Give Peace A Chance; The Greens Are Right, NZ should stay away from IS

It is a sad day for New Zealand when someone standing up for peace and freedom is lambasted as sounding as if she had just dropped in from San Francisco circa 1967. The throwaway comment from one journalist was “doesn’t everyone?” Well, no!

The arms trade was worth at least $395 billion dollars in 2012 (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) with 86% of the trade coming from United States based companies. A similar amount is spent most years. Clearly some people and organizations do quite nicely out of armed conflicts and are no doubt very happy for them to continue ad infinitum. Continue reading

The War on Terror is a War We Cannot Win

Getting our military involved in the fight against the Islamic State would be a mistake. It will simply perpetuate the mistakes that have been ongoing since Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. All US foreign policy failures that New Zealand has bought into for no other reason than we seem to feel that where the US goes we should follow. Continue reading

Give Peace a Chance

Our ANZAC commemorations quite clearly demonstrated yet again that in war there are no winners. Some just lose more than others. Therefore news that a recent study has found during the past century non-violent methods have been twice as successful as violence in overthrowing totalitarian governments, changing politics, and winning new freedoms for people is surely welcome.

That the Department of Peace and Conflict studies at Otago University is reputedly becoming one of the leading lights in this research, including what drives people to terrorism, is something New Zealanders can be proud of. It would be even better if our government was prepared to implement some of the findings. Continue reading

Cluster Munitions Prohibitions Bill just the start

The Alliance Party is delighted that the Cluster Munitions Prohibitions Bill was passed unanimously last week, says co-leader Kay Murray.

“We are proud of the role New Zealand has played in the international campaign to ban this indiscriminate vicious weapon that remains a threat to civilian lives even years after conflicts have ceased.”

The Alliance fully supports the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition’s call for the Government to ratify the International Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay so that the required 30 signatory countries are obtained and it becomes international law. Continue reading