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Nearly 67,000 U.S. Troops Passed Through Shannon Jan-March 08

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Tuesday April 15, 2008 12:05author by Ciaron - Ploughshares/Catholic Worker Report this post to the editors

7 million euro spent on stopping anti-war movement incursions over the last 2 years!

Nearly 67,000 U.S. Troops Passed Through Shannon in January March

The numbers of U.S. troops going through Shannon airport in the first quarter of this year increased by almost 150% on the corresponding period last year.

Irish Times April 11th. 2008

Nearly 67,000 U.S. Troops Passed Through Shannon in January March

The numbers of U.S. troops going through Shannon airport in the first quarter of this year increased by almost 150% on the corresponding period last year.

Figures released by Shannon Airport Authority yesterday show that 66,667 U.S.S troops on 495 flights passed the airport between January and March - an increase of 144% on the 27,070 troops that used the airport's facilities for the same period last year.

The figures show that 21,019 troop went through in March; 18,830 in February and 26,828 in January. If current troop levels are maintained for the remainder of 2008, Shannon Airport looks on course to exceed last year's total of 262,816 troops.

Troop levels going through Shannon dropped through first half of last year, however, this trend was reversed after U.S. troop carrier Omni Air significantly increased the number of aircraft going through Shannon to 100 a month.

Another of the carriers that moves troops through Shannon, American Transair (ATA) was declared bankruptcy last week and ceased operations immediately. its demise is expected to have minimal effect on the numbers of U.S. troops going through Shannon.

A spokesman for the Shannon Airport Authority said yesterday: "The authority regrets thee difficulties ATA finds itself in as th airport had a long relationship with ATA that dates back to the 1980's through charter flights and transit flights."

It is understood the percentage of U.S. troops which Transair moved through Shannon was low and any money that might be owed to the authority as a result of its bankruptcy is also low.

Last year, the number of U.S. troops using Shannon as a stop-off passed the one million mark since the war started on Iraq.

The authority does not release the profits made from the U.S. troop traffic, but it is estimated it made 7 million euro last year through the troop business. This follows
an estimated profit of 16.4 million euro from the troop traffic in 2006 and 2005.

Last December, Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan confirmed that that 7 million euro had been spent on preventing incursions to Shannon Airport from anti-war activists over the past two years. He said 4.69 million euro was spent on policing arrangements at Shannon last year.

Related Link: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0411/1207....html
author by Ciaron - Ploughshares/Catholic Workerpublication date Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is interesting announcement by the government on the cusp of an escalation of the U.S. war effort and the setting up for an attack on Iran

"Last week's congressional testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and Green Zone administrator Ryan Crocker set the propaganda stage for a Bush regime attack on Iran. On April 10 Robert H. Reid of AP News reported: "The top US commander has shifted the focus from al-Qaida to Iranian-backed 'special groups' as the main threat . . . The shift was articulated by Gen. Petraeus who told Congress that 'unchecked, the special groups pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq.'".........


The Irish government announces that it has spent over 7 million euro "on preventing incursions to Shannon airport from anti-war activists oover the past two years. He said 4.69 million was spent on policing arrangements at Shannon last year."

This seems a little excessive given the last demonstration at the airport involving over 100 people (2-300) was the Anti War Ireland/Catholic Worker/Iraq Veterans Against the War effort on Halloween 2006, some 17 months ago. The only one at Shannon in 2006 involving such numbers. There wasn't any such effort in 2007 and none planned for 2008. This, of course, does not factor in the constant plane spotting ongoing since 2002 and smaller efforts including a monthly vigil now occuring.

The history of incursions into airside Shannon are also of increasingly distant memory....
-Christmas 2001 Dubsky & others jump the fence
-mid-2002 Dubsky spraypaints windscreen of U.S. military plane
-Oct 2002 a group pull the fence and sit in airside.
-Jan 2003 Mary Kelly's disarmament action
-Feb 2003 Pitstop Ploughshares
-Easter 2003 Catholic Worker potato planting on runway
-Haloween 2004 Catholic Worker Banshees reading the names of the dead on runway.

So this 7 million was spent after the last of these airside actions. Go figure?
It may indicate how severely humiliated the government was by the two disarmament actions happening in rapid succession at the time. That no way they can let it happen again to the point of getting jumpy

It may indicate although a lot of people have lost their lives in this war that Ireland contniues to be complicit in - some have made a lot of money.

