No US or Australian Base on Manus Island PNG!

Australia choses a negative path in the Pacific

No US/Australia Base on Manus Island

The behaviour of Australia at the APEC Forum in Port Moresby this week (17-18 Nov 2018) resulted in greater tension and dangers of conflict along with the bellicose US.  The announcement of an Australia/US/PNG military base on Manus lsland is a disgrace.  It is said that the facility will be a PNG base at which Australia and the US will just happen to have elements of their navies. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne stated that the “details have not been worked out yet.”

“We have heard this statement before,” said Denis Doherty of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign. “In the case of Darwin it meant that Australia paid the full $2.2 billion to build a base for US marines.  It means the US will not take any orders from Australia as to what it will or will not engage in. It means US service personnel who break local laws will be tried in the US courts.

“When the details are worked out we know that Australia will pay the bulk of the costs for the PNG base.

“We know the people of Manus, already sorely tried by Australia’s scandalous refugee policy, will have the bear the brunt of Australian and US servicemen’s criminality.  This is not a deal to help PNG but a selfish act by players who are used to being colonizers and exploiters of the Pacific,” Mr Doherty said.

According to a letter in the Sydney Morning Herald, “PNG is experiencing an unprecedented health crisis – inadequate human resources, the revival of polio after two decades of absence, a high incidence of tuberculosis and HIV, and medicines scarce in most rural areas.  Life expectancy is almost certainly falling.  Remarkable then, that as the budgetary provision for overseas aid is at its lowest on record, we – and the United States – can think of no better contribution to PNG than to build a bigger and better naval base on Manus Island.”

In the region Australia has relied on the US to lead it and the US has led us up the garden path yet again. This means that Australia will pay in dollars and then probably in blood as Vietnam and Korea.  Australia had the choice to promote peace and cooperation with between China and the US but instead chose to go with regional tension and competition.

Economic development is unequal within and between countries in the world. The stated aim of China’s belt and road program is to even out development. It is tragic that Australia has turned its back on this for selfish ideological reasons.

Overall, the Australia has set itself on a path of regional tension and competition.  These decisions represent nothing but a thrust towards war with a huge potential costs for all Australians.

 

‘Welcome’ Steve Ciobo to the new Australian Minister for the Arms Trade

Steve Ciobo is the new Defence Industry Minister taking over from Christopher Pyne.  He is now the Australian Minister who is responsible for our arms trade with other countries.  He is responsible for the transfer of Australian arms and equipment to the biggest trouble spot in the World, the Middle East.  The Australian Government maintains that they will not trade arms with human rights abuser or war fighting countries yet they are trading arms and materiel with Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are human rights abusers and the Australian Government turns a blind eye to their misdeeds.  It is up the citizens of Australia to reject this and send a reminder to our new minister!

Please feel free to use these letters as a guide to writing to Steve – give him the serve he deserves!

Letter 1 Israel

Minister for the Defence Industry
The Hon. Steve Ciobo
PO Box 4922
Gold Coast MC, Queensland 9726

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

 

Dear Minister,

Arms Trade with Israel.

The previous Minister for Defence Industry claimed that the Israeli Government and its Israeli Defence Force (IDF) are not human rights abusers or aggressors in the Middle East.

Many in the international community reject this position and condemn Israel for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in its suppression of the Palestinian people.

Israel has killed 120 unarmed protesters in the last few months, it has wounded a further 300 with sniper fire, and injured over 1,500 unarmed protesters with gas, bullets and other weaponry.

We wish to draw your attention to a report in the Jerusalem Post 4/9/18 under the banner headline “IDF confirms that Israel provided light weapons and money to Syrian rebels.”

Part of the article reads: The IDF has confirmed that it provided weapons to Islamist rebels in Syria’s Golan Heights, the Jerusalem Post reported. However, the article was removed without explanation hours after being published.

The report claimed that the Israeli military acknowledged for the first time that it had provided money, weapons and ammunition to militants operating near the border with Israel.

All this is well known to your department yet somehow Australia keeps supplying Israel with weapons and equipment to ruthlessly kill and maim Palestinians.

We believe strongly that it is time stop the supply of Australian weapons and materiel to Israel.

Can you confirm that Australia will not supply weapons to Israel?

Yours sincerely

 

Letter 2 Saudi Arabia

Minister for the Defence Industry
The Hon. Steve Ciobo
PO Box 4922
Gold Coast MC, Queensland 9726

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dear Minister,

Arms Trade with Saudi Arabia

The previous Minister for Defence Industry claimed that the Saudi Arabian Government and its military are not human rights abusers or aggressors in the war against Yemen.

