Ardern wrong to “accept” US-led air strikes on Syria. The Greens get it right

By   /   April 16, 2018  /   67 Comments

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Prime Minister Adern has made a serious mistake in saying that she “accepts” why the US, UK and France have bombed Syria.

Prime Minister Ardern has made a serious mistake in saying that she “accepts” why the US, UK and France have bombed Syria.

The Greens, through Foreign Affairs spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman, have taken a much better position, summarised in a tweet from Golriz on Sunday reading: “NO to any superpower bombing when they feel like it. NO to fueling perpetual war in the name of peace. NO to undermining international rule of law.”

Golriz wrote a longer piece for Spinoff. While acknowledging the terrible suffering of the Syrian people, Golriz pointed out that the bombing “only makes the people less safe… wreaking more havoc and death just to feel like we’re doing ‘something’…. This bombing is the end point of the venomous, divisive electioneering rhetoric that saw Trump win his presidency. It isn’t what New Zealand stands for.”

Ardern’s support for the bombing won’t meet much favour when she arrives in Britain shortly. Most parties (Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish Nationalists and the Greens) have come out against the air strikes. Jeremy Corbyn accused Prime Minister May of “trailing after Donald Trump” and said the “bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace” and “makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely.”

Ardern was also wrong to say that “diplomatic efforts and a multilateral approach” had been prevented by the use of Security Council veto powers. In fact, inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have only just arrived in Damascus to begin their work. There are still a lot of discussions to be held at the UN.

In some ways Ardern’s comments are a step back from the stance of the Clark Labour government in 2003, when the Bush administration didn’t wait for weapons inspectors to complete their work before it invaded Iraq. But at least Helen Clark didn’t support that invasion. Today it is the Trump administration trying to get the jump on the chemical weapons inspectors by bombing Syria, and Ardern seems to be in support.

[A new poll by the British Independent showed only a quarter of Britons backed the strikes.]

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  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    100% Keith I agree,

    This was just another lie by CIA and NATO to unseat Assad so they can get their Global oil companies to take over and extract the oil reserves from Syria, and nothing else is there.

    Always when in the arabian gulf when these ‘skirmishes’ arise it is all over oil.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      Also to get the gas pipeline from Qatar to Europe constructed through Syria, in the hope of undermining the position of Russia as a prime supplier of energy to Europe.

      Funny thing is, it was Tony B Liar (now a multi-millionaire) who promoted the importation of Russian gas in the first place.

      And it was Tony B Liar who was all lovey-dovey towards Gaddafi when it suited Britain to do gas deals.

      Of course, Gaddafi was supposed to have joined the ‘elites’ club and spent the money acquired on London properties etc., not helping poor Libyans or establishing a non-Rothschild African bank.

    • Francesca says:

      Here’s a legal assessment of the UK strikes, commissioned by the UK Labour Party
      One would have thought our govt was more aligned to the UK Labour Party than the Tories?

  2. Think before you rush to judgement – there are precedents.

    The UK Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has asked Britain’s Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, to explain where was the legal basis for Britain joining in the attack on Syria. “The legal basis . . .” Corbyn said in BBC TV interview “. . . would have to be self defence or the authority of the UN Security Council.” There was, of course, no Security Council Council endorsement for such an act of aggression.

    Syria had reaffirmed its support for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and offered to fully co-operate with, and deliver on, its obligations since joining the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). But instead of waiting for the OPCW to carry out its investigation, the US, Britain and France carried out missile attacks on Syria that may render it more difficult to maintain the integrity of any evidence at the sites of the alleged atrocities. Syria’s invitation to the OPCW is clearly in its own interest in arriving at the truth. It is not unknown for the West to lie about chemical weapons when seeking regime change. Lies about Iraq’s possession of WMDs were concocted by the West to facilitate an invasion for regime change that cost around 500,000 Iraqi lives.

