Empire Games: How Nicky Hager’s revelations are re-shaping the Nationhood Debate



“I’M SENTIMENTAL – if you know what I mean – I love the country but I can’t stand the scene.” So sings Leonard Cohen in the final verse of his grand 1992 anthem “Democracy”. The country he’s singing about is, of course, the United States of America, and his conflicting feelings about the place are shared by millions of people around the world. There is a great deal to love about America and Americans, but there is, equally, a great deal that rest of the world, like Cohen, cannot stand.

The tragic human cost of US “diplomacy”. The vast powers wielded by what President Dwight Eisenhower dubbed the “military-industrial complex”. The evident inability of the “special interests” which now control the US Congress to any longer even recognise, let alone serve, America’s national interests. All of these political afflictions, combined, have created a “scene” to which no sane person (or nation) would pledge allegiance.

And yet that is exactly what the tight little political and journalistic clique clustering around John Key (like the doomed 300 at Thermopylae?) is demanding of New Zealanders. We are being told that, in spite of its manifest failings, the United States remains the last, best, hope of humanity, and that any person, or group, who dares to question the NZ-US relationship is guilty of something very close to treason.

The prime target of this latest thrust against the Key Government’s critics is Nicky Hager. No other journalist has so consistently – and accurately – mapped the moral fault-lines running through the NZ-US relationship. Whether it be the exposure of our own Government Communications Security Bureau’s unacknowledged participation in the US National Security Agency’s Echelon spy system in Secret Power (1996) or the NZ Defence Force’s unmandated determination to range itself alongside America in Other People’s Wars (2011) Hager’s investigative journalism has for the best part of 20 years undermined successive New Zealand governments’ attempts to remain a member in good standing of the Anglo-Saxon “club”.

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It is worth taking a moment to consider what New Zealand, as a member of this 70-year-old club (the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) has signed-up to.

Though these five states represent less than 7 percent of the world’s population, the USA and its four closest allies constitute the Earth’s most powerful military, economic and diplomatic combination. English-speaking, and still predominantly white, the Anglo-Saxon club holds the rest of humanity (overwhelmingly non-English-speaking and non-white) in its grip. The global reach of the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence gathering apparatus is but one aspect of the Anglo-Saxons’ “full-spectrum dominance” of the planet and its peoples.

When we consider the extent to which these powers dominate the world’s key resources – especially oil, coal and iron-ore; when we add up the number of nations that, in one way or another, are beholden to them; when we recall that the US Dollar remains the world’s fiat currency; and when the five Anglo-Saxon nations’ ability to project decisive military resources to any point on the Earth’s surface is taken into account; are we not justified in discarding the word “club” and replacing it with the much more appropriate “empire”?

No one likes to hear it called that, of course. The world is supposed to have rid itself of empires in the years immediately following World War II. Ours is a democratic age, and as every good historian knows, imperialism and democracy don’t mix. And yet, the behaviour of the five Anglo-Saxon powers, in the 70 years since the end of World War II, is difficult to characterise as anything other than imperialistic. If the “club” looks like an empire, speaks like an empire, and acts like an empire, then, chances are, it’s an empire.

The Prime Minister’s media defenders condemn Hager as “anti-American” because he has been able to correlate directly the strength of New Zealand’s military and intelligence ties to the United States with New Zealand’s loss of diplomatic independence. This would be dangerous enough in itself, but Hager’s revelations also help to remind New Zealanders of those occasions when their leaders had the courage to stand apart from the American-led Anglo-Saxon Empire. That Hager was an active player in the events that led to New Zealand declaring itself nuclear-free in the mid-1980s only sharpens the Right’s determination to blacken his reputation.

Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that New Zealand’s most senior and effective right-wing journalists are engaged in an attempt to fundamentally re-shape New Zealanders’ perceptions of the anti-nuclear movement. Rather than an expression of our growing sense of nationhood, they intend to re-cast it as the unfortunate result of a left-wing conspiracy to extricate New Zealand from the “Western Alliance” (also known as the Anglo-Saxon Empire). According to this revised history of the past 30 years, Kiwis have been duped by leftist radicals like Hager (and Helen Clark?) whose ultimate objective is to thrust New Zealand naked and alone into an increasingly dangerous world.

