(R) equals the probability (P) of getting the benefits
(B) minus the cost (C). This handy little equation
explains all rational human behaviour on the micro
or macro scale.
is, people and nation states act purposefully for
their own benefit. This is the fundamental principle
of the "realist" school of international
relations and is standard reading for most undergraduate
political science students. Reference John Spaniers
book: Games Nations Play (London: Nelson, 1972).
Bush and Blair invaded and occupy Iraq not for the
welfare of the Iraqis as they would like us all to
think but for the welfare of their own British and
American corporate pimps.
is ever thus whether in Ireland or Iraq:
does continue to have a real interest in Ireland.
The 26 counties alone is the UKs fifth most
important export destination and is the only one
which has a trade surplus. For the ten years from
1981 to 1990 Britain had a surplus of over 6.5 billion
pounds. - Craig, McNulty & Flannigan,
1998, page 28.
Imperialism doesnt always require though that
smaller country nationalism always be subordinated
or disrespected. Instead, given the Western power
elite desire for international trade, nationalism
will be encouraged as a useful tool for liberating
areas like East Germany and North Korea from command
economies. Whereas it will be discouraged as an annoyance
in areas like Northern Ireland and Puerto Rico which
are already in the controlled sphere of Western free
market forces. And now cry Iraq.
encouragement and discouragement will likely be packaged
in the form of guiding elite commentary with the concomitant
positive or negative media focus to help manufacture
the consent needed to subordinate or elevate nationalist
feelings amongst the targeted population at large
whether at home or abroad. So it is far more likely
that there will be a united Korea before there will
ever be a united Ireland or an independent Puerto
Rico or a freed Iraq.
theory would be predicated of course on the assumption
that the areas in question have abundant economic
resources and or perceived strategic value worth exploiting
and keeping. After all who cares about Zimbabwe?
That is why, according to G. R. Sloan, Deputy Head
of Strategic Studies and International Affairs Department
at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth,
England, the whole of Ireland in the initial post-WWII
period: ...became strategically more important
because of the perceived need for defence against
the Soviet Union which now occupied half of Europe.
(Sloan, 1997, page 266).
Sloan cites the 1949 Ireland Report by British government
officials (1 January 1949
CAB 29/32) which asserted that: So far as
could be foreseen, it will never be to Great Britains
advantage that Northern Ireland should form part of
a territory outside His Majesty.s jurisdiction.
(1 January 1949 CAB 29/32) (Sloan, 1997, pages 247-248
and 295) (emphasis added).
fact, for Sloan there is no end to this strategic
as confirmed by the (British) government Green Paper
in 1972, Northern Ireland was still seen as important
in terms of ensuring the security of the United
Kingdom from the threat of physical invasion. ...
Yet the ending of the Cold War has not spelt
the end of potential threats to the security of
the United Kingdom and consequently has resulted
in a potential increase in the strategic importance
of Ireland: The collapse of the Soviet Union
merely means the lack of only one ideological challenge
to democratic capitalism. Outside the West religion
still inspires universal claims and genocidal loyalties;
the passing of European wars of religion has not
ended religious war. Nationalism remains deep-rooted
even in the placid and opulent industrial societies
of Western Europe. In societies born in poverty
from the debris of empires great and small, the
national cult retains all its primitive force. The
future is not an object of knowledge, but it has
been shown that with respect to Ireland, geopolitical
patterns of the past can have relevance to the future
(Sloan, 1997, page 295)(emphasis added).
the need for British policy makers since the fall
of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to engage in what Sloan
a unique geopolitical dualism...
premised on the assumption of being able to differentiate
between a strategic policy which was enunciated for
the purposes of political consumption in Northern
Ireland, to send a signal to the Republican movement
(that the British government ....have no selfish strategic
or economic interest in Northern Ireland.), .... and
the continued membership of Northern Ireland in the
NATO Alliance. (Sloan1997, pages 265-266) (emphasis
rationale for this geopolitical dualism is endorsed
by the Irish government as well: The strategic argument
is now dead. This was important to reassure Sinn
Fein who had always assumed that this was the reason
why Britain was still in Ireland. Yet despite these
statements by both the British and Irish governments,
what was left unstated was the continued membership
of Northern Ireland of the NATO Alliance. In particular,
Article 6 of the treaty gives expression to the
territorial integrity of member states: for the
purpose of Article 5 an armed attack on one or more
of the parties is deemed to include an armed attack
on the parties in Europe or North America. Given
the current preferences of the British government
with respect to Northern Ireland, this most recent
geopolitical dualism looks likely to underpin British
strategic policy for some time to come (Sloan
1997, page 266) (emphasis added).
