Upcoming Events

National | Anti-War / Imperialism

no events match your query!

Blog Feeds

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link Latest Updates Thu Nov 21, 2019 20:32 | Human Rights

offsite link US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights

offsite link UN Human Rights Council Should Address Human Rights Crisis in Cambodia Sat Aug 31, 2019 13:41 | Human Rights

offsite link Fijian women still face Human Rights violations Mon Aug 26, 2019 18:49 | Human Rights

offsite link Saudi Human Rights Violation Fri Aug 09, 2019 20:41 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link Signs of Hope ? A continuing series 11:39 Fri Nov 22, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link The world of workers: Living wages 09:36 Fri Nov 22, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Four degrees of separation? 09:11 Fri Nov 22, 2019 | guestposter

offsite link Trouble at the top! 08:10 Fri Nov 22, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link A rolling confederal model? 17:59 Thu Nov 21, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

Cedar Lounge >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017

offsite link IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017

offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Test ? 12 November 2018 Mon Nov 12, 2018 14:28 | namawinelake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Shannon Airport is an Election Issue

category national | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Sunday April 29, 2007 12:37author by DM - STOP BUSH CAMPAIGN Report this post to the editors

Pana Poll on Irish complicity in the war

It's Majority Rule, right? So, Why The Pessimism?

PANA.ie published the results of a poll they commissioned on Irish people's views on the use of Shannon Airport. The Poll was conducted nationally by Lansdowne Market Research Ltd.

The Peace & Neutrality Alliance went on to describe in a press statement''Since other polls show that it is unlikely that the current war parties of FF and the PD's will return to power without the support of either the Labour Party, the Green Party or Sinn Fein, all of which opposed the war, it seems self evident that the use of Shannon airport in the war, especially now that the number of US troops using it are increasing, is and should be, an election issue.''(more from PANA.ie)

Meanwhile Ireland welcomes a new US Military Troop Carrier, Omni Air International. Retired Army Commandant Ed Horgan documented three US warplanes at Shannon for Indymedia and asks questions about Omni Air International and Bush's so-called 'surge.'


The question was.

"Are you in favour of, or opposed to the use of Shannon Airport by US troops travelling to and from Iraq?"

Their response was as follows

In Favour: 19%
Opposed: 58%
No opinion: 21%
Don't know: 2%

This shows clearly that Irish people still maintain their disgust for this war and irish complicity in it despite what FF/PD's say. This should give us on the anti-war front a new drive and renewed belief what we are doing is the right thing.
Whe you see a TD or a canidate in the next month tell them about this poll and why WAR IS AN ELECTION ISSUE

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie

1image_home_logo.gif

author by Margaretpublication date Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Time to have your voice heard
There are many issues that are to the forefront of our minds on this morning when the election date has finally been called. For me, like many of you, the issue of access to adequate health services is one of the most pressing personal and local of these issues. I can’t however ignore the fact that while I’ve spent 6 months waiting for a simple diagnostic procedure to find out if I have a life-changing illness, at least I haven’t had my city bombed from the air, chemical weapons used against me, family members shot or imprisoned without charges, and the destruction of my country by the delcaration of war by a foreign invader. And so, the issue of Irish involvement in the war is one of the main issues for me in the upcoming election.

The past four-five years have seen many types of protests nationally as well as locally on the issue of Irish involvement in the invasion of Iraq. As the invasion was imminent people took to the streets to voice their opposition to the war and to make sure it was known that the Irish people did not support the attack by the US and UK on a people already suffering terribly from years of sanctions. Countless protests around the country and at Shannon itself brought a wide spectrum of Irish society to speak out again the Irish support of the invasion. Virtually every poll on the subject has shown that the majority of the people of Ireland did not want the country to support the invasion. Despite all this opposition to the war and the Irish people’s wish that we not logistically support any attacks on Iraq, our representative government did not listen.

78 people in Ireland are directly responsible for allowing the use of Shannon airport by the US military enroute to Iraq. On March 20th, 2003 they passed a motion in the Dail to say that they would not participate in the war but at the same time would allow Shannon airport to be used by the invading military forces. 78 people is all it took to overrule every person who rose their voice in opposition to the war and our involvement in it. Many are the expected Fianna Fail and PD TDs towing the party line but there are quite a few independent TDs also in this list.

It is now time to have our voices heard. These people have shamed us during the last few years when they were supposed to be representing our wishes. Even if you didn’t vote for them, they should still have been representing the views of the people in their constituencies. Their version of representative democracy is not working. They have not represented the Irish people. They should not be allowed to remain in government for four more years.

Many people who have protested against the war and our support of it feel disempowered after years of effort for little progress. Others just aren’t aware of the fact that so few people were responsible for opposing the opinion of the majority of the people. Spread the word about who was responsible and lets claim back some power and make sure that the warmongerers no longer represent our country.

Read the Dail motion and check out who voted for it here: http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/Election2007

Full list of TDs names and contact details:
http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/TDs_...e.pdf

What can you do?
Actively campaign against these people. See the list of names and addresses above.
1 – Challenge them on the issue on the doorsteps and let them know you hold them directly responsible for sanctioning the murderous attacks on the people of Iraq.
2 – Send them back their election literature and tell them why you won’t be voting for them.
3 – Tell your friends and family who in your constituency voted to allow the use of Shannon by the US military (but had the hypocrisy to say this was not participating in the war).
4 – Write a letter to a national newspaper on this issue.
5 – Respond to letters you see in the papers to keep the issue alive and alert the public to the information
6 – Write a letter to a local paper with information on the local TDs who supported the war.
7 – Consider setting up a protest to alert the public to these issues - at your local TD’s office, Shannon airport, the Dail maybe?

author by Margaretpublication date Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And lets not forget the rendition flights....

Michael McDowell was not present for the vote on the Dail motion of 20th March, 2003 that sanctioned Ireland’s involvement in the invasion of Iraq. However, he is responsible as our Minister for Justice along with Dermot Ahern (Minister for Foreign Affairs), the Taoiseach, and indeed all TDs in government, for turning a blind eye to the landing of planes at Shannon that were proven to be involved in rendition flights.

The following reports link Shannon airport to rendition flights – a term that hides the horror of kidnap and imprisonment without charges, often without access to family members, lawyers or anyone in the outside world, the horrific psychological abuse that this entails, not to mention the practice of torture that has been widely reported (see Craig Murray’s report – the UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan talks about the practice of transporting people to that country where they were boiled in oil http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/Murr...6.pdf).

Council of Europe report, June 2006
http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/COE_...6.pdf

European Parliamentary Committee Final Report, Jan 2007
http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/Fina...P.pdf

Amnesty International “Below the Radar” report, April 2006.
http://web.amnesty.org/library/pdf/AMR510512006ENGLISH/$File/AMR5105106.pdf

Submission by local activists to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, December 2005
http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/Oire...e.pdf

Submission to the European Parliament Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners, Edward Horgan, April 2006.
http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/EU_s...n.pdf

These and related reports are available for download on http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/RenditionReports

Shannon airport has been linked to rendition flights since 2003 when it was noted that CIA jet planes that were involved in carrying out these so-called rendition flights were landing at the airport. The government has consistently refused to investigate the issue or search these planes and seem to have instructed the local Garai to hamper investigations and monitoring of these planes by concerned citizens. The EU Parliamentary committee set up to investigate Europe’s connection and involvement with rendition flights notes that our Minister for Foreign Affairs “failed to
answer all the questions in relation to the concerns that Irish airports may have been
used by CIA aircraft travelling to or from extraordinary rendition missions (as in the
case of Abu Omar)”. So even government Ministers are thwarting investigations at a European level. The governemnt have insisted on accepting the diplomatic assurances of the US administration and take Willie O’ Dea’s line that “there’s nothing furtive going on at Shannon”.

