Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Arms Race to the Bottom

My article about Syria and Iran's non-conventional weapons and the true sources of instability in the Middle East has been published by the University Times. You can read it here.

Monday, 21 October 2013

UCD Literary and Historical Society's Abortion Debate

Daniel A. Dombrowski 
Donal Ó Mathúna, Norella Broderick, Lorcan Price
Suzanne Lee

Muireann O'Dwyer

Lorcan Price


Making music to watch girls by

The Feminist Element in the Syrian Conflict and Beyond

The video purports to show two anti-tank missiles being fired at an armoured vehicle in Syria. Immediately after the missiles explode, in stark contrast with other videos from conflicts, the combatants shout, cheer, and most surprisingly clap after the missiles strike their target. The voices of women can be heard in the audio of the video which is a difference from most pro-rebel propaganda. The video's most startling difference is the complete absence of the Takbir, the chanting of 'Allahu akbar" or "God is great" which is similar to the multi-purpose English phrase "Oh my God".

Aron Lund, a journalist who tweeted the video has speculated that the person filming the clip is probably from the Kurdistan Workers Party (KPP) who are now sending fighters to help anti-Assad forces. It's believed that the video was shot in the oil-rich areas of Northern Syria near Girke Lege. It's in a disputed area that could be called Western Kurdistan, depending on which side of you the colonial border fell.

The KPP have a core Marxist ideology at heart and have allowed women to join their fighting units. It's a similar approach to the involvement of women as held by the IRA during the heights of the conflict in Northern Ireland who used feminist propaganda in their literature and had women in their active service units. It's the logical progression for groups who demand equality.

"It's not freedom until there's freedom of women" - Copyright...err, the IRA?

It can be seen as a shrewd movement by the organisations' leaders. Centralising the role of women solidifies relationships and ensures that 50% of an isolated community perceive some of the events in the same way as the men who are usually more heavily involved in violent action. Women have been serving in the armed forces of armies around the world for a long time in various roles. It's often forgotten that they appear in illegal groups too.