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Israel, Shannon and the Lebanon.

category international | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Wednesday July 26, 2006 18:02author by Conor Cregan Report this post to the editors

Refugees, Shannon and Smart Bombs.

As the Lebanon burns by blitzkrieg the lucky ones escape through the west of Ireland and those of us reading through lines wait for “Laser Guided Munitions” or “Smart Bombs” to travel through Shannon International Airport.

On 3rd February 2003 the group known as the Pit-stop Ploughshare gained access into an old hanger, on the edge of Shannon Airport, and lawfully decommissioned a US Navy C140 Boeing cargo plane.Before entering the old SRS maintenance hanger one of them took time to spray “Pit-Stop of Death” on the massive roller door and still this statement rings true with Shannon Airport facilitating in a third war.

Today they have been found not guilty after three years and three trials but by the time this piece gets published this will be old news.

As the Lebanon burns by blitzkrieg the lucky ones escape through the west of Ireland and those of us reading through lines wait for “Laser Guided Munitions” or “Smart Bombs” to travel through Shannon International Airport.

The month of July saw the departure of World Airways from the war port but with war there is always opportunities so the base line will be buffered for another little while as Uncle Sam transports beleaguered citizens to a safe zone thousand of miles away from the action. Many of these refugees are travelling through Shannon. Although these flights have been roaring in and out of Shannon Airport for days the mainstream press didn't pick this up until several children were brought to Mid West Regional Hospital in Limerick for treatment. Freelance journalist Pat Flynn reports in the Irish Times that on Tuesday “A number of the passengers were treated by doctors …….. before 11 mothers and children were taken by three ambulances to [Limerick].

On Saturday an ambulance was called to take the remains of a man who was suspected of having a cardiac arrest. A spokesman for An Gardai Siochana stated that when this scheduled charter flight from the Lebanon landed late last Saturday evening all was well with the man in question. To date thousands of Lebanese and US citizens have been transported to Shannon.

Also in the mainstream press this weekend America’s New Yorker newspaper reported on Saturday that Israel has called for the US to accelerate its order of 100 GBU-28 “bunker busting bombs”. These so called “smart bombs” will no doubt come through Shannon Airport like the Cruise missiles used by American lead NATO to bomb the Chinese embassy and civilian television station and other targets during the Kosovo War. The missiles came through Shannon while this was raged killing thousands One can only image the how these Lebanese children might feel if they knew they were sharing an airport with the very weapons that will be used to murder their friends and destroy there homes.

Shannon Airport has exposed to have been facilitating the worlds arms traders for decades. Recently leaked papers have shown the US to be transporting Apache Helicopters to Israel and M16 assault rifles to Bulgaria. These shipments were flown by ex-Soviet built airplanes. One such shipment went through Shannon on an Antonov 124 during the last stopover made by George W. Bush last March. The Russian logistics company, Volga Dnepr, has a permanent maintenance depot at Shannon so these massive cargo planes are regular visitors to Ireland. During the Horgan High Court case a motion of discovery was made by Judge Kearns and hundreds of documents were released by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs. Many of these documents have used in the defence of peace activists. These documents confirm that the US and Israeli militaries have used Shannon Airport to missiles, including patriots, back and forth to both countries. Ironically these weapons of mass destruction are being transported by civilian cargo companies such as Evergreen Airlines and Polar Air.

Recently the Bertie Ahern government has hosted the Israeli Air force when two mid air refueling tankers touched down on the Airport’s runway. These converted Boeing 737s landed twice at Shannon over three week period suggesting serious munitions of war using Ireland’s airspace. One such plane landed made emergency landing at Shannon Airport last march. The US embassy made categorical assurances that this C17 Globemaster was ferrying a cargo of Helium (HE) an inert gas used for buoyancy of weather balloons. The pilot most have seemed to be over cautious after informing Air Traffic Control that he would ditch in the sea if the plane overshot the runway. Could this plane be carrying nuclear or othe WMD's? Irish Emergency Services are not allowed to board US military planes at Shannon Airport so the cargo manifest could never be confirmed. On one occassion memers of Shannon Fire Serive were met with armed US Airmen who refused entry to a similar aircraft in 2002.

Shannon Airport seems to have been put on a higher security footing now that the Bush regime has brought the Unites States of America into another proxy war. This weekend in a period just barely over 24 hours Shannon’s Airport Police and Emergency Services (APES) detained and arrested the noted anti-war campaigner and Indymedia contributor, Conor Cregan, on two occasions. He was twice handed over to An Gardai Siochana and brought to Shannon Gardai Station where he was released without charge. Mr. Cregan made a complaint of assault and wrongful arrest. A file is to be sent to the DPP. Later on Saturday evening Cregan’s confiscated bicycle was returned by An Gardai Siochana. This petty act is just one in a long list making up a campaign of harassment perpetrated by these APES since the so-called plane spotters started monitoring Ireland’s second international airport.

