Terror Down Under

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    Sep 26, 2012
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Our New Zealand Government recently hosted the friendly Secretary of Defence of the United States of America, Leon Panetta. This is good because our naval ships may now enter Pearl Harbour. However, I would caution the Government not to overlook some of the ideas expressed by Mr Panetta such as "We already have a relationship of trust and must help one another to do the right thing."  Yes, that could be very good, too, but I note that our countries are not in total agreement as to what is the "right thing".

For example, Mr Panetta also said, "...And get rid of some of the silly notions (notions my word) and go forward from here."  Leon Panetta did not properly clarify his understanding of the word "silly" in the interview with Journalist Corin Dann on TV One. He said,  "We are headed in the same direction,"  and went on to  offer New Zealand further help to "develop amphibious capability" and "provide expertise so you (NZ) can do better." Yes, great, but in what way are we inadequate? Could they not learn from us? And if he referred to our nuclear free commitment as "silly", then we have good reason to help his country do much better.

Since I have personally happy ties with the United States by being a recipient of an International Fellowship given by the AAUW in 1983, to study in Japan, I do want us to have excellent dealings with the United states. They have my admiration on many levels but it is this attitutde concerning defence which I can not share and, indeed am suspicious of. Yet, this visit has brought my fictitious storyline in Terror Down Under one step closer, as forseen by me, so I should not be surprised by the friendliness of this encounter. 

I quote the alarming statistics given in the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia: The US spent $698 billion in 2010 on Military expenditure; is top of the list in Arms Sales to Developing Nations; and is a nuclear capable country even though it has signed the treaty to limit posession and use of nuclear bombs. Do we want the United States to help New Zealand "develop our capabilities"?  That it has one nuclear bomb is not acceptable to us.  I wrote a poem while visiting Manchester in 1996 when Judges from several countries convened at the World Court in the Hague, to rule on the Submission, That the World should be Nuclear Free, proposed by Harold Evans, Lawyer of New Zealand, in The World Court Project. That poem reveals my heart-felt reaction to that ruling:

July 8 Manchester

city to first declare nuclear free

blasted by P.I.R.A

I walk, eager for reports from the Hague

unsure what the Judges will say

hoping for wonderful news

Chemical, Biological warfare - already illegal

what of nuclear arsenal?

My God! What do I hear?

“In extreme circumstances

where the survival of a country

is under threat

maybe then it could be justified.”

Were they blind to reasons given

to test



(I know some are not so!)

Cannot they see that the bomb gives no security?

Retaliation is day mushroomed into night?

Infinite night

During the televised interview Leon Panetta expressed fear of threats presented by certain countries which I will not name here. We should not take this fear on board and I urge the Government to carefully examine the friendly but fearful stance by the personable Secretarry of Defence of the United States.

To those readers of this article who want to further appraise my thoughts on this subject, I refer you to   Kindle eBooks published by Amazon this year, Terror Down Under, by Barbara Ker-Mann, and also, Smitten by Sun & Wind..

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Read: Terror Down Under, Barbara Ker-Mann, Amazon Kindle eBook; and Smitten by Sun & Wind also, by Barbara Ker-Mann

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