Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ukraine target of EU/NATO subversion


The current wave of protests in Ukraine are the outward expression of the most brazen attempt at interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign European country by the EU/NATO bloc since the conspiracy to destroy Federal Yugoslavia in the 1990’s where armed rebellion against the Belgrade Government was organised and financed by EU/NATO with the US, West Germany and Austria openly supplying arms to Croatian separatists provoking the most disastrous civil conflict in Europe since WW2.
The Western whore press has gone to great lengths to portray the demonstrations in Kiev as a struggle for democracy and the rule of law. In fact, they are part of a geopolitical strategy of the EU/NATO imperialist expansion in Eastern Europe in an attempt to reduce Russian influence and subordinate the Ukrainian State to the domination of Germany, the European Union and NATO.
Nine years ago, the so-called “Orange Revolution” was organised with massive political and financial support from the US government and American NGOs such as the “Open Society Institute” of billionaire George Soros. Other usual suspects include the National Endowment of Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House,   and other corporate groups such as the Rockefeller Foundation. They serve US imperial and corporate interests. They exploit ordinary people doing so. Various activities are ongoing in different countries. These forces were able to annul the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election and ensure that the pro-EU and pro-US tandem of Viktor Yushchenko and Julia Tymoshenko took over as head of state and head of government in place of Viktor Yanukovich, who was considered to be in the pocket of Russia. The muppet duo quickly fell out, however, and Yanukovich was able to assume the post of president in the 2010 election.

Queen Julia, convicted in October, 2011 of embezzlement and abuse of power by a Ukrainian Court  and sentenced to seven years imprisonment, willingly prostitutes herself as EU/NATO propaganda muppet, the victim of persecution by allegedly unfair legal proceedings. Tymoshenko is currently being held in the Kharkiv-based Central Clinical Hospital No. 5 under police surveillance, where since May 2012 she has been receiving treatment after being diagnosed with a spinal disc herniation. The EU has repeatedly called for release of Julia Tymoshenko as a main condition for signing the EU Association Agreement thus compounding its blatant political interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs, something which they would absolutely reject if applied to themselves. EU Foreign Affairs representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton, a Washington and NATO stooge who owes her title to war-monger Tony Blair for supporting the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 and probably the most stupid individual ever to hold a senior position in the Brussels bureaucracy, daily calls for Tymoshenko’s release. Former Irish MEP and onetime president of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, former deputy leader of Irish neo-liberal right-wing caucus, the so-called “Progressive Democrats”, also interests himself in the campaign for Tymoshenko’s release. Derogatorily referred to as “Cat Pox” in Irish blogs, the despised ratbag enriched himself as an MEP and “advisor” for US and European corporate monopolies and was cheerleader for the privatisation and anti-worker policies of the previous Irish Government which landed our country in its worst ever economic crisis.

Now another, more serious attempt, is being made to bring a regime to power in Kiev that will subordinate the former Soviet Republic and granary of the Russian Empire to the EU.  The tactics have all the hallmarks of what was engineered against Socialist Yugoslavia in the 1990’s; the existing elected government is declared “undemocratic” and “dictatorial”; internal tensions and political and religious divisions are ruthlessly exploited with massively financed propaganda campaigns with traitorous opportunists who value euros and dollars above their own countries’ interests.  
An examination of the political leadership of the current protests reveals their totally reactionary character. They are led by three parties, two of which have close relations with the conservative camps in the EU, while the third is openly fascist. The Batkivshchyna (Homeland) party, led by the imprisoned Julia Tymoshenko, has observer status with the European People’s Party, the association of Europe’s Christian-Democratic and conservative parties. UDAR (Punch), headed by boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, who lives in  Germany, is a creation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its think tank, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The latter publicly advertises on its web site seminars devoted to the political education of UDAR members.
According to a study entitled “The Extreme Right in the Ukraine” by the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the third party, Svoboda (Freedom), is “the flagship of core extreme-right ideology.” The party’s original name was the Social-National Party of Ukraine. It used as its emblem a logo reminiscent of the Nazi swastika. On the advice of the extreme right-wing (Le Pen) French National Front (FN), with which it works closely, it adopted a less provocative name.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk (Homeland) and Vitali Klitschko regularly appear at press conferences together with Oleh Tyahnybok from Svoboda. Tyahnybok is a neo-Nazi notorious for his ultranationalist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic outbursts.
Leading European and American politicians have expressed their solidarity with the protests in Ukraine. The EU is no earthly paradise. The same forces that have tacitly supported the brutality of their own police and para-military forces in mercilessly beating and oppressing those opposing EU austerity policies in Athens, Madrid, Lisbon and elsewhere, now proclaim their “outrage” at the brutality of the Ukrainian police. The appalling “austerity” policies imposed on Greece by the IMF and Brussels Dictatorship, the unelected EU Commission, which amount to nothing less than the forced impoverishment of the majority of the Greek population and are a living example of what is in store for Ukrainians if they foolishly allow themselves to be duped by the EU/NATO gang of hypocrites and liars. Likewise, the scandalous robbery of the savings of the people of Cyprus to satisfy the extortionate demands of the EU Banking cartel, which is now the official policy of the Brussels Dictatorship, is another example of what is in store for Ukrainians if these parasites get their way and abolish Ukraine’s sovereignty under the guise of a “trade agreement” with the EU/NATO bloc.

