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Feedback: Who The Hell Are We Welcoming In?

Dear Editor,

How far we have come as a nation from the notorious “dawn raids” of the 70s aimed at finding and consequently sending home Samoan overstayers to welcome parades, packets of biscuits, cakes and cuddly toys for illegal Afghan immigrants. Of course our Government along with the greens, and a variety of other fundamental romantic idealists, all of whom, seem to blindly believe in the inherent goodness of human nature assure us, we needn’t be concerned. We are constantly reminded that many of these people are woman and children, that they are fleeing a war torn country, they have seen enough violence, suffered enough. Notwithstanding, from these arguments it doesn’t follow that they pose no future if not immediate security threat to New Zealand. Ask yourself, once these people have settled into New Zealand will we be comfortable about them taking flying lessons, applying for firearm or dangerous goods licenses or joining extreme political groups? Privileges afforded to all other New Zealanders.

Security precautions have already been exercised with two Afghan men currently being detained in custody. From all accounts these two are in their teens but it is no secret that boys and girls as young as eight years old currently serve as rebels and train as fighting soldiers with the Mujahedin (Commission on Human Rights report E/CN.4/1998/66). It is also no secret that some women within these cultures are prepared to blow themselves to bits in the name of Allah or their cause, or as we saw in Mogadishu use themselves as bullet proof shields for the gun toting warlords. The point is sex or age is no argument against the potentiality of such people to participate in activities that are truly repugnant in our society.

What is truly frightening is the obtuse naiveté of the liberal left in assuming the peace loving pacifism of these people. This is not to say they are all terrorists, but our assumptions should err on the side of caution. What is the point of confiscating plastic scissors from kiwis boarding domestic flights when we could be integrating into our society gun happy tribesman trained in everything from making explosives from a bag of fertiliser to the ability to launch a Stinger missile.

What do these libertarians think, that they can get an interpreter to yell our “please stand up if you are a trained terrorist” and all offenders will shake their heads mournfully as they stand muttering “doh I’ve been busted”. The fact is if they have got this far and they are a threat it is unlikely, with our general attitude that they will be filtered out now.

Bin Laden and his organisation al Queda have been well known to run refugee transportation rackets. These originally ran out of Sudan and Somalia where for the promise of “future favours” refugees sold their souls to al Queda for the price of passage in order to flee these oppressive regimes. Bin Laden knows these Machiavellian tactics well. Not only does he rule through fear but it is useful to occupy the new territory with your own people - settlement is better and less expensive than garrisons.

In New Zealand I believe we have developed a nonchalant attitude toward security. We don’t need an airforce, nor do we really need military alliance with the US. We are far too far away from anywhere that might be considered a threat. We’d notice boatloads of Indonesian military coming before they were even three thousand kilometres from shore. Nobody would invade New Zealand anyway. The threat today however doesn’t come from thousands of kilometres away, it comes from within.

Please note, my argument is no more xenophobic than stocking up on canned food and water incase of earthquake is paranoiac. I am urging New Zealanders to maintain a healthy level of suspicion of our new immigrants. Terrorism is a political disorder at the core of which is an aggrieved group. Many of the Afghan refugees will believe they have been wronged and that their grievances have been ignored. Machiavelli also wrote “While taking your shelter mercenaries would fight their own wars and turn against you when your war is ended”.

All the arguments that have been heard to date regarding why these refugees are not a threat do not hold water. The exposure of a child to extreme violence is neither sufficient nor necessary to ensure that child does not seek to participate in the cycle of violence itself – just ask any Northern Irish mother, Palestinian child fighter, or CYFS worker.

Steve McKinlay

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