what Sloan, a British securicrat, euphemistically
calls a geopolitical dualism for the purpose
of political consumption in Ireland, others, like
Irish socialists, call an obvious lie which many people
in Ireland all too willingly swallow:
willingness of republicans and most of the left
to believe British claims of a disinterested and
neutral position in relation to the political framework
in Ireland is common across the political spectrum.
The unionists frequently express a belief that Britain
has no interest in Ireland and are continually proclaiming
a sell out. The SDLP loudly welcome and repeat ad
nauseam Britains claim of benign neutrality
and Dublin echoes them. What presents itself as
the mainstream left in Ireland, the Labour Party
and Democratic Left, agrees. In part to bolster
their own claims that there is no anti-imperialist
dynamic to the northern struggle and cover up their
own support for the undemocratic unionist veto,
now dressed up as consent. In other words everyone
who is anyone seems to agree with Britains
own spin on its involvement in Ireland. However,
like many a previous statement from perfidious Albion
it is a lie. The belief in its veracity is
no more than a popular prejudice. We are asked to
believe that Britain has spent £23.5 billion
in the north to defend the democratic rights of
900,000 unionists in Ireland out of the goodness
of its heart. The whole idea has no precedent in
British imperialist history. That it pumps in a
subvention of nearly £4 billion every year
for this purpose. That it has conducted a brutal
and dirty war in Ireland that has often sullied
its international reputation out of a loyal obligation
for the unionist people. Unfortunately, like any
popular prejudice, rational analysis and argument
are often of very little use in combating it. Thus
it is argued that the money poured into the north
of Ireland is proof that Britain has no interest
in the place! (Craig, McNulty & Flannigan 1998,
page 23) (emphasis added).
diplomatic disingenuousness regarding their interest
in Ireland is quite simply a camouflage for their
ulterior geo-political motives which are also bound
up with maintaining their trade and investment there.
Curiously those who expose this conceit are usually
marginalized by the mainstream corporate press in
Britain, Ireland and the US as left wing Irish Nationalist
extremists or Socialists.
Yet when the likes of a Henry Kissinger in 1965 exposes
and inveighs against similar Soviet diplomatic disingenuousness
over East Germany, a star was born for the West and
their media became his stage. Why? Because the liberation
of command market East Germany from the Soviet sphere
of influence and its subsequent reunification with
free market West Germany was essential for retaining
Germany as a member of the NATO Alliance and because:
It is against all probability that a large and
dynamic country can be kept divided indefinitely in
the center of the continent that gave the concept
of nationalism to the world. (Kissinger 1965,
Of course the odds are not ostensibly the same for
a small and divided country on the periphery of the
western European continent. Why? Because the British
State (aka: the UK) is not neutral in matters Ireland
any more than it is in Iraq. And it never has been.
is prologue even in the age of inter-ballistic missiles.
Neil, Cross-border trade a top aim for British Ambassador,
The Sunday Business Post, January 21, 2001,
Section on Britain 2001.
Neil, Britains 10 billion pound export trade,
The Sunday Business Post, January 21, 2001,
Section on Britain 2001.
Noam, Power and Prospects: Reflections on Human
Nature and the Social Order (Pluto Press, London
Coughlan, Anthony, Fooled Again? The Anglo-Irish
Agreement and After, (Mercier Press Ltd., Cork
& Dublin 1986).
Joe, John McNulty & Paul Flannigan, The Real
Irish Peace Process, (A Socialist Project Democracy
Publication, Belfast 1998).
Henry, The Troubled Partnership: A Re-appraisal
of the Atlantic Alliance, (McGraw-Hill Book
Company, New York 1965).
Sean, A Message to the Irish People, (Mercier
Press, Cork & Dublin 1985).
G.R., The Geopolitics of Anglo-Irish Relations
in the 20th Century, (Leicester University Press,
London & Washington, 1997).
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