Afghan War And Nuclear Dangers

October 27, 2001

Afghan War And Nuclear Dangers

Australian Peace Committee
Australian Anti-Bases Campaign
Friends Of The Earth

Environment and peace groups have warned that the Afghan war presents nuclear risks and could well spiral out of control.

In recent developments, Australia's onetime UN ambassador Richard Butler suggested that terrorists could have access to nuclear weapons, and asked what would have happened had the planes used on September 11 had nuclear weapons on board.

In a recent Washington Post article, Pentagon advisers speculated that over the next year, there was a 5% probability of a nuclear attack against the US.

In the same Washington Post item, "You can go and kill every one of their terrorists and hang [Osama] bin Laden in front of the White House and you still haven't solved the problem -- and you've probably created hundreds of new terrorists," said retired Col. Richard Dunn, a former chief of the Army's internal think tank. "So you could win tactically, and lose strategically."

According to the groups:

"We believe that the real consequences of marching off to war have not been thought through. It is becoming clearer and clearer that a policy based on retaliation is not going to solve the terrorism problem at all, but rather will ensure that the world is an even more dangerous place than ever. It is quite pointless to shout that we 'must do something', but if the only courses of action under consideration make the problem worse, then even to do nothing would be much wiser."

"In fact, what needs to be done as many in the US itself have repeatedly stated, is for the US to undertake a painful look at the effects of its policies on the rest of the world, and to truly and honestly ask the question 'Why do they hate us?'."

"We urge the US itself, to reconsider its policy of retaliation, which risks taking the world to the brink. We urge the Australian government and opposition to reconsider support for these unwise and dangerous policies. Mr. Howard does not commit troops in our name."

A rally for peace with the slogan 'Not in Our Name' is to be held on Sydney at the Archibald Fountain in Hyde park at 12 noon Nov. 4, the last Sunday before the election, and similar rallies are to take place in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth.

For further information contact:

John Hallam
Ph: (02) 9567 7533

Dennis Doherty
Mob: 0418 290 663

Irene Gale
Ph: (08) 8332 3461