I think Paul K’s observations here are spot-on.
Ireland is a very herd-like place. The herd used to be led by the Catholic Church, and everyone outcompeted each other to be as holy as possible, if you recite one mystery of the Rosary then I recite two. Awkward people were locked away in asylums, at one point the incarceration rate of people with mental problems was the highest in the world. Unmarried mothers were locked up and their babies taken off them. We had our own Gulag Archipelago.
With the prosperity that started up in the 1990s and the drip-drip of scandals from the Catholic Church that old belief system has been upended. Woke ideology (fueled in part by the tech companies that set up their European headquarters in Dublin) has eventually filled the void left by Catholicism.
But the vectors of the ideology remain the same. The state broadcaster. The utter bland conformity of the politicians, from the Centre-Left to the Centre-Right. The education system, from the creators of the curriculum to the elite fee-paying schools (teachers’ salaries paid by the taxpayer, thank you very much). The agencies that bring in the international investment. The priesthood. Only now the priests are the NGOs. Where once a government policy could not be approved without a nod and a wink from the Archbishop of Dublin, now the nod and the wink needs to come from some well-paid CEO of an NGO.
On top of this, “official Ireland” has this cringey desire to be loved by other countries. This means we need to be “best-in-the-world” at utterly random things. A construction project to build a new national children’s hospital has gone over budget by billions because it needed to be “world class”. Gender-critical feminists will now be threatened with prison because our hate-crime laws need to be updated to be… “world class”. Gender self-ID laws were brought in because that is … “international best practice”. Sinecures and makey-uppy jobs are handed out to “right-on” failed politicians to pontificate at the UN. In a weird way, the setup is similar to Qatar – a small country that desperately wants to be liked overseas and so pays over the odds for an international cable-news channel and a bizarre World Cup. Ireland is Qatar without the natural gas.
As for the neutrality thing, the origin of Ireland’s neutrality was a snub to the UK, while the island of Ireland was still partitioned into two jurisdictions. Ireland was firmly in the West’s camp during the Cold War (being a Catholic country meant we were very anti-communist). Now things on the surface are shifting but the underlying dynamic is the same: we want to be liked by our European neighbours, we move in a herd, so neutrality will be ditched and anyone who questions it will be sidelined.
Exellent points, and very well made.
“so neutrality will be ditched and anyone who questions it will be sidelined.”
Your whole lament is predicated on the basis that there is any neutrality to ditch. Irish “neutrality” is and always has been bogus.
Ireland has always been on the side of the British and the Americans – and why not, they’re our friends and both countries have large Irish diasporas.
Annually, Irish leaders visit the White House on Paddy’s day – don;t recall them jetting off to Moscow lol.
In WW2, “neutral” Ireland had more VCs from the British army than non-neutral N Ireland did. In WW2, Allied pilots who crash-landed were cleaned up, fed, and given free transport to the border, whereas German ones were interned. And Ireland has always facilitated military flight stopovers for the Americans at Shannon. “Neutrality” my foot.
It’s not so much about “ditching” neutrality as finally facing up to the reality that Irish “neutrality” doesn’t exist in the first place. Better to be honestly aligned than to persist in this pretentious, phoney “neutrality”.
I heard the Irish interned Allied airmen.
To cut a long story short they were released on their own recognisance during the day but had to give their word not to attempt to escape. At night they would be locked up and then they could escape.
One American thought sod this for gam of soldiers. Walked out of the camp during the day, having given his word not to escape, an promptly fled to Northern Ireland and then to mainland UK.
Instead of giving him a hero’s reception the British authorities promptly returned him to Ireland.
If this story is not true it should be
For those interested deValera was begged NOT to enter the war on the Aliied side by Churchill! (despite the rancour displayed) as neither the Irish nor the British could have prevented a German invasion of Ireland. That would have meant GB having to defend its west coast as well as its east coast: a clear impossibility. How do I know this: my uncle was Ireland’s ambassador to Nazi Germany! Our value as a neutral country came into its own. That does NOT mean we were collaborators: what is does mean is we were bloody useful!
The brave Irishmen who fought IN the British Army were not fighting for GB but for the small nations that were being attacked by the monster that was Hitler and his Nazi hoard. You hardly think the Poles in the British army were fighting for GB do you? It was nerely the best way to help Poland and oppose their enemy!
These things are not black and white.
So your uncle was a Nazi sympathizer
He was the ambassador you idiot! Ireland was neutral. Which British ambassadors anywhere in the world sympathise with the nation they reside in? None! They sympathise with their own nation. That is their job. My uncle did an incredibly good job in inbelievably difficult circumstances.. and a good job for us all. If Hitler had invaded Ireland we and you wouldn’t have had a prayer!
So do you know the background to Irish politicians and presumably diplomats in the Irish embassy in Germany deciding to send the Germans their condolences on the death of Hitler?
I meant it as a compliment.
The US Ambassador to the UK, Kennedy, was pro Nazi. Or perhaps more accurately, anti UK. So yes, Ambassadors can be prejudiced.
He was definitely an embarrassment to the U.S. and GB. Roosevelt should have recalled him.
You are right 😉 Things are complicated. For example, Churchill BEGGED de Valera to enter the war on the allies side. The UK was even prepared to offer NI to Dublin, in exchange for Irish entry into WW2. That was far more important to the UK (and allies) than neutrality.
A neutral Ireland was a threat to the UK. Everyone was aware of pro Nazi sympathisers in Ireland and that includes members of the IRA leadership who saw a Nazi victory as must. A neutral Ireland offered a gateway for Germany to exploit. Which is why Britain considered invading from the North.
Often forgotten that Ireland was also reliant on British merchant shipping and sailors in order not to starve, whilst Ireland sat in comfortable neutrality.
Rather a bitter irony there, given the famine. Payback perhaps.
No, they’re not black and white are they? In WW2 ‘neutral’ Ireland was so ‘neutral’ that de Valera went to express his sympathy and that of his government and signed the book of condolence at the Nazi embassy after Hitler committed suicide.
W.B. Yeats poem An Irish airman foresees his death admirably expresses the sense of emotional neutrality. towards beleagured Britain.
Since Ireland had no military capability to speak of, what would have been the benefit to the Allies of its entry into the war?
It is possible to be neutral AND friendly to both sides. Indeed that’s the whole point isn’t it? You can have two friends who fight and, given your friendly, neutral stance you can intervene, right? Your case seems to be it would be better to take sides and fight with the friend you are closer to. Totally unproductive, obviously.
Despite what you assert we did have good relations with Moscow and had they not been destroyed by our current cowardly government we might even be of use in helping to negotate a settlement and subsequently securing the ensuing peace. What a great contribution that would be! But no, we have to align our puny forces with the warmongeting, murderous regime that killed millions of Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans etc. and goaded Putin into this war. A pox on both their houses I say.
I am proud of Sabina Highins, Clare Daly and Mick Wallace. They reflect my views and those of many more of my countrymen.
Cowardice you mean?
