Republican News · Thursday 31 August 2000

[An Phoblacht]

The assault on Irish neutrality

Speaking at the Greaves Summer School, Professor John Maguire, former professor of Sociology at University College Cork, said:

``If a tribunal were established to look into Irish foreign policy and the creeping abandonment of neutrality, the disclosures would be even more appalling, and serious, than those currently rocking Dublin Castle. The misrepresentations, evasions and lack of accountability involved in this process mean that we are now on the brink of incorporation into a lawlessly aggressive European Union war-machine, in direct conflict with our superior obligations under our own Constitution and the United Nations Charter.

The greatest misrepresentation of all is the stereotyping of those who value and defend neutrality as isolationist and irresponsible. The central, core meaning of neutralitry - our duty to decide questions of peace and war, life and death, on their ethical merits case by case - is at least as relevant now as it was decades ago. The key question now about 1939-'45 is not whether we were right or wrong in the stance we adopted then, but whether we should have abandoned our right and obligation to decide our stance in the first place.

One of the key issues in the forthcoming referendum on closer EU military integration must be the glaring contradiction between the values and achievements of the Peace Process here in Ireland, and the readiness to abandon conflict-resolution for unauthorised armed aggression in Iraq, former Yugoslavia and elsewhere. The Kosovo-Serbia debacle, even the basis for which is now revealed as vastly distorted by NATO disinformation, involved a bombing campaign where well over half of all bombs missed their targets, and 89% of one category remain ``unaccounted for.''

It is hugely ironic that the alleged ``cure'' for this mayhem is being touted as Raytheon, the arms manufacturer currently being ushered into Derry as one of the first fruits of the ``peace dividend''. The solution to violence is to find means of preventing it, not to export it elsewhere. The only way to do this is to respect and fulfil our own responsibilitity as peace-keepers, under the aegis of a reformed and effective United Nations, which needs defence from the unceasing aggressiveness of NATO.''

Contents Page for this Issue
Reply to: Republican News