Upcoming Events

National | Anti-War / Imperialism

no events match your query!

New Events

National

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link How Lockdown Changed Us Thu Feb 25, 2021 18:47 | Freddie Sayers

offsite link The US Air Force Just Admitted the F-35 ... Thu Feb 25, 2021 16:40 | David Axe

offsite link Children in the Philippines Have Not Bee... Thu Feb 25, 2021 15:27 | The Economist

offsite link Dr. Fauci Reminds Everyone We Will Only ... Thu Feb 25, 2021 13:39 | The Babylon Bee

offsite link Is This Russia’s New Coastal Base for ... Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:05 | Thomas Nilsen

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Two Truths And A Lie: U.S. Patriot Missiles Leave Saudi Arabia For Syria? Thu Feb 25, 2021 17:41 | amarynth
South Front The United States has deployed a Patriot defense battery to Syria?s northeast, at least according to the fairy tales told by Kurdish media. This deployment reportedly took place

offsite link The strategic importance of Ma?rib: Saudi-backed Hadi?s ?last stronghold? Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:26 | amarynth
Middle East Observer Video link: https://www.youtube.c... Description:  TV report on the strategic importance of Ma?rib province for the fate of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, particularly following reports that Sana?a-led forces

offsite link Ukraine SITREP (as seen from Hungary) Wed Feb 24, 2021 22:57 | The Saker
Intro by the Saker: following my article on the situation in the Ukraine, I got the following email from a reader from Budapest: “You mention about how the Ukrainian government

offsite link The Ukraine?s many ticking time bombs Wed Feb 24, 2021 00:52 | The Saker
[this analysis was written for the Unz Review] While the Ukraine has mostly been out of the news, there were bigger stories out there, things have gone disastrously wrong under

offsite link Russia Showcases Operations Of Its Combat Drones In Syria. Time To Push Idlib? Tue Feb 23, 2021 17:35 | amarynth
South Front Russia released a video showing its Orion combat drone carrying out strikes on targets in Syria. This marked the very first time such footage was being released. It

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

offsite link Turkish President Calls On Greece To Comply With Human Rights on Syrian Refugee Issues Wed Mar 04, 2020 17:58 | Human Rights

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

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

Spirit of Contradiction >>

ShannonWatch: Disappointment with Programme for Government

category national | anti-war / imperialism | press release author Monday June 22, 2020 18:46author by icsh - ShannonWatch Report this post to the editors

The Programme for Government produced by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party promises a lot that is encouraging, but on the issue of US military use of Shannon Airport - which the majority of Irish people oppose - it is disappointing. The change of government provided an opportunity to end Irish complicity in the ongoing cycles of war and occupation that have been responsible for the loss of millions of lives this century. The military industrial complex is also the single biggest polluter on the planet (see recent study from Brown University’s Costs of War project). The US. Department of Defense has a larger annual carbon footprint than most countries on earth, and with its global network of bases and logistics networks the US military is the single biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world outside of nation-states themselves. [1]

And yet, even though the parties trying to form a government talk about strong climate action, the need to address carbon emissions, and far-reaching policy changes to do that across every sector, there is no commitment to stop supporting the US military in their Programme for Government.

The document states that the next government will

  • Continue to ensure that all requests for overflights or landing by military or state aircraft are guided by Ireland’s policy of military neutrality
  • Ensure that aircraft requesting permission to avail of facilities at Shannon and other Irish airports adhere to strict conditions and that all military or state aircraft are unarmed, and carry no arms, ammunition, or explosives. Any exemptions should be dealt with in an open and transparent way. The State retains its right to undertake spot checks on commercial/civil flights, should it be deemed necessary

There are two major problems with these very weak commitments. The first is that the restrictions only apply to military or state aircraft. This means that 'civilian' arecraft like those operated by Omni Air International that are contracted to the US military and carry armed US troops are excluded for the commitment.

The second problem is that the prohibition on military aircraft being unarmed, and carrying no arms, ammunition or explosives is already stated government policy but regularly breached.

Furthermore, the statement that any exemptions "should be dealt with in an open and transparent way" is something we should not need to see in a programme for government. It's how state operations should work. Sadly it has not been the case so far in relation to exemptions to take arms through Shannon.

This Programme for Government gives us little confidence that things will change.

On the broder issue of Ireland's neutrality the Programme for Government doesn't fill us with any degree of hope either. It says the outcome of a review by a Commission on the Defence Forces "will remain grounded in a policy of active military neutrality and participative multilateralism through the UN and EU". This is confusing, since active neutrality is very different to military neutrality. The former embodies a commitment to the legal definition of neutrality as described by The Hague Convention V, as well as a clear set of values and foreign policy goals that are distinctly different to the concept of military neutrality that successive Irish governments have sought to embrace [2]. This concept has been redefined to such an extent that we have now joined military alliances like the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) which is the part of the EU's security and defence policy in which 25 of the 27 national armed forces pursue structural integration.

As Roger Cole of PANA said in their press release, the Programme for Government is aspirational with confusing and contradictory positions on Irish foreign policy designed to allow a range of interpretations. As far as PANA is concerned it means increased participation in PESCO, the EU Battle Groups and all those other EU institutions that are the foundation bricks for the creation of a European Superstate with its own army.

We agree with PANA, and are not hopeful that we will see an end to the US military use of Shannon or the restoration of Irish neutrality any time soon.

References:

1. Reference: 'War on the World: Industrialized Militaries Are a Bigger Part of the Climate Emergency Than You Know' The Intercept. Sept 15, 2019. Available at https://theintercept.com/2019/09/15/climate-change-us-military-war/.

2. Devine, K. (2009). Irish neutrality and the Lisbon Treaty. Paper presented at “Neutrality: Irish Experience, European Experience” Conference organised by the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College, Dublin and Dublin Monthly Meeting [Quakers] Peace Committee 8-9 May 2009. Available at: http://doras.dcu.ie/14898/1/Irish_Neutrality_and_the_Lisbon_Treaty.pdf.

Related Link: http://shannonwatch.org/?q=content/disappointment-programme-government
© 2001-2021 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