The war in Ukraine has continued for nearly half a year with the shocking consequences clear for all to see: the deaths of innocent civilians; the destruction of homes and cities; the hundreds of thousands driven from their homes as refugees. And of course this is just one of the wars currently waging as more than a dozen other horrific wars rage around the planet with the same suffering, the same upheaval and the same destruction of lives and livelihoods.
One would hope that the response from countries – especially Ireland, who has recent and long term experience of war and violence – would be to seek to bring about an end to war, the weapons industry and the culture of militarism.
But no, in common with many other countries, the Irish Government’s response has been to prepare for more war, to hugely increase military spending, to deepen its involvement in PESCO and to openly support the development of a weapons industry in Ireland. Surely, now, what the world needs is courageous leadership that works for disarmament, demilitarisation and de-escalation, not another contributor to the lethal war industry.
As we are told that we have ten years left before we arrive at catastrophic climate change, and with the arms industry being one of the biggest contributors to global warming, it is shocking that the Irish government, with the silent acquiescence of the Green Party has chosen the road towards war making rather than towards peace, development and reconciliation.
Afri has continued to challenge this move towards militarism and to voice our concers around the continuing erosion of our neutrality.
Listen to Joe Murray, Afri Co-ordinator, debating this subject on Newstalk’s ‘Hard Shoulder’ programme here