Refugee crisis result from US wars
Over the past week, the world has become acutely aware of the plight of people fleeing from wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
"New Zealanders have sought to open their homes to refugees and are demanding an immediate expansion in the number of people accepted here for resettlement. This is fantastic," said Peace Action Wellington member Valerie Morse
"At this stage, it is critical that we extend not only our empathy and compassion to those seeking to escape from war, but we examine the West's participation in creating the disaster in the first place."
"For more than 14 years, New Zealand has been at war alongside the US in Afghanistan. The GCSB and NZSAS directed bombing raids across the country in support of the US invasion and occupation. The GCSB continues to supply signals intelligence for US drone strikes. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that there are 3.7 million Afghan refugees."(1)
"We already know of the specific human rights abuses committed by NZDF soldiers in Afghanistan including the raid on Band-e-Timur. The refugee situation is the macro-issue created by the ongoing occupation and murderous drone campaign of the US government."
"In Iraq, New Zealand has deployed soldiers to 'train' the Iraqi Army. This Army has a well-documented history of grave human rights abuses against civilians including 'torture, summarily executing civilians – including children – and even beheading captives.'"(2,3)
"New Zealand's participation in Iraq is not limited to the 2015 deployment. New Zealand supported the US/UK occupation in 2003 following the initial invasion. A NZDF company was deployed to serve with the British in Basra."
"The humanitarian disaster happening today is the direct and inevitable consequence of the 2001 war in Afghanistan and the 2003 war in Iraq. New Zealand bears some responsibility in both cases."
"When we talk about foreign policy, the New Zealand state likes to say it 'punches above its weight.' Certainly when it comes to joining wars of aggression with US, UK and Australia that is certainly the case."
"Peace Action Wellington has been calling for the withdrawal of all New Zealand support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for more than a decade. We renew that call. We sincerely hope that the horror that we are witnessing as millions of people flee for their lives encourages people to think critically about New Zealand's foreign policy and military alignments, and work to end all NZ support for the 'War on Terrorism'."
(1)Watson Institute of International Affairs. Brown University. http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/refugees/afghan
(2) "Iraqi militias have destroyed villages and displaced thousands, NGO says" The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/18/iraqi-army-has-destroyed-villages-and-displaced-thousands-ngo-says
(3)Open Letter to MPs from Harmeet Sooden: Deployment to Iraq