Letters to the Editor

Nato expansion has been main cause of Ukraine military conflict

Patrick Murphy’s column –‘Pope’s comments may help avert global conflict’ (June 18) – are courageous and challenging.  Courageous in that Ireland (and most of Europe) are caught up in Russia-phobia and war propaganda being peddled by our mainstream media and military industrial complex. Mr Murphy quoted Pope Francis as saying that the war was “perhaps somehow either provoked or not prevented”.   

I think this statement hints towards the elephant in the room (Nato/US endless expansion). The US Peace Council of May 12 describes the Ukraine as a US-manufactured conflict and says “Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine could have been avoided if the US had not relentlessly provoked it”.

Nato – the US-dominated global war machine – whose policy is ‘full dominance spectrum’ contrary to its claims it is not a defensive organisation. Its purpose has been to act as an instrument for US world domination and to prevent all challenges to US hegemony. It should have been disbanded in l99l after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, but instead expanded into 15 new countries and breaking its promise to President Gorbachev, that it would not expand east. This relentless eastward expansion of Nato during the past decade has been an existential threat to a nuclear-armed Russia and the main cause of the present military conflict in Ukraine.  Russia’s military intervention into Ukraine should never have happened and the suffering inflicted upon the Ukrainian people (and Russian) has been horrific and it is right all those who have suffered so much should be helped. However, sending arms into Ukraine only adds fuel to the fire. There are vested interests from western powers hard at work, and much money to be made. As it stands the west is bankrolling the war with arms and billions in dollars/euros, for their own agenda. These people will not shed a tear for the young dead of Ukraine. Their aim is for a weakened Russia (through sanctions), more military spending and a more divided and economically weak Europe, and as long as we continue not to question their role in Ukraine, they will succeed. There seems to be only one winner in this, and they are not in Europe.

Now is the time for dialogue and those western political leaders who stoke the fire of fear, division and hate in Ukraine, instead of calling for ceasefire and negotiation, must consider the misery brought upon the poor people that most live with the horrors of war.

Ireland needs to protect its neutrality and play a positive role of peace and reconciliation on the Security Council. Opening Ireland increasingly to hosting arms manufacturers leaves its people vulnerable to becoming involved in war instead of peace.

Peace People, Belfast


Harking back to past should not be allowed to inform our future

The Irish News (June 23) featured an article on the unveiling of a plaque in the House of Commons to mark the centenary of the assassination of prominent British military leader, Sir Henry Wilson, by two former First World War service men turned IRA operatives.

The campaign to commemorate Wilson’s assassination was initiated by Ian Paisley jnr, MP. Following the unveiling ceremony, Paisley went on Twitter and the BBC to give his endorsement and commented that Wilson was `murdered’ by the enemies of Northern Ireland. He went on to state that it’s up to us, as inheritors of what that generation gave us, to ensure that his memory will live forever in this place at Westminster. There you have it, Paisley jnr clearly sees himself as the ‘inheritor’ of Wilson’s legacy imbued with loathing for all things Irish – who Wilson regarded as a conquered people of the British empire. Wilson promoted Ireland’s union with Great Britain and was hostile towards the Treaty negotiations which involved Lloyd George, the prime minister, and Churchill. Both, incidentally, mistrusted Wilson and considered him to be a loose cannon. When partition happened, Wilson was instrumental in helping to shape Craig’s sectarian statelet and advised on the establishment of the `Ulster specials’ to subjugate and terrorise northern Catholics.

Given the fragility of our own peace process, we should not be looking to the loathsome Henry Wilson for leadership and learning to inform our present and future. Wilson’s hatred found an outlet in unionism and opposition to the enemies of Northern Ireland. He was not into promoting peace based on value, respect and a shared island. By proclaiming himself to be an ‘inheritor’ of Wilson’s legacy, Paisley is harking back to a past that should not be allowed to inform our future.

Derry City


Ireland has only one enemy

It looks as though the English are prepared to make some concession as regards the national language. What significance, if any, should be attached to that? It strikes me as being similar to the Catholic Emancipation Act – a small concession designed to remove a large injustice, and thus reduce the level of hostility to British rule. It will cost the English nothing.

It is unlikely to be followed by any further concessions. In particular, it is unlikely we will see Sinn Féin’s dream of a border poll being realised.

Even if such a poll were held nothing would come of it. Regardless of whether the majority in favour of unity were one or 100,000, the reaction of those who are ‘simply British’ would be just as it was in the 1912-1914 period. Sinn Féin seems to think the colonists are democrats who would accept the result of a democratic referendum. There are no grounds for such an assumption.

The colonists have made it abundantly clear that they do not want, and will not have, unity in any shape or form, in any circumstances.

Rather than contemplate the futility of a border poll, patriots should focus on the current onslaught on our traditional policy of neutrality. An effort is being made to drag us into Nato, and thus involve us in America’s lunatic wars.

Ireland has only one enemy –  no need to point them out.



Why are people turning to SF?

Alex Kane – ‘Why Sinn Féin keeps growing’ (June 24) –  posed a ‘simple’ question, what is it with the rise in Sinn Féin popularity? Parties, in my view, tend not to address this question. Rather they depend on constructing ‘dodgy dossiers’ and hark back to incidents of the past. Basically try to get the ‘dirt’ on the party. What they miss out on is the ‘why’ citizens are turning to this party. If they did they would find that people are looking at their day-to-day experiences of making ends meet and not being responded to. They will also find an increasing credibility gap between what establishment parties say and how that fits with what people are going through.

Increasingly citizens are looking at quality of life issues, what the future holds for them and their children.

Some parties may, as Mr Kane suggests, wait and hope that Sinn Fein will ‘come a cropper’. They would be better off reflecting on how their dogged adherence to sacred cows and single issue politics resonate with the reality of people’s experiences as they cope with the insecurities of daily living. At that point, they might have answered the ‘simple’ question as well as realise why their response to community and social crisis is neither useful nor relevant.

Derry City

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Letters to the Editor