Voice, January 2020


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No 36                                                   Jan 2020                                     


In this issue:

* IPAN On-Line Petition- No war on Iran; No Naval ship for Straits of Homuz; Bring our troops home from Iraq now

* NO WAR ON IRAN – National Protest Rallies

* Media Release: Federal Government urged not to suppport US provocative assassination action in Iraq

* CICD condemns the  US assassination of a senior Iranian military officer

* Media Release: Bushfires a National Security Threat

* Get it right- Letter published in Canberra Times – Kathryn Kelly

* Latest American criminality a serious threat to world peace – James O’Neill

*Australian strategic policy expert welcomes potential for U.S. naval base in Darwin

* Call for Australia -U.S. force to check China’s advance- Amos Aikman

* The case for developing joint U.S., UK and Australian nuclear refuelling facilities

* South Australian town ruled out as nuclear waste dump

* ICAN Report- 2020: Looking forward

* Bring Julian Home- Brisbane support meeting

* United States Regional Diplomacy- New Year, 2020 (Part one) -Richard Stone

* A Changing Balance of Forces: The Middle East and Indian Ocean – Richard Stone

* It is too easy to take us to war – War Powers Reform Bulletin #67

* World Without War- Calls for cuts to military carbon foot-print

* Rapid Public Response Arrangements to respond to threat of war

* Coming Events Summary




* No war on Iran
* No Naval ship for Straits of Homuz
* Bring our troops home from Iraq now

Australia joined with the U.S. and U.K. in a coalition to wage way on Iraq 17 years ago. Today we are on the cusp of repeating that huge mistake by Scott Morrison’s unquestioning support of U.S. military objectives. The assassination of Qaseum Soleimani has led to a crisis in the region with the threat of war with Iran, a country of 80 M people.

Find petition at:


The situation is urgent.
Please sign and distribute to organisations and among friends via email and facebook to boost signatures.

Act for peace




National Protest Rallies

(IPAN together with unions, community and other anti-war organisations has called a national day of protest and in support of the international day of protest against war on Iran)
25th January, 2020
at the following locations:
PERTH: 11 am outside U.S. Consulate Contact: ipanwa2019@gmail.com
SYDNEY: 12 midday outside Sydney Town Hall Contact Nick 0420 269 929
ADELAIDE: 1 pm on Parliament Steps Contact 0404 629 764
BRISBANE:11am, King George Square: Contact Annette 0431 597 256
MELBOURNE: 1pm, Steps of State Library: Contact Shirley 0417 456 001
NEWCASTLE:11am, Westfields Kotara: Contact Bevan 0418 697 528
ALICE SPRINGS: Courthouse lawns, time TBA Contact Jonathan 0403 611 815
Bring our troops home from Iraq
No Australian Naval vessel for U.S. war in straits of Homuz
Keep Australia out of U.S. wars




Media Release 8th January, 2020
Federal Government urged not to support US provocative assassination action in Iraq


  • HMAS Toowoomba must not be sent to the Strait of Hormuz
  • Australia must not support the USA in inflaming tensions with Iran
  • The Australian troops in Iraq must be brought home immediately

The Federal Government should show disagreement with President Trump’s decision to conduct the illegal assassination of Iranian General Soleimani in Baghdad by halting its plans to send the HMAS Toowoomba to the Straits of Hormuz, says the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Sending the Toowoomba now is a ‘provocative’ move, according to IPAN.  In IPAN’s view it sends a message of support for the USA’s action, where there should be condemnation.

“This recent military commitment must now be viewed in the context of President Trump’s illegal assassination of Qassem Soleimani,” stated Mr Nick Deane, Spokesperson for IPAN.  “Prime Minister Morrison has justified sending the warship to Iran as ‘guarding oil supplies’,” said Mr Deane, “In fact, the greatest threat to trade in the region is the very real threat of war.”

Media reports have stated that, “According to [Iraqi Prime Minister] Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapprochement that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia…Soleimani had arrived in Baghdad not to plan attacks on American targets, but to coordinate de-escalation with Saudi Arabia.”

