An illegal war — what the ANZUS Treaty says
The Australian Government with the full backing of the Labor Party is set to involve Australia in what is now being called "Infinite War" against the 60 countries that US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says are on the US list of those countries which are alleged to be harbouring terrorists or whose state is alleged to be condoning "state terrorism". The Government has invoked Article Four of the ANZUS Treaty for this purpose without spelling out the actual terms of the ANZUS Treaty. For some time, New Zealand, has been a reluctant participant so ANZUS is really a misnomer It is really an AUS treaty — Australia and the US. However, this small problem does not deter John Howard from declaring "We'll follow you into battle". Article four of the ANZUS Treaty says the following: "Each Party recognises that an armed attack in the Pacific Area on any of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional processes. "Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall be immediately reported to the UN Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security." None of these steps have been taken. The UN has not been given the opportunity to take control of the situation despite a number of countries calling for this to be done. The UN Security Council has been ignored and the US is unilaterally deciding what it is going to do. It is about to commit aggression against a country which is a member of the UN and probably a number of other countries in the future. The Australian Government and the Opposition are prepared to go along with this illegality and the violation of its own written treaty obligations — and then we will be told that we are fighting for the "rule of law". Furthermore, it is stretching the imagination to assert that the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon took place in the "Pacific Area" or even that it was an "armed attack" in the conventional sense of the word. Just as importantly the ANZUS Treaty in Article One stipulates that: "The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations." None of these provisions are being adhered to: "Settle by peaceful means"; "International peace and security not endangered"; "Refrain from the threat or use of force". We are told that Australian troops will fight "under US command" — not UN command. Such a situation is in line with the position into which the Howard Government has placed Australia. Any pretence that Australia is an independent country, capable of making its own decisions about matters which are in our national interest, has been abandoned. The Australian Government is setting Australia to be a "bit player" in America's war for the domination of the whole world. That is the real meaning of America's "infinite war". It is a war in which violence and illegality prevail, with gangsters given unfettered license and, no doubt, rewards to kill selected targets. The scenario has already been played out in a number of Central and Latin American countries where American trained, armed and financed, death squads have waged a pitiless war not against "terrorists" but against those who have dared to resist the domination and exploitation by US monopoly corporations.