By now it is widely accepted at European and International level that planes that have tranported these illegally kidnapped people have landed at Shannon airport. (See EU Parliamentary Report and Amnesty International “Under the Radar” report).
European Governmental bodies along with Human Rights orgainsations and legal experts have indicated that it is not enough to accept diplomatic assurances that the airport is not being used for rendition flights and that independent investigations should be carried out. These include:

European Parliamentary committee report, Jan 2007
http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/Fina...P.pdf

Irish Human Rights Commission Resolution, December 2005.
http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/IHRC...n.pdf

EU Network of independent Experts on Fundamental Rights report, March 2007
http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/EU_N...7.pdf

The latest big report and most important in official terms was the report from the European Parliamentary committee on this issue and passed by the European Parliament earlier this year. This report passed at the EU Parliament level was damning of the government’s inaction as they turned a blind eye to rendition flights. Thanks to the raising of this issue by local activists and indeed TDs and Senators (Michael D Higgins and David Norris), no one in government could claim thet did not know what was happening. Dermot Ahern’s reponse to this report was utterly shameful, as he tried to discredit the work of the committee who sat for a year interviewing a range of people including victims of rendition flights and torture.

Well done to Derry City Council for being the first governing body in Europe to ban rendition flights from its airport. Even though they didn’t have any evidence of such flights happening they decided to take a stand against this horrendous practice, something our government should have done as soon as it realised that these planes were using our airports.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ireland...0.ece

How will history report out involvement in this most despicable crime?

It is time to take a stand against all the politicians who did not speak out on the issue, against all those who turned a blind eye to the information that was readily available, against all those who sat idly by, and against those who had the power to stop any involvement Ireland had with these shameful abuses of human rights and took the coward’s approach.

Vote them out.

____________________________________

Check out http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/Election2007 for a list of TDs who supported Ireland's involvement in the invasion of Iraq and http://airportwatch.wikispaces.com/ for detailed information on the use of Shannon airport in the war and rendition flights.

author by against the invasionpublication date Sun Apr 29, 2007 16:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"When tens of thousands of people marched against the war on Iraq the Government was arrogant enough to dismiss their concerns with platitudes and soundbites. Anti-War activists were arrested and prosecuted. The FF/PD Coalition ignored the people and their concerns about supporting the US invasion.

"Sinn Fein is calling on the electorate to back only those candidates committed to protecting Irish neutrality and who opposed the war on Iraq. They should neither vote for, nor transfer to, parties that have an agenda of militarisation of the EU. "

Mary Lou McDonald

author by peacenikpublication date Sun Apr 29, 2007 16:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...and could you also stop all those eejits marching around in berets and shades every now and then? Some of us voters aren't that impressionable.

author by undecidedpublication date Sun Apr 29, 2007 17:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Much as you might like to think it is - Shannon is not an election issue. None of the parties have made it an issue, and people will not be voting on it. If the above poll actually translated into votes, then you'd be looking at a huge jump in the number of Green, SF and Socialist Party TDs - and even if the Greens or SF get into some form of Government, I'd expect them to bow to whichever major party they're in coalition with. Which either way will be FF or FG, neither of whom is in favour of ending the stopover for the US Military. Labour in particular dodge the issue continuously, so dont expect any favours from them if they get in.

Nobody cares about Shannon any more as an issue - this is reflected in the complete lack of support for antiwar marches and actions, both in Dublin and down at Shannon. If it genuinely was an issue, then actions such as these would be continuing with some support. But they arent - so it isnt. And no matter who gets into Government, the stopover by the US Military will not end. I dont think I need to repeat that... do I?

author by DSFpublication date Sun Apr 29, 2007 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can't speak for the Greens, but if Sinn Féin become a part of the mix for forming or supporting a government then use of Shannon by the US military would have to stop. That's not an if or a maybe, it's a definite.

We'd also have a lot to say about the other large military force based in Ireland- one that you hear less about on Indymedia. Travel north from Dundalk or east from Donegal and you'll run into them. They're got similiar uniforms to the occupiers of southern Iraq, and they need to go home too...

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Sun Apr 29, 2007 18:32author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

" Undecided" says the Iraq war and the decision of the war parties, Fianna Fail and the PD's to destroy Irish neutrality by allowing Shannon Airport to be use in this Imperialist war fought to gain control of the oil in Iraq and to consolidate US/Israeli military domination of the Middle East is not an issue in the election. PANA seeks to make it an issue and makes no apology for doing so. We believe that the decision of the Ahern Government to help the US conquer Iraq which has led to a war, in which over 650,000 have died (Lancet Nov 06) and which shows no sign of ending, is a more important issue than, for example, the abolition of stamp duty which will only transfer more wealth to the already massively wealthy.
This is why PANA commissioned an independent research company to have a survey on the attitude of the people to the use of Shannon. While clearly a significant number had no opinion on the issue, the vast majority opposed the use of Shannon Airport in the war and only 19% supported it.
The fact that the corporate media refused to publish the results of the survey is only a reflection that the corporate media is owned and controlled by the rich and powerful that constitute much of the 19%. The same corporate media that supports the integration of the Irish Army into the Battle Groups of the EU. All they offer in the 21st century is deeper and deeper involvement of Ireland into the resource wars of the 21st century.
"Undecided" might remember that the Sunday Independent, the leader of Ireland's corporate media largely ignored the massive anit-war demo on 15/2/03. The rest, ever since, especially RTE has decided to give little or no coverage to Irish opposition to the war. What this survey shows however is that depite their best efforts, the vast majority of the Irish people oppose the use of Shannon Airport in this war. Posters can be downloaded from www.pana.ie
which seek to make the war an issue in the election.
Finally, there have always been supporters of Imperialist wars in Ireland, and there have always been those of us who oppose them. "Undecided" just has to make up which side to be on.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by Doylerpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 00:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How would stopping these flights benefit Ireland?

author by Sharon D.publication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 00:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would wash some of the blood off our hands (granted, since this is not expressed in monetary value, you will probably dismiss it as an unimportant consideration. But, thankfully, some people think that collaboration with imperial slaughters aren't good, even if you earn a few quid off them).

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 03:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Moral direction should come from within and have been cultured by those one respects.

In this case the question is very simple, black and white even. Should we facilitate the illegal war and lend a helping hand in the butchering of innocents?

And by the way, the poll that is being quoted is not a poll that was focussed exclusively at or on Sinn Fein. Normal garden variety folks responded to it. I don't think that the opinions of these people (the majority) should be spun as having come from 'murderers.'

Folks wishing to slag off Sinn Fein and avoid the issues to be discussed in this thread, should go elsewhere on Indymedia, where such arguments might (and I say this lightly) have relevance.

It strikes me as ironic that P Pilate would seem to be arguing that we continue to facilitate genocide, but at the same time condemns murder. Pilate was a good choice of monickers.

author by P. Pilatepublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 04:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was highlighting the hypocrisy of SF/ IRA jumping on the bandwagon in condemning the slaughter in Iraq while having been responsible for the slaughter of so many innocents themselves. If apologists for SF/ IRA had not joined this thread, then I wouldn't have either. No matter how hard SF/ IRA try, they will never be able to wash the the blood of their innocent victims off their hands. I picked the name P. Pilate for that reason. It appears that irony is a bit above your head, Sean Ryan.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 04:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sure there's lots of stuff that's above my head. That's a given.

However this thread is about a poll conducted on behalf of PANA. To use this thread to throw a dig at Sinn Fein is both cliche and something that is designed to throw this thread off its course. Considering that around three quarters of a million innocents have been murdered, it is ironic indeed that you would wish to do this, considering you also suggest that you abhor murder. I'm sure you'll understand my reluctance at continuing such a discussion on this thread.

author by Ali H.publication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 08:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

than Bertie, the Brits and Bush criticising Iran while backing Pakistan.

Or Bush and Blair butchering in Iraq while criticising the conduct of the Sudanese government in Darfur.