Related Link: http://www.peaceontrial.com
author by auntiewarpublication date Tue Apr 15, 2008 13:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that we all get an expensive colour booklet about the governments plans in the event of a crisis, which includes nuclear. Why did getting that out to everyone become more important than funding some extra hospital beds all of a sudden? What type of crisis are they expecting in the near future?? drifting radiation clouds? US proxy airport bomb attacks? steeply rising oil prices?

author by numbercruncherpublication date Tue Apr 15, 2008 15:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

38 planes land carrying about 5,200 troops, 28 planes land carrying weapons/munitions, and the odd CIA plane might also land.

author by KBpublication date Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They are parasites, and they care not for Iraqi society nor US society. They care about the high society that they and their buddies inhabit.
The rest of the world can get more violent, more traumatised, murdered, orphaned or crippled so long as the money keeps flowing up the chain.
They don't care much about dealing with the vets suffering from PTSD after a tour or two in Iraq, and they certainly don't care that millions of Iraqis must also be suffering from PTSD after 5 years of horrible war and occupation.

author by redjadepublication date Wed Apr 16, 2008 23:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

''James Raymond lost the hearing in his left ear while fighting in Afghanistan. The former U.S. Army specialist later suffered a knee injury that required him to be flown back home for surgery.

In September 2004, he was given an honorable discharge and the Department of Veterans Affairs determined that he was 10 percent disabled, enabling him to receive $120 a month for the rest of his life.

So it was much to his surprise Thursday when Raymond — now a University at Buffalo student — got a call from his stepfather that he was being deployed again — to Iraq.''

more at

James Raymond: recycled cannon fodder going through Shannon these days
James Raymond: recycled cannon fodder going through Shannon these days

author by Ciaron - Ploughshares/Catholic Workerpublication date Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Talking to a longtime anti-war activist/organiser in Chicago yesterday he remarked ...

- for the first time the majority of those at anti-war mobilisations are young (the numbers aren't huge, but there's definitely a demographic shilft it's - not just older folks at these things any more).
-none of the Presidential candidates have a clue how to get out of Iraq
-the developments in Iraq over the last week are reminiscent of the Tet Offensive in terms of exposing the impotency of U.S. military strategy and resolve of clients....

Following up on the sacking of 1300 Iraqi soldiers whorefused to fight in Basra last week, some handing over weapons and humvees t the militaias. Is this incident this past Tuesday.....

A company of Iraqi soldiers abandoned their positions on Tuesday night in Sadr City, defying American soldiers who implored them to hold the line against Shiite militias.

The retreat left a crucial stretch of road on the front lines undefended for hours and led to a tense series of exchanges between American soldiers and about 50 Iraqi troops who were fleeing.



Related Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/world/middleeast/16sadr.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
author by redjadepublication date Thu Apr 17, 2008 20:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Study: Nearly 1 in 5 vets reports mental problems
''Roughly one in five U.S. troops is suffering from major depression or post-traumatic stress from serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an equal number have suffered brain injuries, a new study estimates.

Only about half of them have sought treatment, says the study released Thursday by the Rand Corp.

A recently completed survey showed 18.5% — or 300,000 people — said they have symptoms of depression or PTSD, the researchers said. Nineteen% — or 320,000 — suffered head injuries ranging from mild concussions to penetrating head wounds.''

more at

author by Updatepublication date Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

LINK-After Spending $6.5 Billion U.S. Still Without a Plan in Northern Pakistan

LINK-Company of Iraqi soldiers abandon their position after attack

author by redjadepublication date Sat Apr 19, 2008 17:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Juan Cole writes:
''The US will free about half of its 23,000 Iraqi prisoners, 2/3s of whom are Sunni Arabs. (By the way, this statistic proves that the US has been fighting ordinary Iraqis in Iraq, not "al-Qaeda." It typically has less than 150 foreign fighters in custody.) This prisoner release was a demand of the Iraqi Accord Front, the Sunni Arab political coalition that withdrew from the al-Maliki government last summer. There are now reports that the IAF will rejoin the al-Maliki government, with six cabinet posts given to its members.

Does this mean that the US has been holding some 12,000 Iraqis who actually aren't dangerous?''

more at

Related Link: http://lmv.hu/redjade
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