26 September 2002 Edition

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Mala Poist

Nice Treaty Referendum II

A chara,

Having already voted against the Nice Treaty, we are now being forced to vote on it again. The same government that is breaking election promises and making cutbacks left, right and centre is telling us that the sky will fall in if we vote No. We shouldn't be fooled: we should reject Nice again this year.

The Treaty is not necessary to allow countries in Eastern Europe to join the European Union. They should be let in tomorrow-as equals, not as second class members. Eastern Europe is being forced to privatise its economies and open them up to unrestricted multinational investment. The Nice Treaty would concentrate power in even fewer hands, in an already undemocratic EU.

The EU is based on Thatcherite economic principles. Governments are banned from subsidising industries and services; public spending has to be kept below a very tight level; public services have to be opened up to private competition; restrictions on movement are prohibited. Nice would give this corporate Europe an even freer hand to spread its tentacles globally. While European capitalism rides roughshod over the rights and living standards of people in the poorest countries, it also closes its doors on those who come to Europe seeking refuge from economic and political injustice.

The EU aims to form a power block of its own, and is equipping itself with the military capability to back that up. The Irish government has already joined the Rapid Reaction Force and NATO's Partnership for Peace, re-organised the army to fit in with NATO requirements, and made Shannon airport available for US bombing missions. Even if Ireland doesn't physically take part in EU warfare, the EU Treaty compels states to support it.

The alternative is not to separate ourselves from Europe and turn the clock back to de Valera's Ireland. We should be co-operating with workers in neighbouring countries, building an alternative Europe that would embrace the whole continent, cherish our environment, oppose war and repair the damage done by European imperialism to the 'Third World'. Rejecting the Nice Treaty again is the first step towards building it.

Is mise,

John O'Neill
Independent Socialist Forum Against Nice.

War on Iraq

A chara,

To continue to bomb Iraq, when it is claimed they have chemical and biological weapons (which America used in Vietnam), is sheer lunacy. The content of these weapons, if they exist, would be spread by winds around the world if the USA and Britain make war on Iraq. There must be normality brought to Iraq by ending sanctions and bombing. Only then can the people of Iraq decide who should run their country. It is not for foreign armies to decide for them: that is dictatorship. The same, of course, applies to the rights of the Palestinian people.

It is not necessary to sacrifice American, British and Iraqi lives for Iraq's oil. So say No to war on Iraq.

Is mise
George Marsh, Surrey.

A chara,

Regarding the new evidence of Saddam's "atrocities and cruelty against his own" this is a false document and put together for sinister reasons.

No-one is going to deny that Saddam is a nasty piece of work, after all, he was once the friend of America and Britain, but he has to be defended against the outrageous tyranny of these two countries. One can only presume the Yanks and Brits want the monopoly on inflicting power and cruelty with their name on it.

Is mise,

Val Cardwell

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1