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What have we done?

By   /  October 11, 2014  /  29 Comments

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I really had rather hoped that I wouldn’t be writing this so soon after the General Election, but here we are.

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I really had rather hoped that I wouldn’t be writing this so soon after the General Election, but here we are.

John Key and National did not campaign on sending New Zealanders to war, committing our country to a battle that is so much bigger than ISIS. I never once heard any of them mention it, but of course they were lying. Clearly the intention all along was to send troops, as I believe this to be part of our “5 eyes” obligation that John Key has us tied up in, where he has to keep his masters happy at the sacrifice of our country’s reputation. ISIS are not your average type of terrorist, these guys are the worst of the extreme, they are lawless, ruthless, and they are many. New Zealand could now be fairly and squarely in their sights if and when John Key sends in our troops. Mark my words, this country will be forever damaged after that. All we need to do is look to Britain, Australia and the USA and look how their involvement in other countries wars has led to a surge in terrorist activity at home. They have become targets of hate now, it has changed the way its citizens live their lives, forever. And it will continue as terrorist’s become smarter and more invisible.

So let me ask you this National voters, as you were the ones who gave John Key his mandate to commit to war, do you really believe that it won’t bring terrorism here? (Please tell me you thought about this before voting!) It will, history shows us it will.

National has officially been in power for two days, and look what is already on the table – war. Imagine what could be next. I live in utter dread at the thought of what massive irreparable international damage this once strong, bold and proud country will endure under this National Government, never mind the cost to us, the citizens. I still find it hard to believe that the country I love and it’s people chose this. What have we done…..we’re about to find out.

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29 Comments

  1. sansa says:

    Well they are about to massacre thousands of innocents in Kobani, and you are scared of terrorism here?

    I’m sure your fears are so much more genuine than those of the woman and children actually facing death.

    Isolationist foreign policy achieves nothing, it’s simple moral cowardice.

    • Samantha Anderson says:

      It is not up to one man who loves power to decide our country’s fate. At the very least it needs to be a cross party decision not just National’s. And please don’t assume I don’t care.

    • blue leopard says:

      Hi Sansa

      Ignoring aggressive foreign policy that has been wrapped up in sugar coated disinformation isn’t the constructive way forward.

      In fact, aggressive foreign policies are largely what have been causing the problems being discussed currently and when one reads up on the subject the though can’t help rising: that it is a credit to human nature that there isn’t more of a problem with terrorism

      Please check out these very easy-to-read summaries that I have linked to. They illustrate what I am talking about.

      http://williamblum.org/books/rogue-state

      http://williamblum.org/books/killing-hope#toc

  2. Greg C says:

    Hi,

    Not a national voter – green actually – but let me just say that we cannot simply allow ourselves to be scared off from taking a stand by the brutality and potential response of an enemy.

    Yes ISIS / ISIL is a monster. Yes they may well respond. And yes it may cost us dearly. But to walk away out of cowardice is worse. It should be a blight on our very souls. You never allow innocents to die without at least trying to help. And you never run away from bullies.

    Having said that I have no idea whether going to war is the right thing to do. Only the certainty that the reasons you have suggested for not doing so are reasons that we can never accept.

    Cheers, Greg.

    • Samantha Anderson says:

      More war? How has that worked so far? Surely there are other options than more death and destruction. More troops will not stop this juggernaut. It will just move and carry on.

      • sansa says:

        So what alternative action do you actually propose. You know something that will actually stop them from massacring an entire city.

    • Dean says:

      I think you are right. Freedom is not free, and the world is a small place.

    • Dialey says:

      Ah, but which brutality is “bad” and which is “good”. If it’s beheadings that people are (rightfully) disgusted at, then surely we should take a stance against every country that performs them. What about the electric chair, or lethal injection, surely those are also appalling brutalities? We cannot be selective about where abominations must be punished and where we just turn our heads, because it is a strategic ally (or oil supplier) who performs them.

