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IPAN open letter to the PM and Defence Minister regarding treatment of Swan Island Peace Convergence activists
IPAN open letter to the PM and Defence Minister regarding treatment of Swan Island Peace Convergence activists
Wednesday 29th October 2014
Open letter to the Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbott and the Defence Minister Mr David Johnston
The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) bring together over 50 community based peace and justice organisations across Australia.
We wish to express our grave concern regarding the alleged actions of SAS personnel, towards a small group of peaceful protesters at Swan Island military base on the 2nd October.
It is our understanding the Swan Island Peace Convergence group has protested Australian involvement in foreign wars over the past 5 years with protesters treated lawfully and peacefully by the ADF and the Victorian Police Force.
We in the IPAN are concerned that the tactics used this time, which include hooding, stripping of clothing, physical and verbal violence from ADF personnel reflect the Australian government’s current policies which restrict civil liberties on the basis of the threat of terrorism to Australian citizens.
The actions of the ADF personnel are reminiscent of the treatment of prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 by US troops, and indeed correlate with a number of inquiries into treatment of civilians by ADF personnel during Australian military engagement in Afghanistan.
We ask, are our young men and women in the ADF being trained to commit war crimes?
When viewed in the context of the government’s decision to send Australian forces into Iraq for the 3rd time we express our concern that the people of our country are being constrained in their democratic rights to protest this engagement as it potentially grows into a major war.
The members of IPAN request that findings of the investigation by the Department of Defence into the actions of members of the ADF at Swan Island be made public.
Annette Brownlie on behalf of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network
Medical Assn. for the Prevention of War
Lorel Thomas-Victorian Peace and Social Justice Network of Quakers.
Nick Deane- Marrickville Peace Group
Mr Norm Bullen- Just Peace Qld
Dr Chris Haw-Physicians against War
Peter Arndt Executive Officer-Catholic Justice & Peace Commission of Brisbane
Professor Alison Broinowski
Joan Jenkins-Bunbury Peace Group.
Australian Anti-Bases Coalition- Denis Doherty
Peter Murphy – Sydney Peace & Justice Coalition
Jim Green- Friends of the Earth
Beverley Polzin- Quaker
Stephen Darley-Campaign Against Foreign Military Bases (SA)
Peter D Jones, Tasmania Quaker Peace & Justice Committee (Hobart)
Philippine Australia Solidarity Assn
Philippine Caucus for Peace
Kathy Damm- Qld Quakers
Frances Kendall-Just Peace
Ruth Russell WILPF
Willy Bach- Standfast
Rosemary Morrow Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute
Bevan Ramsden- Newcastle Peace Group
John Hughes- Early Works
Rev Simon Moyle
Rev Alan Matheson AM
Michael Henry- Just Peace
Shirley Winton- Spirit of Eureka Vic
Prof Richard Tanter
Daniel Brown Rite of Strings
Annie Didcott WILPF ACT
Bob Briton-General Secretary Communist Party of Australia
David Bradbury- Frontline Films
Roger Keyes- Adelaide Quaker meeting
Ann Rees- Adelaide Quaker meeting
Dr Janet Bodycomb MAPW Vic
Ross Battison Vic
Michael Hamel-Green- MAPW
Julie Marlow- Australian Anti-bases Coalition
Hannah Middleton- Independent Activist
Anne Lane -Catholics in Coalition for Justice and Peace
The Hon Sandra Kanck
Boyette Jurcales- Ban the Bases
Father Claude Mostowik- Pax Christi
Kay Mc Padden
Irene Gale AM
Margaret Jacobs- Member of Women in Black
May Kotsakis – Philippines Australia Solidarity Association.
Berlin Guerrero – Philippine Caucus for Peace
George Kotsakis – Migrante Australia
Independent and Peaceful Australia Network
PO Box 573 Coorparoo Brisbane 4151 Ph: 0431597256
The moment Tony Abbott coined this phrase it was yet another “suppository of wisdom” coming from Tony Abbott’s mouth.
It had ‘memebait’ written all over it. Fortunately SMH was on the job.
For those too young to know what this all means allow me to explain. (Adult themes and language)
Relevance? Today is the first day Australian warplanes began flying armed over the regions disputed by Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan (and of course the boogeyman ‘de jour'; ISIS).
In case there is any blow back, remember no one outside of the Australian political system voted for military intervention, If you want to blame anyone blame a politician.
No t Ye t
The UK probably only offered the independence option because they thought it would not be taken up but once international market began to get nervous the hype machine had to get into overdrive to push it back in the box.It would be fair to say neither Scotland nor the UK were completely prepared for Scotland to leave with Scotland holding the oil assets and the (war) ship building, and the UK holding the currency, the pension funds and the national health service (NHS). Sort of like winning the lottery and thinking of leaving your wife only to find out she gets half of everything anyway, and the kids aren’t ready to leave home either.
