Reader's Blog: Neutrality has never been more important

Donald Trump attends a NATO meeting in May 2017. Humanity needed an effective UN to create international peace, but it has failed to achieve this vital objective because it has not been allowed to by its five controlling veto wielding powers, three of whom, US, UK and France are also Nato powers.

Perhaps your editorial (April 1), on Nato’s 70th anniversary was intended as an April Fool joke, but one should not play such games when so many peoples’ lives are at stake. You describe the UN, EU, and Nato as three great alliances. Humanity needed an effective UN to create international peace, but it has failed to achieve this vital objective because it has not been allowed to by its five controlling veto wielding powers, three of whom, US, UK and France are also Nato powers.

The EU began as a great project. It did play an important role in maintaining peace in Western Europe. However, since then, the EU is evolving into a militarised super state, intent on using its military power to promote European interests and exploit the resources of weaker states.

The three legged stool you refer to has one strong military Nato leg, one flawed EU leg that seeks to become another military leg, and one broken UN leg. Putting these three organisations or legs together to form a security stool for humanity makes no sense.

Nato could be said to have given some protection to Western Europe during the Cold War, if it were not for the reality that any such protection was compromised by its M.A.D. (mutually assured destruction) nuclear weapons stockpiles and strategy. Nato’s actions since the end of the Cold War, by waging wars of aggression contrary to the UN Charter in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, have stripped the UN of its capacity to maintain international peace.

Irish neutrality is dismissed as looking “ever more like an indulgence than a noble principle.” Eighty-eight Irish soldiers gave their lives, not fighting with Nato, but bravely endeavouring to maintain international peace. Their sacrifice was not “an indulgence” or part of “a dishonest evasion”. It was an essential part of positive Irish neutrality. Our altruistic foreign policy helped send many thousands of Irish volunteers overseas to provide genuine humanitarian assistance to our fellow humans that were most in need.

You are correct when you say that “times — and the threats we face— have changed”. The threats to Ireland and to humanity today include uncontrolled wars of aggression and resources by the US and Nato, environmental damage and climate change accelerated by militarism and destructive neo liberal capitalism, and the erosion of genuine democracy and human rights across the world. Irish positive neutrality was never more important for Ireland and for humanity.

Edward Horgan

Castletroy

Limerick

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