      If more effort and money where to put towards really making the United Nations an effective world voice…
      If the huge expenditure of the western nations that goes towards the manufacture of arms were instead put towards improving the lot of the the poorer nations – sanitation, health, poverty, education…
      The world could be better, but it needs small nations like ours to start the change of thinking, by speaking against the big brothers and the bullies and refusing to join in their nasty little wars, where only the innocent suffer and only the wealthy benefit.

  3. uncle tom says:

    “ISIS are not your average type of terrorist, these guys are the worst of the extreme, they are lawless, ruthless, and they are many”…Therefore what do we do? Leave the Kurds, Yezidis, etc to deal with these terrorists whilst they are crying out for help?

    • blue leopard says:

      Hi Uncle Tom,

      I would be a lot happier if the causes of the increasing levels of terrorism were being honestly acknowledged and addressed.

      How about if it were stipulated that prior to any intervention that Western interests (probably more like international corporate interests) were actually made to acknowledge and be held to account for their destructive and degrading attitudes and ensuing activities. Their simple-minded focus on profit that ignores all wider consequences has been well and truly proven to be dangerous and destructive on many levels. How about this issue gets addressed?

      How about having an agreement that foreign companies are disallowed to gain any contracts with the countries involved after the war in order to remove the serious moral hazard going on.

      And a discussion over all the profits being enjoyed by the weapons industry needs to be had, too, because there is serious moral hazard occurring in that area too. Perhaps these profits need to be commandeered and channeled into something constructive for the countries that have been destabilized by the illegal wars and operations that Western interests have been conducting for many, many decades now?

      These are just ideas off the top of my head. Perhaps others have better ideas.

      While the causes of the increased terrorism keep being ignored, going in and bombing the shit out of countries is simply exacerbating the problem.

      Perhaps it could be agreed that some of the land ‘won’ by the ‘terrorists’ could be ceded to them and diplomatic channels could then be pursued? That approach would probably stop the atrocities pretty quickly, it would at the worst not add more killing and destruction to the affected lands.

      At the very least American (and British?) military need to absolutely promise that they will, at the very, very, very, very, very least promise to stop going into other countries and training people in their black arts because time and again, those trained end up turning against their trainers and becoming the new ‘terrorists’.

      Could we at least learn from the negative consequences Western powers have created, rather than create them them over, and over, and over [infinite loop] again?

      If governments had actually been considering the consequences of their military actions on their own people prior to whole-sale selling out to immoral corporate profit-making agendas, then we wouldn’t be in the mess we were now in.

      So it is about time these type of considerations were taken into account.

    • Mark says:

      So you are going to fix the problems of the middle east created by the Americans. Got Turkey on board, Russia, Germany. No didn’t think so. This is one gigantic mess and has no solution that involves us. If you want to go and fight in the middle east by all means go. But as armies have found for over 1000 years you will only make it worst. America caused all the problems in the middle east and now wants our help to make it worst.

    • Dialey says:

      What the hell is an average terrorist. Today’s is only yesterday’s freedom fighter. The greatest spreader of terror in the world today is the USA

  4. mary_a says:

    Well said Samantha. You are correct, despite winning the election, FJK was not given a mandate to take NZ into war! In fact, when questioned on the issue prior to the election, he said it’s unlikely NZ will become involved! In true form, FJK lied again!

    My take on this situation is this. As far as I know, at present NZ is not being threatened by any outside terrorist organization.

    Send Kiwi troops in to do battle with IS and the threats and intimidation will start and come with possible ugly consequences, specifically aimed at NZ citizens, domiciled here and overseas.

    It’s not our war. The US and the UK destabilized the area, let them go in and sort out the nasty mess they created!

    The domestic safety and well being of Kiwis should always be government’s top priority.

    But not with FJK, because his own ego won’t let him. He wants to ingratiate himself to his US masters, who will reward him handsomely no doubt, while at the same time NZ becomes yet another target for IS intimidation and violence!