EU so-called “democracy” is a total sham. In 2009, when the Irish people rejected by a 60% majority the reactionary “Lisbon Treaty” which has imposed the failed economic dogma of neo-liberalism on EU countries, the people were forced to vote again in order to give the “right answer” the second time. In the second referendum on the Treaty, in 2010, the US Corporate monopolies based in Ireland spent €40 Million providing funds for “Yes” vote propaganda while the “NO” opposition had only a budget of €4,000. In a criminal manoeuvre, the second referendum was allocated the same number as the first, “28th amendment to the Constitution” allowing saved “yes” ballot papers from the first vote to be “recycled” (contrary to electoral law which states they must be destroyed within six months of the vote) and stuffed in the ballot boxes of the second vote thus providing the required “correct “ answer. In addition, empty ballot boxes were illegally delivered to private houses of election officials two days before the second referendum, again contrary to Irish electoral law, which provides that ballot boxes must be held in police stations or military barracks, under guard, until the morning of the vote. Further, and also contrary to Irish electoral law, agents of the “No” Campaign were refused permission to inspect and survey the ballot boxes being held overnight in count centres around the country.
In a disgraceful incident, from the first referendum in 2009, seen here:
 An unknown individual is filmed entering the Count Centre at Cork City Hall and re-emerging with a ballot box which he walks away with into the night. The Irish Government and police have consistently refused to investigate this incident despite numerous requests from concerned citizens.

US State Secretary, public liar John Kerry, urges the Ukrainian government to “listen to the voice of their people,” while in the US itself the “voice of the people”, the popular Occupy Movement, which organised street protests against the corporate robbery of the American people by the bandits of Wall Street, was violently suppressed by brutal State Police action throughout the country. The German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, intervened personally to mix with demonstrators in Kiev. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has demanded that the Ukrainian government guarantee the right to freedom of expression and assembly. The German government, which has just commenced new proceedings against the neo-fascist National Democratic Party of Germany, defends the right of the Ukrainian fascists to demonstrate. Yesterday, US Deputy Secretary of State, Nuland, turned up in the streets of Kiev handing out bread to protesters.
Though it is calling for the resignation of the President and new elections, the opposition does not enjoy the support of the majority of Ukrainians. A motion of censure against the Government failed last week  in parliament. The Association and Free Trade Agreement with the European Union that the opposition wants to implement would have a devastating impact on large sections of the Ukrainian population.
The EU Agreement excludes simultaneous membership in a Russian-led customs union and would thus cut off Ukraine from its main trading partner, with which Ukraine’s industry and transport routes are closely connected. The abolition of customs duties on European goods would also mean bankruptcy for many Ukrainian industries.
The terms of the agreement, which include the introduction of EU rules for labour market deregulation, reducing workers’ rights and limiting the right to strike, the privatisation of state enterprises and a reduction in the public debt, would have a social impact similar to the EU austerity programs imposed on Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Romania and other countries. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is already denying Ukraine a much-needed credit because the government refuses to hike the price of gas by 40 percent—a move that would inevitably result in the death of many unemployed people and pensioners unable to pay their heating bills as happens in the USA and EU countries every winter. The social and economic gains made by working people in the aftermath of WW2 are being systematically dismantled throughout the EU by the US invented “neo-liberalism” economic dogma of selling off state and public assets to private monopolies and abolishing social welfare, public health services and education services and replacing these with high-priced profit making rackets. The privatisation of public water supply further leaves the general population totally dependent on the whims of greedy profit-mongers and EU/US corporate vultures.
The Association Agreement would turn the country into an extended sweatshop workplace for German and European companies, which could produce at deliberately lowered wage rates than those in China. At the same time, the country’s natural resources, its vast and fertile landmass, agriculture and its domestic market of 46 million inhabitants make Ukraine a mouthwatering prospect for German and European corporate exploiters. The EU especially covets Ukrainian agricultural production as part of its policy of “food security” in reducing imports from developing countries in favour of production on the continent of Europe.
The agreement would also strengthen the EU’s hand against Russia. A customs union or Eurasian Union comprising Russia and the Ukraine would have had a significantly stronger position in trade negotiations with the EU than an isolated Russia. Separation of Ukraine from Russian trade links would leave that country in a much weakened position of reduced sovereignty, as has been imposed on the smaller EU countries by Britain, France and Germany who themselves blatantly ignore the rules they impose on others through the Brussels Dictatorship.
Germany, the EU and the US are pursuing not only economic, but also geopolitical, objectives in Ukraine. Given Russia’s loss of influence in Eastern Europe since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the incorporation of Ukraine into the EU would push Russia off to the edge of Europe and with the extreme pressure now being exerted on the remaining neutral countries in Europe, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Austria, Macedonia and Montenegro to join the aggressive NATO military alliance, responsible for all current major conflicts in the world, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, supporting Israel’s oppression of Palestine, they want to consolidate their position on the frontiers of Russia at the expense of the peoples of those countries.
Kiev Rus, the first organised Slavic state in Europe, was a creation of the Ukrainian people. Since the end of the 18th Century, Ukraine formed an important part of the Russian and Soviet state. Moreover, the Russian Black Sea Naval Fleet is located in Crimea at a port leased to Russia by Ukraine. Both the US and the EU have an interest in weakening Russia, which is considered to be an important ally of China. Immediately after his election in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping travelled to Moscow to strengthen the two countries’ “strategic partnership.” Both countries feel threatened economically and strategically by the aggressive incursions of the US and its allies in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
China is also expanding its economic links with Ukraine, which currently conducts about 5 percent of its foreign trade with China. In October, the South China Morning Post reported that the Chinese state-owned enterprise XPCC had struck a deal with the Ukrainian agricultural company KSG Agro to gain access to 100,000 hectares of arable land for the production of food for China. This area is to be expanded to three million hectares—the size of Belgium or Massachusetts.
China has already given the country loans of $10 billion. Ukraine considers its economic relations with China to be so important that President Yanukovich set off for a four-day state visit to Beijing, despite the continuing political crisis. This is the background to the attempts by the EU and the German government to use the protests in Kiev to destabilise the Ukrainian government. Their initiative has been launched in tandem with the US, which is systematically expanding its military presence in Asia to encircle China and undermine its influence in the region. To this end, the US has massively intensified its pressure on China in recent weeks.
The offensive against Ukraine raises profound historical questions. In two world wars, Germany sought to bring Ukraine under its control and committed abominable crimes in the process. The current brazenness of the German government is fraught with new dangers. The growing international tensions can quickly turn into armed conflict similar to what was imposed on Socialist Yugoslavia and being imposed on Syria today. The EU/NATO bloc cares nothing about the destruction imposed on countries where they seek “regime change” as their long-term strategy includes profiting from the required “reconstruction” business in the aftermath of each conflict and acquiring the resources of the target country for globalised monopoly capitalism.
This danger can only be countered by a strong independent movement of international working class solidarity fighting for a united, democratic socialist Europe against the inhuman neo liberalism economic dogma of the Wall Street and Frankfurt Banking monopolies.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Farewell to Madiba!



