Newsletter No. 20.
New Zealand has a major problem with its defence policies. At a time of heightened international tension and nuclear danger NZ is about to be faced with a choice which, if wrong, could well destroy our society. The USA, to whose military alliance and through membership of the Five Eyes alliance NZ is firmly committed, has embarked on, what hopefully remains, a cold war against NZ’s main trading partner, China. At some stage, NZ is likely to be asked to choose between its current defence policy and its future prosperity and well-being. There appears to be no public debate about this life or death choice – and no evidence of a serious, informed discussion in the political circles that will be faced with the decision. NZ looks as though it is drifting towards possible disaster.
Alarmed by this situation, I wrote to Ron Mark on the 14th of May – both by email and snail mail. A month later, having received no acknowledgement, I repeated the performance with Andrew Little. I still have received no acknowledgement. Both ministers will now have seen this article – though neither has acknowledged having done so. RIMPAC (a ten minute read!) NZ’s foreign policy is so secretive and so closed to democratic influence that according to Geoffrey Palmer, only three members of the Lange cabinet, including the PM, were aware of the decision to install the Waihopai intelligence gathering station. It would appear that none of them had a clear idea of what it would involve, nor the extent that it would bind NZ to follow decisions made in Washington.
It is the NZ electorate’s apathy regarding foreign affairs that allows this state of affairs to persist. As in the previous two World Wars, it is from this direction that the gravest consequences of wrong decisions will emerge. The NZ public will have had virtually no influence on them – and only itself to blame.
Syria I have categorised this under Global Governance, it could just as well have gone under human rights. Current global governance structures are powerless in the face of this murderous conduct by powerful nations.4 minute read
Rainbow Another categorising query. Perhaps it should be under ‘Peace & Conflict Resolution? This article is written by Kiwi, Alyn Ware who works tirelessly at the UN to avert the nuclear threat. Meanwhile, the UN remains hopelessly unable to do so. 5 minute read
Peace and Conflict Resolution
Space wars Short term greed trumps all other considerations. 3 minute read
Afghanistan Afghanistan, the war that NZ was duped (or went open-eyed) into contributing to. Like Iraq, another undemocratic foreign policy decision that cost lives and reputation. 36 minute watch
Environment and Climate Change
Ecocide Stopping ecocide 2 minute read.
Investment Climate change changes accountancy practices. 3 minute read
Greenwash A greenwash/hogwash checker. 3 minute read
Siberia Anyone for a holiday on the Siberian Riviera? 4 minute read
Human Rights and Justice
Statues Statues don’t remain shrines to the great in perpetuity. Society’s ideas change and the statues linger on as memorials. I believe a society has to know and come to terms with its history. As continuous and sobering reminders of what our forefathers once thought (and honoured), such statues should remain on public display – and alongside each should be displayed the subject’s deeds and words, no matter how shameful they might seem in modern eyes. 3 minute read
Excuses The United Nations still retains some moral authority. At least Israel still tries to justify its unjustifiable actions to the international community. 3 minute read.
Just another typical week in the life of Felaan bin Felaan. 4 minute read.
The depths of iniquity are offset by glorious heights. Here Natanyahoo opens Israel’s latest illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights.