The New Write – Young Nationals Newsletter
3rd October 2001
"The darkest places in
hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in
times of moral crisis."
1. THE RESPONSE TO TERRORISM -
2. YOUNG NATS MOVIE SCOOPS AWARDS
3. CLARK ADMITS IGNORING PHONE CALL
4. MPS vs ROCK STARS
5. TOP TEN SIGNS MARIAN HOBBS IS STRUGGLING
6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
1. THE RESPONSE TO TERRORISM - SHANE FRITH
In the recent weeks various commentators
have started to spread general misinformation about the
terrorist events in the United States, and the cause of
them. This should set the record straight.
Much has been made of the fact that the CIA trained bin Laden and many of his followers. The US supported the Mujahidin and other Afghanistani resistance organisations following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. This was a case of supporting local resistance fighters against the invasion of a small nation by a foreign superpower, not creating terrorist organisations that attacked civilians.
So why did bin Laden and his followers then turn on the US? Some will offer many issues typically citing irrelevant, and erroneous, events from the Cold War. Bin Ladin’s gripe with the US is a result of the first major event of the post Cold War era – the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The resulting presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia has outraged fundamentalist Muslims who ignore the fact that the US is in the region due to the invasion of one Muslim nation by another. Due to Iraq’s failure to comply with many United Nations resolutions, the US has been forced to maintain forces in the region to enforce sanctions on Iraq.
Many people have long held the view that as Saddam Hussein won’t comply with these UN resolutions, many designed to ensure that Iraq doesn’t build nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, they should be dropped. These same groups are those that just marched on the New Zealand Parliament demanding that force be refrained from in combating terrorism, and that the Americans should just turn the other cheek and impose sanctions.
The biggest failure of American policy in dealing with Iraq was not finishing the job in 1991 by occupying the country and removing the regime of Hussein. Who would have tolerated ending World War Two in January 1945 and allowing Hitler to continue ruling Germany, and then rely on sanctions to keep those Nazis in check? Leaders like Churchill knew that the only way to ensure peace in Europe was to completely destroy Hitler’s Germany and ensure that a peaceful democratic nation would emerge from the ashes. If Iraqi involvement in the recent attacks on the US is discovered the US may yet have to change that regime by direct use of force.
George W. Bush’s response to the current crisis has been masterful, including a brilliant speech to Congress. Rather that lash out at possible targets, he has shown restraint awaiting evidence before striking. Indeed, President Bush has been very careful to differentiate between the terrorists and vast majority of peace loving Muslims. He has also been careful to differentiate between the Taliban regime and ordinary Afghanistani citizens. His desire to focus future attacks on terrorist organisations and governments sheltering such organisations demonstrates the US moral superiority over the terrorists, who deliberately attack innocent civilians.
Bush’s wise decision to announce that the United States would not differentiate between the terrorists and those that shelter them sent a very strong signal that quickly forced many nations to fall into line rather than equivocate over supporting American military action. This has given the Americans wide-ranging options and the ability to attack any nation implicated in actively supporting terrorist activity. While the media has been focusing on Afghanistan in recent days, don’t be surprised if attacks are mounted on Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Sudan.
Attacks on any of these nations would not be indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations. It is clear that such attacks would be focused on the terrorists and the governments that shelter them. This is not to say that civilians will not be killed, as a result of inevitable errors and proximity to legitimate targets. The important point is that civilians will not be deliberately targeted. The calculating, evil, targeting of innocent civilians is the method of America’s terrorist enemies, not that of the United States.
No doubt at this time peace activists will be critical for an American "over reaction". Yet, it is American under reaction in past decades that have led to these tragic events. In 1980, Jimmy Carter reacted weakly when Iranian terrorists held American embassy workers hostage. In the 1980’s Ronald Reagan launched one minor raid on Libya following terrorist activity. In 1991, the first President Bush made a grave mistake by not finishing off Saddam Hussein. In the later 1990’s, Bill Clinton reacted weakly to terrorist activity, including the first bombing of the World Trade Center, and the attack on the USS Cole. Maybe the tragic events of September 11 would have been prevented if previous presidents responded with more force and purpose.
