By Ben Wilson
In the wake of the latest military failure of the United States in Afghanistan, an unprecedented number of peace and anti-war groups in Sydney are organising an online 11 Day Peace Festival. It will take place on 16-26 September.
The Raising Peace Festival will host more than 30 public events, clustered around the United Nations International Day of Peace on 21 September, and a keynote address will be given by His Excellency Mr Armando Vargas Araya, Ambassador for Costa Rica, at noon. Costa Rica is a model country for developing a culture of peace. It has no army and is the site of the United Nation’s University of Peace.
Australia’s involvement in in wars, commitment to peace, new technology of war, the weaponizing of space, and the danger of nuclear devastation will be discussed, with the aim of developing an alternative direction. The festival will be opened by David Shoebridge MLA, and involve Alison Broinowski (author and former diplomat), David Brophy (University of Sydney) and Rita Warleigh (Raising Peace). Other sessions will include Geraldine Doogue (ABC), Allan Behm (Australia Institute) and Clinton Fernandes (author and academic) as guest speakers.
Australia’s connection is that it has blindly followed the United States into Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and other places. All have been failures.
Lives have been destroyed and nations devastated. Young Australians have been sent to come back injured or in a coffin for the pretence of fighting for freedom. These wars had been waged to capture territory for the superpower.
This is the extent to which Washington and Wall Street have control over Australia’s decision making process. Australia’s future depends on breaking this control and putting an end to a subservient alliance with the United States, so we can make our own future and contribute to respect between nations and peace.
Australians have been told for decades that we go to war for freedom and Australia’s national security interests. We have been encouraged to be fearful of people of a different culture and colour.
Countering this, some have stood against the tide and contributed to the rise of a great movement against war. Opinion against Australia’s role as deputy sheriff of the United States and fr an independent foreign policy has never been stronger.
This is a good time to move the cause for peace to a new level.