Thursday, March 26, 2015

ANZUS minus NZ, again?

by Alison Broinowski

Tony Abbott’s visit to New Zealand on 26 February was carefully coordinated with John Key’s announcement of a Kiwi military deployment to Iraq. At 143 ‘combat-trainers’ it wasn’t as large as the 3500 troops the Australian Prime Minister had proposed on 21 February. But for a while it seemed the New Zealanders had upstaged us by having the agreement of the Baghdad government to their presence on the ground.

Now we discover that the NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully has gone to Iraq, just as Julie Bishop did in October 2014, to try to secure a Status of Forces Agreement which would immunise his country’s troops against prosecution for any of their actions which may break the law of Iraq. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

research paper: Britain, Australia, the United States and Agent Orange in the Indochina Wars: Re-defining Chemical-Biological Warfare

A new research paper from Willy Bach, a post-graduate research student at the School of History at the University of Queensland, re-examines "the sanitised history of Agent Orange and other defoliants used in the Indochina War between 1961 and 1974. It begins by reviewing the incomplete and misleading narratives regarding the use of these chemicals, which have occupied and confused the public imagination and the official record."

Friday, March 20, 2015

STATEMENT on the death of Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH

20 March 2015

Death of Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH

On this 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry/Australians for War Powers Reform expresses its deep sorrow at the news of the passing of Australia’s 22nd Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser AC CH.

Mr Fraser was a foundation member of our movement, having attended in early 2012 a meeting in Melbourne which convened to consider how we might best campaign for the establishment of an independent inquiry into the decision-making process that led to Australia’s participation in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the relocation of the so-called “war powers” from the Executive to the Parliament.

Monday, March 16, 2015

AWPR media briefings released ahead of 12th anniversary of invasion of Iraq

Released in the lead up to the 12th anniversary of the war on Iraq in May 2015, the new media briefing kit from Australians for War Powers Reform offers seven papers on issues of importance when considering the question of reforming Australia’s war powers.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Describing ISIL as a “Death Cult” is a ploy to dumb us down.

by Andrew Farran

Prime Minister Abbott’s constant reference to ISIL as a “Death Cult” is a gross over-simplification of a complex conflict in the Arab world. It is intended to exploit the gullibility of a great many Australians who take little interest in and have little understanding of that part of the world as they do not see it as affecting their personal interests, let alone that of the nation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Creepy Mission

by Alison Broinowski

So to no-one’s surprise, the Prime Minister says we are now in the ‘next phase’ of the fight against whatever it’s called. ISIS, ISIL, IS, Daesh, you name it, has recently become a ‘death cult which is reaching out to us here in this country’. So the Martin Place siege proves the death cult is here among us, and hence that we are defending Australia.

In fact, it is an opportunistic minority Sunni assault on the Shia government of Iraq, a country divided in three by ancient religious differences and modern power politics.

Media release: No Clear Mission - No SOFA?

MEDIA  RELEASE
WEDNESDAY  4 MARCH,  2015

No clear mission - no SOFA?

Following Prime Minister Abbott’s announcement of additional troops for Iraq, Australians for War Powers Reform (AWPR) have expressed serious concern at the lack of clearly articulated goals that will be met by the deployments.   While the PM has denied any ‘mission creep’, this is exactly what is happening, with our role in Iraq having evolved significantly since August-September last year.
AWPR President and former Defence Department head Paul Barratt said,
"Step by step Australia is being drawn into a vicious sectarian war of enormous complexity, with no apparent strategy, no likelihood of influencing the strategy (if any) of our major ally, and no indication of what success might look like.”