Palm Sunday refugee rally address: Australia’s wars of choice create refugees

Text of an address to Rural Australians for Refugees in Armidale, NSW by Paul Barratt, President, Australians for War Powers Reform Palm Sunday Refugee Rally, 25 March 2018

 

Good morning ladies and gentlemen

My remarks this morning are directed not so much to how we treat refugees who come to our shores seeking help, but how so many of them come to be refugees in the first place. This is appropriate because many people have become refugees as a result of wars in which we have participated, such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Most Australians would be …

Why an Iraq War Inquiry is more necessary than ever

US air strike on a suspected insurgent hideout at the edge of Fallujah, Iraq, 8 Nov 2004. Image: US Marine Corps via Wikimedia Commons

A flurry of activity was caused by last month’s comments by Greens parliamentarians Adam Bandt and Richard Di Natale over Liberal Senator Jim Molan. The ostensible reason for the attack on Molan was his sharing of two videos originating from a neo-Nazi far right group in the United Kingdom. Bandt, who later withdrew his remarks, called Molan a “coward” and said that Molan should be prosecuted for his service in the Iraq war. In the Senate, …

Defence Department says international law is ‘challenged’

RAAF Super Hornet aircrew on return to Australia from the Middle East last January    Image from The Australian

 

Today’s (2 March 2018) analysis by Chris Ray in The Australian explains Australia’s withdrawal of RAAF Super Hornets from Syria early this year, but not the continuing presence of the air-to-air refuelling aircraft and an E7-A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, and associated personnel.

Nor does it explain why the ARF and Special Forces are still needed on the ground in Iraq, if IS has been defeated, as the Iraqi Prime Minister says.

It doesn’t offer an alternative …

Our Agreeable Illusion Ends

Hugh White, ‘Without America. Australia in the new Asia,’ Quarterly Essay 68, Melbourne: Black Inc. 2017

For years Hugh White has contributed knowledgeably to Australia’s defence and foreign policies, while deploring the prevailing feebleness of our public debate about them. With almost no public debate, Australia has for sixteen years been spending $95 million per day on fighting unnecessary wars in distant countries. Having had no independent inquiry into them, it remains a mystery how Australia can avoid similarly counterproductive wars in the future.

Professor White continues to credit the United States with maintaining peace and stability in Asia …

Our 2015 fundraising appeal for the new AWPR book

Today Australians for War Powers Reform launched a fundraising appeal through the crowd sourcing website pozible. The appeal is to enable us to produce and distribute to all members of Federal Parliament​ a new booklet for the campaign, edited by Dr Alison Broinowski and with contributions from a range of authors. our new booklet “HOW DOES AUSTRALIA GO TO WAR?” puts the government’s war powers under the microscope. The publication offers a diverse range of views from Australian experts in foreign affairs, defence, and law. With a foreword by the late Hon Malcolm Fraser, it examines the history of …

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 March 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.

The media briefing kit includes:

  • WAR POWERS REFORM: why it’s needed and why now

    This paper argues that under present arrangements, committing the Australian Defence Force to international armed conflict (currently the prerogative of the Executive) is far too easy for such a grave and far-reaching matter

    Read More >

  • AUSTRALIA’S PROCESS FOR GOING TO WAR

Responsibly protecting Syrians

Contribution by CIWI member NAJ Taylor

Allegations that chemical weapons have been deployed against civilians in Syria are troublesome and, if true, are abhorrent. But what facts have been established? What details are as yet unknown? And are calls for some form of military intervention warranted in the current situation? These are the questions that should and must be asked. But already the ground has been cleared such that speculation (on all sides) has become fact, and expert opinion derided as pure fantasy. There’s a need to look more closely at these truth claims so as to reveal something altogether …