Whose cowardice are you referring to?
Fully agree. Irish media has shut down any debate or analysis and derides anyone with sn alternative view – this journalist is a specialist in this, deriding Sabina Higgins – for daring to make a plea for peace. The daggers came out instead of this leading to any reasoned debate. Same for Clare and Daly and Mick Wallace. Media isdoing huge disservice tothe public, pushing debate underground, as well as being a betrayal of journalistic principles of unbiased reporting, informing citizens…
So you’d prefer that Ireland be aligned with the warmongering Russians? Odd logic.
I quite enjoyed reading your posts, even if you are wrong about Churchill wanting Ireland to be neutral in WW2. But this post is poor. There is no negotiated settlement. This is very naive and almost malign. Clare Daly is vile and a fascist sympathiser. Russia will not negotiate unless Ukraine capitulates and this has been clear from the start. There is no negotiation to be done.
The US did not goad Russia. Russia is 100% guilty for the atrocity caused by Moscow. And you are edging towards whataboutism.
They don’t represent me.
Please explain how the USA pushed Vladimir Putin into invading Ukraine. Hiw own writings and speeches reveal that he regards Ukraine as part of Russia that Russia is entitled to reclaim by force.
It’s true to say that Irish neutrality during WW2 was biased in favour of Britain and the US. However, Allied pilots who crash landed in Ireland were interned, at K-Lines camp in the Curragh, Co. Kildare. See T. Ryle Dwyer’s book Guests of the State for more on the subject.
My mom was Irish – two of her older siblings came to fight for Britain – freedom they both told me – they were not welcome back after the war – my aunt telling me she was spat at in the street.
I’m not sure how relevant your (accurate) depiction of Ireland’s past is to the current situation? We are a people emancipated from the British yoke and subsequently from the RC yoke and finally are free to express our true sense of national identity. But you make our international popularity sound like a bad thing and our proven abilities at peacekeeping seem like a weakness! I see them as quite the opposite. If we have any real standing in the world it is for those laudable qualities. Any contribution we might make to warmongering NATO would be puny: indeed irrelevant.
The world has enough money driven murderous regimes without we civilized Irish adding to that primitive brutality. What the world needs far more is what we already have to offer: our proven peacekeeping skills possible only thanks to our neutral, non aligned stance fast being eroded by our brown nosing gutless politicians devoid of the balls shown by Clare Daly and Mick Wallace! Well done to those two..
“The world has enough money driven murderous regimes without we civilized Irish adding to that primitive brutality” …. Ever heard of a very recent period of Irish history where a bunch of bigots bombed, shot and kidnapped thousands of fellow Irish people in the name of Ireland? It was called The Troubles and it was about as primitive as can be imagined.
You have the wrong country there mate! That happened in the UK, under your watch! You created the cauldron and then made a dog’s dinner of sorting it out! You made it, you broke it, you own it. We Irish had not hand, act nor part in that debacle!
Nuffink to do wiv me guvnor!
You keep providing arguments of principle then destroy your credibility with ridiculous assertions such as this.
Irish people, of which I am one, consider Northern Ireland to be part of Ireland. Every poll says so.
Your’s is a very strange viewpoint.
PS – Irish people don’t tend to use the word ‘mate!’ like you have. People from certain other countries do.
We Irish did our own slaughtering of innocents during the civil war. And let’s not whitewash the links between Ireland and the IRA in the north.
Estonia joined NATO and their armed forces are very small. The point is that it is a defensive alliance with every contribution valued.
When neutral nations like Sweden and Finland see the threat and ask to join, it is time for Dublin to think also
I think of the story of Frank Aiken banging the table as he sat across from FDR and refused to take sides in WW2. These fools who lead us now will lead us to war. Weak men create hard times
These useful idiots are united by a deep, malign, historical hatred of anything to do with England. Pro-Russian, pro-Syrian, pro-anything that England doesn’t like. The excuse may differ but the motive, never.
“My enemy’s enemy is my friend”
Scratch the surface of any Hard Left enthusiast and you’ll find a deep, abiding hatred of England and the USA.
That’s true of aging hippies in many Western countries. They however are a tiny minority of Irish people, and very unrepresentative of Irish society at large. And you also ignore that, esp in the US, the Putin fan boys are made up of both hard right and hard left.
Have you ever considered the possibility that duch “reprehensibles” might be trying to redress the balance? To show that it’s not all nice and simple, black and white, good guys and bad guys etc?
Clearly, all sides are horrible! Nato, Russia and the unbelievably corrupt regime in Ukraine. A plague on all their houses. We neutral, peace-loving Irish should stay the hhell out of it. It’s a cesspit of evil, greed and murder on every side!
That’s the funny bit about leftists.
I would for instance claim that Western foreign policy across the globe has been quite despicable.
But that doesn’t detract from the fact that Western societies themselves are very open, egalitarian, offer opportunities to all, and have done a great job at uplifting weaker or oppresses segments of society.
As a leftist you should admire and respect what these societies have achieved.
But they are too full of hatred towards them for heating their precious communists I reckon, and have decided they want to burn down the West and all its culture as retribution.
A blind, simplistic, naïve assessment which paints all non-warmongerers with one brush. We peace-loving neutrals are a very diverse bunch.. what we do have in common is the ability to see beyond our noses and to not be suckers to MSM distortion and omission!
…unnervingly, much the same sentiment pervades the views of the SNP…people who care about the defence of the West should think long and hard about their views on Scottish Independence…because although they no longer talk about neutrality…
…it is clear that in defence and foreign policy terms, the main consequence of their departing the UK would be to undermine our position as the leading European Nato power, and one of the providers of it’s nuclear capabilities…
…and very possibly leave the GIUK Gap extremely vulnerable to the Czar’s cable-cutters and pipeline-bombers…that gap being in their sea-space, which effectively gives them a maritime border with the Russian Navy
As you rightly say, in both cases the only thing that really matters to them is doing as much harm as they can to the hated English…despite the fact that Ireland is dependent on our good-will for fast-jet cover…and an independent Scotland would struggle to protect either it’s sea or air space up to Nato standards. Unless they intend to massively increase defence spending as other “Frontier States” like Finland do…
In my case it is not deep nor is it hatred, though it is abiding. What it is instead is an upfront distrust of two world powers that care nothing for us Irish nor for Ukraine except how we might be exploited and used as a staging post and canon fodder resp. to help them attain their greedy, murderous, merciless domination of world economics!
I suspect the people of Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and many other countries might well feel the same? A plague on warmongerers wherever they come from.
Whatever US involvement in those countries, it was at least underpinned by good intent…..path to hell etc etc. Vietnam, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were all wars based on fighting authoritarian oppression.
Now I will be guilty of whataboutism. Russia has a murderous history of malign intervention around the world and internally, so does China and Iran.
It is time to take sides. Ukraine is fighting for its survival. Everyone in Ireland should understand the import of fighting for independence from an overlord. Ireland should be at the fore of nations supporting Kyiv.
