Irish anti Afghan war demonstration


This video from Ireland says about itself:

Approximately 350 people demonstrated in Belfast, as part of the international “World against War” day of action. March 15th 2008.

Organised by the Belfast anti War Movement, the demo was supported by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, NUS-USI, NIPSA and the Ireland Palestine solidarity campaign.

Another video, no longer on YouTube, said about itself:

Manchester, England. 23rd September 2006. 50,000 anti-war protesters march through the streets of central Manchester the day before “Bomber” Blair’s Labour Party annual conference opens. It is the largest anti-war demo in the city’s history. The weather was sunny (sic) and warm as indeed was the atmosphere during the demonstration and rally. This clip shows Irish civil rghts movement veteran and anti-war protester, Eamonn McCann, speaking at the rally in Albert Square. McCann is currently facing legal charges for participating in an occupation of a Raytheon plant in Derry, Ireland. The occupiers “decommissioned” all the computers at the plant causing disruption to the corporation’s manufacture of cluster bombs and other US weapons of war recently in use by Israel in Lebanon.

From British daily The Independent:

Sinn Fein protest to target Army homecoming parade in Belfast …

The Royal Irish Regiment is due to parade through central Belfast on Sunday to mark the return of its members, who have just completed a six-month deployment in Helmand province. Personnel from the Army, Navy and RAF are to take part in a service at St Anne’s Cathedral.

But Sinn Fein has objected to the event and plans to stage a protest. The republican party is opposed to British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is highly critical of the Army’s record during the Northern Ireland Troubles. Permission for the protest to go ahead has been granted, under some conditions, by the local Parades Commission which rules on contentious marching issues.

Extra police are expected to be in place for the event, which is regarded as the first serious parading dispute to break out in the city in recent years.

The Ministry of Defence has declined to respond to republican criticisms. …

Yesterday a number of organisations representing people whose relatives were killed by the Army during the Troubles appealed for the march to be called off. Clara Reilly, a campaigner against the use of plastic bullets, said the event should be held in private. “We are not objecting to anyone wanting to celebrate the safe return of their loved ones from these conflicts,” she said. “We are anti-war but we don’t have an issue with families wanting to welcome back their sons, husbands or dads. But it should be a dignified civic reception or church service. Holding a march through the city centre is insensitive, divisive and indeed sectarian. It will offend many.”

The Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brun said: “This parade is insensitive, rash and completely unnecessary. To date the MoD has been invisible on this contentious and divisive march, failing to put up any spokespeople or address the wider public concerns.”

Sinn Fein said that its protest would be “dignified and peaceful”. Another republican splinter group has also announced plans for a demonstration on the day.

See also here. And here.

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey today described the intervention by the Orange Order into the election campaign in South Belfast, as’ the latest example of the cultural mask slipping’: here.

Pratap Chatterjee, Failing Afghanistan‘s Cops: here.

7 thoughts on “Irish anti Afghan war demonstration

  1. Blake Ivey says "no" to Afghan deployment
    "I believe war is the crime of our times,"
    declares Blake Ivey, an Army Specialist
    stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga. He is publicly refusing to deploy to
    Afghanistan.

    Judge bars retrial for Lt. Watada's refusal
    Ruling confirms
    that Lt. Erhen Watada cannot be retried on
    the most serious charges against him
    because he is protected by the
    U.S. Constitution's ban on double jeopardy.

