Monday, February 23, 2015

New Zealand is about to re-enter the 'quagmire,' that is Iraq.

Here we go again---NZ to follow in the footsteps of its master, the USA. John Key will no doubt announce a ‘limited’ non-combat contribution to the forces on the ground in Iraq fighting ISIS. Whilst being no fan of Key and his cohort, I do appreciate the situation that any leader of NZ would be facing at a time like this. After years of ‘invited and less invited’ participation on this never-ending war, the situation is not better and possibly worse. One has to ask the question---‘is it all worth it?’ Corruption, political struggle and religious intolerance seem to be the norm in this failed country. It is not surprising that other groups are able to challenge and usurp central government authority. The Government itself is a hotbed of power struggles and any semblance of democracy is at best symbolic. Groups like ISIS and tribally based opposition, under laid by inter-religious discontent take away from any short term victory, imposed by the USA and its allies. What then is NZ’s role? If it was not for the oil, one suspects that our involvement would have been averted; it is our relationship with the USA that sucks us in, much like we were in the days of the Vietnam War. Who knows what pressures our government has faced, away from the bright lights of the media? Then there is the question of the role that NZ will play, albeit small, numerically. Our people in the ground are purported to be readying themselves for some sort of ‘humanitarian’ act, one supported by a smaller group of ‘protectors.’ It can only be a matter of time before one of our men or women will be captured and paraded in front of cameras, being readied for a public execution. Therein lies the fear factor that ISIS has so ‘successfully’ employed. If that happens, NZers will rapidly turn from the apparent equal position they hold new re our involvement. I take the view that ‘we have tried the military intervention role and it has failed. Unless the funding that supports ISIS can be cut, then they will keep coming back. Whilst political and economic factors remain at the terrible mess they exhibit now, then ISIS will always have willing recruits, from within and outside Iraq. Unless that changes, NZ is facing another long and unsuccessful involvement. Even with a massive military campaign, led by the USA and it ‘friends, the Iraq we see today will still be there in a few years, fighting with itself and attracting the discontent from many countries, feeding the wealthy military industrial complexes as they have always done---the real victors in this ‘struggle.’ Maybe Key and many NZers support this ‘involvement’ in the mistaken belief that they are keeping the struggle at ‘arm’s length.’ How long can we hold to that myth?!