Australian news, and some related international items

A New Zealander’s view of Australia’s Foreign Minister -Damn it. Not cool.

Bishop, Julie cartoon

Liberal led Australian government – disappointed in you. The New Zealand government was actually doing something I support and you start playing military industrial geo-politics under mining it.
Damn it. Not cool.

Julie and the Mushroom ~ Welcome to nuclear wonderland.

March 17, 2014 by  This is a headline which as a Kiwi it’s not nice to read in an Aussie paper “Federal government worked to scuttle New Zealand statement against nuclear weapons.

Oh dear…

New Zealand’s nuclear free stance and continued work towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, regardless of political party, is something to be proud of, if not vaguely surprised by in some cases.

It is disappointing, to say the least, that our special friends in Canberra appear to view this  ANZAC relationship differently when it comes to the nuclear industry and the money uranium brings into the Australian economy. Even to the extent it will actively work against the NZ government and it’s partners within international forums.

The SMH   reports;

“In October last year, following the election of the Coalition government, Australia refused a New Zealand request to   endorse a 125-nation joint statement at the United Nations highlighting the humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.”

Not only did the Abbot  government play obstruction, it also led the charge through diplomatic channels to frustrate efforts by New Zealand and 15 other nations to stop the use of nuclear weapons  under any circumstances on humanitarian grounds . A move which would also  place nuclear weapons in the same category as biological and chemical weaponry.

Firstly – WTF? Nuclear weapons bad – peace good. Secondly, the Australian government justifications for the back door shenanigans are just old school cold war ethics – get over it already. Thirdly – WTF? Having nuclear weapons in the same category –  the very very bad category – as chemical and biological weaponry is a good thing.

SMH again;

A Foreign Affairs and Trade department submission endorsed by Ms Bishop last October argued that a nuclear weapons ban ”conflicts with Australia’s long-standing position that, as long as a nuclear weapons threat exists, we rely on US nuclear forces to deter nuclear attack on Australia”.

Foreign Affairs and Trade head Peter Varghese bluntly observed that the New Zealand-led humanitarian initiative ”runs against our security interests”.

Seriously now Julie Bishop do we still need to be thinking this way?   Or is this an indication that Australia’s relationship with the US takes precedence over other regional concerns no matter what the cost or what relationships need to be compromised?
And Mr Varghese what nuclear threat? There’s a nuclear threat to Australia that means you need US nuclear bombs at the ready for the nation’s defense? Um – when did this happen? Are the Manus Island refugees about to attack the mainland utilising a nuclear arsenal? Unlikely.
The only real nuclear threat is the perceived one by those whom already have a load of the damn nasty things, have already used them causing untold destruction and probably get political funding from the private contractors that maintain them….damn the military industrial complex is predictable and boring these days.
 A briefing paper from ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons states;
“Anticipating criticism from civil society for its decision not to join the New Zealand -led initiative, Australia
prepared a joint statement of its own, which sought to balance humanitarian concerns over nuclear weapons
with what it considers the legitimate “security” interest of certain states to possess or otherwise rely on nuclear weapons.
Australia’s competing statement garnered the support of just 17 nations, most of which subscribe to military doctrines endorsing the use of nuclear weapons in certain circumstances.”
Liberal led Australian government – disappointed in you. The New Zealand government was actually doing something I support and you start playing military industrial geo-politics under mining it.
Damn it. Not cool.

March 18, 2014 - Posted by | General News

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