All posts by Nick Deane

International Day of Peace – September 21

Entrance pillars in Marrickville Peace Park

Each year the United Nations’ International Day of Peace (IDP) officially takes place on September 21. To mark the occasion locally, members of MPG participated in a ceremony held in the Marrickville Peace Park (Richardson’s Lookout) on Saturday, September 16. Continue reading International Day of Peace – September 21

IPAN opposes Australian airstrikes in Syria

RAAF to bomb ISIS targets in Syria
RAAF to bomb ISIS targets in Syria (ADF, Sgt Pete)

The Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) has issued a media release strongly opposing the prospect of RAAF planes carrying out bombing missions in Syria.

This follows a statement made by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on August 21 that indicated the likelihood of Australia joining the United States in carrying out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria.

The PM claimed that he had received a “formal request” from the US administration for the RAAF to carry out bombing missions in Syria.

The US has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria for many months and RAAF planes have been involved in refuelling aircraft engaged in these missions. Continue reading IPAN opposes Australian airstrikes in Syria

Talisman Sabre 2015

yanked-singleThe Talisman Sabre military exercises (TS2015) which are about to begin in northern Australia represent the largest combined military exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Around 30,000 service personnel, including 12,000 Australians, are taking part. There will be contingents from the US, NZ and, for the first time, Japan.

The exercises demonstrate the closeness of the alliance between Australia and the US – but will also serve to make that alliance even closer. Continue reading Talisman Sabre 2015

B1 bomber ‘mis-speak’

B1 Lancer dropping cluster bombs

MPG has written a long letter to the Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews, following the extraordinary statement made (and then retracted) by US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Mr David Shear.

MPG has expressed the view that Mr Shear actually knew what he was saying – and that his ‘mistake’ has revealed the US government’s true intention of positioning military assets in Australia, permanently. This causes deep concern, as tensions between the US and China escalate. Meanwhile Australia, by constantly enhancing the alliance, has effectively taken sides with the US, placing the nation at risk of becoming involved in conflict. Read the letter in full here.

The Minister has been invited to contradict MPG’s position.

For more information, read MPG’s Briefing Paper: The Australia/US Alliance here.

More troops to be deployed to Iraq

Islamic State fighter on top of tank in SyriaOn March 3, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the deployment to Iraq of an additional 300 Australian troops. As if to emphasise the gap between rhetoric and action, when making the announcement he said “This is not mission-creep…”. From MPG’s perspective, mission-creep is exactly what it is.

The Prime Minister described the deployment as “prudent and proportionate” and “in the national interest”. He went on to argue that it was important for domestic security, saying that Australia must do its bit to disrupt and degrade IS at its source. Continue reading More troops to be deployed to Iraq