I’m not Irish, but I live in Ireland, so I’ll offer a counter-perspective on this piece in case it’s useful.
My take is that this is a smear aimed at those who want Ireland to remain a neutral country. Ireland has been neutral since independence – this is the reason why, for example, so many objected to the use of Shannon by the US during the Iraq war. Far from there being a sizeable collection of far-left ‘Tankies’ about the place, my experience is that Ireland is a country whose people quietly follow the state/media line on almost every big issue, from Ukraine to covid to abortion. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that the state and the media mostly sing from the same hymsheet on almost every major political issue. The two main parties and the media/cultural elite are effectively one body here.
At present, there is a big push by the Irish establishment to end Ireland’s neutral status. This is in line with the reality that Ireland is, in effect, no longer an independent nation: it is run politically by Brussels and economically by Silicon Valley, and its elite are globalist to the core. It is clear that there is pressure from above for Ireland to end its pesky political neutrality, a relic of its founders, and become a good and obedient NATO member. If smearing its current president (hardly a man of the ‘far left’) as a ‘Tankie’ is the necessary precondition – well, then apparently so be it.
Very well put.
Ireland is not and never has been politically neutral we are militarily neutral. You’ve stated you are not Irish and it’s quite obvious from your comment that you don’t know what you are talking about.
I don’t think that that political and military neutrality can easily be disentangled, as Western support for Ukraine is currently demonstrating. You’re right though to say that the word ‘political’ was probably used in the wrong context in my comment above.
I’ll stand by my overall point though, and if you think I’m wrong I’d be happy to hear how and why. Would you disagree that there is currently a significant push to end the country’s neutrality? Because I’m seeing it everywhere since the Ukraine war started. This current article is one example. A couple of others from influential sources can be found here and here. It looks to me as if this is building up to a clear shift in direction – indeed, the next Taoiseach stated it baldly back in the summer, when he spoke confidently of being able to persuade the Irish to vote to join an EU army. At present the line is that Ireland would not join NATO, but I would expect that to change in coming years.
But as I say, I’d be happy to hear why you think I’m wrong.
You’re comments are pretty much on the money, especially with regard to the powers that be and the media lovefest. Generally speaking I view Ireland’s ‘military’ neutrality as a good thing, but circumstances can change. See Finland/Sweden.
Grow up – Ireland has never been neutral – merely dishonest about its alignment.
Apologies, my growth possibilities ended a long time ago.
From an interview with the Finnish PM recently (Hardtalk – BBC2), it seems that the Finnish decision to join NATO has cooled. It has been seen from the conflict in Ukraine that American dominated NATO does not always have the best interests of Europe at heart when making unilateral decisions..
All the more reason for European NATO members to do as Trump suggested, step up to the plate and put their money where the US’s money currently is.
Don’t doubt the report on your first sentence – but is it just an opinion? I feel they’re going to join.
The second sentence is not surprising.
Paul, while I largely agree with the sentiment of your message – I do not accept your outlook for the future. While we have shown ourselves to be compliant and even malleable to whims of the technocratic elite – we also have a fairly firm sense of identity, of which military neutrality is held in high regard. There is a clear majority in favor of maintaining this, and none of the leading political parties have suggested abandoning our status. The furthest I have heard is some suggestions towards ‘looking at the subject again’, and tone deaf assertations by a politician on a firm path away from power (Varadkar on EU Army). Any meaningful pushes to change this would encounter very stiff popular resistance. The pandemic highlighted the unhealthy relationship between the media and state in this country for many, and untold damage has been done to trust in public bodies. As with the rest of the ‘developed’ world, we are approaching a reckoning between the will of the people and the will of the corporate technocrats who currently hold undue sway over how democratic societies are run. I am more optimistic than you that we will see sense before we get dragged into joining an EU Army, Nato, or any other organization that would threaten our independence further.
I very much hope you are right! Thanks for replying.
That’s all very well, but how does an independent Ireland plan to defend its airspace and undersea cables?
Now THAT really IS on the money!
I hope you’re right Kevin, but unfortunately recent history shows just how easily the public will fall in line with a policy when faced with combined government / media pressure
Bit harsh on PaulK – I thought he made some useful observations. Maybe some of the Tankies are just Pacifists? People think being a pacifist is ok but its really not. George Orwell put it well : ‘a pacifist can exist only because someone else chose to fight on their behalf’
Ireland has held a strange and schizophrenic neutrality over the last century, all powered by a strange and schizophrenic love-hate relationship with England.
This is not nonsense… at least, a charitable rephrasing of the comment is not nonsense. A cursory glance at Dáil speeches from when NATO was being set up will show why this is so, e.g. in 1949, speaking in the Dáil, Seán Mac Bride, the minister for external affairs, said this:
“Ireland, as an essentially democratic and freedom-loving country is anxious to play her full part in protecting and preserving the Christian civilization and the democratic way of life. With the general aim of the proposed Atlantic Pact in this regard, therefore, we are in agreement. In the matter of military measures, however, we are faced with an insuperable difficulty, from the strategic and political points of view, by reason of the fact that six of our north-eastern counties are occupied by British forces against the will of the overwhelming majority of the Irish people. Partition is natrually and bitterly resented by the people of this country as a violation of Ireland’s territorial integrity…
…as an Englishman, I haven’t noticed much love…even from people who have chosen to come here and make a living. Feels more like the relationshp between one of those big, sometimes thoughtless, but mostly good-natured people who worry about the well-being of a vindictive and shrewish neighbour who occasionally throws things at him…because he feels guilty about upsetting her many decades ago…
Nah: too simplistic! You might need to study what neutrality is! It us NOT a sit on the fence and do nothing stance! It comes into its own in peacekeeping operations, arguably far more important than blowing boys to smithereens! It also allows for honest intervention yo bring about peace. We’re goid at both. Our military capability is so puny as to be irrelevant!
MDH is a very much a man of the far left. Just read up on his comments about Venezuela and Cuba.
A good enough assessment. However you fail to see the immense value of our neutrality and world class reputation as peacekeepingers compared to the puny, irrelevant and highly damaging effect of us joining the warmongering US puppet that Nato is.
Costellos is just a useless idiot, but too dim-witted to realise it
(It seams that I can’t add this properly, so I put it here)
Apparently, there is a devision on this issue on Unherd. This dreadful war is pushing us, is pushing Unherd on this occasion, to the limits. This article presents a blindfold and rather unnecessary patriotism. But the patriotism is thin air after the point “Ireland relies on its former coloniser to defend its seas and skies”. Which may be true, but should be a very irrelevant thing to say when writing on the war in Ukraine. To my opinion this article presents an aggressive type of patriotism with a lot of “whataboutery and generalization” mush alike the one the Tankies are accused for having. And so very much one-sided and biased.
Enough though with my “counter attack”. I only wish to express my sorrow for the author’s overwhelming patriotic feelings that are turned into war mongering ideas. How can you write on a supposedly serious opinion site such as Unherd about national groups of people that you “don’t like”. Where can this lead..? Do you not understand that this thinking supports the escalation of war..? Some may do, but still wish to fight on and “kick those bastards”..! Kind of naive..!
