Iraq

The Iraq War was about revenge for 9/11

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by Gavin

Poor old Tony Blair is being slammed in the Chilcot Report, which is just saying what we have all known for years. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was removed as revenge for 9/11. The failure of the US intelligence system and airline security led to the humiliating attack of 9/11 and someone had to pay.

As for 9/11, I have flown El Al flights and the cockpit doors have been secured against hi-jackers for decades. They have also had armed security on planes for decades as well. For whatever reason the yanks thought they were safe on their own soil. 9/11 changed all that.

I was working in the US in late 2002 to 2003, and what struck me as interesting was that the American people were being prepared for war by the MSM on a daily basis. The MSM were acting as cheerleaders for the upcoming retribution. It was quite odd for me as a Kiwi watching this process unfold as it was a subtle process of getting the people used to the idea that we were going in to sort this out. As history has shown, the evidence for going in was flawed. But, a reason to justify it to the people was necessary to have public opinion on the side of the politicians. Read more »

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They’re here!

An Auckland man has been convicted over ISIS-related activities in Auckland.

And you want refugees from Daesh central coming here?

An Auckland man has become the first person in the country to be jailed for possessing and circulating objectionable material related to extreme violence.

Imran Patel, 26, has been jailed for three years and nine months after pleading guilty to making, distributing and possessing videos depicting cruel violence perpetuated by terrorist group Isis.

As he was sentenced Patel stood up and screamed, “Tell John Key to stop being a slave to America!” He had to be pulled from the courtroom by security guards. He continued screaming as he was escorted to custody cells.

According to a summary of facts Patel was known to police to be an Isis sympathiser. He was one of two men with Isis sympathies sentenced in Auckland on Thursday.

His ISP network provider cautioned him about the content he was sending but he sent a second message to the same people, with a similar video showing prisoners being beheaded. An Isis logo was visible.

This prompted the network to bar his number from sending further messages.

He obtained another number and sent a further text to the same recipients chastising them for getting his number disabled.

“Remember that you are a Muslim so behave like one,” he texted them.    Read more »

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Opposition cheer leaders say that Little and Labour are wrong over Iraq deployment

The NZ Herald has become a left-wing rag in the past decade. They’ve run hit job after hit job on anyone and everyone who is right of centre.

But today, bless, they basically told Labour they are wrong to want to pull out of Iraq.

The Government’s decision to extend the service of New Zealand soldiers in Iraq beyond next February’s deadline is the right one, even though the Prime Minister had previously indicated the troops were on two-year deployment due to end next May. The extension means 143 men and women from the Defence Force will be rotated through Iraq until November 2018.

It is a significant commitment, and was forecast to cost about $57 million by the time it was due to wind up next year. The longer stay will probably double the bill. A heavily-censored review of the deployment considered by the Cabinet in March said the work undertaken by New Zealand Defence Force personnel had been successful.

Since May last year, NZDF soldiers at the Taji Military Base near Baghdad, where they work with Australian forces, had trained some 4000 Iraqi troops. Instruction included weapons training, conflict first aid, human rights and planning for combat operations. Three junior leadership courses were completed and Iraqi medics attended a six-day course.

The review said the military training was having a “tangible and positive impact” on the ability of Iraqi Army units to wage war against the Islamic State or Isis. Groups which had completed training performed better than those which had not been through a programme.   Read more »

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Send our best – the NZSAS – and stop the obfuscation

John Key needs to stop considering and send our best troops to hurry up the process of getting these Daesh jihadi scumbags on the fast track to meeting Allah and the 72 virgin goats that are waiting for them.

John Key has revealed he considered sending the Special Air Service, or SAS, to Iraq instead of extending the military trainers’ deployment.

The SAS is New Zealand’s most elite military unit, and Mr Key said the United States has specifically asked for its elite troops in the fight against Islamic State.

He said all options were on the table as the Government looked at what to do in Iraq.

“[The SAS] could have gone there in a training role or other roles, and at the moment we don’t think that is appropriate,” Mr Key said.   Read more »

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As predicted, Andrew Little grandstands over Iraq deployment

First, Andrew Little was against the Iraq deployment:

In his reply to the Prime Minister’s statement, Labour leader Andrew Little said Labour could see no case for sending troops to Iraq.

He said it was clear Islamic State was brutal. “There wouldn’t be a New Zealander who has seen those images whose stomachs have not been turned. But let’s be clear what we’re dealing with. They call themselves, Islamic State, but they are not a state. They run across borders, they are cultural, ethnic, religious and driven by a number of motivations.”

He said it was a “depository of the dispossessed, the extreme and yes, the evil, but it is not a conventional enemy”.

Mr Little said it was clear the Government had made its decision some time ago “and I venture to suggest it was taken for a range of reasons that have not been outlined today.”

He doubted Mr Key’s assurances the training forces would be “behind the wire”. He said there was little doubt the troops would be exposed to the wider combat and there was little to gain.

