for candidates and parties that will campaign for the above.

Follow this link to see poster that Dublin City Council said they would not permit - https://www.facebook.com/Notowar

The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) is also hosting a debate in the ballroom at Wynn's Hotel from 8.30-10.00pm this coming Wednesday night 5th February.

Facilitated by broadcaster Vincent Browne

TOPIC: IRISH NEUTRALITY, FOREIGN POLICY AND THE GENERAL ELECTION 2020

Participants so far include:
Richard Boyd Barrett, People before Profit (President IAWM)
Councillor Nessa Hourican, Green Party
Aengus O Snodaigh, Sein Féin
Et al

Please note: All the main political parties have been invited to participate.

Contact:
Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 087 6472737
Michael Youlton, Chair Steering Committee, IAWM, Tel. 086 8159487
John Molyneux, Secretary, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 085 735 6424
Glenda Cimino, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 086 124 9456

END

For more information on the IAWM see:
Website - www.irishantiwar.org
@IrishAntiWarMvt
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IrishAntiWarMovement/

GE2020 DEBATE - IRISH NEUTRALITY, FOREIGN POLICY AND THE GENERAL ELECTION 2020

Election 2020 No to War Poster

GENERAL ELECTION 2020 DEBATE

The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) is hosting a debate in the ballroom at Wynn's Hotel from 8.30-10.00pm next Wednesday night 5th February.

Facilitated by veteran broadcaster Vincent Browne

IRISH NEUTRALITY, FOREIGN POLICY AND THE GENERAL ELECTION 2020

Participants so far include:

Richard Boyd Barrett, People before Profit (President IAWM)
Councillor Nessa Hourican, Green Party
Aengus O Snodaigh, Sein Féin

all main political parties have been invited.

Come along and hear the arguments.

The IAWM is calling for people to vote for candidates and parties that will reclaim Irish neutrality and close the Shannon War Port.

JUSTINE McCarthy Breaks The Media Silence on Covert Government Surrender of Irish Neutrality

JUSTINE McCarthy Breaks The Media Silence on Covert Government Surrender of Irish Neutrality

Put our foot down and stay in neutral: Justine McCarthy, “The Sunday Times”, 28 January 2018

In unstable times, Ireland must not let its status as honest broker slip away.

The images at Shannon- the trusting youthfulness of the soldiers, the lethal geopolitical minefield awaiting them, and the beaming US Vice-President Pence -were especially alarming if you were Irish and happened to believe in the state’s declared neutrality

Mike Pence has one of those catchy, buddy-buddy names. He also has an unthreatening demeanour, unlike his thunderously sulky boss, Donald Trump. Last weekend, togged out in an airforce-style bomber jacket emblazoned with his own name, good ol’ Mike alighted from Air Force Two at Shannon airport and exhorted US troops en route to the Middle East war cauldron to focus on the mission ahead of them.

That’s Shannon airport in Ireland. And, yes, that’s Ireland — an independent, sovereign, self-proclaimed neutral state. And Pence is second-in-command to the world’s most powerful person. Should Trump be impeached, Pence would assume control of the nuclear codes.

According to news reports by Bloomberg, The Times of Israel, the Los Angeles Times, the Taipei Times, the Jamaica Observer and the Hindustan Times, the American vice-president hugged and snapped selfies with “scores” of American soldiers on their way to Kuwait, a launch-pad for America’s offensive against Isis in Iraq.

Pence, who described Kuwait as “a critical theatre”, made a speech to the camouflage-clad troops in Shannon’s terminal building while his own super-deluxe aircraft was being refuelled. Everything about the scene was chilling- the trusting youthfulness of the soldiers, the lethal geopolitical minefield awaiting them, and the beaming Pence.