Independence or Empire? The United Nations or the EU?

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The Peace & Neutrality Alliance was established to advocate an Independent Irish foreign policy, maintain Irish Neutrality and promote the UN and the OSCE as the organisations through which Ireland should pursue its security concerns. PANA therefore believes that the future of the European Union should be as an Association of Sovereign Democratic States without a military dimension.

The Irish political elite seek to abolish an independent Irish foreign policy, destroy Irish Neutrality and pursue their security through the transformation of the European Union into a nuclear armed European Empire - a new Imperial State. They seek to effectively terminate Irish Army participation as a peacekeeping force in the United Nations and transform it into a regiment of the embryonic European Army, the Rapid Reaction Force.

It is your choice to agree with the objectives of PANA or the elite. To help the elite, or defeat them.

Demand a Referendum on the Nice Treaty

The results of the referendums on the efforts of the elite to win show that an increasing number of the Irish people are deciding to defeat them. Over 38% of the Irish people voted against the Amsterdam Treaty, so if only 12% more of the people joined those already against the elite, and also voted against the Nice Treaty, they could be defeated.

We should also be inspired by the defeat of the Danish elite by the Danish people in their recent referendum, for while joining the Euro was the reason for their referendum, the debate centred on the issue of Danish Democracy versus the European Empire.

The Treaty of Nice provides the next opportunity for the Irish people who support Irish Democracy, Independence and neutrality to win. Firstly, we must be given the choice to vote in a referendum.

The fear of defeat by the Irish elite was clearly exposed by their refusal to hold a referendum on Irish membership of Nato's PfP (a sort of FÁS training course for Nato membership) despite the fact that Mr Ahern had told the Dáil that it would be "fundamentally undemocratic" to join without a referendum; and their statements that the Nice Treaty does not need one.

We demand a referendum. We demand a Protocol to the Treaty similar to that achieved by the Danish people which prevented them from having to participate in or pay for the militarisation of the European Union.

Treaty of Nice

The elite's virtually secret negotiations on the Treaty of Nice are to be concluded in December 2000. The Irish Government have already said that there should not have to be a referendum. The Treaty of Nice will probably ensure that the Irish Government will retain the right to appoint a Commissioner. The elite will claim the fact that Ireland still has the right to appoint a Commissioner is a great victory while not making it clear that once appointed an Irish Commissioner swears loyalty to the European Empire.

The Treaty will ensure more power is transferred from the Irish people and their elected assembly, Dáil Eireann, to the Council of Ministers through a massive reduction in the number of issues where the national veto can be applied.

At the same time greater power is given to larger states like France and Germany as they will be given more votes and the issues on which majority votes are taken are increased.

In short, the Treaty of Nice will mean a further diminution of Irish National Democracy, and a further step towards the formation of the Empire. The previous major step was the Amsterdam Treaty.

The Amsterdam Treaty

The elite deliberately held the referendum on the same day as that of the Good Friday Agreement which meant that the media gave it very little attention compared to the Agreement, so that there was scant coverage of the issues involved.

Article J3 states, "The European Council shall define the principles of and the General guidelines for the common foreign and security policy, including for matters with defence implications."
Article J7 states, "The common foreign and security policy shall include all questions relating to the Union, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy, in accordance with the second sub paragraph (the merger of the nuclear armed WEU into the EU) which might lead to a common defence should the European Council so decide."

The Danish Protocol

The movement in favour of Danish National Democracy is much more powerful than in Ireland, and their Government was forced to ensure a Protocol be added to the Treaty which stated, "With regard to measures adopted by the Council in the field of Articles J3(1) and J7 of the Treaty of the European Union, Denmark does not participate in the elaboration and the implementation of decisions and actions of the Union which have defence implications, but will not prevent the development of closer cooperation between member states in this area. Therefore Denmark shall not participate in their adoption. Denmark shall not contribute to the financing of the operational expenditure arising from such measures."

PANA demanded a 'no' vote to the Amsterdam Treaty and its renegotiation so that the Irish State obtained a similar Protocol.