The recent US actions have the potential for provoking war against Iran. A war with Iran would have devastating impacts on the lives of people in the region and lives of Australian soldiers, should Australia be drawn yet again into another illegal US led war.

Australia must learn lessons from the Iraq invasion which led to mass loss of lives and ongoing human misery, an escalation of terrorism across the world, destruction of the environment in Iraq and huge wastage of money, and for what?
War with Iran has the potential to be far worse than war with Iraq, given the capacity of the Iranian military.

“Australians have no interest in making an enemy of Iran and should not support the US’s provocative and illegal actions. Our Government must make this clear,” stated Mr Deane.

“The Australian Government must do all in its power to diffuse the situation in the Middle East, and to reverse its decision to send HMAS Toowoomba to the Strait of Hormuz”.

“In addition, the Australian Government should respect the decision of the Iraqi Parliament to have all foreign troops expelled from Iraq and bring those Australian troops currently in Iraq, home, immediately”.






Press release- 4th January, 2020
CICD condemns the US assassination of a Senior Iranian Military Officer Qasem Soleimani
The killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force has the potential to provoke a hot conflict with Iran after having waged a war via proxies for the past several decades.
This can only be seen as an explicit Act of War.  It could be compared to the Iranians killing the head of the CIA or Mossad on foreign soil.
There is no doubt that the United States once again has belligerently attempted to initiate a full-scale war. Trump and the Pentagon have acted illegally, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, the War Powers Act as well as the international law.




Media Release  23rd December, 2019

Bushfires a National Security Threat


  • Bushfires in Australia a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of hostile nations in our region
  • Climate change a significant cause of the fires

Bushfires in Australia are a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of an alleged hostile nations in our region, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Australians are heading into a Christmas day of smoke, fires, death and devastation, with no significant rain projected for weeks, anxiety is rising about when this catastrophe will end.
Many are asking why our leadership isn’t acknowledging climate change as a significant cause of the fires and why is the Australian Defence Force and its highly trained personnel not taking a more active role in fighting the fires- instead of exhausted volunteers and fire fighters? said Annette Brownlie, Chairperson IPAN.
“Lack of public admission of links between increasing temperatures and human-made climate change is not just a failure of analysis but also a betrayal of all Australians.”
“Australia’s decision to spend $200 billion on military hardware including Joint Strike fighter jets and submarines over the next 10 years must be challenged as it is evident that climate change consequences such as drought, rising temperatures and bushfires will demand this money be spent providing genuine national security rather than engaging in wars unrelated to the defence of Australians.”











Letter published in Canberra Times- 7th January, 2020

Get it right

The first priority for Monday’s national security meeting should have been a strategy to deal with the current impacts of climate change; the unprecedented bushfires destroying lives and the country from east to west and the water shortages rapidly becoming more dire and widespread.

Such strategies should address the measures we need to take urgently to mitigate emissions and adapt to the inevitable future impacts whether it be bushfires, floods, cyclones or droughts and water shortages as well as the reconstruction needs which will also be unprecedented. Bush regeneration and species recovery needs will also be enormous.

Science has told us for decades that this is the trend we must expect and is destined to get worse unless emergency action is taken. This will cost a lot but must be the priority. Building submarines at a cost of $50 billion (or $255 billion if we count the lifetime cost) is not a priority. There are many other areas where savings could be made and priorities reassessed, and the obsession with the budget surplus should be ditched. We need cooperative leadership. It is obvious Morrison is not the person to provide it. He should resign and let others more capable and compassionate work across party lines to do the job.

Kathryn Kelly




Latest American Criminality a Serious Threat to World Peace

James O’Neill*
The world became a measurably more dangerous place last week with the United States murder of Iranian Major General Qassem Saleimani and at least eight other prominent individuals including the SMU leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhardis.

Since the murder an increasing number of facts have emerged that cast particular insight into the conduct of the United States political leadership. These revelations will have a significant impact on the way in which the United States is viewed, not only in the Middle East, but throughout the wider world.

