Oh, the Russians are on the sea, says the Shan Van Vocht and Ireland must entrench itself in more NATO warmongering.
Irish tabloids took up the unusual cause of defending our neutrality this week amid anxiety over Russian naval exercises off the south-west coast.
Part of a wider flexing by the Russians alongside Iran and China, the manoeuvres occur on the periphery of our Economic Exclusion Zone, roughly 320 kilometres off Valentia Island.
An obvious affront to Irish sovereignty, the issue has regardless become a bone of contention for the pro-British Atlanticist press as well as a web of London based think tanks that quietly inform foreign policy (non) debate .
Westminster for legitimate reasons is worried about protecting its geopolitical flank and the potential for distributions should Russia hold sway over that part of the world by cutting subsea cables.
Dismissed as a media fueled non-story by the Russian ambassador, the saga has triggered a malaise of jingoistic anti-Kremlin rhetoric by the likes of the Irish Daily Mail, Sun and Times Irish edition..
To some in these publications the very notion of Ireland diverging from British or Atlanticist geostrategic interests is anathema, with many hitherto not even psychologically registering Irish independence. We saw a similar push before when certain outlets tried to disingenuously promote an Irexit favouring British interests.
Never ones to stand by the Republic when it comes to the ongoing use of Shannon Airport or the daily aspersion of Irish national dignity by the British presence north of the border (or south), these papers have been sabre rattling against the Russian Bear all week.
So bellicose has been the language that one appreciates the voice of calm given in the Irish Times letter section by the Irish Anti-War Movement. If its not clear by the media slant, NATO is encircling Russia and is expecting an easy ride for doing so.
Geopolitically Ireland like the rest of Europe has no major cause for conflict with Russia. An imperfect mafia state tempered by an autocratic centre per Russian historic norms, our interests lie in neutrality if not partiality towards Moscow. Russia didn’t dismember Libya, Syria and Iraq despite its many faults.
As global demographics worsen in the 21st century Europe will definitely need a Euro-Christian partner against a bundling United States, chaotic Africa and a hungry Asia.
In the event of a hot war on the Continent, Ireland is more imperilled by the presence of NATO forces, never mind the potential that Irish airports and territory could be seized should NATO bases become incapacitated.
While the media has been high on invective it has been low on practical solutions for plugging our age hold defence gap.
Presently, the only real recourse the Department of Foreign Affairs has on Russian incursions is Simon Coveney waving his hands aggressively off Dingle Harbour, despite earlier posturing about the importance of our seat on the UN Security Council.
With 5 out of 9 ships operational on a good day (assuming they aren’t migrant fishing in the Med) our input matters very little in the whole affair. Ireland may never compete with the Great Powers but even a measly naval force for an island nation should be expected.
At this stage it should be assumed that we will see some conflict within the next 5 years whether in Ukraine, Taiwan or the realm of cyberwarfare.
The American Empire will not go quietly into the night as it makes one last stab at retaining global hegemony and there is high probability that some of their shrapnel will find its way here.
For the state, this is the last possible junction we can get our house in order with regards to national defence. Contra those on the anti-war left neutrality means little without teeth and our state is presently showing its bleeding gums on the international stage.
Of the few parliamentarians at least making an effort in attaining a functioning army commendation must go to Cathal Berry and Gerard Craughwel, irrespective of affiliation or other views.
The Ruskies will only get serious about respecting our national sovereignty when we do ourselves.