Peaceniks won this Battle of Shannon

msbrown at msbrown at
Wed Feb 12 12:45:26 GMT 2003

Subject: Ireland on Sunday and Shannon stuff 

Networked February 11th by Anne Lee xx 

Peaceniks won this Battle of Shannon 

Martina Devlin 

Ireland on Sunday 9 February 2003 

IMAGINE - ALL it takes to make our Government look thoroughly ridiculous and 
inept is a handful of peaceniks. The Shannon agitators, initially dismissed 
as a bunch of harmless crusties, achieved all their aims with devastating 
impact, then dismantled their tents and left before the courts were used to 
clear them - cheating the authorities of even that slender satisfaction. 

The protest has been an unqualifie d coup for the peace brigade, who struggled 
to reach double figures in terms of numbers camping at the airport. They 
objected to Ireland's neutrality being compromised by the presence of 

Gulf-bound US troops on our soil and now the planes carrying soldiers have 
been diverted to Germany. 

I call that game, set and match to the sprmkllng of scruffy lefties viewed 
with amused disdain by the Government. 

What a public-relations disaster for Bertie this has been: silly doesn't 
begin to describe his handling of the affair. He failed to act decisively; and 
finally tried to shut the stable door afier the horse had bolted by sending in 
the Army to guard the airport once the threat had passed. 

Just look at the sequence of events. Mary Kelly sneaks in and manages to do 
?500,000 worth of damage on a US navy plane and Bertie responds by despatching 
one garda to protect it. Then five more saboteurs breach defences and carry out 
additional damage to an aircraft already demonstrably a target. 

Belatedly 120 soldiers are ordered to do sentry duty at the airport, just as it 
emerges that World Airlines planes carrying troops will refuel in Frankfurt 

No WONDER the peaceniks packed up and pushed off; obviously, there wasn't 
enough roomin the camp for them and their enormous grins. The objectors may 
have ceded the moral high ground with their exceptionally broad interpretation 
of what non-violent resistance entails, butthe Government is in no position to 
point the finger. 

Its definition of neutrality i~ even more fluid. We've had severalminlsters 
lecture us on neutrality, attempting to define it~ nuances for us, when it's 
news to me that there are any. 

Then we have Bertie whining about how much it's costing us in lost revenue 
because th~ Americans aren't paying landing fees any more. 

His adjustable reading of neutrality has dr awn a bullseye on the map of 
Ireland as a potential terrorist target -meanwhile showing that if a few 
protesters can make a mockery of security measures, then Muslim extremists 
could wreak havoc. 

It's a good job Mary Kelly doesn't belong to al-Qaeda or Shannon Air-. port 
would be a smouldering chasm by now. 

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