Image via WikipediaWikiLeaks - New Zealand, the United States of America, the Iraq War and credibility...
Some more Wikileaks revelations: Was Fonterra the reason New Zealand sent troops to Iraq - troops for butter?
Leaks suggest that former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark - the current Number Three at the United Nations - changed her previous decision not to send troops to Iraq, because it was feared NZ would miss out on lucrative Oil for Food contracts.
The claim was made in an extraordinary cable labelling New Zealanders as either "first worlders" - pro-American - or "other worlders" - anyone anti-American or pro- New Zealand's nuclear -free legislation.
The cable revealed that embassy staff were briefed on Iraq by senior defence officials, who are not named and whose information is noted as being strictly protected.
"Senior MOD officials claimed it wasn't until Finance Minister, Michael Cullen, pointed out in a later Cabinet meeting that New Zealand's absence from Iraq might cost NZ dairy conglomerate Fonterra the lucrative dairy supply contract it enjoyed under the Oil for Food program, that PM Clark found a face-saving compromise and sent combat engineers in a non-combat role to Basra, where they were embedded with the British forces.
Be that as it may, New Zealand's original decision not to send troops to Iraq was because the Iraq War was not a UN sanctioned military action. Later it was proven there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, one of the reasons for the US and its Coalition Of The Willing gave for being in Iraq.
I guess there is more to be written about New Zealand's decision, as there is about America's late involvement in two world wars, both of which had New Zealand involvement in day one of each.
It has been said also that the US had no interest at all in discussing a free trade agreement with New Zealand, but seemed annoyed that NZ was able to arrange one with China and other Asian countries.
And during that period even some American officials were uncertain whether NZ was a friendly nation or an ally. I thought the latter had been written in blood during two world wars, and the Korean and Vietenam wars. This created some distrust of the US by NZ officials and people alike. This continues today with those with longer memories. Conflicting comments by Hillary Clinton causes some uncertainty too. Perhaps it is a very good thing that Barack Obama won the last presidential election, not her! I personally can distinguish between the American system and the friendly, generous and genuine American people.
Just what other revelations are there for WikiLeaks to surprise us with?
Footnote to this post: The claims made in leaked cables have been described by former NZ PM Helen Clark, as a load of rubbish! They didn't happen; it was the fantasy of American diplomats during the Bush era who had their own agendas!