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47% increase in US troops moving through Shannon.

category clare | anti-war / imperialism | news report author Thursday April 15, 2004 20:07author by G D Report this post to the editors

swiped from an article by Gordon Deegan

as two more combat divisions are requested for Iraq and 25,000 troops in Iraq are told to stay an extra 90 days, Shannon airports tills are ringing with blood money from Bush's war machine. Of course, there is no mention of the Iraqi dead and wounded, and any dead Americans fly home from Ramstein to Dover.
Shannon only handles the live troops.
Dead men don't buy duty free, I guess.

Figures just released show that 35,926 troops came through Shannon airport in the first three months of 2004.
16,797 of these came through on 161 flights in March alone.
This is a big increase on February, and represents about half the total (46.75%) for the 3 month period.

Last year there were 125,855 troops through Shannon, averaging 10,487 per month.

March has seen US Navy and Air Force jets at Shannon as well as a lot of troop flights.

The troops through Shannon represent about 5% of the passenger numbers. But the other 95% share in the dangers of terrorist attack or accident.

FF's response?
"Ah, sure 'tis nothing, and them soldier boys are keeping us all in jobs by buying duty free and eating our bread rolls."

author by Bobpublication date Thu Apr 15, 2004 20:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

where?
Radisson SAS hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick City

at what?

A Conference organised by Shannon Development
DYNAMIC REGIONS -Building European Competitiveness

When?
Harney is one of the Keynote speakers who will blurt out shite sometime during the conference which runs from 8:30 am to 4.30pm 27th April (Tuesday)



Other speakers....

Commissioner Erkki Liikanen
Member of the European Commission responsible for enterprise and Information Society

Prof Stephane Garelli
Intl Institute for Management Development, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Mr. Barry Moore
Director PACEC Economic Consultants, Cambridge UK.

Mr. Jim OHARA (not sure if its meant to be O'Hara or Ohara - could be Irish or Japanese)
Vice President TMG for Intel, General Manager Intel Ireland

Mr. Louis Turpen
Prez and chief exec Greater Toronto Airport Authority, Canada.

Mr. Kevin Thompstone
Chief Exec, Shannon Development.


anyone feel like welcoming Mary?

author by Timpublication date Thu Apr 15, 2004 20:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In today's Clare Champion and some other papers.

"However, Clare Fianna Fail deputy, Tony Killeen described the US troop movements as 'routine business' for Shannon.
"It is a phoney issue in the way that it is portrayed because troops, either US or Russian have been going through the airport for the past 40 years. It is routine business for Shannon airport and I think the focus on the issue by members of the anti-war lobby has been more anti-American than anti-war." he said.
"The business is welcome, but the issue of troops going through doesn't merit the attention it receives."
Deputy Killeen added that the use of Shannon by the US military was of no particular vaule to the war effort. "The troops could have gone elsewhere" he said.
However, he was convinced that the business from the troops was critical in terms of securing jobs in the airport's catering operations.".

author by Timpublication date Thu Apr 15, 2004 20:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In this week's Clare Champion, Clare Fianna Fail TD Tony Killeen used bogus arguments to try to play down Shannon's role in the war waged on Iraq and the illegal occupation of that country.

Replying to the news that troop numbers through Shannon were up 47% in March, deputy Killeen described this as "routine business" and a 'phoney issue'. Obviously, not fond of scrutiny of this issue he describes the 'focus on this issue' as being "more anti-american than anti-war"
Mr. Killeen is hiding behind Fianna Fail rhetoric and trying to ignore the realities of this horrible situation.
While Shannon has been used in peace-time to move troops from germany to the US, it is certainly not an honourable tradition to ferry young men and women off to horrible illegal wars through Shannon. Last year, no less a person than a High Court judge ruled that the government was indeed breaking the law by letting Shannon be used for war. Mr. Killeen ignores this.
At the present time there are over 125,000 US troops stationed in Iraq, with more on their way.
Last year, 125,855 troops passed through Shannon and yet this is "of no particular value to the war effort" ?
It is no "phoney issue" when Ireland helps to kill tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, when we take money from young scared soldiers with little thought for their safety.

As for the label "anti-American", let me remind Mr. Killeen that we object to seeing young American men and women being sent off to be killed, injured or psycholigically damaged in Iraq.
We care more about American lives than about American money.
Mr. Killeen should be careful when he uses insults instead of argument.
It is this government that has insulted Americans, by suggesting that Americans are so shallow that if we didn't help their 'president' to kill Iraqis, that they would all cease doing business with us.
I, for one, never considered the average American to be so mercenary (Politicians and their ilk, notwithstanding)
We believe in free speech and the right to criticise a government gone wrong, and the concept that the people, not a bunch of cronies should decide the future of a country - be it Iraq, the US or Ireland.

