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Shannonwatch calls for the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty

category national | anti-war / imperialism | feature author Thursday July 30, 2009 21:04author by Shannonwatch Report this post to the editors

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The abject disregard of the Irish political elite for Ireland's neutrality has been demonstrated by the routine transit of US military planes and troops through Shannon Airport for most of this decade. With the re-run of the Lisbon Treaty referendum we are now being asked to accept EU promises that it will not affect or prejudice Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality. But the ongoing support of the Irish government for US-led NATO exercises around the world clearly shows that we cannot trust our leaders to uphold Irish neutrality, with or without the non-binding decisions that have been tagged onto the Treaty in an attempt to have it accepted by the people of Ireland.

Up until 2003, Irish governments upheld the 1907 Hague Convention on Neutrality which states that "belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral Power". But then the Fianna Fáil-led government agreed to support the build-up of US troops in Kuwait to invade Iraq by providing Shannon as a transit base. Since then we have seen daily plane loads of foreign soldiers passing through Irish territory to fight on behalf of an imperial power. Our proud tradition of peacekeeping has been replaced by disregard for widespread human suffering and support for wars leading to regional destabilisation.

The Lisbon Treaty will continue to erode our national values by forcing us to support military actions outside Europe, either on behalf of NATO or a NATO independent force.

The Treaty states that "the Member States shall support the Union's external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity and shall comply with the Union's action in this area". The "decisions" that are intended to water down this obligation are not legally binding, and it is unlikely that a future Irish government will refuse to comply with demands to support a more aggressive EU foreign policy.

The promotion of international security, democracy and human rights should be key elements of Ireland's foreign policy. However, as a result of our relationship with NATO over the past decade they have been severely undermined. We have played a part in the death of one million Iraqi people and in the displacement of millions more by facilitating troop movements through Shannon. We have been part of illegally operated torture networks in a so-called "war on terror". We have contributed directly to ISAF, the NATO-led force in Afghanistan. And we may even have helped with the supply of deadly weapons used on the defenceless and innocent people of Gaza.

Our Government was unable to resist US pressure to participate in the Iraq war. It was also unable to resist European pressure to participate in the EU Chad mission which in effect is supporting a French client military dictatorship. It is hardly likely therefore that a future Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael led government will resist pressure to support further EU military exercises.

With the Lisbon Treaty, the range and scope of the military tasks which the EU wishes to undertake are growing. It introduces twelve new areas within the Common and Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) where majority voting is to be introduced, including a plan to allow "permanent structured cooperation" within the EU framework. This would permit the creation of an inner core of EU members interested in taking forward military integration in order to perform what are described as "the most demanding missions". The notion of a common defense force has already been proposed, with France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland likely to spend up to two per cent of GDP annually on defence (at present only Britain and France do this). This elite group would create a European defence market, carry out joint anti-terrorist initiatives, and participate in costly missile defence programmes.

The world does not need another well armed international force seeking to secure regional and economic interests militarily. But Lisbon will give the green light to this, using finances that should be spent on the health, education and welfare of European citizens or on dealing effectively with poverty and oppression around the world. None of the guarantees offered to Ireland will take from the militarisation strategy of Europe's elite. The Lisbon Treaty should therefore be rejected by the people of Ireland.

For further information, visit http://www.shannonwatch.org or email shannonwatch [at] gmail [dot] com.

Shannonwatch is a group of human rights and anti-war activists based in the mid-West of Ireland.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Tue Jul 28, 2009 18:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It surprises me how our belovéd media have accepted without comment the fact that the US presence in Shannon is permanent, and that this state of being has been foisted upon us by stealth. It is the very permanence of the military outpost there - it is little else, as the US attempts to tame the 'red Indians' of the world - that is disconcerting. Who in what is laughingly called our government authorised that a foreign power might establish such a residence? Surely it is constitutionally illegal?

author by Tompublication date Tue Jul 28, 2009 20:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I believe that our "ruling elites" desperately want the Lisbon Treaty because they know perfectly well that it will greatly strengthen and boost their already grossly over-privileged positions -- and that it will do so by the sneaky and deceitful underhand means they seem to be so very fond of.

