Surely the Prime Minister was misquoted…


Surely the Prime Minister was misquoted on the front page of the Weekend Press when she was reported talking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine “This will be the closest thing to war that my generation and many generations will have seen”

The Prime Minister has lived through numerous wars such as the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, attacks on Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Gaza etc. Even in the few days as Russia began its invasion of Ukraine the US launched missile strikes on Somalia, Israel launched a missile strike on Syria and Saudi Arabia launched 37 missile strikes on Yemen.

In the Prime Minister’s mind could it be that war waged by the US and its allies isn’t war but that waged by enemies of the US is? Or is the crucial difference for her the ethnicity of the victims?

“If so then the PM is in good company with western leaders and media outlets across the globe. This report from Al Jazeera is essential reading.”



  1. Indeed it’s absolutely disgraceful for war or suffering of any kind to be recognized or acknowledged only when it suits certain political agenda. Such hypocrisy evidences contempt for humanity, not kindness.

  2. Thanks John
    As you’ve said before ..the hypocrisy is large
    and now racism is raising its ugly head within Ukraine
    “Speaking to The Independent, Osarumen, a father-of-three, said he, his family members and other migrants were told to disembark a bus about to cross the border on Saturday and told, “No blacks”. Despite challenging the driver and military officers’ orders, they were ejected from the vehicle.”
    Black people prevented by Ukrainian officials from boarding trains

  3. Jacinda’s words stunned me too. Maybe she meant that wars don’t mean anything to anybody except pollies, arms manufacturers, the military, the displaced, the disfigured and the bereft, or yes, maybe wars instigated by the USA aren’t really wars at all, they ‘re spreading democracy or some such euphemism by means of arms’ manufacturers, soldiers, the displaced, the disfigured, the dead and the bereft, and the refugees who we virtue signal to the UNO about are another PR ploy. It’s all PR.

  4. look where and who with jacinda learned her ‘trade’

    the lying war criminal blair…jacinda please pass this post onto tony so he can sue…if he dares.

  5. It is typical of this PM to be selective in what she seese as a problem depending on the political spectrum. This proves she is a true politican rather than a knight in shining armour that many portray her as .

    • TS
      Clearly it was written for her to say. She only ever says what is carefully written for her by her massive spin team. Heads need to roll in the spin dept. Fire 50 or 60 of them. There’s still another 50 or 60 left anyway.

      • The New Kraut. Good lord, I hope you’re wrong. I assumed that Ardern must have written her, “ closest thing to war” statement home alone over the weekend without any grown-up advisors to tell her what to say; I only read the first sentence or so, shocked, and not wanting to be further perturbed.

        • Snow White
          Don’t count on it! Having followed her’s and her govt’s public utterances over the last 2 years or so of covid management, it’s all veeeery careful curated and highly managed, there’s no doubt about that.

          • The New Kraut. At least two recent WARS, The Gulf War, and Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, and their ramifications, were virtually telecast in real time here in New Zealand; in my then-workplace televisions were left on with people checking them throughout the days; when the SAS terrorised villages by night in Afghanistan, Jerry Mataparae watched at least the first one in real time, Wayne Mapp, also over in Kabul, having declined. This is all a matter of public record, as are the still- ongoing health issues with our war vets who served in the Vietnam War. Every Anzac Day, more recent wars in which New Zealanders themselves participated are often also revisited, so it simply makes no sense for government to curate facts in a misleading way.

  6. Yes, some huge gaps in the PM’s historical knowledge. The 1996 Congo war with 800,000 deaths not even worth a mention? Strangely (though unsurprisingly) John here only saw fit to mention US and Israeli involvement as if the others don’t count. Here’s a partial list – up to 2004 with numbers dead.

