Monday, January 06, 2020

We are no longer welcome in Iraq

Last Friday, the US murdered a high-ranking Iranian general, ostensibly as retaliation for Iraqi militias attacking US troops in Iraq. It was a stupid move, a mistake as well as a crime (to misquote Talleyrand), and it is already having the expected effects: the Iranian nuclear deal is now completely dead (because the clear message of this murder is that Iran needs nukes if it wants the US to respect international norms), and the Iraqi Parliament has just voted to throw out all foreign troops, effectively refusing to be a venue anymore for the US's war on Syria. New Zealand currently has troops in Iraq (the numbers there are out-of-date; there should now be about 45 if cabinet's withdrawal timetable is being kept to), and the upshot is that they are no longer welcome. Instead of being there by invitation to "assist" Iraq, they are now invaders and occupiers.

This isn't what our government told us they are there for. The democraticly expressed wishes of the Iraqi government should be respected, and New Zealand troops should be withdrawn immediately. Bring them home, and keep us out of another stupid American mess.