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 Lisbon and Neutrality

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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Tue May 13, 2008 8:51 pm

youngdan wrote:
The ugly truth is that the Irish Army is to protect the elected government and it's only realistic target are Irish rioters. The question about guns is easy. A law abiding citizen would buy a gun in the hope that he would never have to use it. A criminal buys a gun solely in the expectation that he will be using it in the commiting of a robbery or worse.

And have the Irish ever rioted? And was the army used against them?
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Tue May 13, 2008 9:06 pm

Try harder Ibis. Who else are they there for. You can not even admit the obvious
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Tue May 13, 2008 11:07 pm

youngdan wrote:
Try harder Ibis. Who else are they there for. You can not even admit the obvious

No, youngdan. One of the roles of any national army is to guard the government in case of armed insurrection. That is both historically obvious, and in our case, relatively explicit in the Constitution.

It is also there to fight the perceived enemies of the country, to defend the territory of the state, etc. Another of its roles is to do emergency relief work. It also is there to look pretty. It can undertake humanitarian work and peace-keeping overseas. It is largely, of course, there as insurance.

Out of the possible roles, you have chosen the two simplest, and decided that because it isn't one, it's the other, and applied that to the EU - despite the issue that the EU has nobody whose loyalty is to the EU, that historically, suppression of armed revolt is the rarest, and most damaging, use of national armies, and that the EU battlegroups are not even large enough to be useful in such a role even were it not for the problem that they consist of member state nationals.

For some reason, you think this is a claim that not only should be taken seriously, but that is so obvious as to require no argument. I, on the other hand, thinks it's evidence of inability to think. So we shall have to differ.


Last edited by ibis on Tue May 13, 2008 11:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Tue May 13, 2008 11:11 pm

Easy now or you two lads are going to be made share a room until you get over this squabbling.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 12:03 am

There is no difference. Everyone agrees it is there to protect the state. We do not have any external enemy and if we did 11000 troops would be no use anyway. It is just tough to admit that Irish troops are to prevent Irish unrest.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 12:04 am

youngdan wrote:
There is no difference. Everyone agrees it is there to protect the state. We do not have any external enemy and if we did 11000 troops would be no use anyway. It is just tough to admit that Irish troops are to prevent Irish unrest.

Why? It's pretty much explicit in the Constitution. It's a standard function of armies, and one of the original reasons that governments created standing armies, and that people objected to them.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 12:16 am

Yes the Irish Army is for use on the Irish populas. It is an inconvenient truth and people pretend it is otherwise.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 12:29 am

ibis wrote:
youngdan wrote:
The ugly truth is that the Irish Army is to protect the elected government and it's only realistic target are Irish rioters. The question about guns is easy. A law abiding citizen would buy a gun in the hope that he would never have to use it. A criminal buys a gun solely in the expectation that he will be using it in the commiting of a robbery or worse.

And have the Irish ever rioted? And was the army used against them?

There was a small matter of a civil war.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 12:37 am

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
youngdan wrote:
The ugly truth is that the Irish Army is to protect the elected government and it's only realistic target are Irish rioters. The question about guns is easy. A law abiding citizen would buy a gun in the hope that he would never have to use it. A criminal buys a gun solely in the expectation that he will be using it in the commiting of a robbery or worse.

And have the Irish ever rioted? And was the army used against them?

There was a small matter of a civil war.

Indeed there was - a fact that is brought up virtually every single day. I'm not sure why youngdan feels people pretend it was otherwise, or that this is some kind of 'inconvenient truth'.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 2:11 am

It is an inconvient truth because a EU army would have no credible external foes either.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 3:58 am

youngdan wrote:
It is an inconvient truth because a EU army would have no credible external foes either.

It has no credible internal foes either, but that doesn't seem to bother conspiracy theorists.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 7:37 am

If it has no external foes and if it has no internal foes then it is pretty stupid spending money on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 11:13 am

youngdan wrote:
If it has no external foes and if it has no internal foes then it is pretty stupid spending money on it.

What's the budget of the "EU army"?
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 11:15 am

ibis wrote:
youngdan wrote:
If it has no external foes and if it has no internal foes then it is pretty stupid spending money on it.

What's the budget of the "EU army"?

All I know about arms expenditure is that if we vote Lisbon through we will have to spend more.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 12:10 pm

cactus flower wrote:
ibis wrote:
youngdan wrote:
If it has no external foes and if it has no internal foes then it is pretty stupid spending money on it.

What's the budget of the "EU army"?

All I know about arms expenditure is that if we vote Lisbon through we will have to spend more.

Sigh. There's no commitment to spend more.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 2:17 pm

Article 28A.3 of the new Treaty binds us to progressively improve our military capabilities. The same article requires us to make our military (and civilian) capabilities available to the Union for various purposes. The National Forum on Europe guide says this provision 'mandates Member states to increase their own military capabilities with a view to increasing the capabilities available under the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy'.

I am sorry to say that I believe that ibis knows all that but it does not suit his argument to accept it. He says we are free to 'interpret' 28A.3 as being satisfied if we buy some new boots for the Army.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 2:40 pm

Helium Three wrote:
Article 28A.3 of the new Treaty binds us to progressively improve our military capabilities. The same article requires us to make our military (and civilian) capabilities available to the Union for various purposes. The National Forum on Europe guide says this provision 'mandates Member states to increase their own military capabilities with a view to increasing the capabilities available under the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy'.

I am sorry to say that I believe that ibis knows all that but it does not suit his argument to accept it. He says we are free to 'interpret' 28A.3 as being satisfied if we buy some new boots for the Army.

