Irish anti-war groups disrupted discussions over militarization and membership of military alliances at the government’s first national security consultation meeting that began at the University College Cork (UCC). On June 22, activists from the Connolly Youth Movement (CYM) disrupted the Consultative Forum on International Security Policy meeting with anti-war slogans and raised a red banner that read “NATO Wars! Millions Dead.” Deputy head of government and foreign and defense minister Micheál Martin from the Fianna Fail of the ruling liberal-conservative coalition, was set to address the gathering, only to be interrupted by anti-war protesters on Thursday.
Am I the only American to travel overseas and feel embarrassed by the conduct of the diplomats Washington sends abroad to speak for our republic? It is pretty strange to find yourself, an ordinary citizen, apologizing for the intrusive, cajoling, bullying, badgering and otherwise crude utterances of this or that ambassador in this or that nation. But such is the state of things as the late-phase imperium fields its elbows-out undiplomats—a term I borrow from the Swiss, who suffer one as we speak. Scott Miller, the Biden regime’s ambassador to Bern for a little more than a year, is indeed a doozy in this line.
On April 4, 2023, Finland officially became the 31st member of the NATO military alliance. The 830-mile border between Finland and Russia is now by far the longest border between any NATO country and Russia, which otherwise borders only Norway, Latvia, Estonia, and short stretches of the Polish and Lithuanian borders where they encircle Kaliningrad. In the context of the not-so-cold war between the United States, NATO and Russia, any of these borders is a potentially dangerous flashpoint that could trigger a new crisis, or even a world war. But a key difference with the Finnish border is that it comes within about 100 miles of Severomorsk, where Russia's Northern Fleet and 13 of its 23 nuclear-armed submarines are based.
Leftist parties in Switzerland, including the Communist Party and the Swiss Party of Labor (PST-POP), have intensified their campaign demanding that the official Swiss policy of neutrality in international conflicts be maintained. Both parties have prioritized this demand in their manifestos for the upcoming April cantonal elections and the federal elections in October. Earlier this month, the Communist Party organized ground-level campaigns in the neighborhoods of Bellinzona, Locarno, Mendrisio, and Lugano, in the Ticino canton, and collected signatures for its neutrality initiative.
Shannon Airport, County Clare, Ireland - “This is not a regular airport,” Margaretta D’Arcy said to me as we heard a C-130T Hercules prepare to take off from Shannon Airport in Ireland after 3 p.m. on September 11, 2022. That enormous U.S. Navy aircraft (registration number 16-4762) had flown in from Sigonella, a US Naval Air Station in Italy. A few minutes earlier, a US Navy C-40A (registration number 16-6696) left Shannon for the US military base at Stuttgart, Germany, after flying in from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. Shannon is not a regular airport, D’Arcy said, because while it is merely a civilian airport, it allows frequent US military planes to fly in and out of it, with Gate 42 of the airport functioning as its “forward operating base.”
Judge Patricia Ryan sent a clear message to protesters objecting to illegal U.S. military flights through Shannon Airport today by fining the Shannon Two 10,000 euros after they were convicted of interfering with the operation, management and safety of the facility. On May 3, the jury found Tarak Kauff and Kenneth Mayers not guilty on the two charges of criminal damage and trespass at Shannon airport, but guilty of the unusual charge of interfering with the airport operation, management or safety, which was added to the case two years after the fact. Mayers and Kauff had pleaded not guilty to all charges. Ken Mayers and Tarak Kauff were arrested on St. Patrick’s Day, 2019, at Shannon Airport for going onto the airfield to inspect U.S. military aircraft or cause them to be inspected.
Dublin, Ireland - A mixed verdict came down in the case of the Shannon Two today. They were found not guilty of the charges of criminal damage and trespass with intent to commit an offense, but they were convicted, by a vote of 10-2, of interfering with the operation, management, and safety of an airport. That charge was added two years after the original charges. They have to surrender their passports until they are sentenced. Tarak Kauff, 80, and Ken Mayers, 85, went onto the airfield at Shannon Airport on March 17, 2019, to inspect any aircraft associated with the U.S. military that were at the airport. There were in fact three planes there at the time—a Marine Corps Cessna jet, and an Air Force Transport C40 aircraft, and one Omni Air International aircraft on contract to the U.S. military that they believed carried troops and weapons through the airport on their way to illegal wars in the Middle East, in violation of Irish neutrality and international law.
Kenneth and Tarak arrived back from the USA to attend their trial on Thursday 21st April. When they arrived at Dublin airport they were quizzed by an immigration official, who commented: “when you here the last time you caused some trouble, is there going to be any trouble this time?” Our two peaceful Veterans For Peace responded that they were just back for their trial and that all their activities are intended to prevent trouble and conflict rather that cause trouble. That seemed to convince immigration that it would be OK to let them in to The Republic of Ireland, even if the term Republic is a bit of a misnomer these days given our membership in an increasingly militarised European Union, NATO’s so-called Partnership For Peace, and our virtual hosting of a U.S. military base as Shannon airport.
New York City - Irish President Michael D. Higgins was on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show this morning. He spoke compassionately at length about immigration and migration and refugees. The last caller, who was included because she was calling from Dublin (audio below), asked him why the Irish government allowed the U.S. to violate its neutrality with its military flights through Shannon to the very wars that were creating those refugees. And she also asked about the case of two U.S. military veterans who had been held in Ireland since March after nonviolently protesting those flights. While he ducked around the neutrality question, he said that he was “familiar with the case” of the veterans and, although he could not interfere, he would “bring it to Government’s attention.”
Ireland has been a neutral nation since the 1930s, meaning it doesn't join military alliances and under numerous treaties is not supposed to assist other countries in military endeavors. However, the United States regularly violates Irish neutrality by flying troops, weapons and military supplies through Shannon Airport. We speak with Tarak Kauff, Ken Mayers and Ellen Davidson, all members of Veterans for Peace, about an action Tarak and Ken took in March to protest the US' violations. They were arrested and held in jail for 12 days for a minor offense and since then have had their passports seized and are not allowed to leave Ireland. It could be many years before they face trial. Listen to their story and what their current walk across Ireland to raise awareness of Ireland's participation in wars.