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Saturday, September 05, 2015

Australia and Other Peoples' Wars by John Tognolini

The continuous wars that we have been involved with such as the War on Terror have not been in Australia’s interest. We’ve really been in a state of continuous war since George Bush Senior’s Gulf War in 1991. We did not get a peace dividend at the end of the Cold War. George W.Bush’s 2003 Invasion of Iraq killed hundreds of thousands people and destroyed that nation. The United States promoted sectarian divisions between the Shite and Sunni Muslims in order to retain control in what had been largely a secular nation. It created the conditions for the rise of the ‘Islamic State’ and is thus responsible for the current crisis. The US’s actions changed the map of the Middle East that had been drawn up since the end of World War One by the victors.

Australia, US and British military involvement in Iraq and soon Syria has only fuelled a desperate situation. Western bombs have not and will not stop Isis, they will only deepen misery, further fragment these countries and spread bitterness throughout the region. The Isis atrocities against civilians are horrific, but they should not be used as a justification for the failed policies which have helped create terrorism. The only force that can stop the Isis is the Kurdish, Iraqi and Syrian peoples. Australia should remove the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) from its list of declared ‘terrorist’ organisations and press the US and other governments to do the same. Australia must exert pressure on Turkey to cease its support for the Isis (deny any transit to Isis fighters coming or going, etc.).  We should also pressure Turkey to end their war against their Kurdish minority population.

The fear campaigns have made people scared for no reason and has led to increased racial attacks on Muslim Australians. The Australia Guardian’s Michael Safi Australians think Muslim population is nine times greater than it really is article reported on 30-10-14 that most Australians believe the Muslim population in Australia is eighteen per cent when it is only two per cent.  This fear has been generated by the media and politicians. Andrew Wilkie, former army colonel, intelligence analyst and member of parliament said “There is no doubt that the Abbot Government is playing up the terror threat for political gain.  16-6-2015.

Abbott asked Obama to bomb Syria, not an invite is it? Visiting Pakistani born British journalist, writer and filmmaker Tariq Ali said of Abbott sending our Air Force to bomb Isis in Syria, “It's an absolute desperation, and he's hoping that it might win him a by-election victory,….. And he does need the war. Not that it'll necessarily do the trick. What politicians still fail to realise is that the more that they go into these countries, the more the war will come back to them. They hate seeing the link, but without the link you can't understand the rise in jihadi currents in the West. Why weren't they there 30 years ago?” Tony Abbott's Syria gamble will backfire: Tariq Ali by Bianca Hall, The Melbourne Age 26-8-15.

Abbott is another Australian politician using a war & our military for political gain. Today marked 50 years since then prime minister Robert Menzies sent Australian troops to the Vietnam War, and we have Australian military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There is also the real possibility that Australia will be dragged into a war with China by the US. The late Malcolm Fraser warned of this and proposed that Australia should remove ourselves from the US military alliance, remove the US Troops from Northern Australia and close the US’s Pine Gap Base and become independent.

As someone who protested against Fraser in 1975 when he became prime minster with Whitlam’s sacking he made a lot of sense. Ironically Pine Gap was a major issue in Whitlam’s dismissal because he threatened not to renew the lease for it with the US.

Knowledge of our past helps us to understand our present and to shape its future. We won’t have a future if people don’t involve themselves in politics and stand up for our liberties. The points that Fraser pointed to are fundamental not just for Australia but to humanity as whole for it would take us away from a war with China and a certain nuclear holocaust.  

From A History Man’s Past & Other People’s Stories: A Shared Memoir. Part One: Other People’s Wars