Monday, June 1, 2009

Neutrality undermined by lies and deception

The main thing to remember in the Lisbon treaty/constitution debate in relation to neutrality is that we have a very recent precedent.

The concerns expressed by the No to Nice II campaign, which included the Green Party, in terms of assurances on neutrality were proved to be accurate.

It does seem that when the Greens entered Government they left their principles and beliefs at the door.

One concern about Nice II was that we would become more closely aligned with NATO, or its subgroup PfP (Partnership for Peace)

In 1997 we were assured by FF and FG that voting Yes to Nice II would in no way compromise our traditional neutrality.

We were assured that any change to neutrality policy would have to be agreed by referendum.

And we told ourselves it would not happen anyway.

By 1999, without referendum, in spite of promises made by the leader of the state, we were a participating part of PfP

When running Nice II we were assured the electorate that that Irelands the 1997 Fianna Fail manifesto opposed PfP membership. traditional policy of neutrality would be respected.

Mr. Ahern told us that it would be 'fundamentally undemocratic' to join PfP without a referendum.

Then in 1999 Bertie sent Foreign Minister David Andrews to NATO headquarters and signed us up to the PfP, without a referendum.

By 2002 the parameters of Irish participation within the PfP were further expanded.

The important thing here is that the Government broke a promise made in relation to neutrality, and that received little coverage.

The PfPs stated aim is to develop bilateral relationships between individual Partner countries and NATO, as well as among Partner countries. Without a core standing group, PfP cannot operate independently of NATO.

There is also provision for interoperability of forces. Irelands military equipment is now generally compatible with what could be called NATO standard.

We again have a European treaty being run for the second time with few alterations.

The Lisbon treaty has failed in Ireland in part due to fears about our traditional neutrality.

We are again assured that acceptance of the Lisbon treaty-constitution will in no way alter our independent non-aligned position.

However the Lisbon treaty constitution specifies provision for a European Defense Agency, and Joint Force operations.

The thing is, I dont like being lied to - regardless of our personal feelings on the matter of PfP membership, we were promised a choice in being part of PfP -
In that way we could debate and decide on that choice.

But the choice was made for us and as soon as Nice II went through and FF came to power. FG and to a lesser extent Labour also went along with Nice II and PfP

And are we not going to learn from the past lies?

History is more than just something you read in a book.

It was invented as a tool, an engineered road down which society could advance.

The original Greek definition of the word (ιστορία – historia) is a combination of ‘inquiry, analysis, observation and myth ‘this at a time when myth meant information, not just fairy tales.

The entire point of history to the Greeks was not an exhortation to live in the past, but to live with it, learn from it and live better.

It certainly seems the Green Party has forgotten about the Nice fairy tale FF and FG told us in a land not so far away, and a time not long ago

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