Americans are insulting international law on Irish land
Since 2001 and the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, the US military has been using Shannon Airport in Western Ireland to send troops, ammunition, and other military items for deployment and dispersal in the Middle East and in Europe.
I’ve been very actively involved in several demonstrations at Shannon Airport. In 2004 I attempted to arrest US President George Bush who was visiting Shannon Airport. More recently, 80-year-old lady Margaretta D’Arcy and other friends of mine went in and blocked the road at the airport to prevent US military planes from taking off. I was also arrested at Shannon Airport and on other occasions for attempting to search for US military aircraft on the way to the Middle East. Therefore, we have been very active in protests against the American military misusing Irish airspace. Ireland is a neutral country, so we don’t want to allow troops on their way to war to pass through our country.
On all these occasions, we are usually arrested and then we are charged and brought to the courts. In my case, I have been arrested six times at the Shannon Airport, but I usually get a strong legal team to defend me. So far, on all occasions I was eventually found not guilty. In some cases like that of Margaretta D’Arcy, she was convicted of blocking the runway. She actually spent about four weeks in prison.
Ireland is a neutral country. Many Irish people are opposed to all that is happening in the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. We believe very strongly that Ireland should not be involved. We are also concerned that the United States has been creating tension in Eastern Europe and in Ukraine. US is attempting to almost encircle Russia by encouraging the countries of the former Soviet Union to join NATO, which I believe is counterproductive.
The American base at Shannon Airport is not official. But at the same time, over 2.5 million US troops have passed through Shannon Airport since 2001. That is a huge number. So, effectively it is a US military base. In reality they don’t need to use it, because they have plenty of bases all around Europe. But the US government likes to use Irish airbases in order to involve a neutral country in its unlawful and unnecessary wars. Americans don’t have a real need to use Irish airports. But they are trying to involve us in their crimes. If everybody will be in, nobody can blame USA. That makes us very angry both against the US and Irish government, which allows this to happen.
There is a small number of soldiers based at the Shannon Airport, whim our government allows to fly through Shannon Airport and refuel their planes. They don’t have to be searched. Americans using our civil airport is a quite significant breach of international law on neutrality. A huge number of aircraft have been used by the CIA to take prisoners to Guantanamo. So, in addition to the military, the US’ torture program has used Ireland as a transition point. That is clearly a breach of international law.
NATO should have been dismissed in the 1990’s after the Soviet Union collapsed. But the United States and some European countries wanted to keep NATO to fight a war for resources in the Middle East. This is a completely unjustified war. In more recent times, they’ve started to deepen conflict with Russia. This is very counterproductive from the European point of view. I believe most Russian leaders have been trying to develop good economic and political relationships with Eastern Europe, but NATO is interfering with that.
Based on my military experience, I think that there is a real danger of a Hot War. Some of the military and political leaders in the West presume that it won’t happen, that the danger has gone away. But there is. There is a significant risk of mutual confrontation in Europe. The situation could move from a relative Cold War to a Hot War. The USA, Russia, Great Britain, and France might use tactical nuclear weapons and incite a serious clash which could escalate into an international nuclear war.