Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Haphazardly to war

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  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Newsweek reckoned last month the Kurdish forces may be able to seize Mosul soon – and may not be too keen on handing it back to Iraq. That would be very, very messy.

    We MUST do something about the kurds! They're a threat to Kiwi travelers and worse than the nazis!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    interesting or possibly very depressing take on this by Gordon Campbell

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2015/02/25/gordon-campbell-are-nz-troops-the-least-of-iss-problems/

    If one was a gambling person I would bet against the coalition doing the right thing at the right time, as this entire situation underlines in more ways than one

    I am depressed we're sending a force, I am angered that our token effort to appease others is being touted as anything more than it is... the smallest amount of koha we thought we could get away with

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    Danyl Mclauchlan's latest Dim Post blog Off to Iraq argues that 'if Labour were in government our commitment to the latest US/UK adventure in Iraq would be pretty much identical' but 'the marketing would be different.'

    I think that ignores the elephant in the room: under MMP, with its most likely coalition partner, Labour would immediately cease to be in government if it tried to do anything of the sort. And better marketing wouldn't work, because the Greens' supporters aren't fooled by it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Nothing a bit of No8 wire can't fix right?

    Well the 16 Kiwis and the 130 odd (and diminishing or growing dependent on survival)
    will have plenty of that as they are behind the imaginary wire. The SAS will be there before we know it under some bullshit banner Key Inc. will wave. World War 3 minus a few Countries that have no arrangement with good guys USA. USA are always at war.They justify waterboarding and we are dragged into their War. Fucking brilliant. They caused this mess and here we are kissing their arse .
    Little, Goff, Shearer,and King all spoke yesterday against going so spiteful John and Danyl are wrong .This is not about Labour.None of them are Dictators like Key. They would not follow his footsteps. Key and his temper tantrums are his to own and his immaturity showed exactly how dangerous he is. He is a disgrace right now.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Labour would immediately cease to be in government if it tried to do anything of the sort. And better marketing wouldn’t work, because the Greens’ supporters aren’t fooled by it.

    Exactly!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Labour would immediately cease to be in government if it tried to do anything of the sort. And better marketing wouldn’t work, because the Greens’ supporters aren’t fooled by it.

    It would be a huge dilemma for the Greens, if they had policy wins they were delivering, and they had to choose to give them all up and probably put National back in power.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    I think that ignores the elephant in the room: under MMP, with its most likely coalition partner, Labour would immediately cease to be in government if it tried to do anything of the sort. And better marketing wouldn’t work, because the Greens’ supporters aren’t fooled by it.

    Do you think the Greens would pull the plug on their first term in government? Or simply and visibly vote against? I'm not sure.

    At any rate, in this alternative history, I think Labour would be more cautious. They know as well as National (who lie about it for political reasons) that Hager and Stephenson were right about what became of our Afghanistan deployment. Goff has actually acknowledged that Stephenson was right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    They wouldn't need the Greens support because they'd have the support of NACT as has happened before on these matters.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    There are posters discussing whether or not we should go into Iraq. That is a good discussion, and one we should have. But there's an equally important discussion, which we're perhaps moving into now, which is: "how do we as a nation decide whether we will participate in any given military action"?

    I'm pretty sure the answer shouldn't be "let's just leave it up to the PM." And that's what's really getting my goat right now.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    It's now official: New Zealand's foreign policy is written by IS(IS).

    "Hello, is that the 6 pm news? Here's today's murder clip, all ready to go. I think you'll like it, a real video nasty. Saves on paying journos, eh?"

    "Ooh, thank you. Keep 'em coming! Remember - reports on global human rights abuses never reach the Prime Minister's desk. Too many words. He's a big picture guy ... well, just a picture guy, in fact. Cut out the analysts and academics, they just make things complicated. Keep it simple. You record, we'll relay, he'll respond. Everybody wins!"

    What a lovely triangle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I'm pretty sure the answer shouldn't be "let's just leave it up to the PM." And that's what's really getting my goat right now.

    The bare minimum should be to put it to a vote in the House. Had Sabin not been "put out to graze" there would have, no doubt, been such a vote and Key would have won. Make of that what you will.
    Had the vote been held would we now be seeing a vote of no confidence?
    Unfortunately I think not, Key and co are above such petty indulgences.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Do you think the Greens would pull the plug on their first term in government?