The only difference between SF and Bertie is that SF have learned from the past and are moving on while Bertie and the whole FF machine live in the past and make a virtue out of it!

author by DSFpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 09:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Don't attack Sinn Fein- post your own quote that shows a definite assertion from someone that you're going to vote for -I'll be voting for Mary Lou McDonald- to show that they will do their best to stop the use of Shannon by the crusaders. If you can't find something to prove that they will, then ring them up and ask them what their views are, and post them here.

author by Mark Cpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 09:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fianna Fail's response to me on the doorstep was that the stopover flights will not be stopping because the 'will' is not there to have them stopped. I'm not sure how one can argue with such stupidity. I guess it means something along the lines of "we [the members of Fianna Fail - the man on the doorstep told me he doesn't agree with the war or the stopover] are afraid to tell Bertie that we don't agree with him".

Mark.

author by FForever yourspublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A big part of the FF genius for staying in power is that they never take responsibility for anything bad ever. It is always some other guy's fault.

The Taoiseach has this down to a fine art. Remember him saying he agreed with the 100000 citizens who marched against the war on February 15th 2003? Just after he drove that motion through the Dail that greased the wheels of the planes at Shannon. Worth a read that motion. Evil.

As far as FF is concerned God alone knows how bad things happen - it certainly isn't anything to do with them. This taps right into our slaveminded psyche where we still think we are in control of nothing even if we have a country to run.

Little Bertie from next door is only doing the best he can to keep all those mysterious bogey men from eating us up at any minute.

Vote Bertie. You know it makes sense.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a good thread and long may it continue.....the PANA poll conducted by Lansdowne Marketing demonstrates one more time how our people feel about Shannon and focusses on our long held views on the complicity of the Coalition in the Iraq mayhem.
Let us now centralise our messages on this thread and keep arguing. Every day and night until the 24th.
To even ask the question of how stopping the Shannon stopover would "benefit Ireland", as in a message above, is an insult to the hundreds of thousands of dead, Iraquis, Americans and many others, and an indication of how deep the opposition to human values and universal justice goes in the heads of some people.....benefit there is, obviously, translated as 'money in the pockets of some'!! How low can you get?

Over the next three weeks, we, all of us, irrespective of political affiliation, all of us opposed to the war and the use of Shannon, should query those knocking at our doors and asking for our vote/support what is their position on the war and the collaboration of our Gvt with the US. We should then use our vote accordingly.
The iawm argues for the support of all candidates who are opposed to the war.....the Labour Party has decided to include a section on their opposition to the war in their manifesto. The Sinn Fein leadership has argued against the use of Shannon and an end to collaboration. Many Green candidates, and a couple of Tds and MEPs, despite the dilly dallying of their leadership, are taking clear anti-war positions. All of the independent TDs, and many Councillors going for a Dail seat, have taken anti-war positions. They need our support and our encouragement.
The US will lose the war in Iraq, as they lost in Vietnam, and many pro-war supporters will then change their positions and start arguing that they had opposed it all along - see Clinton and Edwards of the Democratic Party in the US!! We will be waiting for them as peoples historical memory is long and powerful.

MAKE THE WAR AN ELECTION ISSUE. Contact the iawm or PANA if you want to help us poster and agitate against the war.

Opposition to the war grows
Opposition to the war grows

author by Pidgepublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Regardless of how you feel, do you care about the Shannon issue sufficiently to make it a factor in your voting choice?"

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Obviously the results of the poll have inconvenienced a few right-thinking individuals and usual anonymista pro-Empire commentators. Long may it continue.

In the meantime, and further to my comment above that the US will lose the war in Iraq, as they lost and got kicked out of South East Asia, a few notes on breaking news from Baghdad:

As four U.S. soldiers were killed in separate attacks in Baghdad this weekend, the US death toll exceeded 100 in the second deadliest month ever since the war began. The attacks occurred in eastern Baghdad, a predominantly Shiite area.

In a separate development, Iran agreed yesterday to join the U.S. and other countries at a conference on Iraq this week, raising hopes that the government in Tehran intends to intensify its role in Iraq – a possible indication that the war has entered a new, more political phase. Senior Iranian envoy Ali Larijani flew to Baghdad for talks with al-Maliki and other senior Iraqi officials ahead of this week's meetings in Egypt — the highest-ranking Iranian official to visit Iraq since 2003.

Earlier this month, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said Iranian intelligence operatives have been training Iraqi fighters inside Iran on how to use and assemble deadly roadside bombs known as EFPs, or explosively formed penetrators.
He said Iranian support extended to Sunnis as well as Shiites in Iraq, showing reporters photographs of what he said were Iranian-made mortar rounds, RPG rounds and rockets that were found recently in a Sunni neighbourhood of Baghdad.

It has also been the deadliest month for British forces in Iraq since the first month of the war. The 11 British troops deaths reported this month is surpassed only by 27 who died in March 2003, reflecting increasing violence in southern Iraq where they are based, particularly among Shiite groups vying for influence as Britain prepares to reduce its forces.

While Bush is standing by his commitment to send some 30,000 extra American troops to the security operation in Baghdad, he is also is facing legislation by the Democratic-led Congress calling for the Americans to begin withdrawing from Iraq by Oct. 1. Bush has promised to veto the measure.

MAKE THE WAR AN ELCTION ISSUE

author by Etain - The Green Partypublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Have to agree with Michael Y on this one. Shannon is a relevant issue, as long as Ireland continues to use Shannon and allow rendition flights, we cannot declare ourselves as neutral. John Gormley has emphasised the urgent need for a change of government policy on this very issue

Related Link: http://www.greenparty.ie
author by Gilbertpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Other issues that dominate the political agenda like the health service, the economy, transport and crime, education, political corruption etc are both local and national isses - these issues dominate the precedings of every local council meeting as well as the Dail.

Unless bombed out streets,burning vehicles, mangled corpses and maimed victims were a common sight in every Irish city, town and village would Irish voters care more than they do about Islamic suicide terrorists or if American tanks and troops were stationed through out the length and breadth of the country would Irish voters be concerned about US imperialism.

We see the terrible things happening on the news or in the papers every day but at the end of the day these things are happening far away.

It is true that thousands of troops are passing through Shannon when their planes refuel but really that is not an issue that affects the daily lives of Irish people - day to day conversation is not dominated by Iraq, no more than AIDS in Africa, Colombian street crime or dirty drinking water in Calcutta. Its not that they don't care - its just that it is not happening to them on a daily basis.

If Fine Fail, Fine Gael, Labour, Greens, Sinn Fein and others knew they could get votes out of this issue they would be jumping up and down trying to make themselves heard - they would have heard about this at every doorstep and every meeting from Malin to Mizen head and made it an election issue.

I'm sure some people will vote according to this issue, but not a significant number to influence the election

author by Edward Horgan - PANA Peace and Neutrality Alliancepublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 14:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank you Etaine for your comments above.
The Green Party and most of its existing TDs have been very supportive of the protests at Shannon airport over the past few years. However, in recent weeks there has been some degree of silence by the Green Party (of which I am a member) on the use of Shannon by US troops and by the CIA. I now call on the Green Party leadership to formally announce that they are opposed to the use of Shannon airport by the US military and by the CIA, and this will be a major factor in any negotiations for Government after the election. Silence on this issue in never an acceptable option. I realise that the Greens will at best be a minority party in any future government, so they will not be able to dictate policies, but if in Government, and during this election campaign, they must speak out on the most serious justice issue that has occured in Ireland since we gained our indepenence.
Green Party, speak out now on Shannon airport, or forever hold your peace.

author by Kieran O'Sullivan - IAWMpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 14:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Anti-War Movement has a letter which can be printed out and sent to all the TD's however it might be just as well to ask them to sign it at the door step.

