Iraq

Cunliffe’s changing stance on Iraq

Iraq is a basket case.

The left wing lobbied for years for US withdrawal and once that happened the inevitable sectarian violence erupted. Basically though Iraq is destined to split into 3 parts. The Kurds in the north, and a Sunni, Shia split for the rest.

David Cunliffe though is hedging his bets.

Here is what he said last Friday.

He said the situation is complex and he wasn’t ruling any actions in or out.

Then On Saturday we got the inevitable David Cunliffe flip flop. He says no way to troops, no way ever.  Read more »

Mitchell Muscles up on Dodgy Dotcom

Mark Mitchell has accused Kim Dotcom  of meddling in our parliament under parliamentary privilege today.

He outlines an altercation last year where  Kim Dotcom made threats against the Prime Minister. Mark is no sook, he’s stood up to scumbags like Joseph Kony, Victor Bout, Muqtada al-Sadr, all of whom came off second best. The incident in An Nasiriyah was perhaps the most brutal:

The closest Mitchell and his men came to being killed was in 2004, during a five-day siege of the An Nasiriyah compound, home to diplomats, officials, coalition forces and security staff.

The uprising Shi’a militia, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, was putting coalition forces under pressure across the country. The Italian-controlled compound was surrounded and under sustained attack. Mitchell was charged with defending it.

“They’d hit us during the day with mortar fire, and at night mount a physical attack. My team’s responsibility was the roof. We were very exposed. It was hot, dusty. We didn’t get much sleep and we had to ration our food. I saw every human emotion over those days.”

Armed with AK47s and two 50-calibre machine guns, they kept the militia at bay until coalition forces regained control. Their efforts would later be rewarded with a commendation from the Italian government.

The compound was evacuated and within 48 hours, Mitchell was having a barbecue and talking to his neighbours in Taupo. “That was surreal. I couldn’t really talk to people about it, as it was hard to comprehend.”

Did he kill anyone? “We were fighting for our lives, and the lives of the diplomats. There were casualties on both sides.” That’s all he’ll say on the matter.

During the siege, Mitchell worked closely with British Governor Rory Stewart, who headed the compound’s diplomat contingent. Stewart has made the leap into politics, and is a Conservative MP for Penrith, England. Stewart wrote a book on his time in Iraq, and Brad Pitt’s production company has bought the rights to his story.

So who’ll play Mitchell in the movie? “I’m hoping George Clooney, rather than Danny de Vito.’

He’s certainly not afraid of an overweight sour Kraut.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

The Associated Press: Jean-Marc Bouju / March 31, 2003.

The Associated Press: Jean-Marc Bouju / March 31, 2003

War Prisoner Holds Distraught Son

 

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A good politician

A straight forward apology and carrying the cost.

Iraq’s transport minister apologised for a row in which a Lebanese airliner en route to Baghdad was ordered to turn back mid-flight to pick up his son.

Hadi al-Ameri pledged to turn his son in if an Iraqi investigation found he had carried out any wrongdoing and insisted he would personally bear the costs of the Middle East Airlines flight having to turn around while travelling from Beirut to Baghdad.  Read more »

Friday nightCap

Oh dear, how sad, never mind. Suicide Bomb Instructor blows up his Iraqi Pupils

Promoted from the General Debate.

A suicide bomber instructor took his job literally and took out his entire class. Let me just take a moment to…oh stuff it…good job.

A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives, army and police officials said.

The militants belonged to a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which is fighting the Shiite-dominated army of the Iraqi government, mostly in Anbar Province. But they are also linked to bomb attacks elsewhere and other fighting that has thrown Iraq deeper into sectarian violence.

Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara, according to the police and army officials. Stores of other explosive devices and heavy weapons were also kept there, the officials said.

Eight militants were arrested when they tried to escape, the officials said.

The militant who was conducting the training was not identified by name, but he was described by an Iraqi Army officer as a prolific recruiter who was “able to kill the bad guys for once.”  Read more »

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Green Taliban are looking into this: the Iraqi Patriot Missile Defense System

Has he forgotten his campaign slogan?

Barack Obama reckons that the US cannot turn a ‘blind eye’ to Syria.

Has he forgotten his campaign slogan?

barack-obama-yes-we-can-2 copy

In his weekly address to the nation, President Obama said: “There’s a reason governments representing 98 per cent of the world’s people have agreed to ban the use of chemical weapons.  Read more »

Land of the free is governed by a pack of ratbags.

It looks like the Seppos no longer trust their politicians and feel like they are governed by a bunch of unaccountable ratbags.

This is a particularly bad time to sell the American people a war, and make no mistake: we are being sold, and this “military action,” in another time and place — and in some quarters, here and now — would be called an act of war.

mericans are not only weary of war, they’re weary of the politicians who commit us to it.

According to Gallup, only 10 percent of Americans now have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, a record low since Gallup started tracking the measure in 1973.

Only 36 percent have the same level of confidence in the presidency.  Read more »

Will Shearer leave parliament?

shearer

David Shearer must be a broken man, even if he is on full pay while on gardening leave. TV3 revealed that his supposed caucus mates let him leap in front of the proverbial bus so they could knife him the next day.

Betrayal wouldn’t be too strong a word for what they did to him. Read more »