New Zealand abandons ANZUS
New Zealand's Labor Government is heading in the opposite direction to the Australian Government when it comes to military expenditure. The NZ Prime Minister, Helen Clark, is to announce a reduction in some of the country's armed forces. The Australian Government, on the other hand, playing an ever more subservient role as US deputy sheriff in the Asia- Pacific region, is boosting military expenditure. This NZ decision, together with the refusal of successive NZ Governments to allow the visit of nuclear armed warships to its ports, effectively takes New Zealand out of ANZUS. A reduction of military spending increases the Government's funds for useful economic and social objectives. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Monday May 7) claims New Zealand's decision leaves "Australia to fight [New Zealand's] battles. However, the New Zealand Government is much wiser than that of Australia, recognising that no-one threatens New Zealand and that its policy of reducing military weapons does not lessen its security but enhances it. A real peace policy provides much better security that the piling up of weapons which will sooner or later be used in a war. Australia should likewise get out of its entanglement with the US and follow the NZ lead before it is involved in a big war that is being prepared by the Bush administration and the Howard government. The Australian Government should read the writing on the wall for the US which has just been voted out of the United Nations Human Rights Commission because of its stand-over tactics and blatant misuse of human rights reporting to pressure and blackmail other countries while ignoring its own human rights record. In a statement to The Guardian, CPA General Secretary Peter Symon welcomed the NZ decision "as an example for Australia to follow. "For a long time, the CPA has called for the cancellation of the ANZUS treaty. Now that the `NZ' has been taken out ANZUS it is becoming increasingly meaningless for Australia. ANZUS does not make Australia secure, it effectively endangers Australia, said Mr Symon. "The Government should stop attempting to throw its weight around, doing whatever the US tells it to do. Australia should decide that it wants to be a friend to all Asian and Pacific countries rather than a military threat.