Afghanistan

Remember us allowing Afghani translators to come live here? This is why

Caution:  Language

Sheik Mohammed comments on ISIS

 

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the current ruler of Dubai and he has penned an opinion piece on ISIS.

That alone makes me want to read it. A Middle East leader of a vibrant modern nation commenting on ISIS…its worth a read in full.

The global financial crisis taught the world how profoundly interdependent our economies have become. In today’s crisis of extremism, we must recognize that we are just as interdependent for our security, as is clear in the current struggle to defeat ISIS.

If we are to prevent ISIS from teaching us this lesson the hard way, we must acknowledge that we cannot extinguish the fires of fanaticism by force alone. The world must unite behind a holistic drive to discredit the ideology that gives extremists their power, and to restore hope and dignity to those whom they would recruit.

ISIS certainly can – and will – be defeated militarily by the international coalition that is now assembling and which the UAE is actively supporting. But military containment is only a partial solution. Lasting peace requires three other ingredients: winning the battle of ideas; upgrading weak governance; and supporting grassroots human development.

Such a solution must begin with concerted international political will. Not a single politician in North America, Europe, Africa, or Asia can afford to ignore events in the Middle East. A globalized threat requires a globalized response. Everyone will feel the heat, because such flames know no borders; indeed, ISIS has recruited members of at least 80 nationalities.

Read more »

Should have double tapped him

An Al Qaeda operative is having a sook about being tasered, blindfolded and bundled into a vehicle as he was kidnapped by Delta Force troops in Tripoli.

Boo hoo, he’s lucky to be alive.

They should have just double tapped him and saved the effort.

Swarmed, Tasered, and trundled into a vehicle blindfolded—and that was just the beginning for alleged al Qaeda member Abu Anas al-Liby. Now he’s complaining about his treatment.

Poor little jihadi!

Just listen to the accused al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Liby recount how he was treated by men who suddenly swarmed him outside his home in Tripoli as he returned from morning prayers last October.

“I was Tasered in both my legs and hands,” he says at the start of a tale told in an affidavit unsealed this week in a motion to suppress incriminating statements about his alleged complicity in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

He rightly assumes that his captors were members of the U.S. Army Delta Force. He recalls that one of them spoke to him in English with an American accent:

“We know you can understand us, just keep quiet.”

He was then trundled into what he says was either a minivan or an SUV.

“[I] had ear muffs placed over my ears, my eyes were blindfolded, and I was placed in handcuffs,” he reports.    Read more »

Comment of the Day

From the post about ISIS, Olivia Pierson writes:

I’m so glad you put this up Cameron. I have to say I felt a twinge of disgust when I read Andrea Vance’s op-ed; again with the staggeringly militant ignorance of NZ journalism on geopolitical issues which deeply matter!

Firstly – Vance says; “In the last two decades, Iraq has not been far off the military radar.

Military intervention to eliminate weapons of mass destruction was built on a fallacy, years of slaughter failed to remove the threat of terrorism or install democracy.”

The removal of the psychopathic Saddam Hussein Baathist regime was inevitable and appallingly long-overdue, a reality which Tony Blair knew along with President Bush – hence the Anglo-American coalition to overthrow it. The questions around WMD was only ONE of the reasons which put this coalition on the right side of history.

According to the United Nations, there are four egregious acts where breaking even one of them, can and should result in regime change; Saddam broke all four:
1 – committing genocide (against the Kurds),
2 – the invasion of a neighbouring state (Iran & Kuwait),
3 – proliferating nuclear weapons (Saddam himself boasted that Iraq was on its way to acquiring a centrifuge (we now know he only had a blueprint) and remember the 550 metric tons of yellow cake airlifted out of Iraq and shipped straight to Canada in 2008? Should the world have just taken a violent psychopath’s word that the enriched uranium was intended for peaceful purposes only?)
4 – aiding and abetting terrorism (Saddam was a renowned and prolific supporter of terrorism to many Islamist militant organisations, among them Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, who moved freely between Afghanistan, Syria, Jordan and Iraq – a fact which obviates Saddam’s blessing.) Read more »

Should NZ get involved against ISIS?

