We are alarmed to learn that an enlisted soldier in the New Zealand Defence Force is an avowed member of a neo-Nazi group. He is now in military prison subject to a criminal investigation.
The far right around the world target military and police forces both by enlisting and by recruiting members from these organisations. Last year, a British Army soldier who served in Afghanistan and was described as an “outstanding” soldier was jailed for eight years for recruiting for a banned neo-Nazi group.
The fact is this isn’t just about one individual. The NZ military has been waging war against Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq for 18 years. It is an organisation that is currently facing allegations of war crimes for the murder of civilians. Just two days ago it emerged that the country’s spy agency, the GCSB, who were working with the NZDF, joked about bombing an Afghan village while planning the Operation Burnham raid. The ‘war on terrorism’ is a thinly veiled war on Muslims led by the US.
If the government is serious about ending white supremacist violence in this country then it has to take a long, hard look at the institutions of state violence – the military and police – and their helpmates – the intelligence services. These institutions were founded as part of the violent white supremacist colonisation of Aotearoa, and today, they are still fundamentally white supremacist organisations.
There is a deep contradiction that exists between the rhetoric of ‘equal rights and justice for all’ while engaging in wars of empire and conquest. The United States and Australia, NZ’s closest military partners, are exporting racist violence around the globe while enforcing it within their own borders with the horrors of mass refugee detention camps.