And to whom should this duped and defenceless New Zealand turn to for protection? Why, Uncle Sam, of course! Hager’s revelations have upped the ante of the national independence debate and, in Poker parlance, the Right has opted to “see him” and “raise him”. The debate about New Zealand’s involvement in the Five Eyes alliance is, accordingly, being broadened out to embrace the much more vital questions of who we are and who we serve. Will New Zealand continue striving to become an independent South Pacific nation, or will it opt to remain a far-flung, but intensely loyal, province of the Anglo-Saxon Empire?

For those who love this country, but can’t stand the political scene, the stakes could not be higher.


  1. The hard left has strived in the past and continues to strives to turn the anti-nuclear policy and intelligence subject in to an anti-American issue. That is what is at the heart of these latest revelations. The fact that the Chinese or Russians also carry out surveillance in the Pacific is irrelevant. The hard left doesn’t like what the US stands for and therefore we should not have anything to do with them in a practive manner. It was no different back in the Cold war either.

    • @ Gosman
      ” Hard Left ” ? What “Hard Left” ?
      Since there’re no ” Hard Left ” left who then are you writing about ??
      Or are you plying us with weasel words . Logical fallacies to confuse and distract ?
      And I don’t think people need to be ” Hard Left ” to not like what the USA ‘ stands for ‘ . Which is what exactly anyway ? What , in your view , does the USA stand for ? Because it looks to me like the USA are global bullies and thieves . They are not only terrorists in their own right , they create nutters like I.S. by thinking they’re being clever when really ? They’re pig shit ignorant . And you will know this , so what’s your agenda Gasman ? Why do you come here and drip your poisons ? Who’s your master ?

      I think we’re being dragged into a global conflict which will become a land grab that will reset the global economy . If that’s so ? Then it’ll be a Big One this time and I’m hugely glad I’m a Kiwi way down here .

    • What impresses me about Gosman is how quickly he is able to take on board the right’s new PR lines. In this case a cursory look at the history of the Kiwi anti nuke movement will disprove the above statement – and a bit more of a detailed reading of Nicky Hager will also disprove the idea that he is simply anti-american.

      btw Nicky Hager is one of the most intelligent people I’ve come across and certainly along way from the likes of Gosman who just blindly repeats the attack lines of more important people on the right.

      Overall a poor attempt at trolling, a more nuanced approach is required on a site like this one

      • Mr Brash and the ‘ Excluded Brethren ‘ playing their games again?

        A few statements have been let slip lately so that’s probably who we’re dealing with…

        Dangerous fundamentalist nutbags.

        And if we’re not…they are still dangerous fundamentalist ideologist nutbags no matter which way you cut it.

    • Of course the elitists psychopaths in govt want to discredit the likes of Hager and Snowden and Glenn Greenwald etc. They are telling the truths and exposing those who are bound to corporations rather than serving the people/environment ethically and properly. The Monarchy is not the answer. The likes of Hager, Snowden, Greenwald, THE MOMENT OF TRUTH are like thorns in the side of these crooks. Of course, the psychopaths are getting scared, outspoken and ticked off. They are feeling threatened as we wake up. Their motto is discredit the messenger.
      We do not need to follow the US agenda, it has not worked for them. But we also need to realize that there is a much bigger agenda here that is rarely talked about.
      Who do you think brought about 9/11, Fukushima; likely Haarp induced Christchurch and all wars and the cold war and the US civil war and wants to take control of all resources and encourage nuclear weapons and kill masses of people??? The psychopathic upper 1% worldwide illuminati powerful families; zionist jews and their networks. Trusts and foundations hidden withing more trusts and foundations. Read about Agenda 21 and Tavistock Institute.
      Check out the book “Unholy Alliance”, check out Ken O’Keefe, Noam Chomsky ; Democracy Now; RT.com and others who are telling us the truths we will not hear elsewhere. The Rockefellers and the Rothschilds; Koch brothers; upper 1% etc. lead the pact worldwide and their greed and devastation knows no bounds. The world already has a secret one world government. Do not listen to or believe most of the corporate owned media – journalists acting out a part. Very little truths will we hear there. Anyone wanting to follow the US or the Monarchy needs a shot of reality. Helen Clark and John Key, Obama and most US presidents were put into office to serve the hidden agenda. Look how quickly Helen moved into the UN which is the Agenda 21’s leading force and governing body. The UN is not what we think if we only looking at their slick exterior mask. I was shocked as well to learn most of this that many will automatically discredit. Let’s encourage open minds and open hearts.