    The Latin term qui bono is used in criminal investigations regarding who, among a number of suspects, might benefit most from a given criminal act. The Syrian Government is emerging as victor in the international war that has been raging in its land and it is difficult to see what possible benefit there could be for it in the execution of a desperate and inhumane act of chemical warfare; especially when such an act would be impossible to keep secret. On the other hand, it would be reasonable to regard as highly suspect, those who had previously been guilty of using lies and deception regarding chemical warfare in order to achieve regime change.

    It would surely be more reasonable for New Zealand to wait for the OPCW to present its findings, along with the required evidence, before assigning guilt and approving military strikes that had no Security Council approval.

    • Linda says:

      She never said she ‘approved’…did no one listen to her interviews?

      • Mjolnir says:

        Ardern said “New Zealand therefore accepts why the US, UK and France have today responded to the grave violation of international law, and the abhorrent use of chemical weapons against civilians”.

        To many people, “accept” would mean “approval”.

        She also said she “accepts WHY the US, UK and France have today responded to the grave violation of international law”. In other words she says she accepts Western rationalisation for attacking Syria.

        She did not use the word “alleged” at any time, nor did she point out that IF the chemical attack took place, the identity of the perpetrators has not yet been proven.

        I think its fairly clear what she meant.

        Norman Kirk would be spinning in his grave.

  3. Afewknowthetruth says:

    The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma.

    The OPCW has been working in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team.

    This means that the effort by the US and its allies on the UN Security Council, to squash that investigation, has failed at the OPCW, even though the effort had been successful at blocking UN support for that specific investigation.

  4. Michal says:

    The bully boys of the world and their mates are at it again. The U.S. has so far taken 11 Syrian refugees.

  5. Johnnybg says:

    Third way LAP DOG NZ strikes again. In France, while she’s hobnobbing it with Macron, the unions are rioting in the streets to stave off Macron’s globalisation agenda. The irony is worth savouring.

    • Aaron says:

      I think the trip to France was the problem. She went there to drum up support (beg?) for a trade deal with the EU. Criticising France for sending in missiles in the same week she was visiting there was probably never going to happen.

      This Labour Party is nothing if not a bunch of scaredy-cats

  6. Francesca says:

    The OPCW completed an inspection of the Syrian site deemed to be a chemical weapons factory at Barzeh in Nov. 22 2017 and found nothing to indicate chemical weapon manufacture
    The Americans bombed it nevertheless, calling it a CW factory, knowing MSM would not query them
    So we are to believe that the Syrians had a program of sarin making up and running in a mere 4 or so months, knowing that the OPCW could make a return visit at any time?
    Links provided if required

    • Aaron says:

      Are we also to believe they were really concerned about chemicals killing Syrians when they were also saying they were going to blow up buildings that had the same chemicals in them? – thereby releasing those chemicals into the air.

  7. Mjolnir says:

    I am deeply disappointed in Ms Ardern. This is not what I exprct from a Labour-led government.

    We should be promoting a U.N. led resolution, not this bullshit advebturism to mask Trump’s domestic troubles. After Saturday, it is a miracle the Russians didnt retaliate against American warships. We are all damned lucky cooler heads have prevailed in Moscow.

    • Linda says:

      She did promote a UN led solution – she said this in several interviews!

      • Winifred Kiddle says:

        Linda you seem to be an avid Ardern supporter. Do tell – what has she done to support ‘truth’ and world peace?

  8. Aaron says:

    Did the US, France and UK just blow up some of the evidence?

    Given Winston Peters outspoken views earlier on the Russian issue I imagine the NZ Government has been severely lent on since then.

    • Aaron says:

      Here’s another question – what happens to dangerous chemicals when you blow up the building they’re in? Does every last molecule get incinerated or does some of it become airborne and spread to the surrounding area?

      • I suspect that would not concern Mr Trump very greatly, Aaron.

