Title: Brash remarks about foreign policy? Credit: Craig Young Comment Tuesday 26th July 2005 - 12:00pm1122336000 Article: 836 Rights
As a gay man, I'd much rather that central government spent my tax dollars on public health, especially protease inhibitors for PLWAs, than embroilment in a futile Middle Eastern war. As doubts have arisen over the Leader of the Opposition's foreign policy (in) expertise, I thought I'd focus on that issue in this column, and its implications for New Zealand's LGBT communities. Under any Brash/Peters regime, we'd have troops dispatched to George W.Bush's Iraqi War quagmire. In other words, health and social service spending would take a back seat to involvement in a questionable military commitment opposed by most New Zealanders, I would say that we'd experience a grisly form of true equality, namely lesbian and gay soldiers shipped home in bodybags. But ah, we don't know when Brash and Peters intend to repeal civil union and relationship equality legislation, or whether Brash will go as far as repealing the antidiscrimination segments of the Human Rights Act related to sexual orientation. In other words, die for your country and there's no guarantee that your surviving partner would be able to collect a veteran's widow entitlement? But wait, there's more. Some months ago, I discussed Tim La Haye's silly apocalyptic potboiler pulp fiction novel The Rising (2004), which had the Antichrist spawned from a test-tube fusion of the spliced DNA of two gay men. At that time, I noted that La Haye belonged to an outfit called the Council for National Policy, which supported the Iraqi War. Think about the implications of this for a moment. In other words, Bush foreign policy is influenced by a quasi-fundamentalist organisation that believes that anti-Islamic foreign policy neccessarily must involve the use of nuclear weapons to allegedly save Israel at some point. It's all there in La Haye's pulp fiction. Just one problem. New Zealanders don't like nuclear weapons. If it wasn't for the aforementioned US fundamentalist voter bloc, Bush wouldn't have been re-elected. Even some libertarian advocates of reduced central government power have turned against the Bush administration. As I've noted above, fundamentalist apocalyptic fantasies drive one segment of US pro-war sentiment. To antiwar US libertarians, this has resulted in all sorts of anathema, like central government budget blowouts, increased central government spending, neglect of overseas free trade objectives and even "tax cuts." Ominously, for New Zealand, Bush's current foreign policy advisors initially planned escalating confrontation with the Peoples Republic of China. Uh huh, so how does that square with New Zealand's current China free trade negotiations? It doesn't. No, this is not a personal attack on the current incumbent of the White House, nor the Leader of the Opposition. It is a matter of historical record that both gentlemen are inexperienced in matters of foreign policy. Dr Brash is a respected economist, but lacks practical professional skill beyond that arena. If he won the forthcoming general election, we'd be thrown into an ideologically driven "neoconservative" war. Who are these "neoconservatives?" According to recent US critical foreign policy analyses, they are cold, calculating conservative Machiavelleans, who believe in deliberate manipulation and withholding of truth to serve the advancement of their own foreign policy agenda. They use servile, biased shallow media networks and conservative religious henchpeople to support their war, bereft of meaningful in-depth analysis of their theatres of conflict. They care only about their own political survival, and furtherment of their short-term foreign policy agenda, neglecting even former core centre-right values of constrained central government spending and scale. None of this is in New Zealand's interest as a sovereign state. It is certainly not in our interests as New Zealand LGBTs to vote for an Opposition Party whose inner circle lacks sufficient foreign policy experience or independence, which would plunge our country into someone else's unwinnable morass. Our government should have other priorities, not ones dictated in a Washington think-tank and rubber-stamped by an ignorant Brash/Peters regime. Recommended Reading: Amy Frykholm: Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2004. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke: America Alone: The Neoconservatives and the Global Order: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2004. Tim La Haye and Jerry Jenkins: The Rising: Dallas: Word: 2004. James Mann: The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet: New York: Viking: 2004. Craig Young - 26th July 2005    
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