The SPARK interviews long serving anti-imperialist activist and Workers Party secretary Daphna Whitmore
Spark: It’s been 8 years since New Zealand troops were sent to Afghanistan - why did the Labour-Alliance government send them in the first place?
It needs to be understood in the context of New Zealand’s involvement with US and British imperialism. New Zealand is a partner in this bloc, and Labour enthusiastically signed up to the so-called War on Terror. When it comes to involvement in military adventures Labour governments have been just as warmongering as National.
The Alliance Party split over the issue of support for the invasion of Afghanistan, with the majority of its members rejecting the war. It highlighted the problem of being in government with an outright capitalist party like Labour.
Spark: New Zealand companies aren’t trying to make major sales in Afghanistan - why all the risk and expense over such a long period of time?
In its last term the Labour government did scale back the involvement, recalling the SAS and sending instead “reconstruction” forces. This tended to obscure the reality – that these are military forces, participating in an occupation. It dressed it up to look like it was simply a humanitarian mission. Read the rest of this entry »