Tuesday, July 05, 2005



Ending the standoff

So, the US Ambassador has made another speech calling for us to "end the standoff" with the US. To which we really have to ask "who is standing who off"?

As Helen Clark pointed out, the door is open, and it has always been open. What she very diplmatically didn't say is that it is only US arrogance that has stopped them from using it. France and the UK - both nuclear powers - have been happy to comply with our anti-nuclear legislation when visiting New Zealand. It is only America's refusal to accept that legislation that has prevented visits by their forces.

As for the wider relationship, I have nothing against closer relations with the US. But what they must accept is that we are an independent nation, with our own values. Where those values differ from those of the US - as they did on Iraq, and as they do on climate change, fair trade, the need for international law, and on multilateralism generally - we (along with the rest of the world) will go our own way. We have a lot in common, but we are interested in being friends, not vassals.

3 comments:

The headline in the Dom Post was better: "Starved of Trust - words of warning from departing US envoy".
The US starved of trust by NZ actions?!! I had to buy the paper on the spot, I was so incredible.
I'm sure DU was developed to pierce thick hides like Swindell's.

Reputation is a reasonable measure of trustworthyness for those in the public domain - who has a global reputation for saying what they believe, sticking by their principles, treating others with respect and fairness.. NZ or the US?

Posted by Huskynut : 7/05/2005 11:56:00 AM

"We have a lot in common, but we are interested in being friends, not vassals."

Yes, but children can not be friends with adults. Children must be punished until they display the correct behaviour.

When we realise we are seen as mere children, it is easy to understand their stance.

Posted by Anonymous : 7/05/2005 07:24:00 PM

Anon: we've always understood that. We also don't like to be bullied. And America's attempts to bully us have only increased people's resistance to the idea of buckling under.

If the Americans really want to get restart the relationship, then they must display a marked change of attitude. But if its just more of the same, then I'm afraid we're just not interested.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 7/06/2005 12:45:00 AM