“After 10 years of training of the Iraq Army by the US Army, what impact will we have? What can we hope to achieve? We think be sending a very modest force, we are going to achieve what the US Army has not been able to achieve in 10 years? We will not fix the Iraqi Army. It is broken, it is corrupt.”

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NZDF committed for another 18 months. That’s a lot of “training” then

Good, we need to stay on mission and continue training Iraqi troops so they can go put the bad wogs from Daesh in deep holes in the ground.

Kiwi troops will be extending their mission in Iraq by 18 months and will also be leaving their base for another on occasion, the Defence Minister has announced.

Prime Minister John Key, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully made the announcement at the post-Cabinet news conference on Monday afternoon.

Among the changes, it was announced a small number of around six or eight at a time will travel “for short periods” to Besmaya — another secure training location 52km southeast of the existing joint New Zealand-Australia base.

“At Besmaya our troops will ensure a smooth handover of the Iraqi soldiers they’ve been training at Taji to other coalition trainers, who will be teaching them to use heavy weapons,” Mr Brownlee says.   Read more »

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Queens Honours for training Iraqis? Pull the other one

If you believe this story then I have a bridge I can sell you.

There is no way that our soldiers in a camp with thousands of armed soldiers from many different nations are at all worried about a few goat shaggers in black get up knowing who they are.

Fear of Islamic jihadists has forced the New Zealand Defence Force to keep its military heroes secret for a second year running.

Two soldiers have received a Distinguished Service Decoration in the latest Queen’s Birthday Honours list, but have been announced only as soldiers C and J.

The soldiers were working to help train members of the Iraq army.

A Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet spokesperson said the identities had been withheld for security reasons.

In April of last year the army said all personnel serving in Iraq would have their identities kept secret.   Read more »

Claire Trevett on how Andrew little got blindsided in Iraq

Andrew Little, helped by the Media party, is claiming triumph on his blitzkrieg tour of Iraq…in the shadow of Gerry Brownlee.

Claire Trevett explains why he’s been done like a dinner by those dastardly Nats.

At first blush, the Government’s invitation to Labour leader Andrew Little to visit the troops in Iraq appeared to be a trick.

The question is not so much why Little took up the invitation to go along with Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee. Despite having criticised Prime Minister John Key’s own visit to Iraq as a photo op, Little had no qualms about brandishing photos of himself striding manfully around Taji in his flak jacket.

The bigger question is why the invitation was issued in the first place.

A superficial interpretation of the Government’s motivations is that it put Little in an awkward situation. Politically, it was a risky move for Little. Labour vehemently opposed sending the troops to Iraq last year, yet there Little was, meeting those very same troops.

It is not unheard of for Opposition leaders to visit troops on deployment. Last year, Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten visited the troops at Taji.

The difference between him and Little was Shorten was able to stand before the troops and assure them they had Labor’s bipartisan support.

Little’s message to the troops was somewhat more complex. It appeared to consist of telling those troops he thought they were doing a good job while sticking to his line that the job they were doing was futile.

Should Little oppose future deployments, he has handed his rivals an encyclopedia of photos and gushing comments with which to lambast him.

The prospect of watching Little squirm in front of those whose deployment he had opposed may well have been the cherry on the top for National.

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That’s one way to choke them to death

You win wars by killing large numbers of the enemy.

You also win by destroying their ability to wage war, destroying key infrastructure the enemy uses and wrecking their ability to pay for it all.

Up to $800m (£550m) in cash held by so-called Islamic State (IS) has been destroyed in air strikes, a US military official says.

Maj Gen Peter Gersten, who is based in Baghdad, said the US had repeatedly targeted stores of the group’s funds.

The blow to the group’s financing has contributed to a 90% jump in defections and a drop in new arrivals, he said.

In 2014, the US Treasury called IS “the best-funded terrorist organisation” it had encountered.

In a briefing to reporters, Maj Gen Gersten, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the US-led operation against IS, said under 20 air strikes targeting the group’s stores of money had been conducted.

He did not specify how the US knew how much money had been destroyed.   Read more »

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So Little visits our troops in Iraq to see how the people he doesn’t want to be there are doing

You’ve got to love the hypocrisy and sanctimony of Andrew Little.

Invited on a ministerial tour to our troops in Iraq he somehow manages to get the Media party to call it his secret trip. Never mind that it was Gerry Brownlee’s trip or that Mark Mitchell went as well…no, for the Media party it was Andrew Little’s secret trip to Iraq.

Labour leader Andrew Little has made a top secret visit to Iraq to visit New Zealand troops based at Camp Taji and is now questioning whether the two-year term will be extended.

Mr Little has just left Iraq after Camp Taji with Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Chief of Defence Force Tim Keating.

Labour opposed the 2015 deployment of troops to help train Iraqi soldiers fight against Islamic State (Isis), but Mr Little said he accepted the invitation from Mr Brownlee because he believed it was important to see first hand the work of the troops and the conditions in which they lived.

Mr Little praised the “skill and professionalism” of the troops he met.   Read more »