  5. mike says:

    You know that five eyes has been in effect for many more years than the current government has been in power don’t you?

  6. Bob says:

    NZ goes to war in Middle East, results in Terrorist acts in NZ, means we obviously need all that surveillance and that any criticism is de-facto support for Terrorism…very tidy. In neo-liberal Politics every action is designed to create a reaction that fulfills another purpose. Oh dear – I sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist.

    • Mark says:

      I think if Isis decides to come after Kiwis, we should offer some “National” supporters as sacrificial lambs. Its a win-win solution. Ticks all the boxes for me.

  7. cleangreen says:

    Bob you are right,

    This was the way the propaganda machine in Germany sold acceptance of war to the German population before 1939.

    So we shouldn’t be surprised the Governments are using this triad and true successful shock and fear tactical element again as they prepare us all for another global war.

  8. Greg C says:

    Hi Sam,

    So not the point. As I said the point is that we can not ever allow ourselves to give in because of threats / fears of violence. And that’s what your OP advocates. Staying out of it because ISIS / ISIL might come and attack us.

    I do not doubt that there are other ways of handling this situation. Blue Leopard makes a number of excellent suggestions. I only say that fear cannot be on the table as a reason when we make this decision.

    It’s an old truism. You give into bullies, they get stronger and pretty soon your life becomes a living hell. You don’t stand beside your friends when they need you, pretty soon you find you don’t have any friends, and when the time comes and you need them to stand beside you, they aren’t there.

    Hi Mary,

    It is our war. These are bad people doing bad things to innocent people. And you want to stand by and ignore that? What’s that phrase? – All that’s need for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    And how could we even call ourselves good men if we did that?

    Look, like it or not we have a moral responsibility to act. Whether that means going to war or taking some other action I don’t know. But we can’t just wash our hand of it and pretend it’s not our fight.

    Besides how would it be if every other country did the same, no one did anything, and the bad guys had a simple march to power? At what point would you wish that someone had done some thing? At the point where they were beheading your family for not supporting their caliphate?

    Also, though I hate to say it – we did give John Key a mandate to take us to war. We voted for him, made him Prime Minister, and that is one of their duties. Another reason why voting should be taken so seriously.

    Lastly

    “In self-defense and in defense of the innocent, cowardice is the only sin.”
    – Dean Koontz

    Cheers, Greg.

    • The Daily Blog Martyn Bradbury says:

      The simplistic nature of your position that bad guys do bad things made my morning Greg.

      If war is the answer, you’ve asked the wrong question.

      • Greg C says:

        Hi Martyn,

        Glad to have made your morning.

        But in the end it is simple. Yes we can sit there and blame all sorts of factors for ISIS / ISIL being as they are. And they probably begin with the US and years of war and struggle against dictatorships. But where it begins doesn’t matter.

        Ask yourself this. If a gang member was attacking your family would you really be saying well that’s all right? You grew up in a deprived household with domestic violence etc etc? Because while that may well be true, it doesn’t make a single bit of difference. He’s still attacking your family.

        This is unfortunately no different. Where these people came from doesn’t matter. Blame all the factors and countries you want. How does that help the victims? And there are so many victims. ISIS / ISIL is still murdering and killing innocent civilians and prisoners, abducting women, wiping out villages and running what amounts to a pogrom against anyone not of their particular faith / tribe. And if they should win the cost to Iraqi and Syrian civilians will be terrible. They are the next Khmir Rouge.

        But lets look at this another way. Lets look at what’s already been done. The air strikes by the US allowed the yazidi refugees forced from their homes and trapped on a mountain to escape to safety. They’ve given many others the chance to flee as well. Would you have preferred that the US did not act and they died?

        Yes I am simple, but this is unfortunately a simple thing. And I know that war will not solve the underlying problems, that it’s only a short term fix at best, and that it will cost lives. But at some point you have to take a stand for what you believe in. And if you believe in saving civilians than that means stopping by force those who would harm them.

