The awful thing that connects Jonah Lomu’s funeral with Terrorism

By   /   November 24, 2015  /   8 Comments

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There is an awful thing that connects Jonah Lomu’s funeral with Terrorism, it is Prime Minister John Key.

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There is an awful thing that connects Jonah Lomu’s funeral with Terrorism, it is Prime Minister John Key.

Just as Key is inappropriately using Jonah Lomu to pimp his flag change vanity project…

Andrew Little labels John Key ‘tasteless’ for saying Jonah Lomu tribute shows need for new flag
Labour leader Andrew Little has accused the Prime Minister of being “tasteless” after he suggested the Irish Examiner’s tribute to Jonah Lomu shows the country needs a new flag.

Appearing on Paul Henry, Key used the front page as a prop in his argument for a fern on the new flag.

…he is daring to use the recent massacre in Paris to justify his mass surveillance powers in New Zealand…

‘Threatening individuals’ under 24-hour surveillance – John Key
One or two New Zealanders on a terror watchlist are considered so threatening that they are being monitored every minute of the day, Prime Minister John Key says.

But the main concern to the Government are the potential terrorists who are not on the radar of New Zealand’s spy agencies, Mr Key told Radio New Zealand this morning.

All of the 40 people on the watchlist were linked to, or “on the periphery” of the Islamic State (ISIS), and were likely to be regularly reading the extremist group’s propaganda.

Mr Key said one or two of the people were “quite threatening individuals” and they were under 24-hour surveillance.

They were being watched both physically and electronically under new powers which were given to spy agencies a year ago.

…the sickest part of Key’s smug defence of mass surveillance is that these spying powers don’t work!

Paris is being used to justify agendas that had nothing to do with the attack
The aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks has now devolved into a dark and dishonest debate about how we should respond: let’s ban encryption, even though there’s no evidence the terrorists used it to carry out their crime, and let’s ban Syrian refugees, even though the attackers were neither.

It’s hard to overstate how disgusting it has been to watch, as proven-false rumors continue to be the basis for the entire political response, and technology ignorance and full-on xenophobia now dominate the discussion.

First, there’s the loud “we need to ban encryption” push that immediately spawned hundreds of articles and opinions strongly pushed by current and former intelligence officials the day or two after the attacks, despite the government quietly admitting there was no evidence that the attackers used encryption to communicate. It was a masterful PR coup: current and former intelligence officials got to sit through a series of fawning interviews on television where they were allowed to pin any of their failures on Edward Snowden and encryption – the bedrock of privacy and security for hundreds of millions of innocent people – with virtually no pushback, or any critical questions about their own conduct.

The entire encryption subject became a shiny scapegoat while the truth slowly trickled in: as of Tuesday, it was clear that American and/or French intelligence agencies had seven of the eight identified attackers on their radar prior to the attacks. The attackers used Facebook to communicate. The one phone found on the scene showed the terrorists had coordinated over unencrypted SMS text messages – just about the easiest form of communication to wiretap that exists today. (The supposed ringleader even did an interview in Isis’s English magazine in February bragging that he was already in Europe ready to attack.)

As an unnamed government official quoted by the Washington Post’s Brian Fung said, if surveillance laws are expanded the media will be partly to blame: “It seems like the media was just led around by the nose by law enforcement. [They are] taking advantage of a crisis where encryption hasn’t proven to have a role. It’s leading us in a less safe direction at a time when the world needs systems that are more secure.”

…so these terrorists were acting in the open with the knowledge of the surveillance services. Why does that mean we need to give Governments even more powers to spy on us when they can’t even use the information open to the public?

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And let’s not pretend that this is happening in some sort of vacuum. Climate change deepened the drought in Syria and Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia exploited American, Russian and Turkish interests. This culminates in country collapse, refugee explosion and out of control militant proxies.

Glenn Greenwald is damning…

The origins of ISIS are not even in dispute. TheWashington Post put it simply: “almost all of the leaders of the Islamic State are former Iraqi officers, including the members of its shadowy military and security committees, and the majority of its emirs and princes.” Even Tony Blair — Tony Blair — admits that there’d be no ISIS without the invasion of Iraq: “‘I think there are elements of truth in that,’ he said when asked whether the Iraq invasion had been the ‘principal cause’ of the rise of ISIS.” As The New Yorker’s John Cassidy put it in August:

By destroying the Iraqi state and setting off reverberations across the region that, ultimately, led to a civil war in Syria, the 2003 invasion created the conditions in which a movement like ISIS could thrive. And, by turning public opinion in the United States and other Western countries against anything that even suggests a prolonged military involvement in the Middle East, the war effectively precluded the possibility of a large-scale multinational effort to smash the self-styled caliphate.

