Despite huge public opposition, the New Zealand government plans to send troops to Iraq to join the war against the Islamic State.
Having avoided making a public commitment to the war so far, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key commented earlier this year that a possible military contribution was the price to be paid for being ‘part of the club’. The ‘club’ he referred to is the close military and intelligence ties New Zealand shares with the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.
Far from having any real concern for Iraqi, Kurdish or Syrian people, the war effort is aimed at protecting the strategic and profit making interests of the rich and powerful in New Zealand. The Islamic State itself was born out of the conditions created by previous imperialist adventures in the region. Not surprisingly the Labour Party offers no alternative; their leader supports using New Zealand spies to help with targeted killings in Syria.
While opposing the brutal methods of the Islamic State, working people should oppose further imperialist interventions and support those organisations in the Middle East who are fighting for peace and socialism.
By Joe Kelly