        Unless of course you’d rather try to understand them. Adress the root cause of the issue through diplomacy and negotiation, and in ten or twenty years when they’ve finally grown tired of killing, claim some sort of success. Perhaps place a monument to enlightenment and peace on the mass graveyards of those you did nothing to save.

        Sorry for the sarcasm, but it does seem appropriate.

        Cheers, Greg.

        • The Daily Blog Martyn Bradbury says:

          But in the end it is simple. Yes we can sit there and blame all sorts of factors for ISIS / ISIL being as they are. And they probably begin with the US and years of war and struggle against dictatorships. But where it begins doesn’t matter.

          And that is your first mistake Greg, because if you don’t understand how these things occurred, you are doomed to repeat them. When the CIA empowered the most religious fanatics in the Afghanistan war against the Soviets, those fanatical elements went onto become Al Queda. When the CIA empowered Saddam Hussien to gas Iranians, they then pretended to not know where those weapons of mass destruction had come from and invaded Iraq on the basis of a lie. When the power vacuum occurred because of the West fucking around in Iraq and IS erupted out of that, we now have you demanding action while ignoring the past. I think your viewpoint is the most dangerous because it shows the kind or arrogance and wilful ignorance that keeps causing these radicalised elements empowered.

          Ask yourself this. If a gang member was attacking your family would you really be saying well that’s all right? You grew up in a deprived household with domestic violence etc etc? Because while that may well be true, it doesn’t make a single bit of difference. He’s still attacking your family.

          Are you serious? Let me get this completely straight Greg, you are attempting to argue for war in a region as complex as Iraq and Syria based on the petty ‘what if a gang member was beating up your family’? Really? That’s your argument? I’m wasting my time here.

          Here is a very short and tiny insight into the complexity of this region – could you PLEASE read this before commenting again.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/united-states/news/article.cfm?l_id=110&objectid=11341273

          Please explain to us all how your ridiculous ‘if a gang member blah blah blah’ argument solves the complexities between tHe Saudis and Turks funding IS and how this action puts us ion the side of the Syrians who have tortured to death over 10 000 of their own civilians. Please, for the comedy value alone.

          This is unfortunately no different. Where these people came from doesn’t matter. Blame all the factors and countries you want. How does that help the victims? And there are so many victims. ISIS / ISIL is still murdering and killing innocent civilians and prisoners, abducting women, wiping out villages and running what amounts to a pogrom against anyone not of their particular faith / tribe. And if they should win the cost to Iraqi and Syrian civilians will be terrible. They are the next Khmir Rouge.

          LOL – and how did the Khmer come about again Greg? Wasn’t it the US secretly bombing Cambodia flat that terrorised the locals, destabilised the region and led to Government collapse that created a vacuum that the Khmer Rouge exploited? I also love how your concern is now the Syrian people, you do understand we will be siding with Assad right? The bloke who has tortured to death tens of thousands of his own people? You don’t seem to be very conceded about all those tortured to death civilians Greg. That’s a tad selective isn’t it?

          But lets look at this another way. Lets look at what’s already been done. The air strikes by the US allowed the yazidi refugees forced from their homes and trapped on a mountain to escape to safety. They’ve given many others the chance to flee as well. Would you have preferred that the US did not act and they died?

          And how many civilians have been killed by the US drone strike operations as well then Greg? Those deaths are collateral damage are they?

          Yes I am simple, but this is unfortunately a simple thing. And I know that war will not solve the underlying problems, that it’s only a short term fix at best, and that it will cost lives. But at some point you have to take a stand for what you believe in. And if you believe in saving civilians than that means stopping by force those who would harm them.

          Oh for Gods sake, read the bloody link I posted and tell us again how simple all is.

          Unless of course you’d rather try to understand them. Adress the root cause of the issue through diplomacy and negotiation, and in ten or twenty years when they’ve finally grown tired of killing, claim some sort of success. Perhaps place a monument to enlightenment and peace on the mass graveyards of those you did nothing to save.

