Former US Presidents Jimmy Carter
and Bill Clinton have both warned that there is no current
danger to the US from Baghdad. But only the Prime Ministers
of Britain and Australia seem to have caught up with
the blood and oil lust of the US red-neck President
George Bush. At least the British had a say on the actions
of their government, with sixty percent believing their
country should play no part if the US launched military
strike on Iraq without United Nations backing (Reuters,
07 September 2002).
In Australia, there had been only
endless rhetoric, no facts but sneaky preparation for
and on behalf of the US' wars. Speaking to radio 3AW
(06 September 2002), Prime Minister John Howard said
'Australia' had seen US intelligence proving that Iraq
held weapons of mass destruction, and he also promised
that Australians 'will be pre-warned if the country
becomes involved in a United States-led attack on Iraq.'
"We, along with the Americans, have intelligence
information and we haven't idly suggested that Iraq
possesses weapons of mass destruction. But there's been
no decision by the Americans and I don't expect any
decision to be taken in the immediate period as yet,"
said John Howard. Right!
The Australian Defence Minister
Senator Hill had reportedly argued that the probability
of war was 'increasing', saying that if the US 'reaches
the conclusion that there is no other alternative, and
it seems to be gradually heading that way - then it
is reasonable to expect that they will seek some assistance
from Australia, ' according to We have Iraq proof: PM
by Dennis Atkins, Michael Beach and James McCullough
(news. com. au, 06 September 2002).
The article also said Senator
Hill's office confirmed that massive Russian Antonov
air-craft have been transporting Australian troops and
equipment into Kuwait but denied it was part of a major
military build-up in the region. The Antonovs were reportedly
'shut-tling between Darwin and Kuwait carrying staff
and equipment once or twice a week for five months'.
Following a meeting several months
ago in Washington with the US Secretary of State, Colin
Powell, the Foreign Minister Alexander Downer was over-confident,
giving Australia's backing to the US to invade Iraq
and saying Australians were likely to sup-port military
intervention, according to Downer supports US attack
on Iraq by Caroline Overington, SMH, 13 July 2002).
His comments were reportedly criticised by both Labor
Party and the Australian Democrats.
An anti-Iraq war coalition
comprising of community and church leaders, intellectuals,
peace and human rights' activists had stepped up its
campaign against the war that 'Australians were likely
to support'. Even sources close to the Liberals on university
campuses are privately saying that the eagerness of
|"The eagerness of the Howard
Government to move closer to the US is 'an embarrassment'
to the country."
|Sources close to the Liberals
on university campuses
to move closer to the US is 'an embarrassment' to the
country. The first protest organised by a coalition
of the Australian Greens, Democrats and Community Aid
Abroad, held on 07 September in Adelaide, sent a clear
message that Australia got 'a dependent foreign policy'.
Australia's subservience to the US is a serious concern,
as it promotes the US military interests to the detriment
of Australia's defence and security. There are already
30 US bases in Australia, and the call for more
bases had been under serious criticism, primarily because
instead of responding to Australia's defence and security
needs, the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition
(AACC) argued, Australia 'has developed a policy of
projecting power in our region, buying long-range weapons
delivery systems that threaten neighbouring countries
rather than focusing on defending our continent'.
AACC also argued that far from
aiding Australia's position in the Asia-Pacific region,
the US alliance 'hinders us and costs valuable trading
opportunities and political contacts and influence;
and it concluded, "Australia needs an independent,
non-aligned foreign military policy." According
to documents of the AACC, the US has permanent facilities
with a range of sophisticated, communications and intelli-gence
gathering abilities; and it has unlimited access to
all Australian Defence Force (ADF) training facilities,
such as the bombing range at Delamere near Katherine
and the jungle training area at Shoal Bay near Rockhampton.
