November 2012        

Withdraw Irish soldiers from Afghanistan now!

The Peace and Neutrality Alliance campaigned against the Afghan war before it even began. It argued that the terrorist attack on the United States was a horrific crime and that the criminals responsible should be brought to justice before a court of law. Instead the United States and its allies, including Ireland, went to war.
      Michael D. Higgins, before his election as president, when he was Labour Party spokesperson on foreign affairs, called for the Irish soldiers participating in that war to be withdrawn. Despite this, the present minister for foreign affairs, Éamon Gilmore, refuses to do so.
      While it is understandable that most media attention is concentrated on the government’s commitment to the insanity of pouring taxpayers’ money into the black hole of Anglo-Irish Bank, to ensure that the people suffer as the domestic economy implodes and the bondholders get the money, PANA is making the case that the continuing commitment to never-ending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is also insane, with the added fact that thousands upon thousands of people are being killed or injured.
      Even now the same political forces are not only imposing totally unjustified sanctions on Iran, causing growing hardship on the people of that country, but they also beat the drums for yet another war, while still continuing the Afghan war.
      While the immediate withdrawal of Irish soldiers from Afghanistan will save some much-needed money, the case for doing so is essentially to give a clear signal to the political leadership in Israel and its supporters in the European Union and the United States that the Irish people have had enough of war, they have had enough of touching the forelock, that as we approach the anniversary of the 1916 Rising the spirit of resistance to imperial wars is being reborn.

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