‘Facilitating The Very Circumstances That Made These People Refugees’


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Last night Independent 4 Change TD Clare Daly, Dr John Lannon, of Shannonwatch, and Karen Devine, of the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University, spoke on Tonight with Vincent Browne.

They discussed the Turkey-EU refugee deal, the use of Shannon Airport by the US military, and the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – the countries from which most of the refugees travelled to Europe last year.

Mr Browne read out sections from an email written by Hilary Clinton and published by Wikileaks – prompting Wikileaks to tweet the email during the show, above.

From the discussion:

Clare Daly: “[EU-Turkey deal] It’s effectively an agreement to facilitate mass expulsions of people. I mean we’ve had the very unusual situation whereby, internationally now, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International – all of the organisations that deal with refugees have all come out, all of the NGOs, and been absolutely definitive that this is a breach in international law. We’re denying people their right to seek asylum because what’s being done is they’re basically being forced – Turkey will force them back, Turkey in return are being facilitated with financial inducements, with a greater access to EU membership and so on, when there’s very serious questions to be asked about the regime in Turkey.”

Vincent Browne: “They’re navigating because there’s too many muslims in Turkey and EU doesn’t want muslims and the former Pope Ratzinger, that fellah, he gave, remember his speech he gave about the threat of muslims to Europe.”

Daly: “There are two points, there are 2.7million refugees in Turkey, in appalling conditions, some held in detention centres, there’s been examples of Turkish guards, beating people back, imprisoning people, shooting people on a regular basis and the conditions are not in compliance with the safe passages and right to asylum that people have under international law and one of the points being made, by the NGOs, is the fact that Greece doesn’t have the staff available to process in a lawful manner the asylum application of individuals. So, essentially, what’s being done, has been to undermine the European context the international right to asylum for refugees and, as you said, they’re doing that against the backdrop that the EU itself has been responsible for facilitating the very circumstances that made these people refugees by the military intervention in their countries.”


Karen Devine: “[In] academic literature, they talk about something called Fortress Europe and Fortress Europe is a name given to an idea that the EU wants to close its borders effectively to economic migrants or asylum seekers. The asylum seekers are very different from economic migrants. They’re not looking for a better job, a better quality of life, they’re looking to survive, they’re fleeing a war situation. And I suppose one of the problems here, when you look at the EU, how it functions, they can afford a budget of €50million a year for the CAP, they can come up with policies in environment, in transport, a lot of areas where it costs money. What they need to do is to pay serious attention and to adequately resource what has been happening over the last 3/5 years in the Middle East and they always knew that this problem was going to occur but they have not put in any policies to deal with it.”

Later – after a clip of acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking in the Dáil about the EU-Turkey deal

Browne:The fact of the matter is that there’s a cap of about 72,000 on refugees coming in to Europe from now on and this compares to the million who went to Germany alone in 2015. So this is a massive change in Europe’s willingness to accommodate refugees from war that Europe had a significant part in fermenting and, of course, Ireland did to. And John you’re familiar with Ireland’s role in that because of the use of Shannon and facilitating American aircraft, military aircraft, going through there.”

John Lannon: “Absolutely, I mean it’s interesting there, first of all, to hear the language that Enda Kenny is using. He’s talking about irregular migrants, he’s talking about people smugglers, he’s talking about managing the flow. I mean what he doesn’t mention is that what in effect we’ve got millions of ordinary men, women and children that are fleeing from war with absolutely nothing because they don’t have time to take anything, bombs are being rained down upon them and, as you say, we’ve been part of that. You mentioned Ireland’s contribution.
Well Ireland’s contribution has, as you say, to give Shannon Airport over to the US military so that they could invade and they could occupy the countries from which the refugees are now coming. I’m talking about Iraq, Afghanistan, we’ve had Libya, now we have Syria. We’ve also got bombs raining down on Yemen now, killing hundreds of people, we don’t heard about that in the news. So, over the last 15 years, almost 3 million armed US soldiers have come through Shannon Airport. We claim to be a neutral country, we claim to respect conventions like the Hague Convention 1907, which says belligerants are not allowed to cross neutral territories on their way to war but we’re opening up our airport, a civilian airport, to them. We’ve got hundreds of military planes landing and taking off from the airport, we don’t know what’s in those planes. We’ve got, as I said, millions of armed soldiers coming through, we’ve got rendition planes, we’ve had coming through for years as well. We’ve got no oversight whatsoever of any of this.”

Browne: “And this is quite a change from the way it used to be. People say this was going on for years – no it wasn’t.”

Lannon: “It wasn’t, no.”

Browne: “We wouldn’t allow even overflights of military aircraft over Ireland. And there was an interesting case. This was quite some time ago where a helicopter, a British Army helicopter that was used to help reduce people who got into difficulties of the Donegal coast sought permission to land on a abandoned rock off Donegal, but within Irish territorial waters, and the Government of the day refused to allow the helicopter to land there because of our neutrality, remember that?”


Daly: “Now we have a situation where aircraft are landing at Shannon almost twice daily. Some of the information sought and received by Shannonwatch last year, under Freedom of Information, shows the amount of permits sought for munitions to be transported, including materials that could go to form cluster bombs which we believe are being used in Yemen, US air refuellers which, we know, are refuelling the Saudis who, only a week ago, massacred over 100 people yet again. Did they come through or use Shannon, we don’t know because we allow them carte blanche to do whatever they want.”

