Anti-Bases Response to the RAAF bombing of Syrian Government Fighters

Media Release

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Anti-Bases Response to the RAAF bombing of Syrian Government Fighters

RAAF Hornets dropped bombs in botched strike that killed Syrian government forces

There are many unanswered questions in this botched operation but at the heart of is Australia’s illegal involvement with the forces wanting regime change in Syria.

“Australia has bombed Syrian Government Forces and killed dozens of fighters against the IS, yet the very presence of Australian forces is illegal.  The Syrian Government has not invited Australia into the conflict to defend it.  So we have a situation that an unwanted and illegal force (Australia) has mistakenly bombed fighters of the legitimate Government of Syria.”  Said Denis Doherty of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign today.

“This must be a double crime for all those in Syria and the world who are genuinely wish for an end to extremists.”

“No Australian is to be punished or demoted?  Why ever not?  Surely the entire Australian Force in Syria must be returned to Australia lest they embarrass us on the world stage again.  Above all the Government should apologise to the Syrian people and offer some compensation.”

“The Australian Prime Minister and Opposition leader must apologise to the Australian people for being so hairy chested in the first place, pretending that we are on the high moral ground in relation to conflict in the Middle East.  The complicity of Australia in the war on Iraq is known by the world.  The results of that deception live on in groups like the IS who would not have arisen but for mayhem caused by Australia and the others in the US led ‘coalition of the willing’.”

“The main reason for the presence of US facilities in Australia such as Pine Gap, Kojarena and other places is so that the Australian military can get a share of the ‘state of the art’ intelligence for our operations.  Yet as soon as it is tested it comes up as a very second class form of intelligence which is blamed for us committing a horrible atrocity on behalf of the US in their fight for regime change.

 

We repeat the message: ‘time for the end of the alliance’ and ‘time for the end of the US embarrassing us on the world stage’

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For more information.

Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

 

Reaction to SMH Column by Peter Hartcher Australia has a secret weapon to keep Donald Trump in our alliance

by Nick Deane

I almost agree with Peter Hartcher (‘Our secret weapon to woo Trump’ Nov. 15). He writes that “it’s a good time for a deep examination” of Australia’s alliance with the US. However, the point to be made is that the Trump election renders that examination absolutely imperative and urgent – much more than just a good idea!

 

Nick Deane

Marrickville Peace Group

by Denis Doherty Anti-Bases

Dear Editor,

Peter Hartcher takes the wrong approach in his column ‘Australia has a secret weapon to keep Donald Trump in our alliance’ SMH Nov 15.  Instead of taking the arrival of Donald Trump as an opportunity to look at the US alliance anew too many are searching for ways to keep the alliance as it is.  Paul Keating among others has called for the renewal of our approach to the US.

 

Pine Gap is at the moment the poisonous heart of Australia in a real way as the site from which Australian citizens have their privacy violated and their details sent to the US and other states, it assists in the war crimes of the Obama drone program.  It has been used in the wars against Iraq and the Afghanistan.  Far from assuring us of security it actually makes it more probable that Australians will be targets in any so called ‘blow back’ operation from those injured or threatened by the drones.  Above all security wise Pine Gap is a nuclear target and experts explain to us that within 30 mins of a nuclear exchange with China or Russia the area around Pine Gap and Alice Springs will be devastated by a nuclear blasts.  After that Pine Gap and its nearby areas will be poisoned by nuclear contamination for many years.

The cost of the US alliance is too expensive.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Denis Doherty

US alliance and Trump

In the light of remarks he made during the campaign, Donald Trump’s election raises questions about the extent to which Australia can rely on the United States of America for military protection. The folly of over-reliance on a foreign power for the nation’s defence should now be absolutely clear. No doubt senior figures in our defence establishment are grappling with this realization right now.

 

What they should do is look on this as an opportunity to completely re-assess Australia’s approach to its defence. The hallmark of any truly independent nation is, surely, the willingness and capacity for that nation to look after its own defence. Now is the time to open debate on how Australia might best do just that.

