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Make peace, not war say US military veterans


MEMBERS of American organisation Veterans for Peace will take part in a vigil at Shannon on Sunday at 2pm.
The vigil is being organised by peace group Shannonwatch, protesting against the US use of Shannon and the occupation of Afghanistan.
“Two thirds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans do not believe these wars and occupations have done any good. We want all the troops to come home now and we want an end to drone bombings and torture too,” said Gerry Condon, one of the representatives of Veterans for Peace who will be at Shannon.
“As an Irish American I am really upset to see Irish neutrality being trampled upon by the US military. Shannon Airport should not be used to ferry troops and weapons to war, or for CIA torture flights. I hope the Irish people are as outraged as I am and will join our protest at Shannon this Sunday afternoon at 2pm.”
He told The Clare Champion that in the US there is now very little support for the foreign wars. “Support for it is very, very low. There was a poll that was publicised widely in the US that showed that two thirds of veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq don’t think it was worth it. For several years now the majority of the population has been against the war in Iraq and now the majority think the US should get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.”
While he wants America to withdraw from the wars as quickly as possible, he says it won’t be easy.
“These wars and occupations are pretty easy to start but they’re pretty difficult to end. But we think the sooner the end the better for everyone, even though the situation in Afghanistan will remain a difficult one.”
Veterans for Peace is an organisation of thousands of veterans from various wars who are now campaigning for peace. It is involved in the movement sparked off by the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
“Most of our members, and we have between four and five thousand members and they fought all the way back to the Spanish Civil War and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The majority were in the army at the time of Vietnam,” said Gerry.
“The ongoing US military use of Shannon is a feature of Ireland’s failure to take a stand against the destructive policies of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our neutrality has been abandoned and we have become complicit in endless cycles of suffering and death. Furthermore the CIA use of the airport as a staging post for torture flights has not been acknowledged or addressed by the Irish Government,” said John Lannon of Shannonwatch.

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