New Zealand’s latest commitment to the “war against terror” effectively means it has joined the US build-up against Iraq, Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.
“The Pentagon has begun the biggest military build-up in a decade in precisely the part of the world where our frigate and surveillance plane are to be operating,” noted Keith Locke. “How can this commitment be seen as anything other than backing for the White House’s ‘big stick’ policy on Iraq?
“At the very least, it frees-up British and US forces to join an attack on Iraq. Prime Minister Muldoon made exactly the same offer to Mrs Thatcher to ‘replace’ a British frigate during the Falklands War.
“Does the Prime Minister expect anyone in this country or overseas to buy her story that the frigate is to wage war against the Taleban and al Qaeda in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf?
“Afghanistan doesn’t have a coastline, let alone a navy!
“Everyone will understand this as sending a signal that New Zealand is prepared to countenance the use of force against Iraq.
“New Zealand was wrong to commit combat troops to America’s war in Afghanistan, to now sign-up to a potential war in Iraq without even debating it in Parliament, is arrogant and irresponsible.”