IAWM Bulletin – 8 October 2012


1.    Demonstration: don't attack Iran - end sanctions now
2.    Galway Alliance Against War statement- Shannon Airport
3.    Syria – Why we must oppose any military intervention
4.    Donating to the IAWM


Demonstration at Dail Eireann - Thursday 11th October 5.30pm - Assemble Dail Eireann - Kildare St, Dublin

The Irish Anti War Movement are calling a demonstration at Dail Eireann calling on the Irish Government to condemn the almost daily threat of war and harsh sanctions imposed on the people of Iran. The sanctions are impacting severely on the most vulnerable sectors of Iranian society and are endorsed by the Irish government. They are allowing the Iranian regime to further repress women, civil rights activists and marginalized groups. There has been no evidence found to show that Iran is diverting uranium into a nuclear weapons programme and the threat of a military attack and debilitating sanctions are unlawful under the UN charter for human rights. Show solidarity with the people of Iran. Don't attack Iran - End sanctions now


On Sunday 7th October 2012, two members of the “GALWAY ALLIANCE AGAINST WAR” peace group (GAAW) marked the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan by blocking Shannon Airport’s main runway.

GAAW issued the following statement:
Today, 7th of October 2012, marks the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan and the beginning of the illegal ‘war on terror’ that has led to the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent people. To mark this shameful anniversary actions are being taken around the world from 6th- 12th October against the war, against the waste of public finances on killing instead of caring, against killer drone warfare, and calling for invading troops to be returned to their country of origin- including the Irish troops in Afghanistan. Here in Ireland, two members of the Galway Alliance Against War, Margaretta D’Arcy and Niall Farrell, blocked the main runway at Shannon airport.

The Irish State has been an accessory in this illegal ‘war on terror’ from its very outset. GAAW believes it was essential to highlight the craven collaboration of consecutive Irish Governments in these wars and that is why the protest was held.

Over the past 11 years Shannon Airport has been transformed into a US military base, literally into a Warport. Millions of armed US troops, millions of tonnes of weaponry travel freely through Shannon, including the killer drones that daily rain down terror and death on the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Shannon airport has been an integral part of the CIA’s illegal “extraordinary rendition” programme. It is known that the kidnappers and torturers of a number of victims of the CIA have travelled unhindered through our country. This makes consecutive Irish Governments guilty of colluding in torture as well as mass murder.

Margaretta D’Arcy and Niall Farrell feel completely justified therefore in carrying out this peace action against Ireland’s role in the so-called ‘war on terror’ and do so with the backing of the peace movement in Galway.”
For further information: 087-9159787

Memet Uludag – IAWM Steering Committee

Last week Turkey's parliament authorised military action in Syria in response to Syria's deadly shelling of a Turkish town. Since then there have been more incidents of artillery exchanges and it has been widely reported that Turkey deployed additional tanks and missile defence systems to the Syrian border as artillery units responded to fire from Assad’s armed forces for a sixth day.    

I don't think that Turkey by itself will start a military campaign against Syria without the blessing of NATO and its western/regional allies. But localized military incidents - similar to the recent killing of Turkish civilians by Syrian artillery fire and the retaliation by the Turkish army - may continue along with the escalated war language and threats.

On Thursday, 4th October, in Istanbul, there was a big anti-war demo in response to Turkey’s parliament voting to authorize further military action against Syria. AKP (the government party) and MHP (the ultra nationalists party) voted 'yes' to the motion, while CHP (centrist left, secularist nationalist party) and BDP (Kurdish party) voted 'No'. The motion was passed with majority vote. This motion enables the Turkish government to use the military to attack Syria if and when it decides to do so without needing a further mandate from the parliament.

There was another protest on 5th October and possibly many more will follow in the coming days.

The common theme of these various protests are "anti-imperialism" and “anti-war”. But beyond and behind this common opposition to war, there are political differences between various groups in terms of their analysis of the Syrian revolutionary struggle and their definition of Assad regime. However, despite all these differences, majority of the people in Turkey are now openly against Turkey's military intervention in Syria and against a potential war by western powers and Turkey.

Assad may trigger further incidents to test the nerves of the Turkish government and use the threat of war for his own propaganda to rally his supporters. Despite all that, we must oppose any military intervention in Syria. A united anti-war front in Turkey can stop the war agenda and the further build-up of military operations in the region. For any potential military intervention, Turkey needs the wider NATO support and similarly, NATO needs Turkey. That's why the popular and widespread anti-war campaign in Turkey is very important and critical.

In Ireland we must demand the Irish government to engage with the Turkish government and raise its opposition to any military campaign.

There are many reasons why we must oppose an intervention in Syria.

1. A military intervention will hijack the ongoing revolutionary struggle in Syria. It will drown the revolution.

2. Military intervention may ultimately get rid of Assad, but it could also help his "being anti-imperialist" propaganda, thus enabling him to play the victim in rallying support against his “internal and external enemies”. Assad regime is not anti-imperialist. He is using the anti-imperialism card while butchering his own people.

3. It is not up to the outside/imperialist powers (regional/western powers and Russia etc.) to decide on and dictate the future of Syrian people. A military intervention and war will be a disaster for Syrian people. We witness the ongoing disasters of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

4. We must support the Syrian refugees and stand in solidarity with them. A war will only cause many more thousands of refugees as a consequence of civilian deaths and the complete destruction of their country.

5. None of the war supporters are really interested in ultimate well-being of Syrian people. They were/are - one way or the other - in support of dictators in many countries around the world, and they defended oppressive regimes until the very last possible moment. A defeat of Assad by popular uprising, as another phase in the Arab Spring will scare these arms selling imperialist states both in the west and in the region. That's why a defeat of Assad's regime is a political defeat for the imperialists. They can't do with Assad anymore, and they can't do with a revolution in Syria. And it seems that they can't easily hijack the process in Syria either.

6. The emerging contradictions and clashes between imperialist powers and local dictators are not the fights and wars of ordinary people. Their fight in Syria is against the regime. Their fight is about self determination and a social/economic change.

7. NATO is not a humanitarian intervention system. It is a war machine and it has no moral, historical, humanitarian mandate to bring "peace" and "freedom" to "others". A F16 fighter plane drops bombs, not medical supplies.

8. We must stand in solidarity with the Syrian revolutionaries in their fight against the dictatorial/oppressive Assad regime; however much the struggle in Syria is complicated. An intervention in Syria may well get rid of the man – Assad - but it may/will end up implanting just another one.

9. The struggle in Syria is very complicated and difficult. People die every day and there are outside interventions/involvements in various forms and shapes. There are different groups fighting against the regime and together, they are progressing the campaign. They seem to be the masters of their own lives and their fight against the regime. They are so far in control of their own destiny. They have a significant chance to succeed in overthrowing the regime. Assad cannot continue forever to kill his way out of this situation. His army generals are deserting him. He has not achieved sectarianism/inter-fighting among his opponents. He cannot convince the Syrian people that the fighters against him are terrorists and agents of Syrian's enemies. So far all this barrage of propaganda has not worked for him. And his continuous killing of civilians brings more anger to his opponents and a stronger will to fight against the regime.

Syrian uprising is a popular revolt
No to dictator and no to intervention in Syria!

To set-up a standing order with the Irish-Anti War Movement please go to the following link http://www.irishantiwar.org/files/standing-order-form.doc
fill in the form and post to the Irish Anti-War Movement P.O. Box 9260 Dublin 1.

Jim Roche, PRO Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087647 2737
Lola Hynes Secretary IAWM, Tel. 086 8228795
Memet Uludag, Steering Committee IAWM, Tel. 087 7919307

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