Meeting For Peace – We Too… (SB)

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Above Photo: Peace Demonstration in Dublin’s GPO Photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)

In 2000, Asian expert and CIA advisor Chalmers Johnson warned in his much-publicized non-fiction book “Blowback” about the dangers threatening the US because of its global “base empire” – in vain. On September 11, 2001, Johnson’s cassandra visions became a terrible reality with the spectacular airplane raids on the twin towers of the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Arlington. Instead of thinking better, the US, under the pretext of a “global war on terror”, displayed a tremendous actionism that exacerbated the fundamental evil – “imperial overstretching” to use the term historian Paul Kennedy instead of eliminating it.

Since then, the number of combat missions of the US forces overseas has skyrocketed, which in turn is raising American sovereign debt to astronomical levels. And – apart from awarding lucrative contracts to the US defense and security industry – for what? For years, cruel civil wars have raged in Iraq, Syria and Libya. From Nigeria to Somalia, various groups such as Boko Haram and Al Shabab are up to mischief. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are undefeated after 17 years of war against the “community of values” NATO and have been leading for some months from a position of strength informal peace negotiations with representatives of the government of Donald Trump. After the destabilization of large parts of Africa and Asia, the foreign policy elite in Washington turns from the seemingly never-ending “

Liberty Hall 
Photo: © 2018 by Schattenblick

The extremely threatening situation has prompted a broad alliance of peace, environmental and human rights groups from around the world to call a “global campaign against US / NATO bases” to life. Finally, the United States and its NATO allies, together make more than 1,000 military bases in 170 countries, stir in the home countries of other peoples conflicts rather than to eliminate them, and surround them in a risk of fire, the territory of the “revisionist powers” China and Russia as well as the ” rogue “North Korea and Iran; Australia and Japan so far are considered informal NATO member states, while currently discussing the possibility of a military intervention of the recent “NATO Partners” Colombia in oil-rich neighbor, Venezuela.

The war opponents see in the closure of all these military bases a necessary condition for the creation of a world in which international disputes are settled exclusively by means of diplomacy, instead of being exacerbated by armed force and artificially kept alive. In order to deal adequately with the base issue and kick off the campaign against military bases, an international conference was held in Dublin from 16 to 18 November. Around 300 delegates from 35 countries attended the Fair City on the banks of the River Liffey. All five continents were represented.

Life-size bronze statue of Connolly, with the star sign of the Great Bear behind it, which was the main motif of the flag of the Irish Citizen Army as the 'Best Plow' - Photo: © 2018 by SchattenblickThe James Connolly Memorial on Beresford Place opposite Liberty Hall 
Photo: © 2018 by Schattenblick

The choice for the Irish capital as venue resulted from the long-standing cooperation of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) in Ireland with its ideological allies abroad, especially in the USA. Since the end of 2001, peace activists have been protesting against its use by the US military every Sunday before entering Shannon civilian airport on the Irish Atlantic coast. Over the last 17 years, more than three million American soldiers have made stops there on their way to war missions in Africa or Asia, or on their way home. Masses of American weapons and ammunition have been transported through Shannon Airport to the theaters of war east of the Greenwich Meridian. Also, some torture victims of the “extraordinary rendition” During the presidency of George W. Bush, the CIA were transported via the airport near Limerick to the special internment camp at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba or to the infamous “black sites” Langleys in Eastern Europe. The diligent observers of Shannon Watch have documented this by systematic listing and evaluation of the corresponding aircraft numbers.

View of the Liberty Hall from the balcony - Foto: © 2018 by SchattenblickThe conference opens 
Photo: © 2018 by Schattenblick

At the Liberty Hall in the heart of Dublin, the organizers of the anti-NATO conference have found the best as well as a very historic venue in terms of venue and technical facilities. Opened in 1965, the modernist skyscraper is the headquarters of the SIPTU (Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union), the successor organization to the Irish Transport & General Worker’s Union. Founded in 1909 by James Larkin ITGWU led in 1913 from the old Liberty Hall the fight against the lockout tens of thousands of workers for union membership by the Dublin large companies. As part of the seven-month,

To protect the workers in the future, founded in 1913 Gewerbschaftsboß Larkin and Socialist James Connolly the Irish Citizen Army (ICA). In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, the ICA and the Irish Volunteers launched the Easter Rising against British rule. The matching Irish declaration of independence was previously secretly printed in the Liberty Hall. The leaders of the insurgents met in Liberty Hall on early Easter Monday before joining the General Post Office (GPO) in nearby Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street) with several hundred combatants.

Che's daughter laments the enduring Western imperialism - Photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)Dr. Aledia Guevara 
Photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)

Pádraig Pearse read Ireland’s Proclamation of Independence in front of the massive columns of the neoclassical building. After six days of heavy fighting – the insurgents had not only occupied the GPO, but also numerous strategically important positions in Dublin – the uprising was over. The rebels were forced to surrender in the face of destruction and opposing forces. In the following weeks, the British military authorities executed all seven signatures of the Declaration of Independence – including Connolly and Pearse – for high treason on the basis of contacts with the German Empire. With the Irish War of Independence 1919-1921 scored the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which had emerged from the merger of the Irish Volunteers with the Irish Citizen Army,

Speakers on stage, one at the lectern and the others sitting at the table - Photo: © 2018 by SchattenblickListening is in order 
Photo: © 2018 by Schattenblick