    Marine "Benji" Lewis pledges
    recall refusal

    Marine Benjamin Lewis served two tours in Iraq and was
    honorably discharged in 2007. Recently, he received notification that
    he was a candidate to be recalled to active duty.
    Winter Soldier: Iraq and
    Afghanistan

    New book
    now available from Courage to Resist
    ($20 donation includes
    shipping) by Aaron Glantz with forward by Anthony Swofford (paperback) from
    Haymarket.
    "Where we
    are at. An appeal for support"

    By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist Project Director. October 15, 2008

     

    Blake Ivey says "no"
    to Afghanistan deployment
    By Sarah Lazare, Courage to Resist for AlterNet.
    October 23, 2008
    "I believe war is the crime of our times," Blake Ivey, a
    specialist
    in the U.S. Army, said over the phone in a slow, deliberate voice.
    Ivey, currently stationed in Fort Gordon, Ga., is publicly refusing
    to deploy to Afghanistan. The 21-year-old soldier filed for
    conscientious objector status in July but was ordered to deploy while
    his application was being processed. He is determined not to go, and as
    of our last phone call, was still actively serving on his base,
    weighing his options for refusal.

    Ivey joins what appears to be a growing number of troops refusing to
    fight in the so-called Global War on Terror. While there is no way to
    tell the exact number of resisters, military statistics indicate that
    resistance is on the rise. Since 2002, the Army has court-martialed
    twice as many soldiers for desertion and other unauthorized absences
    per year than for each year between 1997 and 2001. The Associated Press
    reports AWOL rates in the Army at its highest since 1980, with the
    desertion rate (defined as 30 or more days of unauthorized absence)
    having jumped 80 percent since the start of the Iraq War. More than 150
    soldiers have publicly refused to fight in the wars in Iraq and
    Afghanistan, and an estimated 200 war resisters are living in Canada.
    Many war resisters are conscientious objectors (C.O.s) who were
    deterred at early stages of the C.O. application process or ordered to
    deploy before their C.O. paperwork went through. Just last week,
    19-year-old conscientious objector Tony Anderson at Fort Carson, Colo.,
    publicly shared his experience. Anderson had been discouraged by his
    commanding officers from applying for C.O. status, and he disobeyed
    orders to deploy to Iraq. He now faces steep punishment at the hands of
    the military.
    Read more…
     

    Judge bars retrial for Lt.
    Watada's refusal to deploy to Iraq
    By Mark Jensen, UFPPC. October 22,
    2008
    A federal judge said Tuesday that Lt. Erhen Watada cannot be retried
    on the most serious charges against him, because he is protected by the
    U.S. Constitution's ban on double jeopardy, the Associated Press
    reported.[1]

    Lt. Watada refused to deploy to Iraq in June 2006 on the grounds
    that the Iraq war is illegal, and his U.S. Army court-martial in
    February 2007 ended in a mistrial.
    Hal Bernton of the *Seattle Times* noted that Lt. Watada still works
    at Fort Lewis and is stuck in a "legal limbo" that will
    apparently
    continue for some time, since "[t]he judge kicked back to the
    military
    trial court for further consideration two other conduct unbecoming an
    officer charges against Watada, opening the door to further court
    proceedings. Both of those charges involve public interviews Watada
    gave to reporters, and were conditionally dismissed as part of a
    pretrial agreement.
    Settle said the military court should consider whether there are
    'constitutional defects' to retrying Watada on those charges before a
    civil court does."[2]
    On Tuesday, one of Lt. Watada's attorney's, James Lobsenz, said:

    "We're happy, but it's too early to know what else might happen. It's
    highly likely (the Army) will appeal the judge's decision."[3]
    The *Honolulu Advertiser* reported that Bob Watada, a former Hawaii
    Campaign Spending Commission executive director who is Lt. Watada's
    father, fears that the Army might appeal the case all the way to the
    U.S. Supreme Court, but Eric Seitz, Watada's attorney in the February
    2007 court-martial, told the paper that "theoretically,
    hypothetically
    [the other two charges] can be brought back, but I think there's going
    to be lots of problems. I don't think they can bring those back,
    either."[4]
    Seitz told the *Honolulu Star-Bulletin*: "They ought to let him
    resign. They aren't going to win this and they ought to acknowledge
    that."[5]

