13 February 2013
Eugene McCartan, general secretary of the CPI, condemned the joint military agreement between the minister for defence, Alan Shatter, and the British minister for international security strategy, Andrew Murrison, to send Irish soldiers on a “joint training mission” to Mali as part of the European Union’s military training mission. He called on Labour Party activists to bring pressure to bear on the Labour members of the Government to oppose this agreement.
The military adventures now under way in Mali have little to do with human rights but are for the purpose of restoring regimes in Africa under western control. This is further evidence, if that were needed, of how more deeply entangled the Irish army is becoming in the military activities of the EU and NATO.
The announcement comes only one day after a visit to Dublin of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of NATO, a body whose sole purpose is to back up and defend western economic and political interests throughout the globe, a military alliance that has the blood of hundreds of thousands of poor peasants, workers and their families on its hands, from Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yugoslavia, and many other countries.
This action has little to do with training and more to do with the defence of imperialist interests in the region, nearly a century after the same political forces called on tens of thousands of Irish men to fight in Flanders in a bloody inter-imperial conflict, resulting in the slaughter of millions of working people. Once again they now want Irish people to rally to the flags of imperialism.
This is not the future that the founding leaders of this state struggled to bring about but is another significant step away from a position of military neutrality.