author by redjadepublication date Wed Jul 26, 2006 23:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Shannon’s Airport Police and Emergency Services (APES)'

OK, i remember Shannon’s Banshees...
But, please tell me this is a joke, right?

great article - keep it up.

author by Interestedpublication date Thu Jul 27, 2006 08:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why Conor do you use the term " blitzkrieg" in describing the Israeli attacks?
Is it really necessary? Are you determined to connect these attacks with the nazi push through Europe in 1940 and the subjugation of France, The Benelux, Poland, Greece, Norway etc.? Perhaps your loathing of war goes hand in hand with a contempt for Israel. Perhaps some day we will see the de-commisioning of airplanes in Damascus and Tehran as they supply terrorist groups in the middle east. I won't hold my breath however.

author by Bad Goypublication date Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The British Foreign Secretary has condemned the use by the US of Prestwick Airport for refuelling and crew rest for two chartered Airbus A310 cargo planes filled with GBU28 laser-guided bombs.

author by Joshuapublication date Thu Jul 27, 2006 15:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

GBU28 laser-guided bombs can penetrate heavily reinforced underground concrete bunkers.
Hezbollah positions need to be taken out.

author by Conorpublication date Thu Jul 27, 2006 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yo Interested!

I used the word blitzkrieg because it a word that discribes the lightening strikes that Israel is using to invade the Lebanon.

Blitzkrieg is like other germanic words that have made it into everyday use in the english languge. Beleaguered is another.

You are probably right. We may "see the de-commisioning of airplanes in Damascus and Tehran" but by then it may be another world war.

If the story was about vacum cleaners and I used the word hoover would you comment that I had contempt for other brands of this labour saving home appliance? I doubt it. And before anyone else makes the that other dumb arguement I am too young to have protested against World War II.

However Don't let me stop you from holding your breath.

For the record my interest in this story is pionting out that wespons of mass destruction have and wiill again come through Shannon Airport. It may seems a little bit biased but thats because Iran and Syria are not shipping troops and munitions through Irelands second Internation civilian airport.

Don't ye get it?

Mind you if we were talking about Palastine then I may make the connections you refer to. For now I will reserve that right.

But hey I am sure you could argue that the Nazis didn't invent collective punishment.

Thanks for your comment.

author by bahpublication date Thu Jul 27, 2006 16:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But hey I am sure you could argue that the Nazis didn't invent collective punishment.

I can, They did not, it was the Brits honour to be the first

So do you only protest at american and Israeli planes landing at shannon with weapons, why not protest about all the other countries shipping weapons through shannon? Seems odd to me in fact it just seems wrong, or is there a difference because america uses them for war whereas other countries use them to put down their own people?


author by Dave BBpublication date Thu Jul 27, 2006 22:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Blitzkrieg is hardly "just another Germanic word." It is specifically applied to the tactics used in German invasions of countries like Poland, Denmark, Benelux, France etc in 1939/40. The literal translation is lightning war, and it denotes deep penetration by fast-moving armour backed up by close air support, usually to create an encircling or pincer movement or to cut supply and communications lines. This was a fairly new concept in 1939 and contrasted with the previous conventional tactic involving heavy artillery supporting slow moving infantry.

If Israel was using Blitzkrieg tactics in Lebanon, this would have involved a huge tank invasion deep into Lebanon and an encircling of opposing forces. As this is clearly not what happened, its not a blitzkrieg. So calling it that is merely using an inappropriate Nazi related reference which doesn't really help your case. Naughty......

(I am merely making a pedantic point in the interest of accuracy - this is not in any way whatsoever a defence or mitigation of Israel's actions - they are beyond justification but Nazis they ain't)

author by anonpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 21:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mr Ahern also rejected suggestions that the US military may be using Shannon Airport to transport missiles to the Israelis.

Earlier this week, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett launched an unprecedented attack on the US for transporting massive "bunker-busting" bombs destined for Israel through Prestwick Airport in Glasgow without following the proper procedures.

However, Mr Ahern said he trusted US assurances that no such transports were taking place through Shannon.

So Becket clearly says that specific permission was not sought for the weapons transfer through Prestwick yet Ahern see no need to check Shannon. Interesting that these sort of questions are being asked now but considering the devastion being met out, these words pale in comparison.

author by anonpublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 07:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors
Troops and military equipment have continued to be transported to Israel from the United States through Irish airports in recent months. The government granted landing permission for a flight carrying troops and munitions to Israel on May 11, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transport confirmed.

However, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it would not grant permission for the transport of military cargos ‘‘in the context of current conflict in the Middle East’’.

author by anonpublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 09:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't quite believe this headline 'Irish refused bombs sent to Prestwick airport'
I agree imho that Prestwick must be first choice for these kind of shipments across the atlantic.

Prestwick vying for Shannon's cannon fodder flights.
In another controversial development, Scotland on Sunday has learned that Prestwick is negotiating to allow planeloads of US military personnel on their way to Iraq to stop there.Sources at Prestwick say that if the airport took on even more US military flights, it could employ a further 80 people in the area.