At the same time though, it seems to me that the people of the Republic of Ireland need the Lisbon Treaty like they need a hole in the head.

author by A Freemanpublication date Thu Jul 30, 2009 22:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The US Forces using Shannon are on their way to Afghanistan and Iraq to fight against Islamist barbarism (suicide bombing, sexual enslavement of women, 'honour killings' and all other wonderful aspects of Islamic society) in those countries. These brave young men and women put their lives on the line for everyone in the West. Unfortunately. we have many hypocrites in this country who talk about human rights and neutrality as cover for knee-jerk anti-American and anti-Israel positions, these people are 'useful idiots' for political islamists or useful infidels perhaps! Fair play to that couple in Co. Clare who invited the US soldiers into their wedding reception, I hope that's the way most Irish people think.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Jul 30, 2009 23:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If those two brave young men attended that wedding in uniform they should have been arrested. There's no yes or now about that. On the other hand John Bolton was on TV this evening roaring insanely about the need for 'regime change' in Iran, which of course is being plotted by the CIA already. Only one nuclear force in the world will suit him, he said on the John Stewart Show, and made it clear he was talking about the USA. So what are we going to do about the US permanent presence in Shannon when nihilists like Bolton decided to use Shannon to kill Iranians? John Stewart asked him openly: "Is there any country you WON'T bomb?" Let's not let Shannon as an issue disappear.

author by paul o toolepublication date Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Another huge beaurocratic usless expense foisted on the whole European people without their consent.
The fact that it is 'self amending' is a frightful situation.
The fact that Fianna Fail, the Greens, Labour, Fianna Gael and a bunch of independents want a yes vote is enough to hand us a 'NO' vote on a plate.
Fair play to shannon watch for their constant reminder that our government is breach of International law, Domestic law, the Irish Constitution, Nuremberg Principles and anyone with a concience. The level of manevolence shown to the people of Iraq Afghanistan, Palestine, and now Pakistan, by the irish government in concert with their buddys in the UK and the US is appaling.
The Irish (Free)State was born out of resistance to british totalianiarism, now we support them killing other citizens in other countries while they still in a real way occupy part of our country..

The only people who can stop this 'Treaty' or whatever they call it is people in Ireland with a brain who think beyond the media drip-fed non-information comming from relentless Turbidy, Ryan, Kenny, Duffy wailings of nonsense.

author by babapublication date Fri Jul 31, 2009 17:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the soldiers were not invited to the wedding they crashed it thats what local paper the Clare people reported.it said that the Americans flight was cancelled so they stayed at the hotel and crashed the wedding reception .

author by Edward Horgan - Shannonwatchpublication date Fri Jul 31, 2009 21:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Talking and writing is important to inform people of what is going on at Shannon. However, the time is now here for action at Shannon to end ongoing Irish complicity in war crimes including torture. We need active support for upcomming events at Shannon, including the next peace vigils on Sunday 9 August and Sunday 13 September.
An international peace conference is also taking place at Shannon on Sat 5 September and your support for and attendence at this conference is urgently requested (see www.pana.ie). Over this weekend we are also urging peace activists from all over Ireland and elsewhere to converge on Shannon and set up a peace camp or peace camps.
It seems that many of the Irish people have become passive in the worst meaning of that term. We have allowed our corrupt politicians to impose punitive cuts and taxes and a mega-billion Euro millstone around the necks of future generations of Irish people, so as to bail out their equally corrupt developers and bankers. We have allowed our country to be used as a logistic hub for crimes against humanity. We are behaving like sheep being herded by wolves.

The pacivism of Gandhi and Martin Luther King was an active pacism that called on people to actively resist injustice and wrongdoing using peaceful means. These peacemakers never intended that evildoing should be passively accepted.
We need such active pacifism at Shannon now. We urgently need to expose the lie that Irish neutrality will be protected by Lisbon "guarantees". Irish neutrality has been dumped into the Shannon estuary by the Irish Government, and we have allowed this to happen.
The importance of this fact is that it has made the people of Ireland complicit in the unlawful deaths of well over one million people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our economic crisis, bad and all as it is, is a minor matter compared with our complicity in these crimes against humanity. No one died in the collapse of our banks, yet we have helped to kill over one million people by allowing over one million armed US troops to transit through Shannon airport.

You no longer need to ask what you should do to end all this. You know that you need to prevent the use of Shannon airport by the US military and restore Ireland's honour and credibility in international law, and restore Irish neutrality and its respect for international law.
Whatever you do, do not continue to do nothing. Do what you all know is right.
Do whatever you can to promote peace by peaceful means at Shannon airport and do it now, and every day.
Dont wait for the call to action. That call is yours - make it now.

