Readers' Blog: We need to step back from military glorification

Ireland should withdraw from involvement in the EU/Nato army — “As a nation we box above our weight.”

Dan Harvey Lt Col (retired) uses this worn-out cliché in the opening sentence of his letter (Irish Examiner, December 28).

How does anybody know this to be a fact; how is “boxing above weight” measured?

Countries across the world also have star performers in many disciplines; are those nations also “boxing above their weight”?

He continues using another cliché term: “Our small nation, with its big heart, rises to the great occasions and shines”.

Big heart? Viewing Ireland with rose coloured glasses? Has anybody noticed the “big heart” of Irish motorists racing past old ladies trying to get into the traffic at road intersections?

He goes on to eulogise the Irish serving in the military, those who have been deployed and continue to serve with the United Nations.

Those in the non-conscripted Irish military volunteer for UN assignments do so, not for a high moral reason, but for personal fulfilment, double pay, adventure and enhanced promotion prospects.

They are not motivated by, “holding the line for peace, holding the line for stability, holding the line that ordinary people can live normal lives in dignity.

De-escalating the conflicts, providing the space for peace, allowing the context for cooler heads to prevail, that honourable settlements and common-sense compromises may be reached, that will allow the peoples of the mission areas a taste of the liberties we enjoy every day and take for granted here in Ireland and the European Union”.

There are those who do not identify with “liberties we enjoy every day... ”

There are those who judge Ireland to be a vassal State of autocratic governance by prominently unelected old men of a pseudo-EU empire who cannot be removed from office.

There are those who believe the UN is used as a battering ram for the principal economic powers of the world, that the UN takes sides in conflicts to suit marauding empires.

There are those in Ireland who believe Shannon airport should not be used as a base for UN/Nato bombing of Middle-East and Oriental populations.

Let’s hope 2019 will be a year Ireland will step back from the glorification of the military, retreat from getting entrenched in the EU/Nato army.

For the sake of the common good, the people of Ireland should dismiss the EU militarisation.

Taoiseach Varadkar should publicly retract his promise to increase annual military spending from currently €900m to €3bn. That amount would be better spent on resolving the housing and health service crises.

Joe Terry

Co Cork

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