          That is the exact thing we should be looking at doing, because to dart our arrogance and playing god in these regions has created the radicalisation that keeps empowering these groups.

          Sorry for the sarcasm, but it does seem appropriate.

          No probs, I’ve served it back with the contempt your opinion deserves.

          • Greg C says:

            Hi Martyn,

            No problem. Have read the piece you provided – nothing particularly new in it I’m afraid. But if I can boil your response down to its main thrusts.

            1 The war is not going well at present. What else is new?
            2 The region is complex with dozens if not hundreds of competing factions all with their own agendas. (And we don’t want to support the Assad regime.)
            3 The long history of external involvement in Asian and more latterly Arabian wars has been a disaster creating and sustaining more radicalised terror groups.

            Now is any one of these things a legitimate reason not to act in some way when people are being slaughtered? Well no.

            1 The war going badly is a reason to start thinking about how it’s being fought, the objectives it’s looking at etc. And by some tokens it has gone very well. Try and tell the tens of thousands of Yazidi, Christians and other minorities now still alive even if they have suffered forced repatriation and are living in refuge camps that the US etc should have left them to die.

            2 The region is complex and any action risks having unintended consequences. But again is this a reason just to put up a sign – abandon all hope all ye who enter here – and run away? No it’s a reason to consider actions specifically for their intended outcomes and potential downstream problems, to limit what is done to specific objectives that can be achieved.

            3 The long history of the west’s involvement in other countries has been a disater. Yes. Agreed. So lets look at this in a little more detail.

            Cambodia and the creation of the Khmir Rouge. Absolutely caused by six or seven years of illegally bombing of a country, destroying its entire power structure, not to mention killing hundreds of thousands people, destroying infrastructure and cities. No argument. But also the war was never fought with any care or consideration for the results, and there was no concern for the disaster of the killing fields that would follow. Nor was there any attempt to fix the mess that had been created. This was purely a geopolitical conflict where the US and the USSR were trying to dominate one another, and everyone else got screwed. No one ever intended for it not to be a disaster. So it’s not really relevant here.

            Gulf war one. Another mess, caused by having an initial goal and then shifting it. The goal was to free Kuwait. Then it became regime change through empowering other groups and promising them hope, and then it became abandoning them. Clearly none of the unintended consequences like Sodamn Insane tearing apart those who had rebelled would have happened if that initial goal had been stuck to. You had an invasion of a country – a violation of UN charters, sending the invaders packing should have been the beginning and the end of it. Had they done that Sodamn would have been left bloodied and bruised, humiliated on a world stage, and the rest would not have followed. So yeah, whatever action is taken needs clear goals, and it needs to stick to them.

            Afghanistan – a shining beacon of failure in creating stability. But it wasn’t brought about to create a new stable government. Lets be honest, it was a reaction to 911 and three thousand dead civilians. At the time I recall my main fear being that the US would nuke them, so in that light it has worked out well. And if its limited Al queda – which I don’t know that it has, though it has at least limited the support the Taliban could give them, so much the better.

            Gulf war two – well what can you say? A stupid president with no understanding of the situation on the ground, getting bad advice and believing that the people were somehow crying out for democracy. Unbelievable idiocy from start to finish, and done for no reason that I can see. It achieved no sustainable goals, but then its goals were never achievable and you average idiot would have known that.

            But is this that? No. Here we have a simple (and yes I use that word deliberately) case of an aggressive enemy, committing atrocities and trying to take over parts of two countries by the most barbaric means available, and the goal has to be to stop him. It has to be about saving lives.

            Now arguments about the wisdom of arming other factions are well put. I agree with them. I’m not sure we should be arming either the Kurds or the moderate Syrian rebels. The long term consequences could be bad. But does that mean we should not be using things like air power to stop or slow advances of ISIS / ISIL so that civilians can flee and those opposition forces can regroup? No.

            No one is advocating, and I am certainly not advocating, all out war. I am advocating limited action – and it would not even have to be war if there were another way that might work – to save civilians and push humanitarian goals.

