Iraq

Now this is why Brian Edwards and I are good friends

My good friend Brian Edwards has looked at the terrorism/armed forces/war thing, and it is no surprise he’s come to the same conclusion I have.

…in today’s Herald on Sunday, I read that “… The Defence Force has confirmed soldiers will be given the chance to withdraw from the controversial deployment.”

This is apparently part of being “a good employer”. Personal or family circumstances or “ethical grounds” qualified as the principal justifications for not wanting to be deployed in Iraq. Apparently this has always been the case provided the serviceman or woman “had legitimate reasons”. “Otherwise,” said the Former Chief of Army, Major General Lou Gardiner, “your mates would always see you as a person who opted out. It’s human nature.”

It is indeed. But I would have thought that “legitimate reasons” for not being sent to a war zone would include not wanting to be injured or killed. That too is “human nature”. And, as a Defence Force spokesman reminded us, “military personnel are people who have lives and families and individual circumstances that mean they are less appropriate for a particular deployment”. Read more »

Phil Goff tries reverse psychology

via Stuff

via Stuff

Sending troops to Iraq is playing into the terrorist’s hands, opponents say.

New Zealand is sending 143 military personnel into Iraq including 16 specialist trainers to train Iraqi soldiers.

Prime Minister John Key says he doesn’t think the Islamic State would be defeated in two years, but New Zealand would make a contribution and not stay in Iraq longer than that.

Labour’s defence spokesman Phil Goff says the $35 million being spent to send New Zealand trainers could make a real difference providing humanitarian aid.

The United States had spent billions of dollars and put thousands of trainers in with no effect, he told the programme.

“The Iraqi army is corrupt, it’s sectarian, it’s incompetently led, it lacks morale. None of those things can New Zealanders do anything about. This is sheer tokenism by John Key.” Read more »

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Is Labour changing its policy on Climate Change now?

Labour has said that climate change is one of the biggest issues facing New Zealand.

They also say repeatedly that the government’s solution or policies on climate change aren’t bold enough and that New Zealand must do more and that National is sitting on its hands while the world burns.

New Zealand’s carbon emissions are about 0.15% of the world’s emissions yet Labour says we must do more, set an example for the rest of the world and if we do that then other countries will lift their game

It appears though that their policy on climate is dead in the water.

Why?

Well because it fails their own logic argument.  Read more »

Understanding the evil of the left wing

Yesterday we saw the public representatives of the left-wing stand in parliament and show their unwillingness to help those in suffering. They should hold their heads in shame, but that is for the next post.

What you need to understand is what those public figures represent, in all its appalling clarity. These comments are from various left wing blogs, I read them so you didn’t have to.

Weka at The Standard:

If the choice is between supporting the US and a cafe terrorism once a decade, I think we should take the cafe.

So innocent victims of terrorism is ok with this person because at least we aren’t supporting the US.

Lynn Prentice, the world’s greatest sysop, now also the world’s greatest solver of Middle East conflict:

As it stands, I’m starting to think that it would be an interesting case for an old imperialistic solution. Let their stable neighbours (ie not Syria) partition it along more rational lines and occupy it under a UN protectorate for a decade or so to stabilize the society. Charge the cost and a large profit to the US and UK taxpayers who were stupid enough to cause the problem.

So which stable neighbours of Syria and Iraq are you suggesting Lynn? I can only think of one…Israel, yeah like that is going to happen.

Tiger Mountain at The Standard thinks it is all a plot manufactured by the US:

this has been a textbook example of “manufacturing consent” at the behest of 5 Eyes and Uncle Sam, from snooping law changes, front page/TV news leading with gruesome IS videos, increased passport sanctions, a visiting Iraqi politician, to even the Westfield mall video that has been around for some time apparently, surfacing in msm on the very day cabinet was firming up a position!

The answer is to not participate in or support imperialist wars. To put diplomatic pressure on via the Security Council and trading partners to not support IS in any shape or form. To run a truly independent foreign and trading policy. To lavish aid on the vulnerable including various stripes of Kurds.

Read more »

Key refuses to release embargoed speech to media – media not trusted to spin it the right way

Golly.  Look how surly John Armstrong was yesterday

It is not common for the Prime Minister’s office to refuse to supply the news media with embargoed copies of a statement or speech containing a major announcement.

However, requests by media organisations for an early copy of John Key’s speech to Parliament confirming that New Zealand will be sending military personnel to Iraq to train local troops were rebuffed.

Rather than enabling them to have news stories ready to go the moment the embargo was lifted, the media – like everyone else – would have to wait until the Prime Minister spoke in the House.

In adopting such an approach, Key was seeking to go over the heads of the media and talk directly to New Zealanders about the reasons why such a deployment is necessary without his rationale being analysed and criticised before the public had actually heard that rationale.

You have to love the entitlement:  “Key was seeking to go over the heads of the media and talk directly to New Zealanders”.

