Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Haphazardly to war

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    ...a monitoring dish in the middle of Australia.

    That reinforces my 'geographically useful idiots/allies theory, though...
    It's a Rum Jungle there indeed...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Really?

    Russell, It's James. Of course not really. Fact free and happy.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    out there in the real world.

    parallel universe of unknown origin...maybe

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You'd have to consider that more survey respondents are likely to give frank answers to such a survey in places like Britain and France (where more people approved of IS than the percentage of Muslims in those countries, albeit before their atrocities got much publicity) than in dictatorships like Egypt or Saudi.

    Not to mention that 5% is a lot of support for an insurgent movement. 400 or so IRA fighters kept 30,000 UK security force members busy for thirty years.

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

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Not to mention that 5% is a lot of support for an insurgent movement.

    Maybe so, but it's a long way short of:

    despite the bulldust the hacks around here push these guys are immensely popular throughout the Arab speaking nations

    I wouldn't call anything with even 5% support "immensely popular".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    By the bye, Bradley Ambrose is taking John Key to trial for defamation, Feb 2016. From memory, Key didn't say those things in Parliament so no protection of privilege there.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Uh, this isn't a really good environment to be entering, is it?

    The Iraqi military launched a major campaign to take back a key city from the self-proclaimed Islamic State over the weekend—a move that caught the U.S. “by surprise,” in the words of one American government official.

    The U.S.-led coalition forces that have conducted seven months of airstrikes on Iraq’s behalf did not participate in the attack, defense officials told The Daily Beast, and the American military has no plans to chip in.

    Instead, embedded Iranian advisors and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are taking part in the offensive on the largely Sunni town, raising the prospect that the fight to beat back ISIS could become a sectarian war.

    The news is the latest indication that not all is well with the American effort against the terror group. On Friday, U.S. defense officials told The Daily Beast that a planned offensive against the ISIS stronghold of Mosul had been indefinitely postponed. Over the weekend, an American-backed rebel group in Syria announced that it was dissolving, and joining an Islamist faction.

    Then there was the unexpected battle for Tikrit. Over the weekend, a reported 30,000 troops and militiamen—mostly Shiites —stormed the Sunni dominated city of Tikrit, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s hometown and the symbolic birthplace of his three decades of repressive practices against the majority Shiite population.

    U.S. officials were largely left in the dark of the planning and timing of the operation, defense officials said. The Pentagon said Monday it was not conducting airstrikes in support of the Tikrit offensive because the Iraqi government did not ask for such help.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    I heard this and and I thought - Key making deals with the devil in our name - wonder how long it is before his debt is called in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Maybe the Iraqi army has been trained enough after all. Or radicalized or whatever the latest word for fucked-up is.

    It's going to be great fun for our troops supporting and training an army that won't even tell them when or where it's going to fight. Let alone that we've long since lost track of what or who they're fighting for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's just surreal right?

    The assault on Tikrit (homeland of Saddam and the Baathists etc) is being led by the head of the Badr militia, who literally fought for Iran during the Iran/Iraq war, who is being 'advised' by the Iranian Quds forces most famous general. And the PM is asking Tikrit tribes to 'just chill, you'll be fine, and BTW this is your last chance to support the government '.

    That unity unicorn better show up soon.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    I wouldn’t call anything with even 5% support “immensely popular”

    To put it in context, it's considerably less popular than Al Qaeda has generally been in those countries.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    It’s just surreal right?

    It's crazy. And remember, there is no Status of Forces Agreement for our troops. There's so much wrong here, and that's just what we can see from the other side of the world.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    From Bloomberg:

    Shiite militias are backing up police and army soldiers, according to state-run al-Iraqiyah television. Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, arrived two days ago to “review and advise” Iraqi field commanders, the Fars news agency reported on Monday.

    And:

    There’s been no air cover because “the Iraqis haven’t requested any,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Monday. Major General Emad al-Zahiri, commander of Samarra military operations for the Iraqi army, said by phone that the defense ministry or army command were responsible for deciding whether to ask for air support.

    Naim al-Aboudi, a spokesman for the Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, one of the main forces fighting around Tikrit, said that “the U.S.-led coalition has never decisively ended any battle.”

