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Penny Wong opposes Democratic Oversight

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Has Australia’s Foreign Minister, who advocates international law and human rights, surrendered to the hawks in Canberra?

Senator Penny Wong told Parliament yesterday that the way Australia goes to war should not change.

See video here

Labor has evidently sided with the Coalition’s Andrew Wallace (LNP), who is deputy chair of the sub-committee currently inquiring into how Australia goes to war.

He says the present system has ‘served us well’.

Under that system, Australian prime ministers are able, alone or in a small hand-picked group, to decide to dispatch the ADF to war overseas.

They have always informed the Australian people after the decision, and if there was a debate, it could change nothing.

Under that system, Australia has backed the US in successive wars, all of them disastrous: in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

Under that system, we could do the same again with even worse consequences, against China.

Penny Wong has pre-empted the decision of the Parliamentary committee inquiring into changing Australia’s war powers.

Defence Minister Richard Marles did the same, on the day he set up the inquiry.

Submissions from Australian citizens and organisations overwhelmingly supported the case for reform. Of 111 submissions, 94 were in favour of reform. They have been ignored.

If this is the democratic process and the ‘rules-based order’ Australian ministers recommend to our neighbours, it is not working in Australia.

– Australians for War Powers Reform media statement.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Neil Churches

    ‘War is too important to be left to the generals’

    George Clemenceau was unfortunately correct when he stated the obvious. Australia is a democracy, not a military autocracy. We may not often appreciate our politicians but at least we elected them.

  2. Ordan Andreevski

    Shame on our Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong for opposing War Powers Reform in Australia. This makes a mockery of their respect for deliberative democracy and for ignoring the wishes of the Australian people. They represent new despotism in Australia and how not go manage and improve our democracy.

    They are way too close to the military industrial complex, NATO and the Quad and are busy setting Australia and the Indo-Pacific for a war with China.

  3. Claudio Pompili

    Yes…FM Wong is too predictable and a long-term apparachtik of the ALP machine


    Australian Government has sold our Sovereignty, for nothing in return. Those who doubt this should read the agreements covering all U.S. establishments on Australian soil. The U.S. has complete Sovereignty over them all, “unimpeded”, The U.S. has made Australia into a front line base in “their” War with China. The U.S. can, and will, store all their War making armaments and supplies on Australian soil, including anything nuclear. “Sovereignty”?, two days after this agreement was concluded, the U.S. announced it would be inviting Japan to share all these facilities, without reference to Australia; you tell me where is Australian Sovereignty now? We have none; Australia is now forced to take part in any Wars that the U.S. dreams up, and we are now a prime target for any retaliation and retribution. China is not an aggressor, it has not flooded the World with military bases, whereas the U.S. has,and .no just cause exists, other than U.S. fantasy and imagination, that can justify the U.S. planned aggression against China. When this kicks off, there will be military call-ups, all our young able bodied citizens, your sons and daughters, will be sent to War, to die in service of U.S. plans to control the whole World; too late to object, you have already been co-opted. You may then wonder, what happened to our Sovereign Democracy? With apologies to “Kipling”, we have fallen into a trap “made for fools”.

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