Excellent documentary shown on BBC in 2005 about how pervasive the military and the corrupt military-industrial complex behind it has become in the US and how corrosive it has been to the body politic. It also raises several of the points I made in an earlier post about cognitive dissonance, propaganda and co-opting the media. Another documentary that is even harder hitting is John Pilger’s The War You Dont See (2010) which was shown on both British and Australian TV. It includes the Wikileak footage of the helicopter killing of several journalists and other civilians in Bagdad but also has an interview with a marine who was there and carried the fatally wounded children to give it some context. Devastating!
Given Australia’s recent decision to allow a dramatically larger US presence on its soil and the New Zealand government’s clear wish to extend once more the NZ/US defence relationship, it gives pause to consider their rationale. What is in it for New Zealand? Given our benign strategic environment and the obvious duplicitous nature of a lot of US military intervention, is the motive defence related or the action of the “little guy” cosing up to the school yard bully for perceived or real fear of diplomatic or economic retribution. I doubt it is the defence of freedom that drives the NZ/US relationship. The indecent haste with which the Key government rolled over for a US corporation over the Hobbit and for the FBI over the Kim Dotcom fiasco, does not bode well for the secret TPP negotiations.
I would suggest that in dealing with the US, it is the difficult and prickly “friends” that get the attention and best deals, not the tame puppies who roll over even before been told and who unilaterally open themselves to free trade and investment without any reciprocal obligations. Where’s the incentive to negotiate with a country like that on equal terms? Does not subservience and obsequiousness breed contempt? Given New Zealand’s lack of credible military threats but importance and proximity to both the islands of the South Pacific and Antarctica, perhaps the US needs us more than we need them.