      • What’s the bet not one regular contributor to this blog endorses your views. They are so far out there it isn’t funny.

      • BLAKE;

        Spot on ,mate,again.

        You can see that there are many readers here who are awake.

        They are known as “The Committee of 300” and since this
        comment is now late in the day, suffice to say to late comers
        to google the term.
        Dr John Colman has spent 20yrs research on them.

        By your comment on the Christchurch earthquake, I can see
        you have already done so under the Pseudo-Reality post.

        To reinforce your surmise;
        1. NZ, after Helen Clarke, had virtually payed back all our debt.
        Much to the annoyance of the ‘right’.
        The group above would not like that situation at all.

        2. The technology to make this happen is certainly available
        right now.

        And what is our debt today under Key? $100 billion?

        And a correction to Chris.
        The Daily Bell takes us through the history to the Anglo-Saxon
        Empire but now,today, The Anglo-American Axis.
        America has become the ‘action man / muscle, albeit still
        controlled by “the City of London”



    • Who pays you gosman to affirm such dribble? Hard left – hard right – stand up sit down fight fight fight. Soft left- soft right – sink in a hole flight flight flight.

    • You have conveniently forgotten that it was the Americans that took umbrage at NZ for deciding to go Nuclear free.
      NZ wasn’t allowed to have the temerity of controlling their own destiny and having an opinion that differed from good old Uncle Sam.
      Ah yes great mates those Americans!
      Just do as l say , not as I do!
      Extreme right you might even say!

    • “The fact that the Chinese or Russians also carry out surveillance in the Pacific is irrelevant”. Well maybe not entirely, but certainly less relevant. But do you know why, Gozzy?
      It’s because we aren’t snuggling up to China and Russia the way we are to the USA. We aren’t a signed up member of their club the way we are with the USA. We don’t spy on our neighbours and send the data to China and Russia like we do with the USA. Do you ever think things through logically before you post?

    • You may or may not be right, Mr Gosman, that the Chinese, the Russians, the Tongans or the Martians are also spying on all of us. (I would be fascinated to find out how). However you are presenting simple assertions which do not qualify to be considered factual without evidence, rather like the John Key bedtime stories about Kiwi jihadis under the bed. (I would love to hear from one. Come on, John you’ve got dozens of them, apparently. Surely you can spare just one for us to interview).

      For a quick education on how to present facts I suggest you read a little more Nicky Hagar, then get back to us about the giant Hard-Left conspiracy to attack the Light of the World.

    • If we remove “Hard Left”, . . .”Far Right”, . . .Politic from the discussion then what are we left with? A discussion/debate, opinion, or position(s) on Nuclear Energy, or Nuclear War and/or all the related complex issues.

      But that never really happens in politics, which is based on getting people to act and think in a tribal manner. True democracy just does not actually happen.
      Its more like we ‘supposedly’ get some say in some faux Dictator/King/Tyrant/whathaveyoutypethinggg. . .The lesser evil if you like.
      But we peasants never really get any say or influence in/on the important issues that inevitably effect us all. Its just the same old strategy of divide and conquer, and you just as much as I Gosman are thought of as cattle/bottomfeeders/sheep/parasites/(less evolved species) pickyourpoisonwhathaveyouthing. . . By those that actually do have power, let alone Psychiatric deficiencies.

