Das Boot comes to Australia

Greens Leader Adam Bandt has been criticised for headlining the Australian governments proposal to build submarines as Chernobyl Submarines. He told people on Facebook:

“This dangerous nuclear submarines move puts floating Chernobyls in the heart of Australia’s cities.
It makes Australia less safe, increases the risk of conflict in our region & puts us in the firing line.
Greens will fight this tooth and nail. “

I am with Adam Bandt on this. His analogy is appropriate. From the late 1950s through the end of 1997, the Soviet Union, and later Russia, built a total of 245 nuclear submarines, more than all other nations combined. The Soviet Unions expenditure on its military arsenal during the cold war with the United States sunk the Soviet economy depriving its people of important and necessary goods. By the end of the cold war, the Soviet Union and the USA accounted for 20 and 36 per cent, respectively, of total world military spending.

Scene from West German film ‘Das Boot’

There are a number of Soviet and Russian nuclear submarines rotting away dangerously on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Australian governments have been trying to foist nuclear waste on remote aboriginal communities for years.

Australia should be building electric cars in South Australia not nuclear subs.

Whatever happened to the notion of Australian governments doing what is best for Australia rather than following in the footsteps of two failed states, the United States and Britain. Both states are incapable of warding off the global pandemic, have failed to address climate change and seem unable to deal with the superior economy of China. China has been Australia’s main trading partner for decades now so why threaten its people by buying expensve attack submarines when we are so far from its shores and could not hope to challenge China’s superior manufacturing capability.

Das Boot was a West German anti-war film showing the terrible impact of submarine warfare on its sailors.

Australia the UK and the United States have just emerged defeated from a 20 year war with the people of Afghanistan. They were defeated by an agrarian society. During that time they employed war crimes to defeat their enemy, to no avail.

A recent ABC Four Corners program showed Australian SAS soldiers drinking beer from the prosthetic leg of a Taliban fighter killed by an Australian soldier in 2009. Most of the soldiers would have known little about the history of the leg, which they called “Das Boot”. But at least one man knew it represented something more sinister, because it is alleged that Roberts had murdered its former owner outside the laws of combat on Easter Sunday, 2009.

That soldier was Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, Australia’s most decorated Afghan war veteran and, until recently, a man lauded by politicians as the embodiment of Australia’s ideal fighter.

In the video, Roberts-Smith is pictured, smiling and pumping his fist, in the background as the soldier in the KKK outfit – one of his mates – burns the cross. He is also happily pictured with people drinking from the leg – despite comments to the Federal Court from his lawyer, Bruce McClintock, in 2019 that his client “thought it was disgusting to souvenir a body part”.

Must we sink to such depths again by a government under the leadership of a radical far-right christian fundamentalist politician, Scott Morrison and his depraved crew of racist and misogynist cabinet ministers? As one might expect, the powers holding nuclear weapons, there are 9 of them, opposed the development of a treaty banning nuclear weapons as did Australia, following, as usual, the position of the United States.

Russian nuclear powered submarine

Please sign the petition … No Nuclear-Submarines; End U​.​S. dominance; Healthcare not warfare

Ian Curr
19 September 2021

Petition from Independent & Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN)

Australians speak out against nuclear submarines and AUKUS

Australia cannot become a staging point for the U.S. military, we cannot abrogate our sovereignty to the U.S., we cannot encourage nuclear proliferation and risk environmental catastrophe.

Australian peace, environmental and other activists and organisations are opposed to the Morrison Government decision to join the trilateral security agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) and the development of nuclear submarines.

This authoritarian decision, taken without consultation or engagement of the Australian public, undermines Australian sovereignty, wastes taxpayers money, damages the environment and poses a threat to peace in the region and to global peace. 

With this agreement, the Australian Government can no longer claim it is remaining neutral between Beijing and Washington. Now Australia is ‘all in’ with America, regardless of the public. 

This agreement also cements military dependence on the U.S. as Australia becomes unable to operate without Washington’s approval. Furthermore, the Morrison Government has also committed to allowing further U.S. military forces into Australia. 

This will not only deny Australia the ability to act independently but will also make it complicit in dangerous regional tensions and conflict, undermining global cooperation to address the COVID-19 pandemic. 

AUKUS is a step backwards for diplomacy, deepening a Cold War mentality, which has alienated Australia not only from France but our neighbours such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

Building nuclear submarines will impose an extraordinary economic burden on the Australian people. Funding for welfare, education, the environment and healthcare will be raided. These resources should be directed to the health, social and economic needs of workers and the Australian people, as well as rebuilding local sustainable manufacturing industries.

There will also be a significant environmental cost as the presence of these vessels in our cities and harbours is a clear and present danger. There are already nine nuclear reactors on the seafloor from sunken nuclear submarines. 

For these reasons and many more, we are calling on the Australian Government to fully withdraw from AUKUS and the development of nuclear submarines.