Visiting World Vision projects in western provinces of Afghanistan n 2019 was Clark’s third trip to the country. The first was as Prime Minister in 2003 when she visited Kabul, and the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamiyan Province.
Her forth visit took place only last week as Helen Clark says the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan shows the situation in Afghanistan “A catastrophic failure of intelligence in Western foreign policy” and to say that she is “pessimistic about the country’s future would be an understatement”.
All of which is rich considering that Helen Clark is ambassador for TEAM Emirate’s who are sponsored by firm whose CEO Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A ruler who kidnaps his own daughters.
Further a the head of the United Nations Development Programme. The reality is Clark must share some of the blame of enabling Saudi Arabia the Taliban main sugar daddy.
Specifically when she thought as head of the UNDP that Saudi Arabia and the UAE could be modernized via Vision 2030 and New Zealand might sell some butter and software (don’t forget how WikiLeaks attribute New Zealand’s support of Americas action in Iraq and Afghanistan was fuelled by Clark not wanting to miss out on butter sales when she was New Zealand’s Prime Minster).
In 2013 UNDP Administrator Helen Clark met with Prince Saud Al-Faisal Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs, during her visit to the Kingdom—the first by a UNDP Administrator. They discussed Saudi Arabia’s expanding support to global development efforts, particularly its assistance to humanitarian and post-crisis recovery. “We discussed how UNDP can support the implementation of key elements of the recently adopted ninth National Development Plan for the Kingdom,” Helen Clark said.
After her meetings with government officials Clark said “The plan outlines a number of critical development goals, including laying the foundations for the knowledge economy of the future, enhancing higher education systems to empower the rapidly growing youth population, and supporting a shift to expanded use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.” In a separate event, Princess Adela bent Abdullah, hosted an evening for Helen Clark and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to meet a number of Saudi Arabia’s leading women in the fields of business, health, NGOs, media and education.
The UAE is a close ally Saudi Arabia UN Agenda 2030 policy which is also called Vision 2030 and publicly states it plans to use smart technology as the means by which Saudi Arabia could being exiting the fossil fuels industry.
Like the UAE Vision 2030 its technology hub is partnered with New Zealand and Australia for in relation to technology innovation and the two nations are viewing the Pacific as a manufacturing hub and source of migrant workers. The Pacific is also the front line of the emerging seabed mining industry hub for rare metals essential for the defence industry.
However murdered journalist Jamal Kashoggi warned, prior to being chopped up into little bits on the floor of a Saudi embassy, that Vision 2030’s real goal was not to reform the kingdom but to empower it medieval patriarchy and help make Saudi Arabia the leading manufacture of second generation smart weapons. All backed by arms firms such as Lockheed Martin and nations including New Zealand.
Put simply if Kashoggi picture is accurate Helen Clark got conned big time and she can be identified as one of the enablers of Taliban biggest sugar daddy. So rather than incubating modernisation the UNDP has fuelled Saudi Arabia’s growing taste for military and foreign intervention of its own toxic brand of Shia Islam. One which simply enrich the same parties involved in oil, gas and weapons. Is this likely to be repeated in Afghanistan under the pretext of motivating the Taliban where aid simply becomes a conduit used by other nations to destabilise the region?
In 2018 Israel has accused a representative of the US-based Christian relief group World Vision of funnelling millions of dollars in aid money to Hamas fighters in Gaza, charges that the group denies. Briefing reporters, a senior Israeli security official said that Mohammad El Halabi, World Vision’s manager of operations in Gaza, had siphoned off about $7.2m a year – around 60 percent of the organisation’s Gaza funding – to pay Hamas fighters, buy arms, pay for its activities and build fortifications.
2020 while thousands of Afghans and foreigners attempt to evacuate the country, World Vision has vowed to remain in order to care for vulnerable children and families.
300+ Afghan staff, World Vision will stay and deliver, aid. It assumed they will be allowed to stay if they bring aid money.
The Taliban has also thanked New Zealand for offering financial aid to Afghanistan during the group’s takeover of the country. The New Zealand Government announced $3 million in aid to the Red Cross and United Nations Development Office the office Clark herself use to occupy late last week.
In their first sit down interview since the Taliban took control earlier this month, a top official told Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Bellis, a New Zealand journalist, they wanted to say thank you to New Zealand. “I’ve recently witnessed reports that New Zealand has announced a $3 million aid, humanitarian aid, to the Afghans in this time of crisis and we thank the generous offer of New Zealand in this time of crisis and time of need for our people, that most of whom are living below poverty line,”
Abdul Qahar Balkhi, from the Taliban’s Cultural Commission, said. “New Zealand has been the first, the leading country as it has always been during humanitarian causes, has been the leading country to announce a humanitarian aid to the Afghan people. “I would like to say as a representative of the people of Afghanistan, I would like to immensely thank the people of New Zealand and the Government of New Zealand for showing empathy with their fellow human beings.”
