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Irish Police refuse to search US Warplanes at Shannon

category international | crime and justice | news report author Sunday November 14, 2010 23:19author by Edward Horgan - Shannonwatch Report this post to the editors

War criminals allowed pass through Shannon?

Garda Sergeant in Charge at Shannon airport asked Edward Horgan to produce evidence that the US Hercules warplane at Shannon was carrying dangerous munitions or war-criminals. When Edward Horgan attempted to go towards the airport to get such evidence he was prevented from doing so by Gardai.

About 1000 US troops and an unknown quantity of munitiions passed through Shannon today

In Afghanistan, some people died because of the US-led war of occupation assisted by some Irish Army soldiers

Protest At Shannon Terminator Building
Protest At Shannon Terminator Building

November Vigil at Shannon Airport
The monthly peace vigil at Shannon airport began a little early this remembrance Sunday 14 November 2010. Some early-dove peace activists observed an OMNI Air planeload of US troops at the airport and one Hercules C 130 warplane. With some time to spare we drove up to the airport, and were waved through the combined Garda/Airport Police not-so-high-security checkpoint. We took some photos of the warplanes, and since we had the vigil banners in the car, we decided to do an impromptu vigil at the terminal building, including walking through the arrivals and departures areas with our US TROOPS OUT OF SHANNON banner. The response from Gardai and Airport security was rather subdued. We retired to the Park Inn hotel for a cup of coffee, and had the comfort of a Garda escort throughout.
We had a total of eleven peace activists at our vigil at the roundabout, from Galway, Dublin, Clare and Limerick, and as usual we were outnumbered by Gardai. Towards the end of the vigil, we approached the Garda security barriers, hastily erected after we had earlier came back out from the airport. I asked Garda Sergeant Noel McMahon, the Garda in charge, to search the US military Hercules aircraft that was present at the airport, in case it was carrying unauthorised munitions such as depleted uranium, or US soldiers who were guilty of war crimes. He informed me that he could not do so unless I produced evidence to justify such a search. He said that if I produced such evidence he would consider the matter. I informed him that it was the job of the Gardai to investigate potential crimes and collect evidence and again asked him to search the US warplane to collect such evidence. He said the Gardai would not do so. I then informed him that I would then go and get some evidence, and attempted to walk towards the airport but was prevented from doing so by Gardai. I told Sgt McMahon that he was contradicting himself, by asking me first to get evidence and then preventing me from getting it. I informed him that I would try and get such evidence in the future. I also reminded him that on 24 June 2004, when I had requested the Gardai at Shannon to arrest war criminal George W Bush when he visited Shannon airport, they had refused to do so, and this individual had subsequently admitted that he authorised the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere. Garda Sergeant McMahon refused to comment further and asked me to make a written request to have the aircraft searched if I wished to do so, and this would be passed up to his superiors. I subsequently went to Shannon Garda station at about 15.30 pm, and made a verbal request to Garda Clear to have the Hercules aircraft searched. She then discussed the matter with her superior the Station Sergeant and returned to say that my request to have the aircraft searched had been refused.
At least four OMNI Air plane loads of US troops have passed through Shannon in the past 24 yours. Their registration numbers were N603AX, N378AX, N720AX, N270AX. That’s probably over 1000 US troops in one day.
Over the past 48 hours three Hercules C 130 warplanes have also been at Shannon, registration numbers 72-1289, 16-5161, 82-0056. That probably represents a very substantial amount of military cargo and possibly US special forces. We don’t know who these soldiers were or what military cargo or munitions were on those warplanes.
Does anyone care any more? It is clear that the Gardai at Shannon do not care now, and have not cared much for the past nine years.