Browne: “People might wonder what this has got to do with Syria. I came across a Wikileaks email written by Hilary Clinton in 2002 when she was Secretary of State in America. We can’t show you this properly, we can show you some of it on the screen but you won’t be able to read it I think.
But, what she’s saying is what Israel military really worries about, but cannot talk about, is losing its nuclear monopoly and it’s saying, she goes on to say, ‘It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Al Assad, in Syria, that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israeli security’ and she goes on to say that, ‘it is the combination of Iran’s strategic alliance with Syria and the steady progress in Iran’s nuclear enrichment program that has led Israeli leaders to contemplate a surprise attack’ and then she says, ‘In short, the White House can ease the tension that has developed with Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria’ which was to ferment or to assist in the war that dissident groups in Syria were waging against the Assad regime. And the American forces did not directly intervene there but they gave all military help and assistance, everything possible, to keep the war going. And no doubt, a lot of that military assistance came through Shannon.”

Watch back in full here

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27 thoughts on “‘Facilitating The Very Circumstances That Made These People Refugees’

  1. fluffybiscuits

    Hindsight is 20/20 in Americas case, they seem to know it all after an event happens. They are unable to predict however what is to happen in Syria. Reading her e mails they said bringing down Assad will be to the advantage of Israel. The devil they know is better than the devil they dont know…fuppin muppers

  2. Anomanomanom

    America don’t really give a fupp about Israel, they just want a buffer from the “mad” middle east. But it’s amazing how America doing the dirty work for Israel by messing up a whole region seems fine to all of the “West”.

  3. babylonzoo4ever

    that show was unwatchable. all of the patting on the back and screeching about america.


    1. G

      The show is an embarrassment…… one sided blaming America the great satan for all the worlds problems …. disgusting.

      1. Anomanomanom

        I agree the show is one sided. But the argument is true. America have hand in most conflicts around the world and seem to make things worse.

        1. G

          Yea those lovely innocence people of the middle east are all just innocent victims of the west… Sure….. sounds lovely and comforting to the liberal mind.

          1. Anomanomanom

            I said around the world. I never said anyone was innocent. I said the USA seem to make it worse. What liberals are you referring to.

          2. phil

            @G, Anomanomanoms point is valid, and the middle east isnt the only place the US has what they call ‘ strategic interests’ , you probably know, but American governments have for a long time stated that they ‘reserve the right to protect their national interests throughout the world’ those ‘interests’ would include oil companies prospecting in countries they are not wanted, threatening countries such as India with a trade war because US Pharma companies claim their IP is being damaged.

            Latin America blossomed when the Bush administration took their eye off them for a couple of years.

            It is historically clear in the 50’s that America carried out terrorist acts (gun boats) against the Castro regime , what was their crime? Kicking out american business interests from Cuba so they could attempt a Socialist planned economy.

            Operation Gladio after WW2 where the US/UK decided that the people of Italy and Greece could not lean left, as they seemed about to do. In fact Italy holds the record for the amount of covert CIA actions in the 20th century.

            I like Americans , and have lived there, but there is a world of difference between to good people of the USA v’s their governments foreign policy…

            I didnt even get to terrorism , thats for another day …

          3. SOMK

            Sure and what’s the opposite frame of mind then if liberals think they’re innocent, they’re guilty then is that so? According to which court, which juristiction, a million dead Iraqis, I guess deep down they were all crooks who deserved their death sentences (not to mention the sanctions which were another humanitarian disaster)? Liberal minds may be wishy-washy, but conservative minds are a murderous, hate-filled sewer of xenophobic paranoia. I’d take a bed wetting liberal pacifist over a knuckle dragging nationalistic war mongerer any day of the week. So would that Jesus chap you guys are often so fond of, ironic isn’t it?

  4. A new town animal in a furnished cage

    Why ain’t all their fellow brothers in Saudi / Dubai all the rich Arab states
    Giving them a home
    Is it not closer for them
    Similar climate/ language/ religion
    Why are the all looking to go to our Christian tolerant Europe?

      1. hmmm

        That tolerance could be quickly diluted and all the benefits of our enlightenment destroyed if Islam has its way which is possible and likely if millions of people who believe in Islamic doctrine settle in European cities….to think otherwise is naive

        1. ahjayzis

          It’s only likely if you think a tiny percentage of the five percent of the European population can manage to convince 95% of the population to adopt Sharia law.

          Have you ever met a Muslim, by any chance? Have you not copped that the Syrian refugees are FLEEING Sharia law and theocracy?

          Get a grip, educate yourself and stop being so bloody afraid.

      1. A new town animal in a furnished cage

        But why not!
        That’s where the problem is
        They should get there own house in order first
        The problem should not be moved to our countries
        We have enough problems of our own

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Why are the all looking to go to our Christian tolerant Europe?

      ”You call Europe tolerant and Christian and you want to turn away people fleeing war? Well done.”

      1. shitferbrains

        There was no ISIS in 2011 when Assad responded to demos by shooting the protestors. People have very short memories.

        1. jungleman

          It was the US and it’s allies that stoked the whole thing up in the first place. They shipped in weapons and military trainers. They even wanted to bomb Assad at one point. There has been zero consistency from the west on Syria. If it were not for Russia and Iran, Syria would be in an even worse state today.

  5. Friscondo

    Two of the three main strategic threats to Israel have been neutralised for a generation at least, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and two fragmented and destroyed states, i.e. Iraq and Syria. Iran has so far been too wily to fall into the trap. Europe is reaping the whirlwind of terrorism and refugees, much to the Israelis delight. If you don’t believe me, read the comment pieces in Israel Hayom. The chaos unleashed has been a deliberate ploy to destabilise and thus weaken these countries. The Russians managed to get a ceasefire in less than six months of intervention in Syria. The US somehow made little impact on ISIS after years of air strikes. Strange that. The secular Assad is a brutal dictator, but the Salafist Saudis, with their medieval regime are Western allies. Go figure. Clinton as president means more of the same.

      1. bisted

        …Clinton got the zionist lobby on-side early in her campaign when she promised her backing if they were to kill 200,000 in Gaza.

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