    • I’m curious what really does the US stand for, they (the US govt) say we support democracy in a country that democracy has no relevance to their history. They prop up regimes that serve their (US) interest instead of the peoples from those countries and they have supported terrorist organizations ( Alqeida, ISIS, El Salvador Colombia paramilitary terrorist groups) and insist and organize political unrest if countries don;t subscribe to their master plan and they have cause more instability in the world unprecedented in human history and they’re the only country to use a nuclear weapon twice on another country. The cats out of the bag Gasman time to rethink a new strategy and stop killing the messenger he is operating as a responsible journalist which is to act as a govt watchdog and hold those in power accountable, not as their mouthpiece like the rightwing journalist!!

    • I wonder if people like Gosman, playing their silly mind games, have any idea of what they are doing. Right now the USA, which has a large nuclear arsenal, is deliberately provoking a military response from Russia, which also has a large nuclear arsenal, by an open show of force on the boundaries of the Ukraine and the Baltic States.
      This is occuring with the support of right wing nutters, under the control of 1%ers like the Koch brothers, who quite happily talk of nuclear responses.
      While you are writing your hair-brained comments, the world is inching ever closer to a nuclear war followed by a nuclear winter. This thought ought to bother you. Do you have a wife and kids? If so, you should care.
      I hope we will be spared this, certainly we ordinary mortals can do nothing but have faith in a human race, that so far hasn’t earned it. I dont know if we will be lucky enough to avoid a WW3 but I am absolutely certain that there will never be a WW4.

  2. Totally agree.

    By occupying Iraq without UN approval and engaging in mass surveillance on innocent people and countries, we are condoning and escalating the situations. We do not need another world war.

    The US loves to interfere with the political situations of countries but then likes to call on others to help clean it up. The US bit off more than they could chew with Afghanistan and Iraq and now the club has to pitch in killing innocent people to find the needle in the haystack, the ‘terrorist’. Obviously nothing was learn’t from Vietnam apart from don’t let the media film what you are up to. Nor did any self analysis of what caused 9/11 in the first place. For a start the US invaded the wrong countries, but never let that stand in the way of a US government Lobbyist or Defence strategist – there is money to be made and power to be gained!

    As a country we need to say NO.

    And get the corrupt, bullying, self serving, money loving, criminal politicians out of parliament!

    • SAVE NZ, you say “self analysis of what caused 9/11 in the first place.” An excellent point. People rarely talk about that. And yet I remember clearly that on that fateful morning when I got up and turned on the TV and saw those dreadful pictures, the first thought that popped into my head was that untold numbers of dead, injured and traumatised Americans were reaping what their government had sowed.

    • Save Nz you will be pleased to know I checked on the local RSA where a meeting of bill English and Mark Osbourne were having a meet the candidate morning ,only about 40 cars there that included parliamentary cars, so they are not doing so well in Northland ,its a start.

  3. In recent times, as much as the Key government and their allies in the media trowel on the bullshit thickly for us morons, keeping us in the dark, Hager washes it away and brings light. And this gives Kiwi’s a hell of a migraine because it’s so much easier to carry on in blissful ignorance than it is to think about the double ramifications of an increasingly warped NZ government and the way it behaves domestically to one that is also in an alliance with the increasingly warped US government.

    For now a number of kiwi’s are in denial phase, hence the illogical voter apathy toward National last year.

  4. To question the propriety of a programme of mass surveillance that encompasses the world is the responsibility of every person. Such a programme is fundamentally unjust, by breaching the privacy of every individual who uses electronic communications the US and the 5 Eyes partnership of which New Zealand is a part are flouting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

    Article 12.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    I am immensely saddened that during my lifetime New Zealand has gone from being an independent nation that defended such rights, to a place where successive governments have taken part in an intelligence and military clique that serves the wealthiest and most powerful minority at the expense of the rights of the majority.

    That the current National government, especially their leader John Key do not have either the intellect, morals or both to walk away from this arrangement is disappointing. That they continue to lie to and deceive the New Zealand public about our involvement in the “club”, despite evidence which clearly refutes the statements of them or their supportive media is disgusting.

    No amount of security is worth the loss of liberty. If it were we should just lock everyone up in a nice safe cell right away, it’s safer there afterall.

