Letters from Edward Horgan

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Edward Horgan is a long-time peace activist with Shannonwatch, US Veterans for Peace, and PANA, attending protests, speaking at public meetings and a well-respected letter writer. Here is a small sample of his recent Letters to the Editor that have been published.

Where is ‘register of damage’ for victims of US conflicts?

Letter published in the Irish Independent …17/5/2023

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is attending a Council of Europe summit meeting in Iceland on 16th May for the purpose of creating a “register of damages” for those who have suffered from the ongoing war in Ukraine. This is an ‘ah but what about letter’. Of course, a ‘damage register’ should be established for all conflicts and those responsible for such damage and related war crimes should be fully held to account. It begs the question, why has there been no similar meetings to establish a ‘damage register’ for the wars of aggression waged by the US and its NATO and other allies in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere? And why has there been no accountability for the very serious war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the peoples of these non-European countries?

Up to five million people have died due to war related reasons in these conflicts and untold infrastructural and environmental problems have been caused by these unjustifiable wars. The Council of Europe may well argue that its focus is primarily on Europe, but surely the United Nations and other international bodies such as the International Criminal Court should have initiated and carried out such a ‘damage register’ and taken steps to hold all those responsible for such crimes accountable.

Edward Horgan, Newtown, Castletroy, Limerick.

Are mistakes of Rwanda being repeated in Sudan?

Letter published in the Irish News … 4/5/2023

The present conflict in Sudan once again demonstrates the abject failure of the UN and the international community to prevent or stop conflicts in Africa that have amounted to genocide and widespread human rights abuses.

In 1994 the international community stood idly by as up to quarter of a million Rwandan people were brutally slaughtered. This conflict then spilled over into the Democratic Republic of Congo, igniting a conflict that is still ongoing, causing several more million deaths. European and western lives are given priority over the lives of the rest of humanity. The US and Nato intervened eventually to stop the conflict in Bosnia in 1995 although their attempts to impose democracy there have arguably failed.Little has been learned from the 20-year US-led unjustified war of vengeance waged against the Afghan people. In the resulting 2021 evacuation chaos, military dogs were given priority over Afghans who worked with western forces and whose lives were in danger.

No accountability has been achieved for the ongoing trauma that the Afghan people are still going through. While most western citizens have been successfully evacuated from Sudan, far too little consideration is being given to the trauma being suffered by the citizens of Sudan. How many Sudanese refugees will be allowed into fortress Europe? Many of these conflicts in Africa and the Middle East have roots in European colonial abuses. There is now a serious risk of the present Sudan conflict deteriorating into crimes against humanity.

When a popular uprising overthrew the autocratic government of Omar al-Bashir, their efforts to establish democracy were thwarted by the two main perpetrators of this present conflict, General al-Burhan and RST leader General Dagalo/Hemedti, both of whose forces wereimplicated in the Darfur genocide.

The United Nations is once again being prevented from doing its primary task of maintaining international peace by several of its most powerful states who are pursuing their national interests at the expense of the most vulnerable members of humanity.

EDWARD HORGAN, Castletroy, Co Limerick

We must advocate for peace worldwide, not just at home

Letter published in the Irish Independent… 11/4/2023.

The visit to Ireland by US president Joe Biden to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) should be used to strengthen the peace process in Ireland and to promote international peace, rather than just be used for US presidential electioneering purposes. Successive Irish governments have been justifiably portraying the peace process in Northern Ireland as a positive example of how other conflicts internationally could be resolved. The GFA, includes the following in its Declaration of Support:

We reaffirm our total and absolute commitment to exclusively democratic and peaceful means of resolving differences on political issues, and our opposition to any use or threat of force by others for any political purpose, whether in regard to this agreement or otherwise.

The word “otherwise” in this statement indicates that these principles should also be applied to other conflicts at international level in keeping with the Irish Constitution.

Consecutive Irish governments have reneged on their constitutional, humanitarian, and international law responsibilities by actively supporting US-led wars in the Middle East by allowing US military to transit through Shannon airport.

While the Irish Government has justifiably criticised the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has wrongfully failed to criticise US and its Nato allies’ invasions and wars of aggression in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.

Dr Edward Horgan, Castletroy, Limerick

EU bombs for peace

Letter published in the Irish News… 30/3/2023

At a meeting in Brussels on March 20, attended by Peter Burke TD, Minister of State for European Affairs and Defence, the EU decided to use the European Peace Facility to spend €2 billion to supply Ukraine with 155mm artillery shells which will be used to kill thousands of Russians and Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine. This is the sort of international immorality George Orwell tried to expose. Our Irish government is also contributing €3m towards the International Criminal Court war crimes investigations in Ukraine but for three decades ignored the war crimes committed by US and its Nato and other allies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All war crimes must be investigated, and the perpetrators brought to justice. The best way to prevent war crimes is to prevent wars by promoting peace by peaceful means. Since Sweden and Finland abandoned their neutrality, Ireland, Austria, Cyprus, and Malta are the only EU states not full members of Nato. Nato has effectively taken over the EU. The US has been using Nato as its enforcer to maintain its stranglehold over the global financial system and access to an undue share of the world’s limited resources. How many more innocent Ukrainians must die?

EDWARD HORGAN, Castletroy, Co Limerick

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