Wednesday, January 30, 2013

COL. ANN WRIGHT to visit Ireland


American Peace Activist, Col. Ann Wright will visit Ireland in February. She will speak at a public meeting in the Teachers' Club, Parnell Sq, Dublin at 8pm on Thursday, February 16. The meeting is jointly organised by Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) and Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM).

Ann Wright grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas, where she earned a Master’s and a Law Degree. She also has a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs from the US Naval War College. In her junior year at the University of Arkansas, she attended a three-week Army training program after meeting with a visiting Army recruiter. That experience helped inform her decision to join the service.

For 13 years Ann Wright was an active duty soldier. She spent another 16 years in the Army reserves, retiring as a Colonel. Part of her Army work was special operations in civil affairs. In the event of invasions into other countries, Ann Wright helped to develop “plans about how to interact with the civilian population, how to protect the facilities – sewage, water, electrical grids, libraries…"It’s our obligation under the law of land warfare.” After Col. Wright was released from active duty, she joined the State Department. For the next 16 years, she served as a foreign diplomat in countries such as Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone. She was on the team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001, after the fall of the Taliban to US forces.

In all those years, Ann Wright was proud to represent America. However, on March 13, 2003, the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, Col. Ann Wright sent a letter of resignation to then Secretary of State Colin Powell. She felt that without the authorisation of the UN Security Council, the US invasion and occupation of an oil-rich, Arab Moslem country would be a disaster. Only two other State Department officials resigned at that time in protest of the imminent invasion. In a statement at the time, Col Wright said: ""I have served my country for almost thirty years in some of the most isolated and dangerous parts of the world. I want to continue to serve America. However, I do not believe in the policies of this Administration and cannot--morally and professionally--defend or implement them. It is with heavy heart that I must end my service to America and therefore resign."

In an interview, Ann Wright explained that, in the Foreign Service, “Your job is to implement the policies of an administration…if you strongly disagree with any administration’s policies, and wish to speak out, your only option is to resign. I understood that and that’s one of the reasons I resigned – to give myself the freedom to talk out.”
Since resigning, patriotism for Ann Wright has meant becoming an anti-war activist. She worked with Cindy Sheehan organizing Camp Casey, and appeared in the documentary “Uncovered: The Truth About the Iraq War”. She travels and lectures on foreign policy issues. She has been arrested five times in one year for protesting Bush’s policies, and has referred to herself cheerfully as a “felon for peace”. 

This retired Army Colonel has also recently been temporarily banned not only from two military bases for placing postcards there announcing a showing of the documentary “Sir, No Sir”, but from the US Capitol area (her case is still pending), and the National Press Club (this a lifetime ban), for voicing opinions and questions concerning Bush Administration policies and the Iraq war.

This most welcome visitor will do much to break down the wall of misinformation presented by the Irish Media in regard to US imperialist wars across the world in which the Irish people are deliberately misrepresented by the current and previous governments who have allowed the US Military unrestricted and uninspected use of Shannon Airport since 2001, with transport of illegal weapons such as drones, CIA sponsored rendition flights, taking kidnapped citizens of several countries to Guantanamo Bay and other torture camps as a regular part of the activities there; all contrary to the Irish Constitution and International Law.

There will be other meetings during the visit which will be announced later. Each deserves a
thronged audience to demonstrate the Irish people's condemnation of US/NATO imperialist warmongering and their rightful abhorrence of the outrageous human rights abuses, murder and assassination which is a daily occurrence now in the countries targeted by the US/NATO aggressors.

See also :

 Áth Cliath/Dublin
Eanáir/January 30 2013

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