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Letter to Helen Clark
24 September 2001
We feel compelled to write again to express our dismay and deep concern at the apparent willingness of our government to provide military support to any US lead international force aimed against the 'terrorist groups' which are suspected of being involved with the Black Tuesday attacks.
This world is going through a period of intense crisis and what it needs, more than anything else, are cool, wise heads. It does not need the black and white thinking which President Bush has been articulating whereby people or nations who are not 'with the U.S' must therefore be 'with the terrorists'. This is coercive, simplistic and extremely dangerous thinking.
We would thoroughly support any diplomatic efforts this country is able to make to initiate and conclude international moves to bring the terrorists to justice. This was a criminal act it warrants the use of justice in response, not war.
We would be appalled if this country contributed any military assistance to an armed response. Particularly as it is likely to be aimed at the very country and people from which our government has just offered to accept 150 refugees i.e. Afghanistan!
It is often said, quite rightly, that this country is highly regarded on the international stage and is also capable of speaking with an independent and humane, sane voice. If ever that voice was needed it is now. Some national leaders must envision a civilised response to the terrible attacks. New Zealand has the capacity to do so and we urge our government to begin today.