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 Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Mon May 19, 2008 11:48 pm

I am still unclear whether Ireland is technically neutral in terms of International Law. From my quick look the Hague Convention it appears to deal primarily with a country that says "please don't invade me, I'm neutral" in terms of not letting fighting take place on one's own territory. There must be something somewhere about what neutrality is in terms of not invading someone else's territory. Whether or not the UN says it is OK to invade, as they did with respect to the invasion of Iraq, is surely not that relevant to neutrality. Wars can be fought in accordance with the Geneva convention, they are still wars.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Mon May 19, 2008 11:50 pm

I'd presume that it is actually. But that's a great question. Who decides these things? Or is it that the rhetoric about neutrality in Ireland has outstripped the reality of it in international terms?

Another thought, what about the resolutions in the UN that underpinned the US occupation of Iraq? In the context of neutrality are they seen as binding or not? Or let's put it a different way, would it be possible for arms for the insurgency, or insurgents themselves (in the unlikely event that they were so open) to transit through Shannon? How would that impact upon our neutrality?
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Mon May 19, 2008 11:52 pm

Actually just thinking, since we're not a member of a military alliance, isn't that enough?
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Mon May 19, 2008 11:56 pm

WorldbyStorm wrote:
Actually just thinking, since we're not a member of a military alliance, isn't that enough?

In terms of our membership of ISAF, a NATO alliance in combat in Afghanistan,
we are members of one, aren't we?
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:03 am

Whether you'd call it neutral or not, I think we should remain non-aligned on the international stage. We do have it quite good, as 905 says. We're a rich world country with no colonial baggage meaning that we can get on with diplomacy on an international stage without post-imperial guilt hanging over us. It is also why we are frequently touted as an excellent leader for rich world talks with the likes of Zimbabwe. To paraphrase Clinton, we felt their pain through our 8 centuries of occupation by the British. We can talk to the developing world from personal experience whil being a fully-recognised member of the developed world.

I like our diplomatic position and I feel it should be strengthened in the way it is by our leadership of the current cluster bomb debate. As the peace process recedes as a foreign policy objective, we need now, more than ever, to re-define and enhance our position within the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:09 am

WorldbyStorm wrote:
Actually just thinking, since we're not a member of a military alliance, isn't that enough?

What makes an organisation a military alliance WorldbyStorm?
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:10 am

I feel that the white noise of obfuscation is going to prevail. Who am I to try to disturb it. We are a little bit neutral and a little bit aligned, depending on who we are talking to at the time. I think that is what Ibis said much more elegantly way back in this thread.

If we can carry on getting away with it, we will.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:11 am

Helium Three wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
Actually just thinking, since we're not a member of a military alliance, isn't that enough?

What makes an organisation a military alliance WorldbyStorm?

Thread closed, this topic is being discussed elsewhere...
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:13 am

cactus flower wrote:
I feel that the white noise of obfuscation is going to prevail. Who am I to try to disturb it. We are a little bit neutral and a little bit aligned, depending on who we are talking to at the time. I think that is what Ibis said much more elegantly way back in this thread.

If we can carry on getting away with it, we will.

Definitely, as I said in an earlier thread, we should chase with the hound and run with the hare. We should be "friends" with everybody, it's worked up until now, why change it? We don't live near any major political flash-points, we don't have animosity between our neighbours, we don't have the direct risk of war, we don't have any enemies to speak of(except New Ireland off PNG, total copyright theft. Mad ) so we're free to do as we please!
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:40 am

Peace enforcing seems to be a euphemism for going to war when we think we are right.

My next question, which is a sub-question of the first one, is is it possible to be a little bit neutral, or occasionally neutral, or neutral on a case by case basis - what I am looking for is not just opinion but also what does International Law say.

The wars being fought now are designed to evade the conventions. That may let us off the hook a little longer.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:47 am

cookiemonster wrote:
Helium Three wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
Actually just thinking, since we're not a member of a military alliance, isn't that enough?

What makes an organisation a military alliance WorldbyStorm?

Thread closed, this topic is being discussed elsewhere...

lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:49 am

cactus flower wrote:
Peace enforcing seems to be a euphemism for going to war when we think we are right.

My next question, which is a sub-question of the first one, is is it possible to be a little bit neutral, or occasionally neutral, or neutral on a case by case basis - what I am looking for is not just opinion but also what does International Law say.