There are many commenting now on whether or not NZ should get involved in the fight against ISIS.

Andrea Vance has an opinion piece in the Sunday Star-Times about the issue where she takes the side of the cowards and insists parliament must debate the issue.

This of course plays into the hands of the jihadists and Islamists, who don’t ever have to worry about the niceties of a parliamentary democracy.

In 2001, Helen Clark took a resolution to Parliament to supply SAS troops to the War on Terror which passed 112-7. In fact the offer was made in Washington a month earlier, and Clark insisted the approval of Parliament was not necessary, but she wanted troops to know they “had the full support of MPs.” It was the beginning of the end of New Zealand’s ”independent foreign policy.”

New Zealand faces a tough choice. Stand by impotently as many more hostages are murdered by a network of death? Or join another US-led crusade in a Muslim country?

With one foot in the West and one in the East, and vying for a seat on the UN Security Council, it must be remembered that not all nations choose the US as their global policeman.

In the last two decades, Iraq has not been far off the military radar. Military intervention to eliminate weapons of mass destruction was built on a fallacy, years of slaughter failed to remove the threat of terrorism or install democracy.

The conflict in Afghanistan also saw mission creep. Initial action was targeted at taking out Osama Bin Laden and dismantling Al Qaeda, but became a protracted quest to implement democracy and destroy the Taleban. Key admitted New Zealand paid a ”heavy price” – the death of 10 soldiers.

The latest strikes on Iraq have been condemned worldwide for lacking strategy and tactics. All the warning signs are that taking on ISIS will be a long, bloody war, with complex and unpredictable consequences.

At the very least all this is worthy of a parliamentary debate.

Read more »

An insiders guide to reporting on Israel/Gaza conflict

Journalists over looking Gaza from Sderot   Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Journalists over looking Gaza from Sderot Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Tablet has an essay about the media manipulations in reporting the Israel/Gaza conflict.

It is by  Matti Friedman who is a former AP correspondent who explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters. What she writes echoes what I saw in Israel.

The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is not to be found among jihadi webmasters, basement conspiracy theorists, or radical activists. It is instead to be found first among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry; decent people, many of them, and some of them my former colleagues.

While global mania about Israeli actions has come to be taken for granted, it is actually the result of decisions made by individual human beings in positions of responsibility—in this case, journalists and editors. The world is not responding to events in this country, but rather to the description of these events by news organizations. The key to understanding the strange nature of the response is thus to be found in the practice of journalism, and specifically in a severe malfunction that is occurring in that profession—my profession—here in Israel.

She looks at the disproportionate staffing and reporting on Israel compared with other countries.

Staffing is the best measure of the importance of a story to a particular news organization. When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted.

To offer a sense of scale: Before the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, the permanent AP presence in that country consisted of a single regime-approved stringer. The AP’s editors believed, that is, that Syria’s importance was less than one-40th that of Israel. I don’t mean to pick on the AP—the agency is wholly average, which makes it useful as an example. The big players in the news business practice groupthink, and these staffing arrangements were reflected across the herd. Staffing levels in Israel have decreased somewhat since the Arab uprisings began, but remain high. And when Israel flares up, as it did this summer, reporters are often moved from deadlier conflicts. Israel still trumps nearly everything else.

The volume of press coverage that results, even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small. In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women murdered in Pakistan last year (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing erasure of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party, the carnage in Congo (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the Central African Republic, and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 2006 and 2012: 60,000), let alone conflicts no one has ever heard of in obscure corners of India or Thailand. They believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.

That is an indictment in itself right there. That is a massive news imbalance.    Read more »

Ex-Aussie Army Boss says we need to be prepared to fight Islam for a 100 years

With Islamic fundamentalism on the rise in Australia and  radicalised Australians joining various jihad it is hard not to agree with those that want to prevent Muslim immigration into New Zealand.

Australia is far further down the track on this and as a result you are witnessing increased anti-semitism, creation of no go areas in major cities and not far off seeing demands for Sharia law in those same areas.

