Once upon a time a little country in the South Pacific outpost of a great empire woke up and started to have a discussion about it’s place in the world. This was a serious discussion and became part of the national folklore when we all watched our leader at the Oxford Student Union debate with pride. The discussion was about the question if we wanted to be part of an imperial system sustained by (nuclear) weapons of mass-destruction. Later these categories of weapons as a pretext to the Iraq war became an odious term justifying the invasion of a sovereign country and the killing of hundreds of thousands of people combatants and civilians women and children alike.
That discussion and decision for independence supported by a vast majority of the citizens together with the decision not to join the before mentioned war of aggression was probably the proudest moment in New Zealand’s history.
That was then. This is now.
30 years later we are engaged as an active partner in the deployment of weapons of mass surveillance. That is what the documents, which have become declassified public knowledge thanks to Edward Snowden are showing us.
Only the most gullible people worshipping any authority and believing every single word our masters in government say believe that this has anything to do with “keeping us safe from terrorists”.
Make no mistakes New Zealand is part of an Anglo/US cyber war waged against the rest of the world. This goes beyond the mass collection of all data the five eyes secret services can lay their hands on.
The now public documents show that our GCSB actively attacked communication systems of government officials of another Pacific nation.
The documents also show that the GCSB abused its powers to support the bid of one senior National Party cabinet minister to become head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by spying on all other candidates.
And wait there will be more. Nicky Hager recently told the radio station bFM that “in some respects we’re only just at the beginning of what people are going to find out”. Click for more.
However the cyber war goes much further like breaking into the computer system of one of the world’s leading manufactures of mobile phone sim-cards to steal the encryption key, which protects the privacy of millions of mobile phone user around the world.
And we all remember the attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities via the Stuxnet computer virus, which Vanity Fair describes in a lengthy article aptly titled “A Declaration of Cyber-War“. It destroyed the manufacturing facility for aluminum tubes used for the enrichment of Uranium and was carried out by the NSA our senior five eyes “club” member.
The “club” really is an Empire as Chris Trotter correctly points out :
When we consider the extent to which these powers dominate the world’s key resources – especially oil, coal and iron-ore; when we add up the number of nations that, in one way or another, are beholden to them; when we recall that the US Dollar remains the world’s fiat currency; and when the five Anglo-Saxon nations’ ability to project decisive military resources to any point on the Earth’s surface is taken into account; are we not justified in discarding the word “club” and replacing it with the much more appropriate “empire”?
And yet, the behaviour of the five Anglo-Saxon powers, in the 70 years since the end of World War II, is difficult to characterise as anything other than imperialistic. If the “club” looks like an empire, speaks like an empire, and acts like an empire, then, chances are, it’s an empire.
All this is going on in secret, in our name, at our expense but without us having the right to even know about it.
And here lies the difference. Then we debated the issues and policies and made a decision as citizens.
Now we are treated as children who are not even allowed to know what’s going on.
Every time Mr Key, the minister responsible for our secret services denies us the right to know what – even in general terms on the policy level – is going on he takes another piece of our democratic rights away and a another step towards a more authoritarian system.
Chris Trotter is absolutely correct with his blog title “Empire Games: How Nicky Hager’s Revelations Are Re-Shaping The Nationhood Debate.”
The debate about New Zealand’s involvement in the Five Eyes alliance is, accordingly, being broadened out to embrace the much more vital questions of who we are and whom we should serve. Will New Zealand continue striving to become an independent South Pacific nation, or will it opt to remain a far-flung, but intensely loyal, province of the Anglo-Saxon Empire?
Unfortunately we the children of New Zealand are not allowed to have this debate.
Our democratically elected yet authoritarian leader does not engage, does not answers questions – be it for example about “trade” agreements negotiated in our name or the legal status of our soldiers to be send to Iraq – and hides behind the secrecy of the “secret” services. This proven habitual professional liar has the audacity to ask of us: “Trust me I know what I am doing”.
Instead we are distracted and fobbed off with a referendum about our flag.
I have a suggestion how this could be made much cheaper and actually meaningful by giving the Children of New Zealand just the two obvious choices. This familiar one
or this with a realistic ring to it
Only if we the Children of New Zealand choose the second option we should stay in the club as part of the US Empire. Otherwise we should leave the five eyes network and resist the use of weapons of mass surveillance as we did/do so proudly with weapons of mass destruction.