Report on the UN International Day of Peace Sept 21

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On the occasion of United Nations
International Day of Peace, September 21, peace groups say:


Both major political parties are once again standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the US, in support of what amounts to a new military intervention in Iraq.

The process began with the dropping of humanitarian aid supplies to the Yezidi. It has now moved on to the delivery of weapons and munitions to
Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Meanwhile, Defence
Minister David Johnston has indicated that Australian armed forces (Super Hornet warplanes and C130s) are to be made available to support
whatever action the US decides upon.  Now Australia is joining in with bombing of
Islamic State forces.

All of this has happened with scarcely any discussion — in or outside Parliament. No questioning or dissent has been heard in this drive towards intervention and, possibly, eventual war. However, a recent poll shows that 78% of the population opposes having Australian ‘boots on the ground’ in Iraq.

Even the proposal that there be a parliamentary debate about the intervention, so that the government could make its case to the Australian people, has been opposed by both major parties. There is no possibility for the parliament to take any part in the decision to send Australian forces overseas.  And it has certainly not explained what Australia hopes to achieve.

Horror in Iraq

The horror in Iraq today is a direct consequence of the war that
began with the invasion of 2003. John Howard’s Government joined that invasion on the basis of falsehoods and against the opinion of the majority of the population. It appears that the present government is eagerly waiting for a request to follow the US once again.

The West’s propping up of the repressive regime that followed laid the basis for the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) fundamentalists. IS has become the latest reason for intervention. Ironically, it is using weapons captured from the Iraqi army and originally supplied by the US.

The lesson that should have been learnt from Iraq is that
military meddling in Middle East affairs does not work.

The Australian Government has not exhausted all possible non-violent means of countering the savage IS campaigns. Where is the pressure from the US and Australia to stop the supply of weapons to these forces?

We are outraged by the brutality of IS. However the Abbott Government should respect international law and human rights instead of contributing to unilateral military intervention.

The US created the chaos and violence in Iraq. Why should we put our sons and daughters in harms way again when we are likely to make an appalling situation even worse?

The Abbott Government will spend $500 million to send troops to kill people in the Middle East. It has sent just $8 million to save people facing the Ebola virus in Africa. Government priorities are distorted.

It is time for us all to stand up for peace with justice.

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Authorised by Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (NSW), Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition, Marrickville Peace Group, People for Nuclear Disarmament (WA), Stop the War Coalition


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