The letter is available at http://irishantiwar.org/SignPledge.doc

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Apr 30, 2007 14:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Ed, hi Etain

The situation in the Greens re: Shannon gets more and more confusing.
On the one hand, we have people like Patricia McKenna and a couple of Green Party prospective TDs from the Kerry and the Clare constituencies who have signed the Shannon pledge. John Gormley came to the last 'Make Shannon an Election Issue' Press Conference and was his usual erudite self on why the use of Shannon must be opposed and full helter-skelter re:rendtion flights.
On the other hand, words from the 'leadership'. aka Trevor and Ryan, is that they have been "advised by their European partners" (the German Greens?) NOT to enter to any pledge re: the war and hold their cards very close to their chest. I suppose in case they're invited to play a role in any future coalition government.....And then there are many many 'ordinary members' of the Party who support fully the anti-war organisations. Hard to figure it out.

It would be an interesting time after the 24th with a whole set of Green activists.......Forever holding their peace (or piece) is not exactly how I would have put it....but lets leave it at that for now.

author by Dermot L - Labour Youthpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 02:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Press Release: 28/4/07

LABOUR YOUTH WELCOME POLL FINDINGS ON SHANNON ‘WARPORT’

Labour Youth, the youth section of the Labour Party, have welcomed the results of an independent opinion poll commissioned by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance which shows that the majority of Irish people are opposed to the use of Shannon Airport by the US military en route to Iraq.

The poll, which was carried out by Lansdowne Market Research Ltd, found that 58% of Irish people are opposed to the use of Shannon for the ongoing invasion of Iraq, with just 19% of people in favour.

Patrick Nulty, Labour Youth National Chairperson, noted that “these results give yet another clear indication of where Irish people stand on the despicable use of Shannon by the US war machine. From the march in Dublin in February 2003 which brought 100,000 to the streets to the present day, Labour Youth has joined with other progressive groups in opposing not only the war itself, but its support by the Fianna Fáil-PD Government.”

“Yet again the Irish people have said that they oppose Fianna Fáil and the PD’s granting use of our facilities to Bush’s warmongers. This poll is another nail in the coffin for the failed approach of an uncaring FF-PD alliance in the pockets of the US administration. Our message is clear; a vote for Labour will kick Bush’s allies out of office and his military out of Shannon.”

author by KGpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 02:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Was not approached for the survey .....would like to see what the questions asked were?

author by Fintan Lane - AWI and ISN (pers cap)publication date Tue May 01, 2007 09:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think Michael is right about the Green Party. My feeling is that Shannon is far from a deal-breaker for the Green Party at this stage, which is hugely disappointing. I spoke to one of their people last night who assured me that while he personally was against the misuse of Shannon airport by the US military, they had to be pragmatic as they "have bigger fish to fry". He also mentioned the presence of a prominent German Green at their last conference; she advised them, as Michael says, not to put 'obstacles' in their way prior to negotiating entry to government.

This is all very disappointing stuff. Will the Greens really be part of a government that presides over the US military using Shannon as a hub airport on their way to war? At this stage, it seems highly possible.

Related Link: http://www.irishsocialist.net
author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Tue May 01, 2007 11:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are three weeks to go to polling day. The pledge re:Shannon, drafted by the iawm, PANA and the NGO Alliance, is being signed by more and more TDs and prospective TDs. It is available from the iawm site.
We have just received some great news that Cindy Sheehan, the prominent US anti-war activist whose son was killed in Iraq a few days after his passage from Shannon, will be with us in Ireland on May 22nd and 23rd. On the evening of the 22nd, we intend to organise a large public debate with her, and anti war activists, arguing against representatives of the US Embassy and 'prominent' Irish supporters of the war. Watch this space for more details. She will most likely fly to Shannon on the Wednesday 23rd.....There will also be a full Press Conference in the afternoon of the 22nd - we know that Mary Robinson, and possibly D.Halliday, are in Dublin that day and we have invited them to take part. Details of time and venue to follow.
We are asking activists of Anti War Ireland and Cosantoiri and as many anti war activists as possible to contact us and work with us for the largest possible mobilisation. You can call the iawm office (01 872 7912) or contact any member of the Steering Committee - details available on the iawm website.

Our objective is clear: Make the War an Election issue

author by P. Pilatepublication date Wed May 02, 2007 03:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps Mary Lou Mc Donald or some of her morally-challenged friends who posted previously could explain the difference between the slaughter of innocent people in Iraq and the slaughter of innocent people in Enniskillen or Warrington or Adare. Why are they anti the slaughter in Iraq but don't seem too bothered about the murders carried out by SF/ IRA much closer to home? Hypocrites.

author by C Murraypublication date Wed May 02, 2007 10:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

News reports this morning are covering the bush response to the decision to
pull out of Iraq, apparently he has used his veto to overturn the vote and has
called a vote for withdrawal a vote for loss- and thats not the game.

Most mainstream including Reuters, msn, I.T. and radio are covering the speech
which was beligerent in tone.

Tomorrow the people of the Islands and the UK will be casting their vote. iraq is the main
issue and though the electorate is highly critical of the UK disastrous foreign policy
MR Blair has their confidence at domestic level with opinion polls yesterday
showing confidence in the economy - Prudence Brown being the architect of that.

author by Greigpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 11:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't think it is fair to equate the deaths of civilians in the conflict in Ireland with those caused by the invasion of Iraq. Not everyone adopts a view that all war is unjustifiable (it is a respectable view) and it is unlikely that you'll get any maiinstream politicia to condemn all deaths in in all wars as murder.

Perhaps the person who accuses Sinn Fein of being selective adopts this Quaker pacifist view, and if so there comment may be justified.

But if they don't, if they believe that the fight against imperialism was justified in 1916 in Ireland, or in Algeria or Vietnam, or even in Iraq today, but somehow they make an exception for the legitimate struggle against British rule in Ireland at a time when there was no oter political or diplomatic alternative (remember, when people marched peacefully for civil rights in Ireland they were shot dead), then it is they who are guilty of hypocrisy.

It's a simple point, Sinn Fín are avowedly against the war and against the use of Shannon airport for the war. People want this. A vote for Sinn Féin will bring that closer.

author by Goblinpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree. This P. Pilate is anti-Sinn Fein and Pro-Imperialist. It is impossible to compare the two conflicts in that Iraq is not so much a conflict as an invasion for resources and to accomodate Israeli security in the wider region.

Shannons use by the US military is assisting the continuance of this destruction, mayhem and slaughter. The scale of which reminds me of Stalins quote-kill one man and it is a tradegy, Kill a million and it becomes a mere statistic.

The Irish Public have been desensitised to this slaughter to the extent that this unfortunately will not become an election issue. Consider the Greens latest captulation on the grounds of having 'Bigger fish to fry'. This is a reflection of the animosity on the doorsteps toward Iraq on the canvas.

It is tragic but that is the reality. I had hoped Democratic moves in Congress could have seen a US withdrawal but Dubya vetoed the Bill which made funding conditional on such a withdrawal date of less than a year.

author by shannon workerpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 15:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

100,000 marched in Dublin in 2003 to show disagreement with the pending war in Iraq, this number is very generous as it includes a lot of kids and tots in prams, but it was not against using Shannon as a gas and go for the troops.
How can this number represent Ireland's voice against war in another country as we have at least 4 million in population.........do the math.
The recent poll, mentioned in another thread, is only that of the few interviewed and in a paticular area..........not relevant.
Hard to understand why Sinn Fein are against American soldiers passing thru Ireland when their funding originated in the US for the last 30 years.................won't get any vote from me unlike the past 30 years in voting.
The Green Party in Clare / Limerick, has lost substantial loyalty from the Airport Workers and this will be evident in the coming election although some Green candidates are trying to distance themselves from previous statements.

Bring it on..................................

