Afghan and Iraqi wars exacerbate conflicts in Middle East and Africa

Our deepest sympathy must go the families and friends of the three Irish citizens, Laurence and Martina Hayes, and Lorna Carty, who were murdered in Sousse, Tunisia, last week. Nothing ever justifies murder, and nothing ever justifies mass-murder.

Afghan and Iraqi wars exacerbate conflicts in Middle East and Africa

Yet, in order to prevent such atrocities in the future, it is important to begin the process of trying to understand what drives rational individuals to do such irrational deeds.

There are media reports that the Tunisian gunman Seifeddine Rezgui deliberately chose Western tourists whose states supported US-led wars in the Middle East.

A report in the Limerick Post (June 27) stated that “Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has defended the ongoing use Shannon airport by the US military”. He reportedly told a recent meeting of an Oireachtas committee that the refuelling of US military arrangement “does not flout Irish neutrality and that it does not pose a security risk. The Oireachtas Petitions Committee is investigating the use of Shannon airport by US troops”.

It seems clear the disastrous Afghan and Iraqi wars have initiated a conflagration of conflicts across the Middle East and North Africa. This recent atrocity in Tunisia is one of the outcomes of these conflicts and there will be more such incidents until we begin to address the root causes of these conflicts and focus our national and international attention on conflict prevention rather than fuelling conflicts.

Dr Edward Horgan




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