    “We don’t trust the coalition and we don’t need their help,” he said by phone.

    There's no way all this could bow up in anyone's face, is there?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    It seems that EVERBODY is pissed off with IS.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    It's looking like a total mess. NYT

    On Monday, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian spymaster who once directed the militias’ deadly campaign against American forces in Iraq, was on the ground near Tikrit, according to a prominent Iraqi militia leader and the Iranian Fars news agency.
    Among the nearly 30,000 fighters involved in the Tikrit operation were an estimated 700 to 1,000 Sunni tribal fighters, according to Iraqi officials.
    .... some Iraqi officials have referred to the new operation as revenge for the Shiite victims of a massacre last summer in Tikrit by the Islamic State, raising the likelihood of violent score-settling. In a gruesome tableau that was publicized in videos and photographs by the Islamic State, militants — possibly aided by local Sunni tribesmen — slaughtered more than 1,000 Shiite soldiers from a nearby military base, Camp Speicher.

    Who and where will NZers be 'training'?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to william blake,

    It seems that EVERBODY is pissed off with IS.

    Keep your Sunni side up up.
    Keep your Sunni side up
    We are all right
    but the rest are Shiite
    So keep your Sunni side up.

    T’other’s

    We are talking the Levant here

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

  • william blake,

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/03/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-idUSKBN0LZ10Q20150303

    Reuters distancing American involvement, and suggesting reprisal executions would be counterproductive in strategic objective of taking Mosul but forgetting to mention that if performed would be war crimes.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Can they punch him in the face for good measure?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Anybody who thinks Key is in Saudi Arabia for trade talks that will benefit NZ and that sending troops to Iraq is a step in the right direction is sadly mistaken.
    He is on a fools errand.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Key bored warrior?

    Anybody who thinks Key is in Saudi Arabia for trade talks that will benefit NZ and that sending troops to Iraq is a step in the right direction is sadly mistaken.

    Just a reminder about the efficacy of our 'ally's' approach to war - the drone strike - you know the ones that John Key has said he is 'comfortable with':
    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/24/-sp-us-drone-strikes-kill-1147

    41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground

    and this just in:

    As Gulf States warplanes pound Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, Prime Minister John Key says he "understands" the use of force.
    Key met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. The royal is a general and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates forces.
    ...
    Key was effusive about the billionaire prince. "I thought the Crown Prince was frankly one of the most impressive leaders i have met in a very long period of time," he said.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68083137/john-key-understands-gulf-states-use-of-force-against-houthi-rebels

    Well that's one in the eye for the Queen and Obama...
    Key has a bad case of the 'sheikhs'...

    So he understands ' the use of force' when it involves money, but not waitresses...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Denial gets head
    "I never had trade with that country, but now I will, have a cigar, let's sellabrate
    Sounds like bait from the orders of the Master Baiters.
    The Key issue, and I am not talking about his sister, Anna, from the UK, is that power will always corrupt.
    Just care.
    That is all we really need.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    But Wait, There is more

    A little history will never go amiss.....

    I actually lived though this and still have friends that were part of it, most if them feel bad about it but some still feel justified.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Loose Lips...
    ...or is it just another louche lapse?
    Key gives away troop movement information in arguably the worst place in the world to be giving secure transit information away - where and when it could be useful to an enemy.
    He then has the temerity to laugh it off and compare their travel plans as being the same as his somehow - the man is a liability...

    New Zealand troops are in Dubai on their way to Iraq - but Prime Minister John Key says that's not "newsworthy".
    In an interview with a Dubai newspaper, he confirmed some of the 143 personnel joining the fight against Islamic State are in the Gulf State.
    But when quizzed by New Zealand journalists in Riyadh on Wednesday, Key was vague. He said they were "transitting" but couldn't say exactly for how long.
    "They go in tranches, it's not big news, that's just a transit stopover point, so the probability of them being there for a few days is quite high," he said. "I'm guessing some of them are there...but not in massive numbers. Some are in Baghdad or in [Iraq]'s] Taji [base] and some are back in New Zealand...I just don't think it is new news that they have a transit stop. It's like saying I go to London and I stop off in LA."

    see: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68146707/nz-troops-in-dubai-but-john-key-says-they-are-just-in-transit

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

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