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Wed May 02, 2007 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear so-called 'Shannon worker'

"100,000 marched in Dublin in 2003 to show disagreement with the pending war in Iraq, this number is very generous as it includes a lot of kids and tots in prams, but it was not against using Shannon as a gas and go for the troops" you say. The recent poll you say is not relevant you add.
The nearly 700,000 people killed in Iraq, including many many kids and tots in prams, and the 3,500 American soldiers along with a few hundred Brits dead is, obviously, not relevant either. The fact that Iraq has been turned into hell by the soldier who pass from Shannon and bring 'democracy' and 'justice' to the barbarians - not relevant!
The fact that our constitutional neutrality has been destroyed - not relevant !
The fact that 69% of American citizens are against this criminal war - not relevant! The fact that Bush lost the recent elections and is fighting for his life against the Democratic Party - not relevant!
The fact that the Labour Party (see its manifesto), Sinn Fein and almost all of the Independents are against the use of Shanno - not relevant!!

The fact that the Green Party leadership is backsliding big time because they got a whiff of power - extremely relevant! The fact that many prospective Greens are against the use of Shannon - irrelevant!
The fact that, supposedly, a number of workers working in the airport MAY have made a decision, and I say 'may' because that is not exactly obvious, to close their consciousness, shut their ears and eyes, dumb down their brains and accept blood money.....oh, that is very relevant!!
As for you who may have supported the Republican Mvt over the last so many years and you're disappointed with their current stance on the war....my heart goes out to you. Move over to the other 'Republican Party', the bigger one, and settle down dear friend. FF knows how to take care of people like you - they have the experience.

We will continue with our struggle to make Shannon an election issue......

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Wed May 02, 2007 18:30author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkeyauthor phone Report this post to the editors

There have been so many contributions to this debate, i would like to bring the issue back to the reason why PANA commissioned Lansdowne Market Research to conduct their independent poll of a representative group of people throughout the Republic of Ireland. It was done on the same basis as all the other polls being carried out on people's voting intentions etc. The result was clear. On being asked do they support or do they oppose the use of Shannon Airport by US troops travelling to and from Iraq, 58% opposed, 19% supported and 23% had no opinion or did not know. When PANA commissioned LMR to do the poll we did not know what the result would be, but were obvioulsy pleased with it. The result showed that a decisive majority of Irish people support the objective of PANA and the other anti-war groups that have been campaigning against the use of Shannon by the US. The Irish Corporate Media, that support the war virtually completely ignored the poll and its results. as they are absolutely determined to ensure that Ireland's participation in this Imperialist war does not become an issue in the election.
King Canute however was not able to stop the tide and the Irish political/media elite cannot avoid the the reality that they will be defeated. PANA's job is to seek to make the war an issue in the election. After the election, no matter what Gov. is formed, PANA's job is to continue to oppose Irish Imperialists, whether it be the "shannon worker" or the Irish Arms dealers,
or the grovelling political/media hacks. All they offer is war, more war and ultimately defeat. The only direction they want to go is to follow Ahern through the gates of hell. They can arise and follow Bertie.
PANA however will stand by Irish Independence, Irish Democracy and Irish Neutrality, and we will win.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by P. Pilatepublication date Thu May 03, 2007 01:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In case there is any confusion, I would like to state that I side fully with the 58% who oppose the use of Shannon as a staging post for US troops on their way to Iraq. Best of luck to PANA in their efforts. However, PANA should be aware of the danger in allowing hypocrites like SF/ IRA to jump on the bandwagon. This terrorist organisation has been responsible for some appaling atrocities against totally innocent people in the recent past. Allowing them to be in any way associated with your campaign will only hinder your work. Best of luck.

author by Skyguyj - Irish American and Airline Crew Memberpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 03:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am from County Clare. I am a Flight Attendant for ONE of those airlines (which no longer uses Shannon Airport) for Military flights.

While everyone is busy trying to "stir things-up" on the "Political end", just stop and think for a moment the HUGE economic impact and revenue -loss to Shannon and the Western Region that would result.

When MY airline was flying there (up until last summer) several times a day, you had local hotel rooms filled with sometimes 100 crewmembers a night, you had coach companies transporting us, you had significant tourism dollars in the form of restaurant and pub revenue, not to mention residual monies coming in the form of shopping and other "tourist" related items i.e. tours, car rentals etc. Additionally, the airport was earning revenue in the form of landing fee's, fueling, catering, ground staff services and other related operational costs. Bottom Line: Whether you agree with this war or NOT (and I don't), the fact of the matter is, these flights ARE and WILL continue to operate., and if not in Shannon, then somewhere else, as my airline is now doing. Go ahead with your "Greenpeace mentality", but rest assured someone else is laughing "all the way to the bank"!

Again, I don't agree with this war, or my President, but as an Irishman first, I say screw 'em, if they're gonna pay the money out anyway, it might as well go to my homeland! Cop yourselves on people, your "principles" are costing you HUGE amounts of money!

Just my "tupence".........

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 04:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Let's put this financial consideration to bed once and for all.

How much is a dead baby?

How many babies must be blown apart, before the financial consideration is considered unpalatable?

I suppose we've already got an idea of this. But does anyone want to actually come on out and say it?

Any politician or financial thinker out there want to say how much profit negates the worth of a life?

Because the truth is, the two cannot be seperated, war profit is measured in dead children.

author by Irish worker and Tax payerpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 10:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Where were you and what comments were you writing when Saddam was killing the Iraqi people over the last 30 years ?
Where are you now and why aren't you condemming Al Quaeda for the indescriminate killing of women and children in Iraq and in other countries ?
It is easy picking on the US, British etc. who are at least trying to free the Iraqi people in the hope of a Democratic Society being born.

Come on Mr. Ryan, you appear to have at least graduated from high school, so, be a man and verbally attack the real issues and maybe a trip out to Iraq would confirm the horrors happening which you choose to ignore and blame all the deaths on the US.

Apologies for calling you "Dumb", only know your penmanship, grabbed your attention though.

author by Actual Irish worker and tax payerpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 10:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Come on Mr. Ryan, you appear to have at least graduated from high school"

That really made me laugh. How many Irish people talk about "high school", unless they have spent too much time watching teen movies about dumb valley girls? Anyway, we might ask our American friend: how often have you spoken out against the atrocities committed by US soldiers in Iraq? It's your responsibility, it's your country. Al-Qaeda don't kill people in your name, but the US army does.

I expect more ranting about the evils of Saddam and Bin Laden, and total refusal to acknowledge that tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in Iraq by US forces. But surprise me!

author by Beenie Manpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 10:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sure your survey was biased, as you surveyed all your hippy friends before asking the common people what they thought.

author by MichaelXpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 11:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael Y seems to think we shouldn't vote Sinn Fein or Green to get the US Army out of Shannon.

What should we do if we DON"T have an SWP candidate to waste our vote on though, Mr Independent?

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 13:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To MichaelX

The iawm supports all, repeat ALL, candidates, irrespective of political affiliation who have declared their opposition to the use of Shannon by the Empire.
Sinn Fein's leadership have taken a principled position on Shannon and every SF TD and prospective TD is part of that commitment. A whole number of independents, including Finian, Tony, Catherine Connolly, Seamus Healy, Joan Collins and the ISN candidate in Finglas as well as the SP candidates are all against the war. Finally, all the People Before Profit are against the war.
The Labour Parry has included a whole section on Shannon in their manifesto. Patricia McKenna has signed the pledge so have a number of prospective Greens in the Clare/Limerick region.