Then there’s the related question of how ISIS has become so well-armed and powerful. There are many causes, but a leading one is the role played by the U.S. and its “allies in the region” (i.e., Gulf tyrannies) in arming themunwittingly or (in the case of its “allies in the region”otherwise, by dumping weapons and money into the region with little regard to where they go (even U.S. officials openly acknowledge that their own allies have funded ISIS). But the U.S.’s own once-secret documents strongly suggest U.S. complicity as well, albeit inadvertent, in the rise of ISIS, as powerfully demonstrated by this extraordinary four-minute clip of Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan with Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency:

…while John Pilger compares the rise of ISIS with the rise of the Khmer Rouge…

In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”. As Barack Obama wages his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and Francois Hollande promises a “merciless” attack on that ruined country, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders”. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B-52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu”, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck. The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They leveled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left giant necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told… That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.” A Finnish Government Commission of Inquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”. What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed. Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.

So we are seeding the monsters we are now decrying? Like we always have.

Meanwhile, who really benefits from manipulating this fear to give away more of our civil liberties?

Why the arms industry of course…

Stock Prices of Weapons Manufacturers Soaring Since Paris Attack
The Paris attacks took place on Friday night. Since then, France’s president has vowed “war” on ISIS and today significantly escalated the country’s bombing campaign in Syria (France has been bombing ISIS in Iraq since last January, and began bombing the group in Syria in September).

Already this morning, as Aaron Cantú noticed, the stocks of the leading weapons manufacturers — what is usually referred to as the “defense industry” — have soared:

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8 Comments

  1. Matthew says:

    Key using Lomu’s death to pimp his flag idea is easily the most tasteless offensive brainless thing he has done so far.
    & that is saying a lot… a whole lot….

  2. Mike the Lefty says:

    I heard Guy Espiner on Morning Report this morning “interviewing” John Key about the “terror suspects” he claimed were being watched 24 hours a day. They may as well have used Mike Hosking. Espiner just agreed with everything John Key said. Not once did he even ask Key to justify anything, or suggest that anything might have been done differently – as you would expect journalists to do.
    If the news media is not able to hold John Key and National to account over anything, then they are no b…. use at all.

  3. esoteric pineapples says:

    I’m glad people are starting to take notice of the global arms industry. It is one of the biggest industries in the world and a good part of many countries’ economies depend on it. The United States supplies half of the world’s arms. There are questions surrounding whether it could survive economically without arm sales.

    The population of Yemen is currently being pounded by the Saudi Arabian military supplied by United States arms, which is also destroying its ancient history –
    https://theintercept.com/2015/11/16/u-s-and-saudi-bombs-target-yemens-ancient-heritage/

  4. XRAY says:

    Oh yes, I shook my head, not in disbelief at Key but at the crass using little creep he is. Odds on he will he milk Jonah Lomu’s funeral for all its worth!

    But then again he will use anything and anyone to get whatever he wants. And like all uber millionares, he has the bank account to prove it.

  5. countryboy says:

    Ah, yes. Good old market forces at work . Seize any opportunity to sell ones idea. The charms of unconstrained capitalism.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if jonky just didn’t do things like that? Just for once, he projected himself as being a kind, noble and intelligent man. Instead, he has to fuck it up and be a wheedling minion to his Masters.

    Andrew Little talks eloquently about never conceding to fear. Is that what the people living in cars, sheds or under bridges tell their kids when one of them has the shits and the other has a chronic cough ?

    Living in constant poverty IS conceding to living in fear. All the time. Everyday. Non stop . Year in , year out… and it’s getting worse. In New Zealand for Gods sake. A huge country when measured against humans per hectare and well endowed with the most important riches. And we live in fear of Prime Minister John Key and his Honourable Ministers .

    If I were cynical ( hahahahahaha aa ) I’d say poor old Jonah Lomu’s funeral is as good an excuse for greed peddling and marketing opportunities as the Ch Ch earthquakes were/are.

    I like the direction Andrew Little’s going in. Direct confrontation mode. That’ll freak jonky out more than anything. There’s a huge tide of angry , frustrated and desperate people just out there braying for jonky’s blood . Andrew Little can give it to them if he can make expressing anger and rage fashionable again.

    ” A life lived in fear is a life half lived. “

    • Mike the Lefty says:

      Absolutely right CB! When Shonkey starts feeling the heat he resorts to his usual insults, name calling and smear tactics. The very few times he has been subject to hard questioning he has shown poor ability to keep a reasoned head. This is what we used to expect of our PM in the old days, we expected him/her to be a leader in all situations – not to lose his/her head and act like a hyperactive circus clown when under pressure.
      To John Key – if you can’t act like a PM in all situations, then get the f… out and give the post to someone who can! New Zealanders deserve better!

  6. Marcus says:

    Now we know the real reason why there will be a “state” memorial service for Jonah. So that John Key can use the event for political campaigning. The man must go through a lot of aqualungs because he always manages to descend to new depths.