PANA again demands a 'no' vote to the Nice Treaty if a similar Protocol is not added to it, to exclude Ireland from the militarisation of the EU.

The War Making Tasks of the European Union / Empire

Article J7.2 states, "Questions referred to in this article shall include humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks, and combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking."

PANA, during the 'debate' on the Treaty, said this meant giving the right to the EU to become involved in war, and the elite totally denied it and called us "extremists and isolationists." Yet after the debate one of their members John Bruton, Leader of Fine Gael, said in the Dáil on the 22/10/99:
"Peacemaking means imposing, by the use of force, peaceful conditions under the terms laid down by the peacemaker. It is very difficult to distinguish that from war making, unless one gets into subjective questions of motivation which are highly elastic."

It is a reflection of the contempt for the people held by the political elite that they only admitted the real implications of the Amsterdam Treaty after the debate, and we can be assured they will adopt the same attitude to the Treaty of Nice.

Regiment of the Empire

As a consequence of the Amsterdam Treaty the European Union has already agreed to establish a European Army known as the Rapid Reaction Force. The Army will have a strength of approximately 250,000 which will be needed to place 80,000 soldiers into the field of conflict. This Army will be given the right to operate within a radius of 2,500 miles outside the EU. While nominally it will operate only with a UN mandate, as we have seen from the NATO war against Yugoslavia, the UN mandate will be ignored. This Army will be used wherever the EU elite wants to use it to defend the "interests" of the elite.

When they are used, for example, to protect EU interests in the Caspian Sea, against people in the region who might seek to use the resource more equitably, then the local people are unlikely to distinguish between the "neutral" Irish Regiment of the Army of the European Empire and the other regiments any more than they did when the Connaught Rangers played the same role defending the "interests" of the British Union & Empire.

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The Termination of Ireland's United Nations Peacekeeping Role

PANA consistently argued during the 'debates' on the Amsterdam Treaty and Irish membership of NATO's PfP that Irish neutrality and Independence was being destroyed 'salami' style. The logic of which would be that the long and honourable tradition of Irish Army participation as a peacekeeping force directly under the auspices of the United Nations would effectively be terminated as the Irish Army became integrated into the EU/NATO military structures.

Even Lieut. General Gerry McMahon(rtd), chief-of-staff of the Defence Forces from Feb. '95 to Aug.'98, a long time supporter of this integration process, has declared that the policy of the elite is a "desertion of the United Nations".

In 1999 the Government signed up to the United Nations Standby Arrangements System (UNSAS) in which it promised to provide up to 850 troops for UN Peacekeeping at any time. Yet the White Paper on Defence stated that this was "an expression of policy and not a binding commitment."

In May 2001 the Irish UN Peacekeeping force in the Lebanon, our only major commitment to UN, will be terminated. Given the limited size of the Irish Army, the elite have had to make a choice: serve in the United Nations as a Peacekeeping Force or serve as a Regiment in the European Army (RRF).

They have made it. They have rejected Ireland's peacekeeping role in the only global inclusive organisation committed to securing peace through international co-operation and collective security.

Ireland and the Security Council

PANA strongly welcomes the success of the Irish Government and the Dept. of Foreign Affairs in achieving a position on the Security Council. It is exactly the kind of focus advocated by PANA. We need to have an Independent Foreign Policy advocated in a global framework. Yet if Ireland is to agree to a Common Foreign and Defence Policy with the other states in the European Union, how can it have an independent foreign policy? What difference does it make whether Ireland or Italy sits on the Security Council? There are a number of possible explanations. Firstly, a significant element of the elite secretly agree with PANA and, by ensuring that Ireland is on the Security Council, will expose the contradiction between an IIFP and the CFSP. Secondly, Ireland will simply vote for the CFSP on the Security Council, getting the perks instead of the Italians, while maintaining the illusion of Irish Independence in order to weaken the political forces, such as PANA, that genuinely support Irish Neutrality and an Independent Irish Foreign Policy. We can only hope that the first option is a real possibility, and a degree of support for it is validated by the New Agenda Coalition initiative.