 

The strategic situation was fluid enough before the election. We now face a very uncertain future. This is the time for Australians to accept the reality of true independence and the responsibilities that that brings. Time for the nation to stand up and assert with confidence that we can look after ourselves!

 

Nick Deane

Marrickville Peace Group

 

 

Anti-Bases Anti-Nuclear Letter to Australian Politicians

To Senators Penny Wong and Nick Xenophon

Thursday, 6 October 2016

 

The Hon Penny Wong

Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate

c/- Parliament House Canberra

 

Dear Senator Wong,

Re:  the support of Scott Ludlam’s motion re: a ban on nuclear weapons

 

Australia is in a unique position to urge the major nuclear states to desist from the use, the threatened use and the stockpiling of nuclear weapons as it has no weapons of its own.  Australia when led by Labor has had a good reputation in promoting peace and justice around the world.  This reputation built up by Labor is being trashed by the government so why support them on nuclear weapons?  Labor organised and promoted the Canberra Commission where we as a nation played a part in urging the reduction if not elimination of such weapons.  Labor stood up to the US over the use of the MX missiles in our area.  Australia played a part in the banning of land mines and chemical weapons why can’t we play a part in banning nuclear weapons?  Surely the action of around 116 countries around the world is sufficient to convince you to get with the strength and vote against nuclear weapons.

 

We draw your attention to a quote by Paul Dibb a well-respected Australian defence expert who was even used in preparing the last white paper on defence.

 

Paul Dibb, “We judged, for example, that the SS511 ICBM site at Svobodny in Siberia was capable of one million instant deaths and 750,000 radiation deaths on Sydney. And you would not have wanted to live in Alice Springs, Woomera or Exmouth – or even Adelaide.” –

“America has always kept us in the loop”, The Australian, 10 September 2005.

 

I am sure that you do not welcome the threat that Adelaide is under from nuclear weapons as you represent that city and state and your partner and child live there.  We ask humbly are you prepared to accept a million instant deaths and 750,000 radiation deaths in Sydney?  If so could you inform the people of Sydney that is what you are prepared to accept in order to keep nuclear weapons?  As our group is Sydney-based we are not very happy to be a target of nuclear weapons.

 

As a young man I lived in Alice Springs when the then Foreign Minister Bill Hayden informed the citizens of Alice Springs that they were a nuclear target.  It galvanised the town and led to Alice Springs having the biggest peace group in Australia.

 

I visited Exmouth in the 80’s where even the ‘checkout staff’ were fatalistic and said things like ‘well at least we’d go quickly’.  This is not the positive Australians that the Labor party wants us to be or is it?

 

We are not asking much just that you inform the people of Sydney, Adelaide, Alice Springs and Exmouth that their lives are the price you are prepared to pay to support nuclear weapons.

 

We ask that you inform Opposition Senators to support the Ludlam motion when it comes up in the near future.

 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

 

The Hon Nick Xenophon

Senator for South Australia and leader of the Xenophon Team

c/- Parliament House Canberra

 

Dear Senator Xenophon,

Re:  the support of Scott Ludlam’s motion re: a ban on nuclear weapons

 

Australia is in a unique position to urge the major nuclear states to desist from the use, the threatened use and the stockpiling of nuclear weapons as it has no weapons of its own.  Australia has had a good reputation in promoting peace and justice around the world.  This reputation built up over the years is being trashed by the government so why support them on nuclear weapons?  Australia organised and promoted the Canberra Commission where we as a nation played a part in urging the reduction if not elimination of such weapons.  Australia played a part in the banning of land mines and chemical weapons why can’t we play a part in banning nuclear weapons?  Surely the action of around 116 countries around the world is sufficient to convince you to get with the strength and vote against nuclear weapons.

 

We draw your attention to a quote by Paul Dibb a well-respected Australian defence expert who was even used in preparing the last white paper on defence.

 

Paul Dibb, “We judged, for example, that the SS511 ICBM site at Svobodny in Siberia was capable of one million instant deaths and 750,000 radiation deaths on Sydney. And you would not have wanted to live in Alice Springs, Woomera or Exmouth – or even Adelaide.” –

“America has always kept us in the loop”, The Australian, 10 September 2005.

