How Neutral is Ireland really?
(USAF planes at shannon Airport, 2005)
The Republic of Ireland, a country in which I was born, and so have been awarded citizenship by the government that rules over the territory, has, since the Second world war, declared itself to be a neutral state.
But yet, currently, some Islamic Extreemist clerics declare us to be a viable target in their war against the United States. How can they justify this when the Republic of Ireland declares itself to be a neutral state. First of all what constitutes a neutral state under international law?
Articles one, two and three of the Second Hague Convention, the principle international law covering neutrality state:
The territory of neutral Powers is inviolable.
Belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral Power.
Belligerents are likewise forbidden to:
(a) Erect on the territory of a neutral Power a wireless telegraphy station or other apparatus for the purpose of communicating with belligerent forces on land or sea;
(b) Use any installation of this kind established by them before the war on the territory of a neutral Power for purely military purposes, and which has not been opened for the service of public messages.
Now I want all students to compare and contrast this with the following information about the Republic of Ireland, which has declared itself a neutral state since the formation of the Irish Republic in 1949 (as distinct from the Irish "Free State").
The Republic of Ireland's fulfillment to the letter of the law of the Second Hague Convention has always been questioned, though not always in Ireland itself, by way of some for instances:
1. When Ireland began to assert its neutrality during the Second World War, Ireland supplied some important secret information to the Allies; for example, the date of the D-Day invasion of France was decided on the basis of incoming Atlantic weather information which was covertly supplied to them by the Republic of Ireland but kept from Germany.
2. During the Kosovo war, when Ireland began allowed US armaments, including Cruise type missiles to pass through or over its territory while the US was engaged in an attack on Serbia, this was done with no UN Security Council approval.
3. In the ongoing war against Iraq and Afghanistan, the Irish government so far, has allowed the passage through Ireland of over 100,000 heavily armed US troops in the preparation for and the conduct of the US-led war against Iraq. Along with some very dubious looking lear jets, which "have not" been used in the practice of "extraordinary renditions" according to the US government. The independent MEDACT report has confirmed that up to 30,000 people were killed "major combat operations" section of this war.
No definition of neutrality allows states like the Republic of Ireland to allow or facilitate military operations to the extent of the above instances. Ergo Ireland is not a neutral country under any present definition of international law.
Ireland's status as a credible neutral country when future wars occur will only be restored by a referrendum that forces the inclusion of a specific neutrality clause that abides by the Second Hague Convention in the Irish Constitution.
Until then, unfortunatly, Ireland, in the eyes of Islamic jihadists will remain a viable target in their war against the American Aggressors.
When the first bombs go off in Ireland, to herald the new wave of terrorism, the government of this fine Republic will hold a news conference, publicly throw their hands up to heaven, and shout "why lord, why?". Then they will return, with heads hung low, into closed chambers and calculate the deaths incurred by the bombings and compare them to the jobs created and profits made from American multinationals investing in Irelands economy. It will, I imagine, be a savage mathematics.
Remember you heard it here first.
Peace and Hope