The New Agenda Coalition

The New Agenda Coalition brought together seven Governments: Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Slovenia and Sweden, which agreed to work for a new agenda to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. At the year 2000 NPT Review conference the state parties to the NPT accepted a new agenda for that objective. It has been a great achievement by the Irish Government. Yet as Patrick Smyth, the European Correspondent of the Irish Times pointed out, "it would not have happened within the context of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy". It is the most effective example of an Independent Irish Foreign Policy, where Ireland launched a global initiative with six other states, four of which were not, nor likely to become, member states of the European Union. It clearly exposes the fundamental contradiction between the two goals, Irish Independence or European Empire.

PANA is now advocating its own initiative to further expose the contradiction by advocating a Neutrality Amendment Constitutional Bill.

The Neutrality Amendment

The Irish Constitution, unlike, for example, that of Malta, does not enshrine Neutrality into the Constitution, the reason being that at the time of its adoption, there was overwhelming political support for it among the Irish people. When the 2nd World War broke, the entire Dáil, with only one exception, voted to support the policy of Irish Neutrality. Indeed, the political elite still declare they support the policy, yet, through their advocacy of the Amsterdam Treaty, their support for Irish membership of Nato's PfP, they in fact seek to destroy it. PANA, in order to further publicly expose their real policy, has sought support for a Neutrality Amendment to the Constitution which would amend Article 29.2 which reads; "Ireland affirms its adherence to the principle of the pacific settlement of international disputes by international arbitration or judicial determination."

by adding,

"To this end the State shall, in particular, maintain a policy of non membership of military alliances."

PANA not only believes the vast majority of the Irish people still support Irish neutrality, but unlike the elite we believe it does not have its origins in the 2nd World War, but is deeply rooted in the struggle for National Independence.

Irish Neutrality

Irish Neutrality was advocated by Wolfe Tone, Leader of the United Irishmen in a potential war between Britain and Spain in the 18th century. The United Irishmen sought to establish a United, Independent and Sovereign Irish Republic. They were part of an international democratic Revolution against Monarchy and privilege. They did so with the inclusive slogan of seeking to "unite Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter in the common name of Irishmen."

They were ruthlessly crushed by British Imperialism and its Irish allies. The commitment to Irish neutrality was maintained in the 19th century by the Young Irelanders and the Irish Republican Brotherhood who, in the early 20th century, led the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence. The Treaty which established the State and the subsequent steps ensured our right to Neutrality and Independence. This Independence was expressed through our support for International organisations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations, initiating the Non-Proliferation Treaty and playing a key role in UN Peacekeeping.

Yet those Irish that supported Imperialism while defeated did not go away.

The tradition of Redmond and Lord Kitchener is now being revived. Instead of being "British" we are all "European". While once seeking Home Rule within the British Union, the elite now seek Home Rule within the European Union.

They seek to do so because they now can identify with the rich elites from the United States and European States which seek to ensure the maintenance of a world economic order that has made the rich richer and the poor poorer.

The function of the NATO/EU military Force into which our Army (that was founded to establish and defend an Independent Democratic Republic) is now being integrated is to defend the wealthy, and their privileges.

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The Tribunals have shown that the real electorate for the Irish political elite is those business interests that pay them vast amounts of money. Their loyalty is to the international political elite that are paid by the international business community. In that sense the elite are internationalists.

PANA's Internationalism is of a different nature. We are building links internationally with those groups and organisations that seek peace by achieving social justice and a more egalitarian world economic order. We seek to build an alliance not only in Ireland but globally will all those groups that see an inclusive and Transformed United Nations which will according to the UN Charter, maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights, and to be a centre for harmonising the actions of nations.

The choice is between the internationalism of the rich or the internationalism of the poor, the internationalism of privilege or the internationalism of democracy, the internationalism of the arms traders or the internationalism of the peace movement. The choice is between the United Nations or a European Superstate, between National Democracy or European Elitism. The Irish elite have already made their decision; we now ask you to make your choice.


Membership of The Peace & Neutrality Alliance is open to all individuals and groups that accept its objectives.

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