Neutralism for EU members is cowardice

patslatt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
13,637
Two of my Irish aunts served as nurses in the British Army in WWII and an Irish uncle served in the British merchant navy. The uncle experienced the horror of two of his ships being torpedoed. Britain's merchant marine saw huge casualties from U Boats,with the loss of around half a million lives according to one estimate. I'm proud of the adventurous spirit of these Irish relatives and of other Irish people like them who served in the great cause of defending western democracy against fascist Germany and its allies. With the wartime boom in the Irish economy,these people could have stayed at home. In my village,even the humble occupation of snaring rabbits was highly profitable with a huge sum of around 10 shillings a rabbit,which ended up in the top London restaurants.

I am not proud of the Irish government's policy of cowardly neutrality during the euphemistic "Emergency" as it was called.Had the German fascists defeated Britain,Ireland would have been conquered immediately. Ireland was a defence freeloader,depending on Britain to defend the country but doing nothing to help. Nicholas Monsarrat in his novel "The Cruel Sea" said that the sailors in the merchant navy were very bitter at "Irish eyes are smiling" while their ships were being sunk because the Royal Navy lacked access to Irish ports.

At best, Irish neutrality in WWII can be considered a selfish, pragmatic policy to keep the country out of the war. I view it as an embittered piece of narrow Republican nationalism that ignored the need to take a stand in defence of the European democracies. Since the war,many Irish political leaders and many Irish people,instead of being ashamed of our neutralism in WWII,seem to regard it as a great diplomatic and foreign policy achievement.

Today,the persistence of this thinking is hampering efforts to engage in the mutual defence of EU countries with which we are supposedly engaged in "ever closer union". There would be nothing honourable in cowardly hiding under the bed in the event that men and women from other EU countries went to war in our place.
 


fergalr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2006
Messages
354
Irish neutrality, as opposed to actual neutrality, seems more to based on a "peace on Earth, goodwill to man" outlook - as opposed to the "come near us and die" outlook of the Swiss and Swedes.
FG have said that they're not wedded to strict neutrality, and I think a mature debate on the issue is overdue, if it possible to address it maturely in this country.
 

wombat

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
32,994
Waste of time even raising the issue, people like neutrality. Reminds me of a story of 2 Irish guys in WWII in an RAF bomber over Germany arguing about Dev - "Say what you like about him, at least he kept us out of this"
 

Universal_001

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
222
I was always amazed at people so attachd to Irish neutrality when it would be very generious to call it neutrality at all.

What we did during WWII was a disgrace, and I've never understood the concept of neutrality anyway, it striks me as being very immoral to be neutral in every situation.
 

merle haggard

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2005
Messages
5,434
patslatt said:
Two of my Irish aunts served as nurses in the British Army in WWII and an Irish uncle served in the British merchant navy. The uncle experienced the horror of two of his ships being torpedoed. Britain's merchant marine saw huge casualties from U Boats,with the loss of around half a million lives according to one estimate. I'm proud of the adventurous spirit of these Irish relatives and of other Irish people like them who served in the great cause of defending western democracy against fascist Germany and its allies. With the wartime boom in the Irish economy,these people could have stayed at home. In my village,even the humble occupation of snaring rabbits was highly profitable with a huge sum of around 10 shillings a rabbit,which ended up in the top London restaurants.

I am not proud of the Irish government's policy of cowardly neutrality during the euphemistic "Emergency" as it was called.Had the German fascists defeated Britain,Ireland would have been conquered immediately. Ireland was a defence freeloader,depending on Britain to defend the country but doing nothing to help. Nicholas Monsarrat in his novel "The Cruel Sea" said that the sailors in the merchant navy were very bitter at "Irish eyes are smiling" while their ships were being sunk because the Royal Navy lacked access to Irish ports.

At best, Irish neutrality in WWII can be considered a selfish, pragmatic policy to keep the country out of the war. I view it as an embittered piece of narrow Republican nationalism that ignored the need to take a stand in defence of the European democracies. Since the war,many Irish political leaders and many Irish people,instead of being ashamed of our neutralism in WWII,seem to regard it as a great diplomatic and foreign policy achievement.

