Sunday, October 11, 2009

Has Anybody Seen the Irish Anti-War Movement?

Is it just me, or does anyone else find the Irish Anti-War Movement’s silence over Sharon Commins’ kidnapping a bit odd?

Today is the one hundredth day of Ms Commins’ disappearance. Sharon Commins, for anyone who hasn’t been following the story, is an aid worker for GOAL in the Sudan. She was kidnapped by some local warlord and the Sudanese Government are pussyfooting around while the warlord looks for ransom. Or else are in kahoots with the warlord themselves, or else are too busy avoiding international prosecution themselves to worry about an Irish aid worker who was only trying to do them a favour in the first place.

Whatever. Chances are Ms Commins’ current living conditions are not very nice, and the fact that Ireland has a Movement that is anti-war who are not bothered by an Irish citizen suffering at the hands of war does not quite add up.

If the Irish Anti-War Movement is really anti-war, then surely Sudanese warlords are exactly the sort of hombres they are particularly against? If anyone wants a snap-shot of the pity of war, a visit to the Sudan will give them all they want of it. The place is Hell on Earth. The Sudanese Civil War has been running, on and off, since 1955. It predates the Beatles. It’s not like the Irish Anti-War movement haven’t spotted it.

Where, then, are the protest marches? The Irish Anti-War movement were out in numbers on O’Connell Street a few years ago, protesting against the Iraq war. How is the Sudanese civil war better than the Iraq war? There was no Irish involvement in the Iraq war, but we have a citizen in confinement in the Sudan. Why don’t the Irish Anti-War movement care?

Maybe I’m doing them an injustice. Maybe, having done his bit by democracy while wearing his People Before Profit Alliance hat, Richard Boyd Barrett has pulled on his Irish Anti-War movement hat and has flown out to the Sudan to personally intervene.

Maybe, while his people are spending Sunday morning listening to Marian and getting the Sunday roasts ready, RBB is sitting with the locals in some souk in downtown Khartoum, using his fluent Arabic to pick up the local knowledge that will allow him make a daring midnight raid on the warlord’s camp. Perhaps the kidnappers will awake tomorrow to find to find Ms Commins gone, with only a CND symbol entwined with shamrock to show them that the Irish Anti-War movement has struck in the desert?

Or else maybe bitching about Yanks is about the measure of Richard Boyd Barrett’s contribution. It looks like one or the other, doesn’t it?

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