The international community has clearly rejected this position and condemns Saudi Arabia for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in its war against Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has imposed an embargo on Yemen causing widespread malnutrition, starvation and other problems. It recently killed a busload of people, mainly schoolchildren and women.

Saudi Arabia has been running proxy wars in the Middle East by supplying jihadist groups with finance and weapons to wage war in Syria and Afghanistan. A number of these groups have been involved in fighting Australian military personnel.

These and other facts must be known by your department yet somehow Australia keeps supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons and equipment to ruthlessly kill and maim Yemeni men, women and children.

We believe strongly that it is time stop the supply of Australian weapons and materiel to Saudi Arabia.

Can you confirm that Australia will not supply weapons to Saudi Arabia?

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Letter to SMH re Pine Gap

Dear Editor,
After being arrested around 5 times at the gates of Pine Gap since 1987 it comes as no surprise that intelligence gifted to Australia is first filtered through US eyes only. The revelations in today’s SMH 26/4/18 The Secret Room closed off to Australia show that ‘in many countries (Australia especially) around the world, the public remains in the dark regarding surveillance powers and capabilities”. We, the peace movement and the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign always claimed that the base was a wholly US affair and only crumbs of information were sometimes shared with Australia. Nevertheless as the SMH article shows Foreign Minister and Prime Minister from the 80’s up to the present have maintained the fiction that they knew all about the facility and it was in fact a ‘Joint’ facility. Stephen Smith (Foreign Minister in the Rudd Government) even went so far as to say ‘there are no US bases in Australia’.
The conclusion for all fair minded Australian is ‘Close Pine Gap’ or to become complicit in war crimes committed by this base over which we have no control. Already human rights activists in Pakistan are agitating for a court case to sue Australia for its cooperation with the Obama drone program.
We can only repeat what has been said many times over the last 60 years “US Bases out now!”
Yours sincerely

Denis Doherty
Coordinator Australian Anti-Bases Campaign

Government lied to Australia about Pine Gap WA Governor implicated in coverup

Revelations that the US war fighting base at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, had a secret room that excluded Australians exposes the lies that Australian governments generally and current WA Governor Kim Beazley have been telling the Australian people.
In March, 1985, the then defence minister Kim Beazley insisted the government was fully aware of everything that takes place at Pine Gap.
“The Australian Anti-Bases Campaign (AABC) has maintained from its inception 30 years ago that the base was a wholly US affair with little involvement of Australian authorities,” Denis Doherty, National Coordinator of the Anti-Bases Campaign, said in Sydney today.
“Over decades we have been called idiots and liars for calling for the closure of Pine Gap but now we have been vindicated.
“Now it is clear that Pine Gap was secretly established and continues to undermine the sovereignty and independence of Australia; it continues to ignore the rights of the indigenous people of this country; and it involves Australia in contributing to the arms race and the increasing probability of a nuclear war;
“Pine Gap plays a role in the US nuclear and non-nuclear military strategies and its missile defence and killer drone programs,” Mr Doherty said.
Dr. Hannah Middleton, AABCC Star Wars spokesperson, asked: “What can the Australian Government say now?
“Clearly Kim Beazley and others lied to create a fiction that Pine Gap and other US bases are “joint facilities”. Well that fiction has been blown out of the water!”
“These revelations are the impetus to renew our push to close all US bases in Australia and to have an independent non-aligned foreign policy.
“The oft repeated phrases ‘close Pine Gap’ and ‘US Bases out now!’ are now more immediate than ever. Time to act Australia,” Mr Doherty concluded.
For more information
Contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663 or Dr. Hannah Middleton 0418 068 098
Visit our website www.anti-bases.org

So we were right all along – SMH 26/4/18 by Nick Miller

From Sydney Morning Herald today (Thursday)
For decades the Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition and other peace groups have argued that Pine Gap is a US facility and that Australia does not know everything that goes on there, cannot control its activities, and does not have full access to its intelligence gathering.
We were told we were alarmist, misinformed, dishonest, foolish … but now it seems we were right all along and the Governor of WA Beazley is a liar.
Hannah