 

I am sure that you do not welcome the threat that Adelaide is under from nuclear weapons as you represent that city and state.  We ask humbly are you prepared to accept a million instant deaths and 750,000 radiation deaths in Sydney?  If so could you inform the people of Sydney that is what you are prepared to accept in order to keep nuclear weapons?  As our group is Sydney-based we are not very happy to be a target of nuclear weapons.

 

As a young man I lived in Alice Springs when the then Foreign Minister Bill Hayden informed the citizens of Alice Springs that they were a nuclear target.  It galvanised the town and led to Alice Springs having the biggest peace group in Australia.

 

I visited Exmouth in the 80’s where even the ‘checkout staff’ were fatalistic and said things like ‘well at least we’d go quickly’.  Is this the positive Australians that your party wants us to be?

 

We are not asking much just that you inform the people of Sydney, Adelaide, Alice Springs and Exmouth that their lives are the price you are prepared to pay to support nuclear weapons.

 

We ask that you inform your team to support the Ludlam motion when it comes up in the near future.

IPAN’s Media Release on Drones and Pine Gap

Media Release

7th October, 2016

 

 

Call on Pine Gap to cease involvement in the deadly US drone assassination program and for the facility to be terminated as soon as possible

Following a well attended and successful anti-war conference held at Alice Springs on 1st October, 2016 the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) organised a peaceful protest involving a cavalcade of cars to the gates of the Joint Defence Facility –Pine Gap on Sunday 2nd October.

 

At the gates of the Joint Defence Facility-Pine Gap, the following letter was presented to a senior police officer for relay to the Chief of Station, Ms Amy Chaput. Previously, a request by letter to the Chief of the Station (an American) and to the Deputy Chief of the Station, (an Australian), to meet at an IPAN delegation at the gate for presentation of the letter, had been ignored. The protesters were met at the gate and heavily fenced entrance to Pine Gap, by 30 uniformed police plus two police on horses. The protesters had already been “frisked” by police some hundred metres down the road from the entrance.

 

In the absence of being able to meet an official for the Pine Gap facility, an IPAN representative and a representative of the local indigenous community, jointly presented the following letter to a senior policeman at the gate for relaying to the Pine Gap station.

 

2nd October, 2016

 

TO THE CHIEF OF STATION

JOINT DEFENCE FACILITY-PINE GAP

 

Ms Amy Chaput,

 

Following the well-attended and successful conference organised by the Independent and Peaceful Australian Network (IPAN) at Alice Springs this weekend, it was determined that:

1.      The Pine Gap facility is a threat to the peace and security of the people of Australia and Alice Springs, in particular

2.      The illegal drone assassination program perpetrated by the United States with the assistance of Pine Gap makes the Australian people complicit in this illegal activity

For these reasons, IPAN, on behalf of all concerned people of Australia, calls for the immediate cessation of this illegal drone program and the termination of the Pine Gap facilities as soon as possible.

 

Australia will then be a safer place for all of us.

 

Yours in peace,

 

IPAN Co-ordinating Committee

 

Letter regarding the women’s boat to Gaza

 

Friday, October 07, 2016

To: The Hon Julie Bishop

Foreign Minister

c/- Australian Parliament

 

Dear Minister,

Release the women’s boat to Gaza

As a person who frequently cites that Australia has the right of ‘freedom of navigation’ in parts of the South China Sea yet when Israel is the only nation that does not allow that freedom you are strangely silent.

 

We call on you to follow the rules you so stringently support on freedom of Navigation and condemn Israel for its capture and holding of the women’s boat to Gaza.  In the midst of an illegal blockade on the people of the most densely populated part of the globe these humanitarians are being made to look like criminals when the state of Israel is the committer of crimes.  There has been more attention to the budgies smugglers of Malaysia then to the Australian citizen caught up in this mess.

 

We call on you to act loudly and publically to support humanitarians of the world vs your support for the Australian yobbos in Malaysia.

