Anger at threat to bomb Syria

Anti-war activists in Sydney last June.

Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) released this statement on August 28.

Peace activists across the nation are united in anger at the prospect of Australia joining the US in bombing targets in Syria.

IPAN is a network of peace groups with affiliates in every state and territory. It has consistently opposed the use of military power to solve international problems and believes that Australia has lost its independence through too close an alliance with the US.

Nick Deane, spokesman for IPAN said: “After more than a decade, it should be clear that military intervention in the Middle East has been an utter failure. It has achieved no worthwhile outcome in Iraq, instead reducing that once prosperous nation to destitution.

“Many respected observers attribute the growth of fundamentalist militarism to the large-scale Western interventions in the Middle East over the past few decades. Intervention hasn’t worked and it isn’t working. It is time for us to admit this and seek new strategies. Why persist in repeating the patterns that we can all see are failing?

“Significantly, once again, our nation’s military commitment may be ramped up without any debate in Parliament. One backbencher — Daniel Tehan — floats the idea and the next week the government announces that it is giving his suggestion serious consideration.

“Increasing our military activity in this way, which will undoubtedly mean the deaths of more civilians, is not in Australia’s best interests. This is blatant ‘mission creep’, whatever its proponents might say.

“While our Prime Minister maintains that he is responding to ‘a request from the USA’, the more likely reality is that he actively canvassed the request beforehand.

“It is time for the defence establishment to wake up to the realisation that increased military activity does nothing more than add fuel to the fire that is ISIS.

“If we genuinely want to live in a peaceful and independent Australia, we must end our proclivity for engaging in military action whenever it suits the interests of the USA.”

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