Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Open letter on military deployment to Iraq

Open letter on military deployment to Iraq

Peace Movement Aotearoa

11 February 2015

In response to yesterday's announcement that the New Zealand armed forces will begin specific training for a possible deployment to Iraq, more than 30 representatives of peace, justice and faith organisations and academics have sent an open letter to government Ministers and Members of Parliament today strongly opposing any military deployment and stressing there are more useful contributions New Zealand can make.

The letter points out that the situation in Iraq and Syria is the direct result of the tragic history of western military intervention in the region, in particular the 2003 US-led military invasion of Iraq and subsequent brutal eight-year long occupation. The further involvement of western armed forces in the Middle East, whether in a training or combat capacity, will do nothing but bring more violence, killing and hardship to the peoples there. Military trainers will add nothing of value to peace processes in the region.

The Prime Minister's assertion that the deployment of combat troops to Iraq is the price of membership in the exclusive Five Eyes "club" implicates New Zealand in atrocities and human rights violations committed by any of the states involved. This diminishes rather than enhances our security, and will make it more difficult to be an independent honest broker on the Security Council. Such a "club" is completely at odds with the government's stated commitment to an international order based on respect for human rights.

If endless overseas military deployments are the price of membership of the Five Eyes "club", which in any event is New Zealand's most significant contribution to US and UK-led military interventions in other countries via the Waihopai Spy Base, then it is clearly not in our best interests and New Zealand must withdraw from it.

The signatories to the letter call on the government to make a positive contribution to peace in Iraq and Syria:

• by providing non-military humanitarian aid to intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations working in the region, and in particular for the resources currently earmarked for military deployment to be transferred instead to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian assistance agencies; and

• by increasing support for diplomatic processes to bring about comprehensive and long term solutions to the crises in Iraq and Syria.

The text of the letter and list of signatories is included below and is available online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/IraqOpenLetter0215.pdf

There will be an opportunity for anyone who is opposed to the military deployment to post a message of support for the open letter athttps://www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa from 10am today.

Open letter on military deployment to Iraq

11 February 2015

To all Government Ministers and Members of Parliament,

We strongly oppose the commitment of any military support by the New Zealand government to the war in Iraq and Syria, and are appalled by the Prime Minister's use of the Gallipoli anniversary as a mantle to cloak a new deployment of combat troops to the Middle East.

The situation in Iraq and Syria is the direct result of the tragic history of western military intervention in the region, in particular the 2003 US-led military invasion of Iraq and subsequent brutal eight-year long occupation. The further involvement of western armed forces in the Middle East, whether in a training or combat capacity, will do nothing but bring more violence, killing and hardship to the peoples there. Military trainers will add nothing of value to peace processes in the region.

We advocate for the self-determination of all people, in this case the people of Iraq and Syria. Any solution to this crisis must come from them, with diplomatic support from the international community. As the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq and others have stated, comprehensive solutions will only come about through an inclusive political process.

The Prime Minister's assertion that the deployment of combat troops to Iraq is the price of membership in the exclusive Five Eyes "club" implicates New Zealand in atrocities and human rights violations committed by any of the states involved. This diminishes rather than enhances our security, and will make it more difficult to be an independent honest broker on the Security Council. Such a "club" is completely at odds with the government's stated commitment to an international order based on respect for human rights.

If endless overseas military deployments are the price of membership of the Five Eyes "club", which in any event is New Zealand's most significant contribution to US and UK-led military interventions in other countries via the Waihopai Spy Base, then it is clearly not in our best interests and New Zealand must withdraw from it.

We call on the government to make a positive contribution to peace in Iraq and Syria:

• by providing non-military humanitarian aid to intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations working in the region, and in particular we call for the resources currently earmarked for military deployment to be transferred instead to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian assistance agencies; and

• by increasing support for diplomatic processes to bring about comprehensive and long term solutions to the crises in Iraq and Syria.

Signed,

• Edwina Hughes, Coordinator, Peace Movement Aotearoa

• Professor Kevin Clements, Director, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago

• Helen Kingston and Virginia Stocker, Golden Bay Peace Group

• Mike Treen, Global Peace and Justice Auckland

• Murray Horton, Spokesperson, Anti-Bases Campaign

• Kevin McBride, National Coordinator, Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand

• Elizabeth Duke and Elizabeth Thompson, Yearly Meeting CoClerks, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Haahi Tuuhauwiri

• Pauline McKay, National Director, Christian World Service

• Celine Kearney, President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Aotearoa section

• Chris Barfoot, Chair, Aotearoa New Zealand Peace and Conflict Studies Centre Trust

• Pania Lawsen, Hokianga Catholic Workers

• Caroline Ongleo-Calub, Acting General Manager and Head of Peace Development, The Peace Foundation

• Commander Robert Green RN (Ret'd) and Dr Kate Dewes, Co-Directors, Disarmament and Security Centre

• Fr Peter Murnane, Waihopai Ploughshares

• V. Jonathan Hartfield, Chairman, New Zealand Anglican Pacifist Fellowship

• Richard Northey, Chair, International Affairs and Disarmament Committee, The Peace Foundation

• Jess Murray, Otaki Women’s Peace Group

• Dr. Teresia Teaiwa, Pacific Studies, Victoria University of Wellington

• Professor Jane Kelsey, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland

• Professor Dr. Klaus Bosselmann, Director, New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland

• Professor Richard Jackson, Deputy Director, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago

• Associate Professor Annabel Cooper, Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work, University of Otago

• Associate Professor Jenny Bryant-Tokalau, Pacific Islands Studies, Te Tumu (School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies), University of Otago

• Associate Professor Yvonne Underhill-Sem, Development Studies, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland

• Dr. Heather Devere, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago

• Professor Murray Rae, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago

• Dr David V Williams, Professor of Law, University of Auckland

• Dr Pala Molisa, School of Accounting and Commercial Law, Victoria University of Wellington

• Rosemary McBryde, Centre Administrator, National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election