The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

11/11 2016

Dear Editor:

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – the armistice of WWI was signed. That’s the date we should be celebrating in New Zealand, an end to the slaughter of young men of all nationalities. Read the rest of this entry »


Response to Gordon Campbell’s article on Trump

Appropriate to mention that Trump asked in a military briefing why he couldn’t use nuclear weapons. Does he not know that military and nuclear strategists have long put forth the ‘nuclear deterrence’ theory?  He should have known that would be the response.  There is some (probably unintended) honesty about his question as there is no such thing as ‘nuclear deterrence’; that is just a figment of a collective insanity.  But he is surely serious about using them.  Ever since the end of the cold war it has been universally understood that there is no reason to have them except to use them.

So where would he use them? North Korea? It’s hard for me to guess.  If the use offends or threatens some large nuclear power, such as China or Russia, it would not surprize to see them respond with a nuclear blast somewhere.  The target?  Likely some country out of the way, small, and an ally of the USA.  Oh, and just for good measure, an anti-nuclear country; nuclear nations see anti-nuclear as a threat.  Just a thought.

(addendum 12/11/16)

Good of you to remind us that Trump is willing to encourage other countries to develop nuclear weapons.  Would that become another export industry?  Does this display a lack of understanding of the destructiveness of a nuclear weapon?  Or is it a sign of suicidal tendencies?  More the latter I think.
Those who see that the global economy is dominated by profiteers who benefit from perpetual war are not wrong.  But that misses the discussion of the larger cultural/historical flow and the point which is coming to a zenith today.  I think we all know what that big picture is but we are almost universally terrified of discussing it.

Response to Nicky Hager’s opinion piece in the Auckland Herald (09/06/16)

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.  Read the rest of this entry »

NZ Defence Industry Association happy weapons stocks going $up after French war talk?

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

19 November, 2015

Dear Editor:

It seems an ironic coincidence that the NZ Defence Industry Association annual conference is occurring just as weapons stock market prices are rapidly rising (as reported by Glen Greenwald on Tuesday) after the French chose their desperate and suicidal ‘war’ response to the attacks in Paris.  Those who claim that the conference is about legitimate business opportunities should be happy, then.  Read the rest of this entry »

Deja Vu on West’s “war” response to violence

The Editor,  The Auckland Herald,  Auckland

20 November, 2015

Dear Editor:

ISIS seems to have picked the right target in France given the response by the French Prime Minister, “War!”, “We will destroy ISIS”.  This is precisely what ISIS wants; they know that war in the Middle East waged by outsiders, namely the West and Russia, is a great recruiting tool to their cause.  Read the rest of this entry »

NZ Defence Industry Association annual conference – “defence”?

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

09 November, 2015

Dear Editor:

Sanji Gunasekara (6 Nov) and Noeline Gannaway (4 Nov) are on the mark.  The so-called “defence” (NZ Defence Industry Association) annual conference on 17/18 November has been approved by Positively Wellington Venues of Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) to use the TSB Centre in Wellington which is a WCC facility.  Do Chris Whelan (WCC Chief Executive Officer), WREDA, the Mayor or council members know what military activities around the globe these many contractors are selling into? Read the rest of this entry »

International Day of Peace 2015 – United Nations

International Day of Peace 2015 – United Nations

Wellington, Parliament buildings;  21 September, 2015

Thanks to Peace Action Wellington (PAW) for allowing me to accept the invitation to attend this event, having been extended by Richard Tingey for the UN Association.

As context, I refer to the UNANZ newsletter of August, 2015 and in particular to page 6 under the heading of “Branch reports – Waikato”. The speech of the winner of the local branch secondary schools speech competition notes primarily the egalitarianism of NZ culture and says at one point, “Our egalitarianism was key to our peacekeeping milestones in Afghanistan and East Timor.” This statement seems hopeful at best and I suspect at odds to the opinions of most , though probably not all, people associated with PAW. Read the rest of this entry »