Related Link: http://www.shannonwatch.org
author by Ronocpublication date Sun Aug 02, 2009 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Yes, friends, governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class."

- James Connolly

author by NO Again ! - Anti-Organisation ! publication date Wed Aug 05, 2009 06:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The E.U. regulations on Finance/ Banking is now costing the Irish taxpayer BILLIONs, also we no longer have the right to plan and found our own enterprises without Brussels approval, costing us even more.

We should get out of the E.U. now, leaving with Associate Membership which would leave us the Open European Market bgut in addition the right to determine our own markets.

This is why it is even more important, for the sake of the survival of this country, to VOTE NO and get out from under all E.U. regulations that are now totally against the Freedom and Prosperity of Ireland.

I believe that the people are so fed up of all the cuts, and the vicious cuts in Health, Education and Welfare to come, that they will actually VOTE NO again this time round.

The Irish Government could leave the E.U. and keep all our European markets if they decided in favour of Associate EU Membership, where we sould not be bound by any of the Brussels Diktat.

And this is why it is more important than ever now, this time, for all NO Campaigners to get out now , start canvassing door-to-door now, and let the people know how much better off they would be to leave EU full Membership and opt for Associate membership by b=voting NO to Lisbon.

Regarding the promises made, they are nonsense, we must have The Right of Irish Women to Choose, and that will come anyway under the next Government which will have good Leftist representation and participation .

The YES Campaign is now busy Fooling or Intimidating or Buying the People right now. Will a Yes vote restore the Xmas Bonus ? NO ! Will a Yes Vote restore the Public Services ? NO ! Will a Yes Vote restore pensions, NO! Will a Yes Vote save the vulnerable from the Five Per cent Dole Cuts and Worse, planned ? NO ! Will a Yes Vote get jobs and houses for people ? NO !

Look, we can expose these Lisbon Liars right down along the line , and with the economy in the disaster it's in under the E.U., people will see that a NO Vote is a really effective Protest Vote, and they will Vote NO again, but we must get out there in the streets and on the doorsteps NOW, no use talking to ourselves here on Indymedia, we can win again, we will win again, we have the Power because we have the Right - and we have the Left too in the many new young Leftist Councillors voted in for the first time in June.

And with Farmers in the streets protesting the Abandonment of the Reps Scheme, with whole rural communities throughout half the parishes in Ireland to be abandoned, with even more savage cuts on the way against farmers, you could have the big rural vote against Lisbon all over again !

There's no sign of the Big Yes Parties around canvassing for Lisbon, so let's hit the streets now, let's footslog and knock on doors, for believe you me, a second NO Vote from Ireland will rock the Brussel Bureaucrats on their heels, in fact it will bring them crashing down, with the replacement of the EU by a Peoples Europe - now isn't that something worth working 24/7 for - so work your asses off, START NOW, VOTE NO !

author by Fachtna - irishrealpolitikpublication date Thu Aug 06, 2009 19:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is my belief that protests just don't get the job done. I am more of a supporter of NVDA as practised by the Pitstop Plowshares and those who support the Plowhares movements such as Fr Carl Kabat:

Related Link: http://www.irishrealpolitik.freeforums.org/the-true-practise-of-faith-t10.html
author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri Aug 07, 2009 18:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Lisbon treaty should be rejected out of hand, not least because it is the Big brother end of government bullying us into 'getting it right.' We are not children, we voted once and that's an end of it. Cowen and his cronies should hand up to justice some hitherto protected rogue bankers and we might thank him for it. Some may say that we shouldn't use Lisbon to beat Fianna Fáil over the head: I say why not? Democracy is a sham in this country, the influential can manage to get a court order, as in the Thomas Cook Affair, in a matter of days to arrest a pregnant woman, whereas, curiously, it takes weeks to get a court order to take a peek into Anglo Irish bank. It is, of course, impossible to get a member of the Gardaí to search a CIA 'plane. Shannon is now a permanent US base and even has US customs control on Irish territory and no-one asked the people of Ireland. 'Sheanie' Fitzpatrick thumbs his nose at journalists who want to ask him questions about Anglo Irish Bank -he sees them as disturbing his round of golf. So yes, I think we are decidedly justified in saying NO! to Lisbon and by doing so showing Cowen that, even if he doesn't wish it to be so, we are living in a democracy and he works for us, not the other way around.

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