An old US diplomatic cable uncovered by Privacy International has confirmed the existence of a secret room at America’s Pine Gap spy base that Australians were not allowed to enter — except for one time when Bill Hayden had a look.
It calls into question a claim made at the time in March, 1985, by then defence minister Kim Beazley, who said the government was fully aware of everything that takes place at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
The cable was released to PI by the US State Department after a lawsuit seeking access to details of the scope of intelligence gathering across the globe.
PI said it was a “case study” of how intelligence sharing arrangements are “typically confidential and not subject to parliamentary scrutiny” and could be used to circumvent a country’s laws.
Beazley had appeared on Channel 9’s Sunday program responding to reports that US bases in Australia were intercepting telephone and other electronic information in friendly countries and within Australia.
“We say emphatically that the facilities do not spy on Australia,” Beazley said. Pine Gap’s role was to help verify arms control agreements and provide adequate early warning of missile launches, he said.
On April 1, 1985, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Kim Beazley’s claim that the government knew everything that happened at the US Pine Gap spy base near Alice Springs.
But the Australian National University’s defence expert Des Ball, who died in 2016 and was one of the country’s leading public researchers into what really went on at Pine Gap, said at the time that Beazley’s claim was “silly”.
The cable, written on April 1, 1985 from the US embassy in Canberra to the Secretary of State in Washington, gives the details of Beazley’s TV appearance and Ball’s comments.
It reports, without comment, that Beazley said the Australian government “is fully aware of everything that takes place at the joint facilities and that [government] approval is required for any specific activity”.
It also carries a handwritten addition by an unknown person, presumably at the US State Department, commenting on Ball’s claims.
A mysterious addendum to a US diplomatic cable from April 1, 1985, confirms the existence of a secret room at the Pine Gap spy base near Alice Springs — a room Australians are not permitted to enter.
Ball was reported saying “there were at least two areas of the facility where Australian nationals are not permitted entry — the US ‘national communication and cypher room’ and the ‘key room where they [Americans] do the final analysis of all incoming intelligence’ “.
Next to the description of the first room the handwritten addendum says “CORRECT, but Hayden, when Shadow PM, did enter area once”.
Next to the description of the second room the handwriting says “NO SUCH AREA”.
Ball had written in 1984 that Pine Gap was administered by the CIA and “originally established as part of Project Rhyolite”, which involved a satellite “sucking up like a vacuum cleaner a wide spectrum of Soviet and Chinese military communications” including telephone calls as well as radar and other signals associated with missile launches.
He said later he learned about the Rhyolite program in 1977 but “I was uncertain about whether the Rhyolite program was Pine Gap’s only function until Hayden confirmed it for me in April 1981, after he returned from a tour of the facility”.
It seems likely this is the visit referred to in the cable.
The cable came at the height of the “ban the bomb” campaign in Australia, a day after more than 300,000 people marched across Australia in Palm Sunday anti-nuclear rallies, and the People for Nuclear Disarmament had claimed their membership had grown by 100,000 on the previous year.
Then foreign minister Bill Hayden was on the back foot, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on April 1, saying the marchers’ concern about the arms race was entirely justified but Australia could not “pull up the drawbridge and tell the world to go away… the objective must be no less than the elimination of nuclear weapons and of war itself”.
On April 1, 1985, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Kim Beazley’s claim the day before that the government knew everything that happened at the US Pine Gap spy base near Alice Springs. It also carried a report on a huge ‘ban the bomb’ march.
In 1984 Bob Hawke had partly lifted the lid on Pine Gap, in a statement to Parliament saying it was not a military base and did not store or produce any weapons.
“Among the functions performed are the provision of early warning by receiving from space satellites information about missile launches, and the provision of information about the occurrence of nuclear explosions,” he said.
In 2013, it was revealed that Pine Gap played a key role in the US’ controversial drone strikes against al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan, tracking the precise geolocation of radio signals including hand-held radios and mobile phones across the eastern hemisphere from the Middle East across Asia to China, North Korea and Russia.
A defence white paper released in 2016 said Pine Gap delivered “information on intelligence priorities such as terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and military and weapons developments, while contributing to the verification of arms control and disarmament agreements”.
In the report titled Secret Global Surveillance Networks PI said the “new scope and scale of intelligence gathering has given rise to a new scope and scale of the sharing of that intelligence between governments, particularly in response to threats to national security.
“Despite these dramatic changes, in many countries around the world, the public remains in the dark regarding state surveillance powers and capabilities.”
Though intelligence sharing was important and effective in preventing acts of terrorism and other threats to national security “it does interfere with fundamental human rights including the right to privacy,” the report said.
“Non-transparent, unfettered and unaccountable intelligence sharing… poses substantive risks to human rights and the democratic rule of law.”

