Category: Archive

Ban Shannon landings if war comes, ex-taoiseach says

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

If there is a second UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force, then every possible support should be given for the war,” the former Fine Gael party leader said in an RTE interview.
“If there isn’t,” he added, “the Irish government has a clear obligation to withdraw any facilities at Shannon, immediately. Irish neutrality was defined in 1939 by a refusal by the then taoiseach, Eamon de Valera, to the British of use of ports.”
Bruton said if the government permits the continued use of airports in a war without UN backing it would be a “complete breach” of Ireland’s policy of neutrality. He said that if he was in Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s position, he would have been making this clear to the U.S. for months.
“This is of paramount importance, more important than investment, more important than anything,” he told RTE. “The maintenance of the rule of international law is vital to small countries.
“I think the taoiseach must stand up for the rule of international law, a principle that was actually established by the Americans themselves but which is now unfortunately at the point of being abandoned.”
Bruton said the basis for world peace since 1945 has been respect for the sovereignty of nation states.
Both the U.S. and Britain had followed a policy that it was not appropriate to attack a UN member state “unless they first attacked you.”
“That policy,” he said, “is now about to be abandoned in favor of a doctrine of pre-emptive or preventive attacks which means that, basically, the policy adopted by Adolf Hitler when he claimed he was pre-empting something when he attacked Poland, could now become the order of the day in international relations.”

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