  5. Excellent Post @ Chris Trotter .

    You ask , ” Will New Zealand continue striving to become an independent South Pacific nation, or will it opt to remain a far-flung, but intensely loyal, province of the Anglo-Saxon Empire? ”

    The latter is my answer .

    New Zealand is too valuable as a resource to fall into the sandy atoll category . I very much doubt if The Empire cares much about the other pacific islands , other than as landing strips for bombers perhaps .

    My suspicions are that NZ is already the home to many of the Empires elite and they’ll be thinking ‘ This is it . The last outpost of humanity ‘ and they may be right, given global warming , increasing determinations of vast populations to have what we enjoy, like shopping in malls, diminishing fresh water supplies , the extremely dangerous pre occupation with industrialised farming and then there are the super bacterium’s and ever evolving viruses like I.S. and Creflo Dollar .
    No wonder the bastards want our islands . Who could blame them ? And they have vast resources to sway any politician , much less the weak, greedy coward jonky-stien is .

    Back in the days when I used to write word-gasses at Tumeke I suggested that since we ( NZ ) can never , ever go it alone we should keep tight with Westminster and cling to HRH QE2’s apron strings like a neurotic monkey.
    The alternative is to be USA corporatised, weaponised and morphed into a mirage of real life. We will become what TV is today . If you think Kills and Moon are beyond hideous ? You aint seen nothing yet .

      • And by association and implication , – dangerous fundamentalist ideologue nutbaggers such as yourself – who are so hypocritical they come on here ranting about how full take mass surveillance is a good thing yet still post using a pseudonym.

        That asshole song I did includes you , Gosman.

  6. It’s worth pointing out that Hager is the investigative journalist reporting material supplied to him. He is dedicated and has suffered for it.
    So due credit to him.
    And of course we need many more like him to share the load of informing the public about the realities of Empire.
    However, the material has been supplied by Snowden who like all whistleblowers has taken far bigger risks and suffered much greater consequences.
    The phenomenon of the whistleblower is the real weapon against Empire.
    As with all empires throughout history, their survival is down to the loyalty of the troops.
    When the troops mutiny, and the general staff have their backs to the wall, the Empires years are numbered.
    So pass around the whistle.

  7. The corrupt Bilderberg Group are also promoting nuclear war and global dominance.

    Bilderberg is busy behind the scenes sucking all the Global Leaders into their trap and inviting them to their shady secret planning forums.

    NZ as has already been sucked into this caldron of filth and Key is in the middle of it all so no surprises here.

    In 2011-12 Key was invited to the Bilderberg Group forums as Prime minister of NZ.


    We were never advised that John Key has attended this clandestine global corporate secret black ops organisation of the one world order.

    How many other secrets does this evil man hide from us all?

    • There is nothing illegal at attending meeting such as the Bilderberg group. Why is it you have an issue with it?

        • Do you honestly think a get together and a discussion makes you antisocial? I would argue doing so makes you the opposite. As for whether this is illegal or not better ask the commenters here who think John Key should be arrested for doing this.

          • You think these semi secret meetings that don’t disclose anything to the public are consistent with ‘democracy’. I guess if you can accept the way that they are going about this TPPA thing, and your support of Bilderberg ‘elite’ meetings then your idea of democracy is not at all consistent.

            Cognitive dissonance is one hell of a thing!

            • Explain to me what ideas or policies from this meeting can be implemented via methods other than through the legislatures of the countries involved?

              Even if they wanted to control the world via these meetings all they could do would be to come up with policies. that is what politics is all about. Come up with policies and then attempt to convince your country to adopt them. Nothing sinister in that all.

              • Aaah. But they don’t even need our agreement, permission, or compliance do they. How can I hope to explain this to you when the minutes are secret, . . even the membership list is meant to be confidential.

                When we have TPPA in this country, what or when did we get a say on any of the ‘policies’. . .
                When we elected National?

                When and by what method did I get a say on sending troops into Iraq, . . or the whole mass surveillance shenanigans.

                By voting (against) National? I wasn’t aware these were potential Nat Policies.