            I do not actually see a short term victory against ISIS / ISIL. I do not see western power as being capable of overthrowing them. In the long term that will only be achieved by the people themselves – if it can ever be achieved. And they may well create their caliphate and destroy the lives of millions along the way.

            And longer term we have to get out of the oil business. Take the money out of it, and the violence may not end, but at least the funds to buy more weapons and cause even more death will be cut. But we can’t do that tomorrow, and people in their tens and hundreds of thousands are in danger right now.

            So if we can save people along the way, then we should. It is a moral responsibility. That is why my example of the gang member attacking your family is such an apt example. You pour scorn on it, and I understand that, but it is the reality. People are dying and in danger now. There is an immediate threat. And it will result in a major humanitarian crisis in time – if it hasn’t already.

            So what good does standing back on your principles that we can only ever make a bigger mess of things, do? No good at all. And you and the others – who I notice have failed yet to respond to my other post – seem to be completely blind to this.

            You can decry everything I’ve suggested, but you have failed to come up with any constructive alternative to action to put in its place.

            So lets assume I’m wrong. That militarily we should stand back, wash our hands of the whole thing, maybe make a few hand wringing gestures in private, what happens then? Do you imagine this crisis simply goes away by itself? Do you think that ISIS / ISIL will be defeated by the Iraqi’s and Syrians alone? Unlikely. Or do we end up with a bad situation becoming worse? A huge and growing caliphate destroying the lives of untold millions and blighting all of Arabia? And when that happens do you simply sit there and say – well thank God we stayed out of it? We could only have made it worse?

            Here’s the main thrust of my diatribe. It is already worse.

            Cheers, Greg.

            • The Daily Blog Martyn says:

              No problem. Have read the piece you provided – nothing particularly new in it I’m afraid. But if I can boil your response down to its main thrusts.

              It’s not ‘new’, but you still hold to a simplification of the issue into black and white? That article shows a mere taste of the complexities occurring, yet you shrug that off. Astounding, so should we be invading Turkey and Saudi Arabia for their funding of IS while siding with the Assad regime that has tortured tens of thousands to death? I think that is beyond trolling and a little dangerous. Black and white decision making for acts that involve state violence is not what citizens should do and your relentless attempt to paint this into a black and white decision making process is part of the problem.

              It is this mindset that we know best that has helped generate an environment that only radicalises more people. Every drone strike you demand for the protection of innocent civilians makes 2 more terrorists.

              It was the West’s invasion of Iraq that created the environment that generated IS and IS have been funded by all sorts of groups using them as proxy forces in regional friction points. Your solution is to ignore who is funding IS and just hurtle into another war despite all the previous evidence that this reliance on force to do good against people radicalised because of the injustice the West uses to prop up our oil interests only ever serves to exacerbate the problems.

              1 The war going badly is a reason to start thinking about how it’s being fought, the objectives it’s looking at etc. And by some tokens it has gone very well. Try and tell the tens of thousands of Yazidi, Christians and other minorities now still alive even if they have suffered forced repatriation and are living in refuge camps that the US etc should have left them to die.
              You can not seriously hold this up as a justification for war. A rescue mission to pull people out of a dangerous and immediate threat is a completely different kettle of fish to a never ending, open ended war Greg. Are you seriously trying to claim that the Yazidi event equates to an entire country? Of course we should act when there is an immediate humanitarian event to save and rescue people and if force is required to do that, then we should use force for the duration of an emergency evacuation. But that’s simply not the same thing as a war.

              2 The region is complex and any action risks having unintended consequences. But again is this a reason just to put up a sign – abandon all hope all ye who enter here – and run away? No it’s a reason to consider actions specifically for their intended outcomes and potential downstream problems, to limit what is done to specific objectives that can be achieved.
              Who said anything about putting up a sign Greg? There is much that can be done to stop this violence and the causes of radicalisation. Why aren’t we hitting the funding of IS from outside country’s? How is siding with Assad an end point you can accept? Oh and are those magic words you speak of specific objectives ever worked? Mission Creep will happen the moment these Creeps green light this mission.

              I like how you haven’t actually mentioned yet that the only justification Key can brainfart is that it would be ‘odd’ for us not to be involved.

              3 The long history of the west’s involvement in other countries has been a disater. Yes. Agreed. So lets look at this in a little more detail.

              The long list of justifications you apply to each of these events is deeply flawed.

              Cambodia and the creation of the Khmir Rouge. Absolutely caused by six or seven years of illegally bombing of a country, destroying its entire power structure, not to mention killing hundreds of thousands people, destroying infrastructure and cities. No argument. But also the war was never fought with any care or consideration for the results, and there was no concern for the disaster of the killing fields that would follow. Nor was there any attempt to fix the mess that had been created. This was purely a geopolitical conflict where the US and the USSR were trying to dominate one another, and everyone else got screwed. No one ever intended for it not to be a disaster. So it’s not really relevant here.

              YOU were the one who brought up the Khmer Rouge as a point, remember?

              They are the next Khmir Rouge.

              I argued that they came about because of things that had occurred previously. Please accept the irony of using an example, that actually proves my point only to then exclaim that example is not relevant. It’s exactly relevant.

              Gulf war one. Another mess, caused by having an initial goal and then shifting it. The goal was to free Kuwait. Then it became regime change through empowering other groups and promising them hope, and then it became abandoning them. Clearly none of the unintended consequences like Sodamn Insane tearing apart those who had rebelled would have happened if that initial goal had been stuck to. You had an invasion of a country – a violation of UN charters, sending the invaders packing should have been the beginning and the end of it. Had they done that Sodamn would have been left bloodied and bruised, humiliated on a world stage, and the rest would not have followed. So yeah, whatever action is taken needs clear goals, and it needs to stick to them.

              Okay, again. No. This is your second swing and a miss. Who built Saddam up? Who ploughed billions into military aid to enable Saddam? America. Again. You know if you want to stop monsters, how about we don’t make them in the first place, how’s that for a crazy idea? You again claim that this is different because the object gives will be clear. Will it? You were using the Yazidi Christians as a justification for war! I’ll agree that situation required immediate intervention, but that in no way justifies on on going, none ending war.

              Afghanistan – a shining beacon of failure in creating stability. But it wasn’t brought about to create a new stable government. Lets be honest, it was a reaction to 911 and three thousand dead civilians. At the time I recall my main fear being that the US would nuke them, so in that light it has worked out well. And if its limited Al queda – which I don’t know that it has, though it has at least limited the support the Taliban could give them, so much the better.

              So because America didn’t nuke Afghanistan we should count our blessings? That’s the moral backbone of writing Afghanistan off as another example of playing God and having negative blowback? Even you get you were scrapping the barrel with this one eh?

              Gulf war two – well what can you say? A stupid president with no understanding of the situation on the ground, getting bad advice and believing that the people were somehow crying out for democracy. Unbelievable idiocy from start to finish, and done for no reason that I can see. It achieved no sustainable goals, but then its goals were never achievable and you average idiot would have known that.

              Right, so your explanation as to why Iraq is another example I can’t use to prove the West continue to clusterfuck and exacerbate problems when we use military force is because the US President was an idiot and the goals of freedom and democracy were too unsustainable so we are going to lower the threshold of what we actually call success when attacking IS as a better marketing ploy? That’s your argument. I take it back re your point about Afghanistan being a barrel scrapper, cause this justification as to why we can’t use Iraq as another example of Western blowback manages to go through the bottom of the barrel into the basement below the floor the barrel was resting on.

              But is this that? No. Here we have a simple (and yes I use that word deliberately) case of an aggressive enemy, committing atrocities and trying to take over parts of two countries by the most barbaric means available, and the goal has to be to stop him. It has to be about saving lives.