    Article with reference links…
     

    Marine Benjamin Lewis pledges
    recall refusal
    Audio interview by
    Courage to Resist. October 27, 2008
    Marine Benjamin "Benji" Lewis served two tours in Iraq and
    was
    honorably discharged in 2007. Recently, he received notification that
    he was a candidate to be recalled to active duty. Last week at a Winter
    Soldier event in Portland, Oregon, Lewis publicly announced his
    intention to refuse reactivation from the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR).
    Ten days before that event, Lewis spoke with Courage to Resist.
    Listen to Benji's interview…
     

    Winter Soldier: Iraq and
    Afghanistan:
    Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations
    Available now from Courage to
    Resist
    ($20 donation includes shipping) by Aaron Glantz with
    forward by Anthony Swofford (paperback) from Haymarket.
    “The only way this war is going to end is if the American people
    truly understand what we have done in their name.”–Kelly
    Dougherty,
    executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War
    In spring 2008, inspired by the Vietnam-era Winter Soldier hearings,
    Iraq Veterans Against the War gathered veterans to expose war crimes in
    Afghanistan and Iraq. Here are the powerful words, images, and
    documents of this historic gathering, which show the reality of life in
    Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Iraq Veterans Against the War argues that well-publicized incidents
    of American brutality like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the
    massacre of an entire family of Iraqis in the town of Haditha are not
    the isolated incidents perpetrated by “a few bad apples,” as
    many
    politicians and military leaders have claimed. They are part of a
    pattern, the group says, of “an increasingly bloody
    occupation.”

    Like

  2. Flash: RIR parade passes quietly

    A British Army parade has passed off relatively quietly in Belfast city
    centre this morning amid one of the largest Crown force operations seen
    in the city in many years.

    Soldiers from three British regiments and its territorial army took
    part in what republicans viewed as a provocative and triumphalist
    display.

    A phalanx of PSNI police separated loyalists on one side and Sinn Fein
    supporters, who had marched from Dunville Park in west Belfast.

    As the soldiers’ parade started, some loyalists climbed telegraph poles
    and threw bottles, fireworks and other missiles down onto the Sinn Fein
    protest.

    As the soldiers passed by their band music could not be heard above
    chanting and jeering from both sides.

    A second protest by the republican group eirigi was prevented from
    going ahead by the Crown forces, who said it was illegal.

    The group, among them Breandan MacCionnaith, were held back near the
    West Link highway, well away from the city centre, where they made
    speeches denouncing the event.

    Meanwhile, loyalist paramilitaries were observed to be present as the
    march reached its destination at Belfast City Hall. Loyalists loudly
    applauded DUP leader and First Minister Peter Robinson as he walked to
    take his place on the VIP platform.

    On Friday, Sinn Fein changed its plans for its counter-demonstration,
    altering its march route entirely and removing the possibility of a
    confrontation with British Army supporters from the loyalist Shankill
    area.

    The British army’s general officer commanding in Ireland, Major General
    Chris Brown, also issued a press statement on Friday announcing that
    the parading troops would be unarmed and that a planned Air Force
    fly-past had been cancelled.

    Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly, speaking to protestors at Dunville Park in
    west Belfast, said the parade was a “provocative act which had split
    the city”.

    Earlier, he denied that the party’s decision to alter their protest
    came as a result of a deal with the British Army.

    He said they had rerouted their demonstration in order to reduce any
    potential confrontations with loyalists and to separate their protest
    from other republican groups.

    “We will not allow any group — either so-called dissident republican
    or some loyalist elements or English fascists — to hijack the protest
    of the victims of British state violence,” he said.

    “The history of the British Army in Ireland is one of great cruelty and
    hurt.

    “Victims of collusion and British state violence are particularly
    offended and incensed by [today’s] march,” he added.

    The British soldiers, numbering between 200 and 300, are currently at a
    reception at the Waterfront Hall. Although most participants and
    protestors have now dispersed, interface areas in Belfast and elsewhere
    are expected to remain tense over the coming hours.