Today,the persistence of this thinking is hampering efforts to engage in the mutual defence of EU countries with which we are supposedly engaged in "ever closer union". There would be nothing honourable in cowardly hiding under the bed in the event that men and women from other EU countries went to war in our place.

 

patslatt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
13,637
Bedstore said:
Would abstention from EU involvement in a hypothetical conflict in the middle east also be cowardice ?
It's mutual defence,not aggression. It would be a justifiable defence to wage war on Iran if its fanatical revolutionary Islamist governing clique should try to develop nuclear weapons. European cities would be within the range of medium rage missiles based in Iran.
 

fergalr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2006
Messages
354
patslatt said:
Bedstore said:
Would abstention from EU involvement in a hypothetical conflict in the middle east also be cowardice ?
It's mutual defence,not aggression. It would be a justifiable defence to wage war on Iran if its fanatical revolutionary Islamist governing clique should try to develop nuclear weapons. European cities would be within the range of medium rage missiles based in Iran.
There are measures less inflamatory than bombing runs.
 

Dasayev

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
2,811
Neutrality during WW II saved Irish lives. The Luftwaffe had over a thousand fighters, while Ireland had three. Its bombers would have reduced Dublin and other cities to rubble.

Our army was no match for theirs and we had no navy. What exactly was Ireland supposed to do? When the worlds imperial powers go to war, the best thing to do is stay out of their way and let them get on with it.

We may not have fought against Hitler, but we should be proud that we did not aid Stalin in his take over of Eastern Europe.
 

patslatt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
13,637
fergalr said:
Irish neutrality, as opposed to actual neutrality, seems more to based on a "peace on Earth, goodwill to man" outlook - as opposed to the "come near us and die" outlook of the Swiss and Swedes.
FG have said that they're not wedded to strict neutrality, and I think a mature debate on the issue is overdue, if it possible to address it maturely in this country.
Sweden throughout the 1930s almost uniquely among democracies recognised the threat from German fascism and acted on it by increasing military spending massively,at around 30% a year if I remember correctly. The Swedes were publicly very critical of the human rights abuses of the German fascists.

Sweden was criticised for supplying Germany with iron ore and raw materials during the war but it was either that or face invasion from occupied Norway.

Hitler left Switzerland alone, possibly because of its large German population,but also because it was very well defended.Uniquely in Europe, it maintains universal conscription. All the mountain roads are covered by numerous fortified artillery emplacements in the mountains that would be impossible to take out without massive casualties.
 

fergalr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2006
Messages
354
patslatt said:
fergalr said:
Uniquely in Europe, it maintains universal conscription. All the mountain roads are covered by numerous fortified artillery emplacements in the mountains that would be impossible to take out without massive casualties.
The only other democracy (careful, lefties..) that does the same, to my knowledge, is Israel.
 

Universal_001

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
222
Dasayev said:
Neutrality during WW II saved Irish lives. The Luftwaffe had over a thousand fighters, while Ireland had three. Its bombers would have reduced Dublin and other cities to rubble.

Our army was no match for theirs and we had no navy. What exactly was Ireland supposed to do? When the worlds imperial powers go to war, the best thing to do is stay out of their way and let them get on with it.

We may not have fought against Hitler, but we should be proud that we did not aid Stalin in his take over of Eastern Europe.
That was not the only reason, we were hedging our bets to see who won so we could be on their side.
If we had participated we would have got military aid like everyone else, and would have had allie forces stationed here to protect us.
 

patslatt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
13,637
Dasayev said:
Neutrality during WW II saved Irish lives. The Luftwaffe had over a thousand fighters, while Ireland had three. Its bombers would have reduced Dublin and other cities to rubble.

Our army was no match for theirs and we had no navy. What exactly was Ireland supposed to do? When the worlds imperial powers go to war, the best thing to do is stay out of their way and let them get on with it.

We may not have fought against Hitler, but we should be proud that we did not aid Stalin in his take over of Eastern Europe.
The RAF and the Royal Navy could have protected Ireland. Once the Battle of Britain was won,a German invasion was impossible thanks to the Royal Navy's dominance. At that point,Irish neutrality had advantages for the UK. If Ireland was an ally,the UK would have to divert a portion of its military to defend Ireland.
 

