Gurbrinder Aulakh –
No politician, at least in New Zealand, would have liked to be in the shoes of Prime Minister John Key, who had to make such a tough, tricky and controversial diplomatic decision that could have significant repercussions.
The dilemma is, whether to deploy troops or not?
It must not have been an easy task for the Prime Minister to arrive at this decision.
In fact, I too, being a non-Muslim New Zealander, had this dilemma whether or not to express my opinion in writing on this subject.
There is no denying the fact that this decision, to deploy troops, will now raise New Zealand above its peaceful and non-aligned status to a level where it could easily be detected by the barbaric radars of Isis and be the target of the ire of its sympathisers.
This makes New Zealand more vulnerable and all of us here more insecure and unsafe.
The symbolic joining of the ‘Club’ without any meaningful contributions has the potential of New Zealand being seen as ‘an enemy’ by the radicals and lone wolves.
These lone wolf’s or sympathisers, who earlier may have been thinking of travelling to Middle East to join Isis, may now find it easier to fight ‘the new found enemy’ from here itself without having to go through the trouble of relocating to the war zone battlefield.
They may see their extremist views being put to practice here against the ‘new enemy’ as a contribution to ‘Jihad’ and cause of Isis.
Therefore, Mr Key’s decision could go down in history as the ‘catalyst’ that eventually could transform New Zealand soil, once for all, from a peaceful, calm and green place to the one drenched in blood, destructive commotion and constant fear.
It has the potential of increased internal disturbances such as the Sydney café siege or other destructive and cowardly actions similar to the ones in other parts of the world.
If such incidents were to happen here, it would result in heightened security, and as a collateral damage, further encroachment of the privacy rights of the peace loving New Zealand citizens by the government.
It would turn our New Zealand culture upside down. A new ‘VIP culture’ would emerge with added expenditure of taxpayers’ money on the security of VIPs and politicians, making them more inaccessible and less accountable.
The argument being contended by those in the favour of deployment is that being detected by the barbaric radars was only a matter of time anyway.
Therefore, according to them, the joining of the ‘Club’ could be beneficial in intelligence gathering, to nip the evil in the bud, if it was to conceptualise in New Zealand.
Surely, our intelligence agencies are equipped enough to detect and nip such evil buds.
Not sending the troops would have in no way diminished the ongoing relationships with the ‘Club.’
Five Eyes Cooperate
The intelligence sharing, five eyes cooperation and trade relations would have continued with the ‘family.’
If we stand for social justice than surely there are lots of issues, in and around us, that need to be dealt with before committing our troops and funds to a far-fetched land.
Are we unnecessarily questioning the Prime Minister’s judgement or are there some underlining reasons that, we do not know, might have weighed in arriving at this decision?
Do the benefits outweigh the risk?
Prime Minister has not given any convincing argument as to what could be the negative outcome if the symbolic troops are not sent.
With the decision having been already made, all we can do is hope for the best and pray that “God defend New Zealand.’
Gurbrinder Aulakh is a Barrister & Solicitor at George Bogiatto. He is also Deputy Chairman, Auckland Regional Migrant Services and member on the boards of many social and community organisations. Mr Aulakh clarifies that the views expressed in the above article are his own and many not represent those of his law firm or those of the organisations with which he is involved.