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The war and peace report card

From: Peace Action Wellington
Date: 13 September 2005

The war and peace report card

Peace Action Wellington will launch its own election campaign this week to remind voters of what they are getting with both Labour and National foreign policy.

Since September 11, 2001 the NZ Government has been an active supporter of the so-called War on Terrorism. The 'war' including the invasion of Afghanistan. Aerial bombing raids have resulted in thousands of brutal civilian deaths. Both National and Labour support sending NZSAS troops there to conduct 'direct action missions' - these missions could well include bombing raids resulting in civilian deaths. This support places NZ squarely on the side of the US Army which stands accused of gross human rights violations at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.*

Labour and National also roundly supported the deployment of troops to Iraq to help 'reconstruct' the country. This clever public relations exercise convinced many kiwis that we were only there to help, not to strenghten the imperial army of occupation. Many now know differently as countries around the world have withdrawn their troops. They have realised that they are considered the enemies of the people there.

Meanwhile, here at home, the NZSIS, Police and Defence have all been rewarded with more funding to fight the so-called 'War on Terrorism.' The case of Ahmed Zaoui has served only to inflame intolerance, racism and the villification of Muslims. Millions of dollars were wasted in pursuit of a case against this genuine refugee.

Both Labour and National have fully endorsed the agenda of the War including the curtailment of civil liberties (in the form of counter-terrorism legislation), the demonisation of refugees and asylum seekers, the participation in wars of conquest and the support of neo-liberal economic polices that punish ordinary working New Zealanders.

Peace Action Wellington's campaign which will include signs, stalls and leaflets aims to raise awareness of NZ's participation in the War on Terrorism and the Parliamentary supporters of it.

ENDS

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