 

Speak out for those women and show yourself to be a person with real humanitarian values.  Call for the immediate release of those women including the Australian citizens they are the pride of our world not Israeli Navy or Government.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Denis Doherty

For Anti-Bases

 

 

 

 

Trump lies expose cost of US bases

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trump lies expose cost of US bases

Trump’s lies in the US presidential debate have brought to light the cost incurred by countries with US bases on their territory.

Trump claimed that Japan, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia pay nothing to the US for “defending” their countries.

In fact, the South Korean Government paid around $1.2 billion in 2014 for the US military presence in the country. That is about 40 per cent of the total costs.

Japan’s budget shows that it pays about $5.7 billion annually in base-related expenses.

“The Australian Government never releases how much we pay the US for their bases here, but Pine Gap alone is estimated to cost at least $14 million every year,” said Denis Doherty from the Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition, a member of the growing Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

“The new US Marine base in Darwin will cost Australian taxpayers $2.3 billion. New antennae at the US communications base at North West Cape cost $60 million.

“These costs are at the expense of our public health and education systems, the disabled, the homeless and other programs which the Turnbull Government claims it cannot fund.

“Australia pays through the nose for the US military presence in this country. In return we are made a potential nuclear target and complicit in murder through Pine Gap’s drone program of extra judicial killings,” Denis Doherty said.

Dr Lisa Natividad from the Pacific island of Guam is in Alice Springs to speak at the IPAN national conference on Saturday. She points out the hidden costs of US military facilities which cover over one-third of her island.

“Guahan, as we indigenous Chamorro call Guam, as a modern US colony, has indirectly invested millions of dollars in the US military in uncompensated use of our lands, the deaths of our people fighting in US wars and from exposure to radiation and toxic contamination, and the loss of cultural practices by limited access to traditional fishing grounds and medicines,” Dr Natividad said.

For more information:  Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

Pine Gap Alice Springs Company targeted by protesters

Media Release

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pine Gap Alice Springs Company targeted by protesters

Raytheon the private contractor behind much of Pine Gap’s work has become a target of protesters who are in Alice Springs to commemorate Pine Gap’s 50 year history of creating instability and war.  Situated in a non-descript building in Whittaker Street, Raytheon Australia, the subsidiary of one of the largest arms dealers in the world, expects to ply its trade without hindrance.

“We mean to upset this smugness which permeates this horrendous corporation whose self-advertising slogan is laughingly ‘keeping the world safe’, it means to do this by massive weaponised force!  Said Denis Doherty of the Anti-Bases Campaign.

 

“In regard to Pine Gap alone Raytheon has much to answer for, creating the software to spy on civilians, to direct drones and to target areas of the world where Australia is not at war with such as Yemen and Somalia. Said Nick Deane from Independent and Peaceful Australia Netowork.

 

“Commentary on Raytheon in the US says the following Raytheon doesn’t have an army of tax collectors, but they certainly do have the money to buy off politicians, and then get those politicians to buy their products with tax payer money.  Now they are doing the same in Australia where Raytheon has big contracts with the Government for a huge range of expensive items.  We call Raytheon a public funded merchant.  Said Dr. Hannah Middleton Anti-Bases Campaign

 

“It is time to shine a light on this massive corporate giant which leeches resources away from much needed services such as health and education to weaponry which in turn creates more use of weaponry and more distress.  Mr Deane continued.

 

Raytheon is not a good corporate citizen but simply a privatized conglomerate to wage war for 0.1% of the USA.

Details: 8 Whittaker St Alice Springs Sept 29 2.30 pm

For more information:  contact Hannah Middleton 0418 668 098, Nick Deane 0420 526929, Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

 

WE CHALLENGE THE AUSTRALIAN MEDIA

A young migrant, who drowned in a failed attempt to sail to the Greek island of Kos, lies on the shore in the Turkish coastal town of Bodrum Wounded Syrian Kid Omran DaqneeshWe challenge the Australian Media on behalf of
Alan and Omran – little boys caught up in war

An open letter to media news executives and editors, producers, reporters and all with a stake in current affairs broadcasting on behalf of Alan and Omran

These two images have shaken the world. They have appeared in Australian media with the appropriate horror and a sense of the tragedy of war.  These two little boys — one the 3 yr old drowned while escaping war and the other now right in the thick of war in Syria.

