Saturday, February 17, 2007

Warmonger Peter Garrett: 100 per cent support for US military base in WA

February 17, 2006: Labor puppet and US military supporter, Peter Garrett has defended US military bases in Australia, saying he accepted the ALP's policy when he capitulated to the party almost three years ago.

Garrett says he fully supports his party's endorsement of a new US military communications base planned for Western Australia. In his previous life as a rock star, Mr Garrett and Midnight Oil railed against US military might with songs such as US Forces, Hercules and When the Generals Talk.

From the moment the ALP bought Peter Garrett for the seat of Kingsford Smith, activists around the country and the planet have been discussing whether the now corporate-suited politician has sold out on his ideals...
He said this week that his position on the US military had certainly changed from when he protested outside the Pine Gap base near Alice Springs in the 1980s - developed by the Hawke Labor government. In the past, the former Midnight Oil singer has called for the US military to be evicted from Australia. But today, it seems, he fully supports US control on Australian soil. This week though he dodged questions about a secret US military base for Geraldton in Western Australia.

"You know, 25 and 30 years ago, like a lot of other Australians, I was involved in making music, in actions and in activities around the country," Mr Garrett said. "Of course you change your mind about some things over time. Many people's views had evolved over time, he said. "Mine have. When I joined the Labor Party I accepted the position that the Labor Party has in terms of supporting those facilities, and that maintains up to this very point in time today."

Garret, the opposition spokesman for Climate Change, environment and the arts was hammered by Libs after refusing to answer journalists' questions about the new unmanned US base, approved after three years of secret negotiations between the US and Australian governments. Garrett said Labor had not received a briefing on the proposal at the time he was questioned by journalists.

"Subsequently, the defence spokesman has made it clear that the Labor Party supports the joint facilities," Mr Garrett told reporters in Sydney. "I 100 per cent support the defence minister on that issue. I want to make it perfectly clear that when I joined the Labor Party I accepted and understood what the policy was for Australian joint facilities... that is a policy I unreservedly accept."

"Twenty-five and thirty years ago, like a lot of other Australians I was involved in actions and activities across this country, of course you change your mind about some things over time, no one listening to this interview would expect otherwise, "Mr Garrett said. "There would be members on both frontbenchers of the parliament, many people sitting in their bedrooms, in their lounge rooms, in the pub today who have views... which have evolved over time, mine have."

In 1986, Garret, on behalf of peace activists launched a national campaign to close the joint defence facility of Pine Gap: "It is our intention to give 12 months notice of termination of the above agreement on the 19th day of October 1986."

Now in 2007, Garret has fully caved to his political masters: "I don’t believe that Pine Gap should be closed. I'm fully prepared to accept the position that Labor has taken. There is no doubt about it, that it is the threat of terrorism and the intelligence that we can gather from terrorism that is now one of the primary and most important things that Australia, in terms of our national security, needs to consider," he said this week.

"Peter Garrett was always going to find it difficult dealing with the compromises of being in the Labor Party. Well, that had been the traditional analysis of his move from environment activist to mainstream politician," said Ben Oquist for Crikey in November 2006. "Reality has played out somewhat differently. It actually looks like Garrett is very comfortable in the grubbiest aspects of party politics..."

Sad days...

--- Midnight Oil was an Australian rock band active from the early 1970s until 2003. Their notable hits include "Beds are Burning" and "Blue Sky Mine". The band was known for its driving hard rock sound, intense live performances, and its overt left-wing political activism, particularly in aid of environmentalist causes... --- Wikipedia

SMHPeter Garrett back flips on Pine Gap - ABC
The Age
Wikipedia: Midnight_Oil
How Peter Garrett trashed his moral authority - Crikey

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