When Ambassador Scott Brown was appointed as the Trump representative here in New Zealand, his lack of experience in the issues that affected this country appeared a serious cause for concern. Certainly the current stand-off between his President and the North Korean President Kim Jong Un has the potential to destabilize the whole region around Korea but I would have thought Ambassador Brown was hardly in a position to tell New Zealanders that they don’t appear to understand the issues.
Hopefully Scott Brown has some history of insisting that the US lead the way in nuclear disarmament – and perhaps he may well have written insightful articles about silly US gun laws which set the stage for numerous gun crimes such as the recent massacre in Las Vegas. If so why does he not share the text of such insights so that we can see he has the credentials to offer us advice.
I would be interested to find out if Mr Brown’s understanding of the current situation allows him to acknowledge that our Government’s own investigations of past nuclear testing in the Pacific assembled plenty of evidence that the US and the UK deliberately endangered some Pacific Island communities with their nuclear bomb testing in places like the Marshall Islands. More recently I thought it was New Zealand not the US protesting the bomb testing by the French. If Ambassador Brown is wanting us to join him in his rant against North Korea, is he now prepared to admit his country has been responsible for equally stupid and dangerous activities in the recent past?
It is now very clear that the official line from the US at the time of the US nuclear testing was to categorically deny the effects of such testing. Further, when public feeling against nuclear weapons had grown to such an extent that nuclear armed naval vessels were no longer welcome in our ports, surely even Mr Brown’s past silence on such issues would not have made it impossible for him to have since discovered that the US subsequently tried to pressurise this nation into changing its anti-nuclear stance.
There are some puzzles in the present situation. First the US has made every effort to continue modernizing its nuclear capability, has sold nuclear weapons and expertise to Israel and continued selling illegal weapons (eg fuel air explosives, barrel bombs etc) to various nations with a long history of political instability. For example we now know that the US not only sold chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein’s government but also helped them with technical advice when they used such weapons against the Kurds. Is it any wonder that we are now cautious when the US seeks our support for their next campaign?
Now we are expected to believe President Trump when he uses belligerent language to boast about the strength of his nuclear arsenal and further we are expected to be impressed when he threatens the North Korean President with stand-over tactics. And why? because North Korea is daring to invest in the very weapons that President Trump says gives the US an edge.
Don’t forget New Zealand has no reason to trust the US when we, like many of our partner nations, now have incontrovertible evidence we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and for that matter similarly lied to about more recent programmes like extraordinary rendition. If the US is caught supporting torture, (and President Trump is on record as saying torture should be kept as an option) why does the US ambassador seem to want us to believe that the North Korean President needs stopping because he appears to condone torture.
(I would welcome comment or criticism from readers. Use the option at the bottom of this article to express your view)