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Scoop Feedback: "Get Off Internet And Find A Cave"

In This Edition: Get A Conscience! - NZ's Best Response To Afghanistan Crisis - New Zealand's Stand On Terrorism - Who Are The Real Terrorists? - Part II

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Get A Conscience!

Anyone who can publish the rhetoric you did about George [Bush] can have no conscience. To imply that it is our fault for the attack on 9-11 is intolerable. Get off the Internet and find a cave with Osama!

Richard Engel
USA

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NZ's Best Response To Afghanistan Crisis

The Editor

Scoop

Dear Sir

Having been involved with peace issues for 20 years, I would like to see discussion on crises like the Afghanistan one go beyond a Governmental reflex to do what powerful outside nations press it to do, versus protest that does not give it much by way of alternatives it can offer. I hope you will help to get some fresh thinking going I this, and would like to offer the following for publication in your "feedback" section.

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The conflict with Afghanistan is coming closer to home now that the Taliban has put Australia on its target list for retaliation because its armed forces are being sent to assist the United States attack. New Zealand should be working out a more constructive role rather than getting dragged with others into something that could get very big and dangerous, without much sense of how to create peaceful solutions. As a conflict readily seen by millions of Islamic adherents worldwide as one between a leading Western nation against their culture and religion, this has the potential to lead to pervasive, on-going strife on a global scale.

New Zealand should take a lead at two levels. One, it should build up a liaison role between conflicting parties. We have diplomatic representatives in Iran (also accredited from there to Pakistan), as well as in New Delhi, and of course in Washington and the United Nations. These should be instructed to listen to the views of all concerned, and to look for opportunities to press for dialogue going about peaceful solutions. All our diplomats should be specifically trained in effective dialogue-promotion, ranging from quiet conversations through to more explicit mediation when the parties are ready to accept this. It should be an explicit part of our diplomats' briefs to do this in relation to conflicts in the earliest possible stages.

Secondly, I am shocked to discover how few here realise or take seriously that it is the United Nations year of the Dialogue of Civilisations. There is an international institute for this in Iran, the country where the concept originated. Our Government, academic specialists in Islam and South Asia, and the United Nations Association and other relevant parties should be getting together to examine how to draw together people and resources in this country to enhance understanding of the diverse cultures and religions of the world, both within New Zealand and beyond.

Yours sincerely,

John Gallagher

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New Zealand's Stand On Terrorism

Dear Editor,

The New Zealand government's move to enact new "anti-terrorist" laws gives cause to ask whether involvement in terrorist activities is not already illegal in New Zealand, and if so, why additional legislation should be necessary.

The answer is that anyone who is a party to terrorism in New Zealand already commits an offence against the existing Crimes Act. The new legislation is not needed to either punish or deter terrorists. It will have no effect upon terrorist activity of any description. And, in fact, it is not intended to have any effect upon either global or domestic terrorism.

New Zealand is nominally opposed to "terrorism", but its opposition has limits and conditions, which were clearly revealed in the aftermath of the "Rainbow Warrior" affair. The New Zealand government's decision to free Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur, after they had been found guilty of carrying out the fatal bombing, was made in response to a French threat, (which was tacitly supported by British and the United States governments), to obstruct New Zealand trade if the two convicted killers were not repatriated to French territory.

Thus, for the New Zealand state, considerations of morality or sovereignty have never been permitted to prevail over material interest. The former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon once candidly observed that "New Zealand's foreign policy is trade", and it is trade considerations which have led New Zealand not only to acquiesce in an act of terrorism conducted on its own territory, but also to collaborate in a series of terrorist wars conducted by other states.

New Zealand trained and financed the Indonesian state terrorists who ruled East Timor for the past quarter century; gave diplomatic recognition to the ruthless Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia; maintained friendly ties with the apartheid regime in South Africa; actively participated in crimes against humanity in the course of the Vietnam war; implicitly supports Israel's attempts to expropriate and destroy the people of Palestine; and is now an accomplice in the terror bombing of Afghanistan.

New Zealand has also, in the words of its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Phil Goff "fallen into line" with the "United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia" by introducing so-called "anti-terrorist" legislation. But this legislation is not intended to curtail the kinds of terrorist activity with which the New Zealand state is presently, and always has been, associated, or the kind of terrorism which New Zealand has tacitly condoned in other states, such as the long-standing United States and Israeli programmes of "targetted assassination" of political opponents.

The true intent is to restrict open political cooperation between the victims and opponents of the global rule of western capital. Like the Emergency Regulations legislation enacted by a previous Labour government, the "anti-terrorism" legislation is being put in place as an instrument for the subsequent systematic violation of the civil rights of the New Zealand public.

The governments of the United States, Britain, and the British dominions (Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) want "enduring freedom" to employ their military power in any part of the world, with or without invitation, and to ensure the free movement of western capital into, and the free movement of profits out of, any nation on earth. This is the only freedom which they are prepared to recognize. The freedom of people to live peacefully in their own country according to their own faith, the freedom of people to return to their own homes, the freedom of dispossessed people to find new homes in other lands, the freedom to of people to establish solidarity with and to direct charity towards nations suffering under western domination - these are all freedoms which the New Zealand state and the western powers are determined shall NOT endure.

At best, New Zealand is playing a pusillanimous role in this war, which is not a war against terrorism, but a war against humanity. New Zealand has, as always in the past, put its own economic interests ahead of considerations of justice and human decency.

This deplorable conduct is not an accident of history but is of the essence of the New Zealand state. For the person of moral sensibility an appropriate response is the renunciation of New Zealand citizenship, and uncompromising defiance of the intent of the so-called "anti-terrorist" legislation.

Geoff Fischer

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Who Are The Real Terrorists - Part II

(A response to…. Scoop Feedback: Who Are The Real Terrorists?)

Dear Editor,

Andrew McLellan's comments do not do him justice, and I am disappointed he has denigrated his response by allowing it to become facile in nature.

While I totally agree with many of his points, it would have served him and his cause better had he confined himself to the issues rather than letting his prejudices come to the fore.

I wonder if Andrew has read the recent report on the so-called Lebensborn (Source of Life) project allegedly carried out in Norway during the Second World War.

Norway, supposedly the antithesis of what he sees New Zealand as being yet look what they were able to perpetrate.

A little more unemotional fact and less clap-trap next time please.

Mirek Marcanik

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