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.
Listen to Bruce Watsons Song - The War Without A Name
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.
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
Another push for independence is reflected in IPAN’s petition calling for “US Marines out of Darwin” see more here>>
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?>>
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: 65.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide 2016>>
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>>
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>>
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.
- Arms Trade: http://www.globalissues.org/issue/73/arms-trade-a-major-cause-of-suffering
Military/ defence policy operations
Foreign Bases in Australia
Security (fair economic development)
Peace-making and post-conflict reconstruction (Civil society)
Reduction of terrorism
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