New Events

International

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link Ukraine Buys Huge Amounts of Russian Fue... Fri Jan 20, 2023 08:34 | Antonia Kotseva

offsite link Turkey Has Sent Ukraine Cluster Munition... Thu Jan 12, 2023 00:26 | Jack Detsch

offsite link New Israeli Government Promises to Talk ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 21:13 | Al Majadeen

offsite link Russia Training Iranian Pilots Ahead of ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:19 | The Times of Israel

offsite link Lukashenko Abolishes Copyright Protectio... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:05 | Nikki Main

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Douglas Macgregor ? We are co Belligerents Sat Jan 28, 2023 17:29 | The Saker

offsite link The West Has Lost Already (Gonzalo Lira) Sat Jan 28, 2023 17:01 | The Saker

offsite link Some Thoughts about Neutrality and Peaceful Multi-Ethnicity Sat Jan 28, 2023 16:19 | The Saker
By Eduard Rosel for the Saker blog The emissary from Kiev to the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, Olena Zelenska, the wife of the Ukrainian President, said in Davos to an

offsite link The Next Stage in Western Escalation Fri Jan 27, 2023 20:00 | The Saker
by Batiushka for the Saker blog Introduction: The Story So Far So far the US has carried out regime changes and created military conflicts in countries friendly to or important

offsite link ?Doomsday clock?: 90 seconds to midnight Fri Jan 27, 2023 15:06 | The Saker
by Pepe Escobar for PressTV, cross posted with the author’s permission The Doomsday Clock, set by the US-based magazine Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, has been moved to 90 seconds

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony

offsite link Waiting for SIPO Anthony

offsite link Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony

offsite link RTE bias complaint Anthony

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

America's Lap Dog: Ireland And The War In Afghanistan

category international | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Monday November 22, 2021 17:00author by De Piorraíauthor email depiorrai at protonmail dot com Report this post to the editors

The Irish state has blood on its hands for its involvement in the War on Terror, read about it now!

I originally wrote this piece in September 2021 following the announcement by United States President Joe Biden that US forces would withdraw from Afghanistan, but never sought to publish the piece. The Irish Government is playing both sides on the matter of foreign affairs, calling for peace and claiming to be 'neutral' while actively supporting Western military imperialism. In this peice, I examine and criticise the involvement of Ireland in the Afghanistan War, with sources provided at the end.

I can be contacted at depiorrai@protonmail.com

The general attitude of the Irish political establishment can best described as two faced. Talk of care, compassion and a just society on one end while actions that hurt workers, communities, and society as a whole are enacted. On the matter of Afghanistan, it’s yet again the same old political shenanigans.

The world has been watching closely at the events unfolding in Afghanistan, as the Taliban has inevitably regained power following the recent end of the twenty year long Western occupation. In a statement on the 16th of August 2021, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin stated that the events have “taken many by surprise”, despite the fact that assessments by intelligence agencies warned that the Taliban takeover would occur. The Taoiseach also declared that Ireland would “participate fully” in international humanitarian efforts.

Since then, the Government has issued a further one hundred and fifty humanitarian visas on top of the previous forty five to Afghan citizens, as well as fast tracking one hundred and three family reunification applications. Deportations of Afghan citizens have been halted and the two hundred and thirty three people with pending deportation orders will have the opportunity to request their orders be revoked.4

The far-right have rushed to oppose this, blaming the housing crisis on refugees as opposed to crooked developers, unscrupulous landlords, vulture funds and the cycle of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. The divisions the far-right seek to create, built on lies and racism, must be opposed. We owe it to these civilians and the international community to offer safety and refuge, not just because of our international human rights obligations nor the history of the Irish people fleeing persecution and poverty, but because the Irish state has and continues to play a role in the War on Terror.

Following the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Irish Government invited the United States to use Shannon Airport, with no end in sight for this toxic relationship. Shannonwatch, the campaign group that tracks and seeks an end to military use of Shannon Airport, reports that between 2001 and the end of May 2021, little under three million United States soldiers passed through Shannon Airport. These flights don’t require permits from the Minister for Transport but flights carrying munitions of war, both overflights and landings, do require permission. Between 2007 and 2020, 15,342 applications for permits were made to the respective Minister, with only 601 (3.9%) being rejected. It gets worse when you are made aware of the Irish state’s assistance in the extrajudicial capture and torture of terror suspects by allowing rendition flights through Shannon Airport, with the Government having suspected such prisoner transfers were taking place according to a leaked diplomatic cable from a meeting in December 2007 between the then-Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern and then-United States Ambassador for Ireland Thomas C. Foley.

For twenty years, the Irish state has been complicit in the occupations, torture and bombings as part of the War on Terror and for what, the blood of innocent civilians that are now on our hands. The ‘Cost of War’ project by the Brown University Institute of International and Public Affairs estimates that between October 2001 and October 2019, direct war deaths across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen tallied in at 312,971 - 335,745 for civilians and 769,549 - 801,398 overall. These numbers do not take into account indirect deaths, such as deaths due to infrastructure damage, starvation, water shortages and disease, so the actual death toll is much higher. On top of that, across the aforementioned nations, plus Libya, the Philippines and Somalia, thirty seven million people have been displaced, their homes destroyed, livelihoods ruined and families broken apart. That is the cost of war and regardless of who’s innocent or guilty, a civilian or combatant, these are people who have all paid the price.

Unfortunately, foreign policy isn’t a high profile issue in Irish politics, with Brexit and the occasional European treaty referendum being the exceptions. In 2003, one hundred thousand people poured onto the streets of Dublin to oppose Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq, though the anti-war movement in Ireland has never been that large since. It’s about time to rebuild that mass movement, to remove the United States from Shannon Airport, to get an Irish withdrawal from PESCO and to oppose the triple lock imperialism of the United States, Britain and the European Union.

Sources:

1) Statement from the Taoiseach Micheál Martin on the situation in Afghanistan - 16th of August 2021
https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/8405f-statement-from-an-taoiseach-micheal-martin-on-the-situation-in-afghanistan/

2) ‘A massive policy fail’: CIA warned White House of swift Taliban takeover - 18th of August 2021
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/18/massive-policy-fail-cia-warned-taliban-takeover

3) 300 Afghan citizens expected to arrive in Ireland under Govt programmes - 18th of August 2021
https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2021/0817/1241236-ireland-afghanistan/

4) Afghan nationals in Ireland can request deportation orders to be revoked - 17th of August 2021
https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40361438.html

5) Military Use Of Shannon Airport - 2021
https://www.shannonwatch.org/Military

6) US 'rendition flight' aircraft flew to Shannon airport - 1st of September 2011
https://www.thejournal.ie/us-rendition-flight-aircraft-flew-to-shannon-airport-215372-Sep2011/

7) Ireland suspected Shannon had carried prisoners: the WikiLeak in full - 17th of December 2010
https://www.https://www.thejournal.ie/ireland-suspected-shannon-had-carried-prisoners-the-wikileak-in-full-2010-12/.org/Military

8) Human Cost of Post - 9/11 Wars: Direct War Deaths in Major War Zones - 13th of November 2019
https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/figures/2019/direct-war-death-toll-2001-801000

9) Creating Refugees: Displacement Caused by the United States’ Post-9/11 Wars - 21st of September 2020
https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/papers/summary

10) 100,000 March Against War In Iraq - 15th of February 2013
https://www.rte.ie/archives/2013/0215/367908-10-years-ago-today-protest-against-iraq-war

© 2001-2023 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy