Friday 7 November 2003

The Plough Vol 01 No 13

The Plough #13
7 November 2003
E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1. Dessie O'Hare
2. No Light at the End of This Tunnel, George
3. Vol. Neil McMonagle - New Memorial
4. Boycott Coca Cola
5. Irish Anti-War Movement Bulletin
6. What's On?
Dessie O'Hare
Last weekend Dessie O'Hare was granted temporary release from åCastlrea Prison. As part of an
agreement he spent the time with his family in Glencree. Dessie is the last prisoner entitled to be
released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. However his release has been stalled by
the Free State Authorities because of the demonisation of Dessie. Dessie saw himself as a soldier
fighting a war. War is not a picnic and people do things in war that they would never dream of in
peacetime. That is a universal fact. Dessie was not convicted of murder, but of kidnapping. He
has been in gaol from November 1987 and should be released forthwith. It is interesting to note
that another non-INLA republican charged with offences in which two members of the Free State
security forces died is out on bail at the moment. Dessie has served his time, is entitled to be
released and yet is still waiting a release date. Let know one now say that the law is independent
of the politicians. It is clear that the judiciary are but tools of the establishment.
No Light at the End of This Tunnel, George (Toronto Sun, 2 November 2003)
By Eric Margolis
Watching the recent storm of car bombs, rockets, and gunfire in central Iraq gave me nasty
memories of the January, 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam. At that time, many soldiers in my U.S.
Army unit were departing for Special Forces camps in Vietnam's highlands. We stood in mute
horror as TV reported these very camps being overrun by North Vietnamese troops, and their
garrisons killed to the last man.
We immediately understood the bloody Tet offensive was a huge political and psychological
victory for North Vietnam. Tet blew away for good Washington's claims of a light at the end of
the Vietnam tunnel.
Reacting to last week's Ramadan offensive in Iraq, President George Bush actually claimed it
proved things were improving, though attacks on U.S. forces have surged from 20 to 30 daily.
He called for more U.S.-run Iraqi militia forces to be deployed, shades of the ill-fated
"Vietnamization" strategy of three decades ago. At times, Bush and his senior aides seem more
out of touch with reality than Iraq's former minister of misinformation, "Comical Ali." Consider:
Bush was reported shocked and amazed at his mid-October meetings in Bali when moderate,
pro-American Muslim leaders complained Washington considers all Muslims terrorists. They
warned Bush that his total dentification with Israel's right-wing government was ruining chances
for Mid-east peace.
Bush was apparently unaware his administration is increasingly viewed abroad as an aggressor
and a bitter foe of Islam. We know Bush prides himself in not reading, but being so out of touch
staggers the imagination. Is Bush really unaware a mainstay of his administration, the Muslimhunting
Attorney General John Ashcroft, claims, "In America, there is no king but Jesus"? Or
that Lt.-Gen William Boykin, a loudmouth he put in charge of anti-terrorism, recently claimed
while in uniform that Muslims were akin to Satan, and that his god was "bigger" than the idols
he mistakenly said were worshipped by them? Or that some of his neo-conservative advisers,
who want the U.S. to destroy all Israel's enemies, keep calling for "World War IV" against the
Muslim world?
But Bush was too busy blasting Malaysia's retiring leader, who recently claimed Jews ran the
world and the United States, to denounce equally odious canards against Islam by his own
administration and its supporters in the media and on the religious far right.
Bush, of course, has never been in touch with reality when it comes to Iraq. Just recall his
preposterous claim about Iraqi uranium, "drones of death" and "vans of death," links to Al-
Qaida, the imminent threat of mass destruction to the U.S., etc., etc. VP Dick Cheney, who
appears to be running Mid-east policy, claimed Iraq had deployed nuclear weapons that
threatened the U.S.. He maintains such absurdities though absolutely nothing was found after a
five-month, $300-million search. The rarely seen Cheney sounds increasingly like Mad King
Ludwig of Bavaria. Poor Colin Powell, now demoted to TV talk show guest, disgraced himself
before the world at the UN by his lurid, nonsensical claims about Iraq.
Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a prime architect of the Iraq war, went to Baghdad
last week where he met the real world for the first time. Iraqi resistance forces rocketed the
heavily guarded al-Rashid Hotel, the imperial cantonment where he and other U.S. VIPs were
lodged. One was reminded of the Vietcong attack on the U.S. Embassy in Saigon during Tet. The
attack left Prof. Wolfowitz visibly shaken. Here was the fire-eating warlord, the tough neo-con
theoretician who had sent American GIs into combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, trembling in his
brand-new chukka boots after the tiniest taste of real war.
Neither Bush, Cheney, nor Wolfowitz ever served in their nation's armed forces, though all were
of military age during Vietnam - unless you count Bush's sporadic appearances at the Texas Air
National Guard.
Wolfowitz, and fellow neo-conservative administration hawks like Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams,
Doug Feith, Michael Ledeen and John Bolton, who variously call for attacks on Iran, Libya,
Lebanon, Syria and Sudan - vividly bring to mind the words of American political thinker and
poet, Peter Viereck.
In his brilliant book, Metapolitics: The Roots of the Nazi Mind, Viereck detailed how so many of
the founders of Germany's National Socialist Party were artists, writers and academics. They
were "intellectuals who lusted for brute violence ... a Bohemia in arms," wrote Viereck, who
warned of "bloody-minded professors" running amok in politics.
Wolfowitz fits the mould perfectly, not in the sense that he supports Nazism, of course, but
rather in his apparent belief in, "brute violence" as a way of resolving most any international
problem. He, Cheney, and his fellow neo-cons duped the deeply uninformed and gravely
misinformed president into launching two strategically, politically and financially idiotic foreign
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The isolated, unworldly Bush is only now becoming dimly aware he has stirred up an anti-
American hornet's nest overseas. Equally disturbing, thanks to the crusades in Iraq and
Afghanistan, total U.S. military spending next year will likely hit $500 billion. Incredibly, this
titanic sum is even more in constant dollars than the U.S. spent in Vietnam in 1968, at the height
of that war. The light that optimistic George Bush sees at the end of the Iraq tunnel is probably
an onrushing truck, loaded with explosives.
Vol. Neil McMonagle - New Memorial
9 November - 2pm
There will be another memorial unveiling, part of the Teach na Failte campaign to commemorate
fallen republican socialists, in Derry on Sunday November 9th. The impressive new memorial is
dedicated to the memory of INLA Volunteer Neil McMonagle who was killed by the SAS on 2
February 1983. Anyone attending is asked to assemble at Carnhill Resource Centre at 2pm. A
march will then take place across Racecourse Road and towards Leafair Park where the new
memorial will be unveiled. A function will then be held locally, details on the day. For further
information please contact: Derry IRSP
Boycott Coca Cola
Save the lives of Colombian Workers! Colombian trade unionist in Belfast Public Meeting, Tue
11th November, 7:30pm, Belfast Unemployed Centre.
Luis Eduardo Garcia - Colombian Coca Cola Worker and member of SINALTRAINAL the
Food and Drink Workers Union will address a Public Meeting Belfast Unemployed Centre 7-
15pm 11th November.
Senor Garcia a Colombian Coca Cola worker and member of SINALTRINAL will be in Ireland
to call on Irish workers and Irish people to support the international campaign aimed at ending
the murder of trades unionists in the Coca Cola bottling plants in Colombia. The Belfast visit is
being sponsored by the UNISON trade union and the local Colombian Workers Solidarity
Luis will address a public meeting in the Belfast Unemployed Centre at 7-30pm and is hoping to
meet local people who have supported the campaign in defence of Coca Cola workers here in
Belfast. The John Hewitt Bar and the Cultúrlann were among the first to come out in defence of
the Coca Cola workers and Luis is particularly to meet with representatives of these
organisations and thank them for their support.
Ireland is the first leg of a worldwide tour to publicise the plight of the Coca Cola workers. Luis
will also speak in Dublin on Wednesday to UCD students who voted for the Coca Cola Boycott
and in Sandino's Bar in Derry on Monday.
Irish Anti-War Movement Bulletin
The situation in Iraq deteriorated even further in the last week with massive car bombs causing
immense loss of life to ordinary citizens and almost killing one of the authors of the war, Paul
Wolfowitz. The continuing resistance and appalling lack of security in Iraq give the lie to the US
and UK claims that they are liberators welcomed by the Iraqis.
Meanwhile in Palestine, the Israeli army has been crushing and rocketing the Palestinian refugee
town of Rafah with ruthless efficiency in a manner, which rivals the destruction of Jenin last
year. But it is all in the name of stopping terrorism so the international community has remained
There was very positive news from the US at the weekend with thousands of people marching in
Washington DC against the continuing brutal occupation in Iraq. 135 cities across the US sent
delegations. Opposition is growing steadily in the US as the people recognize the facts.
Meanwhile in Ireland, it seems too that more and more people now accept that we were right in
opposing the war. Many of us watched the RTE Primetime special on Iraq, which showed the
devastation, which has led to increasing bitterness and resistance by all sections of Iraqi society.
The media is beginning to raise the issue again of Shannon and the continuing transiting of
thousands of US troops every month. This was highlighted in the press statement issued by the
IAWM announcing the upcoming blockade of the War port on 6 December.
The new steering committee has met and elected the following officers
Chairperson Richard Boyd Barrett
Secretary Colm Stephens
Treasurer Colin Coulter
PRO Fintan Lane
International Secretary Kieran Allen
We have also set up work groups for the following areas: Finance/Fundraising, Legal,
Secretarial/Admin, Affiliates/Trade Unions, Communications (Website, bulletins etc.)
If you want to get involved in working for us in any of these areas please get in touch! or call Colm at 087 294 7100
What's On?
