France’s raid on the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland would have been legal and appropriate under John Howard’s rationale for “pre-emptive” strikes on countries that harbour groups seen as a threat to another country’s national interests, Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.
“It is a recipe for international chaos,” said Mr Locke, who is calling on the Labour government to denounce the Australian leader’s remarks.
“The Green Party agrees with those Asian governments who have already criticised Mr Howard’s words. The people of South East Asian struggled long and hard to become independent of the Western powers and are rightly outraged at the threat of another round of military interventions.
“What makes this statement even more contemptible is that Mr Howard is not talking about giving his neighbours reciprocal rights to carry out pre-emptive strikes in Australia against groups that they might consider threaten their rights.
“Would he accept Indonesian forces raiding Australian-based West Papuan independence groups? Would it be acceptable for China to ‘strike’ against Tibetan nationalist leaders in Australia and New Zealand?
“The UN Charter and international law have been constructed to prevent aggression by one country against another, whether or not it is under the guise of a ‘pre-emptive strike.’
“No nation can be allowed to be judge, jury and executioner in another country. The appalling thing is that the United States has been blatantly flouting international law, in one recent case launching a missile that killed six people travelling across Yemen in a car.
“New Zealand must stand firm for countries solving differences through peaceful negotiation and cooperation between police forces to catch terrorists, and we want our Government to convey that message to Mr Howard.”