    1979­88: the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (1.3 million)
    1980­88: Iraq­Iran war (1 million)
    1980­92: Sendero Luminoso ­ Peru’s civil war (69,000)
    1980­99: Kurds vs Turkey (35,000)
    1981­90: Nicaragua vs Contras (60,000)
    1982­90: Hissene Habre, Chad (40,000)
    1983­: Sri Lanka’s civil war (70,000)
    1983­2002: Sudanese civil war (2 million)
    1986­: Indian Kashmir’s civil war (60,000)
    1987­: Palestinian Intifada (4,500)
    1988­2001: Afghanistan civil war (400,000)
    1988­2004: Somalia’s civil war (550,000)
    1989­: Liberian civil war (220,000)
    1989­: Uganda vs Lord’s Resistance Army (30,000)
    1991: Gulf War ­ large coalition against Iraq to liberate Kuwait (85,000)
    1991­97: Congo’s civil war (800,000)
    1991­2000: Sierra Leone’s civil war (200,000)
    1991­2009: Russia­Chechnya civil war (200,000)
    1991­94: Armenia­Azerbaijan war (35,000)
    1992­96: Tajikstan’s civil war war (50,000)
    1992­96: Yugoslavian wars (260,000)
    1992­99: Algerian civil war (150,000)
    1993­97: Congo Brazzaville’s civil war (100,000)
    1993­2005: Burundi’s civil war (200,000)
    1994: Rwanda’s civil war (900,000)
    1995­: Pakistani Sunnis vs Shiites (1,300)
    1995­: Maoist rebellion in Nepal (12,000)
    1998­: Congo/Zaire’s war ­ Rwanda and Uganda vs Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia (3.8 million)
    1998­2000: Ethiopia­Eritrea war (75,000)
    1999: Kosovo’s liberation war ­ NATO vs Serbia (2,000)
    2001­: Afghanistan’s liberation war ­ USA & UK vs Taliban (40,000)
    2001­:Attack of 9/11 (3,500)
    2002­: Cote d’Ivoire’s civil war (1,000)
    2003: Second Iraq­USA war ­ USA, UK and Australia vs Saddam Hussein (3,200 to 14,000)
    2003­: Sudan vs JEM/Darfur (200,000)
    2003­: Iraq’s civil war (60,000)
    2004­: Sudan vs SPLM & Eritrea (?)
    2004­: Yemen vs Shiite Muslims (?)
    2004­: Thailand vs Muslim separatists (3,700)

    • Yep, in Africa they don’t say “Never again”, they say “until next time”.

      I guess in Jacindas world genocide finished when there Nazis were beaten

  7. Strangely (though unsurprisingly) John here only saw fit to mention US and Israeli involvement as if the others don’t count
    This is a dam stupid comment.

    Minto has been on more marches against invasion and bombing etc than probably anyone and frankly he told me had he known about the Ukranian march in Otautahi on Saturday he would have been at that.

    To suggest that he has a bias is ridiculous. He has said ‘all war’ is not to be tolerated.

    He knows they all count. He helped with the marches for Kashmir and Tigray here in Otautahi.

    What are you doing, talk about taking the high moral ground.

    • Sorry, I’m sure he’s against war generally but only chose, for reasons only known to himself, a very limited subset of them for this essay. It is what it is.

  8. Here are the wars up to 2018, has the full causalities following the 2004 cut off from the prior list, note, in particular, the second Iraq war:
    2003-11: Second Iraq-USA war – USA, UK and Australia vs Saddam Hussein’s regime and Shiite squads and Sunni extremists (160,000)
    2003-09: Sudan vs JEM/Darfur (300,000)
    2004-: Sudan vs SPLM & Eritrea (?)
    2004-: Yemen vs Houthis (?)
    2004-: Thailand vs Muslim separatists (7,000)
    2007-: Pakistan vs Islamists (50,000)
    2011-18: Iraq’s civil war after the withdrawal of the USA (150,000)
    2012-: Syria’s civil war (400,000)
    2013-18: South Sudan’s civil war (400,000)
    2014-16: Ukraine’s civil war (9,500)
    2015-: Saudi Arabia vs Houthis (10,000)
    2015-: Niger vs Islamists (?)
    2017-: Cameroon vs Islamists (3,000)
    2017-: Mozambique vs Islamists (2,000)
    2018: Myanmar army vs Rohingyas (10,000)

    • You forgot to mention the two Russia V Chechnya wars.

      December 1994 to August 1996.
      August 1999 to April 2000

      I guess they were “internal” conflicts?

      What the Ukraine can look forward to IF Putin succeeds.

      “For many this is the price Moscow has had to pay for its “peace bargain” with Kadyrov. There are persistent rumors of corruption in the republic. But there is nowhere to debate this in the open. Putin’s security state borne out of the war 20 years ago controls elections at all levels. There are no independent MPs to launch inquiries into human rights abuses in Chechnya and its opaque budget. There are no independent regional leaders to demand from the Kremlin why their taxes are spent elsewhere — the governors of Russia’s 80 regions are in fact Putin appointees as a result of security laws passed in 2004, during the war.”

