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Iraqi blood on our hands

Iraqi blood on our hands

'The government's announcement today that an engineering detachment of 61 New Zealand Defence Force personnel will be deployed in late September to work alongside the United Kingdom forces in Iraq confirms that New Zealand will be part of the army of occupation.' said Peace Action Wellington spokesperson Valerie Morse.

'Only last week, the US Commander in Chief of Land forces in Iraq, Lt. General David McKiernan stated unequivocally that the war is not over. In this context, our troops will be part of the occupation force.'

New Zealand Defence Force Chief Bruce Ferguson has also confirmed that the NZDF "engineers" are soldiers first and foremost and are authorised to use force.

'Tragically, Helen Clark is fooling the New Zealand people by saying that they will be well regarded by the Iraqi people. It is clear from the resistance in Iraq that the population wants the occupying army to leave immediately.'

'New Zealand could be providing desperately needed medical supplies to the hospitals in Iraq, rather than contributing to the United State's occupying force of 150,000.'

'There are some fundamental questions left unanswered. Why are we sending military to serve in a war our government condemned only months ago? Why are we sending engineers to a country with one of the most well educated populations in the world? New Zealand does not want to be a part of George Bush's war-mongering.'

Peace Action Wellington calls on the NZ Government to cancel its offer of troops to Iraq immediately.

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