Pron has been hassling me for a few days to do this – seems to me to be better to use a blog here than the old one at http://www.wibble.to/wurble.
Anyway, I thought I’d start with a rant about the anti war movement. I would start by saying that I am opposed to the war, but mostly because I’m concerned it will destablise the region and the US don’t seem to have had a coherent plan for what to do when they win.
But the debate in Ireland is reaching the depths of pure banality – there’s a statement that as a neutral state, we shouldn’t be involved in the campaign. This is idiotic – Ireland has never aspired to the level of neutrality that the likes of Switzerland have (Switzerland only join the UN a few months ago). We’ve simply refused to join NATO – but all this does is allow us to make our own decisions rather than being part of some alliance. Neutrality in an Irish context means we should make decisions on a per case basis, rather than NATO membership which means we’d have to go along with the consensus despite our reservations because thats what we’d signed up to do. A few months ago there was a serious discussion about pulling peacekeeping troops out of Kosovo because the UN mandate was under threat (due to the US threatening a veto over a dispute over the International Criminal Court). But this is daft – this is saying our foreign policy is dependent on the US, the UK, France, China and Russia all behaving like responsible countries and agreeing not to veto each other.
Neutral because we’re neutral is a daft argument. Yet it seems to be what is passing for debate in Ireland – at least if some of the letters to the Irish Times are anything to go by.