      “Chechnya remains in many ways a place apart from the rest of Russia, a subject which neither the Kremlin, nor Russia’s disparate and weak opposition want to broach. When — or indeed, if — democracy returns to the country one day, it will be one of the most difficult, even painful legacies that Putin’s successors will have to deal with — not least to avoid another war.”

  9. “This will be the closest thing to war that my generation and many generations will have seen”

    What a ridiculous statement. If she did say that it seems to me that she is talking to the millennial generation who have no concept of conflict because it does not align with their world of celebrity me, me ,me news , online socialising by removing a friend and gaming is the closest they get to participating in a actual conflict from the safety of their gaming chair.

    Like the ” climate change is my generation’s nuclear free moment ” it is all just marketing and falsely misleading people into thinking that by saying that it means she actually wants to do something about it like helping change people’s attitude’s to climate change and what we should be doing to prepare for it.

    Adern is just another politician who like Robertson and the others are just there to create a legacy for themselves and collect the perks.

  10. It is interesting that you managed to find that article on Aljazeera.
    Their news service as with most western sources has been hard skewed toward anti-Putin commentary and coverage.

  11. The common lingo in NZ is World War 1 and World War 2 as if those were ‘the’ wars.

    Ardern did no more than reflect that. To take from that there are “huge gaps” in the PM’s historical knowledge is nonsense. I guess if she has to know of every conflict in history she should be expected to know everything about everything. And when she makes any comment about anything there should be reference to the massive range of anything possible connected.

    David George is helpful enough to make a list of stuff that presumably the PM should know about.
    A “partial list” if you will, up to 2004. Do I infer from him not referring to a war New Zealand was involved in that he thinks it not important or he doesn’t mind Ardern not mentioning that conflict? Viet Nam. Or because he didn’t mention it he has what he accused Ardern of – “huge gaps in historical knowledge”?

      • Just to clarify, it wasn’t just a random choice or one with any political point to make. Jacinda was born in 1980 so I have listed those wars that occurred in “her generation”.
        The list is only partial in as much as more minor wars have been left off.

        • All those wars you list. How many of them were in the consciousness of a mass of New Zealanders, in the forefront of their minds so that they said “Shit, we’re going to be swept up in it?”
          Burundi’s civil war? Rwanda’s civil war, Pakistani Sunnis vs Shiites?

  12. I think it’s obvious what Ardern meant. There is effectively always a war going on somewhere on the planet. While Kiwi’s were involved in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, context is important. The impact those conflicts had on NZ was relatively minimal. The last major conflict to negatively impact on our day to day significantly was the Vietnam conflict that ended in 1975 some 47 years ago.

    The Russian – Ukrainian conflict sits on a knife edge. Russia’s biggest allies include China and Iran. Most recognize the implications there. Should Russia decide to step foot on the Nato protected Balkan’s, we have the start of WWIII.

    This scenario is closer to reality than it’s been at any time since 1945. As a result, Ardern was correct in her call even if she didn’t clarify what she obviously meant. How helpful is it to let political bias cloud the way this is viewed? Why are we even talking about what Ardern said? The voices that matter most at this time are, Russia, Ukraine, China, United States and Nato. Russia is putting the nuclear “deterrent” option on the table, China is smoking it’s pipe, the Ukrainian’s are offering courageous resistance against the Russian’s slowing down the progress of a country already guilty of multiple war crimes in this conflict. Nato are sending 40k troops to their surrounding borders and Germany is sending high tech “defensive” weapons to Ukraine despite laws put in place against them after WWII. The incoherent and inept Biden is ramping up sanctions against Russia and we are splitting hairs over what Ardern said.

  13. While under the control of neoliberalism our AO/NZ doesn’t have a prime minister. Certainly not of what should still be a socialist democracy. Instead, we have a representative of a foreign owned banking sector.
    Labour, National, ACT, The Green Party and The Maori party are the same thing. They’re divisions of neoliberal capitalism embedded within our democracy and one might argue that Adern is merely the current CEO of it.
    Look around? If this were a properly functioning politic and by that, I mean for us, by us, then we’d not have homelessness, hungry kids and a corporate infrastructure which were once our state owned resources bullying us around by demanding we pay through the nose for what we’ve already paid for after we provided tax money to built them.
    We’re all living a lie the neoliberal system has tangled us up within. Arrest roger douglas , derek quigley and others on charges of treason then initiate a very public commission of inquiry into the inner workings of the RBNZ. Just like Chloe Swarbrick suggested.
    I mean, listen to good people, not arse holes. I know we’re largely Presbyterian and Catholic and so we’re used to thinking that the abuse meted out to us is a show of love and that we deserve our punishment. Well, you’re wrong thus fuck that! Has Adern mentioned ‘neoliberalism’ once publicly? Has Cock Head luxon?
    Fuck no! Because THEY are on $ix figure$ plu$ fancy entitlement$, are you?
    We’re being fucked without the kissing by arse holes. I know, a divergence of the anatomy there.

