Afghanistan

Photo Of The Day

Women browse in a Kabul record store

Women browse in a Kabul record store

Afghan Women 

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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.)

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Here’s a conspiracy for ya…

Oh no, explosive revelations in the Dominion Post today about New Zealand spies working in Afghanistan.

Kiwi spies operating in Afghanistan sifted through intelligence supplied by the United States National Security Agency, a former US intelligence officer has revealed.

Prime Minister John Key confirmed this week that New Zealand intelligence agencies provided information to international forces in Afghanistan that may have been used to target drone strikes.

Former “black ops” operator Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer detailed the work carried out by a New Zealand defence analyst stationed in Afghanistan in 2003.

He revealed that “raw” signals intelligence was passed to a team of US and Kiwi specialists “to parse it and review it to establish their own intel”.

Shaffer, who worked under the alias Major Chris Stryker, struck a deal with a colleague to access the intercepts.

He was working on a mission – eventually vetoed – to strike Taliban insurgents over the border with Pakistan.

Shock horror, our people working with the US.  Read more »

Doors closed in Australia, no matter let’s try NZ

People smugglers are giving up on trying to get people into Australia now, the government of Tony Abbott has succeeded in stopping the boats.

The people smugglers though are not to be deterred and are now targeting NZ.

Michael Bachelard at The Guardian reports:

People smugglers in Indonesia are mounting their first credible attempt to ship asylum seekers on the hazardous voyage to New Zealand and circumvent the Abbott government’s Operation Sovereign Borders.

Four men – two from Bangladesh and two from Afghanistan – were caught last month by the Indonesian immigration department in Jayapura, West Papua, on their way to get a boat to New Zealand.

Their capture appears to have stalled, for the time being, a plot to send up to 100 people, but sources in West Java say people smugglers in the town of Cisarua are still advertising for places on a New Zealand-bound boat.

The smugglers are showing asylum seekers a grainy picture, obtained by Fairfax Media, of the boat they say they have bought for the venture, which is larger and sturdier looking than the typical fishing vessel and has covered cabins and navigational antennae.  Read more »

Top shot, six dead scumbags with a single shot

This has to be one for the record books.

Six dead taliban ratbags with a single shot.

A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Telegraph has learnt.

The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.  Read more »

Photo Of The Day

© Abbas/Magnum Photos

© Abbas/Magnum Photos

 Marriage by Proxy

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‘Tis but a scratch, pommy soldier shot through neck but ‘cracks on’ with job in firefight

MAINMOD-3266611

They breed pommy soldier tough, real tough.

How typical of the pommy soldier…crack on lads.

Lance Corporal Simon Moloney’s life was saved by friend L/Cpl Wes Masters – who has now been awarded the Military Cross for his bravery.

In the heat of battle with the Taliban, Lance Corporal Simon Moloney was suddenly sent flying to the ground.

He’d been shot in the neck by a sharpshooter as his troop were in the midst of conquering an enemy base.

The 23-year-old cried out for a medic, knowing he had only minutes to live.

Without fear for his own life or waiting for orders, his friend Lance Corporal Wes Masters ran through 300metres of open ground under heavy fire carrying 60kg of equipment to get to him.

His quick reactions saved L/Cpl Moloney and the pair were even able to rejoin the raging gun battle.

L/Cpl Masters, 25, is among more than 100 members of the armed forces recognised in the latest round of military honours.

[...]    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Picture: Camera Press

Picture: Camera Press

Bin Laden family vacationing in Falun, Sweden in 1971 Read more »

Friday nightCap