                True Democracy does not exist.

                Not that a system that can potentially leave 49% of people screwed over should be considered the best we can do, . . .
                Or that all the complexities of trying to live together in a society and satisfy everyone’s basic needs and hope for happiness to some degree can be arrived at by trying to force absolutes, good/bad, left/right, right/wrong where they simply do not apply.

                But that is the system that we have, . . .Presumably (unsurprisingly?) the best mankind can do.
                I am personally at a loss as to how the super haves have been so successful in getting the serfs to love their servitude. I guess their intelligence and cunning should be applauded, they have done a fine job.

                Keep climbing that ladder though, I’m certain it will bring you the comfort and security you have worked so hard for. Then after all this, there is death to look forward to. Tis a great life!


    • Ha!…plenty- and the ones we know about such as when he was a New York Forex trader says it all !!

      The beloved Key that so many drongo’s want to have a barbecue and beer with is the same asshole who was second in command of the biggest Forex heist in history – which almost wrecked this country’s economy.

      There’s ya bloody lovely J.Key for ya !!!

      And now we’ve got the asshole over here playing charades with all the slack , gullible ‘ disinterested . sitting duck Kiwi’s.

      Have another beer , mate.

  8. These are not enlightened times. These are the dark ages. If the light is at the left end of the political spectrum and we move to the left – it becomes tougher and harder. Even the word ‘left’ is against those who inhabit those spaces. So -all the more credit to Nicky Hager as one who fights the good fight … and those of his ilk.

  9. I want to like this post, Chris, but you don’t give a single example of the main thing you refer to , ie the tight little political and journalistic clique that is clustering around Key and attacking Hagar.

    I’m sure you’re correct but if you don’t provide some links or something to support your argument then it’s just a bit naff, no?

  10. The u.s.a or ‘land of the free’ ……

    Was created by ethnic cleansing, murdering, starving and breaking every treaty or document signed with the original Indian inhabitants.

    It was then made wealthy through mass slavery with all the torture, brutalization and rape that goes with that …………..

    And it has been maintained by war, assassination and exploitation of other countries ………………. it has been the primary cause of mass civilian deaths after WWII ( Vietnam, Cambodia, South America, Iraq etc etc etc ).

    The u.s.a’s appalling behavior is driven by the greed of their system and its very very wealthy individuals who protect and run it.

    In essence it is the criminality of the rich who are running the u.s.a and the planet into the ground ……………

    John Key is just our greedy dishonest criminal getting in on the game.

  11. People in this country seem far more mobilised about rubbish like the X Factor and there in a nutshell is the problem. The Daily Blog and Whale Oil are pretty much irrelevant. The views of the more informed whether right or left could never get that many names on a petition in such a short time for anything. Get used to where this country is at!

  12. I’m not sure that calling it “the Anglo-Saxon Empire” is accurate or helpful. I’d just call it “the American Empire”. It includes more than just the “Anglo” nations (like Israel), and is clearly led by America alone (as NZ and the other 4 “Anglo” countries are not exactly equal partners in the Empire). And from a strategic perspective, I think “American Empire” will get people a bit angrier about it (as some white conservative types, after all, might actually be excited by the concept of being part of an “Anglo-Saxon Empire”).

    • I second you on that.

      America of the last three hundred years or so has come together as a land of immigrants – and they don’t all speak English as their first language. A hazardous hotch-potch of cultures and stories. Older allegiances than ‘the flag’, blood being thicker than water.

      Great Britain is comprised of four nations and the arrival of the Angles and Saxons didn’t last as long as the settlement of the Romans. I don’t think the Irish, Welsh and Scots would appreciate being tagged ‘anglo-saxon’.

      Canada? Good old bi-lingual Canada? Has pockets of settlers who have never spoken English.

      Australia? Albanese, Abek, Bernardi, Bilyk…such fine anglo-saxon names. Invisible Greeks, Italians, Lebanese.

      It is likely that there’s a long way further to go to reach the true centre of the gob-stopper. ‘Anglo-saxon’ is a whistle stop. The terminus is probably quite different.

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