For the last five years PANA have issued a Press Release on a regular monthly basis that is then sent out to about 80 media outlets. Irish mainstream media including RTE, and Virgin Media generally propagate a pro-war or pro-NATO narrative and so ignore our statements. We also send out on a regular basis a ‘Letter to the Editor’ to about 9 newspapers, and along with several other anti-war letter writers, we are surprised when our letter is published, especially in the more conservative Irish Times or Irish Independent. Last week a PANA letter was indeed published in the Irish Times (6/12/2022), two day later a letter was published here accusing Roger Cole of PANA of “airy waffle”. Jim Roche of the Irish Anti-War Movement then responded to this and is waiting in hope for this letter to be published. These letters may help you get a more balanced view on war, imperialism. and geopolitical interests, sadly missing from Irish mainstream media.
Never Fear to Negotiate
Letter by Roger Cole
PANA called for a ceasefire and UN chaired negotiations from the very start of the war in Ukraine.We therefore welcome the statement from President Biden that he would be willing to have talks with President Putin and so help reduce escalating tensions between these nuclear powers.His remarks were made at a recent press conference in Washington, DC, during a bilateral summit with French president Emmanuel Macron. This is a major foreign policy change in the Biden administration now expressing the need for diplomacy to end this horrific war.Let us encourage these moves and recall that President Kennedy in a speech on January 20, 1961, said: " Let us never negotiate out of fear. But never fear to negotiate", a political perspective that helped solve the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962.
Chair, Peace & Neutrality Alliance
Letter by Jim Roche
Daragh Mc Dowell (Letters, 07 December) accuses Roger Cole of PANA of “airy waffle”. He then goes on to waffle about what would happen should there be a ceasefire and peace process – Russia would re-arm and Ukraine would have to cede territory. How does he know this? Does he have a crystal ball?No peace activist would dare predict the outcome of a negotiated peace process. We have our hopes and demands for sure. In the case of the Russian Ukraine war, they are that the Russian military withdraws to the pre-February 2022 borders and that it abides by the UN Charter and international law, that NATO stop its relentless push eastwards and its escalation tactics, that the arms industry be outed for its devious profiteering and that any peace process recognises the human rights of all peoples to the expression of their culture.We cannot predict that one or both sides would not use a ceasefire to re-arm and try to gain strategic military advantage. We have seen this for example in the current ceasefire in Yemen, where the Biden administration has disgracefully agreed to re-arm Saudi Arabia in exchange for dirty oil, some of it very likely sourced rather ironically from Russia.What we can predict with certainty is that as soon as a ceasefire occurs that has some kind of international guarantees – the UN with all its faults may not be a bad institution to oversee this - people stop getting killed and injured immediately. There is space to get humanitarian aid to those who need it. And there is hope that the warring parties – Russia, Ukraine, and NATO in this case – can resolve their political differences through diplomatic negotiations.Peace loving people around the world, including many Ukrainians and Russians, proudly demand an end to war and militarisation and that diplomacy be given a chance, not least in this time of peace and goodwill.
PRO Steering Committee,
Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,