The death of Nelson Mandela, the first black and democratically elected
President of the Republic of South Africa, after a lifetime of struggle and unjust imprisonment by one of the most despised and vicious regimes of any Continent, united the world in tribute and honour for his unique and unparalleled achievements in liberating not only his own people but also their oppressors, the white Afrikaans who instituted the vicious and inhuman Apartheid regime. For this, the memory and presence of Madiba will never be
forgotten and will stand as a permanent guide to the necessity of always
placing the dignity and inalienable rights of each human being, Child, Woman or Man, ahead of any personal political or economic interest now or in the future.

The gathering of world leaders at Tuesday's Memorial Service shows the prestige and regard for Madiba which he deservedly attracted across the globe but, more significant and lasting is the regard of his own people of all races in South Africa and millions around the world who watched and admired his achievements both as President and later world statesman.

Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtatu, then a part of South Africa’s Cape Province. Given the name Rolihlahla,  he later came to be known as “Madiba”, a traditional clan name. Both his parents were devout Christians and sent him to a local Methodist school, where he came to be known as “ Nelson”, a name given to him by his schoolteacher, largely due to  biased British  Colonial educational system in Africa which tried to Anglisise the black population .He was also one of the first in his family to have attended school.
His father, who was destined to be a chief, lost his title and fortune over a dispute with a local magistrate, forcing the family to move to Qunu, a small village north of Mvezo. The village had no roads, only footpaths and the family lived in huts common in the tribal villages of the area. When Mandela was 9 years old, his father died of lung disease, changing his life forever. He later said he inherited his father’s “proud rebelliousness” and “stubborn sense of fairness”.
                                  The village of Qunu, Madiba's childhood home.

He  was adopted by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, an acting regent of the Thembu people. He left his life in Qunu and quickly adapted to the new, more sophisticated surroundings of Mqhekezweni. Mandela took classes in a one room school, studying English, Xhosa history, and geography. It was during this time he developed his interest in South African History and the oppression by the British.  Listening to the tales told by elderly visitors he became influenced by the anti-imperialist rhetoric of Chief Joyi
Mandela acquired a Bachelors in arts (B.A.) degree from the University of Fort Hare, the prestigious and elite black institution in Alice, a town in South Africa. He currently holds the record of having honorary degrees from over 50 international universities. In his spare time, he also studied to be a lawyer. His Alma maters include, University of London External System, University of South Africa and University of the Witwatersrand. He also got a bachelor of Law degree through a university of London correspondence program. He was the first black person to become a lawyers clerk in the South African legal system.
In Johannesburg, he became actively involved in the Anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress in 1942 and becoming a founding member of its Youth League.. For 20 years, Mandela followed peaceful, nonviolent acts of defiance against the South African government and its racist policies of Apartheid. After the South African National Party came to power in 1948, he rose to prominence in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign, was appointed superintendent of the organisation's Transvaal chapter and presided over the 1955 Congress of the People. Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and, with the ANC leadership, was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961.
Although initially committed to non-violent protest, after the brutal Sharpville Massacre* of unarmed protesters by the South African  Police, he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961 in association with the South African Communist Party, leading a sabotage campaign against the Apartheid regime. In 1962 he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.

Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. A worldwide Anti-Apartheid Campaign lobbied for his release and the end of the apartheid system. Increasingly isolated by political, sporting and trade boycotts, the Pretoria Government was forced to release him in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa's first black president.

*[ On the 21st of March, 1960, a group of between 5,000 and 7,000 people converged on the local police station in the township of Sharpeville, in then Transvaal, offering themselves up for arrest for not carrying their pass books. The Sharpeville Police were not completely unprepared for the demonstration, as they had already been forced to drive smaller gangs of more militant activists away the previous night.

By 10:00 am, a large crowd had gathered, and the atmosphere was initially peaceful and festive. Fewer than 20 police officers were present in the station at the start of the protest. Later the crowd grew to about 19,000, and the mood began turning hostile. The increasingly agitated crowd now adopted a common attitude which was later described as "insulting, menacing, and provocative", prompting about 130 police reinforcements, supported by four Saracen armoured cars (supplied by Britain) to be rushed in. The police were armed with firearms, including Sten sub-machine guns. There was no evidence that anyone in the gathering was armed with anything other than rocks.

                               South African Police survey the dead after their massacre of unarmed
                                 protesters, Sharpville, 21 March 1960.
South African Airforce jets approached to within a hundred feet of the ground, flying low over the crowd in an attempt to scatter it. The protestors responded by hurling a few stones (striking three people) and confronting  the police barricades. Tear gas and police baton charges failed to quell the crowd and at about 1:00 pm the Police tried to arrest an alleged ringleader. There was a scuffle, and the throng surged forward. The Police began random shooting shortly thereafter killing 69 people and 180 were injured, including 31 women and 19 children. Many were shot in the back as they turned to flee, causing worldwide condemnation from which the Apartheid regime never recovered and it became an international pariah. UNESCO marks March 21 as the yearly International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in memory of the massacre].


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Shannon Peace Activists Face court action:

       Margaretta d'Arcy and Niall Farrell, Galway Alliance Against War,
     outside Ennis Courthouse on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.


Two peace activists protesting at the use of Shannon Airport by the US military “endangered the lives of passengers on board two aircraft last year”, Ennis District Court was told  Tuesday, December 3, 2013. Airport police officer Richard Moloney said authorities had to act quickly after learning that two people were lying and sitting down on the main runway at Shannon as two aircraft were due to land on Oct 7, 2012.

Mr Moloney told Margaretta D’Arcy and Niall Farrell, Galway Alliance Against War, both dressed in orange jump suits: "You were on the runway. There were two aircraft holding overhead while you were on the runway. It was dangerous and you were in a very dangerous position."

In response to the incursion, Mr Moloney stated, authorities blocked an Aer Lingus flight from Heathrow and a Ryanair flight from Stansted from landing and put them into a holding pattern. Mr Moloney produced no documents or reports of Air Traffic Control to validate his evidence.

An author and playwright, Ms d'Arcy, aged 79, of St Bridget’s Place, Woodquay, Galway, said they were on the runway 20 minutes before airport authorities arrived to remove them. She said the authorities only arrived after the peace activists phoned them to alert them that they were there.
Judge Patrick Durcan remarked: "Ms dArcy, when I listen to all that took place, it is lucky that your mobile phone was working, otherwise you may not be here today."

Airport police officer Joe Noonan said he found Ms d'Arcy lying on the runway and Mr Farrell sitting down, with each holding placards reading "Stop Killer Drones via Shannon". Mr Farrell, aged 60, of Ballynacloghy, Maree, Oranmore, Co Galway, told the court: "We went on the runway assuming that there was proper security at the airport." The two deny the charge of the illegal incursion onto the airfield. Ms d'Arcy called a number of witnesses in her defence including TDs
Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

Mick Wallace, TD, said what is going on at Shannon, allowing US military planes use the airport, is unconstitutional. Clare Daly,TD, said the two activists were performing the role of whistleblowers by going onto the runway.

Judge Durcan reserved judgment and adjourned the matter to Wednesday, December 4 at Ennis District Court to fix a date on which he will deliver his judgment.

A spokesperson for the Galway peace group, Galway Alliance Against War, Breege Burke, has queried the suitability of Judge Durcan to hear the case:
"In the group's opinion Judge Durcan comes to this case with far too much political baggage. Two years ago, he was appointed to the post by his former running-mate Enda Kenny and at the last election he was Michael Ring's election agent, so he is unashamedly Fine Gael. Indeed, the local media in Mayo was reporting claims of "cronyism and political favouritism" at the time of his elevation. In these circumstances, to prevent accusations of political bias, he should have stood aside from this highly political case or sent it to the Circuit Court where it could have been heard before a jury.
"Fine Gael is virulently opposed to Irish neutrality. Margaretta and Niall's actions were to re-affirm our neutrality and oppose the US Military's use of Shannon airport to wage war.