So MichaelX, instead of cheap nonsense and cheaper attacks on the iawm, cop onto yourself, check reality and stop trying to derail this thread.

author by Ray from shannonpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 14:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I work in shannon and i do not support the war in Iraq but as the person above was saying in an earlier thread,look at the amount of money the western region is making from these flights ie.hotels,landing fees,fuel etc.Now that the shannon stopover is gone shannon needs as much business as possible to survive.If these flights were to pull out you would have a huge knock on effect on the local economy as jobs would be lost in all sectors.
Politicians wont let this happen no matter who there with it be it the greens,sinn fein(TERRORISTS in there own right)as they would have so many people screaming at them due to job losses,loss of revenue etc.And we all know how politicians dont like to be bothered in reality,right?

author by Etain - Green Partypublication date Thu May 03, 2007 15:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a member of the Greens I have to take issue with some of the above comments.
A lot of you seem to be knocking the Green Party about its lack of clarity over rendition flights and other war related issues, it seems to be the same old story, look for someone to blame. what makes any other of the parties any better? At least Trevor Sargent has openly stated his views on the above in a recent Dail session. All the political parties are holding their cards close. Its a political tactic. Shortly, I will be sending out protest letters to the politicians in the Dail requesting them to state where they stand on the war. I don't expect I will get many answers, except maybe from some independent candidates who at least have some principals left.

By allowing the floodgates of Shannon to be left open to military personnel, you are creating a precedent for future generations. No one is saying close Shannon down totally, just don't allow the military to pass through, Ordinary U.S civillians should be allowed to come and go as they please.

Related Link: http://www.greenparty.ie
author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Thu May 03, 2007 16:15author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkeyauthor phone Report this post to the editors

In response to "Beenie Man" I would like to make the following comment. The poll was not PANA's poll. PANA commisioned Landsdowne Market Research Company Ltd,
a well respected independent reseach company to carry out the poll. As I said earlier, PANA did nor know what the results would be, but as you would expect, we pleased with the result.
The real story is the decision by the corporate media to ignore the results of the survey, the reason being I would contend, is that they support the war, and the use of Shannon Airport in that war, and the last thing they want is that the war would become an issue in the election. So far the focus is on promises which cannot be fulfiled if the projected growth rate is not 5%, which seems unlikely to be achieved. PANA does not apologise for believing that helping to kill over 650,000 Iraqi men women and children is a more important issue than stamp duty. PANA does not apologise for believing that Ahern's decision to destoy Irish Neutrality and support an Imperialist war is more important that what he did with money a decade or so or more. That the corporate media does not agree is only a reflection of their own complicity with the war. Indymedia is virtually the only media in which the issue of the war is even debated. This fact should make even those who support the use of Shannon to reflect on the nature of the democracy in which we live.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Thu May 03, 2007 16:15author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkeyauthor phone Report this post to the editors

In response to "Beenie Man" I would like to make the following comment. The poll was not PANA's poll. PANA commisioned Landsdowne Market Research Company Ltd,
a well respected independent reseach company to carry out the poll. As I said earlier, PANA did nor know what the results would be, but as you would expect, we pleased with the result.
The real story is the decision by the corporate media to ignore the results of the survey, the reason being I would contend, is that they support the war, and the use of Shannon Airport in that war, and the last thing they want is that the war would become an issue in the election. So far the focus is on promises which cannot be fulfiled if the projected growth rate is not 5%, which seems unlikely to be achieved. PANA does not apologise for believing that helping to kill over 650,000 Iraqi men women and children is a more important issue than stamp duty. PANA does not apologise for believing that Ahern's decision to destoy Irish Neutrality and support an Imperialist war is more important that what he did with money a decade or so or more. That the corporate media does not agree is only a reflection of their own complicity with the war. Indymedia is virtually the only media in which the issue of the war is even debated. This fact should make even those who support the use of Shannon to reflect on the nature of the democracy in which we live.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 17:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well said Roger.
This morning outside the Mansion House where Bertie and his party were launching their Manifesto, a number of iawm members and about 150 nurses in struggle staged an absolutely fantastic picket. We will continue,
On May 16th, 5.00 - 6.30pm, we will have a protest vigil outside the FF HQ in Mount Street.
And more to come.

The War is an Election issue
The War is an Election issue

author by Edward Horganpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 22:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can anyone clarify what is happening about the proposed Cindy Sheehan meeting and demonstration at Shannon that was supposed to take place on 22 May?
I have heard that it has now been moved to Dunlaoghaire?
Surely this cant be possible?
Conor Cregan had put a lot of work into organising this at Shannon and Ennis. As far as I know, there are no US war-planes using Dunlaoghaire.
Is Cindy Sheenan still comming to Shannon? If so lets meet her there anyway, with or without the IAWM. Also just in case Shannon is ignored on the run-up to the election, there will be a demonstration at Shannon at 2pm on Sat 19 May.
No one needs an invitation to protest at Shannon, but please dont organise an event at Shannon and then pull the plug on it at the last minute.

Killing one innocent person in Iraq and one innocent person in Afghanistan was inherently wrong. Killing over 655,000 people is 655,000 time wrong.

Just how many people does our Government have to be comlicit in killing through the handing over of the Shannon airport to the US military to warrant bringing a few people from Dublin to protest at Shannon??
We need you all to protest at Shannon before the election. We should have people there every day, in solidarity with the Iraqi dead. Where have all the Anti-Apartheid Dunnes Stores protestors gone? where has the courage and determination of the peace movement gone when we need it most.

It is not just the politicians in most of the political parties that have lost their moral courage. Many in the peace movement appear to have lost their principles and courage also.
Shannon airport and Irish neutrality have been abused for over four years now. If we allow this election to pass without a whimper over the Shannon airport then the shame is on the peace movement, not just on Our complicit government.
We should have some people protesting at Shannon each day every day as long as the US military are causing deaths by their presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our present government believes, like Stalin, that

"one man's death is a tragedy - one milion deaths is just a statistic."

Because we have allowed it happen for four years, it will now become an established "custom and practice". The next government will continue with this gross mal-practice on the basis that the Irish people and the Irish peace movement accepted it by default.

I feel deeply ashamed not only of our government's actions, but also because the peace movement has done so relativley little about such a disgracefull set of circumstances at Shannon airport.

At least a few of us will be at Shannon airport on Saturday 19th May. Join us if you care.

author by Edward Horganpublication date Thu May 03, 2007 22:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

this link is work checking out

http://www.peacetakescourage.com/page-home.htm

Related Link: http://www.peacetakescourage.com/page-home.htm
author by belchpublication date Fri May 04, 2007 14:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ours' was written by De Valera and Archbishop Mc Quaid after they selected the best bits of Mussolini's fascist and corporative constitution for Italy.
The US sponsored constitutions written for Germany, Japan and Italy allowed for military bases in addition to NATO commitments (NATO hadn't been finalised at that point). Thus US bases in Germany are of 3 types.
Sovreign - they are US territory (such as Mannheim) others which are "guest" and that close to the Arnheim border (European military intelligence HQ) which is transnational and enjoys the same legal status as the UN building and "optional 4th" : those which are still German but enjoy the presence of their gum chewing allies. So your comment is really mal-informed crap. I suppose you've never been in a NATO base or a sovreign military installation. That's why your comments get deleted. & why this comment which refers to your comment will be deleted too. If anyone has any doubts about Shannon and its legality they can go to the PANA site. Or wait for them to tell us all about it - when they think the time is right.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sat May 05, 2007 05:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In a survey conducted by the US army, some interesting facts have emerged.

More than a third of the soldiers in Iraq that were surveyed said that torture should be allowed if it helps gather important information about insurgents.

Four out of ten reckon torture is okay if it would save the life of a fellow soldier.

Around two thirds of marines and half the army troops that were surveyed said that they would not report a team member for mistreating a civilian or for destroying civilian property unnecessarily.

Less than half the marines and soldiers believed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect.

Around 10% of the 1,767 surveyed reported that they had mistreated civilians in Iraq.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20....html

author by Pro-lifepublication date Sun May 06, 2007 11:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I abhor the slaughter of Iraqi babies by the US military.

But I also abhor the support Indymedia gave to the slaughter of an Irish baby this week.

