One of the most historic local elections in Ireland took place in 1920 when politicians who had supported the Imperial War of 1914-18 were defeated and replaced by those who advocated Irish Independence, Irish Democracy and Irish Neutrality. As a symbol of their defeat where I come from, Kingstown was renamed Dun laoghaire.
Those that supported Imperialism, however, did not go away you know; they merely waited in the long grass, waiting for their time to come again.
The decision of the American Empire to invade and conquer Iraq in order to ensure US/Israeli control of the oil and water resources of the region provided the Empire Loyalists with their opportunity.
Andrews, Hanafin and O'Malley, the TD's for Dun Laoghaire, voted in favor of allowing Shannon to be turned into a US airforce base. By doing so they voted to destroy Irish Neutrality, they voted to actively participate in an illegal and unjust war. They voted to ensure that from now on, Ireland would become a member of the Coalition of the Willing, which is a collection of vassal states of the Bush Empire.
Andrews, Hanafin and O'Malley by voting in favour of allowing Shannon to be used were voting for the effective destruction of the United Nations as the inclusive global institution, which under International law used to be the organization, which had the recognized legal authority for collective security.
Andrews, Hannifan and O'Malley might as well now vote to change the name of Dun Laoghaire to Bushtown.
Neither is their commitment to be part of the American Empire likely to end with the establishment of a US airforce bas in Shannon. Other states that are part of the COW, such as Spain, Italy, Holland, Poland, Denmark etc, have already agreed to send troops to help in the consolidation of the conquest of Iraq and to bolster US military domination and to aid the puppet government now being established.
Ireland will also be asked, and will be expected to send in our soldiers to also help with the occupation. Andrew, Hanafin and O'Malley will vote to send in our army, to play a similar role in Iraq, as Irish soldiers did when they were members of British Regiments occupying Iraq in the 1920's.
Indeed, their vision of the future of the European Union is the same as their Leader, the neo-Redmondite, Ahern, which is as a collection of vassal states of the American Empire. A vision, which includes the destruction of the Social Europe so that it becomes to, resembles Bush's America. An America where 38% of the wealth is owned by 1% of the population. An America where 38.7 million Americans are without health care. An America where 43 million Americans are functionally illiterate.
An America where the rich get the tax cuts.
Andrews, Hanafin and O'Maley, however, have a problem. The majority of the Irish people do not like Empires. Having fought for so long for their national Independence against the British Empire they do not want to become part of an American empire. They do not want to kill for Bush. They do not want to die for Bush.
They like living in Dun Laoghaire. They do not want to restore Kingstown or live in Bushtown, or Chiractown, for that matter.
There are however those who do want to live in Chiractown. Those who believe that the European Union should be developed into a European Superstate to provide a "counterweight" to the American Empire. Many of them are in the Labour Party and in the trade union movement. There vision of the future of Europe is now shattered.
The governments of the eastern European states together with those of Ireland, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Holland and Denmark all support the future of the EU as a collection of vassal states of the US. In short, the majority of EU governments support the Blair/Azner/Ahern axis. They support the "New Europe". However even if it had remained an option, an Empire, even if European, should not be supported.
The era of Empires is over. The only institution through which Ireland, the other states of Europe, and all the other states in the world should support is the United Nations, transformed and renewed.
On the 15th of February this year, over 120,000 people took part in the largest anti-war march in Irish history. They reject the future as advocated by Andrews, Hanafin and O'Malley and their boss, Ahern.
Millions upon millions of people throughout the world, in fact, the vast majority of the people of the world, including many millions of Americans marched against Bush's Imperial war, marched against bush's vision of war without end, of war to defend the interests of the rich owners of the oil companies that use the US Army as their bodyguards.
Marched against an American Empire, which like the British Empire before is doomed to self-destruct and defeat. The British ruled their vast Indian Empire with 50,000 soldiers. The US Empire needed 250,000 troops to conquer a small state of 23 million. An empire those 2 years ago was expecting a budget surplus of trillions of dollars and is now looking at a budget deficit of trillions of dollars.
Ahern like his predecessor, Redmond, has backed a loser.
Next year in 2004, there will be an opportunity in the local, European and Presidential elections for the Irish people to again, as they did in 1920, to reject those who now wish to restore the Imperial tradition, whether it's American or European. There will be an opportunity for the people to reject the Bushites like Ahern and Harney.
An opportunity to show their commitment to the European Social model, without the militarisation, and to reject the Irish followers of Bush such as Andrews, Hanafin and O'Malley. There will be an opportunity to show their commitment to the only inclusive body charged with global collective security, the United Nations.
It will be their choice. The American/European Empire or the United Nations. Irish Independence or vassal state of Empire.
Roger Cole (Chair)
Peace & Neutrality Alliance.