General Soleimani was visiting Iraq at the request of the Iraqi Prime Minister to discuss mediation between the US and Iran. Following his assassination by the US the Iraqi Parliament has voted to ask all foreign troops to leave the country. New Zealand’s remaining troops should bring forward their scheduled departure and leave immediately.
This is the least that New Zealand can do to distance us from the appalling cretinism shown by the US and its NATO allies. This is not because they are threatened but because the actions of the US violate all the norms of common justice and international law and are to be condemned.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters is relatively restrained, having been reported as expressing “strong concern.” He is right about that.
At least he has not joined the NATO countries in demonising General Soleimani, who was probably more responsible for the defeat of ISIS on the ground than any of the coalition forces who bombed Mosul and Raqqa to rubble at the cost of thousands of civilian casualties. Even worse Boris Johnson on return from holiday in the Caribbean stating that “we will not mourn this man.”
Talk about pouring petrol on the fire. Blogger/analyst The Saker has it that the US is now at war with Iran and Iraq, de facto and de jure. He has a useful summary of the facts to date as well as his analysis.
This isn’t going to end quietly. How badly we have yet to see, but as the US military dive for cover and the tweets from Mar-a-Lago get more feverish it is certainly right to be very worried.