Related Link: http://www.shannonwatch.org

Hercules Warplane Shannon 14 Nov 2010
Hercules Warplane Shannon 14 Nov 2010

US Troop Carrier Shannon 14 Nov 2010
US Troop Carrier Shannon 14 Nov 2010

Peace Vigil shannon 14 Nov 2010
Peace Vigil shannon 14 Nov 2010

At the Shannon barricades 14 Nov 2010
At the Shannon barricades 14 Nov 2010

author by Shannonwatcherpublication date Sun Nov 14, 2010 23:51Report this post to the editors

The Hercules C 130 US warplane at Shannon today had an armed guard provide by the Irish Defence Forces, thereby making them, and the Irish people complicit in any warcrimes that the US military who pass through Shannon airport may commit. It also makes the Irish Defence Forces complicit in the breach of international laws on neutrality that arise from US military use of Shanonn airport.

author by Jimmy joepublication date Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:33Report this post to the editors

In the anti-war movement the Greens argued for lobbying of election candidates to get them to pledge to end the US military stop over at Shannon. All their TDs made the pledge. The Green party is in power the slaughter continues. There is no parliamentary road to justice.

author by joe mcivorpublication date Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:38Report this post to the editors

The "Irish people" are not complicit in the crimes of the Irish government over the use by NATO of Shannon or Aldergrove airports anymore than the Irish people are complicit in giving away billions to the banks . That is the sort of "they're all the same" rationale that the war criminals using Shannon employ to justify the murder of non-combatants in the countries they are bombing . It's also the rationale employed by groups like Al Qaeda when they blow up commuters on their way to work . The unelected militarists compliment each other with their attitude to the undifferentiated "people" of the enemy countries who they think they are entitled to blow up if it suits their military strategies.

That Irish people as "willing executioner" type rationale actually reinforces the notion that Ireland is for all its faults a democracy whose people have a choice about the use of Shannon by the US military . It helps make the case for those who say that the Irish people have expressed their will through the ballot box and have made their feelings about bombing Afghanistan and Iraq clear through the democratic process . It is really the same argument put forward by the government. .

Surely we need to be advancing the exact opposite arguments . The continued use of Shannon , despite the overwhelming opposition of the majority of people in Ireland to war ,is an expression of the lack of genuine democracy in this country .

author by Mike Novackpublication date Mon Nov 15, 2010 14:11Report this post to the editors

"The continued use of Shannon , despite the overwhelming opposition of the majority of people in Ireland to war ,is an expression of the lack of genuine democracy in this country ."

Not true unless you have a rather peculiar notion as to how "democracy" works.

The (wrong) assumption you have made is that it is always possible to isolate any one issue and make a decision on THAT issue outside the context of all other issues on the table. Doesn't usually work that way. Most of the time issues are decided in a context of bargaining over all the issues on the table.

You need to ask some questions here. WHY is your government reluctant to close Irish airspace to US planes? Please, I am NOT saying that you folks shouldn't do just that but you are perhaps not considering the likely aftermath (that the US might in response close US airspace to Irish planes). Rightly or wrongly, that's how countries react. So how would a decision on THIS issue (closing Irish airspace to US planes for however good reason you have) affect other issues on your plate.

author by A Meagherpublication date Mon Nov 15, 2010 15:27Report this post to the editors

I see the planes overhead every day heading for Shannon and it drives me crazy.
Thanks for being there Ed and colleauges. I feel such a lazy langer for not being actively involved. Fair dues for continuing to catalogue and directly challenge these multiple-abuses (of human rights, sovereignty, democratic process). This does matter.
If the US troops were on a real UN-approved mission with mass public opinion backing them it might be something. But we're supporting a neo-colonial force of occupation that serves nobody but the oilmen and their corporations. Shame on the Gardai and the Government and indeed all of us.
Ed and co - I applaud you.

black_shamrock.jpeg

author by joe mcivorpublication date Mon Nov 15, 2010 22:36Report this post to the editors


"The (wrong) assumption you have made is that it is always possible to isolate any one issue and make a decision on THAT issue outside the context of all other issues on the table." MN

I made no such assumptions , and I generally agree with what you say about the repercussions of any Irish government decision to close Shannon to US troops. I’m not sure that the US government’s exact response would be to close off US airspace to Irish flights, but there would undoubtedly be a robust response from the US. You are right to put the word “democracy” in inverted commas , Mr. Novak ;it’s refreshing to see such honesty . I often wish that the left in Ireland would be so frank amongst themselves.

