VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism • www.cpaml.org
(Above: USAF B-52 bomber Photo credit Przemyslaw Burdzinski on Creative Commons Flickr)
Yesterday a Senate Estimates committee was told that Australia allows US Air Force planes to enter Australia even though they may be carrying nuclear weapons.
In a contradictory statement, Defence Department Secretary Greg Moriarty said that while the stationing of nuclear weapons in Australia was prohibited under the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, Australia does not require the US to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons on its “platforms” – planes, ships and submarines.
In the case of the USAF, its aircraft have been rotated through Australia since at least 2005. Irrespective of whether there is a Liberal or Labor federal government, our politicians dare not ask their overlords whether they are bringing nuclear weapons into our waters or over our land mass.
In neighbouring New Zealand, the Labor government of David Lange made the entire country a nuclear-free zone in 1984, which effectively barred American warships from docking in their ports. The US tried to bully New Zealand into dropping the ban by freezing it out of ANZUS and downgrading their diplomatic status. It did not work and it is still NZ policy not to allow nuclear-armed or nuclear-powered vessels into its ports. Because the US will neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons, its ships remain banned from NZ.
In 2017, New Zealand signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty forbids the production, storage, and use of nuclear weapons, and New Zealand’s signature showcases that today their anti-nuclear stance is as strong, if not stronger, than ever. Australia has not yet signed the Treaty.
Back on this side of the ditch, Australian collaborators with US imperialism not only dare not ask about the weapons status of US ships and aircraft, they are busy building at Australian expense expanded facilities for the US war machine.
The RAAF Tindal air base near Katherine in the NT is being expanded at a cost of $1bn to accommodate B-52 Stratofortress bombers and B-52 Spirit stealth bombers, both of which routinely carry nuclear weapons.
Plans are also underway to expand facilities in WA, and create a new one on the eastern coast, for the docking of US and British nuclear-armed submarines.
It is no wonder that former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, having carried out US dictates during his term in office, became so worried about our loss of sovereignty and inability to have an independent capacity for decision-making in foreign affairs, wrote, in his declining years, a warning about this in a book he titled Dangerous Allies, his belated description of the US.
Next week, on Friday February 24, there will be rallies in cities around Australia outside Labor MPs electorate offices hosted by the Australian Anti-AUKUS Coalition.
See here for details.