With Key on its side

14 Feb

I do not support John Key’s government sending troops to Iraq as part of a poorly planned, dubious and futile campaign against the Islamic State.  A petition, hosted by GreenPeace explains why sending troops would be futile, and ultimately destructive.

John Key has been gradually leading us into sending (non-combat?) troops to Iraq to support the US-UK-led campaign against the Islamic state.

Below are videos of anti-war songs, and a poem, that help to explain who benefits and whose lives are damaged and destroyed from such wars.

BLiP on The Standard explains how Team Key has carefully managed the slide towards NZ’s involvement, through John Key’s series of contradictory and slippery statements and manoeuvres, aimed at softening up the NZ public.

Idiot/Savant on No Right Turn lays out some questions John Key needs to answer before deciding whether to send NZ troops to Iraq.

What will be done to protect New Zealand troops from attacks from the soldiers they are supposed to be training?

Will NZ troops be subject to Iraqi law?

Will NZ troops be turning over captives to the Iraqis?… Are we going to repeat that mistake, and expose kiwi troops to prosecution for war crimes, or are we going to ensure that any captives are detained humanely by New Zealand, rather than turned over to countries with a known record of war crimes?

Dave Kennedy on Local Bodies provides the context for NZ’s involvement with the fossil-fueled coalition of  “Five eyes” countries. Part of this context are the US-UK-led’s dubious, destructive and deathly military interventions in other countries.

This is part of a long history of campaigns against wars that benefit the wealthy and powerful, while damaging the least powerful and poorest people within and across countries.

This video includes Aaron Neville singing the well-known “With God on our side”, which highlights the false idea that each side is fighting a moral and just war with “God” on their side. Slideshow by Connie Gremmer.

Images added by dimbulb771 to Perfect Circle’s version of Joni Mitchell’s “Fiddle and the Drum”. Begins:

And so once again my dear Johnny dear my friend

And so once again you are fighting us all

Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” – he puts the responsibility for war with those who build the bombs and death planes – especially the men in the military industrial complex who arrange and manage such production, and who sit behind desks. Images compiled by AllySherwin:

This video of Buffy Sainte-Marie performing “Universal Soldier” begins with her explaining how she wrote the song.  It was in 1968 when people were saying there was no war in Vietnam.  But soldiers she met in an airport told her different.  She pondered on who was responsible for the soldiers fighting. First she thought it was the generals, then to politicians who told the generals to go to war – then she decided were were all responsible because we vote for the politicians.

Billy Bragg’s song “Between the Wars” takes the side of workers who are the lifeblood of a country, making everything good in times of peace, while being expected to die for their country in times of war.  Images compiled by Tim Davies.

James K Baxter wrote some anti-war poems, including ones against the Vietnam War.  His poem, “A bucket of blood for a dollar” is an imagined conversation between “Uncle Same” and NZ PM Keith Holyoake.  It could be updated to feature John Key being asked to send troops to Iraq – same sentiments and ideals.

a conversation between Uncle Sam and the Rt. Hon. Keith Holyoake, Prime Minister of New Zealand

‘You’ll have to learn,’ said Uncle Sam,

‘The Yankee way of work

Now that you’ve joined in our crusade

Against the modern Turk;

The captial of the Commonwealth is

Not London, but New York.’

– – –

‘Don’t tell them that,’ cried Holyoake,

‘In Thames or Dannevirke.’

– – –

‘Then use your loaf,’ said Uncle Sam,

‘Newspapers hit the eye;

If you get trouble from the men

That you can’t bluff or buy,

Just spread the word that they’re all Reds

And let the rumours fly.’

– – –

‘I’ll bang the drum,’ said Holyoake–

And yet he heaved a sigh.

‘Tell them straight,’ said Uncle Sam,

‘That it’s a dirty war;

Mention the Freedom of the West

That we are fighting for;

But keep the money side of it

Well tucked behind the door.’

– – –

‘I’ll make it sound,’ said Holyoake,

‘Just like a football score.’

– – –

‘Between the fights,’ said Uncle Sam,

‘They’ll need some exercise;

There’s a thousand brothels in Saigon

Where they can fraternize.

The peasants send their daughters there

When they have no rice.’

– – –

‘Let’s not be coarse,’ said Holyoake,

Turning up his eyes.

– – –

‘I fried a village,’ said Uncle Sam,

‘With the new phosphorous bomb

The day a Yankee Army nurse

Was killed by the Viet Cong;

A white dame’s worth a million gooks–

In Asia, we belong.’

– – –

‘Your chivalry,’ said Holyoake,

‘Put angels in the wrong.’

– – –

‘The newest way,’ said Uncle Sam,

‘To interrogate the brutes

Is a wet wire on the private parts

That half-electrocutes–

Though I do hate having to wash

Their vomit from my boots.’

– – –

‘I’m a simple chap,’ sighed Holyoake,

‘Politics hurts my head;

But why do you scrap with China

To the tune of a million dead

And sign a Pact with Russia,

When both of them are Red?”

– – –

‘Get with it, Keith,’ said Uncle Sam,

‘We need the East for trade.’

– – –

‘I’m a simple chap,’ said Holyoake,

‘Politics frighten me;

But whether it’s frozen meat or men

We send across the sea,

We want good prices for our veal–

What can you guarantee?’

– – –

‘Just name your price,’ said Uncle Sam,

‘And leave the rest to me.’

– – –

James K. Baxter, from the Jerusalem Years of Poetic Thought.

~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 18.11.11~



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