Michael Parkin, deputy political editor for TV1, interviewed Prime Minister John Key on Q and A on Sunday Morning and made the comment that the ISIS beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning was carried out because of British Prime Minister Cameron’s stance on the conflict. The Royal Airforce is conducting bombing operations alongside the United States and Australia.
Parkin and Key were discussing the possible threat terrorists pose to New Zealanders at home and abroad. Parkin seems to have accepted the position of ISIS, that the responsibility for the bloody murder of Henning lies with David Cameron. This follows the logic championed by appalling shits like George Galloway, who maintain that terrorists wouldn’t do the things they do if we weren’t so mean to them. Moral abnegation. I am not just looking for any excuse to get hot under the collar about something, this really matters, particularly when we have so many residents who have fled countries such as Iraq, and the intolerable control imposed by fundamentalists with power.
These are the people we need to be fighting for. These are the people (some of whom are actually exiled from their home country under threat of death) that have come here looking for something that does not exist elsewhere, that is worth trying to build. I am not simply trying to make a case for state building of parliamentary/western style democracies, but a wish that the work already started (and decades in the making) be kept intact and progressed.
After the troop surge in 2007 Iraq actually had a functioning political system, unifying the country like no other regime in modern Mesopotamia. It had a police force that didn’t exist to carry out the fearful reprisals and policies of fear ordered by Saddam Hussein. It actually functioned to serve and protect the People of Iraq. Now with a large chunk claimed by the Islamic State, and the inevitable impact this has on Iraq’s economy, the future is lost in fog. But it could be retained.
Iraq is not Vietnam. Those arguing against military force again being deployed on the basis of comparisons with the Indochina conflict 1954-1975 are being fools to themselves, and a burden to others. Instability breeds violence. It creates fertile conditions for the power hungry to sow their seeds and watch their ambition grow. We should care not because of what it will mean to New Zealand if we become a target for terror, but because we stand by the people that want to live in peace. We stand with their families here in New Zealand, and shouldn’t turn our backs on those abroad.
At least as spectators let us not accept that the person who put a knife through the neck of Alan Henning is not responsible for their action. People have to take part in their own deception to accept this proposition. If we ultimately decide not to help actively, please don’t passively support the morally reprehensible. And maybe Michael Parkin can reflect on this too.