Hiroshima Day 2017 media Releases

 

media 1

Australia rejects beginning of the end of the nuclear age

“We condemn the Australian Government in the strongest possible terms for refusing to join the United Nations negotiations leading to the recent adoption of the nuclear ban treaty and for rejecting the newly-adopted treaty,” said Denis Doherty from the Sydney Hiroshima Day Committee.

“Despite the resistance of Australia, the U.S and some other states, the nuclear ban treaty marks the beginning of the end of the nuclear age.

“The 122 nations that adopted the nuclear ban treaty acted on behalf of every citizen of the world who values the future of humanity and our planet.

“It provides an alternative vision for the human future, one in which nuclear weapons are seen for the threat they pose to all humanity, one in which nuclear possessors will be stigmatised for the threats they pose to all life,” Mr Doherty said.

Australia’s opposition reflects the United States belief that the treaty is “incompatible with the policy of nuclear deterrence, which has been essential to keeping the peace in Europe and North Asia for over 70 years.” Others would take issue with their conclusion, arguing that, in addition to overlooking the Korean War and other smaller wars, peace in Europe and North Asia has been kept not because of nuclear deterrence but in spite of it.

The occasions on which nuclear deterrence has come close to failure, including during the Cuban missile crisis, are well known. The absolute belief of Australia in nuclear deterrence seems more theological than practical.

If Australia was truly interested in promoting international peace, stability and security, the government would be seeking all available avenues to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world.

We will be commemorating the anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 and demanding that the government sign the new treaty on August 6

Add details of event

Ban the Bomb

Hiroshima Never Again

March and Rally Sunday Aug 6, 1 pm at Hyde Park Nth (Archibald Fountain

Media Release 2

August 3, 2017

Australia Must Sign Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons

 

We are gathering on August 6, the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the US in 1945, to demand that the Australian Government sign the new United Nations  “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” a treaty that categorically prohibits the possession, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons.

The treaty represents humanity finally standing up for sanity and its own survival 72 years into the nuclear age.

Considered an historic step toward creating a safer and more secure world, the treaty expresses in its preamble deep concern “about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons.” It further recognises “the consequent need to completely eliminate such weapons, which remains the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances.”

The treaty is a clear indication that the majority of the world’s countries no longer accept nuclear weapons and do not consider them legitimate. It demonstrates that the indiscriminate mass killing of civilians is unacceptable and that it is not possible to use nuclear weapons consistent with the laws of war.

While Australia chose to boycott the negotiations, their repeated objections demonstrate that this treaty has the potential to significantly impact behaviour regarding nuclear weapons issues. Previous weapon prohibition treaties, including the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, have demonstrated that changing international norms leads to concrete changes in policies and behaviors, even in states not party to the treaty.

 

Hiroshima Day March and Rally

Sunday Aug 6, 1 pm Hyde Park Nth (Archibald Fountain)

For more information contact:

Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

Media Release 3

4/8/17

Government not learning lessons of Hiroshima

The threat of war, even nuclear war, is all around us.  Currently in our region there are rising tensions between the US and North Korea, the US and China, the US and Russia and most recently China and India. All these protagonists are nuclear armed and should there be any exchange of nuclear weapons between them, the results for the world would be catastrophic.

“Our Foreign Minister is upset that North Korea is allegedly able to fire a nuclear weapon at Australia.  We do not support any threatened or actual nuclear attack on Australia but we ask the Australian Government why have they neglected the one technique that would ensure that Australia does not come under a nuclear attack?” said Denis Doherty from the Hiroshima Day Committee.

“We refer to their scandalous boycotting of the UN negotiations on the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty in July 2017.

“No one should have nuclear weapons. Using nuclear weapons would be disastrous for the world and the humanitarian consequences of such an exchange are too horrible contemplate.

“In this time of threat, we need the citizens of world to come out onto the streets and demand an end to nuclear war, nuclear weapons and the infrastructure needed to prosecute a nuclear war.

“We need the Australian Government to sign up to the United Nations treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons for ever.

“We are a nuclear target because of our military alliance with the US. Its time we freed ourselves from this burdensome alliance and its appalling human and financial costs and established an independent nuclear-free policy,” Mr Doherty concluded.

March for peace

Hiroshima never again!

Event details

Hiroshima March and Rally

Sunday August 6, 1 pm at Hyde Park North

 

For more details contact:  Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

 

Northrop Grumman not welcome in Western Sydney

Northrop Grumman not welcome at Badgerys Creek

NSW Premier Ms Berejiklian described Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement that US defence corporation Northrop Grumman will be the first tenant in a new $50 million centre of excellence at Badgerys Creek airport as “the start of something really great.” Peace groups have responded by saying that western Sydney does not deserve such a corrupt and criminal corporation in its midst.