The first fact to emerge in the aftermath of Saleimani’s killing was that he was on a diplomatic mission (in fact travelling on a diplomatic passport) with the knowledge and presumed approval of the United States.

Saleimani was carrying documents that represented what might be termed tentative peace overtures from the Saudi Arabian government to the government of Iran. This of itself was a startling fact. Suspicion, distrust and animosity between Saudi Arabia and Iran has its origins in the often bitter conflict between the two major sectors of the Islamic faith, Sunni and Shia, of which Saudi Arabia and Iran were respectively two of the principal antagonists.


Defence Connect, 18th December, 2019

Australian strategic policy expert welcomes potential for US Naval base in Darwin
Ross Babbage, an Australian strategic policy specialist, has welcomed revelations of a $715 million expansion of naval infrastructure in the Northern Territory, providing an opportunity for further basing of major US Navy units as both nations seek to reorientate their forces to better respond to rising great power competition in the Indo-Pacific.
The improvements will include a focus at HMAS Coonawarra and the Larrakeyah Defence Precinct, with the enhancements designed to support increased Australian and US military rotations and presence in the region – this is expected to include the Royal Australian Navy’s future Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels and an increased US Navy presence building on the increased rotations.

IPAN spokesperson, Nick Deane comments:

Babbage’s remarks carry an interesting assumption. Although it has not (as far as I know) been announced by the current government, he assumes that the funds will be used to provide further support to the US Navy. He is probably correct in making such an assumption. However, it begs the question “Why?”. Why does Australia continue to feel an obligation to provide more facilities for the USA’s armed forces?

Rather than finding some way to accommodate the rise of China, the USA is responding by flexing its military muscle (as evidenced by the presence of the US marines in Darwin). Babbages’ remarks simply accept this process and actually encourage it.

Meanwhile, Australia is under no threat. The rise of China need not frighten us. The fact that the USA evidently wants to confront China is not a sufficient reason for Australia to encourage her and make it easier for her. The whole idea of a military confrontation with China is highly dangerous.

Consideration of military reasons for expanding Australian military facilities in the Northern Territory are one thing. However, if part of the reasoning behind the allocation of these funds is an intention to subsidise the USA in its military ambitions, this is dangerous and not in our best interests.



IPAN Protest at Robertson Barracks Darwin calling for an end to the stationing of U.S. troops in Darwin


Call for Australia-US force to check China’s advance

AMOS AIKMAN– Northern Correspondent- 20th December, 2019

Australia and the US should ­establish a Darwin-based ­amphibious force to co-ordinate efforts in resisting Chinese influence in the region, a retired US Marine Corps colonel says.

The plan would involve about 2000 US troops and up to four US Navy ships stationed close to Darwin Port, which was controversially leased for 99 years in 2015 by a private firm with alleged links to the Chinese government.

The force would operate a “schoolhouse” for amphibious warfare involving partner nations such as Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and ­Indonesia, and aim to eventually hold a local equivalent of Hawaii’s Rim of the Pacific military ­exercise.

Australian and US soldiers would work elbow-to-elbow, year-round, on training and ­humanitarian missions, effect­ively making northern Australia a new frontline for projecting Western influence.

The proposal comes as experts warn that for the first time since World War II, Australians must contend with advanced and persistent military threats.



                           Defence Connect 13th November, 2019
The case for developing joint US, UK and Australian nuclear refuelling facilities
With plans of a growing US and Royal Navy presence in the Indo-Pacific, increased numbers of nuclear-powered vessels will be standard for Australian port visits and forward deployed force rotations – recognising this and the limitation and vulnerability of existing suitable infrastructure in the region presents an interesting opportunity for allied collaboration.
….the idea of permanently basing forward deployed carrier strike groups and nuclear powered fast attack submarines provides two interesting options:

1.     An option for embedding Australian enlisted, non-commissioned and submarine officers into both Royal and US Navy fast attack submarines forward deployed to key facilities to better develop such a capability domestically; and

2.     To share the costs associated with developing a the infrastructure necessary to support nuclear powered vessels with flow-on benefits for the Australian economy and local development of a viable, world-leading nuclear energy industry.