CelticAtheist

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
112
fergalr said:
There are measures less inflamatory than bombing runs.
Yes, there are measures less inflamatory than bombing runs, but there are none more effective. :lol:

While I'm not a fan of our current neutrality, anyone who says Ireland should have entered WW2 is a complete idiot when it comes to history and military strategy.

As Lord Haw Haw put it, the Irish Army in WW2 "couldn't beat the tinkers out of Galway."
We were absolutely pissweak militarily, our contribution wouldn't have been significant nor effective.

Secondly, the British were *this* close to invading Ireland themselves.
It is well known that Churchill had many irrational fears about the IRA resupplying U-Boats and German spies roaming the countryside freely. He wanted to invade, but his cabinet basically told him to F off..
In reality, G2 had little trouble mopping up the small number of German spies, and the U-Boats never resupplied from Ireland...

Nowadays, things are a bit different...
 

Dasayev

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
2,811
patslatt said:
Dasayev said:
Neutrality during WW II saved Irish lives. The Luftwaffe had over a thousand fighters, while Ireland had three. Its bombers would have reduced Dublin and other cities to rubble.

Our army was no match for theirs and we had no navy. What exactly was Ireland supposed to do? When the worlds imperial powers go to war, the best thing to do is stay out of their way and let them get on with it.

We may not have fought against Hitler, but we should be proud that we did not aid Stalin in his take over of Eastern Europe.
The RAF and the Royal Navy could have protected Ireland. Once the Battle of Britain was won,a German invasion was impossible thanks to the Royal Navy's dominance. At that point,Irish neutrality had advantages for the UK. If Ireland was an ally,the UK would have to divert a portion of its military to defend Ireland.

So Ireland should have abandoned our Neutrality after the Battle of Britain?
 

patslatt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
13,637
CelticAtheist said:
fergalr said:
There are measures less inflamatory than bombing runs.
Yes, there are measures less inflamatory than bombing runs, but there are none more effective. :lol:

While I'm not a fan of our current neutrality, anyone who says Ireland should have entered WW2 is a complete idiot when it comes to history and military strategy.

As Lord Haw Haw put it, the Irish Army in WW2 "couldn't beat the tinkers out of Galway."
We were absolutely pissweak militarily, our contribution wouldn't have been significant nor effective.

Secondly, the British were *this* close to invading Ireland themselves.
It is well known that Churchill had many irrational fears about the IRA resupplying U-Boats and German spies roaming the countryside freely. He wanted to invade, but his cabinet basically told him to F off..
In reality, G2 had little trouble mopping up the small number of German spies, and the U-Boats never resupplied from Ireland...

Nowadays, things are a bit different...
Churchill made the decision himself not to invade Ireland,as far as I know. The loss of around half of merchant shipping to U Boats threatened the very existence of the UK,until the convoy system stemmed the losses,sothe seizure of Irish ports could well have been justified militarily as it would presumably have cut those merchant shipping losses drastically. Churchill thought that the invasion of Ireland would be a major propaganda victory for the Germans,given that the UK was claiming to be fighting to defend the democracies.
 

merle haggard

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2005
Messages
5,434
CelticAtheist said:
fergalr said:
There are measures less inflamatory than bombing runs.
Yes, there are measures less inflamatory than bombing runs, but there are none more effective. :lol:

While I'm not a fan of our current neutrality, anyone who says Ireland should have entered WW2 is a complete idiot when it comes to history and military strategy.

As Lord Haw Haw put it, the Irish Army in WW2 "couldn't beat the tinkers out of Galway."
We were absolutely pissweak militarily, our contribution wouldn't have been significant nor effective.

Secondly, the British were *this* close to invading Ireland themselves.
It is well known that Churchill had many irrational fears about the IRA resupplying U-Boats and German spies roaming the countryside freely. He wanted to invade, but his cabinet basically told him to F off..
In reality, G2 had little trouble mopping up the small number of German spies, and the U-Boats never resupplied from Ireland...

