U.S. Slammed for Decrying Australia’s Anti-Nuke Stance


By Common Dreams via Independent Australia, November 13, 2022

As Australia considers signing a treaty against nuclear weapons, the United States has taken a bullying approach against the Albanese Government, writes Julia Conley.

ANTI-NUCLEAR weapons campaigners rebuked the Biden Administration on Wednesday over its opposition to Australia’s newly announced voting position on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which could signal the country’s willingness to sign on to the agreement.

As The Guardian reported, the U.S. embassy in Canberra warned Australian officials that the Labor Government’s decision to adopt an “abstain” position regarding the treaty – after five years of opposing it – would obstruct Australia’s reliance on American nuclear forces in case of a nuclear attack on the country.

Australia’s ratification of the nuclear ban treaty, which currently has 91 signatories, “would not allow for U.S. extended deterrence relationships, which are still necessary for international peace and security,” the embassy said.

The U.S. also claimed that if Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Government ratifies the treaty it would reinforce “divisions” around the world.

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defence cooperation,” said Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. “The TPNW offers the best chance for lasting global peace and security and a clear road map for nuclear disarmament.”

The TPNW prohibits the development, testing, stockpiling, use and threats regarding the use of nuclear weapons.

The Australian chapter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) noted that Albanese’s vocal support for achieving nuclear disarmament puts him in line with the majority of his constituents — while the U.S., as one of nine nuclear powers in the world, represents a small global minority.

According to an Ipsos poll taken in March, 76 per cent of Australians support the country signing and ratifying the treaty, while only 6 per cent are opposed.

Albanese has won praise from campaigners for his own anti-nuclear advocacy, with the Prime Minister recently telling The Australian that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear sabre-rattling “has reminded the world that the existence of nuclear weapons is a threat to global security and the norms we had come to take for granted”.

“Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created,” Albanese said in 2018 as he introduced a motion to commit the Labor Party to supporting the TPNW. “Today we have an opportunity to take a step towards their elimination.”

Labor’s 2021 platform included a commitment to signing and ratifying the treaty ‘after taking account’ of factors including the development of ‘an effective verification and enforcement architecture’.

Australia’s decision to change its voting position comes as the U.S. is planning to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the country, where the weapons will be positioned close enough to strike China.

Gem Romuld, Australian director of ICAN, said in a statement:

“It’s no surprise the U.S. doesn’t want Australia to join the ban treaty but it will have to respect our right to take a humanitarian stance against these weapons.”

“The majority of nations recognise that ‘nuclear deterrence’ is a dangerous theory that only perpetuates the nuclear threat and legitimises the forever existence of nuclear weapons, an unacceptable prospect,” Romuld added.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN, called the U.S. embassy’s comments ‘so irresponsible’.

Fihn said:

‘Using nuclear weapons is unacceptable, for Russia, for North Korea and for the U.S., UK and all other states in the world. There are no “responsible” nuclear armed states. These are weapons of mass destruction and Australia should sign the #TPNW!’



One Response

  1. Nuclear weapons are certainly getting the hypocritical geopolitics of the Western nations tied up in all sorts of knots, alright!

    New Zealand, under the Labour government here, has signed the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons but belongs to the Anglo-American Five Eyes intelligence/covert action club and so shelters under the supposed protective deterrent of American nuclear weapons and its aggressive first strike, nuclear war-fighting strategy. NZ also supports in typical Western warmongering fashion – cavalierly dicing with death given the potential risks of unleashing World War III – the US/NATO proxy war on Russia via Ukraine. Go figure!

    We have to keep challenging the rampant contradictions and outrageous lying propaganda to help unravel the militarist pacts and their bases. In Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Anti-Bases Coalition (ABC), publisher of Peace Researcher, has led the way for many years. It’s terrific to link up with such a great campaigning international NGO like WBW!

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