New lies to back up new anti-terror laws
The new Minister of National Security is busily inventing reasons to go to war, and reasons to expand New Zealand’s anti-terror legislation.
First, he has said that it would be ‘odd’ if New Zealand didn’t join the fight against ISIS in effect because all of our mates were.
This is absurd reasoning from anyone, but particularly dangerous coming from the person who commands the military. In effect, it endorses a foreign policy that says, ‘the United States and its coalition of the willing waged a war of aggression a decade ago, stole the resources of Iraq, murdered over 100,000 people, and set up a sectarian puppet regime that is now being overthrown, so we need to go and help the Americans to regain the upper hand.’
New Zealand has absolutely no reason to send military to Iraq. Yes, send aid, send doctors or nurses, send food and non-military supplies. But sending troops to this war in Iraq cannot be seen as anything other than a retrospective endorsement of the last war in Iraq, and moreover, a recipe for disaster, not least for the people of Iraq.
The Herald has also reported that:
Mr Key provided more detail on the Cabinet paper, saying it will set out the terms of reference on proposals to strengthen New Zealand terrorist law, specifically making it illegal for a New Zealand citizen to fight for a terrorist organisation abroad.
Of course, it is already illegal for a New Zealand citizen to fight for a terrorist organization abroad. Section 13 of the Terrorism Suppression Act is crystal clear:
13 Participating in terrorist groups
(1)A person commits an offence who participates in a group or organisation for the purpose stated in subsection (2), knowing that or being reckless as to whether the group or organisation is—
(a)a designated terrorist entity; or
(b)an entity that carries out, or participates in the carrying out of, 1 or more terrorist acts.
(2)The purpose referred to in subsection (1) is to enhance the ability of any entity (being an entity of the kind referred to in subsection (1)(a) or (b)) to carry out, or to participate in the carrying out of, 1 or more terrorist acts.
(3)A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.
The sections 14-18 make it absolutely clear that these provisions apply to people inside and outside of New Zealand.
There has been much discussion about cancelling passports – but it is clear that anyone who is a New Zealand citizen would already be committing a crime punishable by 14 years in prison for joining up to fight with a designated terrorist group (list is here). If the government is cancelling the passports of NZers, then they are prepared to violate international law and make people stateless, all based on some conjecture that they are guilty. And for anyone who isn’t a New Zealand citizen (such as a permanent resident) you don’t need to cancel their NZ passport because they don’t have one.
It is extremely worrying the ‘urgent’ push for law changes, and the growing drumbeat of war. The National government is using fear as a tactic to erode fundamental freedoms at home, and to wage war on behalf of the US Empire again. Let us all be very aware of what is going on.