Nowadays, things are a bit different...
britain was already invading 6 counties of ireland , itself more than a slight reason why ireland would not and coulod not countenance joining the British side . In Belfast entire districts burned their gas masks to defy orders from the British making them carry them . Even the British did not dare extend conscription to the north so the notion that the south would join the British army is ridiculous . Any governemnt which even suggested joining the British war effort under those circumstances would have been committing political suicide , if not the distinct possibility of physical and personal . The fact is many people hoped the British would get a bloody nose . They did not wish for the destruction of Britian but many felt it deserved its comeuppance in the military field due to its disgraceful policies in Ireland .
The notion Irish people would go to war over the nnexation of another european countries territory while Britian had annexed Irish territory is utterly ridiculous .
If Britian had respected Irish sovereignty and Irish democracy it could have been very different but the fact is their attitude to this country was and remains appaling and aggressive when it comes to our national democracy and national sovereignty . Britian was simply a completely unsuitable ally due to its own stinking and arrogant attitude towards the Irish nation , making it unfit to be an ally of this nation and its people . Anyone who cant see that needs to look at their own hopeless and wretched mentality and then go and cop themselves on .
 

CelticAtheist

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
112
patslatt said:
Churchill made the decision himself not to invade Ireland,as far as I know. The loss of around half of merchant shipping to U Boats threatened the very existence of the UK,until the convoy system stemmed the losses,sothe seizure of Irish ports could well have been justified militarily as it would presumably have cut those merchant shipping losses drastically. Churchill thought that the invasion of Ireland would be a major propaganda victory for the Germans,given that the UK was claiming to be fighting to defend the democracies.
Wrong.
Due to Partition (the North), Irish ports weren't needed.
Hence the rejection of by the Cabinet..

The US was pretty annoyed with Ireland for being neutral as well, particularly the ambassador, David Gray...
 

Universal_001

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
222
CelticAtheist said:
patslatt said:
Churchill made the decision himself not to invade Ireland,as far as I know. The loss of around half of merchant shipping to U Boats threatened the very existence of the UK,until the convoy system stemmed the losses,sothe seizure of Irish ports could well have been justified militarily as it would presumably have cut those merchant shipping losses drastically. Churchill thought that the invasion of Ireland would be a major propaganda victory for the Germans,given that the UK was claiming to be fighting to defend the democracies.
Wrong.
Due to Partition (the North), Irish ports weren't needed.
Hence the rejection of by the Cabinet..

The US was pretty annoyed with Ireland for being neutral as well, particularly the ambassador, David Gray...
Aiken didn't exactly win fans with the US either
 

CelticAtheist

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
112
Universal_001 said:
CelticAtheist said:
patslatt said:
Churchill made the decision himself not to invade Ireland,as far as I know. The loss of around half of merchant shipping to U Boats threatened the very existence of the UK,until the convoy system stemmed the losses,sothe seizure of Irish ports could well have been justified militarily as it would presumably have cut those merchant shipping losses drastically. Churchill thought that the invasion of Ireland would be a major propaganda victory for the Germans,given that the UK was claiming to be fighting to defend the democracies.
Wrong.
Due to Partition (the North), Irish ports weren't needed.
Hence the rejection of by the Cabinet..

The US was pretty annoyed with Ireland for being neutral as well, particularly the ambassador, David Gray...
Aiken didn't exactly win fans with the US either
True.
Only recently have we become the Yank's lapdogs...
Frankly, if I were Taoiseach, I'd have the first US military flight through Shannon to be searched.
 

joel

Well-known member
Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
803
patslatt said:
fergalr said:
Irish neutrality, as opposed to actual neutrality, seems more to based on a "peace on Earth, goodwill to man" outlook - as opposed to the "come near us and die" outlook of the Swiss and Swedes.
FG have said that they're not wedded to strict neutrality, and I think a mature debate on the issue is overdue, if it possible to address it maturely in this country.
Sweden throughout the 1930s almost uniquely among democracies recognised the threat from German fascism and acted on it by increasing military spending massively,at around 30% a year if I remember correctly. The Swedes were publicly very critical of the human rights abuses of the German fascists.

Sweden was criticised for supplying Germany with iron ore and raw materials during the war but it was either that or face invasion from occupied Norway.

Hitler left Switzerland alone, possibly because of its large German population,but also because it was very well defended.Uniquely in Europe, it maintains universal conscription. All the mountain roads are covered by numerous fortified artillery emplacements in the mountains that would be impossible to take out without massive casualties.

So Sweden destroys your own case - but you're too stupid to realise it.

The Swiss were the German bankers - enough about them.
 


New Threads

Most Replies

Top