A webinar is to be held discussing Australia's involvement in the escalating tensions between the U.S. and China which could lead to conflict, writes Bevan Ramsden.
‘We are on the path to war! How do we stop it?’
This is the title of a national webinar organised by the Australian Anti-AUKUS Coalition in expectation of the release of three reports this month; one on AUKUS and the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, one on the Inquiry into war powers reform and one, although it may now be delayed until April, on the Defence Strategic Review.
The lead speakers at the webinar are Dr Alison Broinowski on the report on war powers reform, Brian Toohey on AUKUS and the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines and Dr Vince Scappatura speaking on the Defence Strategic Review.
The webinar will be chaired by lawyer and human rights activist Kellie Tranter and will be held on Sunday 26 March at 6:30 PM AEDT.
Following the speeches, the meeting will be opened to commentary and ideas from the “floor” for campaigning to stop this march to war.
Registration can be found HERE.
This webinar is taking place in an environment of anticipated heavy and increased military spending occasioned by preparation for an “automatic” close involvement with the United States in a war against China. The hardliners are calling for a doubling of military expenditure to 4 per cent of the GDP.
The recent rabid war propaganda by Murdoch’s Sky News special, ‘Are we ready for war?’, and supported by the ‘Red Alert’ articles in the Sydney Morning Herald are blatant misuse of media ownership to fan the flames of war and prod the Government into its own version of propaganda to condition the Australian public to support such a war and the heavy public expenditures which it requires.
Australia’s involvement in a U.S. war against China would be a catastrophic disaster for the Australian people. With 90 per cent of our fuel supplies imported and the war disrupting this supply, transport would be hit heavily and the trucking of essentials, including food, stopped. With a high percentage of everyday items (apart from food) imported from China, the import of such items would cease with the war. Shops would empty. Essential imported medical supplies would be scarce, if available at all. It would be far worse than the recent pandemic.
Exports to China would cease and the economy would face a severe downturn with substantial job losses. Community division would be stimulated with an upsurge of racism directed at any who have Asian features — and that is 3 million Australians. Hugh White, a respected defence strategist says the losses of servicemen and women in the war would exceed those losses in the Vietnam and Korean Wars.
And the massive increase in military expenditure diverts public money away from urgent community needs such as bringing our hospitals up to scratch – stated by the Australian Medical Association to require $20 billion – along with the urgent need for affordable housing, upgrading of education and addressing the impact of climate change.
Going to war with the United States against China over Taiwan is none of our business. As former PM Paul Keating has stated, Taiwan is not of strategic value to Australia. Taiwan is a province of China, recognised by the United Nations as such and the relationship between Beijing and Taiwan is a matter to be resolved internally without external interference, hopefully peacefully.
Why should Australians suffer catastrophically for the United States to retain dominance, economically and militarily in the Indo-Pacific and risk WW3 and the possibility of it going nuclear with devastating worldwide consequences?
The times are urgent and the call must be made for all peace-loving people to unite and mobilise to force the Australian Government off this path to war. We need to assert our independence and embrace peace to address our many internal social issues and we need it in our region with the promotion of peaceful and mutually beneficial relations with all our neighbours.
Bevan Ramsden is an ex-telecommunications engineer and a long-time peace activist who advocates for Australia’s independence. He was a member of the coordinating committee of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) for a number of years and is the editor of its monthly publication, 'Voice'.
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