A well-placed source close to the negotiations said it was bidding to take flights away from Shannon, which is currently used as a stopover for the bulk of the 900 American soldiers who travel from the US to the Middle East every day.

One Irish official said that the bombs would never have been allowed on Irish soil. The source said: "There is absolutely no way that we would allow munitions or weapons to be shipped through Shannon to a location where there is an actual war going on.

Which is a ridiclous obsfucation if we look at the SPB point
However, enforcement of the laws has sometimes been patchy in the past. US aircraft carrying military hardware travelled through Shannon without proper permission during the build-up before the invasion of Iraq in 2002 and 2003.
The US authorities subsequently applied for permission, which was granted.
However, because the existing government policy required that such flights were not part of any military exercise or operation, ministers insisted that the massive buildup in the Gulf was not part of any particular military operation. Since UN resolutions on Iraq, this pretence is no longer observed.

So here we get re-confirmation of the type of weapons brought through Shannon and disgusting example of effort and verbal shenigans used to delude the Irish public.

Procedure Prodcedure
Mrs Beckett is worried about health and safety, that an accident might mean the bunkers that get busted are at Royal Troon rather than Bint Jbeil. The morality in passing weapons to an Israel intent on collective punishment is by the by.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed earlier that two commercial cargo carriers would jet in to the Ayrshire airport from Texas over the weekend, both en route to Tel Aviv. Carrying
28 GBU28 laser-guided missiles bound from the US to Israel.,,-5981947,00....html

Prostest at Prestwick Sunday. 30th July at 12.30
Hundreds of demonstrators are expected to gather outside Prestwick Airport to protest against the refuelling of US flights bound for Israel. -

The question I want to know after the local Superintendent's admission that he would happily allow Iranian miltary planes to refuel at Shannon is what other countries military planes are going through. Where can one get that info.

author by Eoin Dubskypublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's an excellent article, and the responses above are very interesting too. A question for those who were at the ploughshares trial when the verdict was out: What does it mean for other activists who want to do the same at Shannon?

author by von clausewitzpublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps not, but the IDFis not beyond taking a leaf out of the Wehrmacht's book as reported by Amir Oren in his article "At the gates of Yassergrad" which appeared in Ha'aretz in January 2002:

"In order to prepare properly for the next campaign, one of the Israeli officers in the territories said not long ago, it's justified and in fact essential to learn from every possible source. If the mission will be to seize a densely populated refugee camp, or take over the casbah in Nablus, and if the commander's obligation is to try to execute the mission without casualties on either side, then he must first analyze and internalize the lessons of earlier battles - even, however shocking it may sound, even how the German army fought in the Warsaw ghetto.

The officer indeed succeeded in shocking others, not least because he is not alone in taking this approach. Many of his comrades agree that in order to save Israelis now, it is right to make use of knowledge that originated in that terrible war, whose victims were their kin."

author by anonpublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Reports are that some of the flights were reroute to Suffolk RAF Mildenhall military base

A spokesman for Prestwick said the airport had provided support for military flights - including refuelling aircraft and providing food and water - since World War I.

"They added: "It is normal practice to use Irish airspace to travel from Prestwick. On this occasion permission was denied. I am not able to say why."

But a source added: "It wasn't a safety concern, it was a moral one.""

?This is the sunday mail so it tends to exaggerrate and make shit up?

Protests at Prestwick
About 150 people took part in the demonstration

author by Conorpublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Standing at the Volga Dnpr depot at Shannon Airport is a Antonov 124 cargo plane similar to the one that transported Apache helicopters to Israel with out permission the Ahern regime in Dublin.

A formal complaint has been made to An Gardai Siochana requesting that this plane is searched.

author by anonpublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 17:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors
going through Ireland without permissions either. Volga-Dnepr Maintenance Base Shannon Ireland Ltd. VD military to civil outsize/heavy life 2003 5:2 VD's annual report 2004.

author by anonpublication date Mon Aug 07, 2006 21:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

His take on the Irish governments position on US/Israeli bombs through Ireland (10 mins in) interesting discussion

Damien suggest that, although 'cynical and hypocritical', the apparently banning of further munitions transfers is motivated by the lack of UN mandate for the Israeli actions( although that never stopped the transfer during the Iraq war), and the irony and uncomfortablness of soldiers who once served in Lebanon now having to protect US-Israeli weapons transfers.

Foreign Office conveniantly forgets years between weapons build-up and UN mandate, claims Dail approved?

RFE speaks to Glasgow STWC spokesperson who doubts flights have stopped.

'Human rights lawyer' Aamer Anwar to take legal challenge to scottish courts,,-5989241,00....html which some suggest is apparently being directed by the Lebanese government

Fligths swapped to RAF Middenhall Suffolk

Prestwick Weapons Inspectors

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