A US Airforce Hercules C130 landing at Shannon, 02.12.13
"Their first action was part of an international week of protest against US killer drones. The GAAW believes these weapons are transported via Shannon in Hercules planes. Drones have become President Obama's weapon of choice in the ever-expanding 'War on Terror'. Flown by pilots sitting safely in Nevada, these remotely-piloted aircraft have the ability to hover over communities twenty-four hours a day and to target those below at the mere push of a button. Thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have been executed without trial by these drones and thousands more have been injured and badly mutilated.
"On September 1, this year, it looked very likely that Washington was about to declare war on Syria. Throughout the world there was considerable fear that there would be an even more dangerous escalation of the conflict. While Pope Francis was leading the faithful in prayer for an end to war in Syria in the Vatican's St Peter's Square, Margaretta D'Arcy and Niall Farrell were making their way down to Shannon to express their opposition to a US war against Syria. Their actions may have been somewhat different, but their goal was the same."

Further charges have been brought against Ms d'Arcy and Mr Farrell for separate incidents which will involve further court appearances early next year. Margaretta d'Arcy and Niall Farrell deserve
support for their continuing efforts to highlight the illegalities at Shannon Airport with the collusion and assistance of the Irish Government and Irish police for over 12 years now contrary to international law, human rights conventions and their own declared policy of Neutrality.


Government hypocrisy was on show again today when both the Minister for Justice & Defence, Alan Shatter, and the Commissioner of Police, Martin Callinan, were hogging the TV screens to express their condemnation of the murder, in 1989, of two senior Royal Ulster Constabulary officers by the IRA during the brutal conflict in Northern Ireland at that time and the finding of a Judicial Inquiry released this week that the murders were assisted by information from a police source in Dundalk, a town close to the Northern Ireland border which the officers had been visiting on cross-border police business. Mr Callinan, in particular, stated that he was "horrified" that "members of my force" had been involved with the IRA at any level. Now, these murders were despicable and deserving of condemnation but, Mr Callinan has never expressed any "horror" at members of "his force" aiding and abetting horrific war crimes by offering protection and assistance to the transit of illegal drones used to murder THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN in a horrific manner in the various countries mentioned above where the US Military engages in such criminal warfare against civilian populations on a daily basis, not just one murderous act 24 years ago.

Thus, the slaughter of thousands of human beings is ignored, made invisible to public scrutiny, no judicial inquiries, no apologies, no condolences to their grieving families, all for the sleazy political expediency of a Government and police force which prefers toadying to the interests of a foreign military power than the upholding of human rights and international law which they are all sworn to do. Hypocrites, the lot.

See also:



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shatter claims "immunity" for US Military at Shannon!



Under pressure of opposition questions in Dáil Éireann last week, Defence and Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, introduced a new concept of “sovereign immunity” for US Military aircraft using Shannon airport to tranship troops and their equipment and whatever else they might be carrying, to justify the failure of Irish governments to carry out their obligations under international human rights laws and neutrality laws in respect of misuse of the Airport by the US Military in the past 12 years since the illegal invasion of Afghanistan.

John Lannon of Shannonwatch, the locally based group of peace activists who monitor US activities at the Airport commented:

"The Minister for Justice and Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter has claimed that An Garda Síochána (Irish Police) has no role in relation to the inspection of foreign State or military aircraft at Shannon or other airports because they enjoy "sovereign immunity". In effect this means that the government allows the US military to take whatever or whoever they want through Ireland, regardless of the human rights, security and other consequences.

His statement was made in response to Clare Daly, TD, who asked the Minister whether or not the Government or the Garda Commissioner has instructed Gardaí at Shannon not to search US military aircraft, or chartered aircraft transporting US troops, or aircraft associated with the CIA.

According to Minister Shatter, An Garda Síochána has statutory powers of search and entry available to it under various legislative provisions, and these apply to aircraft as much as to any other type of private property.  He was talking here about civilian as opposed to military aircraft.

The Minister said that these powers may only be exercised in circumstances where a member of An Garda Síochána reasonably suspects that an offence has been or is being committed. But, there have been plenty of incidents in which there were reasonable
grounds to suspect involvement in torture-related offences and these have not been investigated.

The Minister also said that An Garda Síochána has fully investigated a number of allegations of unlawful activity at Irish airports and files have been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions in some of these cases. This is a claim that was also made by the government in their report to the fourth periodic review under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.

At that time they noted that 17 complaints were received by An Garda Síochána regarding alleged rendition flights to/from Shannon Airport. "However they could only confirm that 7 of these were investigated"

Shannonwatch calls on the Department of Justice to make the outcomes of the investigations of all the complaints known, or if no investigations took place to explain why".

This new and outrageous attempt by Shatter to avoid legal responsibility for crimes at Shannon Airport is typical of his contemptuous attitude to any reporting of international law and human rights violations by the US Military or Israel and to the opposition who draw attention to these events on a regular basis, the monthly demonstration organised there by Shannonwatch being the most hated by this imperialist toady who, unfortunately for the Irish people, was put in charge of the Irish departments of Defence and Justice by the current Fine Gael/Labour coalition government.