GCOMS 2018 April 21 Event at Railway Square Sydney 11 am

d1 Master of Ceremonies
Welcome.
Welcome everyone who is here for the awards for the best weapons exporters for 2018.
Some deluded people call us merchants of death but we see ourselves more positively. After all, we facilitated the rubblelisation of the Middle East and now the construction or reconstruction industry. We provided the impetus for the manufacturing of prostheses to replace lost arms and legs. Isn’t all this positive??
We have raided budgets needed for ephemeral things like health and the environment in order to pay for weapons so more people can be killed and maimed. We are good friends to the funeral industry and cemetery expansionism.
d2 Master of ceremonies
These and many other achievements of the arms industry are being celebrated today and it is my great pleasure to introduce to you Madame ???, who comes to us with a background in weapons manufacture, who will present the awards.
d3 Madame ??
Thankyou.
It is my pleasure today to first award ribbons to the three people whose countries have shown their unparalleled efforts in becoming the leading merchants of death on our planet.
Number 1 – and coming in first for the 95th year , way ahead of all other contenders – is the United States of America represented by President Trump.
Always good to have you along as you produce more than all the rest put together! Good onya Donald!
Number 2 is the United Kingdom Please come forward Prime Minister Theresa May.
Number 3 is Russia and I am delighted to present this ribbon to President Vladimir Putin.
d4 Madame ??
The star of our event today is Christopher Pyne! From Australia! the Australian Minister for Defence Industry.
Australia wins our inaugural award for the most improved merchant of death and destruction, making a stunning improvement from 20th in the world to 10th.
Just imagine people laying bleeding in the Middle East or some poor country in Africa, saying to themselves how great they feel to have been struck by Australian bullets and bombs, weapons from the home of koalas and kangaroos.
Australia doesn’t care about the finer things — it knows where to make a killing. Yes they provide $3.8 billion to subsidise more weapons manufacture. What dedication!
And here’s the man who made it all possible. This
man among men, this splendid specimen with the compassion for humanity of the average blowfly, another John Howard man of steel and no sense. It is CHRISTOPHER PYNE OF AUSTRALIA who wins the MIMOD medal.
d5 Madame ??
It gives me great pleasure to award the 2018 Medal for the Most Improved Merchant of Death to Christopher Pyne!
d6 Christopher Pyne
First of all I’d like to thank my generous sponsors – Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BA Systems, Northropp Grumann (anyone I’ve forgotten?) Oh yes Thales and Boeing – without whom my party would be short of the funds we need to keep us in government.
Next I’d like to thank the Australian public for silently acquiescing in the current, global build-up of armaments. Well done, Australia, your apathy is surpassed by none! Another world first! Also thanks for remaining inert in the face of the increasing likelihood of another major conflict flaring up.
And, of course, another major conflict is what we all hope to see. For what could be better for our economy than the huge surge in demand for weaponry that war always brings. All of us in the top strata of society can profit directly from escalating wars – and right now we see a great business opportunity, an opportunity for Australia to make a killing in the field of … er … killing.
We are certain that we can make the world a better place by producing and selling more and more items that have the sole purpose of destruction. The destruction of infrastructure is a sure stimulus for economic growth – look at what we did in Iraq. The destruction of life and creation of waves of refugees a sure stimulus for the medical and migration industries. Whichever way you look at it, we’ll be better off. So I say, we’ll encourage perpetual war – just as long as it keeps us rich, which I anticipate will be forever.
As you know, we are pumping millions of your, the Australian taxpayer’s, dollars into promoting the production and sale of ‘high-end’ military equipment. Equipment that will help regimes such as the one in Saudi Arabia keep themselves safe from all those who disagree with it, such the Yemeni people, who we all know must be terrorists, so should be killed off – preferably with Australian-made bullets and bombs.
So come on down to Pyney’s WarHouse. Get the Sales Catalog. And next year, who knows, you too could receive this most prestigious of awards. I am very happy to accept the award for Most Improved Merchant of Death and will wear it with pride.
I’m reminded of the words of Dr Martin Luther King, who described the United States as the Greatest Purveyor of Violence the world has ever seen – and I would say, look out USA, Australia is right behind you, following in your footsteps – and we’ll take that title from you if possibly can!
d7 Master of Ceremonies
That is the end of this ceremony today to present these prestigious awards. Thankyou to the winners and to all of you who came today.