Colonel Frank Bainimarama
First election in 8 years Colonel B retains leadership but a veneer of democracy restored, but for how long?
Positive side 8 years and no coup.
Despite mounting evidence of deep corruption in New Zealand political system New Zealand returned a largely unchanged parliament,
and returned John Key formerly of the Federal Reserve Bank of the USA as its leader. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.
Positive side: all the international based shills will now pull up stakes and fade out of the picture.
Negative side: Hone Harawira, a strong campaigner for the poor, appears to have lost his place in parliament.
And now we get to hear about all the ‘irregularities’ in these polls, will be very interesting.
Fun fact: all of the places discussed were or currently are controlled by the UK in some way.
The headline really does not say much in itself, but there is much meaning that one can infer from it.
Firstly if you hear the term ‘Peshmerga’ this is the Kurdish word for ‘soldier’ effectively meaning Kurdish army.
This is the Kurdistan flag:
For the hard line cynic there is the fact that western nations will struggle to accommodate the number of refugees that might flood out of Kurdistan and other areas fighting ISIS (aka IS, ISIL).
So it would make more sense economically for that fledgling oil state to not be conquered, especially my the murderous fanatics of ISIS.
The knowledgeable cynic might also note the USA stayed out of WW2 (for years) by sending military and other supplies to Brittan and its empire to fight Nazi Germany.
A nationalist cynic would likely prefer to lose gun in the middle east than our own troops.
A humanitarian cynic might note that the Geneva convention is being ignored by ISIS and civilians right to live without persecution in Kurdistan (and neighboring areas) is under serious threat.
An cynic aware of current ISIS tactic might note that ISIS are a highly mobile ground force using flat deck utes ( trucks) and SUV’s to transport troops and light artillery and AA, so as such they can strike with remarkable speed, and a civilian’s only real defense is to start shooting to slow the advance.
Geo-politically aware cynics might note that the region of Kurdistan (on the borders of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran) controls significant proportions of Iraqi oil, and what we are seeing is a balkanization of Iraq and to some extent the wider middle east with blurry allegiances (and borders) based on religion, ethnicity and tribal affiliations.
Historically aware cynics would note that Iraq was a state manufactured by Brittan to join together the Kurds ( of mixed faiths) in the north (who had the oil) the Shia ( minority sect of Islam popular in Iran) in the center and the Sunni’s (majority sect of Isalm) in the south where the British could control the flow of oil through the port of Basra.
Cynics who are knowledgeable in the oil trade will know the entire region is full of oil, and the different fresh water sources, oil wells, pipelines, ports and shipping lanes are extremely contentious in term of who controls them.
The energy security of many nations depends on the flow of oil both where its flowing to and where its flowing from. There is reason they call it ‘black gold’.
*this map is from 2013 as Kurdistan began as a state and prior to the formation of ISIS. Borders may have changed and are indicative only as a rough guide to the region. Kurdistan’s first major victory over ISIS just days ago left Kurdistan in control of Mosul an important dam and fresh water source.
It is ironic that the Australian government not only manufactures assault rifles and is willing to give them to foreigners, but not to their own people, who are largely unarmed in their own country.
As a final note the guns are not really a gift, there will be demands for oil from Kurdistan in the future.
Perhaps the fluidity of power struggles is the nature of the desert, the sand itself shifting endlessly in dunes and ergs.
Being that we have three active armed conflicts occurring at the moment (Israel v Gaza, Ukraine v Russia, and finally ISIS v anyone it can find ).
I would seem pertinent to point out multilateral treaties on conduct during war specifically pertaining to treatment of wounded individuals and non combatants, known as the Geneva conventions.
Without being too cynical in the fact that civilian deaths over the last century have proportionally increased relative to military personnel deaths, a set of agreed minimum standards of conduct were accepted in geopolitical struggles.
In a nut shell:
Much of the convention covers who is a soldier or can be treated as such, and given certain protections (such as a right to medical treatment if captured), and obligations (such as to state name rank and serial number) and what weapons and tactics can be employed.
Curiously despite certain weapon being banned, (chemical, biological, nuclear, fuel air bombs) many signatory states keep such weapons in vast quantities and occasionally deploy them.
Importantly mercenaries, snipers and spies have no protections.
Soldiers must have standardized equipment, wear uniforms and have identification and be a citizen of the state they are fighting for.
Civilians must not fight and cannot be killed or mistreated when captured.
Certain locations such as schools, hospitals and places of worship cannot be attacked.
So while it is a diplomatic agreement, breaches regularly occur, with some states being notorious for breaches of the convention.
