Open letter to the Green party

Hi Jeanette and Russell,

I spoke to a Vietnam veteran friend of mine yesterday who told me that there were at least 300 ex military personnel (Special Forces, navy, air etc.) in Iraq. He told me he knew at least 60 of them personally. He told me that since New Zealand allows the echelon facility to be stationed here, New Zealand gets some training in modern warfare and that this is why these people are in Iraq.

If this is true then maybe New Zealand may not be officially engaged in the war but they profit from it nevertheless. Why is it, that not a single New Zealand politician asks questions about our continued involvement in these human catastrophes and why is it not an issue for the Green party especially, since the war is a also a huge ecological disaster. I really don’t understand why it is OK to speak out against China’s crackdown on Tibet, which is great by the way, and not about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It even makes sense as a political strategy because it would give your party the political initiative.

A couple of days ago posted a polling question on their website.

The questioning was; Should New Zealand send more troops to Afghanistan?

Only two answers were possible, both of them were highly manipulative.

The answers were;

A: Yes, we should do our bit. And B: No, Afghanistan is not our problem.

Answer A clearly appeals to people wanting to be part of the team, answer B clearly hints that this answer is the egotistical and therefore wrong answer.

It doesn’t invite any critical thinking about why there is a war in the first place and not unsurprisingly 60 percent of the polled wanted to be part of the team, while the remaining 40 percent apparently didn’t give a toss.

But if you translate this differently perhaps the 40 percent who didn’t give a toss actually cared enough to not want to be part of a team that wage war in Afghanistan, or perhaps its only 20 percent that doesn’t want to be involved in the war in Afghanistan, but that is still a sizeable amount of people. If you extrapolate that over the voting new Zealanders you could increase the amount of people voting for Green. It is after all the people who want to live a Green that are more aware of what is actually happening out there in the real world in the first place and they would probably want their politicians to stand up against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially since they are probably also aware that with the use of depleted uranium and other toxins the wars are also hugely damaging to the environment.

My Vietnam veteran friend also told me that until now New Zealand has sent mostly engineers and people with skills needed by the local population in order to help them build up a better infrastructure, but that with the new build up of troops from around the globe, and after the explosion of the roadside bomb, it was more likely that they would send soldiers trained in combat.

My native Holland has seen a steady return of coffins in the last couple of months. The Dutch also have troops stationed in Afghanistan you see, and even as far back as three years ago I spoke with some of them and they told me that it was far, far worse than the newspapers were telling us back home. In the next couple of weeks I will be gathering more information about what is really going on in Afghanistan, I hope you will visit my Aotearoa site and learn of the true nature of the war in Afghanistan and hopefully you’ll come around to my point of view which is that the Green party does have an important role to play making the horror that is the war in Afghanistan and Iraq part of the New Zealand psyche. I  hope that this will be enough for Kiwis to start to ask real questions, and eventually generate enough resistance to the wars to end them.

Kind regards,

Evelyn Gilbert

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