Here we stand: Twenty years after our first war of aggressionMar 21, 2023
HERE WE STAND: We are standing here, as people were in Melbourne yesterday, to recall one of Australia’s worst days: the start of our first war of aggression.
We joined a small coalition to invade Iraq. We left that country in physical, social, economic and political ruin.
No Australian government has inquired into why we did it or reported on what we did.
We could do it again.
We are standing here, as others are all over Australia and the world, because we don’t want another expeditionary war.
War against China will be catastrophic and we will lose it, with or without the United States and Japan.
We have allowed the US unfettered use of our territory for military installations, and for nuclear-capable B52 bombers, aimed at China, making Australia a target.
Provocatively, Australia will buy nuclear-powered submarines, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and battle tanks not for our defence but to ‘deter’ China.
We are standing here to demand accountability from the executive government to the Parliament, by:
- Reforming the power of the executive to send Australian forces to an aggressive war on the decision of a prime minister alone.
- Reforming the convention that the executive does not inquire into or report on the reasons for wars or their outcomes.
- Requiring that the grounds for war be spelled out clearly in the Parliament.
We are standing here to call on those who run our bipartisan foreign and defence policies to do three things:
- Cancel the AUKUS agreement, observe our nuclear-non-proliferation obligations, and sign the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
- Restate our commitment to international law and treaties prohibiting the threat or use of force against other countries.
- Advise our US allies that Australia will not join a coalition for war against China, which would be against our interests.
We are standing here to remember Opposition Leader Simon Crean’s promise to Parliament on 20 March 2003: that as prime minister he would never allow Australian policy to be determined by another country, never commit to an unnecessary war while peace was possible, and never send Australians to war without telling them the truth.
Listen to the full speeches at the Marrickville Peace Group rally here: