Helen Clark made foreign policy judgement a campaign issue today when she told a Grey Power meeting that if New Zealand had invaded Iraq with the US as John Key wanted we would have lost up to 60 soldiers*. Through a spokesman, John Key said “the claim of 60 dead is hysterical and desperate”.
I can’t help noticing that Key isn’t denying that if he had his way we would be in Iraq and soldiers would have died. Instead, he made a misogynist personal attack (yes, it is misogynist, look up hysteria).
Remember, Key is the man who cried we were ‘missing in action in Iraq’. He is the man who said the “war in Iraq is over” a year ago (since then at the very least 7000 people have been killed and tens of thousands maimed). His caucus is stacked with pro-US hardliners like Lockwood Smith and Simon Power, who said we should go to war wherever the US and UK lead and pay our ‘fair share’ in soldiers’ lives. Can we trust Key and this mob not to lead us into the US’s next military disaster?
*[Clark got 60 by calculating our population compared to the US and the US’s losses in Iraq – nearly every nation that helped invade Iraq has lost soldiers, some at much higher rates than the US. Australia got off light with one non-combat death because they didn’t have many combat troops there. Full Iraq causality numbers here]