Good letter in Today’s Sydney Morning Herald 26/3/2018

Playing the right cards
Kim Beazley says Trump agreeing to meet Kim Jong-un is sacrificing a “crucial US playing card”, for which Trump gets no return (“Not even Bolton knows what Trump will do next”, March 24-25). What he should have done, asserts Beazley, would have been to negotiate a clear process to. denuclearise the peninsula first. As it stands, says Beazley, the summit meeting, set for May, was for the North a “near costless concession”.
On the contrary, what has continually frustrated any meaningful dialogue in the past has been Washington’s refusal to sit down with Pyongyang without preconditions. It has insisted that North Korea must disarm first or at least begin such a process. But that would have left the North with no bargaining chips. What Kim Jong-un plainly wants is a peace treaty and a guarantee from Washington that it will no longer countenance invasion or regime change. If the guarantees are strong enough, North Korea may agree to dismantle its nuclear arsenal.
South Korea lives in hope of such an outcome. It and other concerned countries also hope that despite gutting the State Department OF Korean expertise, Trump may have sufficiently knowledgeable advisors to steer an intelligent course in May. Both the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and new National Security Advisor, John Bolton, are scathing about the value of direct talks and may derail Trump’s resolution to meet Kim. We can only hope that even if the the summit doesn’t achieve a breakthrough, it won’t lead to war.
Rlcltard Broinowski Paddington (former ambassador to the Republic of Korea)

Russian Nuclear Weapons the responsibility of the US and Australia

“We strongly condemn the Russian Government for developing new nuclear weapons. This is totally unacceptable at a time when most nations of the world are signing the United Nations treaty on the abolition of nuclear weapons,” Dr Hannah Middleton from the Anti-Bases Campaign said in Sydney today.

“However, we also hold the US responsible for its actions in relation to nuclear weapons.

“US allies like Australia have followed meekly behind the US while it has aggressively updated and miniaturised its own nuclear arsenal, threatening every country on our planet,” she continued.

The US threatens Russia with anti-missiles systems close to the borders of Russia while insisting the system is not aimed at them.  The US ignores Russian complaints about the US building anti-missile systems in countries such as Poland and Romania.

“President Obama, despite winning a Nobel peace prize for his anti-nuclear work, went on o dedicate $1 trillion dollars to update US nuclear weapons systems,” Denis Doherty from the AABCC said.

“President Trump has continued this same tradition of talking peace while ratcheting up the dogs of nuclear war.

“Presidents Obama, Trump and Putin have taken us back to the era a nuclear arms race and of mutually assured destruction.

“The Australian Government concentrates on what North Korea is doing while ignoring the huge nuclear stockpiles owned by the US and Russian Governments. But the arsenals of the US and Russia make North Korea’s puny by contrast,” Mr Doherty said.

“No country is entitled to nuclear weapons as the destruction they would cause is of such a devastating nature that the whole humanity could be wiped out,” Dr Middleton added..

“It is an international criminal act to possess and threaten to use nuclear weapons.

“It is long past the time when both Australian political parties agree to sign the UN treaty banning all nuclear weapons from every country,” she continued.

“We call on the Australian Government to condemn both the US and Russia for plunging us back into the terror of nuclear holocaust through war or accident,” she concluded.

 

For more information:

Contact Hannah Middleton 0418 668 098 or Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

Visit our website: www.anti-bases.org

More Marines for Darwin? No! Boot ‘em out!

Media Release

Monday, February 26, 2018

Anti-Bases and IPAN –NSW peace groups have condemned Prime Minister Turnbull’s agreement in Washington to increase the number of US Marines in Darwin to 2,500 at a greater rate than originally planned.

 

“This is a backward step which is against Australia’s interests,” Denis Doherty of the Anti-Bases Campaign said.

 

“Stationing US marines and elements of the USAF on our shores increases tension in the region and indicates that Australia does not want to pursue an independent and peaceful policy,” he continued.

 

“Why do our governments always obey the US?” he asked.

 

“When the President of Ecuador was asked if he would agree to more US bases in his country, he said he would agree if Ecuador could have bases in Miami.

 

“Contrast that to Malcolm Turnbull who supports more marines in Darwin even though it threatens our major trading partner China,” Mr Doherty said.

 

“Housing these US troops costs Australia $2.3 billion already. In addition the US military use facilities at Robertson Barracks, Mt Bundy tank firing range, the Delamere bombing range and Bradfield,” Nick Deane from the NSW Branch of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network said.

 

“These areas are fast becoming chemically toxic waste lands and the US forces pay nothing for use of them and will not pay for their remediation,” Mr Deane continued.

 

“Around the world US Marines bring major problems for local communities. Darwin has been largely free of incidents but how long before rapes, murders and other anti-social behaviour appear?” Denis Doherty askes.

 

“With tensions on the Korean peninsula escalating the time for calm diplomacy is now.  This is not a time for a version of gunboat diplomacy,” Mr Doherty concluded.

 

For more information: contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663 or Nick Deane 0420 526 929

Visit our websites: www.anti-bases.org, www.nsw-ipan.org