Greenpeace whoops

September 5th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

USA has apologised after discovering an image in a promotional calendar was shot by – one of the French agents who bombed the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland Harbour in 1985.

Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira, of the Netherlands, died in an explosion. The attack has been described as the only act of international terrorism on New Zealand soil.

Greenpeace USA said on its website that publisher Workman Publishing had sourced an image from a nature photographer, Alain Mafart-Renodier, during production of the 2015 calendar.

“It was later discovered that Mafart-Renodier is … Alain Mafart, one of the French military operatives who was involved in the bombing of the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, in New Zealand in 1985.

You’d think someone at Greenpeace would recall the name, when checking the calendar!

I regard the early release of Mafart and Prieur to Hao Atoll as the most disgraceful foreign policy decision of the 4th Labour Government. They should have served their ten year terms of imprisonment, and not been sent to a pacific island on an extended holiday.

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26 Responses to “Greenpeace whoops”

  1. KiwiGreg (3,279 comments) says:

    Do you really think the Nats would have done any different? We sacrificed principles on the altar of trade in a heartbeat.

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  2. David Garrett (7,702 comments) says:

    DPF: I wholeheartedly concur..My vehement dislike and contempt for Geoffrey Palmer stems from that decision..I was a student at the time, and one of his constituents…I went to see him and naively tried to tell him that the decision would forever debase the NZ justice system, and establish a precedent that if you had enough power or money, you could buy your way out of a New Zealand jail..He was condescending and arrogant…traits I later learned he displayed in full measure while a Prof at Vic Law School.

    I believe the matter was so fundamental there should have been a referendum…there would inevitably have been serious trade consequences if they were held here, but the people should have made that decision…not a jumped up pompous prick like Palmer… It would have been he as Justice Minister or AG (cant remember which he was) who advised their cabinet.

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  3. virtualmark (1,306 comments) says:

    DPF, do you think if the situation occurred again that MFAT would prioritise principles over trade? And whether any Cabinet would also put principles ahead of trade and international relations?

    I have a pretty clear idea what I think Murray McCully would do.

    [EDIT: Like you I’d have liked to see them stay in prison in New Zealand. But I can also see the realpolitik …]

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  4. burt (7,440 comments) says:

    You’d think someone at Greenpeace would recall the name, when checking the calendar!

    Perhaps the CEO of Greenpeace was a little weary from his daily private jet commute to work when he signed it off !

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  5. Dennis Horne (2,403 comments) says:

    Mafart and Prieur were not directly involved with the explosions, they were hangers-on. Those who planted the mines were never caught or named (that I can remember).

    People I know in England and France thought the whole thing was a huge joke, notwithstanding a foreign photographer, who had abandoned his family for the adventure, went back to his cabin for “something” after the first warning “shot”. NZ is still a laughing stock for its totally unenforceable nuclear-free zone.

    True the French secret agents underestimated NZ, and completely stuffed up the whole exercise, but it was still only sheer luck a passerby stumbled on Mafart and Prieur with a dinghy. Very embarrassing for NZ and France; demonstrably poor intelligence on both sides.

    The ten years was a political sentence, and if Lange had had good advice he would have whisked them out of the country in exchange for some concessions from France before the judiciary had read the morning paper.

    Au revoir, mes amis, il faut que je travaille.

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  6. David Garrett (7,702 comments) says:

    virtual: I suspect you may be right that the Nats would do the same, but that doesn’t make it the right decision…Now that I think about it, I remember telling Palmer that the bastards would be home in a year if they let them go to Hao…He told me in his most imperious voice that I, a mere student, couldn’t possibly understand such matters, and that in any case they had guarantees from the French… what a fucking joke…I think the bastards were actually back in France – and promoted – in less than a year weren’t they?

