Makin’ Peace during Talisman Sabre 2015

[Paradigm Shift 4zzz fm 102.1 17 Jul 2015, fridays at noon]

The Talisman Sabre joint military exercises are now into their 10th year of training for interoperability between the Australian and US military. This year a total of 27 000 troops took part, including 18 000 US soldiers and a handful of Japanese. The exercises in the northern territory and central qld also attracted a small but dedicated group of peace activists, 18 of whom were arrested trespassing on the shoalwater bay base during the war games. Andy spoke to Margaret Pestorius, Lucy Allan, AJ Van Tonder and Sam Quinlan about the peace convergence and about taking direct action against war.

USS Blue Ridge is the flagship of the 7th fleet which was born in Brisbane during World War II during the battle of the Coral Sea. At that time, US General MacArthur decided to draw a line through Brisbane and give the northern part of Australia up to Japanese imperial forces.

It was called the Brisbane Line.

At that time a family member told me that, as a boy, from his back steps in Camp Hill, he saw ambulance after ambulance carrying wounded soldiers from the battle of the Coral Sea. This sad spectacle continued throughout the day along Old Cleveland Road to the US military hospital at Carina. It planted a life long memory in Elice who died only recently.

It was only 50 years ago that the US took Australia into its longest war in Indo-China during the 1960s and 70s. A war that killed millions of Vietnamese people.

It seems the war as never ended for the warmongers, the US wishes to use Australia to protect its strategic interests in the Pacific and South China Sea after conducting murderous wars of aggression in the middle east over the past 10 years. It has a new base in Darwin and runs exercises in Queensland with uncritical support from Queensland hob nobs, Governor Paul de Jersey and Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll, who were on-board the command ship of the US Navy’s seventh fleet as it sailed under the Gateway Bridge before docking at Hamilton.

As part of a PR campaign, some of the 170 officers and 800 enlisted men and women will spend the next few days visiting schools and hospitals across Brisbane.

For mine, US troops and bases out!

But what of China? No to capitalist China.

And a truly independent Australia in the Pacific and Indian Oceans is the way forward …

Andy Paine & Ian Curr
July, 2015


USS Blue Ridge flagship of the 7th fleet berthed at Hamilton wharf, Brisbane

Sister Rosetta Tharpe sings ‘Didn’t it rain’
Jumping Fences ‘Candile de Nieve’


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