But the thing that worries me the most with this immature article has to do with the future of Unherd. This great place, for this is what Unherd is, a great place indeed, has endured the storm of the pandemic madness. It seams very difficult to remain sensible if the war overheats. I see a lot of comments on this and other controversial issues that -excuse me to phrase it this way- reveal a lot of pain in the commentator’s souls and show minds full of anguish.
If I hurt your feelings please excuse me. It is only very desperate to my eyes to accept the notion for an escalation of this war. And before you say the “Russian global threat” thing, first make up your mind about “Russia loosing the war” according to the “non misinforming” western media. Either is losing the war or is threatening the whole world. Can’t do both. And possibly neither..!
The Russian ambassador said “We’re all against war”. True enough, but the crunch question is: are we all against Special Military Operations?
Or wars to eradicate WMDs…or wars against “terror”…or wars with just some vague reason because we don’t like Gaddafi…or wars where we are cutely no involved, other than the weapon and training being used by our “allies” to bomb civilians…..
Are we against them, or it’s too much “whataboutery” ( a term which is short for do as I say, not as I do)
Glad you know what everyone else favored in all those situations.
I thought Bush’s invasion of Iraq was the greatest strategic blunder of the 21st Century.
But I found out I was wrong–on 24 Feb 2022
You might need to go back and study the antics of Nato, the CIA and MI5 in 2012 if you’re tracking down blunders.
On the other hand, if you look at the overall goal of weakening Russia because of its opposition to the Unipolar dollar based order you might conclude it was all worth it?
After all, what’s a few hundred thousand Ukrainian and Russian Iives versus the value of the US dollar and US ‘interests’ around the world? Probably just as valueless as Iraqi, Afghan and Vietnamese lives right?
The US prediction of a Russian invasion, and warnings not to invade were all a clever ruse to lure in that Eternal Victim, poor Vova Putin.
The US started a war to stress its allies over the winter, spend 10s of billions of dollars, just so it could weaken Russia.
You do know that conspiracy theories usually come from people who don’t bother to actually look at evidence?
Trump and Putin both rely on them.
I hope you will all be very happy together…
If YOU check out the facts you’ll see that the CIA actually boasted about the Maidan coup saying it cost the US $5bn. Not my theory. CIA’s own boast!
If you count the numbers of dead (assuming that is even a consideration for you?) you’ll find you were correct first time!
“Stupid Military Operation” is a far better term, given its amazing results so far.
Putin was told that some bloke called Tolstoy had written a book titled “War and Peace”. Putin insisted that the title should be changed to “Special Military Operation and Treason”.
I suggest you read that great book. You might learn something about the people who won WW2 and saved us from Nazi tyranny!
“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” (Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.)
Napoleon was the tragedy and Putin is the farce.
If you really have read War and Peace, I suggest that a re-reading is in order. Maybe that time around, you will see that the boot is on the other foot..
I have indeed read Tolstoy’s War and Peace and I suggest a bit more carefully than you. I referred to the Russian PEOPLE.. not the regimes.. aside from your war games fought so courageously from your own armchairs, you’ll discover that people count for something as well. I see almost no mention of the utterly pointless loss of innocent lives all avoidable if..
1. NATO didn’t encroach on and threaten Russian security AS IT PROMISED!
2. Ukraine had adhered to the Minsk Accord AS IT PROMISED.
3. Ukraine hadn’t mercilessly attacked the Donbas (with their avowedly Nazi Azov battalion) who, after only all wanted to assert THEIR right to self determination.
4. The NATO puppet Boris Johnson hadn’t scuppered peace initiatives WHICH WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE SAVED THOUSANDS IF LIVES. You guys make me sick with your gung-ho, kill ’em all, warmongering garbage!
Wow a who read what d**k-swinging war, supplemented by claims of who can read better. Francis you seem to be wise enough to know that you just can’t beat the blinkered arrogance of some people!
Ah middle class privilege! How the bombed out kids of Ukraine would laugh.
…the people who saved you from Nazi Tyranny were the British that you so obviously and publicly loathe. After September 1940, there was no possibility that our Islands would fall, and every possibility we would…eventually…win, by maintaining the “Command of the Ocean”…
…and at that time, Stalin was Hitler’s principal ally and was joining with him in the partition of Eastern Europe…where one of the Soviet Unions contributions was the mass execution of Polish Officers at the Katyn Forest…
…Stalin and the Soviets ended up on the right side ONLY because Hitler attacked them in June 1941…and managed to stay in the War long enough to re-organise themselves to win their part of it…and place much of Eastern Europe in a servitude that lasted almost fifty years…because of the blood and treasure we expended to supply them with war materiel via the Arctic Convoys and the Persian Gulf…
…meanwhile, the Irish were sending IRA terrorists to bomb Britain because “England’s Trouble is Ireland’s Opportunity”…
…not exactly benevolent “Neutrality” in my book…which in any case, you can only maintain because we essentially provide for your defence…not least the fast-jet CAPs…
What utter rubbish! Look at the scale of the war fought and won by Russia against the combined forces of the Nazi German plus Ukrainian alliance: the war in the west was a mere skirmish by comparison!
Your so-called command of the oceans buckled very severly under the onslaught on the U-boats: had it not been for Turing’s genius (a man you subsequently abandonned! ..a bit like your treatment of Julian Assange!).. you were sunk! Literally!
Had Hitler not turned his attentions to Russia you would now be a German provence: that is indisputable. Hitler already had plans drawn up for the invasion of Ireland as a stepping stone to invade England from east and west simultaneously. You wouldn’t have stood a chance. You owe your freedom more to the 20 million dead Russian than to the ½million dead English. Please have the decency to at least recognise that!
…buckled but did not fail, and there was no possibility of a successful German invasion after September 1940…through Ireland or anywhere else…on which, what plan for an invasion through Ireland? Source please?…
…and the idea that the slogging match in the East could have been maintained without British War materiel in those key early months, and for years afterwards is nonsense…as is the idea that either side in the East could have beaten the other without being impacted by events taking place elsewhere in the world…
…especially those taking place in the Mediterranean and the West…and at sea…which were mostly about vital supplies, especially of oil..
You seem to be retelling the Soviet version of the Great Patriotic War, pretty much uncritically…and without apparently noticing that they started as Hitler’s key allies and enablers…or indeed that it was a World War, rather than a solely European one…were the Soviets, once forced to join the right side, important? Of course…
…but was everyone else negligible? Equally, and clearly, not…
Obviously not if you looks at the dozens of ‘special military operations’ perpetrated by the US, UK, NATO over the years.. the death toll from those I’m told stands at 6 million dead! But to be fair the US, UK and NATO are also against war. Gimme a break!
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a tank rolling over a human face— forever. Apologies to George Orwell, 1984
There are people who honestly believe that authoritarian violence is ‘merely’ an unavoidable activity on the path to Utopia. We should resist their fantasies.