Abortion = Terrorism

War = Terrorism

author by A10publication date Sun May 06, 2007 14:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yup we toss them on bayonets and shoot pregnant women and laugh at it as well!!Where do you people get this SHIT from??
You disgust me "pro life" now go away and burn down a few abortion clinics or shoot a few doctors and then hyprocritically claim the Bible or God gave you the right to do so.Fascist scum!

author by j waynepublication date Sun May 06, 2007 21:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I never fail to be awed by the ability of the Indymedia fringe to have opinions on everything while comprehending nothing.

Shannon airport is an election issue only for the half-dozen people who ritually waste their votes on loony-left election candidates.

Here is an analogy: About 70% of the US electorate routinely tells opinion pollsters that they would support tighter gun-controls. Regrettably, gun-control is not an issue which would sway the votes of most of that 70%. Their vote is decided by economic, social opinions, cultural identity, and local issues. Even more regrettably, for the 30% who oppose tighter gun-controls, the 'right to bear arms' IS a voting issue. That is why the recent outrage at Virginia Tech will not prompt any legislative restriction on the right of Americans to blow each other away with automatic weaponary.

In any event, the mess in Iraq is now a fact irrespective of the rights or wrongs underlying the US invasion. A precipitative pull-out now would probably presage a full-scale civil war, emmigration of the remaining middle-classes (technocrats, teachers and doctors), wholesale ethnic-cleansing with millions thrown onto the roads as refugees, and eventual involvement of Turkey and Iran.

The US broke it. It now needs to fix it as best it can before it leaves. The Democratic-controlled Congress has some (small) chance of acheving this aim. We should facilate US troops coming and going from Iraq accordingly.

There is another reason. So long as the US has its troops tied up in Iraq it is unlikely to get itself into other wars in Iran or wherever.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun May 06, 2007 21:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's all very well to criticise a set of opinions to give a foundation to one's own. Except of course when this counter-opinion is illogical.

If the US went into Iraq for reasons other than to help, and they did, what is it that would convince anyone that their intent is now benign?

We should not faclilitate this obscenity, just because the US now says that it is there to help. They've been liars up until now and I see no reason whatsoever to believe that this policy has changed. In fact I see the opposite. The citizens of America are finally waking up and coming to their senses. Today it was published that Bush is at an all time low in approval ratings (38% I believe?).

To be true to our nature and to be true friends of the US (rather than a shower of arselickers of the Bush regime), we should stop facilitating the US genocide project now.

It's interesting to note that the reference to folks who have always called for Ireland to remove itself from aiding this genocide project, labels them as 'loonies' eventhough the poster admits that they were and are right. What label best fits this perspective?

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Sun May 06, 2007 22:36author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

In response to J Wayne I would like to make the following points. The reason why PANA commissioned Lansdowne Market Research was to seek the views of the people on whether they did or did not supported the use of Shannon Airport, in order to find out, if in continuing to oppose the war and the use of Shannon Airport in that war, PANA and the other anti-war groups were only a fringe group or a "looney left" as you called them in doing so. What the survey showed was that 58% of the people did opposed the use of Shannon and only 19%
supported it. It seems therefore self evident that PANA far from being "looney left" is simply reflecting the attitude of the decisive majority of the people. In another poll just published in the US, 57% of the American people believes the US should set a date for the withdrawal from Iraq and stick to it. Thus anti-war groups in Ireland and the US are reflecting the views of the clear majority of the people of Ireland and the US.
The reason why PANA uses indymedia to seek to publicise its views is becaue the Irish corporate media deliberately excludes PANA from debating the issue because they back this Imperialist war and do not want it to be an issue in the election. For example, instead of taking Mr. Ahern to task for being complicit in an Imperialist war in which thousands of thousands of men women and childern have died they focus on whether or not Mr. Ahern was fiddling a few thousand pounds. Is this for real? Who are the real "looneys" The editors of RTE and the rest of the corporate media or PANA? Clearly more people watch RTE than use indymedia, and if RTE refused to publish the results of the LMR survey then it is vitrually impossible to make the war in Iraq and Ireland's participation in that war an election issue. We are putting up poster (see pana.ie) and using indymedia to make our case that the use of Shannon Airport in this war should be terminated. We have no doubt that the US has aleady been defeated in Iraq and it is only a matter of time before they are driven out. PANA is only a very small part of the anti-war movement in Ireland. We seek to show to the victims of Imperialism that Mr. Ahern in his decision to support this war that he is not representing the views of the majority of the people on this issue for which ew make no apology. Ed Horgan of PANA is organinsing a demonstration at Shannon Airport on the 19th of May. Those wishing to take part can contact PANA at; pana@eircom.net
Finally as long as the political/media elite seeks to integrate Ireland into the US/EU military structures in order to ensure Irelands full and active participation the resource wars of the 21st century we will oppose them. We can do no other.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by j waynepublication date Mon May 07, 2007 19:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oh dear,

Leaving aside the paranoid witterings of PANA (Who?) admitting that no one is interested in its views, two things are manifest. 1. The poll that showed most people, when asked for their opinion by pollsters, express opposition to US military stop-overs at Shannon, WAS published in the media. 2., It is only an election-issue for a very tiny minority.

I am told that more people prefer Colgate toothpast than any other brand. Toothpaste is not an election issue either.

Ditto, most of the preoccupations of the fringe left. That is WHY it is the 'fringe'.

Geddit?

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon May 07, 2007 20:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some folks just refuse to 'geddit.'

"I am told that more people prefer Colgate toothpast than any other brand."

That's hardly a reliable way to form opinions is it?

With interests like this is it easy to see why one would latch onto an important issue, even if the opinions to be offered are halfwitted.

If the stopover is a non-issue, is unimportant as you spin, and most of the population disagrees with it, what is the big deal in stopping it?

When a 'democracy' stops listening to its minorities it ceases to be a democracy.

Speaking of fringes. How many have come out in support of the stopovers?

author by realitypublication date Mon May 07, 2007 20:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

sean what you and a few others dont seem to grasp, is in fact most people dont like the idea of shannon being used by the yanks on their way to murder innocent people in iraq.
But the sad reality is that almost all humans are selfish pragmatists, and dont want to rock the boat in relation to our friendship with the USA.
If it was any almost other country using shannon in this way, there would a public outcry, and the goverment would have been forced to stop the practice.
So in my oponion, you can complain all you want, but no irish goverment will refuse the USA military the use of shannon or any other of our airports.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue May 08, 2007 02:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well reality, I appreciate and respect your candour.

I myself cannot think of a single party that I would trust to do something about Shannon on its own initiative. I support this initiave from PANA and others out of an act of solidarity and because the pressure must be at least kept at a constant. Not to mention, that the truth is a powerful weapon and it must always be held to the fore. No party who supports facilitating the American genocide initiative will debate the issue. The more often this fact is held under their noses, the more cowardly they become, until they are seen as the weak, unrepresentative offal that they are. It is surprising that no party in opposition has pushed this issue to its full potential. I guess intelligence is not an absolute necessity in the rush to rule. Pity.

With regard to supporting our friends in the US: I couldn't agree more. I do not see the act of supporting or facilitating the Bush regime's need to perpetrate atrocities as an act that constitutes supporting our friends in the US. I think this way of looking at the support issue is being grasped by more and more people and that it should be an issue on the table for discussion between the various parties. As more Americans wake up to how corrupt their government has been and is, the truthfulness of this fact will become more apparent. As I've often said, friendship should never be used as an excuse to lie or to violate the reason for that friendship and trust.

The war is an election issue regardless as to the value politicians place on or remove from this issue. It is a contentious subject that just about everyone has an opinion on, the fact that it remains unresolved is down to the lack of representaion and accountability our leaders and would-be leaders practice. This is why I feel no hypocrissy in supporting this initiative (for me it's not about trusting the politicians). It is an issue that will not go away until it is dealt with and accountability realised.

Regardless as to whether our voices reach and influence powerful ears or not, is neither a reason to remain silent nor is it a reason to give up hope.