So many on the naive Irish left got it wrong when they explained that the Celtic Tiger boom years happened because of the country’s young , English- speaking , relatively well- educated , dynamic and democratically- inclined population . The Celtic Tiger would in fact never have been allowed to roar if the elected Irish government had said to Mike Novack's " democratically" elected government that the will of the Irish people was sovereign and that the US couldn’t use Shannon to re-fuel its rotten warplanes , or US war criminals wouldn’t be allowed to use Shannon for purposes of rest and recreation .

The Irish government put the following “on the table” so as to get the inflated money to build all the future ghost estates and buy the cocaine to shove up the noses of the Irish bourgeoisie.
1 The Shannon stop-over
2 peace in the north as delivered by the nutting squad
3. Billions of Euros worth of gas.

The point I was making is that the Irish people did not want troops to pass through Shannon on their way to fight a war of aggression, but their will has been ignored by the government. Democracy is supposed to be the rule of the people, but the vast majority of the people do not have any say about how things are really run in Ireland. The people do not rule in Ireland - they are ruled.
But isn’’t it the same in America? Don’t forget that Obama was elected largely because of his anti-war credentials .

author by Mike Novackpublication date Mon Nov 15, 2010 23:21Report this post to the editors

You mistake what I am saying about "democracy". I am not saying "not working" but more like a misunderstanding how it can work (and how it can't).

Let's take a very simple example with the issues all related (they don't have to be). ROADS. We propose to vote about building roads. Suppose the issues to be put before the voters were:

a) question 1: Should we tax ourselves to build a road in county W.
b) question 2: Should we tax ourselves to build a road in county X.
c) question 3: Should we tax outselves to build a road in county Y.
d) question 4: Should we tax ourselves to build a road in county Z.

Might I humbly suggest that if these four questions were put before the voters (the voters of ALL counties) then all of them would fail to win a majority. The voters of counties X, Y, and Z don't give a damn about roads in county W and the same thing happens on the other three questions. So all four referenda fail.

THAT is the reality when issues are isolated in a democracy and those who control how issues are combined, those involved with each issue who decide whether they will or will not cooperate/horese trade with people who want other things, these are who decide what gets done. It's precisely the ability to isolate an issue or not that can determine if it succeeds or fails.

Now we can revisit that example for the usual additional complications. Some people want roads, some railroads, some airports, some things that have nothing to do with transportation or might be opposed (for no transportation reasons) to a transportation issue -- like not wanting Tara ripped up to shorten a road. I am saying that WHEN WORKING PROPERLY democracy is a complex social negotiation over all the differenty things that all the different people want.

So back where we started --- what are ALL of the reasons why closing the airport at Shannon to US planes might not be a good idea to consider in isolation (what other issues involved -- for eexample, somebody suggested that without this traffic Shannon would have to close). Then you might understand why the politicians are resisting and you might have to face the reality that were you in power you'd be in the same boat.

author by the Truth always adds uppublication date Tue Nov 16, 2010 00:50Report this post to the editors

This Irish Government's endorsement and assistance to American Troops and weapons passing through Shannon is disgraceful and wrong. Over a Million people died in the Iraq Afghanistan War which no weapons of mass destruction were ever found, only Oil. But a million innocent people died, 250,000 of which were children, murdered in their beads as American bombers flew over their cities dropping bombs, many of the bombs and troops passed through Shannon and the World and Ireland stood buy silent. So well done to PENA for you stand for the innocent.

Remember there is always a price for innocent blood.

So lets have a look at what else this Government have really been doing, along with the lying stealing selling out the people including our sovereignty the rest of which is about to be sold to the IMF next year. Take a look at two of these links and see what else this Irish Government and its media machines are hiding from You, as less that 2% of the Irish Media covered this story here are two links to truth you Irish people are not told about.