“Northrop Grumman has a record of supplying defective equipment, over charging, environmental pollution and more,” said Dr Hannah Middleton from the Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition in Sydney today.

The first major scandals in Northrop Grumman’s history came in the early 1970s, when the company was embroiled in controversies over illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign as well as some $30 million in bribes paid to foreign governments to win orders for fighter jets.

In 1989, Northrop was charged with falsifying test results on cruise missiles for the Air Force and Harrier jets for the Marine Corps. In 1990, the company agreed to plead guilty and pay a fine of $17 million.

In 1992 the company had to pay $4.2 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the company padded its invoices on MX missile guidance system work.

In 1999, the company was sued for knowingly giving the Navy defective aircraft. Ten years later, Northrop Grumman agreed to pay $325 million to settle the suit.

In 2000 Northrop Grumman paid $1.4 million to settle a whistleblower case alleging that the company overcharged the Air Force for B-2 bomber instruction and repair manuals.

In 2003, the company was sued for overcharging the U.S. government for space projects. It later paid $111.2 million to settle out of court.

In 2003, Northrop Grumman agreed to pay $80 million to settle two cases, one involving the delivery of allegedly defective drones.

In 2004, Northrop settled for $1.8 million a case involving cruise missiles. The following year it paid $62 million to settle remaining claims relating to overcharging on the B-2 bomber program.

In June 2010 Northrop paid $12.5 million to settle charges that it neglected to test electronic parts it supplied for navigation systems in military aircraft and submarines.

In 2015 Northrop Grumman was cited for eight health and safety violations at its Lake Charles, Louisiana, worksite after it was discovered that workers were exposed while removing paint and repainting to methylene chloride and hexavalent chromium, hazardous chemicals with strict regulations regarding job safety.

“This is just a small sample of the armaments corporation’s shady dealings,” Dr Middleton said. “The company is not a good corporate citizen and is not welcome in our city.”

 

Contact Dr Middleton 0418 668 098

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.

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

 

……

Stop the bombing of Syria by Australian Forces

media release

Press Release

August 21, 2015

 

Peace activists across the nation are united in their anger at the announcement that Australia will now join the US in bombing targets in Syria. The Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is a network of peace groups with affiliates in every State and Territory. It has consistently opposed the use of military power to solve international problems and believes that Australia has lost its independence through too close an alliance with the USA.

 

Nick Deane, spokesman for IPAN says

 

“After more than a decade, it should be clear that military intervention in the Middle East has been an utter failure. It has achieved no worthwhile outcome in Iraq, instead reducing that once prosperous nation to destitution. Many respected observers attribute the growth of fundamentalist militarism to the large scale Western interventions in the Middle East over the past few decades. Intervention hasn’t worked and it isn’t working. It is time for us to admit this and seek new strategies. Why persist in repeating the patterns that we can all see to be failing?

 

Significantly, once again, our nation’s military commitment has been ramped up without any debate in our Parliament. One back-bencher (Dan Tehan) floats the idea, and the next week the government follows his suggestion.

 

Increasing our military activity in this way, which will undoubtedly mean the deaths of more civilians as a result of our government’s actions, is not in Australia’s best interests. Besides, this is blatant ‘mission creep’, whatever its proponents might say.

 

It is time for the Defence Establishment to wake up to the realization that increased military activity does nothing more than add fuel to the fire that is ISIS.

 

If we genuinely want to live in a peaceful and independent Australia, we must end our proclivity for engaging in military action whenever it suits the interests of the USA.”

 

Pine Gap — time for Australians to decide

For immediate release

Friday, November 1, 2013

 

Pressure is building for a public enquiry into the Pine Gap military base.

“Pine Gap was set up in secret and sold to the Australian people by deception as a space research station,” said Denis Doherty, national co-ordinator of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC).

“In reality Pine Gap has been used in the past and is used today by the United States to spy on both its enemies and its allies. It collects political, military, diplomatic. commercial and economic intelligence for the US.

The base is used to spy on Australian citizens and the Government of our country.

“Edward Snowden has exposed Pine Gap’s role in intercepting the private messages of individuals.

“Now we learn that Australia is complicit in US intelligence gathering about Indonesia and other countries of our region,” Mr Doherty went on.

“But these are just the countries where Australia should be working to develop good neighbourly and mutually beneficial relations.

“The United States also uses the Pine Gap base to select targets for drone strikes in Pakistan and other countries, making Australia complicit in war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights abuses.

“Our coalition has been arguing for a public enquiry into the role of Pine Gap for over 25 years.

“Australian governments must stop hiding behind claims they cannot discuss ‘security matters’ and come clean about what is actually going on at Pine Gap,” he said.

“The people of Australia have never been advised of the purpose or cost of Pine Gap.

