A letter to Checkpoint from Bob Rigg, a former OPCW official retired to Wellington. I doubt there will be a reply.
“Why did the NZ police pick on a tiny group of elderly humanitarian activists who had offended the US by sending the princely sum of $2000 to North Korea? The answer: although the US has publicly declared that it wants to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid to North Korea, it is in reality subjecting North Korea to the full force of its possibly illegal sanctions regime.
The UN has estimated that five million of North Korea’s population of 10 million is currently getting by on about 300g of food a day,..
Because of the US sanctions regime most governments are afraid to donate to the UN’s humanitarian fund for North Korea, which has so far been able to bank only about US$12 million, of its target of US$120 million. . As far as I know New Zealand is not currently amongst the brave donor governments.
Under our outgoing centre-right foreign minister, New Zealand played ball, even with Trump’s MAGA government. Winston’s bootlaces were protruding from the US ambassador’s posterior. Unfortunately the new Labour government seems devoid of both talent and experience in the foreign affairs department. Maybe this would be an opportunity for the talent and charisma of Chloe Swarbrick?
When the NZ police prepared its charges against our geriatric Korean activists, did it consult with our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as with the US State Department and US intelligence? Was our government approached by the US, to trigger our police investigation? Was the Prime Minister involved? So many unanswerable questions.”
The sad thing is the line taken by NZ’s mainstream media. Here is the un-outraged NZ Herald giving the false impression that the NZDPRK society was acting outside the law and implying that NZ police were justified in their harassment NZ Herald report 3 minute read
I can probably answer some of Bob’s very pertinent questions about the chain of command that led to the police raid. It is almost certainly the same chain of command that extends to Ministers through the SIS to their masters in Langley. (One has to hope that is so and that the ministers are not bypassed, with the USA’s instructions going direct to the executive branches.) It is the same chain of command that persuaded Jacinda’s former Minister of Immigration to disrupt the studies of Iranian post-grad, hydrology students in NZ ( on the fabulous grounds that they were working to develop WMD for the Iranian government.)
It is the same chain-of-command that persuaded that same Labour Minister, his then assistant, Chris Faafoi and the Ombudsman each to write to me informing me that they refused to accept further correspondence on the subject of a former CIA whistleblower. Wilfred case 4 minute read.
Since this Scoop article was written, Jacinda’s government has continued to refuse pleas from the couple that they should be reunited. So much for kindness! Whatever holds the US has over NZ’s political leadership, they are clearly more powerful than any good intentions our ministers might have. The big question is “Will the new, and our now all Labor government, have the understanding or the will to break those chains of servitude?”
“POTUS calls and we obey, over the seas and far away.”
ICC Punished Where are NZ’s diplomatic protests to Washington, the leader of the rules-based order that NZ is so eager to follow? 3 minute read.
China joins Covax. Leadership by example. Is, as Pompeo claims the WHO subject to undue influence by China, or is China under the due influence of the WHO? 3 minute read
Human Rights & Justice
Eugenics ICE is ‘Immigration Customs Enforcement.’ 5 minute read
Bolivia escapes Amid unproven and hysterical allegations of the purity of United States electoral procedures being tainted by cyber-meddling Iran and Russia, it seems other countries too can fall victim to such dirty dealing! Bolivia escapes from the USA’s corruption of the Organisation of American States (OAS.) 5 minute read
Climate Change & Environment
Saving Antarctica A new initiative to protect Antarctica. 3 minute read.
Drawdown “Climate drawdown is the point at which greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere level off and begin to decline on a year-to-year basis. Drawdown is a milestone in reversing climate change, and eventually reducing global average temperatures.” (Wikipedia.) I make no apology for bringing this up a second time. I became so enthusiastic that I mistakenly ordered the book twice. I now have a free second copy for the first reader who asks for it. n minute read
Peace & Conflict Resolution
Nuclear ban treaty Latest news is good – but it is only a small step in the right direction of many that will have to be taken.
Nuclear deterrence This article, about the lowering of the nuclear threshold, was written at the time of Trump’s election. Since this article was written, Nuclear weapons appear to have moved from being seen as a deterrent but a cudgel with which to extort concessions. If the heightened US sabre rattling and its flaunting of nuclear armed bombers on Russia’s and China’s borders continues, a nuclear accident or miscalculation will move from being a possibility but an ultimate probability.6 minute read.
Eurasian alliance For India, Japan and Australia, the Asian members of the USA’s hoped-for quad alliance against China, China’s tightening defensive bonds with Russia present a problem. Though each can find reasons to feel anxious about growing Chinese power, and though Australia will go wherever Washington instructs, India and Japan have not the slightest reason to risk military confrontation with Russia. 5 minute read.