    Yeah I do. I may have a lot of criticisms of the The Greens but frankly that would be too large a dead rat for them to swallow (many of them are vegetarians after all).

    Yes politically it would be bad for them to bring down the government. But as has been pointed out, simply voting against it wouldn't stop it and I really do think The Green would have the spine to stand up for their principles and bring the government down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to bob daktari,

    Ground Control to Major Offensive...

    nz-troops-the-least-of-iss-problems/

    We are being sent to come between the Russians and the Yanks on the International Space Station??? !!! ???
    That is close combat!

    That Max Key, he must be conscription age by now...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I’m pretty sure the answer shouldn’t be “let’s just leave it up to the PM.”

    Traditionally it has always been thus, and for good reason. The decision to go to war may need to be made quickly and as such the PM needs the power to make that call.

    That is one big reason amongst many to choose a PM who isn't a lying liar with no conscience or moral standards.

    However, if there is no urgent need to make that call quickly, historically governments have allowed parliamentary debate. It is just this government who has decided that democracy is not something they need to bother with unless they absolutely have to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    That's a good point. Mind you, is the decision to go to war ever made quickly these days?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    It would be a huge dilemma for the Greens, if they had policy wins they were delivering, and they had to choose to give them all up and probably put National back in power.

    Equally for Labour. Would it be more important to them to go into an unpopular and un-winnable war than to stay in government.

    There is no reason in the modern world why parliament should not approve any decision to send troops overseas, and indeed we should have legislation that requires that.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    In a putative Greens/Labour government, I'm not sure how things would pan out. I suspect that the nature of the deployment could be changed to humanitarian vs combat support (with a side-project of training). Or maybe the Greens would win the argument and the US would be told very politely "your mess, there's the mop, get to it".

    Would the Greens pull the plug on a coalition agreement ? I really don't know. I want Green ministers to roll out Green policy, and you have to weigh up the opportunity cost presented by walking away from that vs what amounts to providing moral support for a fey US attempt at fixing an omnishambles they deliberately and arrogantly created.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The government’s (and indeed the US/UKs) deployment of troops to Iraq lacks any plausible strategy as to how they might improve the situation.

    There are a few solutions that might work:
    - the 19th century approach would be to slaughter all the inhabitants down to the last goat and plant settlers on the land, ideally convicts not wanted anywhere else (see Tasmania)

    - the 20th century approach would be to set up an efficient police state, ban all forms of religious or political activity outside a state mosque of suitably moderate theology, and selectively shoot or jail any dissidents (see East Germany)

    A better, 21st century approach would be to isolate the area and in particular reduce our use of Saudi oil, destroying the political importance of the region as well as the primary source of funding for the extremists

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152608304801372&fref=nf

    Norman's speech would give an indication of the Green Party's position. Of course this may change if they choose a more 'flexible' blue/green co-leader.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    This was in my reading list yesterday evening

    http://www.vox.com/2015/2/23/8085197/is-isis-losing

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    Wasn't the decision to contribute troops in Afghanistan the reason Labour's coalition partner, the Alliance, blew up? Most of the members couldn't cope with being on the same side as the Great Satan, as the Ayatollah Khomeini called the US.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The US fracking revolution is undermining the role of Saudi Arabia as an oil producer, that's the key reason the Saudis are pumping as much as they can - to depress the oil price and reduce future investment in fracked wells. There's a significant debate as to whether this is an effective strategy because some argue the cost of fracking is going down all the time and many wells are now much cheaper to move into production than in even the recent past.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tinakori,

    The US fracking revolution is undermining the role of Saudi Arabia as an oil producer, that’s the key reason the Saudis are pumping as much as they can – to depress the oil price and reduce future investment in fracked wells.

    Which is also having the interesting side-effect of further undermining the already dysfunctional Russian economy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    The decision was probably quickly made - but it's taken a couple of months to publicly announce it. They should've gone to parliament months ago before Sabin quit. No wonder Sabin took so long to go and Key initially denied knowledge of an assault (alleged).

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    The positive aspect of that article is the whole apostasy thing.

    If I understand correctly, if somebody calls you an apostate then either they're right in which case they have to kill you, or they're wrong, in which case they are considered apostate and you have to kill them.

    Given blokes, this probably happens at least four times a year, per capita. So the population will halve every three months, implying that 8 million people will take about 23/4 = six years before dying back to one individual, who would clearly be very holy indeed.

    At which point we could send Willie Apiata to shoot him in the head.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

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