Groups Condemn Troop Commitment: Not In Our Name

October 18, 2001

Groups Condemn Troop Commitment: Not In Our Name

Friends Of The Earth Australia
Anti-Bases Campaign Committee
People For Nuclear Disarmament W.A.,
Trade Union Environment Caucus
No-War Sydney

Anti-War groups, peace groups, and environment groups Australia-wide have condemned the Howard governments commitment of 1550 defence personnel to Afghanistan as foolish and irresponsible.

According to the groups:

"People all over Australia and all over the world have been demonstrating their opposition to war in recent days, with anti-war protests last Saturday (October 13) in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and with massive rallies in London, Berlin, and the US itself.

To say that a political consensus exists for this deployment is nonsense. Kim Beazley is quite wrong to say all Australians support this move. We say to the government and the opposition, 'NOT IN OUR NAMES'. Australia should not be giving a blank cheque of this kind to the US government, and for us to proceed further down the path of mindless retaliation mapped out by the Bush administration is foolish in the extreme. Bombing Afghanistan will solve nothing. It will do nothing to prevent further installments of horror directed against the US and its allies, but it will worsen the situation, and widen the spreading conflict.

The world stands on the brink of a conflict that could spread unpredictably and whose end is completely unknown. Instead of supporting the US in all it does no matter how misguided, Australia should be a voice of reason, cautioning against potentially dangerous moves. Instead of adopting this responsible role, we have taken the completely irresponsible one of going all the way with George W. Australia should be urging restraint on the international community, not sending troops."

For more information or comment contact:

John Hallam
Ph: (02) 9567 7533

Jacob Grech
Mob: 0402 246 491

Dennis Doherty
Ph: (02) 9212 0800
Mob: 0418 290 663

Joan Shears
Ph: (07) 3371 3640