Statement marking the centenary of World War I

August 2014

Monday August 4th marks one hundred years since the beginning of World War I – The “war to end all wars”. Over that time, the human race has failed to change radically enough to see anything near an end to the violence and catastrophe that war inevitably brings. Put simply, nothing has changed.

Over the past 100 years we in Australia have engaged in wars leading to horrendous loss of life. It is estimated that 160 million people died in the 20th century wars.

This century Australian governments have committed our military to fight in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq leading to the deaths of many hundreds of thousands of citizens of those countries and leaving a legacy of civil war, destruction of property and infrastructure and contamination.

The ADF losses include the deaths of 41 young Australians, 256 wounded and an unknown number of veterans returning with psychological war injuries.

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) believe there is a need to acknowledge the root causes of war with a view to the prevention of future wars. We are aware there is great expertise to build on and apply.

The decision to participate in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars was made by the Howard Government cabinet only. There was no parliamentary debate on Australian involvement.

The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network calls for a change in the war powers act whereby the Australian Parliament would debate and decide on any future commitment of our ADF personnel to a war.

We the undersigned support this initiative:

Denis Doherty Australian Anti-Bases Coalition
Annette Brownlie- Just Peace Qld
Vikki Henry- Just Peace Qld
Frances Kendall-Just Peace Qld
Norm Bullen-Just Peace Qld
Nick Deane- IPAN NSW
Justin Tutty- BaseWatch NT

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