Any nation implicated in assisting terrorism must be invaded and disarmed. It is simply not acceptable to risk such nations obtaining nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, and then passing them on to the likes of bin Ladin. The world now faces a risk to civilisation that ranks with the threats of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Nazi Germany was only defeated at enormous cost, in lives and material. The Cold War was only prevented from becoming a truly "hot" war through 45 years of America and its allies convincing the Soviets that they would go to war to preserve the freedom of nations not already under the communist yoke.
Now is not the time for appeasement, détente, negotiations, sanctions or capitulation. Now is the time for strong committed leadership facing down terrorism with the same conviction that Churchill showed Hitler in 1940, and Kennedy showed Khrushchev in 1962. If our time is to be a time of liberty, not terror, as President Bush has claimed, we mush show an unflinching commitment to fighting terrorism, whatever the cost. Let our generation secure freedom, liberty and peace for the future. Let the treacherous left be treated with history’s contempt along with those who sought to surrender freedom to Hitler and Stalin. Peace through appeasement is a contradiction in terms.
-Shane Frith was the New Zealand Young Nationals Chairman from 1991 to 1995.
2. YOUNG NATS MOVIE SCOOPS AWARDS
The political blockbuster film "El Presidente Nick Archer", made by Wellington Young Nationals has won two DIVA film festival awards.
The 15 minute feature, about a fascist revolution at Victoria University, was nominated for five awards. It won prizes for best costumes and best storyline.
Phil Rennie was nominated for 'best super-hero' but narrowly lost out to Monkey Man from another film.
In their acceptance speeches Archer and Rennie, the writers, directors and stars of the movie, thanked hippies and feminists at Victoria University for inspiring the movie.
In related news VUWSA President Chris Hipkins has threatened to sue the film-makers for his depiction in the movie.
3. CLARK ADMITS IGNORING PHONECALL
Prime Minister Helen Clark has admitted that ANZ Bank Chairman Rod Deane tried to ring her in early July about Air New Zealand's problems, but that she ignored the call.
ACT MP Richard Prebble said in Parliament last week that a "prominent business leader" tried to warn Ms Clark of the scale of Air New Zealand's losses. "There has been no new revelations of losses in Ansett that wsn't known two months ago, and the only reason 16,000 Australians are losing their jobs is because this Government dithered."
Miss Clark said Dr Deane "must have been" the business leader referred to by Mr Prebble, but she did not return his call and did not think the message had been specific about Air New Zealand losses.
4. MPS vs ROCK STARS
The Parliamentary rugby team will take on a team of musicians in a charity match this weekend.
The MPs will take on a team composed of members from The Exponents, Garageland and Hello Sailor among others.
MPs taking part include Bill "Bruiser" English, Parekura "The Hutt" Horomia, Trevor "Duckman" Mallard, Murray "The Masher" McCully, Paul "Sneaky" Swain, Jim "The Hit Man" Anderton, Wayne "Commando" Mapp, John "The Mouth" Tamihere, and John "JC" Carter.
The match will take place Saturday October 6th at Eden Park, before Wellington whips Auckland in an NPC match.
5. TOP TEN SIGNS BROADCASTING MINISTER MARIAN HOBBS IS STRUGGLING
1. Most of her ideas are nicked from "The West Wing" the night before.
2. Pays other MPs $10 to say "Here" when her name's called during Helen’s roll call.
3. Thought ‘Pansy Wong’ was that funny smell in the kitchen.
4. Only voting she does now is on Channel Z’s "Top Nine at Nine" chart show.
5. TVNZ News Presenters ordered to help viewers understand complex stories by interjecting "that’s good" or "that’s bad".
6. Put on her glasses to watch 20/20.
7. Has started attaching stamps to faxes.
8. Ordered Forestry and Biosecurity officials to investigate this "Tiger Woods" supposedly coming to New Zealand.
9. TVNZ News readers renamed "NJs".
10. Took her two hours to watch 60 minutes.
6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
A salient reminder of the dangers of alcohol. This site features drinking sessions gone bad, where people have sent in hilarious and embarassing photos of their friends in all kinds of compromising situations.
This site will make you cautious about getting drunk in front of so-called "friends" when there is a camera nearby.
There are also a few risque
pictures so don't got there if you are offended by nudity
and various bodily functions.
Any views expressed here are not necessarily those of New Zealand Young Nationals, or the New Zealand National Party.
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Editor: Phil Rennie