There is no such thing as “sovereign immunity” for military transports in Irish or International Law; it is a spurious and malignant invention by Shatter to bolster his own pro-imperialist, pro-NATO and pro-zionist views expressed publicly at every opportunity along with vituperative and vicious comments on any opposition to his war-mongering and genocidal cronies in the Pentagon and Tel-Aviv.
The Hague Conventions, 1907:

The Second Hague Convention of October 1907, (Treaty V, Convention relative to the rights and duties of neutral powers and persons in case of war on land), specifically states:

“Art. 2.
Belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral Power”.

Although this Hague Convention of 1907(V) has not specifically been incorporated in modern  Irish Law by Dáil Éireann, the foundation of the Irish Free State/Saorstát Éireann in 1922, under the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922, affirmed all laws previously in force under the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland remained in force unless amended or repealed by Dáil Éireann and a similar provision in the 1937 Constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) regarding the laws of Saorstát Éireann, allows the 1907 Hague Convention, to which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a signatory, to be validly considered as Irish Law since no amendment or repeal of this convention has been enacted by Dáil Éireann.
Further, after World War II, the judges of the military tribunal of the Trial of German Major War Criminals at the Nuremberg Trials found that by 1939, the rules laid down in the 1907 Hague Convention were recognised by all civilised nations and were regarded as declaratory of the laws and customs of war. Under this post-war decision, a country did not have to have ratified the 1907 Hague Conventions in order to be bound by them.
This leaves no grounds whatsoever for Shatter’s spurious legalisms and such malignant inventions designed to give a fig-leaf of spurious legality for war-crimes and human rights violations by the world’s most aggressive imperialist power, the USA, must be vigorously opposed and rebuffed.



Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Shatter denies US illegalities at Shannon:


In response to opposition questions in Dáil Éireann today, Defence and Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, denied any illegal activities by US Military using Shannon Airport and used his time to attack Michael Wallace TD who was asking the questions

and Finian McGrath TD and Clare Daly TD, who intervened from the opposition benches, in his usual pro-imperialist way evading all criticism of the misuse of the Airport by the US Military with the connivance and collaboration of Shatter and his government contrary to Irish and International law:


Shannon Airport Facilities

 8. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Defence the cost to the Defence Forces of providing security for US military planes at Shannon airport.  [46647/13]

 30. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Defence  the reason at least one Irish soldier was on the ground at Shannon on 7 September when a US Air Force Hercules C130 was present.  [46646/13]
Deputy Mick Wallace:  Section 317 of the Defence Act 1954 states: "No person shall, save with the consent in writing of a Minister of State, enter or land in the State while wearing any foreign uniform." Only a few years ago, our current President, Mr. Michael D. Higgins, described statements by the then Government in respect of Shannon as one untruth followed by another. What is the cost relating to the provision at security at Shannon Airport and why is taxpayers' money being used to protect US forces at Shannon, particularly when the latter are in breach of Irish neutrality and are very often en route to countries further afield in order to breach international law?
Deputy Alan Shatter:  It is extraordinary that the Deputy's only international bête noire is the United States. He obviously is not concerned that 100,000 people have been killed in Syria or that there are difficulties in the other parts of the world for which no one can hold the United States responsible.
Deputy Finian McGrath What about the 100,000 civilians killed in Iraq?
Deputy Alan ShatterIn relation to the Deputy's question, An Garda Síochána has primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State. Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces is the provision of aid to the civil power, ATCP, which in practice means assisting an Garda Síochána when requested to do so. These ATCP security duties include the protection and guarding of vital installations and the provision of armed security escorts. From time to time, the Garda also requests support from the Defence Forces at Shannon Airport. Such assistance has been provided by the Defence Forces since 5 February 2003. I can confirm that on the 7 September last, members of the Defence Forces were requested by the Garda to assist with security duties at Shannon Airport.