8 November European Social Forum Meeting 1.30pm-3.30pm in the Teachers' Club, Parnell
Square, Dublin.
Discussion of what will be coming up at the ESF in terms of debates around the frequency of
ESF meetings, where they will be held, proposals on days of action etc and to give practical info.
To meet with interested legal professionals in accordance with the motion passed at conference:
To establish an expert legal committee (either independently organised or in affiliation) to advise
the movement on legal strategies to advance its aims.
12-16 November ESF Paris, the programmes have been finalised and can be down loaded from (programmes are given in French, English and
16-21 November George Bush Visit to London, if you are going to be in London at any time that
week there is a full programme of anti war and anti bush activities (cultural, protest etc.)
Tue, 18 November Public Rally at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road
Thurs, 20 November 2pm National demonstration
Check out for more details
6 December Blockade of Shannon War port, Assemble at 2 pm at Lidl Carpark in Shannon
Town. More details to follow after organisation meeting.
All Anti War groups are requested to hold public meetings, if possible in the weeks coming up to
this protest. The public meeting should be used to build for as large a protest at Shannon as
* Red Duster
An Damhair/ October 2003
'All hail the Scottish Workers Republic!'
Deasachaidh/ Editorial
"... Why are organisations allowed to affiliate to the SSP when they are resolutely opposed to the
politics of the SSP and use their membership of the SSP solely to discredit it?"
The Dilemma for the SNP Left
Gerry Cairns
"... There is a stark choice for the SNP Left. They can stand by their party, trying to reform from
within. Or they can join a pro-independence socialist party that will revolutionise Scotland from
top to bottom... "
Connolly: National Liberation, Socialism, Partition
Liam O'Ruairc" (IRSP)
"Connolly's major achievement is to have grasped the relation between nationalism and
socialism, between the national struggle and the class struggle. A lot of socialists saw (and still
see) the national struggle as a diversion from class struggle and as being incompatible with
socialism... "
The 1820 Radical Rebellion
Donnie Fraser
The next stage of our Radical History column continues with the period 1803-1820, and looks at
the republican socialist legacy of the 1820 Insurrection.
Intifada message from Gaza
Message from Dr. Mona El-Farra of the Union of Health Work Committees on the 3rd
Anniversary of the Intifada in occupied Palestine
The SSP and the National Liberation Struggle
"... The SSP must advocate the revolutionary solution to the national question - a Workers'
Republic - and then indeed not just another Scotland will be possible but another world."
The Scottish Republican Socialist Movement publishes the Red Duster.
Available now from;
1148 Argyle St
G3 8TE
£1 inc. p & p
* European Social Forum Paris, St Denis 12-15 November
Question time and manifesto launch
NICVA is holding a party political Question Time for the voluntary and community sector on 14
November 2003 at 11.00am at the NICVA Offices. Representatives of all the main parties have
been invited to set out their manifestos and answer questions about what they plan to do about
the issues concerning voluntary and community organisations. The new Policy Manifesto for the
sector will also be launched at the event. To register, please contact Cathy Breslin on tel: 028
9087 7777 or
* NI Anti-Poverty Network Invite you to attend our
Followed by seminar/speakers and workshops on
On Friday 28th November 2003 at NICVA, 61Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, BT15 2GB From
9.30am -- 1.00pm
AGM followed by guest speakers on privatisation and the introduction of the Water tax and how
this will affect every section of our community.
On low income, in receipt of benefits, if you are a householder you will have no relief from
Water tax.
Frances Dowds - NI Anti-Poverty Network (NIAPN)
Manus Maguire - Communities Against the Water Tax (CAWT)
Jim Welsh - NI Public Service Alliance (NIPSA)
Alisa Keane - Irish Congress of Trade Unions NI (ICTU NI)
To Register Fax back to 028 9087 5011 or e-mail to by 21st November 2003.
Short of a bob or two? Seeking a new job opportunity in at the deep end?
The Department for Regional Development recently advertised the post of Chief Executive of
the Water Service.
The post was offered at £150,000 a year plus performance related bonus and they added; more
may be available for an exceptional candidate.
The advertisement adds that it has been determined that Water Service must become a selffinancing
organisation outside central government. It further adds that this will require the
introduction of domestic water charges. During the public consultation the focus was on how
water tax should be charged, not if it should be charged, so what was the consultation for? Why
consult with the community if you have already decided the outcome?
The government is looking to employ an Executive on £3,000.00 per week.
If the water charges are introduced it will take more than 400 families living in poverty to make
up this person's wage.
The gap in earnings between the rich and the poor is ever widening. Can you afford to pay an
additional £400.00-£600.00 per year for water charges-? Maybe you can, however many people
can't and as ever it is the already socially excluded sections of our society that this tax will effect
most. One thing is for sure the Chief Executive of the Water Service should have no problem
paying his/her water tax bill, after all it isn't even 0.5% of their annual salary.
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