- The Guardian
- Issue #2067
Labor’s war hawks succeeded in cementing AUKUS and the nuclear submarines and missiles that go with it in the party’s platform at its national conference this month.
Despite opposition from a number of left unions, the Labor Against War grouping, 40 or more ALP branches and many individual rank-and-file members, AUKUS was adopted as party policy.
The attempts to justify war preparations as the path to peace by Labor’s leaders demonstrated the arrogance of the ALP right and its contempt for rank-and-file members.
Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong even described AUKUS as “an instrument of peace.”
AGENTS OF A FOREIGN POWER
Under the AUKUS plan announced by US President Biden in March, Australia will begin hosting US nuclear-powered and armed submarines from this year and British vessels from 2026.
As Hannah Middleton has said in this paper, in committing Australia’s future to the biggest most aggressive military power in history, Prime Minister Albanese and Defence Minister Marles, like Morrison and Dutton before them, are now exposed as agents of a foreign power.
They are willing to sacrifice Australia’s economy and risk massive military and civilian casualties in order for the United States to retain economic and military dominance in the Indo-Pacific.
They are prepared to risk World War III and the possibility of it going nuclear with devastating worldwide consequences. AUKUS is the most dangerous and expensive military project in the nation’s history.
The cost of the program, including construction and maintenance, is estimated to reach more than $368 billion over the life of the program to 2055.
The north of Australia is being integrated into US planning and preparation for a war against China. This includes the military and spy bases established at North West Cape in Western Australia, the port, barracks and air base in Darwin, the joint RAAF-US Air Force base at Tindal outside Katherine, and the expanding Pine Gap spy and war fighting base outside Alice Springs.
The US has established a regional command centre in Darwin. The US Marines, Air Force, and Navy operating within and from Australia are all under the command of the US Indo-Pacific Command.
Albanese boasts of what he calls “new jobs, new industries, and new expertise in science, technology, and cyber” – but this is all for war, for death, and destruction. It is despicable propaganda.
War and preparations for war are the greatest threat to the environment. There are no billions for life and sustainable development, for our health, housing, education, and other human needs.
Where is the funding for diplomacy and arms control?
Where is the funding for the half a million Australians who are struggling to afford food every day?
Greens defence spokesman Senator David Shoebridge called the AUKUS deal a “$368 billion nuclear-powered raid on public education, health, housing, and First Nations justice that will starve core services for decades to come.
“Until it is reversed, today’s announcement will force Labor to deliver austerity budgets to funnel billions of dollars offshore to fund the US and UK nuclear submarine industries,” he said.
FOR THE PEOPLE
A government with genuine commitment to the wellbeing of the people would prioritise its spending differently.
With $200 billion, for example, the government could raise rates of income support on pensions, JobSeeker, youth allowance and other payments to $88 a day.
An annual investment of $5 billion a year would go a long way towards fixing the housing crisis.
The aged care system is in crisis. Aged care workers need a wage rise of at least 25 per cent which would cost an estimated $35 billion over ten years.
The public education sector is screaming out for funding – it needs an additional $65 billion for public schools, $69 billion to abolish university fees, $4 billion for free preschool, and $10 billion for a wage increase for early childhood education, and care workers.
PASSION FOR PEACE
We must unite and mobilise to force the Australian government off this path to war.
Write to PM Albanese, War Minister Marles, and Foreign Minister Penny Wong to tell them that you reject Australia becoming a proxy in such a war and bearing the terrible consequences.
Make Tuesdays your No AUKUS day – email them every Tuesday.
Since WW2, the Australian military has no longer had the purpose of defending the country against any supposed threats but has been reset to become an increasingly dangerous and destabilising force in the region. The Pivot to the Asia-Pacific and the exorbitant military budget have become an offensive force, particularly so with the US Alliance at the centre of its doctrine, and now with AUKUS and QUAD agreements and the proposed acquisition of nuclear submarines and the militarisation of Australia’s north.
The CPA’s campaign for a peace budget should bring people together under the banner that to give peace a chance it needs a budget. We aim to raise awareness to bring enough pressure on the government to stop the AUKUS treaty and its enormous militaristic budget projected for the next five years. That money should be funding for people’s health, housing, and education.
No more money for war! Peace deserves a budget!
Australia is already deeply complicit in US war plans through Pine Gap, one of the largest and most important US satellite ground control stations in the world. Pine Gap (near Alice Springs) is a ground station for satellites which cover China, southern Russia, and the Middle East oilfields. Pine Gap is essential to the US nuclear war fighting strategy.
The world-wide struggle between the people and the transnational corporations is intensifying. Pursuing their insatiable drive for expansion and ever-higher profits, the transnational corporations have undertaken a new drive to expand their control over the markets and resources of all countries by whatever means necessary, including war.
On the other hand, the working class, working farmers, the self-employed, those with professions and small business people, are resisting in various ways the onslaught by the big corporations and those governments which are implementing policies on their behalf.
The foreign policy of the United States is driven to: make the world safe for investment by American corporations; enrich US armaments corporations who contribute generously to Congress members; prevent the development of any society which becomes an example of an independent alternative to the capitalist model; extend its political and economic control over as much of the globe as possible.
We are witnessing the use of global power on an historic scale by an aggressive imperialist state willing to disregard international law and norms of civilised behaviour in its drive for world domination.
However, resistance to US efforts to impose its will on the world is growing. This movement is broader, better educated, better organised, more aware, and at a higher political level than ever before. The anti-capitalist movement is coming together with the anti-war movement, bringing in new people, increasingly the youth.
The coming together of these forces, their solidarity and mutual support, will give the many millions the power to roll back the New World Order and ultimately bring about revolutionary change.
The naval nuclear reactors for Australia represent one of the lowest points in Australian democracy in living memory. Huge expenditure has been announced for a single weapons capability, submarines, in a decision made behind closed doors, and overflowing with risks, many of which have barely been acknowledged yet.
The submarines are intended to take part in a nuclear war. Australia should urgently sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to remove any doubts about our intention to remain nuclear weapons free.
The submarine decision has been taken, in the name of defending “democracy,” by a tiny handful of people, with not a single Australian outside elite circles – some with vested interests – being consulted and listened to.
Naval nuclear reactors are to be imposed on one of our cities with zero consultation with the people there.
The Communist Party of Australia campaigns for peace and for Australia’s sovereignty and independence and to build friendship and solidarity with the people of Asia and the Indo-Pacific.
The CPA advocates:
- The removal of US military and intelligence bases from Australia.
- The removal of US military and intelligence bases from the Asia-Pacific region.
- Opposition to Australia’s role as a US proxy in the Asia and Indo-Pacific region.
- The promotion of an independent Australian foreign policy that builds peace, and respects the independence and sovereignty of countries and people in the Asia-Pacific.
- Exposing and opposing foreign armaments corporations in Australia.
- Opposing the development of an armaments industry in Australia.