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OPPORTUNITY MISSED - Pentagon Documents reveal U.S. military were willing to abandon Ireland as a...

category national | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Monday August 15, 2011 12:14author by Ciaron - Pitstop Ploughshares (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

...........Pitstop in the wake of Ploughshares '03 action at Shannon Airport!

RTE TV News August 12th. 2011 (1 min 52 secs)

http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0812/shannon.html#video

RTE AUDIO Agust 12th. 2011(2mins 37 secs) http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0812/shannon.html#audio

More documents RTE http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0812/shannon.html

Ahern suspected US carried prisoners through Shannon: WikiLeaks

http://www.thejournal.ie/ahern-suspected-us-carried-pri...0-12/

 

Recently released Pentagon documents indicate that with a little less sychohancy by the Irish government and a little more nonviolent militancy by the Irish anti-war movement, Ireland could have preserved it's neutral status in '03.  Instead, we have had 2 million troop movements through Shannon Airport and ten years of Irish complicity in U.S. wars. Irish complicity in the deaths of 1 million Iraqis - mostly women and children (Lancet Report).  Most U.S. troops who invaded Iraq passed through the small civilian Shannon Airport located on the west coast of "neutral Ireland". 

On January 29th. 2003, Mary Kelly of the Shannon Peace Camp damaged a U.S. Navy war plane parked on the runway at Shannnon Airport.  On January 31st. a government minister Seamus Brennan stated twice on the popular "Late Late Show"  that the airport was now secure, there would be no repititon of such an action. Armed Special Branch had been deployed to the airport in response to Mary Kelly's action.  On Sunday Feb 2nd the U.S. Navy war plane had been repaired and was located in a hangar at Shannon.  In the early hours of Feb 3rd. a group of Catholic Workers known as the "Pitstop Ploughshares", broke into the hangar disabled the repaired US. Navy war plane.

 The Ploughshares activists remained in Limerick Prison (two were initially denied bail as security risks, the other three remained in solidarity) throughout Feb 03.  The five were slandered by mainstream media pushing the lies of violence against a Garda and and that the Irish taxpayer would be footing the $U.S. 2.5 million repair bill.  The Ploughshares were largely marginalised by the leadership of the anti-war movement.  On Feb 15th. 100,000 people marched in Dublin against the war.

It is obvious from these documents that the U.S. military, following the disarmament actions of Mary Kelly and the Ploughshares, were rapidly losing confidence in the Irish state's abilty to secure the airport from nonvilolent anti-war direct action.

If the large mid-February march in Dublin had been followed by a nonviolent occupation of the Shannon runway, it could well have been game over for the U.S. military at Shannon Airport.  What militated against this was the extremes that the sychophantic Irish government was willing to go in militarising the civilian airport to support the U.S war effort along with the moderate and authoritiarian Irish left militating against further nonviolent direct action. The Irish government deployed the Irish Army to Shannon in response to the Pitstop Plougshaares action.

A proposal by libertarian groups to take mass NVDA at Shannon Airport on March 1st. was promoted in the wake of the success of the Feb 15th. march  This proposal was attacked with vigour by moderate and aithoritarian left groups  A press conference was callled by such groups (two of which, Labour Party and Greens, were to join future Irish coalition governments that would continue the U.S. military use of Shannon) against further nonviolent direct action at the airport.  Whether it was a case of state infiltration of movement leadership, a lack of courage or imagination, a prioritisation of using the anti-war movement as platform to build political careers (some of the key figures ending up elected to the Dail) over engaging in anti-war resistance - confusion was sewn and the NVDA on March 1st. was sabotaged.

The tactics of March 1st. weren't great. If participants had spread out and a small group had occupied the runway causing closure, redirection of aircraft etc it may have been enough for the American military to pull up stumps and relocate to their permanent bases in England. 

The dynamics of this month in '03 - from Mary Kelly's disaramament action to the defeat of NVDA that caused so much concern for the U.S. military and Irish government would be a subject worthy of study.  Such a study would benefit from  the documents recently released by WikiLeaks and other sources.  An initial reading of such documents reveals that the Irish government couldn't believe its luck in what it got away with at Shannon Airport. It also reveals the Irish left's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  This would be worthy of reflection before embarking on similar campaigns.  Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.

The Pitstop Ploughshares were aquitted at a 3rd. Dubln Four Courts trial in July 06. Mary Kelly's convictions were overturned by the Irish High Court in 2011.  Today, eight years later, the wars grind on, escalate and expand with little support or visible opposition in Ireland or eslewhere in the West that is waging them.

author by Limerick Leaderpublication date Tue Aug 16, 2011 07:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By Anne Sheridan Published on Monday 15 August 2011 14:00

THE CONTINUED use of Shannon Airport by the US military en route to war zones has at the request of the Irish Government, new documents have revealed.

The US military would have been willing to withdraw from Shannon following a series of attacks on aircraft there - but the Irish Government did not want them to do so, the documents, obtained by RTE, state.

Documents obtained from the Pentagon through a Freedom of Information request outlined the thoughts of a senior official from US Transportation Command, which oversees the transfer of officers between military bases.

“If the Irish had said, ‘Quit coming to Shannon,’ then we would have found somewhere else to go,” General John W Handy is cited as saying.

It further states that the Irish Government was afraid that if they withdrew from Shannon following the attacks, it would send out a signal that the protesters had won and the Irish State did not want that.

The discussions about a withdrawal appear to have occurred in the aftermath of a protest by the ‘Pitstop Ploughshares’, a group who caused extensive damage a plane there in February 2003, before the invasion of Iraq was launched.

article continued.....

http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/business/government_w...65463

author by Rational Ecologist.publication date Tue Aug 16, 2011 09:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two million troops going through Shannon was a business opportunity that was not going to be missed. 30 pieces of silver the price of our neutrality. Goes to show that there are elements in Irish business and political life that have no regard for our history or human rights.


IDA probably thought if we said "no" to US  troops that it would negatively affect Foreign Direct Investment from the US. Personally, I don't think the pharma drug pushers would give a damn.


We are in very serious trouble vis a vis our political, legal, business......classes. Too many school ties and paedo rings to be protected. And this is just another manifestation. Good business opp and fuck it if there are dead Iraqis.

 
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