    Dennis: I couldn’t disagree with you more…and in fact the police DID catch the actual saboteurs, in the yacht Ouvea, in Norfolk Island…but they had no legal right to hold them… they sailed and are believed to have met with a submarine which took them to France…I am very serious when I say they should have shot the bastards and worried about the legal niceties later…that is exactly what the frogs would have done if the positions were reversed…

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  7. Dennis Horne (2,403 comments) says:

    David G. Now you are sounding silly, David. You of all people must know how a bright idea doesn’t always bear close examination. We think we’re terribly important down here but mostly we’re regarded as nice, simple, but boring people.

    NZ chose to give safe harbour to a band of adventurers acting illegally in French waters. French agents tried to humiliate NZ and it backfired. Had the French navy wanted, they could have rammed or torpedoed the vessel and there’s not a damn thing NZ could have done about it.

    Anyway, its embarrassing that so little happens here we’re still going on about this all these years later, especially when the rest of the world is dealing with real problems.

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  8. unaha-closp (1,067 comments) says:

    Is the wildlife photo from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Niger, Chad or Mali?

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  9. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    What was the opinion of the Netherlands where NZ sold out their dead?

    NZ basicly done to the Netherlands what France did to NZ – fucked them over.

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  10. David Garrett (7,702 comments) says:

    Dennis: Wrong again I’m afraid…the Rainbow Warrior was NOT intending to sail into “French waters”…the French unilaterally declared a 200 miles “exclusion zone” – at a time when territorial waters internationally were 12 miles – around the test site. That exclusion zone was mostly international waters.

    Yes, of course the pricks could have sunk the ship, either by ramming or gunfire, but they chose treacherous terrorism instead to try and hide their responsibility for it…Don’t you remember their initial vehement denials, before our Police arrested Mafart and Prieur?

    You may also recall that they were held in Ardmore military prison under guard by the army for the very good reason that we had intelligence that the DGSE might try to spring them…As I say, if the positions had been reversed OUR spies would have met with an unfortunate accident in France…do you disagree?

    And to hell with “all these years later” we still remember our war dead, and so we should always remember this disgraceful act.

    Harriet: what on earth are you talking about?

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  11. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    DG – did they make their getaway from NZ by yacht?

    If so, it’s a pity the Air Force weren’t called in for a little “search & rescue” operation:

    http://www.airforce.mil.nz/about-us/news/airforce-news/archive/117/ex-high-explosive.htm

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  12. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    “No, there’s still no sign of the vessel, Oscar 4. We did spot a bit of what may be debris in the water though…” :-)

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  13. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    “….Harriet: what on earth are you talking about?…”

    The south pacific is a long long way from France – there was no reason whatsoever that they needed to be removed – to remain in the south pacific!!!

    Well what did the Netherlands have to say?

    People charged with the murder of one of their civilians were serving a 10yr custodial sentance in NZ – only to be traded away by Palmer and Labour. For no valid reason to do with the prisoners themselves!

    I can’t see Palmer or Labour not having anything to say — if the Netherlands traded off people who were serving sentances in the Netherlands for killing a kiwi.

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  14. burt (7,440 comments) says:

    Harriet

    It’s different when Labour do it !

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  15. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    Well said burt.

    The entire issue comes down to why the prisoners themselves HAD to be removed. There was no valid reason for it. The South Pacific is the South Pacific.

    Imagine Maori gang members demanding that they serve time on their tribal lands — just because.

    Palmer and Lange arn’t/were stupid people – France never put it over NZ —– Lange and Palmer put it over NZ — as any senior foreign affairs analyst would see that were being sent there — for eventual removal back to France. And Lange and Palmer would have been advised of that. Then they played dumb – pretending to take France’s word on it.

    It fucken stinks of dishonesty.

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  16. David Garrett (7,702 comments) says:

    Harriet: Yes, I get you now..I had forgotten that Fernando Pereira was a Dutch national…Knowing the pompous prick Palmer, I very much doubt they were even consulted, much less listened to…

    And I agree with you – Lange and Palmer must surely have been advised what was likely to happen…they surely didn’t NEED to be advised that the French were duplicitous bastards…

    25 years later it still burns me to think there are two generations of New Zealanders dead in their soil, and they did that to us..and make no mistake: our nation was as much a victim as Greenpeace and Pereira…

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  17. Harriet (5,201 comments) says:

    Thanks DG.

