John Armstrong writes:
Petty, petulant and pathetic. What other conclusion is it possible to draw from the absurd, vindictive and ultimately short-sighted refusal by the United States military to allow two New Zealand naval vessels to berth at the Pearl Harbour military base?
Having invited New Zealand to participate in the Rimpac exercises off Hawaii for the first time in nearly three decades, the Pentagon then slaps this country in the face by making the frigate Te Kaha and the refuelling ship Endeavour tie up at civilian port facilities in Honolulu.
They invite us. and then say we have to park down the road. Some Pentagon bozo should receive a visit from Hillary Clinton and told to pull their head in.
John Key should have ignored the diplomatic niceties and gone with gut feeling. He should have pointed out that resolving the anti-nuclear impasse has not come without cost for New Zealand. A terse brief statement including the words “New Zealand”, “Afghanistan” and “sacrifice” would have not have gone amiss.
Key has to be diplomatic, but it does piss me off that we do have soldiers fighting and dying in Afghanistan. and the USG is fixated on an almost 30 year old issue.
This tawdry episode smells very much like the revenge of the United States Navy, the branch of the American military machine most affected by New Zealand’s ban on nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered warships and consequently the one most averse to resolving the subsequent two decades-plus stand-off.
The berthing ban is even more ridiculous given other Rimpac participants include Japan which almost destroyed the American Pacific fleet based at Pearl Harbour some 70 years ago.
I know Ambassador Huebner is the US representative to New Zealand, and not vice-versa. I do hope however he reports back on how insensitive the US decision was, and counter-productive.