The offer of aid is a good idea. If it brings stability to the region.
However Vision 2030 shows the wooing of conservative Islam may in fact back fire and instead create a system which enables conservative elements.
Further this not unlikely when combined with staggering amount of US military equipment left behind. Equipment which so easily have disabled by simply pouring a wide range of easily available house hold chemicals – some as basic as the US army’s go to soft drink Coca Cola – into engines and destroying batteries and basic but essential components such as spark plugs.
Equipment which will now end up in not just Taliban hand but their rivals Isil K responsible for the attack on Kabul. Its hard not to view this as staggering commentary on US military incompetence or worse deliberate as these are the only options which cover the failure which guarantee a flow of weapons to the already fragile nation.
The situation of two powerful fraction competing for the hearts and minds of the revolution in this context mirror the early days of the rise of the Ayatollah Khomei in Iran. The Ayotollah was unable to forge similar reform with France (where Kohmeni had lived in exile for decades) and the rest of Europe. As in the early days of Iran’s revolution radical elements (armed by the West) kidnapped western hostages and the Shah had to choose between retaining his popular support aligning with radical Islamic revolutionary and building a bridge between Islam and Europe. In the end populism won out and to retain his still vulnerable power base Khomeini was forced to side with the Islamic Jihad his rivals in terms of the competition to be seen by the people as the true leaders of the revolution and anti western imperialism. Harder to assess is Clark’s own apparent conflict of interest.
On one level Clark’s inability to grasp the role of third parties, namely the military industrial complex, keenness to undermine the UNDP vision for modern day Islam, seems at first glance an issue simply of dogma, Clark’s legendary reputation for refusing to yield once she has formed a viewpoint (though in other cases it must be said her grasp of foreign affair is unequal in terms listing a NZ politician with a similar understanding of global issues). Yet her as her own foundation has received or at less applied for financing from UAE, Saudi patrons and those with links to the military industrial complex. So their is also a question of whether a potential conflict of interest has impacted her perception. The Helen Clark Foundation pitched its ideas at the 2019 second annual Paris Peace Forum, as the only Australasian project selected to compete for funding at the event, funded ironically by a raft of entities who are ironically very much the beneficiaries of the military industrial complex . They include the UAE Bill Gates The Ford Foundation, MohammeD Bin Zayed, Quatar and and variety of bodies who ultimate turn out to be financed by bodies with fiscal interests in creating either weapons or censorship of those opposed to exposing corporate draconianism and the darker side of corporate globalism.
While the Foundation is in turn partnered up with the Auckland University of Technology who like wise has being major recipient of Islamic Vision 2030 nations and the US military industrial complex. An industry which is heavily embed in AUT fledging space program and Rocket Lab where a revolving door of personnel and technology exit with Rocket lab who clients include the UAE. It comes as NZ tole in providing tech based arms technology to both Saudi and UAE was highlighted this year.
New Zealand ‘s complicated rarely known and often sordid role in Saudi Middle East politics dates back to the 1970’s when Saudi Arabia investor provided the bridging finances for Muldoon Think Big projects in return for NZ opening it market to Middle Eastern nations.
At the start of the 1970’s NZ export less than 3 million dollars to the entire Middle east each year. Following the Muldoon deal New Zealand was exporting more than 400 million in agricultural products to Iran alone by 1980.
Such was the economic returns the predecessor of Fonterra the NZ Dairy Board even ran full page adverts congratulating Khomeini for his overthrowing of the Shah who had being an American ally. Even though the basis for building Marsden refinery was an urgent visit by the CIA Middle East specialist Robert Ames. The NZ Listener noted in 1987 that the spy chief had told Muldoon “Iran has fallen Saudi Arabia is next”.
A decade and half later Saudi Arabia and NZ Dairy replacement Fonterra were partnered in the murky UN Food For Oil Program. A twenty years investigation of this relationship, launched even before the program was even public knowledge by this author, revealed the dairy component of the program had multiple corruption links with the third part Yemen bases HSA Ltd who helped ship the 80% of New Zealand dairy goods used by the bribe riddle program which has known links to financier of the Muslim Brotherhood. It would also lead to questions arsing over the New Zealand and Australia aid donations to The Clinton Foundation, Care Australia, and USAID. Charities which have received over 400 million from New Zealand Australia in 1991 to the current day and who all have numerous ties to known Saudi Dubai backed arms dealers or terror groups – as I detail in my books State Secrets 1& 2 in 1999 and 2006.
Muldoon ended up building the refinery after Ames warning on terms favourable for US oil producers was passed on to the New Zealand tax payers. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia continued to grow in influence backed by the Western industries involved in arms and oil. Proving if nothing else that when comes to Middle Eastern politics the dreams and plans of visionaries rarely pan out when faced with the ‘real politicks’ that come with the reality of power politics in this region.