Response to Nicky Hager’s opinion piece in the Auckland Herald (09/06/16)Posted: June 11, 2016
Response to Nicky Hager’s opinion piece in the Auckland Herald (09/06/16)
originally written for the Peace Action Wellington action list
There is a problem created by Nicky Hager’s analysis which is highlighted within his own article (Auckland Herald, 09/06/16). For starters, if the letter of the NZ Nuclear Free Legislation applies only to ships brought into NZ, but the country bringing the non-nuke ship in (USA in this case) has thousands of nuclear weapons in its military plans, then that puts into sharp relief the limited effect of the NZ nuclear free law.
Yes, the law has been useful, but most in the peace movement had seen the limitation from the beginning. The suggestion was that NZ should cut all military ties with any nuclear armed nation. Let there be no mistake that nuclear weapons dominate the military plans of any nuclear armed nation.
By not objecting to a US navy ship visit there is tacit acceptance of a military relationship with the US. The peace movement will not be happy about this relationship of course, but what is fundamental is the suggestion there should be a campaign of expansion of the nuclear free law to cutting military ties with any nuclear armed nation (US in this case), and that is missing from Hager’s discussion.
We see the nuclear free legislation has never been good enough, thus the significance of the legislation gradually and inexorably recedes over time with inaction. Hager is taking the future away from the nuke free legislation by not mentioning the necessity to expand it. He says the nuclear free legislation is “important and potent” but a warship visit would allow its future to erode.