Thursday, February 20, 2003

New Zealand PM Helen Clark - Iraq crisis could jeopardise global agendas
"Should there be war in Iraq, my government fears for the widespread resentment that would provoke in the Middle East against Western nations, for the likely stimulus terrorist organisations would gain from that resentment, and for the high human costs a war would have," she said. "All diplomatic means to contain Iraq have to be preferable to that."

"It is not helped that crises like that affecting Israel and Palestine have been left to fester for so long, and have created a climate of extremism in the Middle East, directed at the West which is held responsible for the stalemate."

The position of Helen Clark and the New Zealand government is far more sensible than that of either the Australian government or opposition, but the statement on Palestine does not go far enough. It is beyond time that a more detailed exposition of the nature of the problem, the solution, and the obstacles to that solution is given on a regular basis to the public. In other words, it needs to be firmly stated that it is not 'the West' that is held responsible for the stalemate, it is the United States; and the 'festering' of the crisis simply means the continued support by the US for the Israeli Occupation. If this is not clearly stated, then the PM's otherwise worthy words are merely code or even obfuscation which fails in the essential task of informing and mobilising the public.

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