The following items are taken into consideration when calculating the costs involved in providing ATCP at Shannon Airport - security duty allowance, rations and fuel. The costs incurred for the period 2010 to 2012 inclusive were as follows:
2010:   €203,366
2011:    €259,739
2012:    €275,008
The costs for 2013 are expected to be broadly in line with 2012.
An Ceann Comhairle:  Am I correct in stating that the Minister is dealing with questions Nos. 8 and 30?
Deputy Alan Shatter Apparently so.
An Ceann Comhairle:  Both questions are in the name of Deputy Wallace.
Deputy Finian McGrath:  Will other Members be able to contribute?
An Ceann Comhairle:  If we have time.
Deputy Mick Wallace:  I have as much respect for the likes of Vladimir Putin and what he does to disturb world peace as I have for Barack Obama, Islamic militants, Israel or whomever. I am opposed to all forms of terrorism, be they perpetrated by an individual or a state.
In March 2011, the Labour Party - Fine Gael's partner in government - stated that it would be enforcing The Hague convention on neutrality. According to the convention, which defines the rights and duties of international law, neutral countries are forbidden to move troops or convoys of munitions of war or supplies across their territory. We have seen pictures of soldiers with guns, and not just in uniforms, on the ground at Shannon. I do not believe that this is appropriate if the country is to have any semblance of neutrality. We like to think that we are neutral in some way.
Deputy Alan Shatter:  As the Deputy knows, US planes transporting members of that country's military have landed at Shannon for many years. There is no reason, in the context of the use of Shannon, that we should impede such transportation in any way. Indeed, there is no suggestion of which I am aware of any difficulties arising at Shannon Airport. I draw to the Deputy's attention that the business generated as a result of this use of Shannon is very important in the context of maintaining the viability of the airport, which plays a crucial role in the context of facilitating access from the United States through to other locations. I really do not understand what is the Deputy's difficulty. There is no suggestion that American soldiers landing in Shannon have ever behaved inappropriately or have done anything other than contribute to the local economy.
Deputy Finian McGrath:  They are just on their way to kill people elsewhere.
Deputy Mick Wallace:  A few years ago, the current Tánaiste wondered why the then Government had not complied with a request from the Human Rights Commission to inspect aircraft travelling through Shannon. The Minister states that this use of the airport is good for business. I accept that it is good for business but at what price? Let us not forget that plenty of civilians pass through Shannon. If we are going to allow military personnel who are often armed to pass through our airport in order that they can fly on to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or Yemen and destroy the lives of others, then I am of the view that the price for facilitating business is too high.
Deputy Finian McGrath:  Hear, hear.
Deputy Clare Daly:  Absolutely.
Deputy Alan Shatter:  The Deputy has obviously failed to notice that there is a group in Afghanistan called the Taliban-----
Deputy Finian McGrath:  Do its members travel through Shannon?
Deputy Alan Shatter:  -----which generally believes that it should enforce the most extreme form-----
Deputy Finian McGrath:  The Minister's pal-----
An Ceann Comhairle:  Deputy Finian McGrath should allow the Minister to conclude.
Deputy Alan Shatter: -----of Islamic law whereby no woman should be educated or appear in public without being completely covered-----
Deputy Mick Wallace: This has nothing to do with the questions I tabled.
Deputy Finian McGrath: What has this got to do with Shannon? So the Minister supports the American war.
Deputy Alan Shatter:  ----- and that girls going to school are seen as reasonable targets and can be shot. Also operating out of Afghanistan is al-Qaeda, which planned and carried out the destruction of the twin towers in New York. The Deputy seems to be of the view that the sole focus of evil in the world is the United States and that there are no other trouble spots on the face of the planet-----
Deputy Clare Daly:  Is the Taliban using Shannon?
Deputy Alan Shatter:  -----where individuals violate fundamental rights, seek to prevent normal communal activities and discriminate against women in a very foul way, treat them as second-class citizens and attempt to prevent them from accessing any form of education.
Deputy Mick Wallace:  The Minister might be interested to discover that 19 of the 20 people who were involved in the 9/11 attacks in America came from autocratic states protected by America.
Deputy Finian McGrath:  Hear, hear. Those are the facts.
Deputy Mick Wallace:  The Minister should get his facts right.
An Ceann Comhairle:  Members are supposed to pose questions.
Deputy Finian McGrath:  Yes, but the Minister is misinforming the House.
Deputy Alan Shatter:  I do not believe Deputy Wallace asked a question.
Deputy Finian McGrath:  Will the Minister stop coming before the House and acting as the USA's poodle in respect of international issues? The reality is that many people who operate in the human rights arena are genuinely concerned about the use of Shannon Airport by people on their way to bomb and kill others. Those of us on the Opposition benches have always opposed all forms of violence but the Minister is blatantly supporting US policy, end of story.
Deputy Alan Shatter:  When one must use abuse, one is losing the argument.
Deputy Finian McGrath:  There was no abuse.
Deputy Alan Shatter:  I would not describe myself as a poodle or any other type of dog. I like dogs and am of the view that we should encourage people to keep pets because the latter brighten their lives and give them other interests.
The only country Deputy Finian McGrath and some of his colleagues ever pillory for its conduct is the United States.
Deputy Alan Shatter:  I would love to see him, Deputy Mick Wallace and perhaps Deputy Clare Daly jumping up in a similar manner to address issues involving the violation of fundamental rights by Russia or in Iran, Iraq and a whole range of other countries.
Deputy Mick Wallace:  Saudi Arabia.
Deputy Alan Shatter:  There are violations of rights, particularly of women, in Saudi Arabia.
Deputy Mick Wallace: What about the Americans?

Deputy Alan Shatter:  The United States does not get everything right or do everything right. We are, however, dealing with a simple issue, namely, the transport of troops and the use of Shannon Airport. The airport has been used for many years in that context and there is no reason it should not continue to be so used. It is of particular benefit to the airport and the local economy that it is so used".

