Alarm bells over Trump-Turnbull meeting – May 2017

National public statement sounds alarm bells over Trump-Turnbull meeting on USS Intrepid

“It is long overdue for Australia to establish a truly independent foreign policy” said Dr Alison Broinowski, academic and former Australian diplomat with extensive overseas experience, in Sydney today. “ Independent of entangling alliances, the Australian Government can play an important role in negotiating peaceful solutions to international conflicts”.

Dr. Broinowski is one of over 3,600 signatories to an important statement to be published in national media this Saturday.

This media release is circulated as Prime Minister Turnbull meets with President Trump on the USS Intrepid, where they are commemorating the battle of the Coral Sea, and reaffirming the close alliance between the United States and Australia.  The Coral Sea battle was certainly a significant point in the joint Australian and US battle against Japanese militarism.

“Yet the intervening decades have seen the nature of that alliance change dramatically” said Dr. Broinowski. “Now the Australian Government plays a subservient role to United States militarism, committing our young women and men to fight in wars far from Australia and of little strategic significance to Australian interests.  There is a groundswell of concern amongst broad sections of Australian people for a more independent and peaceful foreign policy.”

Paul Keating recently gave some advice to Prime Minister Turnbull for his meeting with President Trump – “One thing not to do with the Americans is to keep bowing down. That’s bad behaviour – bad, bad, bad behaviour”

This weekend a statement calling for an independent and peaceful foreign policy that would keep Australia out of US-led wars will be published in a national newspaper.

The complete list of signatories – individuals and organisations from around Australia, including health workers, lawyers, academics, teachers, unions and unionists, current and former politicians, community and faith organisations, can be viewed on IPAN’s website

Signatories include Julian Burnside (Barrister),  Dr. Alison Broinowski (Academic and former diplomat), John Pilger (journalist, author and film maker) David Bradbury (Australian documentary film maker), Greg Barns (Past President, Australian Lawyers Alliance), Jeannie Rea (National President, National Tertiary Education Union), Paddy Crumlin (National Secretary, MUA), Adjunct Professor Peter Norden (RMIT), Prof. Richard Tanter (Uni of Melbourne), Rob Stary (Criminal Defence Lawyer), George Gittoes AO (artist and winner of the Sydney Peace Prize), Dr Stephen Fitzgerald (First Australian Ambassador to China), and Geoff Hogg (artist).

The statement, including names of 300 of the signatories, will be published in TheSaturday Paper this weekend.

CONTACT: Dr Alison Broinowski 0422 608 580

IPAN (Independent and Peaceful Australia Network) is a network of over 50 organisations including peace groups, church and community groups, trade unions and concerned individuals.
For further details, contact Dr. Ross Gwyther 0408 782 983

Keep Australia out of U.S. wars
A Public Call for
An Independent and Peaceful Australian Foreign Policy

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned with the growing threat of another major world war. We are alarmed that as a compliant ally of the U.S., Australia will be dragged into another U.S. provoked war with devastating consequences for people and the environment.

Australia hosts thousands of U.S. marines in Darwin and conducts joint military exercises in Qld. with tens of thousands of U.S. troops.  Australia hosts the U.S. spy base at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, which contributes to the targeting of assassination drones and which gathers intelligence for use in wars. The North West Cape base in West Australia is heavily involved in preparations for space warfare. Australia is involved in U.S. wars and/or military build ups in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.   In none of these wars has the invaded country been a threat to Australia or the Australian people. In international forums, Australia echoes U.S. policies opposing Nuclear Disarmament.

We believe Australia’s military alliance with the U.S., involving the complicity of successive Australian governments in U.S. global military agendas, undermines Australia’s peace, security and sovereignty.

We demand the Australian government stop spending millions of dollars of people’s taxes on U.S. wars, buying their offensive military equipment (eg. F35 Joint Strike Fighters and killer drones) and hosting marines in Darwin. We call on the government to re-direct public funds to public health, education, community services, developing sustainable manufacturing industries and protection of the environment.

It is time we, the people, asserted our sovereignty, took control of our foreign policies and reviewed the presence of U.S. bases and troops in Australia. It is time we started promoting genuine peace and security, human rights, a sustainable environment and our independence.