Contributed by Joe Montero
The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is campaigning to keep Australia out of wars being waged by the United States of America and says that the military alliance must be put to an end.
Military alliance with the United States has “involved that complicity of successive Australian governments in US global military agendas, [and] undermines Australia’ peace, security and sovereignty,” a new IPAN statement says.
The statement is now being circulated and has already been signed by John Pilger (journalist, author and film maker); David Bradbury (Australian documentary film maker); Julian Burnside AO (Barrister); Greg Barns (Past President, Australian Lawyers Alliance); Professor Peter Norden, AO, RMIT University Melbourne; Jeannie Rea (National President, National Tertiary Education Union); Trevor Monti QC; Colin Long (Secretary, NTEU Vic Branch); Prof. Richard Tanter; Robert Stary (Criminal Defence Lawyer); Geoff Hogg (artist); Medical Association for Prevention of War, Maritime Union of Australia, amongst many others.
It says, “We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned with the growing threat of another major world war. We are alarmed that as a compliant ally of the U.S., Australia will be dragged into another U.S. provoked war with devastating consequences for people and the environment”.
In addition, the statement condemns the presence of foreign troops and facilities on Australian soil.
“Australia hosts thousands of U.S. marines in Darwin and conducts joint military exercises in Queensland with tens of thousands of U.S. troops. Australia hosts the U.S. spy base at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, which contributes to the targeting of assassination drones and which gathers intelligence for use in wars. The North West Cape base in West Australia is heavily involved in preparations for space warfare. Australia is involved in U.S. wars and/or military build ups in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. In none of these wars has the invaded country been a threat to Australia or the Australian people. In international forums, Australia echoes U.S. policies opposing nuclear disarmament”.
The statement ends with a call for a stop to spending millions of tax dollars on these wars, buying offensive military equipment (e.g. F35 Joint Strike Fighters and killer drones) and hosting US marine in Darwin. These funds should instead be turned to assist public health, education, community services, developing sustainable manufacturing industries and protection of the environment.
“It is time we, the people, asserted our sovereignty, took control of our foreign policies and reviewed the presence of U.S. bases and troops in Australia. It is time we started promoting genuine peace and security, human rights, a sustainable environment and our independence.”