The wars being fought now are designed to evade the conventions. That may let us off the hook a little longer.

This is worth a read.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 1:00 am

Thanks Helium Three - it certainly was.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 1:05 am

You are welcome.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 1:22 am

Well spotted and posted Helium three. You beat me to it. I just spotted this thread thanks to your last post appearing on top of the portal. Course when I clicked to look you'd already posted the Horgan link.

Ireland is not neutral and never has been. Ireland has a militarily neutral policy which is not written down anywhere and that's the only consistancy to be found in regard to Ireland's 'neutrality.'

Strangely enough, thanks to the Nice treaty, it is enshrined in our constitution, that it would take a referendum to change Ireland's 'neutrality' policy. A massive insult and red herring, the only change that could occur if one is to examine the history of this malleable policy would be to capture it in writing.

It was DeValera who first introduced this policy, when he secured the return of the treaty ports before the outbreak of World War II. Of course this is now ignored what with Shannon airPORT and other Irish airports given to the US as staging points for their illegal invasions. When the US starts to bomb Iran we can be sure that there'll be no Iranian troop carriers transitting through Shannon, even though the Gardaí in Shannon have told me that they'd have no problem with them doing so.

At one point, it was believed that shipping armaments through Ireland would be a no no in terms of neutrality too, indeed the state at one time expended much effort to assure us that no such thing happened. That was crap too.

Over the last few years, many have said that Ireland's militarily neutrality meant that Ireland would not commit troops to the field of battle in favour of any particular side. A load of bull also.

Ireland's miltarily neutrality is in effect a policy that allows us to do whatever we want with as little fuss as possible. The phrase 'militarily neutral,' has as much substance and meaning as the phrase 'nearly pregnant.'
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 3:52 am

cactus flower wrote:
Peace enforcing seems to be a euphemism for going to war when we think we are right.

My next question, which is a sub-question of the first one, is is it possible to be a little bit neutral, or occasionally neutral, or neutral on a case by case basis - what I am looking for is not just opinion but also what does International Law say.

The wars being fought now are designed to evade the conventions. That may let us off the hook a little longer.

Essentially, we're recognised as neutral by the "international community". One can argue (as PANA do, for example) that we're not really legally neutral, but the argument is meaningless, since there is no exhaustive definition of 'neutrality' apart from in time of war. The same applies to the question of 'political' neutrality - the term is meaningless.

We are neutral because we say we're neutral, and because other countries accept that this is so. Funnily enough, that means that even if most citizens of Ireland felt that we weren't neutral, their opinions would be effectively irrelevant, since neutrality is really defined by the international community's acceptance of your neutrality.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 4:16 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

(b) If he commits acts in favor of a belligerent, particularly if he voluntarily enlists in the ranks of the armed force of one of the parties. In such a case, the neutral shall not be more severely treated by the belligerent as against whom he has abandoned his neutrality than a national of the other belligerent State could be for the same act.

Would Article 43 cover the invasion of Iraq?

We could get off the hook on that one, relating to Iraq, by saying that, instead of committing acts on favour of a belligerent, we just didn't commit acts against a belligerent. We could say we did nothing, rather than doing something.

ah come on that's ridiculous, we are quite clearly part of the western effort to shit on the middle east.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 4:19 am

WorldbyStorm wrote:
Actually just thinking, since we're not a member of a military alliance, isn't that enough?

and it doesn't just depend on having signed a document, we're part of the active anti-iraq military alliance and we were neutral in favour of the allies during ww2.


Last edited by lostexpectation on Tue May 20, 2008 4:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 4:26 am

[quote="ibis"]
cactus flower wrote:
Peace enforcing seems to be a euphemism for going to war when we think we are right.

Edit cf - Ibis said this, not me


Essentially, we're recognised as neutral by the "international community". One can argue (as PANA do, for example) that we're not really legally neutral, but the argument is meaningless, since there is no exhaustive definition of 'neutrality' apart from in time of war. The same applies to the question of 'political' neutrality - the term is meaningless.