        • Francesca says:

          In fact, un hazcammed Syrian soldiers can be seen around the ruined supposed CW factory , still smoking(not the workers)in the following hours of the strike
          When Sharyat was bombed just about this time last year, the same question came up .
          “What say the airbase did in fact have toxic chemicals, would that pose a danger to innocent civilians?”
          Smartarse pundits replied knowledgeably “Oh no no , the heat from the explosion renders the chemicals harmless”
          Thats not true, and its why sustained heat at very high temperatures over time in sealed circumstances is the only way chemical weapons are destroyed safely
          I’m really sick and tired of people not doing their own research and relying on the media
          They LIE folks, get used to it, find out stuff by going to the source. Look stuff up , read books, seek information out.

          • Francesca says:

            Listen to this Syrian employee at the destroyed facility and judge for yourself if he is lying


            • Brigid says:

              Thanks Francesca. It’s a bit sickening even though there were no casualties.
              What do May, the Orange one and that silly little French boy get out of being so brutal?
              Makes me feel ill.
              And still STILL the wanking chauvinists on the standard keep up with bullshit.
              Get inarticulate when I’m mad.

              • Francesca says:

                I know Brigid
                My language is getting quite foul
                Some over there are so full of themselves but so woefully uninformed, and lazy with it
                It was all I could do to stop myself saying go fxxk yourself to that moderator
                May,Trump and Macron (honestly its like some Roald Dahl tale..the names!)must be some of the most inept leaders ever
                Hang in there though , you’re doing good!

  9. Well at least you can spell her name correctly in the headline. Much respect to you Keith Locke, and there’s certainly a debate to be had, but it does piss me off you calling her “Adern”.

  10. The Masked Moa says:

    Labours support of this war crime is a travesty and makes them accomplices to war crimes, but the Greens support of the Labour government and their refusal to criticise Labour directly also makes them accomplices to war crimes. The Green propaganda that Keith refers to studiously refuses to name and shame Ardern and Labour for their support of war crimes. Trying to hide behind Trump to deflect attention away from their support for Labour is a political crime in itself (well at least in my opinion as a Greens member).

    Now Ardern is swanning around Europe meeting with the very war criminals responsible for bringing us to the brink of a global nuclear war and still not a word of criticism from the Greens.

    NZ defence force personnel are embedded in US/NATO forces in Qatar and would have participated in planning for this crime. We have a frigate involved in the blockade of North Korea. This government is a full steam ahead participant in the neoconservative push for a global nuclear war. These are the actions of a war monger state and deflecting attention on to Trump and saying they are just following orders doesn’t cut it. All the while the reasons for going to war are being exposed as lies:

    Marama Davidson and the other Green MPs are looking more and more like frauds by the hour not criticising Labour directly for supporting Trumps war crimes. What happened to the promise of speaking up against unacceptable government actions? Not a word. Just a tweet about identity politics. Guess what Marama nuclear weapons dont discriminate in the death and destruction they bring.

    The Alliance destroyed itself over a similar issue in regards to the Afghanistan invasion. I guess some people just cant learn the lessons of history.

    • Linda says:

      She never said she ‘supported’ this…

      • The Masked Moa says:

        She never said she opposes Labours policy and Ardern for accepting and going along with Trumps war crimes. Not even a word against NZ defence force personnel being involved in this attack based in Qatar. Ardern sold out for a deal with the EU even though Germany and Italy and other EU members opposed this action.

        What vexes me most is a conversation I had with Phillida Bunkle prior to the 1996 election at the Greens annual conference where she talked about the need for the new Green MPs to reflect the party members wishes. She sold out 2 years later and went with the Alliance to keep her ministerial salary after we voted to leave.

        In my opinion it looks to me like Marama is too terrified to criticise Ardern and Labour in case she jeopardises her shot at a ministerial salary – sold out in 2 weeks now thats a record even for within the Greens. I supported her being voted in to become co-leader, but now are left feeling very disappointed at my mistake.