More lies from PM Howard
Peace groups reacted angrily to the statement by Prime Minister Howard last week that Australia has not been approached yet about providing bases for US troops. "This is the Prime Minister lying to the Australian people again by playing with words", said Dr Hannah Middleton from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC). "The possibility of more US bases in Australia has been the subject of discussion in Australian, Asian and American news outlets for months", she said, "with senior Pentagon officials quoted as saying this is what the US is asking for. "It is becoming increasingly clear that the Howard Government intends to embroil us even further in United States military adventures, whatever the security and economic costs to the Australian people", Dr Middleton said. "This is part of the Howard Government taking us ever closer into the orbit of the super power which is threatening world peace and stability by breaking arms agreements, developing new nuclear weapons and launching first strikes against impoverished countries." Howard declared that "If they [the US] have a proposal to put to us, we'll have to consider it. And there shouldn't be any assumptions made that we would automatically agree or disagree, we will have a look at it. It's possible." This is the same double-talk formula that Howard used in the run-up to the Iraq war, claiming that the Government had not made a decision to participate in the invasion of Iraq while actually sending SAS and naval vessels to the area. Star Wars program "The US also wants Australia to join — and help pay for — its missile shield program", AABCC Co-ordinator Denis Doherty pointed out. Asked if Australia was leaning towards becoming a partner in the controversial, expensive and still-experimental "Star Wars" system, Defence Minister Senator Hill told the Weekend Australian (12/7/2003): "The trend has been in that direction. The more likely progress will be through a ship-based scheme that won't be specifically designed to protect continental Australia, but will have the capability of missile interception that will give us the potential to engage in a broader missile defence agenda." Come clean Dr Middleton said, "With Australian military spending currently running at over $43 million a day, it is time the Prime Minister came clean about his government's intentions." On another front Deputy US Secretary of State Richard Armitage is attempting to silence the widespread criticism of US policies in Australia. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating said, "I hope the Americans have not led us into a Mad Max world, while they seek to shield themselves in the cocoon of national missile defence." Malcolm Fraser has criticised the Howard Government for making Australia too dependent on the US, which we could not rely on US assistance in case of need. Robert Armitage in an attempt to silence the critics told Malcolm Fraser to "Stop. Just stop."