Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Military a changing role.

I have often tried to justify my time in the NZ Defence Forces. At the time of enlisting in 1959 I was a nineteen-year-old who joined to become independent while seeking adventure and excitement.

The army was for me at that time a peace keeping force playing its role in creating a climate of peace rather than war as such.

I had planned, if you could call it that, to serve a five year term, but in the end I did twenty years. I started at the bottom [Private] and progressed through the ranks, I retired as a WO 1 and was later commissioned and served with the Wellington West Coast Taranaki Regt.
During my RF service I served with the NZ Regiment in Malaysia based in Teradak.
While on operations I never once felt that I was asked or did go outside of the then operating procedures. Never did I feel that my commanding officers, at whatever level, needed to lie publicly or privately about our behaviour.

Yet it was with great regret that I read NRT blog.
Blogger No Right Turn published this blog on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 and I reprint in full here:

NZDF lied to us’

Stuff has a follow-up piece from The Valley, exposing the NZDF PR machine in action. Back in 2013, when they released the findings of their inquiry into the Battle of Baghak, they also released a video of NZ soldiers in the field. They said this was to show the public what the battle was like, and to show how NZDF troops acted calmly and professionally under fire. Except that was a lie: the sound was edited. While supposedly to remove swearing, that editing completely changed the impression of what was going on:
The manipulation of the video is far more than just the removal of swearing.

Whole chunks of dialogue taken out are conversations which indicate the level of confusion at the battle site. And of the deleted parts, most of it has no swearing at all.

But actually, it's worse than that. Removing other (non-swearing) parts of the audio disguised the extent to which soldiers were confused and did not know who was where. (It's also worth noting The Valley revealed radio communications were not working properly that day).
This was a major issue during the battle, and its censoring gives, at the very least, a disingenuous picture of how things played out.
There's a name for this: propaganda. And NZDF tried to do it to us, using our money. And that's simply not acceptable in a democracy. NZDF's refusal to admit this was wrong shows how badly they need to be cleaned out, their anti-democratic commanders sacked and replaced with officers who know who they serve: the people of New Zealand. [NRT Blog ends]

Once NZ moved down the American pathway into war, our whole military ethics changed and I saw that change come about. It ate its way into our standards and our goals. We become nothing more than a unit of the American Military Forces. Malaysia and Borneo were the last events where our forces were free [in part] of American contamination.

Vietnam was the stepping stone into the true era of fighting other people’s wars and we have gone downhill ever since.

Korea a supposed United Nations action was in reality a US war where other nations were sucked in. All the other nations that took part, including the UN consider the Korean War to be over but the Americans don’t. We’ve only got to watch the behaviour of the present US President Donald Trump to see what madness still exists deeply embedded in his nation.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel are all clear examples of American contamination and failure. It would seem that the US has no desire to see wars end, because their economic welfare depends on continuing wars.
The contradictions are clear, North Korea builds an atom bomb and they are evil terrorists, the US and Israel builds the bomb and they are heroic protectors of world peace. Our Government past and present have brought into this stupidity.

To get this false message across the US uses huge amounts of state controlled    propaganda’ and today here in NZ our military forces march to that tune, our Officers and other ranks have all come under the influence of the US military dogma and have therefor lost there once independence in regard to military operational practice.

The kind of honesty expressed in the NRT blog needs to be supported by each of us individually and collectively.

1 comment:

Wheeler's Corner NZ said...

You were obviously an old fashioned soldier, with values. I have read Hit and Run, looked at the photographs of the damaged houses and concluded that NZDF had no idea of where the incidents recorded in the book occurred. Their explanations described in the book appeared to be based on a different village many miles away. I am pleased to learn a legal firm in Wellington has been tasked with legal action on behalf of the survivors of the attacks on Naik and Khak Khuday Dad.
It will be interesting to see what the NZDF defence lawyer has to say as the trial progresses. It will be even more interesting to see if any of those in command at the time are brought to book. I am inclined to believe Jon Stephenson before anyone. He had been the war correspondent for a major part of the hostilities and unlikely to have gilded the lily in any way.
Peter G.