The news that various assorted peace group activists, so called, are gearing themselves up to protest the visit of the USS Sampson, a DG51 Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, coming as part of the commemorations acknowledging 75 years since the establishment of the Royal New Zealand Navy, is as predictable as it is sad.
No matter that the ship visit does not compromise our anti-nuclear legislation. No matter that the protocols regarding the visit have been signed off or are in the process of being signed off for naval vessels from three other nuclear powers (India/China/France) to participate in the commemorations. No, these rag-tag protestors will single out the USS Sampson as being about as welcome in New Zealand as a pork chop in a Synagogue. They will give vent to their anti-American hate and rhetoric as they have done for the past half century. Nothing changes for them ... they, along with ISIL/ISIS, view America as the 'Great Satan'. Spot the connection.
The latest advice I have is that no Royal Navy ship is coming. If that is confirmed it is disappointing. The RNZN grew out of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. While clearly the RN is stretched I would have thought they might have pulled out all stops in order to attend. The fleet review in Auckland should be spectacular ... possibly the largest gathering of warships post WW2.