War Decisions

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 12 March, 2014 | 1:44 am

By Barbara Hart

Sending Australian forces into conflict zones must be the most momentous of all decisions our government can take. It is suggested in this post that Parliament should be the body that takes the decision to send Australian men and women into armed conflict situations – Parliament should make any ‘war decisions’[1]. The basis for this position is that such an important decision should be supported by the majority of the elected representatives of the Australian people. Authority for making the decision should be vested in the Parliament, giving the power to all the Federally elected …

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Eight ways you’re wrong about the Iranian nuclear program

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 22 February, 2014 | 6:13 pm

The January-February issue of the prestigious US journal The National Interest carries an article by

Yousaf Butt, a nuclear physicist who serves as a scientific consultant for the Federation of American Scientists, entitled Eight Ways You’re Wrong About Iran’s Nuclear Program.

The eight “memes” rebutted by Butt are:

  • “If the world powers fail to reach a deal with Tehran the alternative is bombing.”
  • “Sanctions forced Iran to the table and extracted concessions from Iran.”
  • 3  “Iran has dragged out negotiations unnecessarily – the West sees the nuclear issue as an urgent matter and desperately wants to resolve it …

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    The continuing silence on 4 Squadron SASR operations in East Africa

    By: Richard Tanter | Posted in: Blog | 5 October, 2013 | 6:11 pm

    Why is no-one asking questions about Australian special forces soldiers operating secretly and apparently illegally in Africa?

    A year and a half ago, in March 2012, Fairfax Media reported that troopers from Australia’s Special Air Service Regiment were conducting clandestine operations in a number of countries in Africa, including Nigeria, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.

    Authorised by Defence Minister Stephen Smith in late 2010, the soldiers have, among other things, been assessing border controls, exploring landing sites for possible military interventions and possible escape routes for the evacuation of Australian nationals and military assessments of local politics and security. They are doing …

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    US allies and its wars of choice

    By: Ramesh Thakur | Posted in: Blog | 22 September, 2013 | 6:10 pm

    CANBERRA – The by-now defused crisis of threatened U.S.-led military strikes on Syria raised once again the difficult question of how Washington’s allies should deal with U.S. wars of choice rather than necessity.

    Should the United States fall under armed attack, Australia would respond spontaneously, wholeheartedly and unreservedly to fight shoulder to shoulder with kith and kin, as it should. Japan, constitutionally barred from providing combat help overseas, could still offer fulsome diplomatic support.

    In an unequal alliance relationship, the same does not hold in reverse: The guarantor may not always find it expedient to come to the military defense …

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    Open letter to the Prime Minister-elect

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 14 September, 2013 | 6:07 pm


    Below is the text of an open letter to the Prime Minister-elect, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, signed by me and a number of distinguished Australians who support CIWI’s cause, was published in today’s edition of The Age. The original may be viewed online at An open letter on war to the new PM.


    Among the many big-picture items missing from Australia’s recent election campaign was foreign policy. While Australians were voting, the United States President was seeking US congressional and international approval to launch a punitive military action against the government of Syria, which would almost …

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    Right way to send a message

    By: Ramesh Thakur | Posted in: Blog | 11 September, 2013 | 6:05 pm

    CANBERRA – For a U.S. president who first gained prominence for his gift with words, Barack Obama can be remarkably loose with his language no matter how grave the context and potential consequences. His policy conundrum on Syria stems from a casual drawing of a red line at a press conference last year if chemical weapons were used. Now, to avoid red faces — also known as loss of presidential and national credibility — the red line ultimatum requires a demonstration of U.S. military power robust enough to avoid being mocked but not so sharp as to tip the scales …

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    On Syria, Tony Abbott has been right to show caution

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 11 September, 2013 | 6:00 pm

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    Is America now becoming an international outlaw?

    By: Ramesh Thakur | Posted in: Blog | 4 September, 2013 | 5:58 pm

    THE HAGUE – A week has proven to be a long time in international politics. On Aug. 26, arriving in Europe, NATO military strikes on Syria seemed both inevitable and imminent to punish it for alleged chemical weapons use on Aug. 21. On Thursday, the British Parliament rejected, by a 285-272 vote, the government motion that would have paved the way for British participation. Prime Minister David Cameron said he would respect the vote. By Friday, the United States was looking decidedly lonely and exposed in its hard-line stance that military attacks were still necessary and could be launched without …

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    Once again, US rushing to attack without facts

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 2 September, 2013 | 5:48 pm


    Ramesh Thakur, “Once again, U.S. rushing to attack without facts”

    The Japan Times, Friday, 30 August 2013

    CANBERRA – You could not make this up. On Aug. 26, the Western media concluded that some form of military action against Syria by the United States, United Kingdom and France was inevitable. The same day, a Foreign Policy article argued that CIA files prove the U.S. knowingly helped Saddam Hussein use chemical weapons against Iran in 1988 with intelligence on Iranian troop formations, location and movements. And they wonder why the rest of the world becomes yearly more cynical about Western …

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    Sue Wareham on Syria

    By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 29 August, 2013 | 5:47 pm

    The following letter by Dr Sue Wareham, Vice-President, Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW), and Secretary, Campaign for an Iraq War Inquiry, was published in The Canberra Times, Saturday 31 August 2013.

    Original may be viewed at Canberra Times letters for that day.

    Those calling for the bombing of Syria as punishment for the use of chemical weapons in the country seem to think that Western missiles will make the place safer for its millions of civilians. Talk of brief military interventions, before weapons inspectors get a chance to report, sends chilling reminders of how leaders lied and rushed …

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