Actions Speak Louder than Words

What Taoiseach Enda Kenny says: (1) Ireland is at the fore of promoting peace, justice, security and development. (2) "... the Irish people have demonstrated an instinctive respect for peace, justice and human rights. It is absolutely right that these values are transmitted to the next generation."

What Taoiseach Enda Kenny does: (1) Allows an Irish airport to be used by armed occupation forces on their way to Afghanistan, where they contribute to ongoing suffering, injustice and insecurity. (2) Refuses to investigate clear evidence that US torture aircraft and crews have used Shannon Airport, and allows US forces linked to war crimes to continue to use the airport.

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny's words, as reported in the Irish Times at the weekend, ring very hollow when one considers his actions. In supporting Ireland's attempt to be elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the first time, he talked about taking a commitment to peace, justice, security and development seriously. His actions tell a different story however. In the 10 months since he was elected leader of the Irish government he has continued the policy of the previous government to avoid investigating rendition flights through Shannon. He has also continued to allow Shannon to be used as a de facto US military base, as hundreds of armed US troops pass through every day on their way to and from Afghanistan.

This shows a complete lack of regard for peace and justice. The security, human rights, and clearly expressed wishes of the people of Afghanistan are being ignored by a Fine Gael/Labour government that kowtows to US demands. The military use of Shannon, and the presence of Irish defence force personnel with NATO in Afghanistan, shows that he is willing to be part of a policy that is quickly leading to regional insecurity and widespread suffering.

The stated goal of the US presence in Afghanistan was to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda. What it has achieved is the disruption and dismantling of Afghan society, and a strengthening of warlordism and fundamentalism there.

Enda Kenny prefers to support these failed policies of invasion and occupation than to uphold the values he is so eager to talk about.

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