War and Peace

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Without a doubt 99.9% of the world do not want wars, yet we continue to have them. Does democracy exist – what can we do to stop them? This must be one of the most emotive and often written about subjects. What are they all about: resources, territory, religion, a way of life? Who are the victims and why should they suffer?

Follow the links for information or find your own to help you write a compelling portrayal of your view of “The Curse of Man” (and woman) or from another angle.

War

War and Peace: where the political parties stand.

See how the political parties rate on these issues, Does our vote even count when our nation goes to war (Iraq) and public opinion is opposed to it or we are manipulated by lies>> and more lies>>

Australia’s War History since ‘settlement’ or ‘invasion’ in 1788
Australia has managed to involve itself in a remarkable number of conflicts in its short white history>>

Death and destruction
Gallipoli: 8709 Australians dead; Turkish dead 86,692>>

WW1: Over 17 million deaths>>

Afghanistan 2001 – current: Over 91,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants dead>>

Weapons of mass destruction

Atomic bomb dropped by the US on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 killed at least 129,000 people – the first and only use of nuclear warfare to date>>

Napalm – sticks to the body, causing severe burns
Used extensively by the US in World War 2 (in Japan), in the Korean War and in the Vietnam War>>

Agent orange: Widely sprayed by the US to defoliate land in Vietnam 1961 – 72, causing loss of productive land and tumours, skin irritation, genetic defects and damage to the nervous system of local people and those who fought there>>

Global Arms Trade
More facts and figures can be found here>>

Yet today the global arms trade is big business, with multinationals such as Lockheed Martin (US), Boeing (UK) and BAE Systems (UK) fuelling the economy of those countries, contributing to a dependence on on-going demand. More info here about our biggest arms dealers>>

Amnesty International details “10 Killer facts: the global weapons trade” here>>

Peace

An independent Australian policy approach to peace & defence

The US – Australian Alliance forms the basis of Australia’s defence and foreign policies, reflecting an assumption that support for the US as a major power will make Australia safer and stronger.
More info>>
However, some see it as a “dangerous alliance”
A book of that title authored by former Liberal Party Prime Minster of Australia, Malcolm Fraser, gave rise to an expert panel discussion on the question: “Is the US a dangerous ally for Australia?>>   and more info here>>

US Bases in Australia

In support of the alliance, Australia hosts a range of US controlled facilities.

Questions arise out of this alliance
Do we need foreign bases in Australia? How does it effect our national security? Do we want to support wars that are essentially on behalf of the U.S. “military-industrial-congressional complex” read more at the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition>>

Movements to Ban the Bases – more info here>>

To see them listed, click on the map.

Response of traditional indigenous people
The Arrernte people, invoking their ancient responsibility as guardians of their land, invite you to share this responsibility with them>>

Movements for an independent and peaceful approach to Australian Defence

ipan

Another push for independence is reflected in IPAN’s petition calling for “US Marines out of Darwin” see more here>>

Disarmament

The Arms Trade is a major component of the world economy, relying on the global maintenance and fuelling of conflict and war, yet this trade remains little regulated. Amnesty International Australia is campaigning for an “Arms Trade Treaty” to regulate the flow of arms>>

Role of the ADF in a peaceful, independent policy
Peacekeeping and reconstruction
ADF Officers (3 army and 1 RAAF), were among the world’s first military peacekeepers deployed on UNCI on 14 Sep 1947 to support the peace process between the Dutch and Indonesian nationalists. More here>>  Since then Australia has been involved in nearly 100 separate peacekeeping missions>>

But in maintaining peace we are choosing to support one side or another, regardless of whether that group has been put there by US allies, or whether it has the support of the local people – to whose advantage?

Defence from invasion
How many of the wars Australia has been involved in since the first white settlement/ invasion, have been in defence of Australia? How many wars would we not have been involved in, if our policy had been based on independence and peace?

Role of democracy
In a peaceful, independent context, would we go to war without parliamentary support? More here>>
Treaties which are fair to all
Treaties with other countries
How do treaties such as the one between Australia and E. Timor on sharing the income from the Greater Sunrise mining project contribute to peaceful relations?>>

Fair Trade

Can Australia contribute to improvements in working conditions in poor countries? Cheap goods can be easily obtained, but are they fairly obtained? Is there any connection between “Fair Trade”>> and peaceful relations? Or between exploitative trade and the maintenance of exploitative power groups?

CONSEQUENCES of WAR

refugees

Refugees: 65.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide 2016>>

Political Destabilisation The flood of refugees from war-torn countries is causing political destabilization and growth in support for the far right. more here>> and here>>

Human Rights abuses: With the violence of war, how can we fight against the secret human rights abuses?

Breaking Down of Minority Cultures: Typified by the experience of the Australian Indigenous people as written and sung by Archie Roach in “Took the Children Away”

Poverty: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed” more here>>

Destruction of homes and infrastructure
It is not only the diversion of resources into war, but the destruction caused by war, as in East Timor, where the departing Indonesian forces and their supporters trashed the buildings and infrastructure, leaving nothing. More>>

Then there are the landmines which render arable land unusable and render people limbless and unable to work. For these reasons it is claimed that landmines have halved agricultural production in Cambodia and Afghanistan. More>>

Terrorism

Definitions of terrorism are varied, depending on perspective, for “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. More>>

To what extent is terrorism used as a mode of fighting back against a stronger, better-resourced force, taking over the resources of the weaker group, such as with the Irish against the British forces, the blacks against the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Palestinians against the Jews in Israel and seemingly reactions to the US forces in the middle East with the destruction of the twin towers in New York 9/11 (11th. September) 2001 and the emergence of ISIS.

To what extent is terrorism a tool of subjugating the populace, as with Stalin’s “Great Purge” in Russia>>

and ISIS in territory it holds in the Middle Est today?

Destruction of the Twin Towers in New York 2001

Wars without end
Australia’s involvement in Vietnam in 1965 in support of the US, was intended as a quick war, but it lasted until 1975 before it ended in defeat.

In 2001 Australian troops went to Afghanistan in support of the US, expecting it to be a quick war, but they are still there. More>>

Anti-war movements
One of the consequences of war is the emergence of diverse movements for peace (eg. IPAN), Nuclear Disarmament (eg. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, etc.), an end to torture Amnesty International Australia>>  and more.

Principle of non-violence and reduction of conflict

 

Human rights

 

Natural justice

 

Disarmament  

 

Military/ defence policy operations

 

Foreign Bases in Australia

Security (fair economic development)

 

Peace-making and post-conflict reconstruction (Civil society)

 

Reduction of terrorism

 

Peace

Organisations

In education

Role of governments in promoting peace (and war)

The role of the media in promoting peace (and war)

 

 

Citizenship means standing up for what you believe is right

 

Combatting Islamophobia