What we are actually dealing with is the use of a civilian Airport by one belligerent in several areas of conflict in the Middle East and Asia and no other parties in such conflicts. The only country using our territory to tranship its military and their equipment to these conflicts is the United States. So, the Minister's attempts to drag in other parties to these conflicts or extraneous matters is typical of his evasion tactics which he employs on every occasion when these questions are raised in our parliament, Dáil Éireann. The Minister wants to excise from the discussion any comments on the ultimate purpose of these military transports which is to bomb, maim and kill human beings in other countries so that Shannon airport can show a profit at the end of the year. So, we ought, according to this immorality, move out of the recession by assisting the US to wade through the blood of innocent people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia,Yemen, and latterly Syria and wherever else the US Military wants to trample its jackboots on?

If he wants a debate on human rights issues in other countries, he can put it on the order paper himself anytime he wants and no doubt the Opposition will facilitate him; Israel, for example? 

In December, 2008 and January 2009, Israel launched a large-scale assault on the Gaza Strip using white phosphorous as a weapon against civilian areas which is a violation of International Law. Some of this deadly material was shipped from the US to Israel through Shannon Airport, as there were no stocks of this material available in Europe. Hundreds of men,women and children in the close-packed populated areas of Gaza suffered horrendous injuries from the illegal use of this substance by the Israeli forces.

          White phosphorous bombs rain down on GAZA during Israel's vengeance attack in 2008/9

                     Israeli military handling White Phosphorous shells at the Gaza border, 2008/9

The London "Times" newspaper reported:

January 8, 2009
Photographic evidence has emerged that proves that Israel has been using controversial white phosphorus shells during its offensive in Gaza, despite official denials by the Israel Defence Forces.
There is also evidence that the rounds have injured Palestinian civilians, causing severe burns. The use of white phosphorus against civilians is prohibited under international law.
The Times has identified stockpiles of white phosphorus (WP) shells from high-resolution images taken of Israel Defence Forces (IDF) artillery units on the Israeli-Gaza border this week. The pale blue 155mm rounds are clearly marked with the designation M825A1, an American-made WP munition. The shell is an improved version with a more limited dispersion of the phosphorus, which ignites on contact with oxygen, and is being used by the Israeli gunners to create a smoke screen on the ground.
The rounds, which explode into a shower of burning white streaks, were first identified by The Times at the weekend when they were fired over Gaza at the start of Israel's ground offensive. Artillery experts said that the Israeli troops would be in trouble if they were banned from using WP because it is the simplest way of creating smoke to protect them from enemy fire.

Confronted with the latest evidence, an IDF spokeswoman insisted that the M825A1 shell was not a WP type. “This is what we call a quiet shell - it is empty, it has no explosives and no white phosphorus. There is nothing inside it,” she said.

Human Rights Watch reported:

“Human Rights Watch’s investigation into the fighting in Gaza concluded that Israeli forces were responsible for serious violations of the laws of war, including the use of heavy artillery and white phosphorus munitions in densely populated areas, the apparent targeting of people trying to convey their civilian status, and the destruction of civilian objects in excess of military need. Some of the cases of white-phosphorus use demonstrate evidence of war crimes, Human Rights Watch said last month in a 71-page report.

“The military’s finding that ‘no phosphorus munitions were used on built-up areas’ is blatantly wrong, Human Rights Watch said. Immediately after major fighting stopped, Human Rights Watch researchers in Gaza found spent white phosphorous artillery shells, canister liners, and dozens of burnt felt wedges containing white phosphorus on city streets and apartment roofs, in residential courtyards, and at a United Nations school. Artillery shells containing white phosphorus also struck a hospital and the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), both in central Gaza City”. 

"All of the white phosphorus shells Human Rights Watch found in Gaza are from the same lot, manufactured in the United States and marked: THS89D112-003 155MM M825E1. THS89D is the manufacturer identification code denoting that the shells and contents were produced in April 1989 by Thiokol Aerospace, which operated the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant at the time; 112-003 are the interfix and sequence numbers, which denote that several lots of the same ammunition were being produced simultaneously; 155mm stands for the caliber of the artillery shell. M825E1 is the US military designation for an older remanufactured M825 white phosphorus shell that has been brought up to the current M825A1 standard".
“Additionally, Reuters news agency photographed an IDF artillery unit in Israel near Gaza handling M825A1 projectiles on January 4, 2009 with the lot number PB-91J011-002A, indicating that these shells were produced in the United States at the Pine Bluff Arsenal in September 1991”.

Mr Shatter, then an opposition TD, made no complaints about this outrageous war crime. No surprise though, as he is a proclaimed Zionist and supporter of Israel.
He sheds crocodile tears for Syria, but, choses to ignore the financing and training of Syrian jihadis by the US at its Camp Bondsteel base in NATO-Occupied Kosovo, under the noses of Irish Army "peacekeepers" stationed there, as extensively reported by Zagreb newspapers earlier this year.. Never mind that this a blatant breach of the UN Security Council Mandate for  NATO and Irish troops in Kosovo which he and his government are complicit in. Some hypocrite.
He ought to be careful, though, in provoking the current Opposition to his government as he might get his wish and questions might be submitted on human rights in other countries, including Israel, although this would likely be unpalatable to such an ardent Zionist like himself.