“Now is the time for a public enquiry into the role of the Pine Gap, the United States surveillance and war fighting base in the centre of our country,” Mr Doherty concluded.

For more information:

contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

Our websites: www.anti-bases.org, www.ipan-nsw.org

 

Peace groups condemn O’Farrell Govt on International Day of Peace

“On United Nations Day for Peace we condemn the O’Farrell Government’s efforts to encourage the arms industry in NSW. This will cost jobs, undermine democracy and open the way for corruption,” Denis Doherty said in Sydney this morning on behalf of the Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (ABCC) and the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

 

The NSW Government recently released its Position Paper on Defence, based on what it calls “expert advice” from Ian Irving who is Chief Executive of Northrup Grumman Australia.

 

“This is a clear case of putting the wolf in charge of the hen house,” Mr Doherty said.

 

“In 2011 Northrup Grumman made arms sales worth $21.4 billion,” he continued. “But its products, while profitable, were not high standard.

 

“In 2012 Northrup Grumman produced 8 Coast Guard ships for the US service at a cost of $100 million. They were unusable, their hulls cracked and the engines did not work properly.

 

“To attract defence industries to NSW will cost millions of taxpayer dollars. But NSW wont get jobs in return,” Denis Doherty said.

 

“Military spending is one of the least efficient ways the government can create job.

 

“Research from the US shows that military spending creates about 12,000 jobs per $1 billion in spending, compared with 17,000 for the green economy, 20,000 for health care and 29,000 for education.

 

“Creating more job opportunities in this country therefore means moving money out of the military and into socially beneficial domestic spending.”

 

“Does the NSW Govrnment really not know the reputation of the arms trade,” Denis Doherty asked.

 

“The corrupt and secretive way the arms industry operates undermines accountable democracy in both buying and selling countries. The arms trade accounts for over 40 per cent of corruption in all world trade.”

 

“Companies involved in NSW like Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin (2011 arms sales of :$36.3 billion) and BAE (2011 arms sales $29.2 billion) and Raytheon (2011 arms sales $22.5 billion) have faced accusations and convictions for bribery and corruption in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

 

“A McKinsey report found Australia’s military spending was among the least efficient in the world,” Mr Doherty said. “In a list of 33 major countries, we tied with the United States for worst at getting value for our Defence dollar.

 

“As just one example, In the mid-1990s, Defence decided it wanted a new anti-submarine torpedo. Over 12 years later, $391 million has been spent and there was still no torpedo.

 

The paper waxes lyrical about the value of TAFE saying “NSW also has a strong TAFE system that is aligned to the needs of the ADF”. In a bitter irony, the O’Farrell Government is busy dismantling much of TAFE.

 

“We need a peace economy in NSW, not one driven by arms manufacturers and corporate cowboys from shady companies peddling weapons of death,” Denis Doherty said.

 

“A peace economy would see both State and Federal Governments investing in socially useful industries and cutting edge climate saving equipment.”

 

For more information, contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

Visit our websites: www.anti-bases.org, www.ipan-nsw.org

Cluster Bomb Storage Legislation 20th August 2012

Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010

(MAPW’s original submission on the cluster munitions prohibitions Bill :

http://www.mapw.org.au/files/downloads/2011-01-21_MAPW%20submission%20CCA-CMP.pdf )

By Mary Wareham

The Cluster Munition Coalition in Australia (CMCA) is deeply concerned that Australia is considering adopting weak legislation that does not sufficiently meet its commitment to the ban on cluster bombs.Australiahas signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but must enact national implementation legislation before it can ratify.

The two main issues are the clauses on interoperability (paragraph 72.41) that allows Australia to assist non state parties in using cluster bombs, and the clause on stockpiling (paragraph 72.42) that allows non state parties to stockpile and transit cluster bombs on Australian territory.

On Monday, 20 August, the Australian Senate is scheduled to debate the Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010. The CMCA has expressed its concerns over the draft legislation with Australian representatives and its members made submissions in January 2011 to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade requesting that key sections of the proposed implementing legislation be strengthened and clarified. In its report issued in March 2011, the Committee ignored calls from more than two dozen submitters to fix the Bill and instead recommended no changes, referring the legislation back to the Senate without amendment. No action has been taken on the legislation for the past 17 months, which has seen strong campaigning for the widely criticized legislation to be improved.

Australian officials argue that the Bill “faithfully implements the Convention” by ensuring that “all conduct that is prohibited by the Convention is the subject of a criminal offence under Australian law while also allowing conduct permitted by the Convention.” However the Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010 allows Australian forces to assist in activities prohibited by the treaty during military operations with states not party to the Convention, including assisting in the use of cluster munitions. Section 72.42 of the draft law also allows states not party to transfer cluster munitions through or store them on Australian territory, activities that, in the CMC’s view, are banned under the convention’s prohibition on assistance.

