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

Sydney Seminar- PINE GAP and the US-Australia alliance

The US-controlled communications facility at Pine Gap is an essential component of the United States war-fighting machine. 2016 marks 50 years since the agreement that brought it into existence was signed, making this a time to bring it back into public discussion.

 

Come to

A public seminar,

arranged by the Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) and the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC), to discuss:

national logo for ipan

national logo for ipan

 

aabcclogo4

With the spread of global terrorism and tensions rising in the China Seas and Eastern Europe, it is time for Australians to start talking seriously about our alliance with the United States and whether or not we, the people, are willing to accept a global situation of ‘perpetual war’.

 

 

All day 10.00am to 3.00pm,

Sunday September 11, 2016

CFMEU Headquarters

12, Railway Street

Lidcombe

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

Speakers will include:-

 

James O’Neill.

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

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

 

Dr Emily Howie

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

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

 

Dr Vincent Scappatura

a Sydney-based academic with a special interest in the US ‘pivot’ to the Asia Pacific Region. His topic

“The perils of the US alliance.”

 

The seminar is an opportunity for Sydney-siders to inform themselves about these vitally important issues, that will be receiving further attention at IPAN’s third national conference, to take place in Alice Springs on October 2.

 

RADOMES AT THE TOWN HALL

Radome Rising in Town Hall Square

 

A radome will be constructed in Sydney’s Town Hall Square at 12 noon this Saturday.

The dome is a replica of the radomes that cover the radio and radar antennae at the Central Australian war fighting and espionage base at Pine Gap.

Spokesperson for the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) Nick Deane said:-

“We hope our radome will make people curious about what is going on, on Australian territory, at Pine Gap.

“We want people to ask questions about Pine Gap, in Sydney on Saturday and in Alice Springs in September when IPAN will hold a conference with national and international speakers to mark the 50th anniversary of the agreement setting up Pine Gap.

“There is much that the public does not know about the activities that take place at Pine Gap

“Pine Gap ties Australia into the American military machine and thus places our nation at risk,” Nick Deane said.

“It provides a target for any enemy of America, regardless of whether or not Australia is the attacker’s enemy.”

“Pine Gap contributes crucial tracking and targeting information for US drone strikes across the globe.

“Thousands of civilians have been killed by US drone strikes. In Pakistan, for example, drones have killed, maimed and traumatised hundreds of men, women and children.

“The Pine Gap drone program makes Australia complicit in war crimes.

“Pine Gap’s activities have far-reaching implications for Australia’s foreign relations, and we, the people, should know more about them than we are currently allowed to know,” Mr Deane concluded.

 

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

 

Bringing Peace to Parramatta

20140423 F35Peace activists will congregate in Parramatta Square at noon on Friday April 15 as part of the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), sponsored by the Geneva-based International Peace Bureau (IPB).

 

‘Pop-Up’ Petition.

Activists from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC) and the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) will gather signatures for one hour on a ‘Pop-Up’ petition, calling for the deal to purchase the F35 Joint Strike Fighter to be scrapped.

 

Model F35 Joint Strike Fighter

They will carry a model of the F35 – wall-papered with $100 bills – to illustrate the vast expense of this aircraft. Speakers, including Greens candidate Phil Bradley, will emphasise the manner in which all government programs are being cut back – with the single and notable exception of the Defence Budget.

 

Visiting the Minister

After collecting signatures for just one hour, they will deliver the signed originals to the Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne, at her office in Macquarie Street, Parramatta.

 

 

World Military Spending

Press Release

“The positive trend towards less violence…has been broken.”

 

This is one of the gloomy conclusions of the annual Yearbook, published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on April 5. The SIPRI report shows that global spending on all things military rose by 1% in 2015 – making this the first year of growth since 2011.

 

The figures paint a disturbing picture of the level of expenditure on armaments, world-wide.  More alarmingly, military spending in Asia and Oceania (our near region) rose by 5.4% over 2014 levels and was heavily influenced by China. Heightening tensions between China and various countries in the region contributed to substantial increases in expenditure by Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam, and triggered the start of a reversal of the long-term downward trend in Japan’s military spending. However, all this expenditure must be seen against the backdrop of the United States’ ‘pivot’ to the Asia-Pacific, the US remaining by far the biggest spender in the world.

