Monday, July 20, 2009

No blood for trade

John Key is hinting strongly that the SAS will be sent back to Afghanistan to fight and die for America. On Q&A on Sunday, he said:

"I do think it's important that New Zealand plays its role, and plays its part in trying to get on top of what is a terrorist hotspot,"
I have just one question for Mr Key: why?

Why would we want to fight in a war without any legal mandate from the UN?

Why should we prop up a government whose policies include theocracy, legalised spousal rape, unfair trials and the death penalty, where people who protest against these things are publicly stoned?

Why should we send people to die for nothing in a pointless war which has already been lost?

If the first two reasons are not enough, the final one should be absolutely compelling. One of the basic considerations in any decision on whether to use force is whether it will be effective in achieving your goals. But the war in Afghanistan was lost long ago, and sending more people to die in the graveyard of empires will not change this. It would simply be an empty gesture of loyalty to the US, a modern echo of the immoral "blood for butter" policy which saw Key's ideological predecessors sacrifice 18,000 kiwis on the altar of our previous imperial patron. Which begs the question: if this is about sacrificing lives to prove loyalty, why not do it here - say, shoot a handful of SAS soldiers on a US flag outside Parliament? Obviously, that would be monstrous. But is it any less monstrous to send them to be shot in Afghanistan instead? The only difference is the location.

IMHO, we should not be participating in illegal wars, we should not be propping up immoral governments, and we should not be engaging in human sacrifice for imperial favour. We should tell the US to fight its own stupid war, and that we want no part of it.