Moreover, there is growing fear
on the role of Pine Gap as an aggressive, targeting
base for the wars of the US against Third world countries
such as Iraq and Afghanistan. During his 15 August visit
to Pine Gap, Defence Minister Hill was reported to have
said, "Pine Gap is an impressive demonstration
of our close working relationship with the United States."
At the time US Air Force 3 (Air Force 1 is for the president)
was at the tarmac at Alice Springs. In an interview
with the Centralian Advocate, Senator Hill said that
Pine Gap was a major intelligence facility, which would
be utilised in the event of military action against
Iraq. In a press release (15 August 2002) critical of
Senator Hill's remarks, the AACC said: "While Australia
spends many millions each year on the over 30 US bases
here all Australia gets in return is the arrogant raiding
of our agriculture markets which undermines our economy."
"In fact there is equipment
in Pine Gap which enables industrial espionage to be
carried out on our industries, particularly our agriculture
and extractive sectors," the press release said.
The facts surrounding Pine Gap are kept in the dark
not only to the Australian public but also to MPs, whereas
US Congress officials received classified briefings
about its functions. Pine Gap, officially known as the
'Joint Defence Space Research Facility', is the largest
and most important US satellite ground stations outside
It was established in 1968 as
a CIA intelligence base and situated in Central Australia,
19 km southwest of Alice Springs and it consists of
a large computer complex with eight radomes protecting
its antennae from elements and satellite reconnaissance.
According to AACC, Pine Gap's most important role is
processing information gathered by Rhyolite signals
intelligence (SIGINT) satellites and transmitting that
information to the United States. Pine Gap's satellites
gather military radio transmissions, giving information
on military readiness, troop and ship movements and
they can inter-cept radar emanations, allowing mapping
of air defences, anti-ballistic missile radars and early-warning
In the inevitable war on Iraq,
the Pine Gap facility will monitor the Iraqi military,
observing, recording and marking them for destruction
by the US from guided missiles to the 'Daisy Cutter'.
Pine Gap's reconnaissance of Iraq will note activity
centres and built up areas, whilst analysts will enter
co-ordinates into the target logs, where civilian centres
will also be included to inflict maxi-mum casualties
According to AACC, the US has
practised putting trucks laden with electronic gear
in their huge Galaxy aircraft and flying them to Alice
Springs and other centres in Australia to be driven
to US bases.
The reason for exposing Pine Gap
here is to draw attention as to the dangers posed by
the US-Australia military alliance and why the Howard
government has been so eagerly waiting to see US strikes
on Iraq. Howard has failed in his responsibility to
put his case for action against Iraq to the Australian
public and the Parliament. And yet, he had called on
the United Nations' action against Iraq - something
he couldn't and wouldn't do against Israel's repeated
violations of Security Council resolutions and its weapons
of mass destruction.
The US propaganda machine is
cranking up to a new round of demonising Saddam Hussein,
leading up to the war George Bush is so determined the
world should have. A former president of the UN Association
of Australia, Keith Suter, was blunt saying that the
US may have to bribe some countries to increase support
for a war against Iraq (PM calls for UN action on
Iraq, ABC News, 09 September 2002).
But Australia does not need to
be bribed! The valuable military services already rendered
put Australia - a country that isn't destined to be
a superpower or a country without significant weight
globally in any respect - at great risks as far as its
defence and security are concerned.
Because of its servile tendency
towards the US, the Howard Government should be thrown
out of office, a fate the Keating Government encountered
because of its push towards Asia. It is interesting
how Paul Keating, delivering the John Curtin Anniversary
Lecture to the Curtin University of Technology in
|"Australia needs an independent,
non-aligned foreign military policy"
|Australian Anti-Bases Campaign
Perth, lashed out at United States
'unilateralism' and called on Australia to adopt a more
independent foreign policy. The US street gear and baseball
caps are one thing but the Australian community is far
too laid back to accept servitude of any kind. Government
actions often fail to recognise that. Australia can
never become an equal partner of the US simply because
of the subservience of the government.