We’re still waiting for our omelette.
And the mere act of breaking seven million eggs does not an omelette make.
These are not fantasies, that is what Russian troops did many times both during war and when crushing Eastern European uprisings…
Have you found the cure for violence..? Authoritarian or not..! Please share it with us..! It would bring peace on earth at last..! Please excuse the irony..! The only way I know that ends violence is acceptance and love..! It isn’t NATO..!
You are right of course.. isn’t it sad that so many relish warfare and bloodshed? A sad world indeed..
While we’re at it, can we get rid of gravity? Every time I hear about someone who has been killed in a fall, it makes me so sad.
Please put your case to the Iraqi, Afghanistan and Vietnamese people and let me know their response.. obviously not to the millions of innocent men, women and children now dead thanks to the West’s love of humanitarianism and freedom. Sadly their voices have been stiffled.
The article is very one-sided. And, to be honest, I don’t see what can be wrong with this statement: Until the world persuades President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire and negotiations, the long haul of terrible war will go on. How can there be any winner?”
Does the author really think that the conflict will ended differently, like a Ukrainian or Russian total victory?
Unless Russia is decisively defeated, there will just be another war when Russia recovers and rearms. This war occurred because Russia wasn’t defeated in 2014, and people wrongly assumed it was still a major power.
Ukraine can decide when the war should end, not 3rd parties interested in another Munich
Not if the peace deal was achieved and enforced under International Law, any violation answerable to the International Criminal Court.
What planet are you on?
Just read real Russian history and not Moscovy propaganda about “Great Patriotic War”.
Russia already signed the Budapest Memorandum, guaranteeing to “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine”. Fat lot of good that did.
If you think the ICC can enforce anything against a major power without the backing of some heavy military force you’re living in lala land. China, the US, Russia – they’d laugh themselves sick.
I’d love to know what the decisive defeat of Russia looks like to you. Do Ukrainian troops need to take Moscow? I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that that isn’t going to happen. Should NATO troops invade and conquer Moscow? Because I don’t see that happening either – not least because of the incredibly high chances of a nuclear response.
Does it mean a long war of attrition, like the Soviet Union’s experience in Afghanistan or Russia’s In Chechnya?
All the indications suggest that Russia can keep going as it is for quite some time – as it did in both of those conflicts – and that Ukraine will be reduced to rubble before the Russians concede.
Or, are you simply hoping that the Putin regime collapses, that Alexei Navalny escapes from prison, seizes power in a bloodless coup and lays down Russian arms at the feet of NATO.
Because, whilst that could happen, I would suggest that it isn’t likely and for two reasons:
First, the last time that Russians ended their hostilities with the West and turned towards the west, it ended very badly indeed. The shock therapy administered after the collapse of the USSR, lead to one of the largest peacetime economic collapses ever recorded. So the chances that the collapse of Putin’s regime leads to one more favourable to the West are not great.
Second, even Alexei Navalny himself sees Crimea as part of Russia.
It therefore seems that your idea of the “decisive defeat” of Russia means a regime change to someone more pro-Western than the most pro western of any of the significant resistance figures so far identified. I think the chances of that are slim but I concede they exist. Or am I misreading you?
Do you think that a decisive defeat could be achieved some other way?
Russians are on the back foot and most Ukrainians want to kill every one of them. Putin won’t be able to supply his forces over the winter. Indeed, the more mobiks there are, the less he will be able to hold the line. Even pro-Kremlin commentators agree on that.
Decisive defeat means either a million Russian casualties by spring, or a breakthrough by the Ukrainians.
And just now I wouldn’t get in their way. The Russians who have so far are very sorry.
Please return in the Spring to comment further on your (not very well informed) statement so you can tell us all how “you told us so”! I for one look forward to your further contribution after the next 4-5 months.
Just to be clear, your idea of the best possible outcome is “a million Russian casualties”. In your assessment, casualties on that scale, will result in a defeat for Putin which will lead to some sort of regime change in Russia and the next regime will have the good sense never to mess with the West again.
I accept that a huge number of Russian casualties (mostly conscripts, many of them only children because of Russia’s low birth rate) will destabilise the regime in Moscow.
What I quesiton is whether Russia will meekly accept that it has lost, return its troops to their bases and vow never to mess with the international order again or whether it might escalate instead. If the former, great, I will eat a big portion of humble pie. But, if it opts for escalation, what price are you willing to pay for the liberation of the Donbas?
I imagine ot cwn be but only within his own comfortable armchair. In the real world? Eh, not so much..
Ah yes! Gung-ho! Let’s fight it out to the last Ukrainian then yeah? I take it you won’t be putting yourself forward as canon fodder? You’ll see the tens of thousands slaughtered from your own armchair won’t you. Brave man that you are..
How much warmongering has Russia engaged in compared to US/UK/NATO? Let me see: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Vietnam to mention just a few. And the death toll? Ah a few million.. all brown skinned so who’s counting eh?
Do you really not understand that Putin’s Russia is an unabashed aggressor, and will not abandon its insane attempt to annex Ukraine whatever “deal” might be done? All backed up by cod-mystical pan-Slavic nonsense about restoring Greater Russia.
Are you aware of the Minsk accord? Was it Russia that reneged on that? Are you aware of the undertaking not to move NATO eastwards? Was it Russia that reneged on that? Are you aware of fledgling peace talks that were scuppered? Was iit Russia that scuppered them? I’m no apologist for Russia but when it comes to breaking deals and acting in bad faith I’m afraid it’s the other side that is grossly at fault.
When an army from a foreign power embarks on a war of conquest against a sovereign state, the only solution is the ejection of the invading army. Calls for both parties to negotiate are simply demands that the victims give up all or part of their territory to the aggressor. Why should they be expected to do that?
Does that apply to Palestine as well? Or is that an inconvenient comparison?
Jeez that’s exactly the kind of whataboutery that we know is used by those who can’t debate a point.
The funny thing is the Irish media will only ever speak of the threat of the far right despite the fact that there are precisely zero far right TDs. In the addition to the faction described above, there is a separate group of pro-Ukraine leftists who can be identified mainly by their support for zero Covid restrictions in 2020. That Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are routinely described as right-wing parties (despite presiding over huge state spending) shows just how left-wing Ireland is.
You are mistaken: both parties are Centrist. FG is right of centre: FF is (or was) left of centre. If both parties were Right the combined Left would be close to 50%. FF’s ‘all thingsto all men’ approach has kept that from happening; capturing as it does probably 20% of natural Left supports. Granted that is dwindling as their propensity for duplicity becomes more obvious.
Fine Gael centre right? Yeah, right! Personal income tax rates and Minister McEntee’s hate speech legislation say hello. It is you who is mistaken for it is no longer the 1990s.
I’m Irish. This completely over-states the influence and popularity of a few aging hippies. All the mainstream parties in Ireland are solidly behind Ukraine.