If the bill is passed without amendment,Australiawill have some of the world’s weakest national implementing legislation for the Convention on Cluster Munitions, setting a poor example for other states to follow. The CMCA looks forward toAustraliabeing Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but it is first, however, crucial that the flaws in its implementing legislation be addressed.

For more information onAustralia, see:

  • Submissions to the Bill on Cluster Munitions
  • Current text of Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010
  • Web story by Aotera New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition. CMCA thanks Mary Wareham for her support and work on this issue.
  • Press Release by CMC International on the Australian legislation

ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA ACTION

We have prepared a number of great images (attached in this message) with great and different slogans that you can use and post on your Facebookto share with your network. It is fantastic if you happen top have some Australian diplomats, politicians or journalists as Facebookfriends, so share with them! You can add a link to the CMC Australia web story: http://bit.ly/Q6JxBo or other relevant stories online so people can get more information about the problem.

We love to be yourFacebookfriend as well so you can share your postings directly with us. OurFacebookname is “Cluster Munitions”.

PHONE AND EMAIL ACTION

We think the following could be the target for a phone/email action. Please call the Senators between Monday Canberratime. (For World Clock Time: http://bit.ly/WorldClockCallTimes.)

  1. The Australian Embassy in your region: http://www.dfat.gov.au/missions/
  2. Senator Nicola Roxon / Phone. +61 2 6277 7300 / Email: attorney@ag.gov.au
  3. Senator the Hon Bob Carr / Phone: +61 2 6277 7500 / Fax: +61 2 6273 4112  / Email: bob.carr@aph.gov.au / Twitter: @bobjcarr
  4. Senator Ann McEwen / Phone: +61 2 6277 3434 / Fax: +61 2 6277 3425 / Email: senator.mcewen@aph.gov.au
  5. Senator Jacinta Collins / Phone: +61 2 6277 3115  / Email: jacinta.collins@aph.gov.au /

Key message on the phone or in the email:

Tell who you are and that you are calling to request that the Australian Government amend and fix the Australian bill on cluster munitions. The bill is simply not good enough. The two main issues are the clauses on interoperability (paragraph 72.41) that allows Australia to assist non state parties in using cluster bombs, and the clause on stockpiling (paragraph 72.42) that allows non state parties to stockpile and transit cluster bombs on Australian territory. Fix there Bill!

Please let us know who you have called or emailed, and if possible share this with us onFacebookand/or on Twitter:  OurFacebookname is “Cluster Munitions” / Twitter: @CMCAustralia

The Cluster Munitions website has more info if you need details http://bit.ly/Q6JxBo

 

CALL FOR AN IRAQ WAR INQUIRY

LAUNCH THURSDAY 16 AUGUST 3012

Seventeen leading Australians will launch a call for an independent inquiry into the decisions that led to Australia invading Iraq, and a review of the war powers of the government, to draw out what lessons can be learned for the future.

Speakers at the Parliament House (Canberra) launch include former PM Malcolm Fraser, former ADF head General Peter Gration (retired); and former Defence Secretary Paul Barrett. Parliamentarians Melissa Parke (ALP), Andrew Wilkie (Independent), and Senator Scott Ludlam (Greens) will host the launch.

The arguments for such an inquiry will also be launched in a new publication,

Why did we go to war in Iraq: A call for an Australian inquiry

In this booklet’s foreword, Mr Fraser notes that the inquiry would not be held to rake over old coals but rather “to develop a better understanding of how warfare decisions are reached and to strengthen the governmental structures against precipitous or ill-considered actions in future.”

The Statement calling for the inquiry is supported by 17 leading academics in politics and law, retired senior diplomats, and experts in the field of war and conflict. It begins:

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a humanitarian, legal, political and strategic disaster. It has left a trail of death and destruction and millions of refugees. It has undermined the role of international law and strengthened terrorism. ”

The statement lists unanswered questions about Australia’s decision to go to war including:

•What was the Government’s decision-making process and timing that led to our participation in the invasion?

How did the Government reconcile conflicting intelligence assessments?

How did the Government attempt to satisfy itself of the legality of the invasion?

Which of the many NGO predictions of widespread and severe civilian suffering, including by children, did the Government consider? If none, why not?

The statement ends: “Both the UK and the Netherlands have initiated official inquiries into their own involvement in the war; Australia has not. Nearly a decade after the war commenced, it is time we did so.”

AT: 10 am, Parliament House, Senate Room 2S1

Iraq War Inquiry Group contacts:

Mr Paul Barratt 0411 276 996; Mr Fraser’s office: 03 9654 1822 Dr Sue Wareham 0407 924 152 (Thursday) or Dr Margaret Beavis 0431 475 465

Website with statement and booklet