…….Accordingly, two locations serve as ideal possibilities, namely Fremantle, which has long been proposed as a potential facility to accommodate major US naval forces, and Osborne, the hub of Australia’s submarine and naval shipbuilding enterprise and within close proximity to potential radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel storage facilities.

Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and editor of the Nuclear Monitor newsletter, comments:
Nuclear lobbyists seem to be trying to outdo each other in the stupidity stakes. A chorus of hyper-conservative dimwits ‒ Barnaby Joyce, Mark Latham, Clive Palmer et al. ‒ are leading the push for nuclear power although it several times more expensive than renewables, and considerably more expensive than renewables coupled with storage.
The Defence Connect argument takes a different approach, but is no less asinine. A great deal of nuclear expertise and infrastructure would be required to support domestic nuclear submarines. That expertise doesn’t exist and would be enormously expensive to establish and maintain.
Going down that path would have “flow-on benefits for the Australian economy” according to Defence Connect. No it wouldn’t. The up-front costs would be huge and there would be further flow-on costs lasting for centuries ‒ waste management, decommissioning and so on.
Of course, there’s a much simpler and cheaper approach than that proposed by Defence Connect, long ago adopted by New Zealand: ban nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed vessels from our shores.


SBS News 13/12/19

South Australian town ruled out as nuclear waste dump

Autumn in rural South Australia around Hawker. Source: Getty

In the Hawker ballot, which closed on Thursday, just over 52 per cent of locals voted against hosting the dump on the Wallerberdina Station.

A site near Hawker in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges has been ruled out as the possible location for the federal government’s nuclear waste dump.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan says after a ballot of local residents voted narrowly against hosting the facility, the site is no longer an option.



ICAN Report- 2020: Looking forward

Over the last year the precariousness of our existence has only become more apparent. The spectre of nuclear war continues to hover just out of sight, while the climate crisis advances unabated. Only powerful civil society movements will stop these twin existential threats in their tracks.

A bright light of hope, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is marching steadily towards entry-into-force with 80 signatories and 34 states parties to date. The treaty will enter into force after the 50th ratification.

Australia remains opposed to joining the treaty, instead promoting a role for these weapons of mass destruction in our defence policy. However, the treaty’s progress and the growth of domestic support for it will make this position untenable.

We have big plans for 2020! We want to:

  • gain new allies at all levels of government
  • help super funds cut ties with nuclear arms producers
  • commemorate the 75th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with powerful action
  • bring campaigners together to strategise and grow the movement

Vast sums of money are funneled into nuclear weapons but your donation will contribute to their demise. Besides donating, you can support the campaign by sending this email on to a friend or contributing your own ideas and energy.

It is inevitable that Australia signs and ratifies the nuclear weapon ban treaty. We look forward to working with you in 2020.

Dr Margie Beavis and Dr Ruth Mitchell


ICAN Australia



Bring Julian Home

This Brisbane meeting calling for Julian Assange to be brought home can be VIEWED HERE on U-tube



NEW YEAR, 2020 (Part One)

    Richard Stone

The call, from a United States regional think-tank, to increase their troop presence in Australia, can be see as part of a serious regional military plan.

The Trump administration appear to also be upgrading the role of Australia in regional military planning, with all the likelihood of a further escalation of hostilities with China.
A call, by Grant Newsham, a senior researcher with the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, to increase US troop numbers by a further 2,000 personnel and involve up to four US naval vessels stationed close to Darwin, as a serious Pentagon military position. (1) The prestigious conservative US-led think-tank formed in 1999 has close links to the Pentagon, employing what their website refer to as ‘special advisors’; Newsham is a former US colonel, with long-time experience of Japan. (2)
Within the US-led military plan, for example, an increased role would be thrust upon Canberra ‘effectively making northern Australia a new front-line for projecting Western influence’ into the wider region, with emphasis placed upon the possible creation of ‘a big US base in Australia’ for strategic reasons. (8) The official media release was couched in terminology which could hardly be regarded as ambiguous; Australia was noted as constituting ‘strategic real estate. Few locations rival it for any power that aspires to primacy in the Pacific and Indian Oceans’. (9)