The anger is palpable.   Read more »

As night follows day: Chicken Little Time

The Sky is Falling.

New Zealanders should brace themselves over the next few days for chilling threats aimed at civilians, trade and diplomatic interests after the decision to send troops to Iraq, a strategic analyst has warned.

Paul Buchanan said New Zealand was “raising our target profile” by making the announcement and the response would likely be swift.

“I think …within the next few days there will be a video and the Islamic State will threaten us directly and it will tell us what it intends to do to our citizens and our interests. That’s going to make for very sobering viewing,” he said.

“For New Zealanders travelling in the Middle East in particular, no matter what they’re doing – diplomats, aid workers, businessmen, students – they are now at clear and absolute risk.”

IS’s reach extended well beyond Iraq, Syria and Libya, meaning anyone should take due precautions.

“Tourists make the softest target …  if that’s what you have in mind.”

He said the tourist industry might like to “flag going to the Middle East any time soon” and direct tourists to other destinations.

IS would likely point out New Zealand was now part of the “enemy or Crusader coalition”.

“They exhort their people abroad to conduct attacks in the home countries.”

That could affect morale here in New Zealand.

Paul Buchannan is just making stuff up.   And he’s come up with so many scenarios, that when something does happen, even though his hit rate will be a few percent, he’ll be lauded as an expert even though he’s doing worse than Ken Ring.    Read more »

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Face of the day

 Andrew Little

Andrew Little

‘We should not send troops to Iraq’ – Andrew Little

Screen shot 2015-02-24 at 8.34.06 PM

Mr Key said Mr Little knew the numbers of New Zealanders considered possible risks as extremists had increased from 30-40 last year to 60-70 now. There was also a greater risk to travelling New Zealanders.

“But he says he’d do nothing. I don’t believe him. If it’s really true then you’d have to question whether he’d make the right decisions for New Zealand.”

He believed Mr Little’s objections were simply politicking and if it was in Government, it would have deployed the troops as the former Labour Government had sent engineers to Iraq and the SAS in a combat role to Afghanistan.

-NZ Herald

National cabinet to approve troops for Iraq today

The controversial issue has split Parliament – and even some of the Prime Minister’s allies are vehemently opposed to intervening in the Middle East.

A deployment would conclude months of increasingly bellicose rhetoric since the general election as John Key ramped up talk of New Zealand’s need to intervene.

Labour defence spokesman Phil Goff said it seemed Mr Key had privately decided months ago to deploy troops to fight Isis.

He said New Zealand’s Western allies, rather than the Iraqi government, were driving the push to send Kiwi troops to the Middle East.

“My problem, and the Labour Party’s problem, is the avenue Key has chosen is likely to be the least effective way of dealing with the problem.”

He said that was because the Iraqi army was corrupt, had a “pathetic” leadership and was itself a cause of sectarian tensions and subsequent grievances Isis used to win support.

Mr Goff said Isis needed to be contained and isolated, starved of funds, weapons and personnel, and its victims given help.

I don’t know about you, but I think we should send Phil Goff to sort this out.  He seems to know exactly what to do.   Read more »

Government expected to force a no-vote debate on troops to Iraq

They simply don’t have the numbers.

New Zealand is poised to join the war in Iraq with the deployment of Kiwi troops to the region to train local forces.

Cabinet is expected to agree in principle to the deployment on Monday after concerns were eased over the Iraqi Government’s refusal to sign a “status of forces” agreement setting out the legal status of the New Zealand troops.

Alternatives including “diplomatic passports with guns” or special military or official passports are understood to be under discussion and sources say they should provide the level of legal protection demanded by the New Zealand government as a condition of sending troops.

But the deployment is deeply opposed by Opposition parties who have warned that it could drag New Zealand into another long and bloody conflict, just two years after Kiwi troops were pulled from Bamyan, Afghanistan, a decade after the American invasion.

The divisions over Iraq are so deep Prime Minister John Key is likely to seek a Parliamentary debate without a vote, in stark contrast to 2003 when Helen Clark sought Parliament’s backing to send the SAS to Afghanistan. Read more »

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Sour grapes

The Fox and the Grapes

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei complained that she was overlooked by Angry Andrew for a position on the Intelligence and Security committee because of her sex. She had no proof of this claim apart from the fact that he gave the job to someone else.

He said that he didn’t choose her because he wanted someone with … ‘skills, understanding and experience’  which in her mind implied that she did not have these qualities. Certainly no one would raise an eye brow at his decision to appoint David Shearer given his background in international relations and aid. After all he did spend nearly 20 years working for the UN, managing the provision of aid to countries including Somalia, Rwanda, Liberia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq.No one could say that Andrew Little gave the position to some one less able and experienced than her. In fact the opposite is true as she has no international experience at all. Nothing, nada, nil, zero, nought.

Read more »