Some excerpts from the convention relating specifically to treatment of civilians and prisoners.
The third Geneva Convention (“Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War”) covers members of the armed forces who fall into enemy hands. They are in the power of the enemy State, not of the individuals or troops who have captured them
Prisoners of war MUST be:
- Treated humanely with respect for their persons and their honour.
– Enabled to inform their next of kin and the Central Prisoners of War Agency (ICRC, the International Red Cross) of their capture.
– Allowed to correspond regularly with relatives and to receive relief parcels.
– Allowed to keep their clothes, feeding utensils and personal effects.
– Supplied with adequate food and clothing.
– Provided with quarters not inferior to those of their captor’s troops.
– Given the medical care their state of health demands.
– Paid for any work they do.
– Repatriated if certified seriously ill or wounded, (but they must not resume active military duties afterwards) .
– Quickly released and repatriated when hostilities cease.
Prisoners of war must NOT be:
-Compelled to give any information other than their name, age, rank and service number.
– Deprived of money or valuables without a receipt (and these must be returned at the time of release).
– Given individual privileges other than for reasons of health, sex, age, military rank or professional qualifications.
– Held in close confinement except for breaches of the law, although their liberty can be restricted for security reasons.
- Compelled to do military work, nor work which is dangerous, unhealthy or degrading.
The fourth Geneva Convention (“Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”) covers all individuals “who do not belong to the armed forces, take no part in the hostilities and find themselves in the hands of the Enemy or an Occupying Power”.
Protected civilians MUST be:
– Treated humanely at all times and protected against acts or threats of violence, insults and public curiosity.
– Entitled to respect for their honour, family rights, religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs.
– Specially protected, for example in safety zones, if wounded, sick, old, children under 15, expectant mothers or mothers of children under 7.
– Enabled to exchange family news of a personal kind. – Helped to secure news of family members dispersed by the conflict
– Allowed to practise their religion with ministers of their own faith. Civilians who are interned have the same rights as prisoners of war. They may also ask to have their children interned with them, and wherever possible families should be housed together and provided with the facilities to continue normal family life. Wounded or sick civilians, civilian hospitals and staff, and hospital transport by land, sea or air must be specially respected and may be placed under protection of the red cross/crescent emblem.
Protected civilians must NOT be:
– Discriminated against because of race, religion or political opinion. – Forced to give information.
– Used to shield military operations or make an area immune from military operations.
– Punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. – Women must not be indecently assaulted, raped, or forced into prostitution.
More info at: http://www.ifrc.org/
What would be the point of wining a war, if your society lost its humanity in doing so?
After ISIS got too close to Kurdistan (and all that delicious oil) Obama decided it was time to make a pretext for war to defend the OIL.
Suddenly Obama cares about people since they are close to major oil supplies and some US interests.
Of course there are some calls that ISIS is just another CIA backed false flag movement, a damn convenient excuse to put troops back into the middle east and more money in the war machine.
Here are some ‘highlights’ from gulf war 2:
Today we remember the official beginning of the what was called then the great war, the war to end all wars. France and the British Empire had just declared war on Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire. At the time the British Empire was a truly world power with loyal colonies all around the world. Its not really possible to consider WW1 on its own but more as a pair of wars with WW2 being the sequel, that tried to not look like it was a sequel. The only real change to WW2 was the switch of sides of Italy who joined the axis forces and the trenches were moved to the English channel and cities in the Russian Steeps.
The real proof that the war was designed to have a sequel was the Treaty of Versailles, which forced Germany into crushing reparations. Germany simply had to have a war to get a new treaty that excluded the reparations.
Why did it happen:
Some people with no scruples and vast power decided that in order to further their aims they needed to:
- Collapse European monarchies, their only real competition.
- Kill off working class people in western Europe who might other wise become excess to requirement and therefore threat.
- Reduce the standard of living that had been improved by industrialization, to keep people poor and ignorant.
- Move and erase borders in Europe to allow their global finance cartels to expand further.
- Create division among people in Europe an the wider world, and divert their efforts into fear and the creation of weapons, so they did not focus on the real enemy, the globalists.
Dam obvious proof ? The war started with the assassination of the Arch Duke Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Ancestral monarchs were an endangered species. This empire disintegrated after this war.
Several important but apparently subtle changes had just occurred.
Queen Victoria had died (1901) and the Edward VII died in 1910 leaving George V with just 4 years in the role before war diplomatic relations broke down and turned to war. George the V had to change the name of their royal house from Saxe Coburg Gothe to Windsor to sound less German and more English. Interestingly a similar ‘fast baton change’ occurred just before WW2 with George VI’s predecessor famously abdicating after less than one year, giving George VI just 3 years to prepare for war. Perhaps if either monarch had more experience war might have been averted (or was that the plan all along).