For complete article READ ON




Richard Stone

A naval drill involving China, the Russian Federation and Iran in the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean in December, has revealed a changing balance of forces in two distinct areas traditionally regarded as an important part of traditional US-led hegemonic positions.

The military exercise has also shown how developments in Syria have also been important.

As Australia has formed part of US-led regional operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan for nearly two decades, we should perhaps watch recent developments and the changing balance of forces with apprehension. Australia has little to gain from participating in wars and military incursions in a region so far from our shores, with no relevance whatsoever for our defence and security:

We need an independent foreign policy!

For complete article READ ON



War Powers Reform Bulleting #67

It’s too easy to take us to war


Most Australians would be surprised to learn how easy it is for our Government to commit the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to armed international conflict (war). They would be even more surprised to learn, given Australia’s often proclaimed affection for the rule of law and for a rules-based international order, that our deployments in the 21st century have avoided the clear Constitutional path that involves the Governor-General (the commander in chief of the Australian armed forces), and most of them have been in violation of international law.





No free pass for military emissions anymore!
Military is a climate killer!
IPB calls for countries to be obliged to cut their military emissions!

There are few activities on earth as environmentally catastrophic as waging war. One of the biggest culprits of burning oil is the military and, whenever and wherever there is a conflict or a major military exercise, the amount of oil burned increases also releasing an increased burden of smoke. War and militarism, and their associated ‘carbon boot-prints’, are severely accelerating climate change.





RAPID Public Response Arrangements
to any imminent major military conflict, invasion or war

In the event of an imminent major military conflict, military invasion or war actually breaking out, IPAN organisations in the following states, urge everyone to rally :

In Melbourne, outside the State Library in Swanston St, Melbourne, from 5pm that evening- bring banners and placards – family and friends

In Adelaide, on Parliament Steps at 4.30 pm that evening – bring banners and placards – family and friends.

In Newcastle, at the Clocktower, Hamilton, 4.30pm that evening- bring banners and placards and tell family and friends

In Canberra, on the median strip at the corner of London Circuit and Northbourne Ave.












National Protest Rallies

(organised by IPAN together with other anti-war organisations and supporting the international day of protest)
25th January, 2020
at the following locations:
PERTH: 11 am outside U.S. Consulate
SYDNEY: 12 midday outside Sydney Town Hall
ADELAIDE: 1 pm on Parliament Steps
BRISBANE:11am King George Square
MELBOURNE:1pm on steps of State Library
NEWCASTLE:11am outside Westfields Kotara
ALICE SPRINGS: Courthouse lawns: Time TBA contact Jonathan 0403 611 815
Bring our troops home from Iraq
No Australian Naval vessel for U.S. war in straits of Homuz

ALICE SPRINGS: 25th January 4.30-6.30pm Free Julian Assange Rally; Courthouse Lawns

Voice is produced and edited by the Media Group of the IPAN co-ordinating committee. It is produced for IPAN affiliates to:
 *provide a medium for communication of their campaigns and activities
*provide a medium for discussion of issues central to IPAN’s objectives
*provide affiliates with details of co-ordinating committee activities, media releases, lobbying activities and other actions taken on behalf of IPAN
* provide information on issues/events relating to IPAN’s objectives
Contributions to Voice, in information or comment, should be emailed to :
Ipan.australia@gmail.com and limited, if possible to 200 words.
The Media Group takes editorial responsibility for choice of content and is responsible to the IPAN co-ordinating committee.Disclaimer: Voice publishes a range of articles which reflect the broad movement for an independent and peaceful Australia but not all articles will necessarily reflect IPAN’s position.”

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