US War Business - NOT Welcome at Shannon

US troop carriers at Shannon Airport on Thursday 22 December

Last week Shannon Development proudly declared Shannon Airport’s links with the US as the ambassador Dan Rooney visited the airport. But Shannon's links with the US these days are largely about supporting invasions, wars of occupation and human rights abuse. And this US business is not welcome at Shannon, as was made clear by the US troops out message left on an Omni Air Troop Carrier parked in the airport on Monday night. 

Accused Wikileaker to Have his Day in Court

Did Bradley Manning Blow Whistle on Shady Dealings at Shannon Airport?

Guest article by Gerry Condon (Veterans for Peace)

After 18 months in prison, Bradley Manning, the young American soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, will finally have his day in court.  Next Friday, Dec. 16, Private First Class Manning will appear before a military judge for a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, not far from Washington, DC.  The “Article 32” hearing, expected to last 4 or 5 days, will determine whether there is enough evidence against Manning to go ahead with a military court martial.  Prosecution and defense lawyers will reveal their respective strategies for the first time.

They Talk Peace but Wage War

John Lannon of Shannonwatch attended a one day International Alternative Conference entitled "For a self-determined Afghanistan" in Bonn on December 4th. This is a brief report on the conference. 

"There are few countries in the world that require as much solidarity as Afghanistan". These were the words of Matin Baraki, a political scientist born in Afghanistan, speaking in Bonn at the weekend. "The people of Afghanistan have been traumatised" he said. "But we have not given up hope".

Senior Civil Servant Refuses to Discuss Renditions

The Director of the Human Rights Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Ireland), Colin Rafter, seems unwilling to answer questions about human rights abuse at Shannon Airport. When questioned on the subject of rendition flights at a talk at the University of Limerick (UL), he simply refused to answer.

Mr Rafter was in UL on 16th November to talk about Ireland and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) - Lessons, Domestic and International. He dealt with some of the issues raised at the UPR such as the Magdalen Laundaries and slopping out of prison cells by prisoners. And he referred a few times to the "CAT" (Convention Against Torture), but without explaining that the T in CAT means torture.

Forgetting Remembrance at Shannon Airport

Taking soldiers to war - US troop carriers at Shannon, 11th Nov 2011

Let us remember, let us never forget, the stupidity of World War One in which the elite of the world ordered their mainly impoverished subjects to commit a form of mass suicide in the trenches of the Somme and Flanders under the spurious guise of “defending small nations”. Remembrance Day occurs on 11 November each year because the World War One armistice was signed “on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918. In many countries it is now popular to celebrate this day with military jingoism as if we were celebrating freedom, bravery and all things good, forgetting the stupidity, destruction and gross human rights abuses involved in all wars.

Anti War Groups Welcome the Inauguration of an Anti-War President

Peace and anti-war groups in Ireland including PANA, the Irish Anti War Movement (IAWM), Shannonwatch and Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW) have expressed their hope that the inauguration of Michael D Higgins as the 9th President of Ireland will further the cause of peace, and will bring a renewed focus on the importance of Irish neutrality. These are issues that he has passionately defended throughout his political career, and it is hoped and expected that he will continue to do so as president.