June 2017        

Planes that kill other people’s children

Niall Farrell

Later this month the Bray Air Display—thanks to funding from Wicklow County Council—will announce its line-up for the now annual event in late July. Have no doubt that NATO warplanes will be in evidence on the programme.
     Last year the RAF and the Italian air force strutted their stuff across the Dublin skies. But the web site of the RAF Red Arrows makes plain the real aim behind these displays: “to carry out defence diplomacy overseas”—in other words, propaganda—and “to aid recruitment into the Armed Forces.”
     These air displays are a means of sanitising and therefore glorifying war.
     For the punter in Bray the air show is meant to be an exhilarating experience as these machines of death scream overhead. But in the war zones of the Middle East the sound of these warplanes generate terror, not titillation, for the people below.
     They are weapons of mass destruction: they indiscriminately kill, maim, and terrorise. To have these on show as a form of light entertainment not only glorifies war but also presents the Irish people as supporters of the horrendous acts of violence carried out by these warplanes.
     That is why we urge the organisers to remove this weaponry at the event. We believe that with a little imagination the air show could continue with the same level of success as before, but without these unwelcome weapons of mass destruction.
     Let’s face it: should planes that kill other people’s children be fun for our children?

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