The British navy had just converted to being a petroleum powered fleet and thus was reliant on access to foreign oil rather than domestic coal. The first move upon entering the war war to send troop to Basra to secure British oil supplies form the state of Iraq which it later manufactured from the ashes of the Ottoman empire.
The United States had Converted their monetary system to the Federal reserve system largely controlled by European bankers.
Hiram Maxim had invented a workable troop carried heavy machine gun along with his own variant of smokeless powder, European powers copied his design and soon most major armies had heavy machine guns. The heavy machine gun completely altered the wars that would be fought, making charges with troops and cavalry against fortified positions hugely costly in casualties. The heavy machine gun was a weapon built to be defensive in nature, it was designed to mow down troops in crowds from a fixed position, itself being too heavy to be moved easily while in use. This made for a mutual siege and prevented any real advance without slaughter, leaving battles bogged down in trenches, where it might have remained had it not been for the Spanish flu (influenza) which swept the world in 1917 and hastened the end of a pointless waste of human potential. One wonders if we would still be in the trenches of western Europe now had the Spanish Flu now come along.
Developments during the war(s):
The British invention the tank, Churchill who was a military man during WW1 said he wanted a land based version of a battle ship to turn the tide of battle.
The tank became central to Germany’s successes in WW2.
Aeroplanes were in an auxiliary role in WW1 by by WW2 had become pivotal in many battles. In more modern times the aeroplane has now almost supplanted the navy as being real military power with the aircraft carrier now being the most important overt aspect of modern navies.
Germany had used chemical weapons during the trench warfare, but use of these weapons (chlorine gas and mustard gas) was frowned upon in subsequent wars though they sadly seem to be making a come back in more recent conflicts.
In WW2 Germany had produced the first jet fighters but had produced them too late to deploy them to great effect. Germans had also significant advanced the field of rocketry so the war closed, USA (operation paperclip) and USSR scrambled to capture German scientists and government officials to power develop their war machines, space programs and their hold over their own populations.
At the war closed The USA dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which opened a new trench warfare against USSR with the trenches being the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Both USA and USSR now had the secret of the atomic bomb and the rockets to deploy them and suspiciously eyed each other for 50 years occasionally weaving and feinting.
The true agenda of this war was to remove ancestral monarchs from Europe so there would be less people influential enough able to resist the globalist ambitions of the multinational banking families, who wished to expand their sphere of influence. The Russian Bolsheviks ousted The Russian emperors family (House Romanov ) from power 6 months before the war ended . The disintegration of empires was the hallmark of this war and it’s companion war (WW2) less than a generation later. By the end of these war both the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Ottoman empires were gone, reduced to small countries. While the Russian empire now became a Communist state was expanded particularly after WW2.
In fact by the beginning of WW2 it was no longer kings and emperors declaring war it was presidents, prime ministers and governments, though the British still went through the ceremony of asking for a royal rubber stamp for the process.
Following the industrialization of production in Europe there existed a growing bubble of excess labor and people who were becoming dangerously comfortable with the benefits of efficient production. People had free time and were beginning to educate them selves. This industrialization was perverted into a war machine with factories now turn to creating devices of destruction rather than creature comforts. This was the first industrial war with vast resources turned to supplying the war effort.
2 world wars
European empires destroyed: 3 ( Austro-Hungarian, Russian*, Ottoman.) *The Russian empire was destroyed but expanded as the USSR.
Empires on the decline: several (most notably the British; losing India in ’47 and Canada in the 60’s, Germany; losing its colonies during the first world war, and a third of its territory for half a century)
People killed: 6% of the worlds population, mostly working class soldiers and civilians caught int he crossfire. A disturbing trend of 20th century warfare has been the increasing numbers of civilians killed from one conflict to the next.
Winners? after WW2 USA was apparently a winner having stayed out long enough to pick a winner, or at least appearing to do so. Well the real winner was the federal reserve system shipping all this skimmed money back to the European globalist bankers. Russia was also a big winner having absorbed most of the former Austro-Hungarian empire and a good third of Germany, which it held until the USSR dissolved. The USSR (2.0) is coming back and beginning to re-absorb states that broke away in the 90’s. We are seeing this occurring with eastern Ukraine right now. As we know the House (of Rothschild) always wins.
So there you have it, an in a nut shell version of the WW1 you never considered.
Approximately 1 in ever 5 males in Australia volunteered to go to war in the 1914-1918 period, very few were to realize when volunteering, the appalling conditions in France and Turkey and the fact the war was just a geopolitical chess game run by European bankers to expand their own power.
The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.
George Orwell (Eric Blair)
English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 – 1950)