Go to the
JustPeace Campaign Page
George Bush’s State of the Union address clearly shows that “…the US is not willing to wait for UN Security Council decisions and that it will not listen to world opinion…This speech is additional evidence that NZ needs to clearly distance itself from Bush’s immoral and unjustifiable war,” said Keith Locke on 29 January. Read
Keith’s Press Release
The Greens are accusing the Prime Minister of playing a double game over the impending war on Iraq. On 28 January Keith Locke spoke out against sending the frigate Te Mana to operate under US command in the Persian Gulf, and said that the PM should be campaigning against the war instead of offering odds like a bookie on whether it will happen or not. Read
Keith’s Press Release
“We all know it’s a war about oil; when the US found Saddam useful in their Middle East adventures his tortures, gassings and weapons of mass destruction were simply not an issue” said Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons in her address to the Green Party policy conference in Masterton on 26 January. She went on to question US manipulation and control of the UN Security Council. Read Jeanette’s comments on war and peace below in
her full speech
Emergency vigils are planned for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin if Iraq is ”officially” attacked. Details on where and when below. But get involved in the big global day of action on February 15 and let’s try and stop it — details on the organising group nearest to you at the
Peace Movement Aotearoa site
Auckland 5:30 p.m., US Consulate, Citibank Building, Customs St East, Central Auckland
Wellington 5 p.m., Cenotaph, followed by a march to US Embassy if enough people turn up.
Christchurch 5:30 p.m., Cathedral Square
Dunedin 5 p.m., the Octagon
If the US goes to war in the Middle East there is a high likelihood that the de facto US military base at Harewood (aka Deep Freeze at Christchurch airport) will be put on red alert, and the traffic at the two electronic intelligence gathering installations (aka spy bases) at Waihopai (Marlborough) and Tangimoana (Manawatu) will increase. The Anti Bases Campaign (ABC) has been campaigning against these bases for fifteen years and wants you to join the action. The annual subscription, (which includes a subscription to the ABC newsletter “Peace Researcher”), costs only $20. Send your sub (cheques made out to Peace Researcher) to ABC, Box 2258, Christchurch. More information on the
Anti Bases Campaign website
Relief agencies such as Save the Children Fund and Caritas are starting to speak out against the impending war and document the damage it will cause to the innocent. This is information that you could start sending to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to back your appeals for them to speak out strongly against the war and refuse NZ support for the US in any form. Read more on the
Expert analysis and rebuttal of the lies and distortions in President Bush’s 29 January 2003 State of the Union address is available from the
Institute for Public Accuracy
. This is a terrific site for those who want to find out and share the truth about the current US administration.
Understanding the U.S — Iraq Crisis: A Primer
” by Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies is an excellent guide (presented as 43 key questions and answers in 24 pages) to what is going on and what the alternatives to war are.
Remember Afghanistan? George Bush doesn’t want you to. The toll of civilian casualties from indiscriminate US bombing was severe, providing a horrible indicator of what could happen in Iraq. Professor Marc Herold of the University of New Hampshire has been documenting the death and destruction — his March 2002 report ”
A Dossier of Civilian Victims of US Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Accounting
The first violator of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was the US — not North Korea. Details in ‘
Sow the wind, reap the wind
‘ by Conn Hallinan in the San Francisco Examiner.
Jeanette Fitzsimons MP on the Iraq crisis and the UN, [at Green Party conference 26 January 2003 – read
Jeanette’s full speech
“I want to look now at some events we know 2003 is likely to bring.
Hanging over us all is the threat of a war of immense destruction and human tragedy, fought by the strongest nation on earth against a people still suffering intensely from bombings, sanctions, lack of clean water and medical supplies, poverty, radiation from depleted uranium, and a ruthless dictator who had for years been armed and equipped by that same strongest nation, the US.
We all know it is a war about oil; when the US found Saddam useful in their Middle East adventures his tortures, gassings and weapons of mass destruction were simply not an issue.
Tens of thousands of troops and military equipment have been deployed in the area ready to fight a war when there is still not a shred of evidence that Saddam poses a threat to the US or anyone else except his unfortunate subjects. This week the UN Security Council will decide whether to endorse the Bush war. Our nearest neighbour is not even waiting for that; John Howard has announced he will send troops to fight alongside the US before the Security Council has even taken a position. Our Government, to its credit, has so far refused to join a war that does not have UN sanction.
But just what will that UN endorsement mean, if it occurs? Just nine of the fifteen nations in the Security Council are enough to commit the whole assembly of nations. In a world where one nation holds so much power, both military and economic we have to ask how many other nations can act in a truly independent way? So many small nations are beholden to the US for trade, aid or military reasons that Bush will be able to exert extreme pressure on the other 14 members of the Council.
The assent of the nine must include the five permanent members — chosen because they themselves all possess weapons of mass destruction — the crime of which Iraq is accused, and whose corporations have in most cases supplied Iraq with those weapons. In the words of an American comic, “We know they have the weapons, because we have the receipts”.
We have always said that a UN mandate is a necessary condition for NZ to commit to a war. But it is not necessarily a sufficient condition. Just because nine nations can be coerced into supporting a US invasion does not make it right; does not create the evidence; and is not enough to abandon the Charter and goals of the UN which stress non violent conflict resolution with war only as a last resort against an aggressor.
As Greens we are strong supporters of the concept and purpose of the United Nations. If the Security Council allows itself to be arm-twisted into supporting a war that has no moral justification it will undermine the credibility of its own organisation.
It is hard to see how war can be averted when so much has already been committed to it. But averting it, or at least highlighting New Zealand’s opposition to it, must be our top priority for the next few weeks. We call on Helen Clark to demand evidence she can share with New Zealanders that Iraq has, and plans to use, weapons of mass destruction that makes it a greater threat than all the other nations who possess such weapons. It that evidence cannot be produced New Zealand should take a clear position internationally that we will not support war.
We cannot escape culpability just by sending medical, rather than armed, forces. All the US needs from us is moral authority to continue its programme of bombing the poor of the developing world in order to feed its oil habit. We must not give it that moral authority, and sending a medical team would be counted as support.
We must also continue to point out the truth of Amory Lovins’ statement during the Gulf War in 1991 — “if we had put our kids in energy efficiency cars in the seventies, we would not be putting them in tanks today”. The human tragedy we fear is about to unfold is being driven by SUVs that use twice the fuel they need, by carelessness and lack of planning and waste that have made us so oil dependent that some national leaders are prepared to commit mass murder to get it.
The thing that makes me optimistic even in such desperate times is that around the world opposition to war is growing. Marches from the US to NZ show that people will not accept this outrage carried out in their name. The Green movement is at the forefront of this opposition and we had a very productive workshop yesterday on organising resistance.
It was inspiring to hear the new Australian Green senator Kerry Nettle interviewed on Morning Report on Thursday as the main voice in the Australian Parliament condemning Howard’s support for the war. The Greens in Germany are a restraining influence which is particularly important next month when Germany holds the presidency of the Security Council. This week I will be writing to Joschka Fischer, leader of the German Greens and German Foreign Minister, supporting his words of caution so far and urging him to demand real evidence before the Security Council takes a position.”