- Date published:
10:25 pm, April 20th, 2021 - 19 comments
Categories: australian politics, China, Deep stuff, Iran, iraq, israel, Nanaia Mahuta, Propaganda, Russia, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags:
Following her speech to the NZ China Council, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta wanted to be very clear that in speaking out about issues with other countries, New Zealand would not be doing it in concert with Five Eyes partners. She expressed a view that New Zealand did not agree with Five Eyes remit encroaching beyond intelligence, and that this had been communicated to Five Eyes partners. Good.
Helen Clark had expressed a similar view last year. I had the same view in my submission to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee a its special session to enquire into foreign interference in our elections. The SIS and GCSB produced nothing reports, at unknown costs, to say that while it may possibly happen they had no evidence that it did in the 2017 election. It has been the same for this latest election.
In the rest of the Five Eyes world the oxymoronic intelligence agencies are having a field day interfering in election politics, whether it is in their own countries or beyond. Russian interference in the US, anti-semitism in the UK, anti-China legislation in Canada and Australia, and that is only in their own countries. Elsewhere its colour revolutions, in Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Belarus to name but a few.
The US, UK, Canada and Australia have shifted their strategic priority from the ‘war on terror’ to ‘extreme competition’ with China, Russia and Iran. Israel as always is a player in the background. The euphemism does not disguise that what is now happening is war, albeit an information war. But as we saw with Iraq and the ‘coalition of the willing’ that is the usual prelude to the kinetic version. And the difference between kinetic war against terrorists and that against states, is that in the current environment the latter will most likely turn nuclear, in which case we are all dead.
The Four Eyes media in the other countries have been predictably abusive about New Zealand going its independent way. How dare we be the taniwha that roared! It will be interesting to see what the New Zealand media do, David Lange famously and accurately described them as “reef fish,” and there has been evidence of a burgeoning consensus of ‘China bad,’ to the point where people of Asian origin have felt compelled to demonstrate to protest against it.
Nanaia Mahuta’s speech was themed “The Taniwha and the Dragon.” I think it is great that Aotearoa/New Zealand has decided to be clearly independent in the way we see the world, and how and with whom we will express our Tiriti values and grow our Asia-Pacific interests. We went our own way with Covid, and that should enable us to face the rest of the 21st century with confidence.