Nobody's said that it'd be easy or that it wouldn't be frustrating, but it must be done.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Tue May 08, 2007 11:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Agree with you Sean. Our attempt to raise the debate about the use of Shannon not only re:stopovers, what the other fella above called 'Gas and Go', but also the very sinister rendition flights is precisely because we believe that the main political parties will not touch the issue in any real and practical sense.....
This is not to say that there are no honest Labour Party, Sinn Fein, Green Party and Fianna Fail members who are with us on this issue - I am consciously leaving out Fine Gael because they're the only party that have openly and publicly come out in support of the use of Shannon. Some of those supporting us are in the leadership of those parties. However, Shannon, and Ireland's foreign policy, are matters where Fianna Fail enjoys multi-party support....because if you ask yourself what are the differences say between FF and the LP on foreign policy (excluding Michael D Higgis whose views are in a minority) the answer is not clear.....are there any differences? And if there are why are they not talking about them?
You see, foreign policy issues do not open themselves to auction politics.....tax, hospital beds, guards in the streets....there, numbers can be thrown about like confetti, pretending they are part of a debate. Carbon emissions have also entered the auction game....the Greens say 40%, others say no that's too much - we should go for 35%!!
How can you use Shannon in this respect? Over 1,000,000 (yes one million American soldiers) have passed through Shannon since 2003. What should we say ? Reduce that number to 600,000? 75,000? It's meaningless.
Foreign policy issues, the use of Shannon by the Empire, is one of those 'dark secrets' of Irish society, like suicide rates of young men, like illiteracy, like huge instances of breast cancer and autism (the highest in the EU), like violence against women and the huge numbers travelling abroad to avail of pregnancy terminations...these are realities that we all know about, we all feel guilty about, but have been rendered powerless by the political system in place to do anything about. These are not, cannot be, media driven issues.....this is the cancerous growth in the underbelly of the tiger. And that growth doesn't go down well with discussions about buying property in Bulgaria or Thailand, or SUVs or ''The Outlet is You' and 'Shopping is Fun'.
To even mention that growth labels you as part of the 'fringe'....but the fringe is alive. It's active. It's growing. It most certainly has a vision of a better society. And is becoming more and more a pain in the ass for the power cabal.

author by roger cole - pana@eircom.netpublication date Tue May 08, 2007 13:58author email pana at eircom dot netauthor address 17 Castle Street, Dalkeyauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Since J Wayne places a ? after PANA he can go to our web site, www.pana if he wants to know more about the alliance.
The LMR survey showed that the vast majority of the Irish people do not support the use of Shannon Airport by the US in its continuing occupation of Iraq. The corporate media gave virtually no coverage to the results and no coverage to the issue because it supports the war as not a single national newspaper calls for the termination of the use of Shannon Airport in this Imperialist war. Although to be fair they seem to be giving no coverage to any issue other than what Ahern did with his (or his friends/acquaintances) money.
The decision of the Irish political/media elite to destroy the policy of Irish neutrality and become complicit in a war to gain control of oil and to consolidate US/Israeli military domination of the Middle East not only is an issue in the election, but will be an issue for many years to come until the US/EU Imperialists are finally defeated. That is the reality, the only reality.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by frank leepublication date Tue May 08, 2007 17:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't think so. By election issue I mean an issue that will influence how large numbers of people actually vote. If it was an election issue, surely we could expect the main parties and candidates to bang on incessantly about it. But the silence is virtually deafening. Compared to the health service, the economy, stampduty(!), environmental issues and so on. I mean, don't you think that some of the more, ah, opportunistic candidates in, oh let's say, Fianna Fail, for instance, might jump on an "US out of Shannon" bandwagon if they thought there was the remotest possibility it would harvest them a few number ones. (In fact, I'd go so far as to say such a stance would be a kiss of death for a FF candidate in the mid-West)

While I would accept totally that the Irish people are generally opposed to the war in Iraq, I can only come to the conclusion that their opposition only comes to the surface when specifically asked about it and is not deeply held enough to motivate their choice of party and candidate in an election. Of course I could be proved wrong but I doubt it.

author by Roger Cole - Peace & Neutrality Alliancepublication date Wed May 09, 2007 08:23author address 17 Castle Street, Dalkey. Co. Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

I do not know what planet Frank is on but since FF is the dominant party in Government that has destroyed Irish neutrality and supported the Bush/Blair Imperislist war on Iraq by allowing over 1 million US troops pass through Shannon Airport they are harly going to change their mind. In fact the whole rationale of FF by destroying Irish Neutrality and integrating the Irish Army into the EU Battle Groups is to integrate Ireland into the US/EU military structures to ensure Ireland's full and active participation in the resource wars of th e 21st century. For FF the only point of the Irish peace process is to ensure that Irish catholics and protestants stop killing each other, unite together and go and help kill Muslims. The point of the LMR sruvey was to show that FF/FG/PD/Corporate media do not have the support of the clear majority of the Irish people in doing so.
Frank however is also right in saying that PANA has to date not been successful in making the war an issue in the election. It does not however mean that we are wrong in seeking to do so. It is only a reflection of the fact that the political/media elite that supports the war are much stonger.

Related Link: http://www.pana.ie
author by Big Timepublication date Wed May 09, 2007 08:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"How would stopping these flights benefit Ireland?" Someone asked.

Because continued use of Shannon Airport by the Imperialist Slaughterers of the USA might make a bunch of Islamo-nazi terrorists issue a Fatwa against Ireland......and make all the inhabitants of the Emerade Isle piss their pants all at once, and create rivers of piss running down the streets.

You can't have that happen. Many an Irish drunk (75% of the population)will think it's Harp lager and start lapping it up, and the whole bloody lot of them will have to spend 4 weeks in the hospital.

author by frank lee - Planel Earthpublication date Wed May 09, 2007 21:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Roger,

No need to "have a go" because I point out a few home truths. I totally agree that FF policy on neutrality is as you say - you are spot on in that regard. But, that wouldn't stop individual FF candidates breaking ranks if they thought there was electoral advantage in it - there's plenty of examples of FF chaps doing just that on other issues if you care to look. I therefore deduce that the vast majority of candidates (in nearly all parties) have concluded that there is no electoral advantage to be gained from the Shannon issue. Even those parties which are nominally anti-war are pretty quiet about it and their candidates are concentrating on other issues. Ergo, in practice, Shannon is NOT an election issue.

The reason for this, I would suggest, is fairly obvious. The majority of Irish people are indeed opposed to the use of Shannon but in a rather lukewarm way. If asked they will have no difficulty declaring themselves to be anti-war, anti-Bush, pro-UN and generally anti-imperial and anti-colonial. But opposed enough to spend their vote on it - you gotta be joking - it's not exercising their minds to that extent.

author by Mpublication date Thu May 10, 2007 23:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A Collection of Election Resources to Download and Distribute
(or make your own of course!)

PANA's anti-war election pledge leaflet
http://www.pana.ie/download/election07leaflet.pdf

PANA’s anti-war election poster
http://www.pana.ie/download/election07poster.pdf

The IAWM anti-war election leaflet
http://www.irishantiwar.org/images/mid_section_content/...5.pdf

The IAWM pledge document - a 166 page Word document with a letter for every election candidate ready addressed
http://irishantiwar.org/SignPledge.doc

TDs_ShannonVote.pdf - The names and contact details of all the current TDs who voted to allow the use of Shannon airport by the US military as part of the invasion of Iraq.

Citizens_Manifesto1.pdf – A manifesto for election candidates by William Wall (see www.williamwall.eu)

CitizensManifesto2.pdf – Another Citizen’s Manifesto that includes issues like Tara, the Corrib gas pipeline, Palestine…

PDF Document citizens_manifesto_1_1.pdf 0.06 Mb PDF Document citizensmanifesto2.pdf 0.01 Mb PDF Document tds_shannonvote.pdf 0.03 Mb

Number of comments per page
  
 
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy