Australian Peace, Environment and Social Justice Organisations Condemn US Nuclear Posturing

March 12, 2002

Australian Peace, Environment and Social Justice Organisations Condemn US Nuclear Posturing

Medical Association For The Prevention Of War,
Global Justice Inc,
Nuclear Free Australia,
Australian Peace Committee,
South Movement,
Australian Anti-Bases Campaign,
Friends Of The Earth Australia,

A broad range of peace and social justice organisations today condemned the US Government's nuclear posturing and urged the Australian Government to distance itself from any US nuclear war fighting plans. The Los Angeles Times released last week details of a classified US military document which foreshadows the use of nuclear weapons against countries including Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and Syria. It also flagged the idea of using nuclear weapons in the Israel-Arab conflict.

Jacob Grech of Ozpeace said today that "It is distressing that at a time when the rest of the world is looking for positive solutions to the Middle -East crisis, Australia's major ally, the US is considering the use of nuclear weapons which would only bring untold suffering and destruction".

Gareth Smith of Canberra Programme for Peace added that "As Australia's military policy is largely one of supporting US initiatives, this revelation has serious implications for Australia. The command, control, communication and intelligence base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs would play an important role in any US nuclear operation in the Asia-Pacific Hemisphere. This is well known and places Australia at risk of attack and of being complicit in any US nuclear adventurism."

John Hallam of Friends of the Earth said that "What we are being told is that the Cold War is not over and that the nightmare prospect of nuclear annihilation which we endured throughout the 1980s has just been revived by George W Bush and his military administration."

Mr Grech concluded by saying that "The Howard Government must send a strong and clear protest to the US that we refuse to be involved in an American nuclear war and not allow the use of US-Australian 'Joint Facilities' in any nuclear campaign. Only by taking an independent path to peaceful conflict resolution can Australia hope to have any real security in our region."

For further information contact:

Jacob Grech
Mob: 0402 246 491

John Hallam
Ph: (02) 9567 7533

Hannah Middleton
Australian Anti-Bases Committee
Ph: (02) 9212 0800