Letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs.

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 29 April, 2014 | 1:49 am

Note by Paul Barratt

On 13 March 2014 I wrote to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in similar terms to my Letter to the Prime Minister, seeking the establishment of an independent inquiry into Australia’s involvement in the Iraq War, and a commitment from Australia’s elected representatives to reforming the so called ‘war powers’, i.e., the power to deploy elements of the Australian Defence Force into international armed conflict, which we would like to see relocated from the Executive to the Parliament.

Some time later I received a rather unsatisfactory reply on her behalf from an officer of her Department, …

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Letter to Foreign Minister: DFAT Reply

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 28 April, 2014 | 1:48 am

Note from Paul Barratt

On 13 March 2014 I wrote to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in similar terms to my Letter to the Prime Minister, seeking the establishment of an independent inquiry into Australia’s involvement in the Iraq War, and a commitment from Australia’s elected representatives to reforming the so called ‘war powers’, i.e., the power to deploy elements of the Australian Defence Force into international armed conflict, which we would like to see relocated from the Executive to the Parliament.

Some time later I received a rather unsatisfactory reply (undated) on her behalf from an officer of her …

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Letter to the Prime Minister, 13 March

By: AWPR | Posted in: Blog | 23 March, 2014 | 1:47 am

Below is the text of a letter sent to the Prime Minister on 13 March 2013, a few days ahead of the eleventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

Similar letters were sent to all Members and Senators in the Federal Parliament.

We will keep you posted on any substantive replies we receive.

Letter begins

13 March 2014

The Hon. Tony Abbott MP

Prime Minister of Australia

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2001

Dear Mr Abbott,

As we approach another anniversary of the 20 March 2003 invasion of Iraq I write to express my concern that, eleven years after Australia participated …

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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.

    BEGINS

    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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