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.
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.