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Irish Republican News
    http://republican-news.org/

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  3. >>>>>> CALL IT OFF

    A coat-trailing and incendiary march by British troops is set to take
    place in the centre of Ireland’s second city on Sunday despite
    widespread fears over the potential for serious violence.

    Members of the Royal Irish Regiment (formerly the notorious UDR
    militia) will be joined by members of two other British Army regiments
    in the hugely contentious military display through Belfast.

    Sinn Fein, eirigi and the Republican Network for Unity are all set to
    mount separate peaceful protests. The day is expected to see one of the
    largest British policing operations ever mounted in the North amid
    concern that riots or worse could erupt.

    The parade is ostensibly being staged to mark the ‘homecoming’ of
    locally-recruited British troops from their recent deployment in
    Afghanistan, although hundreds continue to be stationed there.

    While hardline unionists have pushed for the march to go ahead,
    nationalists have been appalled by the idea in view of the British
    Army’s bloody history of occupation and oppression in Ireland.

    British troops were responsible for killing scores of innocent
    civilians in Belfast and across the North during the conflict and the
    parade is being seen as a public insult to the nationalist community.

    ‘COMMUNITY SUPPORT’

    British Prime Minister Gordon Brown claimed this week his country’s
    troops deserved “community support” in Belfast. Sinn Fein has said his
    comments ignored the political realities of the issue and that Belfast
    was not “as British as Finchley”, as was once claimed by former Prime
    Minister Margaret Thatcher.

    Party President Gerry Adams blamed British Direct Ruler Shaun Woodward
    for his handling of the issue.

    “While the British Ministry of Defence may be oblivious to the
    sensitivities involved, surely Shaun Woodward should have realised that
    Sunday’s event is ill-advised,” he said.

    Mr Adams said a civic reception and a religious service would have
    provided families and supporters of the British Army with the
    opportunity to welcome back their loved ones from wars in Iraq and
    Afghanistan.

    “But the decision by the British Ministry of Defence to organise a
    military parade through Belfast city centre is totally unacceptable,
    not least because of the role of British forces in Ireland and in the
    city of Belfast.

    “Republican and nationalist Belfast has suffered dreadfully under
    British military rule in the recent conflict.”

    He said working class unionists had also felt the brunt of British
    military actions and said loyalist gunmen had in the past opened fire
    on British troops.

    “So there are lots of contradictions in the unionist and loyalist
    position,” said Mr Adams.

    “There are also people, including many who are not Sinn Fein
    supporters, who feel that a march to celebrate the actions of the
    British Army and the British government in its wars in Iraq and
    Afghanistan is wrong.”

    New republican group Eirigi will attempt to parade from Divis Tower on
    the Falls Road into the city centre on Sunday morning, while another
    protest will be organised in the republican Markets area of east
    Belfast by the Republican Network for Unity, the Irish Republican
    Socialist Party and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.

    The Workers Solidarity Movement also confirmed yesterday that it
    intends to hold a protest on Royal Avenue in the city centre.

    Parades Commission Chairman Roger Poole said the latter demonstrations
    were “illegal” and would be “dealt with by the PSNI”.

    Eirigi spokesman Brian Leeson rejected unionist claims that his
    organisation was planning to attack Sunday’s parade.

    “Our only intention is to actively oppose this parade,” he said. “It
    will be a peaceful dignified and disciplined protest.”

    However, Mr Leeson said organisers would not negotiate with the police
    and said the British Army would have to bear responsibility if the
    parade descended into violence.

    The Republican Network for Unity said it intended to “mobilise and
    stand by the people of the Markets district” during the parade.

    “Over the years the Markets area has regularly endured siege-like
    conditions as similar parades, complete with loyalist onlookers, were
    accommodated by the RUC and British army,” a spokesperson said.

