Anti-Bases Statement on US Bombing of Syria

Statement

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Condemnation of the US bombing of Syria

The Australian Anti-Bases Campaign unreservedly condemns the bombing of a Syrian airbase (April 6 2017) by the US based on the excuse of the use of chemical weapons.  We also condemns the weak response by both the Coalition Government and the right wing opposition Labor Party in which we see a complete dereliction of duty to pursue to peaceful means.  Instead both the Australian Government and the ALP opposition are in lock step agreement with the disastrous US bombing.

 

“After years of supporting the insurgency against the Assad Government in Syria, the US is trying to puff itself up as being on the moral high ground.  The US has supplied the insurgents with weapons and some of these have made their way to the hands of the IS.  The US’s allies namely Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Gulf States have financed the IS while the US has turned a blind eye to the damage and civilian deaths caused.”  Said Denis Doherty of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC).

 

“The arms used by the IS are all US made and the Toyotas used by this force is likewise a direct result of the US support and financing of the jihadists.  Meanwhile the legitimate Government of Syria with all its faults is battling a massive insurgency which is financed with US cooperation by countries with deep pockets such as Saudi Arabia.

 

“The claims of the US of concern ring especially hollow, as the US just killed over 230 civilians including children in Mosul.  The western world’s response was a sympathetic murmur of ‘collateral damage’ such indulgence is not afforded to Assad.  The US and Australian Governments are puffing themselves up as being concerned with civilian casualties when they are just as bad.  A person killed by a weapon which is either ‘nice’ US one or a chemical is still dead.

 

The US inspected Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons and then destroyed them.  As in Iraq the US is now declaring Assad must have hidden some but how can we trust them after the disaster it caused in Iraq?

 

A determined effort by the US and Australia to assist a cease fire being enacted would see their efforts being more positive and advantageous to peace.  Instead the US and Australia always rely on military force which is totally ineffective and spreads more misery and death.  Shame on the Trump administration and the weak irresponsible Australian Government and Opposition.

 

 

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

 

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

 

……

Peace groups welcome Australia’s rejection of US request for more military commitment in Middle East

Media Release

1/14/2016

syria bombing pcard canada final1The Australian Anti-Bases Campaign welcomes the Turnbull Government’s rejection of the US request for more troops to fight Islamic State (IS), maintaining that Australia is already sending enough troops and military equipment.

“However, we condemn the Australian Government for maintaining its forces in a pointless conflict and supporting destabilizing the Middle East and Syria in particular,” AABCC spokesman Denis Doherty said. “These policies have contributed to increasing violence and the spawning of IS and other fundamentalists terrorist groups.

“We condemn former Defence Minister Andrews for his intemperate comments about the need to send Australian ground troops.

 

“Australian bombing will create more deaths and misery, more refugees and more terrorists,” Mr Doherty said.

 

“Bombing Syria is not in our country’s interests. It will cost millions of dollars and will risk our country’s security. We ask, where is the support for a negotiated settlement in Syria?

 

“We reiterate that the new Canadian Government has decided to stop its bombing of Syria and to use the money saved to help refugees.  We ask simply, why can’t you do the same?”

NO TO THE BOMBING OF SYRIA AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PM

Alarmed by the rush to war by the Prime Minister and the Opposition we have put together an open letter to the PM

please use this letter to either copy or to inspire you to make a better letter to the PM but do it quickly.

 

August 31 2015

Dear Prime Minister,

Do not allow Australian forces to bomb Syria

 

We urge you not to extend the bombing by Australian forces to Syria on the grounds of a common humanity which abhors indiscriminate bombing of civilians and armed militias.  There is no moral reason for such bombing and all it will achieve is the intensification of the misery of the Syrian people.  Your recent simple sentence “they (ISIS) do not respect borders so why should we?” smacks of primary school boy morality and not the mature response of a national leader and statesman.

 

Beyond the issue of morality, there are real hard nosed reasons why you should not bomb Syria.

  1. It would be an extension of armed military excursions into a sovereign state which are illegal under international conventions.  We could find ourselves prosecuted at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.  We are signatories to that court but the US is not.
  2. We will put ourselves at odds with our near neighbours Indonesia and Malaysia which are predominantly Muslim countries while we appear to be anti-Muslim or Islamaphobic.  They may retaliate by trade sanctions or non compliance on regional issues with Australia and so on.  We are being belligerent against our own interests.
  3. It will undermine our international reputation for fairness and humanity which at some time has been as high as Norway’s reputation for peace building and humanity.
  4. Your government found half a billion dollars for the bombing of Iraq at a time when the Australian people were told to pull their belts in because there was no money left for necessary programs – “always money for war, never for bread:. Any deployment to Syria would also be massively costly in terms of treasure and putting Australian lives in harm’s way.  We paid the last of the WW1 widows in 2010. We were still paying for that war nearly 100 years after it finished and now we will be paying the Middle East casualties for many decades to come.
  5. ISIS has had some tacit and in come cases active support from states including the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey. Now we find ourselves mixed up in their sectarian and conflicting national interests. There will be no benefit to Australia, only pain.
  6. US interventions in Iraq starting many decades ago that saw the rise of Saddam Hussein to the present have failed. We see a country in chaos and ruins. This history should lead an astute leader to be cautious about accepting a request from them to participate in the war on Syria.  We call on you to be more a statesman and less subservient to another country’s interests.
  7. As noted by Malcolm Fraser, former Liberal Prime Minister and Minister for the Army during the Vietnam War, the big empires we have aligned ourselves with – Britain and the United States — have lied to us to get us into their wars. This is another example. We call on you to be an independent Prime Minister looking after the interests of the Australian people, not those of US corporations.

 

Finally we wish to point out what you could do about the influence of IS and Syria.

  1. In relation to IS, Islamic communities in Australia have been calling out for funding for counter extremism education programs yet this money has not arrived.  Instead major funding has gone to invade the privacy of Australian citizens and on the police and secret services.  Community education and the promotion of tolerance would be more effective than bombing IS in Syria..
  2. Act as an honest broker in the Middle East.  Close the borders to all foreign fighters regardless of side and stop all arms shipments to Syria.  Work with the US, Russia and China to resolve the issues in Syria diplomatically rather than making them worse by joining the US bombardment.  Look for countries in the UN who will sponsor a ceasefire.  Call for peace.  Call for an end to flow of Syrian refugees too many of whom are dying as they flee towards Europe or Australia.

We call on you to be statesman not a warmonger who will bring more terrorism down on our shoulders.  Say no to the bombing of Syria.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denis Doherty

For the Anti-Bases Campaign

 

 

cc: The Hon Warren Truss MP, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, The Hon Joe Hockey MP, The Hon. Kevin Andrews MP, The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, The Hon. Bill Shorten,
The Hon. Tanya Plibersek

 

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.”