And now the father of Alan Jurdi has spoken up over the weekend (3-4 Sept) ‘Photo of my dead son has changed nothing’, says father of drowned Syrian refugee boy Alan Kurdi

“The politicians said after the deaths in my family: Never again!” Mr Kurdi, 41, said.

“Everyone claimed they wanted to do something because of the photo that touched them so much. But what is happening now? People are still dying and nobody is doing anything about it.”

 

There is plenty of sentiment about the issue of war yet there is no reflection in the media in Australia of those who are opposed to war.

The media concentrates on the ANZACs and the celebration of a Vietnam War battle. We do not object to this but would like the amount of text and pictures devoted to them to be less fulsome.

It is the military in Syria and other countries using weapons developed over years of military spending and training and non-state forces using the same equipment which is creating the tragedy we see on our screens every night or in the papers in the morning.

Yet those in Australia who criticize the amount of military spending, the US alliance and the massive military exercises in our country from time to time are shut out of any discussion. For example, for the last 4 years not one media organization has covered the Hiroshima Day marches against nuclear weapons and war. The huge US-Australian Talisman Sabre military exercises are funded by the Commonwealth but are relegated by the media to just a central Queensland issue.

The devastation and tragedies of war are discussed in our media as if it is a problem for over there nothing to do with us. There is no serious examination of military spending, preparations for war or how our alliance with the US may be pulling us into wars that are against our best interests.

To redress the balance, we challenge the media to report on the issue of PINE GAP as it nears its 50th anniversary. Report on the pros and cons by all means but report it. There will be meetings, protests, a conference, national and international speakers and more. We hope that this will not be censored as happens so often. We hope that the media will not ignore the criticisms of nearly 50 United States military bases in Australia or dismiss the events in Alice Springs as merely a central Australian issue.

If you are truly horrified by the fates of Alan and Omran, we believe you should also be reporting on Australia’s preparations for war and Australia’s role in destabilizing the region.  We ask: are you genuine or hypocritical?

Prepared by the Anti-Bases Campaign contact Denis Doherty for more information:

0418 290 663

 

……

Two exciting events regarding Pine Gap

In the lead-up to the 50th anniversary of the agreement that brought the military communications and surveillance facility at

PINE GAP

 into existence, two exciting events have been arranged, by the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC). They will raise questions about

THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND THE UNITED STATES.

1. Public Seminar

From 10.00am to 3.30pm, Sunday 11 September 2016

Featuring James O’Neill, Dr Emily Howie and Dr Vincent Scappatura

  2. Public Meeting

From 2pm to 4pm, Sunday 25 September 2016

Featuring international speakers Prof. Kosuzu Abe (from Okinawa) and
Dr Lisa Natividad (from Guam) who are on their way to
IPAN’s national conference in Alice Springs on 2 October

 Both events will take place at

CFMEU Headquarters

12 Railway Street

Lidcombe

(Easily accessible from Lidcombe Railway Station. On-site parking available)

 

James O’Neill

Brisbane-based barrister, outspoken critic of the Australia/US alliance and frequent contributor to the journal ‘Near Eastern Outlook’.

The South China Sea, Australia and the wider geopolitical context.”

 

Dr Emily Howie

Melbourne-based academic specializing in Australian foreign policy at the Human Rights Law Centre.

Targeted killing using drones in a secret war, what we know about Australia’s involvement and possible legal implications for Australia.”

 

Dr Vincent Scappatura

Sydney-based academic with a special interestin the US “pivot” to the Asia Pacific region. His topic:

“The perils of the US alliance”

 

Prof. Kosuzu Abe

University of Ryukyus, Okinawa. Knownfor her activism and being deeply committed to the protest movement against further militarisation of Okinawa

 

Dr. Lisa Natividad

University of Guam. Long term indigenous activist against the domination of her homeland by the US military and for the indepenence of her Chamorro people.

 

*******

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663 or Nick Deane 0420 526 929

Pine_Gap_50_years_too_long 1a