 

In Australia the recent Defence White Paper (DWP) would indicate that Australia is contributing to this regional trend of escalating militarism. According to the DWP, Australia’s military budget will rise by $29.9 billion over the next decade, reaching $42.2 billion (2% of Gross Domestic Product) by 2021. This is despite the fact that the DWP states that there is no more than a remote prospect of a military attack on Australia by another country in the foreseeable future.

The SIPRI report also identifies Australia as the sixth largest importer of major weapons, globally.

 

The DWP argues that Australia has a responsibility to commit to defensive operations well beyond local borders – in the near region and in the world at large.

 

Opponents of military spending are marking the publication of the SIPRI Yearbook by taking action on the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). Kathy Kelly, spokesperson for the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), has said

“Globally, just over 1% of military spending could meet the amount requested by the UN for all its humanitarian programs, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  This global supertanker of military spending needs to be turned around, starting now.”

 

“Our Australian Defence Forces are increasingly embedded with the US forces, and the lack of an independent foreign and defence policy is clear to the world.  Some say the US Alliance keeps us safe, but this view doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.  Rather, the opposite is the case.  When we follow the US into its conflicts around the world, we create more enemies at every stage.  If we weren’t the US’s deputy sheriff, Australians would be more secure. An independent stance from Australia in the growing US-China conflict, for example, would do more to protect Australians, for less financial cost,”.

 

 

 

Ann Wright speaks to Australians

At a meeting at the Teacher’s Federation on Tuesday 16 Feb Ann Wright spoke to around 40 people from many parts of Sydney.  Her main message was do not trust your government to act in your best interests.  Question, resist and protest.

see you tube:

 

Ann Wright bio plus

Ann Wright

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named Ann Wright, see Ann Wright (disambiguation).
Ann Wright
NLN Ann Wright.jpg

Wright in Staten Island, New York in November 2011
Birth name Mary Ann Wright
Born 1947 (age 68–69)
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Battles/wars Sierra Leone Civil War

Mary Ann Wright (born 1947) is a retired United States Army coloneland retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand people during the civil war in Sierra Leone.[1] She is most noted for having been one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.[2][3] Wright was also a passenger on the Challenger 1, which along with the Mavi Marmara, was part of theGaza flotilla.

 

 

Early life[edit]

Wright grew up in BentonvilleArkansas, in what she referred to as “just a normal childhood”. She attended the University of Arkansas where she was recruited in the U.S. Army.[3] Wright earned a master’s and law degrees, while she worked for theU.S. Army.[3] Her law degree comes from the University of Arkansas and her master’s degree in national security affairs is from the U.S. Naval War College.[4]

U.S. Army[edit]

Wright earned a master’s degree in National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island and later participated in reconstruction efforts after U.S. military actions in Grenada and Somalia.

Wright was stationed at Fort BraggNorth Carolina, from 1982 to 1984. One of her duties during that time was to draw up contingency plans for invading several countries, one of which was Iraq. She would later express dismay over what she considered the dismissal of such carefully laid plans in the actual invasion of Iraq in 2003.[citation needed]

Wright went on to serve 13 years in active duty in the U.S. Army, and 16 years in the Army Reserves, rising to the rank of colonel. She was placed in the Retired Ready Reserve, meaning the President could call her back to active duty in a time of need.

U.S. State Department[edit]

In 1987, Wright went to work for the Foreign Service within the U.S. State Department.[5] Over the course of her State Department career, Wright served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassies in Afghanistan (which she helped open following the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, an assignment she volunteered for), Sierra Leone (an embassy which she helped close and then reopen again), Micronesia and Mongolia, and also served at U.S. embassies in Uzbekistan (which she helped open), Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, and Nicaragua.[6]

Wright’s eventual resignation was not the first time she had spoken out against policy. In an interview, Wright said that she spoke out against United Nations bombing tactics waged in Somalia, in the effort to kill rebel leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Wright also says that she didn’t agree with policy on multiple occasions, but continued her State Department work despite her own disagreements with the policy.[7]

Resignation[edit]

Wright submitted her resignation letter to then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on March 19, 2003, the day before the onset of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Her letter was published on the internet the following day.

