Cathaoirleach Éirígí, Brian Leeson has slammed Fine Gael for undermining Ireland’s neutrality and called for a new anti-imperialist based approach to foreign affairs. This week’s visit by US Vice President Mike Pence to Ireland has brought the ’special relationship’ between the Twenty-Six County state and the US into focus again. Speaking from Dublin, Leeson said,
“During his visit to Ireland Mike Pence made a mockery of the concept of neutrality when he praised ‘the security partnership’ between Ireland and the US, stating that Shannon acts as an ‘important transportation hub for United States armed forces travelling in supportive missions around the world…it is not a small matter’. He also praised the ‘close coordination’ between the two states in ‘US military operations around the world’.
Pence’s comments expose how much Fine Gael and previous government’s have undermined neutrality and their utter contempt for the wishes of the vast majority of the Irish people who wish to see genuine neutrality at the heart of foreign policy.
Since 2002 over three million US troops have passed through Shannon Airport on their way to or from military conflict zones. Rendition flights, transporting US kidnap victims, have also passed through Shannon on the way to various ‘black sites’ where victims are illegally detained and tortured. And each year hundreds of other non-troop carrying US military aircraft are given special permission to land at Shannon or to fly through Irish air space.”
Leeson concluded by saying, “The current US administration’s attempts to overthrow sovereign governments in Latin America and the Middle East, their use of economic blockades, their use of drone and traditional air strikes, their engineering of economic catastrophe, famine and mass migration is but a continuation of decades old US foreign policy.
One constant through all of this has been the Dublin government’s willingness to allow the US military use Shannon Airport as a major logistical hub. Éirígí For A New Republic is calling for a blanket ban on all foreign military forces using Irish soil or Irish airspace and for the adaption of a bold new non-aligned and anti-imperialist foreign policy.”