Avert War -Close Pine Gap

Avert war – close Pine Gap

Pine Gap, the highly secret United States war fighting and surveillance base, is reported to be spying on North Korea as tensions escalate on the Korean peninsula.

The base, near Alice Springs, provides provide key intelligence to both Washington and US Forces in the Pacific.

“We cannot accept the use of Pine Gap by the United States which would mean Australia would be deeply involved in any US military action against or even invasion of North Korea,” said Denis Doherty from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition.

“And this could happen without Australian Government agreement or even knowledge.”

US warships and fighter jets have been diverted from a planned visit to Australia to Korean waters after the DPRK launched a ballistic missile test.

“With growing talk of US military action following its strikes against Syria last week, the US has notified Australia that it is prepared to shoot down any North Korean missile launches,” he said.

“Yet North Korea is called ‘provocative’!

“North Korea does not have the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead to the US or Australia. Yet Defence Industry Minister Pyne felt able to claim that North Korea has the ‘capability to hurt Australia, the United States, South Korea, and Japan’,” Mr Doherty said..

“The Republic of Korea and the United States, with help from others in region such as Japan, conduct massive annual military exercises off the coast of North Korea every year. Yet North Korea is demonised as unstable and dangerous.

“US President Trump is on a dangerous course to provoke war in our region and yet our Government and Opposition remain united in all out support for the US regardless of the risks to Australians and to the world.

“The way forward is to take Pine Gap out of the US arsenal to help prevent massive destruction and human suffering in our region and to ensure that our government and our people are not complicit in aggression and even war. Close it now!” Mr Doherty said

For more information

Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

 

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’

.

 

For more information.

Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

 

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

 

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

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.

 

AUSMIN 2014 – A ROAD MAP TO HELL

AUSMIN 2014 – A ROAD MAP TO HELL

Australian Anti-Bases Coalition & IPAN-NSW Statement

                                                                 August 18, 2014

On 12 August 2014, the Australian Government hosted United States Secretary of State John Kerry and United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in Sydney for the 2014 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultation (AUSMIN). AUSMIN covers military matters, foreign affairs and trade in the region.

Ignoring advice from prominent Australians that we are too ‘close to the US’, the Abbott Government engaged in more abject groveling. Former Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating and former Foreign Minister Bob Carr have all said that Australia’s interests are not served by servility to the US super power but require greater independence.

Paul Keating was reported as saying in the Keith Murdoch Oration 2012 that “Australia was over deferential to the US” (Diary of a Foreign Minister by Bob Carr p 217).

The combined weight of the Abbott Government and US officials has squashed any tendency towards a more independent Australia. Instead the path of ‘all the way with the USA’ was reinforced by AUSMIN 2014.

Australia’s interests are best served by good relations and co-operation with all countries, especially Indonesia and China.  Tension between the US and China is not beneficial for Australia and the region.  The most advantageous policy for Australia is to steer an independent course in our region.  AUSMIN charts a path that will lead inevitably towards heightened tensions and even the possibility of war between the US and China and hence is a road map to hell.

The teaming up of the US, Japan and Australia in a tight tri-power arrangement is a move to tighten containment of China.  Japan has been being congratulated for ‘re-interpreting’ its pacifist constitution so its forces can become more integrated with the US military.

Who will pay the millions, possibly billions of dollars over time for the 2,500 Marines rotating through Darwin has not been clarified, but it is now clear that there will be increased US Navy and US Air Force visits.  B52’s – infamous for their bombing of Vietnam – will be allowed into Australia for the first time since they were banned from our skies because they carried nuclear weapons.

The Australian Anti-Bases Coalition and IPAN-NSW have campaigned for information on the rules governing the stationing of Marines in Darwin.  But AUSMIN provided no answers to important questions such as “who will pay for the marines?” and “can the US marines undertake military action from Australian bases without Australian government agreement”. Vague general references are made to interoperability, strategic collaboration and the annual huge military exercise Talisman Sabre but the meaning is clear — Australia’s military and military budget are to be skewed to serve the interests of US foreign policy.

Hamish McDonald (Saturday Paper 16/8/14) points out:

Another question left unspoken is about the freedom of Washington to deploy its forces directly out of Australia, and the level of consultation required with Canberra. The distinction between training and basing is blurring.

Missile warfare is given prominence in the AUSMIN statement, this reveals that the ground stations at Pine Gap, and Geraldton and the three Jindalee radar stations in Australia would be the eyes of the US-Australian-Japanese anti-ballistic missile network.

The possibility of anti-missile firings from Australian and Japanese airwarfare destroyers being controlled by the US central command is lauded by AUSMIN.  This proposal would mean Australia would lose control of Australian weapons and it leaves open the prospect that Australian missiles could slam into Chinese or Russian missiles without any input from Australia – an appalling, dangerous and depressing possibility.

This approach also risks Australia being drawn into the North versus South Korean conflict and Japanese regional belligerence. Once again, Australia’s interests would be sacrificed by involvement in conflicts that have no relevance for this country but are part of US regional strategy.

Since 2012 AUSMIN statements have included an Indian Ocean component as well as the Pacific one. This is true this year as the Indian Ocean’s importance rises with the rise of India.  The AUSMIN statement says:

Australia and the United States reaffirmed their commitment to comprehensive engagement in the rapidly developing Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

 

The focus on the Indian Ocean brings West Australia and its naval and air bases into the orbit of the US interest.  Using these bases the US will be able to throw its weight around in the Indian Ocean as it does around the Pacific, now often described as the ‘American lake’.

AUSMIN also welcomes the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). This deal has many in Australian community extremely worked up about its restrictions on Australian pharmaceutical, intellectual property and cultural standards and norms. The AUSMIN communique says the two countries will deepen “regional integration, open new trade and investment opportunities”. The question is for whom?  And the answer is clear – for large US. Japanese and Australian corporations. They may reap some benefits but the small countries of the Pacific will have their precious resources ripped off with little or no return to their people.

The same fulsome support for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is evident in the communique.

The AUSMIN statement shows no appreciation of the real needs of the peoples of the region while it pontificates on the kind of stability that is desirable in the region and also commits to maintaining the status quo in favour of US big business and military domination.

On the terrorism of the Islamic State in Iraq, there is no reference to where this bloody organization is getting its weapons and money nor any suggesting of how the flow of these items can be prevented. And there is certainly no apology from the US or Australia for creating the mess that is Iraq today.

Disaster relief is confirmed in the AUSMIN statement as a major justification for increased US troop deployments in the Asia-Pacific region as well as for increased Australian military spending.

US and Australian officials stress that a key focus of the US military build-up in Australia is to have the necessary resources ready to provide humanitarian aid for natural disasters. However, it is not clear what roles aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines and the fighters, tankers and bombers slated at AUSMIN to be deployed to Australia would contribute to disaster relief operations.

However, military humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations provide a popular and convenient justification for maintaining such a massive presence in the Asia-Pacific, helping to showcase the military’s ‘helpfulness’, to legitimise its presence and soften its image.

Because disaster relief is not the military’s primary role or area of expertise, it is not cost-effective, efficient, or transparent. Disaster militarism not only fails to address the underlying causes for the growing rate of natural disasters, such as climate change, it is a significant contributor to them. The US military is the worst polluter on the planet.

On every level AUSMIN is a road map to hell and finds the Australian Government still not learning the lessons of the importance of independence, positive and mutually beneficial co-existence and peace. The Australian Anti-Bases Coalition and IPAN-NSW renew their commitment to bringing about a peaceful and independent Australia.

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