Consequently, the first event of the anti-NATO conference was a rally and a photo session. Banners and singing on the traffic island in the middle of O’Connell Street with the GPO in the background, which has become the world-famous, stoned symbol of the anti-colonial struggle over the past 100 years, created an impressive backdrop. Afterwards, an “international night” took place on Friday evening in the large meeting room of the Liberty Hall. Welcoming speeches were given by Ed Horgan of PANA, the Italian War Correspondent Fulvio Grimaldi, dr. Stelios Sofocli, Chairman of the Pan-Cypriot Peace Council, Silvio Platero, Chairman of the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Nation (MOVPAZ), Lukas Wirl from the German section of the International Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), as well as Clare Daly. The fiery speech of independent left MPs in the Irish House of Commons (Dáil) was particularly well received by the delegates, not only because Daly had started them with a witty quote from Dublin dramatist and drunkard Brendan Behan, but probably also because the former SIPTU works council member the 2014 arrest of police for attempting to control foreign special purpose machines on the Shannon tarmac for illegal dangerous goods is considered a courageous hero of the Irish peace movement.

The MP for the Dublin North district in action - Photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)Clare Daly 
Photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)

On Saturday and Sunday informative and revealing panel discussions on militarism, nuclear weapons and military bases, impact of military bases on environment and health, Central and South America / Guantánamo, Asia Pacific / US Security Policy reorientation to Asia / Okinawa, Middle East / US NATO plan, Europe / NATO enlargement and Africa / AFRICOM. Practitioners from virtually every corner of the world came to witness the negative consequences of living near foreign military bases. Among other things, the little-known fact of the contamination of groundwater near all more than 400 military bases in the USA has been addressed by perfluorooctonic acid, which is regarded as highly carcinogenic even in microscopically small amounts. About the possible, Excessive consequences for humans and the environment from US bases abroad are largely a mantle of silence. This is ensured by the State of Forces Agreements (SOFA), which the Pentagon has agreed with the host countries.

View from the stage to the audience in the rows of seats - Photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)
Carefully following a discussion photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)

The first US military base abroad is Guantánamo Bay, whose lease was agreed in 1903 between Havana and Washington. The Cuban government and the people of the island now regard the agreement as invalid. This was made clear at the Dublin conference. Aledio Guevara, daughter of the famous Argentine revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara, clearly. In the coming year, the Cubans want a big event with international participation under the motto “Close Guantánamo now!” hold. Equally engaged was Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairéad Maguire, who pointed to the fate of Julian Assange with obvious passion at the conference. For more than six years, the Wikileaks founder is stuck in fear of reprisals in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. On 15 November, for the first time the existence of a secret charge against Assange before the Eastern District Court of Virginia was officially known. After the eventual extradition, the Americans want to prosecute the native Australian for espionage only because he has published secret documents on the Internet about the sometimes illegal machinations of the State Department and the US military. In the ongoing martyrdom of Assange, Maguire rightly sees a US and British frontal attack on traditional press freedom in Western industrial nations. just because he has published secret documents on the Internet about the sometimes illegal machinations of the State Department and the US military. In the ongoing martyrdom of Assange, Maguire rightly sees a US and British frontal attack on traditional press freedom in Western industrial nations. just because he has published secret documents on the Internet about the sometimes illegal machinations of the State Department and the US military. In the ongoing martyrdom of Assange, Maguire rightly sees a US and British frontal attack on traditional press freedom in Western industrial nations.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate points to the acute threat to the Wikileaks founder - Photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)Mairéad Maguire breaks a lance for Julian Assange 
Photo: © 2018 by Ellen Davidson (stopthesewars.org)

The Anti-NATO Base Conference in Dublin took place one week after an event in France, attended by key dignitaries from North America and Europe, to commemorate the end of the First World War 100 years ago. Yet, the vociferous postulate of French President Emmanuel Macron that there was a need to create a “real EU army” proved how little Europe’s current political class has been in slaughtering millions of people on the Old Continent between 1914 and 1918 and learned in 1939 and 1945.

In Ireland, many people are concerned about the Dublin government’s decision to participate in PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation), which is intended as an intermediate to the EU army. So it was really disappointing, if not surprising, how little press response there was to the Liberty Hall conference. In the private and state-run Irish media, apart from a message in the Belfast Newsletter – the mailbox of the Eurosceptic, Procritical Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland – the conference has not been mentioned in any way.

There were no welcome greetings from the conservative minority government of Fine Gael either. On the contrary, the Foreign Ministry Simon Coveneys has denied a Palestinian delegate from the West Bank the entry visa. In return, Ireland’s overwhelmingly elected second-in-command for seven years in October, President Michael D. Higgins, the leader of the Palestinian delegation, Knesset Representative Aida Touma-Sliman, surprisingly staged a one-hour interview on November 18 at his residence in Dublin’s Phoenix Park receive. Even though the incumbent government headed by Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has long been on a pro-NATO course, the popular Michael D.,

Group portrait of some delegates in a fighting pose - Photo: © 2018 by SchattenblickBest atmosphere at the end of a successful conference 
Photo: © 2018 by Schattenblick
  • Jon

    Guantanamo 1903 was NOT the first US base in another country: No! No! No! Pearl Harbor 1875! From Wikipedia (and this is correct):
    Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875.