In her resignation letter, Wright listed four reasons she could no longer work for the U.S. government under the Bushadministration:

Wright was the third of three State Department officials to retire from service in protest in the month prior to the invasion of Iraq, the other two being Brady Kiesling and John H. Brown. Wright says that she did not know the other two, and had not read their resignation letters at the time she submitted her own.

Peace activism[edit]

Protesting with Code Pink in 2006.

Since her retirement from the State Department, Wright has become a prominent figure in the movement opposed to the occupation of Iraq. She has attended many conferences and given numerous lectures on her political views and on her experiences before and after her resignation.

Wright has worked with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on several occasions, most notably by helping organize the Camp Casey demonstration outside George W. Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch in August 2005,[8] and by accompanying the southern leg of the Bring Them Home Now bus tour. She also volunteered at Camp Casey 3, the Veterans For Peace shelter for Hurricane Katrina victims in Covington, Louisiana, during the bus tour. She marched with Sheehan in 2006 with the Women Say No to War campaign, which was meant to deliver a petition with over 60,000 signatures of citizens against the war.[9]

Wright has willingly been arrested while taking part in anti-war demonstrations, the first such arrest occurring in front of theWhite House on September 26, 2005. She has said in interviews that she does not remove the arrest bracelets attached to her wrists upon the processing of her arrest, but rather collects them.

On October 19, 2005, Wright interrupted a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, shouting at Secretary of StateCondoleezza Rice, “Stop the war! Stop the killing!” Wright was uneventfully escorted out of the hearing room.

Wright served as one of five judges at the January 2006 sessions of the International Commission of Inquiry On Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration. She was also one of three recipients of the first annual Truthout Freedom and Democracy Awards.

Wright was one of three witnesses called to testify at an Article 32 hearing on behalf of U.S. Army Lt. Ehren Watada, who on June 22, 2006 refused to deploy to Iraq with his unit, asserting that the war violates both the United States Constitution andinternational law.

On April 1, 2007 Wright was cited, along with 38 other anti-nuclear activists, for trespassing at the Nevada Test Site during aNevada Desert Experience event protesting against the continued development of nuclear weapons by the United States.[10]That evening Wright appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to discuss the Geneva Conventions and how they applied to Iran in its taking of 15 British hostages. The discussion grew heated, and Wright stated that she had served 29 years in the military. During the course of the exchange, O’Reilly questioned Wright’s patriotism and when she pointed out she had served 29 years in the military and O’Reilly had never served at all her microphone was cut off.

On April 17, 2007, Wright attended a hearing of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. She was ejected from the hearing room after speaking out of turn in response to comments made by Republican Congressmember Dana Rohrabacher.[11] On September 11, 2007, Wright was arrested, and later convicted, for disrupting a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing at which general David Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker were testifying.[12]

Wright took part in a September 15, 2007 protest march and die-in on the steps of the United States Capitol Building, organized by the ANSWER Coalition and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). She was arrested for stepping over the wall after several IVAW and Veterans for Peace members were arrested.[13]

On October 3, 2007, Wright and Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin were denied entry to Canada because their names appear on an FBI database, called the National Crime Information Center, due to arrests related to their anti-war activism.[14][15] Wright and Benjamin were told that if they wish to enter Canada in the future, they will have to apply for resident’s permits.[15] In regards to the incident, a Canadian MP, Olivia Chow, was “alarmed to learn that Canadian border police are enforcinig rules that have been determined by the FBI and other U.S.-based agencies.”[16]

In December 2008, Wright has recently expressed her dissatisfaction with the current U.S foreign policy toward Palestine.[17]

In 2009 Wright began work as a leading member of the steering committee for the Gaza Freedom March.[18]

In August 2014 she was among the signatories of an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel by the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity in which they urged the Chancellor to be suspicious of U.S. intelligence regarding the alleged invasion of Russia in Eastern Ukraine.[19]

Gaza flotilla[edit]