That’s true. Pro-Ukraine, pro-Covid restrictions, pro the State line on controversial topics is far more common.
..doesn’t make it right or moral though does it? Happily, many of us are not so easily persuaded by MSM who grossly distort the facts. Soome of us are conscientious enough to check the facts consider opposing views from highly reputable sources. Big Brother will not succeed in browbeating all of us!
Indeed, I am just commenting on where support lies in practice. No need for the later sermon!
Europe as a whole is solidly behind Ukraine. And so is this aging hippy,
Then it’s true. They said we would pay for our drug abuse with brain damage once we got older.
This aging hippie, being a pacifist (like all genuine hippies) favours peace negotiations and abhors the gung-ho “kill ’em all” cries of warmongering brutes on all sides! I’m totally in favour of supporting the innocent victims that come to our shores for refuge.
You’re a strange kind of pacifist that expresses such loathing for the British people that verges on bigotry.
Irish people overwhelmingly support neutrality which, unsurprisingly the government are now trying to erode. Ukraine will have to make peace sooner or later, or the consequences will be appalling.
..and the sooner the better. None of it was worth a single innocent life!
And has it not occurred to you that making peace with Russia, unless handled apprpriately will result in decades of deportation of Ukrainians to Eastern Russia and the shipping in of Russian replacements? We already know Russians were resettled in the Baltics during the Cold War, and more recently in The Donbass. The press has reported today what we already knew to a certain extent, that Ukrainians have not only been deported to Russia en masse this year from occupied areas, but children taken away from parents.
I don’t pretend to know the answer, but to ignore what we know Russia will do to Ukraine without internationally enforceable curbs in place is morally despicable.
You’re right for the most part. Oddly they are on the opposite side in the merciless, genocidal takover of Palestine. The common factor being they do as they’re told by their US/oligarch puppet masters.
It is a sad day when calls for negotiation and peace are denigrated and attacked. This is herd article, not an unherd
On the money! And a female at that opposed to negotiation and peace! A disgusting article.
How come the hard left is stuffed with apologists for brutal and corrupt dictators?
If you look more closely you’ll see it is more an attempt to redress the balance! After all it was the ‘nice, uncorrupt and wonderful in every way’ US, UK, NATO regime that murdered millions of Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Vietnamese etc etc: and not those nasty corrupt dictatorships you revile so much. Try a little balance yourself: you might even find it enlightening?
This article is typical of its kind. No context whatsoever given for the Ukraine invasion or the Syrian war. A cartoonish version of international affairs is presented. It’s nothing more than a hit job on the few Irish politicians simply asking for negotiations. I would think many Irish people support this position but you wouldn’t know from the the Irish media with its incessant pro-war propaganda.
Quite right, on all points.
Does this also explain Ireland’s problem with Israel?
Yes, google Michael D Higgins and Israel and you will find a good explanation. Remember, Higgins is still very popular despite his wife’s views on Ukraine.
Any decent person who doesn’t have a major problem with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is either a sucker for US/Oligarch driven MSM or not a decent person to begin with. The World looks away while a major crime against humanity is happening before our eyes! It cheers on Ukrainians while Palestinians suffer! Yet it is clear that Palestine is far more a victim of merciless suffering by an invading power ruthlessly denying Palestine of its sovereignty in a similarly genocidal manner! The hypocrisy beggars belief!
The problem with the Palestinians and Israelis is incredibly complex, and from your comment I’m not sure you see the whole scope. A Rashomon on a colossal scale
The Palestinians are to some degree right to feel that they were screwed by the rest of the world in the UN vote in 1947: having not lifted a finger to stop the Nazi’s Final Solution, the ROTTW to some degree voted for the division of Palestine in ‘sort of’ embarrassed compensation to the Jews for that failing. So the Palestinians felt (and probably still feel), with some justice, that they are paying the price for European anti-Semitism.
Actually, they are right twice over in that, although this is little recognized; Herzl started the Zionist movement partially in reaction to the Dreyfus affair of 1894. So the Palestinians are paying the price for European anti-Semitism twice over.
Now look at the whole history from the Jewish point of view. For the early Zionists, living ‘mixed in’ with other people wasn’t working (as shown by the pogroms in the Pale of Settlement in the 1880s) – as the Final Solution was later to show in unmatchable finality. They wanted a place to live – but where? There was no empty country they could take over to create a Jewish state.
The settlers of the First Aliyah, starting in 1882, had the idea that they would cooperate with the Palestinian Arabs, and make life better in the then desert-like Palestine for everyone. The Palestinian Arabs would have none of it. Trouble started while Turkey still controlled Palestine, and it just grew, through the troubles of the 1920s and the Palestinian revolt of the 30’s under the British mandate (which led to the creation of the Haganah).
(The irony here is that the Palestinian Jews, who felt that the British were suppressing them – especially so after the 1939 White Paper, which stopped Jewish emigration from Europe – condemning many to death – took as their heroes the Irish, who had earlier thrown off British rule.)
It culminated with several Arab refusals to accept any partition (the Peel plan of 1937; the UN plan of 1947) – the best ideas that un-affiliated, outside observers could come up with, after talking to all sides.
Looking at the whole history, from the late 1800s to today, the one short phase that sums it up for me is to call it a Greek tragedy on a colossal scale.
I have never heard of Norma Costello, but I am disgusted that a journal like Unherd would choose to publish her appallingly misleading account of the state of Irish public opinion. Naturally she has omitted to mention the overwhelming public support for continuing Ireland’s neutrality. It is true that anti-war views are being systematically marginalised in Ireland, but that is due to orchestrated media bias, not public opinion. Even worse is of course happening in the US and UK where “left” politicians have been browbeaten into recanting anti-war views.
She is a silly little girl with fantasies of being a journalist and form for propagandising for the warmongers who try to destroy Syria.
That she thinks writing a whole piece criticising the minority view that goes against the well funded Establishment one shows the level of her intellect and ability to critically analyse.
This writer of this article is a cheerleader for war, taking no account of the devastating human cost, the constant ever increasing escalation, with no end or endgame in sight. Each side in the war has lost 100,000 lives, according to recent estimates, with the toll rising daily. The writer is a propagandist, and has published versions of this article in various publications. She is part of the media that vilifies and marginalises anyone who calls for a ceasefire, a negotiated end to the war, or anyone who is against constant arming of Ukraine. She joins in and amplifies the vilification of the Irish President’s wife who dared to make a plea for peace. She derides MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, Sinn Fein – in fact anyone who dares question the party line. The Irish media with a very few honourable exceptions, are vigorous and loyal purveyors of continuing the war. At least in other countries, the public is exposed to alternatve points of view, debate, analysis. Irish media seems afraid of this – perhaps hangover from colonial times, still need to tug the forelock in obeisance to the consensus line.
this writer herself is guilty of “tankism”, crushing debate and alterative viewpoints. You can search in vain for her opposition to illegal wars elsewhere such as the illegal US / UK war in Iraq, which led to a million deaths, the majority civilian.