              Is that it? None of your counters stand up to any scrutiny Greg. But let’s put aside your nonsense justifications as to why we can’t use those recent examples as proof that the West manage to only create more suffering and misery post World War 2 and focus on IS. First of all it has to be noted that you seem to put this above other issues like Israel committing war crimes against Palestinians, the rampage of warlords in Central Africa, the tens of thousands of deaths caused by our new ally Syria or even the Ebola virus. Let’s put aside your selective morality as well and just look at IS. I’m not suggesting that we don’t help people flee, what I am arguing is that doesn’t justify an all out war with factions that are getting funded by Regional powers intent on causing friction.

              When will we invade Saudi Arabia and Turkey?

              Your whole argument boils down to ‘this will be different because we will be very specific about out objectives’.

              That’s just ludicrous.

              If we were serious about this, it wouldn’t be military action it would be sanctions against the funders of IS and a genuine attempt to erode the environments of poverty and injustice that fuel and breed this radicalism.

              Your need to make it black and white is the language of the propagandist trying to spin, we are adults, we are in no immediate danger, we have the luxury and the responsibility as citizens and adults to discuss and debate the rights and wrongs of state sanctioned violence and watching the PM pimp for war post an election is as sick as watching him pimp for Sky City casino.

              You seem to ignore that the Prime Minister has lied about this war. Pre election we weren’t going to be involved, post election we suddenly need to start fighting.

              If we had a independent foreign policy, we could use our voice and call for peace and a genuine discussion about what has driven this radicalism – we don’t have an independent foreign policy, we are a stooge for America.

              • Greg C says:

                Hi,

                You’re missing my point. I don’t support an all out war – which all of those eamples were. I support limited action to protect people / populations from an aggressive enemy that seems bent on genocide. Which seems to be largely the action being taken. Why would we not be a part of that in some capacity?

                Then you said we have time because we aren’t in any immediate danger. But this misses the point when others are in immediate danger as they are now.

                And you still haven’t provided any alternative actions we can take to help now. I agree with most of your longer term actions, particularly cutting the funding. But how many lives will these actions save today? This week? This month? This year?

                Also calling for making peace with an agressor who is making advances is naive. Peace only comes when war has failed. ISIS / ISIL don’t want peace while they’re winning. If they get knocked back hard, see the loss of their funding and power base coming, then they may want to talk peace. Not now.

                Also I don’t really give a crap about what JK says or does – I didn’t vote for the turkey – and if he’s lying or just changing his mind doesn’t bother me either way. I still won’t vote for him.

                Cheers, Greg.

  9. graeme says:

    I’m 51, fortunately for me I’m too old to fight . Some 21 year old will go and face the bullets and knives for me. How many of you commenting from the comfort of your chairs will be accompanying our soldiers to the Middle East?. It’s easy to be brave and indignant from 13000 miles away.

    John Key has been given a mandate by the voters of New Zealand. He will excersise that mandate. He’ll send troops as he always planned to do. He will send them to risk their lives under a flag he has never served and plans to change. He will send them for political reasons, not out of any moral outrage. If we were concerned for the slaughter of innocents we would have sent troops into Gaza 6 months ago. This is about oil and political gain and gaining credit with Washington. A couple of hundred dead Kiwis wont make a bit of difference to the conflict. Read your history, Britain has been bombing Iraqi terrorists since the 1920’s

  10. Greg C says:

    Hi,

    Yes, I’m going to be controversial. I do not advocate war in this case. I do advocate action. And at this stage force seems like the only effective action that can be taken. Perhaps that’s a failure of imagination.

    But hey, to all of you who are sitting there saying that war is not the answer, you were challenged by Sansa. And I have not yet heard a response from anyone.

    If war is not the answer, what is your alternative? Or do you just take the path of moral abscondance? And don’t tell me about history or how the US, Britain and oil companies are responsible. That does not save a single life.

    Cheers, Greg.

  11. RW says:

    We’re so fucked. This is a fight that will last for generations. Time for nuclear weapons.

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