What was once hidden in Shannon is obvious now. Hundreds of men and women, countless loads of weapons and explosives have come through on their way to war. While some may choose to see only a business opportunity, the rest of us see young men and women on the way to the horror of war.
We don't see it in Shannon, but people have been seeing a sanitised version of this on the news while our government pretends that there is no link. In Fallujah alone 700 Iraqis have been killed in one week and over 1,000 injured. 70 US personnel have been killed, mostly young Marines.
It's worth noting that the average age of Marines killed this week in Iraq was just 18. The dead troops are flown home to Dover Air Force Base via Ramstein AFB in Germany, bypassing Shannon. The dead, of course, do not buy duty free.

Finally, Mr. Killeen resorts to the old reliable FF line -jobs. He remains convinced that the business from the troops is critical in terms of securing jobs.

Is Mr. Killeen really happy that we take blood money for feeding these young men, in the knowledge that some of them will be killed in Iraq, that some of them may kill Iraqi civilians?
What about the threats to Shannon caused by the military?
The risk of terrorist attack is not taken seriously by this government because of political boot-licking.
Despite its unsuitability for military operations, Shannon is exposed to attack just so the Taoiseach can cozy up to George. W Bush.
Passengers on Aer Lingus and Ryanair are parked next to military flights at the terminal with little to protect us from attack.
And what about the risk from accidents involving the military flights? already we have seen emergencies involving military cargo flights through Shannon.
the emergency services are not capable of dealing with a major accident, and the latest safety review deliberately ignored military use of the airport.

If Shannon airport becomes dependent on crumbs from the military, it will be because FF have shown no strategy for the airport other than to offer it up to the military.
Shannon is an excellent airport with world class facilities and great potential for development, particularly as a cargo hub. Last year 2,400,000 passengers used the airport. Only 5% of these were troops. The other 95% were on holiday and business flights, but they face increased dangers because of the military presence.
Is deputy Killeen or his party happy to risk the airport and the lives of the passengers and workers for 30 pieces of silver and
I challenge deputy Killeen to quit hiding behind the party line and properly debate the issue of Shannon's military use. Expelling political hot-air while people are maimed and killed is not good enough.


Regards,

Tim Hourigan

author by MAMA - MAMApublication date Thu Apr 15, 2004 21:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

MAMA Press Release:
Dated 15th April 2004

Midwest Alliance against Military Aggression (MAMA) condemns the tactics used by the coalition forces in Iraq, in response to increased resistance to the occupation.
After a year, the coalition is still ruling Iraq by force rather than by consent of the Iraqi people. Iraq is no longer safe for Iraqis or anyone else.
In the face of widespread opposition to the occupation the US-led forces have resorted to the use of devastating and indiscriminate military force in population centres like Fallujah, Kut, Najaf, and Nassiriyah.
Over the past week, 700 Iraqis have been killed and over 1,000 injured in Fallujah alone.
This indiscriminate violence, in retaliation for the killing of 4 US civilians is a form of collective punishment of the entire population.
This is wholesale attack on a city, terrorising the people and causing half of them to flee for their lives.
Despite the sanitised version presented by the Coalition spin doctors, most of the victims are innocent civilians ranging from young children to grandparents.
The past few days has seen has seen US helicopter gunships strafing the city streets, deliberate targeting of ambulances by snipers, and reports of cluster bombs being used in residential areas.
MAMA is appalled to hear these attacks on towns and people in Iraq described by Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez as “Engagements throughout the battlespace”.
Other resistance, in the form of peaceful protests have been largely unreported and commonly suppressed by Coalition Authorities, keen to present an image of popularity in occupied Iraq.
The Iraqi people want an end to the occupation and the opportunity to govern themselves, rather than be ruled by a puppet government appointed by the US.
In order to keep control of Iraq, the Pentagon is sending two more combat divisions to Iraq, to support the 125,000 US troops already there.
“Most of the marines killed in fighting in the past week have been aged 18-20, and George W Bush is prepared to send more young men and women to kill and die for his oil company friends,” said MAMA spokesperson, Mary Hughes. “Many of them will come through Shannon airport, as 17,000 did in March. US Navy and Air Force warplanes have been spotted in Shannon in the past few weeks. American and Iraqi families will lose more loved ones and the man giving the orders will get a red carpet reception in Shannon in June, “
MAMA calls for an end to the occupation, free elections in Iraq, the end of US military use of Shannon and the withdrawal of the invitation for George W Bush’s visit to Ireland.

-ENDS-
Contact:
Joe Sheehan 086-8228032

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Workerpublication date Thu Apr 15, 2004 21:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Earlier this year the Pentagon had announced the largest troop rotation in it's history. radio reports tonight announce that all troops told that they would be rotated out have been ordered to stay put for at least another 3 months!

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
author by Historianpublication date Thu Apr 15, 2004 21:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sooner or later the "one-way traffic" will be heading in the other direction. Its called a rout (rather than a route)

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