The Tankies have also been known to disseminate Russian propaganda, playing a crucial part in the Kremlin’s disinformation war.
It has to be said that we have our own state organs of disinformation in the West, busily peddling party-line propaganda on a par with Pravda in its heyday.
Preferring the samizdat of distinguished voices like Jeffrey Sachs and John Mearsheimer of the Columbia and Chicago universities respectively, I take the view that NATO is the aggressor in the Ukraine war and has been so at the behest of the US NeoCon war machine since the early ’90s when they reneged on assurances given to Mikhail Gorbachev that, following dissolution of the USSR, Warsaw Pact states would not be taken into the NATO fold but left be as neutral states — an economic and political buffer between Russia and the West.
I do not want to see Ireland’s military “defanged” but if my views make me a ‘Tankie’ then so be it: rather that than a credulous gapsh!te.
So the country invading another country is not the aggressor?
Also, try to understand that Nato enlargement was driven by the countries of Eastern Europe, not by the reluctant US (who never promised never to enlarge Nato, but only (thruthfully) that they didn’t at that time have any plan to enlarge it). States like the Baltic states more or less badgered their way into NATO. If you wonder way they would insist, you should remember that Ireland probably remember the British empire fonder than the Eastern Europeans remember Russia.
If you ignore 9/11, the US is the aggressor and Osama Bin Laden an innocent victim.
If you ignore the “popular” 2014 overthrow of a democratically elected government in Ukraine, funded with billions of American cash, the subsequent violence unleashed on Russian speaking regions on Donbass or close to 15 countries “forcibly” joining NATO and “forcibly” placing hostile weapons and missiles right upto the Russian border, yes Russia is the aggressor, no doubt about that.
Given the tottering Russian state, if the CIA was able to fund half a million demonstrators on Maidan (!), looks as though it provided value for money.
As you know from your Brexit vote it’s pretty easy to manipulate the general population. You don’t need to pay each one: just pay for a few ads on the busses! Spread the lies, the false promises and the xenophobia: snd sure the idiots will fall for it every time!
The government wasn’t overthrown; the president fled when his guards refused to fire on peaceful demonstrations, and the country was left without government. New elections was held, and a president was elected who in his turn was defeated in elections by Zelensky five years later.
The violence unleashed in the Donbas is by Russia, which sent in ununiformed russian soldiers to create two undemocratic Russian puppet states.
States like the Baltic states more or less badgered their way into NATO …
Pull the other one — no country “badgers” its way into NATO unless the US allows them in.
And there is plenty of evidence from parties on both sides who were involved in negotiations at the time that Russia was, in fact, given assurances against NATO expansion eastward.
We have a war in Ukraine today because NATO has all but sealed Russia’s borders with missile deployments — and with the collusion of the US, that war has been on the boil since 2014.
Of course the US have to give permission, but they can of course be worn down by badgering just like parents. I don’t mean the US was strongly against Eastern European membership, but they didn’t push for it. The Baltic states, to take an example, started to pester NATO with demands to became members many years before they actually became members. Your view is actually strangely America centric. You totally deny the agency of Eastern Europe.
Also, what was promised to Gorbachev was to not pit Nato troops in the former DDR, which has been kept. Apart from that, James Baker told Gorbachev that the US had no intention to expand Nato, which probably was true at the time.
Also, in what way have the US sealed Russias borders with missile deployment. Where are those missiles? Finland? Kazakhstan? Ukraine? Not even Nato states bordering Russia, like the Baltic states, have missiles.
Gorbachev himself, in an interview in October 2014, disagreed that such a commitment had been made: “The topic of “NATO expansion” was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. … Another issue we brought up was discussed: making sure that NATO’s military structures would not advance and that additional armed forces from the alliance would not be deployed on the territory of the then-GDR after German reunification. Baker’s statement, mentioned in your question, was made in that context. … Everything that could have been and needed to be done to solidify that political obligation was done. And fulfilled. .. It has been observed all these years.”
How the GWU people’s reading of the archives squares with Gorbachev’s memory, I don’t know – but if I have to choose between a principal who was actually there, and a bunch of researchers, I know who I’m picking.
If Russia were the aggressor, the war would be fought near the Mexican-American border. When the US is the aggressor, the war is fought near the Russian-Ukrainian border. Simple math.
It would be quite difficult to wage an aggressive was against Ukraine in Mexico, which doesn’t have a border with Ukraine.
One would have thought that “having no plans to enlarge NATO” would have had some moral significance but clearly it didn’t as all those countries were taken into NATO only a few years later..
Did you use the eords “moral” and Nato in the same sentence? Are you mad?
..sure we do! Our favour bit was the starvation of a million of us (while vas5 quantites oof food were 3xported from Ireland into the UK at gunpoint); and the clearance of another million and a half of us in ‘coffin’ ships to the US! …a mere 60 years before we gained our independence.. We also remember those nice Black and Tan troups and their burning, killing and torture of our citizens, with great fondness.
I don’t deny that, but it still doesn’t compare to the Holodomor. But if the U.K. threatened to invade Ireland now, and there was an anti British equivalent of NATO, I am quite sure Ireland would behave like the victims of Russian imperialism.
You are just repeating Russian propaganda.
There is no formal agreement about former Warsaw Pact countries not joining NATO.
Actually Boris Yeltsin agreed with former Polish President that Poland can join NATO.
Anyway, only people ignorant of TRUE Russian history make claims like yours.
Please explain why countries of Soviet Block and now Finland and Sweden joined NATO?
You only have to look at Russian looters, rapist and murderers in Ukraine to understand why I regard people with your view as nothing more than lowlife scum.
You probably don’t know this but Poland does NOT have a border with Russia!
Actually, for someone who sounds so authoritative, you are wrong. It does have a border with Russia – specifically, with the Kaliningrad oblast. Don’t believe me, go check a map.
I regard people with your view as nothing more than lowlife scum.
Right back at you, you charmer.
Well said. Isn’t it strange that any condideration of the Russian case makes us reprehensible but being slavish mouthpieces for the gross misinformation coming from the US/UK and the oligarch-owned MSM is so laudable? Whatever happened to a bit of balance: the ol’ British sense of fairplay don’t you know?
It seems the unfortunate majority of us still require an outlet for credulity now that grovelling to the Wu ’flu bogeyman over the past two years has become such a dire embarrassment.
I reserve special contempt for the gaimbín class here in Ireland — that snide polemic above the line being indicative of their view.
Sadly tens of thousands are dying or being displaced in Ukraine because our milk–sop representatives at home and in Brussels have not the b@lls to stand up to the US but instead make a virtue out of a catastrophe by sporting the Ukraine flag on their Twitter accounts where they were jigging for vaccines only last year.
I dearly wish I could be as nice as Paul Kingsnorth has been about it but there you go. I’m not English.
The Tankies appear to follow the line that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. Britain is the historical enemy … Britain condemns Russia … Russia is my friend. With this logic every nation condemned by Britain for human rights abuses is a friend. But why is it only the left that follows this logic?