We are neutral because we say we're neutral, and because other countries accept that this is so. Funnily enough, that means that even if most citizens of Ireland felt that we weren't neutral, their opinions would be effectively irrelevant, since neutrality is really defined by the international community's acceptance of your neutrality.

well most of ireland think we're neutral, but we only know we're internationally neutral if its threatened, and the UK nearly broke our 'neutrality looking to use take ports etc (rather then just transiting through our waters), if iraq was closer then we'd have more pressure on us.

why during the cold war did it suit nato for us to be neutral if as people keep saying so many bloody russian planes flew via us?
was they never a point where the pretence to neutral while clearly helping the west wasn't enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 4:31 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Whether you'd call it neutral or not, I think we should remain non-aligned on the international stage. We do have it quite good, as 905 says. We're a rich world country with no colonial baggage meaning that we can get on with diplomacy on an international stage without post-imperial guilt hanging over us. It is also why we are frequently touted as an excellent leader for rich world talks with the likes of Zimbabwe. To paraphrase Clinton, we felt their pain through our 8 centuries of occupation by the British. We can talk to the developing world from personal experience whil being a fully-recognised member of the developed world.

I like our diplomatic position and I feel it should be strengthened in the way it is by our leadership of the current cluster bomb debate. As the peace process recedes as a foreign policy objective, we need now, more than ever, to re-define and enhance our position within the world.

and we're actively eroding the reputation with every soldier and plane that goes through our airports particularly since 9/11 and so are the north.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 5:16 am

[quote="lostexpectation"]
ibis wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Peace enforcing seems to be a euphemism for going to war when we think we are right.


Edit cf - Ibis said this, not me


Essentially, we're recognised as neutral by the "international community". One can argue (as PANA do, for example) that we're not really legally neutral, but the argument is meaningless, since there is no exhaustive definition of 'neutrality' apart from in time of war. The same applies to the question of 'political' neutrality - the term is meaningless.

We are neutral because we say we're neutral, and because other countries accept that this is so. Funnily enough, that means that even if most citizens of Ireland felt that we weren't neutral, their opinions would be effectively irrelevant, since neutrality is really defined by the international community's acceptance of your neutrality.

well most of ireland think we're neutral, but we only know we're internationally neutral if its threatened, and the UK nearly broke our 'neutrality looking to use take ports etc (rather then just transiting through our waters), if iraq was closer then we'd have more pressure on us.

why during the cold war did it suit nato for us to be neutral if as people keep saying so many bloody russian planes flew via us?
was they never a point where the pretence to neutral while clearly helping the west wasn't enough.

Well, apart from searching Cuba-bound Russian planes, I'm not aware of any pressure for us to abandon our neutrality during the Cold War. Certainly Churchill thought it was pretty outrageous that we were neutral in WW2, and as a result there are some very nice 1940's aerial maps of Ireland...
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 5:18 am

well they must have continued to use our waters and airspace, what was that about the french wanting to use us as radar base for their subs or something?
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 9:41 am

ibis wrote:
Well, apart from searching Cuba-bound Russian planes, I'm
not aware of any pressure for us to abandon our neutrality during the
Cold War.
We stopped being neutral as soon as the Soviets
detonated their first atomic bomb. The Soviets would never have
respected neutrality anyway. And as for neutrality in WW2, while we may
not have been declared combatants, we certainly were involved.

Essentially on paper Ireland was neutral during the Cold War. But in terms of what was
going on here and the critical position of Ireland, there was no real
neutrality. Did it ever occur to anyone just who would need an airport
in the back of beyond in the West? And as for Shannon. Smile

Regards...jmcc


Last edited by jmcc on Tue May 20, 2008 9:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 9:42 am

It appears to me that the ISAF force in Afghanistan is not neutral. The country was invaded.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ireland a Neutral Country? And should we be Neutral?   Tue May 20, 2008 12:00 pm

somehow our lack of neutrality is the soviets fault?

again back to rocky road to dublin etc for the comments on bishop mcquaid putting his religion above all else in a anti-communist crusade including his own country in a battle which clearly marked him as fascist.

well people see a difference between Afghanistan and iraq, didn't we agree to do everything to punish people for 9/11 and didn't we have another vote in the dail on that and we obviously didn't join isaf there till there'd been a UN-ification of Afghanistan (and also they weren't a proper country so it doesn't matter anyway). did we have even have some legislation on that.(9/11)


Last edited by lostexpectation on Tue May 20, 2008 12:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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