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Behind warmonger Bush:

It’s Bertie!

“I thank you for your strong support in our common struggle.” George W Bush welcomes Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to the White House for St Patrick’s Day, 17 March 2004

Although the Irish government claims to be against the war in Iraq, the reality is that it is actively collaborating in its prosecution. The most obvious example of this has been the use of Shannon airport by the US military. It has played a significant role in the transport of troops and munitions to the Gulf.

· In 2003, 3691 foreign military aircraft carrying 125,855 armed troops passed through Shannon.
· Another 612 planes carrying munitions landed at the airport, while 270 planes carrying weapons were guided through Irish airspace by air traffic control at Shannon.
· This year’s figures are likely to be double those of 2003.

Shannon is also being used to transfer prisoners to Guantanamo Bay.

The Irish government has supported the war in the diplomatic arena. When a temporary member of the UN Security Council, Ireland voted in favour of Resolution 1441. This effectively started the countdown to war.

The very fact that Bush has been invited to Ireland, particularly in the middle of a presidential election campaign, can only be seen as a political endorsement. This comes at a time when more and more Americans are turning against his war agenda.

Although it is very easy to bash Bush, our immediate target should be the homegrown warmongers. Over the last number of years successive Irish governments have increasingly been inserting Ireland into the military structures of imperialism. They have signed up to NATO’s Partnership For Peace and the European army. The idea that Ireland has a neutral foreign policy is a complete sham.

Bertie Ahern, in typical Fianna Fail style, simply lies his head off.  When the US kept all the juicy contracts to plunder Iraq he claimed that Ireland had been excluded because of the government’s opposition to the war!

He gets away with this guff because all the Irish capitalist parties are in favour of the war and the majority of the anti-government groups are mounting a phoney opposition.

Sinn Fein were simultaneously on the anti-war platforms and buried in a sea of red, white and blue at Hillsborough when they welcomed Bush on his last visit to Ireland! This isn’t some small confusion.  Sinn Fein say they oppose US warmongering in the Middle East while claiming to be in partnership with US imperialism to guarantee peace here!

The trade union leadership adopts the same two-faced approach, opposing Irish capital on the anti-war platform while remaining wedded to partnership with the same Irish capital in two decades of attacks on the Irish working class – attacks that continue today with a new wave of privatisation.

George Bush has come to Ireland.  He deserves a “warm” welcome from the opponents of the war.  But Bush will shortly leave again.  When he goes it is Bertie Ahern, the Irish government and Irish capitalism that will remain as the local war machine. 

It is therefore Bertie, the Irish government and Irish capitalism that the movement against the war will have to bring down.


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