Edition 94 June 2022

AWPR Editorial - June 2022

By Dr Alison Broinowski

Unless Australians have the time and inclination to search for foreign news in translation, or have the language capacity for it, they get only one side of most stories. That includes many in government. This matters when the news concerns war, because then the media become recyclers of propaganda from one side, unchallenged by the other. The minimal presence of Australian foreign correspondents in most countries – none now in China, and few in Asia – makes observers one-eyed at best, dependent on Western sources.

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Going to War - Is Reform finally in sight?    

It’s a sad fact that for over 35 years the Australian Labor Party has opposed war powers reform. The actual reason for this staunch opposition remains somewhat unclear, but on the six separate occasions that legislation was introduced it was voted down by both Labor and The Coalition. But before you become completely pessimistic it is possible things are indeed changing. There is hope that the new Albanese government will hold a joint parliamentary inquiry into how we go to war.

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Articles of Note - June 2022

Malaysia has reinforced its concerns about Australia’s plans for a nuclear-powered submarine fleet after a “very candid” discussion between Foreign Minister Penny Wong and her Malaysian counterpart. The south-east Asian nation joined Indonesia in expressing anxiety about the submarine ambitions soon after the AUKUS three-way defence alliance was announced by US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and then prime minister Scott Morrison in September, fearing it could instigate a regional arms race. (SMH)
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Leading Australian defence expert Hugh White argues that the AUKUS agreement - and our faith in America's willingness and ability to come to our aid - is giving us a false sense of security. His Quarterly Essay "Sleepwalk to War: Australia's Unthinking Alliance with America" is out today. (ABC Radio)
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From Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow House Democrats to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans, all agree that the Defense Department — which already boasts a budget higher, in comparable dollars, than its levels during the Cold War, and bigger than the combined military budgets of the next nine highest-spending countries — must have more. (Washington Post)
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The “horrific conflict,” in Ukraine shows no signs of abating, the UN political and peacebuilding chief told the Security Council on Tuesday, pointing out that since her last update on 5 April, “countless Ukrainian civilians” have been killed in indiscriminate attacks, cities and towns levelled, and much of the country’s arable land “horribly disfigured by shelling”. (UN News)
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More than three in four Australians believe the alliance with the United States makes it more likely Australia would be drawn into a war in Asia against the national interest, a new poll shows. (The Guardian)
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A new landmark study published by the US Marine Corps University concludes that the activities of government military and intelligence agencies over the next decade are accelerating the likelihood of triggering a worst-case ‘Hothouse Earth’ scenario that would make the planet “unliveable for most species”. (Byline Times)
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We need your support to make War Powers Reform a reality in Australia
Our campaign for reform is about:

- Greater accountability for MPs and Senators
- Transferring the war power for overseas wars from the PM to parliament
- Avoiding disastrous wars like the Iraq invasion

An overwhelming 87% of Australians support reform!

Our small campaign with very limited resources is changing minds and bringing us closer to the goal of parliamentary approval for overseas wars.

With your financial support we can do so much more.
Can you chip in to make our movement stronger and more effective? Make a donation large or small
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