A British paper pushing an Irish front to an Ukrainian war seems to be the role of the Sunday Times Irish edition the past week as the bullets started flying in Eastern Europe.
Of late the paper has been rather captivated by alleged Russian influence operations in the Republic, particularly the clandestine actions of the Russian embassy in Rathmines, and its questionable expansion as supposedly masking intelligence gathering facilities.
Arriving onto our press stands, some might say surreptitiously, around the time of Brexit in 2016, the paper carries even by Irish standards a pro-Atlanticist/British line on matters of NATO, and the recent belligerence towards Russia and China.
Rolling out expected headlines advocating a rethink on Irish neutrality and highlighting alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine, the Irish edition is merely an organ in the wider pro-war push carried by its central hub in London.
For the best part of a year, the paper has fixated on the supposed spookery by the Ruskies in Rathmines, incessantly chirping on about the need for Ireland to go hard on the Russian Bear at the cost of the state’s much prized neutrality.
Whatever about the risks of Russian spying operations in Rathmines, can one imagine the Times taking the same line against British intelligence in the Republic, or can Irish sovereignty only be drawn upon when British strategic interests are involved?
The kerfuffle over Russian naval exercises on our Western periphery last month pales in comparison to the near daily stories of British vessels cruising through Irish waters off Donegal, nevermind the spectacle that is Shannon Airport.
Its pro-British sentiments aside, the paper can be commended for its mild straying from the media pack on the trans issue, again in line with the wider editorial line of the Times brand in London. Whatever about the social dystopia of PC Britain, there does seem to be a strong caucus of TERFs within or semi-adjacent to the British establishment, unlike here.
In Britain this weekend the paper has been instrumental in the targeting of Kremlin cronies in conjunction with some strategic leaking. Whatever about the merits and demerits of The Times’s editorial stances, it appears as a media vehicle to be fully wedded to and writing in sync with British strategic aims.
In general the British media has been a few headlines short of calling for airstrikes on Moscow so fervid has the sabre rattling at Russia been. The junior partner in the Atlanticist coalition since Churchill lost the imperial family jewels in the asinine 1939 war, Britain thinks highly of itself by imagining it can set the tone on events in Kiev.
Ultimately the worldview of the Times envisions an Ireland tethered at the hip to Britain and the Atlanticist bloc, and that includes rushing into every geopolitical house fire that NATO starts with its foes. The Ireland that they dream of entails whatever meagre military and strategic purpose we have being subsumed within the British and NATO war machine at the Suvlas and Sud el Bars of today and tomorrow.
Englightened Irishmen of the Neale Richmond variety may soon have condemnation of De Valera’s Gaelic backwater on their lips as they are shot to pieces in the Donbass and Taiwan.
One can only speculate, but I can imagine the written invective that would be shown towards Ireland should a nationalist regime seek to mitigate economic links with Britain and pivot towards Russia or China.
Ian Femling made a conscious decision when he jokingly described The Times as James Bond’s favourite paper, owing to the title’s historical and semi-covert ties with the British intelligence establishment.
To be crystal clear, lest this publication find itself on a pro-Russian watchlist, very little sympathy can be expressed by an Irishman at the carving up of Ukraine by Russia and the big powers.
Russian aggression in Ukraine is predicated on a desire for national annihilation towards a small nation they regard as a renegade state, very akin to the worldview of Anglo-unionists in Ireland. The mindset of Alexander Dugin towards Kiev matches perfectly the anti-Irish worldview of some of our very best crypto-unionist journalists and politicians with their jabs at Catholicism and Republicanism just masking a darker Hibernophobic undercurrent.
We are reliving another 1914 moment, with Ukraine in the role of little Catholic Belgium, and Russia playing the part of the arriviste Germany. As before there is an embarrassingly large contingent of our elite ready to play a neo-Redmondite role, this time in the Donbass rather than Flanders as before. They are joined by the fake Left, who have let their social empathy to be abused and hijacked by a non-stop media spectacle.
To this we can only express our unbridled scorn, knowing well what the human cost of this Atlanticist folly will be, and the implicit treason in throwing in your lot with England over our own presently partitioned land.
Irishmen made the mistake of marching into Belgian trenches a century ago, though avoided running into German gunfire again in 1939, and some of us are not so keen today to repeat the Great War farce.
Our national objectives are now as they were then —Sinn Féin Amhain!