    I worked with a lot of French over the years – also at the time actually – and they all said that the whole matter was wrong – most even mentioned the fact NZ soldiers had died in France.

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  18. CHFR (241 comments) says:

    I was in France as a school kid at the time, when word got out there was a Kiwi in the village people had trouble looking me in the eye such was their shame at what their government had done.

    I dislike Greenpeace with a passion but they did not deserve what was done in NZ.

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  19. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    I can forgive the nuclear powers for taking their bomb research very very seriously during the height of the cold war, when it must have really seemed like the uninterrupted, steady development and deployment of their bombs was vital to the survival of the human race as we know it.

    But a boatload of hippie greenpeace protestors was never going to tip the balance and initiate a nuclear war, and sabotaging their efforts by killing a human being was WAY OTT and in no way justified.

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  20. David Garrett (7,702 comments) says:

    Harriet & CHFR: I am very interested in what you about French public opinion at the time (and of course I accept what you both say)…but I recall one of the things that disgusted me most at the time was the opinion poll done by one of our TV stations (from memory) which showed a good majority of French citizens thought it was fine…My own mother was French and all the old bitch would say was “France must defend her honour”…

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  21. Kimbo (1,265 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett

    25 years later it still burns me to think there are two generations of New Zealanders dead in their soil, and they did that to us..and make no mistake: our nation was as much a victim as Greenpeace and Pereira…

    Reminds me of when President Johnson was advised of de Gaulle’s decision to pull out of NATO, with the resulting requirement that the USA would have to remove all their troops stationed in France.

    LBJ said in his best slow contemptuous Texan drawl, “You ask Charles-de-fucking-Gaulle if that also includes the American boys buried at Omaha Beach?”

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  22. David Garrett (7,702 comments) says:

    Kimbo: yes indeed Sir…tens of thousands of them…de Gaulle was always an ultra-nationalist asshole…I’m sure my mother loved him…Maybe Churchill should have dropped him out of a plane and let the Germans or the Vichy government deal to him…

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  23. Tauhei Notts (1,688 comments) says:

    I recall a Frenchman who hailed a taxi cab for me outside a Parisian railway station. Gare de Christ knows where. Then he asked for a tip.
    I’ll give you Frenchmen a tip.
    The tip is Alain Mafart.
    The Frenchman knew enough English to tell me to phuck off.

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  24. Kimbo (1,265 comments) says:

    @ david Garrett

    Yes – with respect to your mother’s country, they talk a good talk about principled foreign relations, but they are about the most cynical nation around when it comes to self-interest.

    That and their ridiculous propensity to tear their supposed democracy apart every 50 or so years and then patch it up with the latest version of constitutitional nonsense. Yey – coming up to the Anniversary of Danny “The Red” Cohn-Bendit’s 1968 fiasco! Stand by…!

    That, and the way they allow pressure groups to dictate domestic policy: If their bludging farmers are threatened with having their subsidies cut, they make the country ungovernable by dumping their livestock and leting it roam free in the streets of Paris.

    All the same, great cuisine…

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  25. Kimbo (1,265 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett

    Actually, speaking of Danny the Red…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Cohn-Bendit

    Daniel Marc Cohn-Bendit (born 4 April 1945) is a German politician, active also in France. He was a student leader during the unrest of May 1968 in France and he was also known during that time as Dany le Rouge (French for “Danny the Red”, because of both his politics and the color of his hair). He was co-president of the group European Greens–European Free Alliance in the European Parliament. He co-chairs the Spinelli Group, a European parliament intergroup aiming at relaunching the federalist project in Europe.

    Who woulda thought…

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  26. David Garrett (7,702 comments) says:

    Kimbo: Agreed…great food, nice countryside, very chic women…that about sums them up…

    You heard the one about why French avenues have trees planted down them?

    So the German soldiers can march in the shade….

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