Far too simplistic, narrow-minded and biased. Which country is currently incarcerating the human rights champion Julian Assange in apalling conditions? Is it China or Russia?
The US just agreed to send another $400 million dollars worth of offensive weapons to Ukraine. That is in addition to the $60+ billion dollars’ worth of weapons we’ve already sent them. Combined with our real-time battlefield intelligence, we’ve done everything but squeeze triggers.
The US…excuse me…”the West” is in a virtual war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine, a nation with whom we have no treaty or alliance, no historic relationship, and very dubious strategic interest. If the idea is to ensure that Putin pays dearly for his invasion, that point has been made already.
I believe it is the right moral and strategic move, but I’d very much like President Biden to make a big speech admitting that we’re engaged in a proxy war which could get hot, very quickly (see the accident in Poland), and admitting that much of the inflation we’re seeing – and which is hurting Europe far more than the US – has much to do with the embargo on Russian oil.
There is a chance to create real meaning behind what will soon become a painful collective sacrifice, again, mostly among Europeans. Biden should get out ahead of that and make that point. All we get right now is that charge that if you’re not rabidly pro-war, you are therefore a dupe of Putin’s.
So many people have been taken in by the
There is one way to stop this:
Zelenskyy must negotiate.
Then why is everybody scared to go on the offensive & declare war, invade Russia, take Moscow, bring in some scientology ‘Top Guns’ win the Battle Bravo & be done with it ?
Russian nukes is the answer to your question..
A grossly unfair and horribly distorted piece! It is perfectly plausible to abhor war as I do and wish to hold onto Ireland’s neutral status without in the slightest being supportive of nasty regimes! The suggestion that Ireland has real and present enemies is risible. We do not.
What we do have is considerable standing as a peacekeeping and peace loving nation: one without a shameful record of exploiting, starving and enslaving other countries – indeed we are a victim of such atrocities. That reputation is worth far more than any puny contribution we might make to the belligerent NATO which is the underlying cause of the war: it and the hugely corrupt Zelenskyy regime installed by the CIA and MI5 for the US and UK’s own selfish desires! Those hateful forces (the ones responsible for millions on innocent lives in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan etc etc) don’t give a damn for the lives and suffering of Ukrainians. They are mere pawns in a war clearly orchestrated to weaken Russia and for what? Territory? No! The US dollar and its attendant unipolar world order.
How dare you impugn your own countrymen with your grossly exaggerated case: twisted to suit a narrative slavishly sycophantic to our government’s oligarchic puppet masters! You should be ashamed.
I and people like me are no apologists for Russia or any other nasty regime. We are proud pacifists and suppprters of our proud neutrality and peacekeeping achievements. And I support and laud the efforts of Clare Daly and Mick Wallace who speak truth to power and seek only to redress the grossly imbalance perpetrated by you and other brown nosing colleagues in MSM who slavish support the greedy warmongers and portray them as “the good guys” when clearly the are no better (and often worse) than the nasty regimes you condemn.
I expect an apology and indeed you owe an apology to our esteemed president’s wife as well! You are a disgrace.
I fully agree with you Liam, well said.
I respect your view on Irish neutrality. But I don’t understand why you are passionate in your denunciation of NATO but not able to criticise what Putin and his regime are doing? I don’t want to be an apologist for what happens in Iraq or Afghanistan, It’s a genuine question. Is your view that the Ukraine govt and Russian govt are morally equivalent? Is all the evidence of Russian violence against civilians just made up? Are the Ukrainians fighting the Russians all Nazis or Western stooges? Don’t the Russians have history in terms of how they treated other countries they have absorbed? (I am thinking of how when they invaded the Baltic States in 1939 that thousands ended up in the Gulags). Is Russia’s history with regard to its near neighbours entirely justified? Lots of questions but I want to understand why I’d you are in favour of pacifism and neutrality this means turning a blind eye to some really bad stuff.
Well said – and I note you didn’t get a reply!
I have friends from Finland who now live in Estonia and have become pro-joining NATO – despite being lifelong hippies, they see how Estonia is protected from the Russian bear next door and they want the same for their home country. I don’t blame them at all.
(And no, this doesn’t make me pro-war, anti-Palestine or a US stooge.)
Minor error: the Baltic states were invaded in 1940; 1939 was Poland, in cooperation with their then-best-bud.
“Zelenskyy regime installed by the CIA and MI5”
Say what? The 2019 election that elected Zelinsky (by a majority of over 70%; in line with pre-election polling) was judged to be free and fair by external monitors who were on the scene, including the OSCE and the Helsinki Commission. The loser, Poroshenko (the previous president) gracefully conceded.
Are you saying the Ukrainian people are incapable of making their own decision on who their leader should be? Or is it that anyone who doesn’t meet your approval must be a CIA/MI5 stooge?
Calls for a cease fire followed by negotiation is simply being logical, rather than partisan. The aims of the Ukrainian military, with western support, is to continue the war until all of Ukraine is taken back, including the breakaway areas of the Donbass and Crimea.
There have been indications that Russia would, at this stage, be happy to return to the lines as they were on feb 22nd, they are after all, loosing. To continue this war will not only cost a lot of Ukrainian lives, but should Ukraine conquer back the Eastern Donbass and Crimea, there will be massacres and ethnic cleansing on a massive scale. The Population of Crimea is not Ukrainian, they have been Russian since the 18th century, and were only added to Ukraine in 1954 by an unelected dictator (Khrushchev). Until then, it was never part of Ukraine.
Compare this to the six counties, which had all been part of Ireland, but was given up by the Irish nationalists in order to get peace. A peace that has worked ever since.
Putin was stupid to start this war, but now the US wants to keep this war going so that the can destroy Russia, and break it into smaller components so that they can have excuses for regime change.
To point out western double standards is not “whataboutery” It pointing out injustices that are created by our own governments. The war against Yemen could not happen without arms being supplied by UK, the US and France. Sanctions against many countries that have stood up to US imperialism are creating poverty, not “regime change” perhaps the US needs regime change from the rule of the republicrats.
Obviously the peace that followed the sectarian separation of NI came only to the Republic.. making it clear that tte root cause of NI’s violence is not its ‘Irishness’.
Interesting, so when a Russian votes, it’s different than when an American votes. A proper democracy is just the latter. In the UK, if they lock up a dissident, that’s proper democracy protection. When they lock up a dissident in China, it’s tyranny.
I’m afraid it also follows then that subhumans of inferior nations can be bombed and killed at will.
Do you see now why most of the world hates the Anglo-Saxons?
I tried to describe it in Reflections on Elites, War and Peace: a View from the American Colony.
But I’m afraid this kind of people are not capable of accepting it. Anyone who defends their independence against American hegemony is an enemy.
As with Julian Assange your views run counter to the brutal but subtle hammer that bashes those who see things as they really are! Well done and please accept downticks as proof positive that you stand for truth to power despite the blindness of MSM victims!