27th Oct 2016
Five peace group have come together to oppose the awarding of the Tipperary International Peace Prize to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday next (October 30th). Galway Alliance Against War, the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Shannonwatch and Veterans for Peace also intend to hold protests at Shannon Airport and at Aherlow House Hotel in Tipperary where the award ceremony will take place.
Speaking on behalf of the five organisations, Edward Horgan of Veterans for Peace posed the question: “What peace has John Kerry achieved and where?”
“The award of peace prizes should be based on truth, integrity and justification” continued Dr Horgan. “Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in the past to several people who were guilty of starting or being complicit in wars of aggression and human rights abuses. Henry Kissinger is a case in point. Another example is Barack Obama who was awarded his Nobel Peace Prize just before he began authorising targeted assassinations and bombings that killed thousands of innocent civilians.”
“John Kerry and the United States of America claim to be defending the civilised world against Islamic terrorists and dictators” said Jim Roche of the Irish Anti War Movement. ”Yet the reality is that the United States has killed many multiples of the numbers killed by Islamic terrorists in its so-called War on Terror. US led wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria were all initiated without UN approval and with appalling consequences.”
“Terrorist acts by individuals, rebel group and militaries cannot be condoned, and neither can acts of aggression by states” said Roger Cole of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance. “The government that John Kerry represents is guilty of state terrorism. Since 1945 the US has overthrown fifty governments, including democracies, crushed some 30 liberation movements, supported tyrannies, and set up torture chambers from Egypt to Guatemala – a fact pointed out by journalist John Pilger. As a result of their actions countless men, women and children have been bombed to death.”
“This is not the type of government that the Tipperary Peace Convention should be bestowing a peace prize upon” added Mr Cole.
“While state terrorism, and state human rights abuses are not confined to the US, they are the ones using Shannon Airport to wage wars of aggression in the Middle East” said John Lannon of Shannonwatch “We oppose the US military use of Shannon and we oppose the US policies that lead to conflict rather than resolving it, it is important therefore that we show our opposition to all forms of misguided support for these policies here in Ireland.”