Isn't it Article 42.3?

Regarding the substantive point:

It is Government policy to progressively improve our military capabilities. It always has been, and for as long as it is, A42.3 is meaningless.

http://www.defence.ie/WebSite.nsf/document+id/A221C63D3721AA2F802573F400554AF9
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 2:56 pm

It was but it has been renumbered. This is the first time it has been an EU treaty matter, and it is far from meaningless.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 3:10 pm

Helium Three wrote:
It was but it has been renumbered. This is the first time it has been an EU treaty matter, and it is far from meaningless.

It only has meaning for the Irish State if we have a Government that decides to downgrade our military capability.

It commits us to improve our military capability, but not anymore so than we are doing already or are likely to do in future.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 3:13 pm

Helium Three wrote:
Article 28A.3 of the new Treaty binds us to progressively improve our military capabilities. The same article requires us to make our military (and civilian) capabilities available to the Union for various purposes. The National Forum on Europe guide says this provision 'mandates Member states to increase their own military capabilities with a view to increasing the capabilities available under the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy'.

I am sorry to say that I believe that ibis knows all that but it does not suit his argument to accept it. He says we are free to 'interpret' 28A.3 as being satisfied if we buy some new boots for the Army.

As we are, because, as Helium Three knows too, the only people entitled to interpret such a clause in the Treaty for Ireland is Ireland. The ECJ specifically have no competence in such matters of defence.

As seinfeld points out, the Irish Ministry of Defence has the same commitment. That somehow fails to turn Ireland into a ravening military power - largely because it's an aspirational statement with no binding commitments whatsoever, which is easily sacrificed to the political needs of the day.

If FF said that they were "committed to progressive improvement of the health service", we would all know that they were committing themselves to nothing concrete whatsoever. But it suits some people's agenda to argue that the equally vague commitment in the Treaty is some kind of binding target.

I am sure Helium honestly thinks this commitment is a bad idea, and I am sure others do too, but the interpretation that it commits the EU to a miltaristic path is a very extreme interpretation. If people feel that any step away from a purely civilian EU is totally wrong - as I think Helium does - then that's a point of view that should certainly lead to a No vote. I don't agree with that point of view, and am perfectly willing to debate that, but I am not willing to be drawn into all the arguments that have been gone through where people try to pretend that Ireland is committed by the Treaty to things that aren't in the Treaty. There is no commitment to increased spending in the Treaty.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 4:17 pm

Make of that what you will cactus flower.

I can't see how changing the rules of the club in this way and then doing what ibis or seinfeld says is enough, is enough, but then maybe that's just me. We have new obligations to our partners in the club. Not having a Court to lock us up doesn't seem relevant to that. We either enter into this wholeheartedly or not at all.


Last edited by Helium Three on Wed May 14, 2008 4:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 4:20 pm

Helium Three wrote:
Make of that what you will cactus flower.

I can't see how changing the rules of the club in this way and then doing what ibis or seinfeld says is enough, is enough, but then maybe that's just me. We have new obligations to our partners in the club. Not having a Court to lock us up doesn't see relevant to that.

We have new obligations, but they are obligations that we are already meeting, obligations that we have always met, and obligations that we are likely to continue meeting, regardless of Lisbon, for the forseeable future.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 4:26 pm

seinfeld wrote:
Helium Three wrote:
Make of that what you will cactus flower.

I can't see how changing the rules of the club in this way and then doing what ibis or seinfeld says is enough, is enough, but then maybe that's just me. We have new obligations to our partners in the club. Not having a Court to lock us up doesn't see relevant to that.

We have new obligations, but they are obligations that we are already meeting, obligations that we have always met, and obligations that we are likely to continue meeting, regardless of Lisbon, for the forseeable future.


If you think that signing an international treaty that for the first time is saying that we undertake this commitment changes nothing you are on your own there seinfeld.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 4:35 pm

Helium Three wrote:
Make of that what you will cactus flower.

I can't see how changing the rules of the club in this way and then doing what ibis or seinfeld says is enough, is enough, but then maybe that's just me. We have new obligations to our partners in the club. Not having a Court to lock us up doesn't seem relevant to that. We either enter into this wholeheartedly or not at all.

I've seen that argument before, expressed as "Ireland shouldn't be signing up to the Treaty with its fingers crossed behind its back". It seems a bizarre argument to me - one either does or doesn't want the commitments in question. If one doesn't want them, and sufficiently strongly to advocate a No on account of them, then to claim that we should do as much of them as possible if they are ratified makes no sense. I can only assume it's the clothing for a straw man, I have to say.
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PostSubject: Re: Lisbon and Neutrality   Wed May 14, 2008 4:39 pm

Helium Three wrote:
seinfeld wrote:
Helium Three wrote:
Make of that what you will cactus flower.

I can't see how changing the rules of the club in this way and then doing what ibis or seinfeld says is enough, is enough, but then maybe that's just me. We have new obligations to our partners in the club. Not having a Court to lock us up doesn't see relevant to that.

We have new obligations, but they are obligations that we are already meeting, obligations that we have always met, and obligations that we are likely to continue meeting, regardless of Lisbon, for the forseeable future.

If you think that signing an international treaty that for the first time is saying that we undertake this commitment changes nothing you are on your own there seinfeld.

Not at all. If the Irish government has an existing commitment to "progressively improve its military capabilities" - which it does - what is changed by signing up to a commitment to "progressively improve its military capabilities"?

The only change I can see would be if someone else was able to interpret what that commitment means - but we know that isn't the case.
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