There was a flurry of news recently about the US and NZ building “better relations” as Leon Panetta, the US secretary of Defence, visited the country. There hasn’t been such a visit since NZ was suspended from the ANZUS military agreement because of the ban on nuclear warships docking in NZ ports. Panetta wants to station US troops in NZ.
Whenever there is discussion about ‘better military relations’ we must wonder who will these relations be better for? Will closer military relations benefit working people or will it benefit the wealthy?
The New Zealand capitalists want closer relations with the USA for, as I see it, two main reasons. First there is the Don Brash or John Key talking about how ‘we’ should have joined the invasion of Iraq to get better ‘trade to prop up corrupt governments that protect the profits of NZ, Aus, and US corporations.
China is a growing threat to this political bloc in the Pacific. While it is one of NZ’s, the USA, and Australia’s biggest by Text-Enhance” href=”http://www.isonz.blogspot.co.nz/2012_09_01_archive.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>business community to ban all nuclear powered or armed warships. Above all it was the wharfies on the ports in NZ that forced the government’s hand. There was a campaign of strike action that escalated to the point where the workers would shut down the ports whenever a US warship docked. This is the kind of power that can defend ordinary people from the horrors of war abroad and poverty at home. We should look to building a stronger workers movement that has international links with the workers movement in both China and the USA/Aus.
If we want to stop the wars around the world or any conflict between ANZUS and China in the Pacific then we must understand that these alliances and wars are for profit. There is no benefit for working people in military alliances of any kind as the old saying goes: It’s the rich who