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Assad must resign

The Editor,  The Herald,  Auckland

24 December, 2016

Dear Editor:

President of Syria Bashar al Assad has said the apparent victory in Aleppo signifies a great turning point in the civil war, a new day dawning.   To acknowledge these words Assad must resign and make way for a new democratic way in Syria.  The evidence is clear that Assad’s forces have committed mass killings with gas and other committed human rights abuses.  There is no future for democracy in Syria without addressing this recent history and that must start with the resignation of Assad.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

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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 »


Refugee crisis – root causes

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

05 September, 2015

Dear Editor:

The refugee crisis in Europe/Middle East/Africa is an immediate concern of unprecedented scale. But it is important to continue to discuss the root causes because the immediate crisis flows so directly from the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Read the rest of this entry »


White Poppies and Red Poppies

20 April, 2015

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

The White Poppy is for remembering – remembering everything that we need to remember about WW1: Read the rest of this entry »


Peace Action Wellington statement on the decision to deploy troops into Iraq

We say “No NZ support”

We say “No NZ support”
‘We condemn the decision by the New Zealand government to send troops to another US-led war in the Middle East. Despite the government’s attempts to minimise New Zealand’s involvement, there is widespread and justified public unease. The announcement today has been carefully staged-managed in order to quell public opposition,’ said Peace Action Wellington member Valerie Morse. Read the rest of this entry »


Exploitation or Interdependence – on the cusp

23  February, 2015

The Editor, The Wellingtonian

Dear Editor;

Addressing the ISIS threat with military means when the only lasting solutions are political is a dangerous game to play.  How are people in New Zealand prepared to react?

In 2003 the Bush/Cheney government in the USA launched an attack on Iraq primarily to promote war as the primary means of conducting foreign policy.  Doing that in the Middle East was predictably incendiary.  For one thing disbanding the Iraqi army had the effect of releasing trained fighters to join rebel groups which have consequently morphed into ISIS.

As the situation heats up there are two very contrasting possible public reactions presenting themselves which usually are only on the fringes.   One is to observe how disastrous the invasion of Iraq was, and how predictable that outcome, and see that the time has come to make a fundamental change away from exploitation and violence.

The second is to react with panic to heightened fear favouring escalation of the same violent response that failed so miserably before.

The reason these two are coming to the fore is that the human species, including our own culture of course, is increasingly alert to threats in the form of nuclear weapons and climate change which fundamentally indict both our current exploitative consumer culture and the real politic of war.  The popularity of the current fog induced by the Prime Minister and the National government may not last.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

published 27/01/2015


Cartoons or violence?

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

15 January, 2015

Dear Editor:

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has probably never received so much attention from French politicians.  But it is good to see the widespread support for a free press which has been expressed since the attack on the magazine’s staff.  “Keep drawing,” as DomPost cartoonist Tom Scott said. Read the rest of this entry »