It was clear that humanitarian concerns were being used, but she said that people should realize that a trans-Atlantic rift would do no one any good.
“I am also very unhappy about the stoking up of hostility to the British Prime Ministers here in Ireland. Tony Blair has been a great friend of Ireland,” she said last week.
“He has taken risks for peace. He has done more for peace and improved relations between Ireland and Britain than any other British prime minister. I admire his role and conviction.”
She said no one wanted a war but it was up to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to actively cooperate on disarmament and avoid the serious consequences, including military action, if he failed to comply with international law.
She said some people argue that military action should not be supported without a new U.N. resolution and then go on to say they would not support it even with a new U.N. resolution.
That approach would drive Ireland into isolation and showed little respect for the U.N. If every country adopted it, it would make the U.N. totally ineffective.
“For a long time, there were crude anti-British attitudes in Ireland and that got us nowhere. Now we see the stoking of anti-American attitudes,” Harney said.
“And some of the same political sources were anti-European in the Nice referendum campaigns.
“The extreme left in Ireland has always been virulently anti-American and anti-EU. They want their ideas to infect more of the center-ground.
“But if you’re anti-American, anti-British and anti-European, where are you, except isolated?”
Harney said as an EU state and an open, trading country, Britain and America were amongst Ireland’s closest friends.
“Let’s keep it that way,” she told a party meeting in Limerick.