Monday, June 09, 2003

Engineers to Iraq

How do I feel about Helen Clark's decision to send NZDF personnel to Iraq? Well, on the one hand, I was against the war, and am strongly against any contribution towards the occupation. We should not be putting trrops on the ground there to help the US subjugate the Iraqi people, impose a puppet government, and steal their oil. And on the other hand, what are we sending? Engineers. People who build schools. Without guns, and reliant on the British for protection. We're contributing to reconstruction, not the occupation - I can stomach that.

(But wil the Iraqis recognise that fact? Only time will tell. But at least we're working with the British, who seem to be doing a far better job of dealing with the locals than the Americans have been).

As for Afghanistan, it looks like the "Provincial Reconstruction Teams" that we'll be contributing to are part military, part reconstruction, so it's not all bad. At least its not the SAS again, and the job they'll be doing - extending the influence of the provisional government outside Kabul - seems to both be in accordance with our principles and worth doing. I think that contributing to the International Security Assistance Force would be justifiable, so this probably is too.

And on the third hand, this smacks of sucking up to the US. Can't we at least have Helen verbally give them the finger again, so we don't have to feel so bad about doing something useful?