Yesterday, the leaders of the parliamentary parties apologised to the veterans of the Vietnam War for the treatment they received both while fighting and on their return home. It was not these soldiers’ fault that their government deployed them in a disastrous and unjust war.
Except, now John Key is saying the war and New Zealand’s involvement weren’t wrong either. Incredibly, Key has said that the Vietnam War was justified and New Zealand’s involvement in it was “the right thing to do“.
This was a war in which over two million of the poorest people on Earth died as a superpower attempted to defend a succession of corrupt military governments.
This war remains America’s greatest military shame. A war that should never have been fought. And they have the wall in DC to remind them, name by name, of the cost.
This was a war that all the Western allies, except Australia and New Zealand, rightly refused to follow the US into. It was a war that New Zealand only, reluctantly, joined after years of US pressure in return for better trade and security assistance.
Vietnam was a mistake. We should never have sent soldiers there and they deserve the apology they received for what they went through because of it. Key has displayed a breath-taking, scary ignorance in defending this indefensible war.
Key wanted us in Iraq (he complained we were ‘missing in action’), he is happy he were in Vietnam. Now, there is the possibility (advocated by Senator McCain ) of the US attacking Iran. Would Key lead us into that war too, given the chance?