The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

An Open Letter

Vincent Doherty • February 16, 2003

Now that the tide has turned against the warmongers, watching the worms wriggle makes fascinating viewing. Pat Rabbite suggests that maybe if we were as intelligent as he was, we would have realized by now that his counterpart in Britain has really been against war with Iraq all along. We just couldn't see it. Good man Pat. Good man Tony. Maybe its got to do with the way that Labour Party leaders here and there, have become accustomed to speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time. We haven't quite caught up with what they really mean, that is if they ever really mean anything.

For the tens of thousands who marched in Dublin and throughout Ireland yesterday, and the tens of millions more who marched across the globe there was no such confusion. In what was possibly the largest single co-ordinated mobilization in human history there was absolute sense of clarity about Tony "W" Blair's role in all this. Along with George Bush and the most reactionary right wing Cabinet in US history, Blair has brought the world to the edge of catastrophe. If, in the changing circumstances the worm does turn, we should not allow ourselves to fall for the line that Tony was really a nice guy all along, just trying his damnedest to keep those Texan's in check.

For months now we have been told that war is inevitable, literally inevitable. Every day for weeks every Colonel Blimp half wit who could be rounded up has been paraded across the airwaves to make the case for bombing Iraq. From morning till evening, from Marion Finnucane to Pat Kenny to Joe Duffy we have been reminded of how we have to get ready to fight the good fight. We have been reminded. And reminded. Remember our "blood ties" with our American cousins. Remember that we depend on the benevolence of US investment. Remember that we must do what our masters, sorry slip of the tongue, our "allies" tell us. We must always do what our "allies" do. Our "allies" right or wrong. That's what neutrality means Fianna Fail style. Pat even had two gun slingers on his show in the form of Des O Malley and Dairmud Mc Dermott complaining that the soldiers at Shannon would not be allowed to shoot the "so-called peace protesters."

Its well past time that we wised up and listened to those voices that we never hear. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Irish Anti War Movement and the global anti war movement for not succumbing to the "inevitability" of war thesis. We own them more than we might yet be able to imagine for their guidance in combating fatalism and demonstrating that protest does work. We owe an enormous gratitude to those who have been unafraid to say that this war is about oil and greed and consolidating the interests of the multinationals. It's about imperialism, the highest from of capitalism, which is precisely what the First World War and World War 2 and the Vietnam War and countless other 20th Century wars were all about. It's about who controls the worlds resources in the 21st Century and has nothing whatever to do with the ordinary people of Iraq. Anyone who thinks that Bush or Rumsfeld or Blair or Straw gives a fig for the women and children of Baghdad or the human rights of those who live under tyranny is either a liar or a half wit. Its time to call it as it is. If the UN was so concerned about defiance of its international resolutions how come the bombs haven't been raining down on Tel Aviv, given that Israel continues to be in breach of no less that 64 UN resolutions.

Even if the UN does manage stand up to the US for once, will Bertie still continue to sanction our participation in the US war efforts through the use of Shannon as part of the military buildup? It will be interesting to see how Bertie, the master wriggler gets of the hook on this one. Even if the US goes it alone without a UN Resolution will he make the annual pilgrimage cap in hand to Pennsylvania Avenue in March to pay homage to Pax Americana and our "special relationship." Perhaps he and all other Irish political leaders should task a stand and for once forego the shamrock and the shenanigans and the shoneenism at the White House this March, as a sign of the opposition of the Irish people to the war plans of Bush and Blair. It time we stood up and were counted.



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
- Thomas J. Watson

Index: Current Articles

9 March 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


The Fundamental Problem Of Non-Constitutional Law Vis-À-Vis The Northern Ireland Question
Paul Fitzsimmons


To: George Bush and Associates
Karen Lyden Cox


An Open Letter
Vincent Doherty


Stupid White Men - A Review

John Nixon


Avoiding Conspiracy Theories

Anthony McIntyre


6 March 2003


Disobedient Republicanism
Anthony McIntyre


Interview With Bernadette McAliskey
Breandán Morley


Why We Should Legalise Hard Drugs
Henry McDonald


Day X & Beyond

Davy Carlin



Brian Mór




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