Yesterday, Morning Report invited comment on Key’s “The war is over” from Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia.
Her son, Sergeant Sherwood Baker, was killed in Baghdad three years ago. RNZ reports that “to say the war is over is not her experience”.
CELESTE ZAPPALA (MOTHER OF A SOLDIER KILLED IN IRAQ): Well I guess I can’t quite understand what his meaning is. Um, certainly it isn’t over for the, um, people who died this week or the people who will die tomorrow. Um, the war has taken a tremendous toll and it goes on, um, in terms of people having to leave their homes and in terms of American soldiers who have been killed, British soldiers who have been killed, people who are wounded and let us not forget the Iraqis who are dying daily, so it goes on as a great struggle um and, and I’m not sure what his reference is, maybe he means something different than what he said.
PRESENTER: His reference was in answer to a question about his party’s stance with regard to the war and the fact that their foreign affairs policy makes no mention of Iraq at all, and we were saying, effectively, you can’t ignore the elephant in the room.
ZAPPALA: Oh certainly not, you know, Iraq is probably one of the most destabilising factors in, in anyone’s foreign policy, um, right now. I, I wouldn’t presume to know what all of the political situations are in your country, but I would also assume that, um, the outcomes and, and trying to create some kind of stability and some peace in the Middle East in some fashion is going to be as important to you as it is to us. And, um, I don’t see how you could ignore the continuing devastation that’s going on in Iraq, and it strikes me that it’s up to the nations of the world to try to fashion some kind of livable peace.
The full audio is below. It’s only 3 minutes long and worth listening to. Celeste Zappala’s personal story really puts in perspective the callous nature of Key’s comment.
I wonder if he will ever stop making excuses and just apologise.