Irish involved in illegal arms deals with the Seychelles government link:- http://www.lenouveauseychellesweekly.com/index.php?opti...id=50

Irish Soldiers buying weapons on the black-market for Seychelles Link:- http://spirit-of-truth.org/?p=13

author by joe mcivorpublication date Tue Nov 16, 2010 00:58Report this post to the editors

"WHEN WORKING PROPERLY democracy is a complex social negotiation over all the differenty things that all the different people want."

I would agree on that Mike, but , without some degree of economic and social equality, you can't talk about real democracy surely . And also , your schema may have applied once or may even still apply within some limited , abstract x, y and z democracy located somewhere within some "typical" counties within America , but that is not " the real world " .

I live in Ireland and am an Irish citiizen entitled to vote in Irish elections. But someone like Rupert Murdoch who as far as I know has never lived in Ireland- a man who has never been democratically elected anywhere and who probably couldn't care less about this country and isn't eligible to vote here - has more of a say in the running of this country than I do because of his wealth and his access to and ownership of the media.

The elected Angela Merkel or the non-elected head of the bundesbank has far more influence on life and death decisions that affect Irish people than the combined votes of millions of Irish men and women.Likewise the head of the IMF.Where's the democracy in that? Bill Gates -who ever elected him ?

A delegation from the EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commission led by Commisioner Olli Rehn visited Ireland last week : that was in the same week that the gardai in Dublin viscously batoned students protesting at education cuts . According to the press, the EU delegation was here to “give backing” to the government’s proposal to cut the budget by €6 billion next year . In fact they were here giving orders , not backing, to the Irish government .These budget cuts are being dictated to the democratically elected representatives of the Irish people by the unelected commissioners from the EU . Were the two events - the batoning of protesters by the gardai and the EU commissioners' visit – merely coincidental ?

The American election system produces the type of real-politik government that Mike seems to think is the only possible government in the real world .That real-politik government then takes the decision to bomb Afghanistan back to the dark ages .But why should Afghanis respect such a decision taken "democratically" by a government that represents interests that are inimical to the well-being of Afghanis ?

If Americans like Abraham Lincoln , who came from a farming background I believe , had stuck to horse trading there might have been a different outcome to the American civil war . Democracy is not the same thing as horse-trading.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue Nov 16, 2010 15:10Report this post to the editors

..seem to think that because the mercenary war-traffic keeps Shannon commercially afloat the traffic should be maintained.

Seems to me to be the same justification a mugger's assistant might offer the judge.

' But, yer honour, if he hadnt robbed yer man sure we wouldna had the price of the next drink/fix/line. The fact he died from the beating was just his sheer bad luck for being in the wrong place as we passsed through thirsty/strung out/on the way to the gig'.

But then Mars is the deity of the Market/Mart as well as the Martial art of mass-murder a.k.a. war.

Do ye also think CRH's contribution to the Irish elite's economy(its obviously not the population's economy)makes the apartheid wall in Israel excusable?

Same logic.

author by Mike Novackpublication date Tue Nov 16, 2010 21:34Report this post to the editors

Stop it! (being silly)

I wouldn't presume to tell you what to do in that sense. If you imagine that I was presenting arguments for or against keeping Shanon open to US air traffic then you weren't reading closely.

I was talking about what making democratic decisions means. Somebody made the claim that "a majority of people want X (some issue considered in isolation) and because we aren't getting X that means defective democracy. I was saying not so, but I wasn't expressing any opinion about whether I thought X was good or bad (I don't claim ANY right to decide over X; that's YOUR decision to make).

Now another issue was raised about democracy, equality of say. Look folks, there are TWO very different ways in which inequality affects democracy. One is a defect and the other isn't. Greater social power in general (*) often means greater say and that is indeed a defect. But there is another sort of inequality that affects the ability of organizations to make "democratic" decisions and that's inequality of voluntary contribution. If a subset of the population is in a position where they either can contribute the necessary resources and effort or withhold these, resources and effort necessary to carry out the decision, then that subset has a natural veto IN PRACTICE. This is not a defect of democracy per se. The decision can be democratic but if made in disregard of the reality that decision can't be implemented without the active cooperation of the minority then that decision is moot.