Australia has a problem and I don’t think we will escape it either.

Their former Army boss says Australia needs to prepare to fight, and on their own soil too.

AUSTRALIA needs to prepare for an increasingly savage, 100-year war against radical Islam that will be fought on home soil as well as foreign lands, the former head of the army, Peter Leahy, has warned.

Professor Leahy, a leading defence and strategic analyst, told The Weekend Australian the country was ill-prepared for the high cost of fighting a war that would be paid in “blood and treasure” and would require pre-emptive as well as reactive action.

“Australia is involved in the early stages of a war which is likely to last for the rest of the century,” he said. “We must be ready to protect ourselves and, where necessary, act pre-emptively to neutralise the evident threat. Get ready for a long war.”

Senior intelligence officials have moved to shore up public support for the Abbott government’s tough new security laws, including enhanced data-retention capabilities enabling agencies to track suspect computer usage.

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation director-general David Irvine said the proposed data laws, which require phone and internet companies to retain records for two years, were “absolutely crucial” to counter the jihadist terror threat.

The government’s security package also includes a $630 million funding boost to intelligence agencies and police to help prevent domestic terrorist attacks.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Women browse in a Kabul record store

Women browse in a Kabul record store

Afghan Women 

Read more »

Two Drones?

unnamed-2

 

Caption contest…fill your boots.

Does anyone else find it ironic that a collector of nazi memorabilia is at a protest against war?  Read more »

Looks like John Key was right about boat people

via Keeping Stock

When National rushed through legislation about stopping boat people through parliament the opposition and their lap-bloggers squealed that it was unnecessary.

In 2010, Labour MP Phil Twyford attacked John Key on Red Alert:

Does John Key really think New Zealand is about to be hit by a wave of boat people?

“What I’ve said to the Australian prime minister is that we recognise there is a problem, and we recognise that from New Zealand’s perspective it’s a problem that is coming towards our shores at some point in the future.”
Mr Key said that from all the intelligence he had received, this was “a real issue”.

Has he looked at a map recently? There is a lot of ocean between us and them. Short of us putting out the welcome mat for people-smugglers it seems very unlikely they will make it this far.

In 2011, former Green MP Keith Locke accused the PM of scaremongering in this post on the party’s Frogblog:

John Key’s scaremongering about boat people flooding into the country damages New Zealand’s race relations, Green Party immigration spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

“While John Key’s approach may increase the National Party’s ‘redneck’ vote, as happened to John Howard in Australia, it will be at a cost to race relations in New Zealand,” said Keith Locke.

“Racial dog whistling about refugees is unbefitting of a Prime Minister.

And just last year, those bastions of left-wing reason at The Standard accused John Key of invoking the “yellow peril”:

Bad jobs numbers and a succession of collapses of major businesses weighing your government down? You need: distraction! How about an old classic from the New Zealand politician’s playbook – the Yellow Peril!

Passed on by Richard Seddon and Winston Peters, Yellow Peril’s now being wielded by John Key as he talks of vague, unsubstantiated threats that boatloads of Indonesians are heading for our shores (no, I’m not sure what terrors are meant to eventuate when they land, either)

Of course, the closest any boat people have actually come to reaching New Zealand was when our mates, the Aussies, thought about helping them

[
]

Never mind that Indonesia is literally 1/6th of the world away,* John Key wants us to know the ‘threat’ from boat people, threat of what I don’t know, is very real and something we should all be worried about. Far more worried than we should be about, say, the threat of losing our jobs. (* At nearly 4,000 miles the distance from the closest parts of Indonesia to New Zealand is the distance from Europe to North America and back. Most boat people make trips from Indonesia to one of Australia’s offshore islands, a journey of a couple of hundred miles. So, we’re being asked to believe that boat people are planning, for no apparent reason, to make a journey 20 times longer and over colder, rougher, open seas in the Tasman, when Australia’s right there, literally in the way – doesn’t seem like a profitable business venture for the people smugglers for a start, 20 times the operating costs.)

Read more »