Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The old lie

Today Parliament paid tribute to Corporal Doug Grant, the SAS soldier recently killed in Afghanistan. One by one, the leaders of all parties stood up to mouth the usual platitudes: "fine man", "noble cause", "defending New Zealand". Underneath it all, the same old lie, used by politicians whenever they send people off to die for their ambitions: dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

It was a sickening display, made all the more sickening by the fact that it was bullshit layered on bullshit.

Afghanistan is not a war of self-defence. We're not involved in it to "defend New Zealand". We're not even involved in it to help the international community. Instead, we're there for one reason and one reason only: for the sake of closer relations with the United States, and the PR opportunities they bring the government of the day. And that, in the end, is what Corporal Grant died for: not for his country, but so that John Key could get a pre-election photo-op with President Obama.

No matter what you think of our relationship with the US, or of John Key, that's not something that is worth a single human life.