    Clara Reilly, of the United Campaign Against Plastic Bullets, a group
    representing relatives of those killed and injured by the weapon, said
    the event should be held in private. “It should be a dignified civic
    reception or church service. Holding a march through the city centre is
    insensitive, divisive and indeed sectarian,” she added.

    But the Parades Commission also came under fire from the DUP after it
    was confirmed that a Sinn Fein protest against the demonstration would
    go ahead in Donegall Place.

    North Belfast Assembly member Nelson McCausland accused it of
    “pandering to bigotry” and called the decision an insult to those who
    had served in the British Army.

    “The Parades Commission has simply caved into the demands of Sinn Fein
    and their decision is a recipe for disaster,” he said, while party
    leader Peter Robinson said the Sinn Fein protest would “intimidate and
    provoke”.

    The headquarters of the commission had to be evacuated following a bomb
    threat yesterday. No organisation calimed responsiblity for the
    incident.

    Mr Adams said Sinn Fein had gone to great lengths to ensure its protest
    would be well-marshalled and peaceful.

    “The remarks by some unionist representatives have been over the top,”
    he said. “They too have a responsibility to use their best influence
    to ensure that Sunday’s events pass peacefully.”

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Irish Republican News
    http://republican-news.org/

    Like

  4. British Army’s march of shame

    Last weekend saw a major setback for the peace process as British
    forces staged a provocative sectarian parade through Belfast city
    centre.

    The parade, a deliberate attempt to humiliate Belfast republicans, took
    place without the serious violence that had threatened all week.

    However, there was considerable anger when a loyalist mob were allowed
    to rain missiles down on a peaceful nationalist protest, including
    families of those bereaved by the parading regiments.

    A number of the 2,000 protestors were struck by fireworks and other
    missiles in front of the PSNI police, despite an almost unprecedented
    “security” operation by the Crown forces.

    Rioting by republican youths and a feared possible armed attack by
    breakaway militants did not materialise, however, possibly as a result
    of last-minute efforts by Sinn Fein and the British Ministry of Defence
    (MoD) to defuse the tense situation.

    While the British government and Policing Board welcomed the absence of
    major conflict, nationalist leaders expressed outrage that the planned
    parade was allowed to go ahead in the first place.

    Ahead of the event, at about 10am on Sunday, tens of thousands of
    loyalists waving Union flags and singing sectarian slurs had massed
    behind barriers, just yards from where the planned Sinn Fein protest
    was due to arrive from Dunville Park in the west of the city.

    Senior UVF and UDA paramilitary leaders were present and appeared to be
    working up to a major confrontation with masked supporters positioned
    high up on construction scaffolding.

    Chants of ‘The Famine’s Over, Go Home’ [sic], ‘Kill All Taigs’ and
    ‘Dirty Fenian B******s’ echoed from the scaffolding as one loyalist
    threw two crash barriers across the road in front of police.

    At one stage the two sides came within 50 yards of each other and
    loyalists surged towards the relatively small group of Sinn Fein protestors,
    who were singing and holding posters of those killed by the British Army.

    However, the tension ebbed after 250 British soldiers in full regalia,
    preceded by a pipe band, marched past at rapid speed.

    Although relieved at the absence of serious injuries or deaths, Sinn
    Fein’s Sean Murray severely criticised the PSNI’s policing of events.

    “We had meetings with the PSNI in the run up to Sunday and warned
    senior police officers of the danger of allowing loyalists on to that
    scaffolding,” he said.

    “Our protest was dignified and peaceful as we said it would be but we
    were repeatedly hit with bottles, stones, fireworks and scaffolding
    bolts.

    “The actions of the loyalists taking part in that so-called
    ‘homecoming’ parade was highly provocative and if it hadn’t been for
    the restraint shown by the families taking part in our protest it
    could have been a recipe for disaster,” he said.

    “If this was supposed to be a celebration, then I think that says a
    lot about the British army and the people who choose to support them.”

