But to be quite fair, I must congratulate the Government for its diplomatic restraint in not calling a spade a spade, and Myanmar a fascist shithole run by psychotic uniformed thugs - which it so obviously is.
Heh. Well, yes, the govt should be called to account for their position on Myanmar. But we should also be asking National (and others) what their alternative action would be.
The question re Iraq that Key has to answer is:
If the US were to declare a pre-emptive war on a state such as Iraq (or Iran, or Myanmar for that matter) tomorrow, what would your response be? To what extent would you support the USA? Key cannot be allowed to wiggle out of answering this on the grounds of it being a hypothetical question, because this is, unfortunately, a situation that any credible future government of NZ needs to have an answer for. We already have a fairly clear idea where Labour stands under Clark. National's position seems only to get murkier with each press release.
Actually Key was asked that question at the foreign policy launch last week. As I recall (and I'm paraphrasing here) his reply to questions about a scenario similar to Iraq, after saying several times he didn't want to debate hypotheticals, was along the lines of:
"it would be an issue we'd have to consider seriously, but, at the moment, I'd say sending NZ troops would be something we'd be unlikely to do"
Further to the point about his position on relations with the USA and Australia. He said he wanted to maintain and build on them (intimated some comments Clark had made in the past had been less than helpful), but he also said he supported a multilateralist approach and the UN.
Slade said it better than I:
Lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away
Thanks Felix... though that response doesn't really inspire confidence, does it. Maybe it's just that I'm used to hearing the same sort of thing from Japanese politicians, but I can't help parsing "...at the moment, I'd say..." as:
"I'm pulling this entirely out of my arse, because we don't have policies, or principles to found them on, and right at the moment I'll say anything that will avoid losing votes".
linger, you should apply for a job as National PR guy
Myanmar a fascist shithole run by psychotic uniformed thugs - which it so obviously is.
Psychotic uniformed thugs is 100% correct. Burma (it should never, ever be called Myanmar, language is so important) is however a wonderful country filled with culture, and history, and largely wonderful people desiring only to be free. The military does not make the country at all.
In criticising National for not mentioning the war you should in fairness be pointing out that Labour's foreign policy on their website does not mention the war in Iraq either. The Greens don;'t even have foreign or defence policies, so god knows what they think.
Lala Harre on RNZ today called Iraq the "most important global issue of our time". I think that more crystallises what seems to be a very strong left view as they seem more obsessed with Iraq and the US than most, and for the media who get a series of great stories out of it - particularly the not lamented Linda Clark who seemed for a period to have a personal mission to interview every single US soldier who had deserted to Canada.
Labour and NAtional don't view it as that as they give it no attention in their policies. In fact Labour's priorities I thought were climate change and an FTA with the US.
I heard about John Key's gaffe from The Guardian website in the UK. Talk about embarrassing.