I was watching Agenda on tv this morning and some US official praised Winston Peters for his role in helping to thaw relations between the US and New Zealand.
There was priase for our help in Afghanistan, etc, etc.
John Key was quizzed on it too and chose his words carefully.
Now, while Winston has obviously helped, doing more to mend relations than any Liarbour figure could, as David Farrar believes, I feel some credit must also go to the United States.
Now, contrary to public belief, George Bush is not stupid. He's even brighter than Al Gore.
The Bush government realises time is passing by.
It is 23 years, yes, 23 years since the nuclear ships issue that led to New Zealand being kicked out of ANZUS. Since 1985, the world has moved on and changed now.
There was a Cold War then, there was an 'evil empire' called the Soviet Union. Eastern Europe was under the Communist Yolk. The World feared Worth War Three.
Now, there is no Cold War, though Putin's Russia is very dodgy, there is no Soviet Union. Eastern Europe is largely capitalist now and part of the European Union.
We now have a 'War on Terror' and instead of the menace of communist expansionism, we have the menace of Islamist extremism which has similar goals of world domination.
China in 1985 was a poor communist backwater, not the prospering capitalist and military global superpower it is today, with a economy that could soon outgrow America's.
New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy is a relic of a former age, and as we now know, a policy written in Moscow. It is passe, so last century. A policy for the 20th century (though wrong then). It is not a policy for today and the realities of the 21st Century.
This is why it is time to move on. To dump the policy of the past. It is irrelevent. New Zealand needs to take its place back into fold with its old friends and allies, the US and Australia.
The threats of the 21st century, an omnipotent China, overpopulation in Asia, future possible resource shortages, the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the War on Terror affect us too. They are also our battles, especially for a small, low poplulated and vulnerable, poor country like ours. We can no longer have our heads in the sand.
That is why America is changing its views on New Zealand, calling us allies now, and we must change too and dump our anti-nuclear stupidity.
Winston Peter's has realised our shared values, democracy, freedom, human rights. That we have more in common with the US and Australia than we have with China. This is why he deserves some credit.
Indeed, what a symbol of the Helengrad Years and the priorities of Dear Leader's government that Liarbour can negotiate a free trade agreement with the Butchers of Beijing but not the Leader of the Free World.
But this is where John Key and National come in. The US knows Clark is on its way out. Helengrad is about to fall and a friendlier regime will be installed, so it has offered its praise, its olive branch.
Now, John Key has said he will keep existing foreign policy, the anti-nuclear policy. But Key is a pragmatic man. He knows times change, which is why he has adopted so much Liarbour policy. He is not wedded to dogma, and will, could and should dump the anti-nuclear dogma of the past.
Grasp the nettle National, move our foreign policy into the realites of the 21st century, negotiate that Free Trade deal John Boy; and earn your place in history as the New Zealand prime minister that took New Zealand back onto the road to prosperity and made the Pacific and Australasia a much freer and safer place.