* You might say "the rich have more social power because they are rich". I'd say "those with great social power are rich because the society values riches and those with greater social power in a society get to take a greater share of WHATEVER that society values" -- an anarchist/anthropological way of thinking. Even those of us anarchists who aren't of that persuasion should look at HOW the "individualist anarchists" analyze basic questions. For example, not "why does that rich person own all that" but "why do all the rest of us BELIEVE that they do". In other words of the two people who both try to walk into corporate headquarters and sit behind that big desk in the fancy office why is the "real CEO" allowed to do so and the "derganged street person" kicked out and or hospitalised for metal treatment. In other words, why are WE "insane" to tolerate (in fact support) the inequlaities of our society.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Nov 17, 2010 15:41Report this post to the editors

all that lovely democratic theory doesn't seem to have provision for the kids down below the bomb-sights to vote on whether they want depleted Uranium with their coco-pops.

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Wed Nov 17, 2010 17:47Report this post to the editors

Thank you Ed and friends

You have put the constant of Irish Government immorality in perspective.

In these days of economic gloom we recall the outrage of Ireland's participation in the US/UK war against Iraq, in the destruction of Iraq (still ongoing), in the rendition and torture of prisoners - all the handiwork of the villain George W Bush.

This Government recalled the Dáil to rush through legislation to allow Bush get his way and use our civilian Shannon airport to support and facilitate his hateful war.

Now they continue to participate in Obama's war against Afghanistan.

The wise men told us we needed to participate with these outrages in order to save jobs and the economy ! ! !

At the same time, the Irish Government handed over the ownership of the gas fields off Mayo and all its wealth to a multinational company, beat up and jailed those who protested, gave Government protection to the illegal acts of Shell.

Just to show that they cared just as little for culture as for the welfare of the people, they destroyed Tara.

Is it any wonder their luck ran out, but not their arrogance.

Thanks again my friends. I am sorry that I could not be with you.

author by USA #1publication date Wed Dec 15, 2010 20:12Report this post to the editors

The US troops will not be getting out Shannon anytime soon. You may as well get used to the idea. It has been years now and we are still there. Get a life. 11 protestors? Seems your fellow countrymen don't feel the same way. If it weren't for the Americans coming through, the Shannon airport would close down, thus leaving several dozen airport workers jobless.

author by Earl Turnerpublication date Wed Dec 15, 2010 21:41Report this post to the editors

Leipzig in the formers workers republic of East Germany will no doubt take all these nasty war mongering US troops and planes off your hands,and make plenty more money in the process than Shannon could ever do.So Ireland can sit back smugly and claim it is neutral,while it sinks neutral and green into a financial cesspit,and the mid west can go to fuck,so long as DAA can fuck over Shannon,after all those culchies dont need an international airport!!!Bet it would be a different story if the Americans were landing in Dublin airport??

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu Dec 16, 2010 13:11Report this post to the editors

for confirming the mercenary motive for assisting the 'democratisation' of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and wherever we're off to next.

So if someone pays me to burn your house down, torture rape and kill your families, and confiscate your property you will understand its nothing personal.

Just keeping the economy going. Speaking of which, wasn't it the same buncha cowboys sank us in that 'cesspit' that set these latest imperial wars in train? And didn't the consequences of their martial squanderlust have a part to play in the economic implosion? Try a little joined up thinking.

I have a life, thanks. And dont see why, just because kids happen get born in oil-rich regions, have dark skin and different religious beliefs, they should have to become the collateral damage of yellow-leg paleface fascists with the toy-box of sociopathic scientist delivered to gleeful imbeciles who forgot to grow up.

Except in so far that every time I hear or read one of their apologists they seem to have grown further up themselves.

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