US army colonel to speak in Galway next week

The highest ranking member of US military to resign over the Iraq war, Col Ann Wright, will speak at a public meeting in Galway next week.

Col Wright, who is also a former US diplomat, will speak at a meeting organised by the Galway Alliance Against War this coming Monday at 8pm in Richardson’s, Eyre Square.

Her trip to Ireland is being organised by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance and today she will meet TDs and senators who are opposed to the US and British wars and the use of Shannon as a military war port.

Col Wright grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, and studied at the US Naval War College. For 13 years she was an active duty soldier. She spent another 16 years in the army reserves, retiring as a colonel. Following this she joined the State Department and for 16 years, served as a foreign diplomat in Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone.

She was on the team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2001, after the fall of the Taliban to US forces.

However, on March 13 2003, on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, Col Wright sent a letter of resignation to then secretary of state Colin Powell. She felt that without the authorisation of the UN Security Council, the US invasion and occupation of an oil-rich, Arab Muslim country would be a disaster.

She was arrested five times in one year for protesting the former president Bush’s policies. She was also recently temporarily banned from two military bases for placing postcards there announcing a showing of the documentary Sir, No Sir.

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