    Mark Thompson, spokesman for Relatives for Justice, also criticised
    the PSNI for allowing loyalists to break through police lines to taunt
    people taking part in the republican parade.

    “We had said from the start that this would be a loyalist coat-trailing
    exercise and that’s exactly what it was,” he said.

    Speaking after the event, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly said his party and
    the families of victims of state violence had committed themselves to
    holding a solemn, peaceful and dignified protest rally.

    “That’s exactly what was delivered today,” he said,

    “We have always made it clear that the singular focus of our protest
    was the British military parade, and highlighting the plight of those
    families bereaved as a result of collusion and state violence.

    “The British State policy of collusion is an issue that the British
    Government and their armed apparatus cannot hide from, and the massive
    demonstration held today highlights this fact.

    “What the British Army has done in Ireland is wrong and the same wrong
    is being inflicted on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan today.

    “I want to commend all of those who took part in our rally and who
    acted in such an appropriate and dignified way, despite enormous
    provocation. The conduct of our families and protestors stands in
    marked contrast to the sectarian and violent reaction of those who
    claimed to be on the streets today to welcome home the British Army.

    “The onus is now on those public figures who called people out onto the
    streets in opposition to our protest to account for the unbridled
    sectarian behaviour witnessed in Belfast today.”

    Meanwhile, some 400 republicans were prevented from staging a second
    protest march from west Belfast after it was declared illegal by the
    PSNI.

    A smaller group from the Irish Republican Socialist Party and other
    republican organisations also gathered peacefully in solidarity with
    residents of the markets area of east Belfast.

    eirigi activists and supporters marched to the PSNI barricades in west
    Belfast and set up a protective line, whilst banners bearing messages
    such as “Oppose Britain’s Murder Machine”, were erected.

    The rally was addressed by Alex McCrory, a former H-Block republican
    political prisoner and blanketman, who read a statement from victims of
    British state violence.

    Brenda Downes, whose husband was shot dead by the RUC in 1984 at a
    similar rally, and whose killer was acquitted of the charge of
    manslaughter in a British court, addressed the rally and condemned the
    British state forces as murderers.

    Defiantly addressing the Crown forces, Brian Leeson, eirigi
    chairperson, told the PSNI present to “tell your masters” that among
    the protestors “you saw many ex-prisoners, you saw blanketmen, you saw
    the victims of your violence” and “tell them that beside these men from
    the H-Blocks, who brought the war to the British state for 30 years,
    stood a new generation that was as determined as any generation that
    came before them.

    “Tell them that you looked into the eyes of a risen people, and that
    they were not afraid.”

    Irish Republican News
    http://republican-news.org

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  5. Analysis: Army parade cannot airbrush murder legacy

    By Jim Gibney (for Irish News)

    The consequences for the people of this island – nationalist, unionist,
    republican and loyalist – of English interference in our affairs was the
    backdrop against which the centre of Belfast became a contested space
    last Sunday morning.

    The street confrontation was sparked off, not by any decision taken by
    the inhabitants of Belfast. Not for the first time in Ireland’s long
    and tragic history of conflict the people who live here were directly
    affected by a decision taken elsewhere, by people who more than likely
    live safely in Britain where the legacy of their decision will have
    little or no impact on their lives.

    However, the people of Belfast and beyond were plunged into a maelstrom
    of dispute and emotional turmoil over the past month because someone in
    the British Ministry of Defence decided to parade through the streets
    of Belfast, with a regiment of occupation returning from the streets of
    Baghdad and Kabul where the British army visited on those inhabitants
    what they visited on nationalists and republicans during the war years
    here.

    The insensitivity and indifference of those behind the parade was felt
    most acutely by those relatives whose loved ones were killed directly
    by the British crown forces or indirectly by loyalists through
    collusion. Many of them were on last Sunday’s protest march clutching
    to their breasts treasured photographs of their murdered loved ones.

    Mark Thompson, the director of Relatives for Justice (RFJ), one of the
    main groups leading the relatives’ campaign for the truth into state
    killings, told the media at Sunday’s protest that relatives’
    organisations are ensuring that the record of killings and collusion by
    the crown forces “was not air-brushed from history”.

    Over the last decade organisations like RFJ, the Pat Finucane Centre,
    Justice for the Forgotten and An Fhirrine have painstakingly kept state
    killings on the public agenda.

    Their patient and determined approach has given confidence and strength
    to a community, many thousands strong, who were marginalised and
    demonised by sections of the political and media establishments to the
    point where they believed that the state would never be made
    accountable for its actions.

    Today the relatives’ organisations are much more confident of achieving
    their objective of an International Independent Truth Commission to
    oversee the truth recovery process and an independent body to delivery
    it. Their confidence stems from the momentum that has been built up
    behind the demand for truth.

    They believe they have effectively challenged the hurtful argument
    contained in the Bloomfield report, published in April 1998, which
    suggested there was a hierarchy of victims – those killed by republican
    organisations and loyalists and those killed by the Crown forces.
    According to this script the relatives of the former are less deserving
    of society’s support and sympathy than the latter.

    Significant progress has also been made in the debate for an
    independent examination of the past, for example, the setting up of the
    Saville Inquiry into the Bloody Sunday massacre; the public enquiries
    into the deaths of Rosemary Nelson, Billy Wright and Robert Hamill and
    the devastating report by former Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan into collusion
    between Belfast loyalist Mark Haddock and the RUC-PSNI Special Branch.

    The setting up of the Lord Eames-Denis Bradley Consultative Group on
    the Past is a further indication that dealing with the legacy of the
    conflict is now at the centre of the political stage. This is also
    reflected in the announcement by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams that
    Sinn Fein supports an independent truth commission.

    Today there is little doubt anywhere that the British government,
    through its armed forces, ran loyalist murder gangs who killed hundreds
    of innocent Catholics. That was not the case a number of years ago.

    However, there remains understandable concern about the British
    government’s commitment to a truth recovery process given the delay in
    Saville’s report, their refusal to hand over files relating to the
    Dublin-Monaghan bombings and their inexcusable opposition to an
    independent investigation into the killing of Pat Finucane.

    This stance highlights the need for independent arbitration because the
    British government is compromised over its role as both perpetrator and
    facilitator.

    Truth recovery will be best served by all relevant parties to the
    conflict fully participating in it. Those families affected need and
    deserve this.

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Irish Republican News
    http://republican-news.org/

    Like

  6. Deadlocked presidency keeps Bosnian troops from departing for Afghanistan

    March 23, 2010 11:17 am

    BELGRADE, March 23 — Bosnia and Herzegovina has formally agreed to send a contingent of soldiers to Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), yet a deadlocked collective presidency is keeping troops from this Balkan country at home, Nebojsa Radmanovic, the Serb member of the collective presidency, told reporters on Monday.

    “There are different opinions about to which contingent to send our 100 soldiers,” Radmanovic said, reported Radio Sarajevo. Logistical support for the Bosnian soldiers has been offered from German, Turkish and Danish contingents in Afghanistan.

    Radmanovic said the issue is raised at every meeting of the presidency, but an agreement about which contingency will receive the Bosnian troops has yet to be reached.

    Earlier this month, military instructors from Bosnia were attached to a number of different ISAF contingencies. Radmanovic indicated the deadlock could be resolved by those soldiers already on the ground.

    “In Afghanistan we have already sent 10 officers in various contingencies who should survey the situation and inform the Ministry of Defense, which should draw up a final opinion,” Radmanovic said. (PNA/Xinhua)

    ALM/ebp

    COMMENT: Bosnia already had far too much war at home. They should not be cannon fodder for wars elsewhere.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Irish oppose British Afghan war propaganda | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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