    • Meanwhile, over at Mahia Peninsular, it’s business as usual for Elon Musk’s SpaceX and neurolink projects with another launchpad duly opened. “Vax or unvax, you’re all gonna be connected”, quoth he from the tenth century a la Ghengis Khan. Snowden said there’s no neurolink in Russia.

    • I do not profess to be a learned scholar of how economy works but as someone who was in business when Roger Douglas ruled the roost and I know if he had not done something we were heading towards being a bankrupt country .He went in hard and with hindsight the pain could have perhaps been softened or the results could have been better if the government of the day had not got cold feet and stopped short of the end game.
      All this labelling is very silly as it is really says nothing and just put a easy throw away line like racist boomer bludger .

      • the entire ‘rogernomics crisis’ was manufactured by the treasury depts’ young groovy(it was the fashion in economics then) chicago school analysts, advisers, dealers etc…seeking a political outcome that would facilitate ‘asset stripping the country’ which worked beautifully.

  14. Perhaps the PM’s statement was in response to Putin asking his MoD head and Chief of the Military, to ‘get the nuclear deterrents on stand-by’. In which case her “… will have seen…” in her quote may well be true.
    Any use of nuclear weapons will, in fact, be horrific for any generations now living.
    Just saying….

    • verity – you don’t think the US,UK and France don’t have their nuclear forces on alert…or Israel doesn’t have the nukes it doesn’t have on standby?

  15. It was only a matter of time before Minto tried to draw moral equivalence between thuggish Putin’s nakedly aggressive invasion of Ukraine and Israel’s defensive actions against equally aggressive listed terrorist and genocidal group Hamas in Gaza and equally genocidal Iranian proxy Syria. Nice try but it won’t work.

  16. Jacinda Ardern is a victim of her own extraordinary compassionate and caring nature,,, being kind to Nazis is what Jesus would do and tells us we in NZ have a truly Saintly PM …….. Its either that or we have a Blair faced liar , using deception just like John Key and National ,,, manufacturing consent for war .

    Have we gone from the smiling Assassin to a caring Assassin now?? ,,,
    Anyone telling lies to get NZ into a war is evil,,,

    …but perhaps Jacinda is just ignorant of the facts and naive about the usa????


    “You might think a story about modern-day Nazi storm troopers attacking a European city without mercy would merit front-page coverage in the U.S. press, but not when the Nazi paramilitaries are fighting for the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government and are killing ethnic Russians, writes Robert Parry.” ,,, back in 2014 at AT THE START of the current war ,,, that Justinda and Labour have been happy to ignore during their time as our Govt.

    Ukraine fascist battalion commander –: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

    “In other words, for the first time since World War II, a government had dispatched Nazi storm troopers to attack a European population and officials in Kiev knew what they were doing.”

    Unworthy victims —–2 Teachers Killed In Shelling Of School. The blame goes to Ukraine. (My Investigation) Feb 26, 2022

    “Ukraine: The masks of the revolution” broadcast on the French TV channel Canal +. Ukrainian Embassy in Paris asked for this documentary to be taken off air. What were the Ukrainian authorities so afraid of? Maybe the truth? …. “In the heart of Europe, people are burned alive and everyone is silent about that.”

    Ukraine on Fire by Robert Parry & Oliver Stone

    Martin Luther King is still correct –‘The Usa is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world’,,,,

  17. There are the wars that the politicians and media ignore and pretend aren’t really happening, or redefine as “peace keeping operations”. These wars, which comprise most of the wars since Vietnam are barely reported in the New Zealand media.
    This one is different. The politicians and the media are all over it. So when Jacinda says “This will be the closest thing to war that my generation and many generations will have seen” she is speaking the truth. Or at least “the closest thing to truth that our generation will see” from the present Prime Minister.
    The suggestion that New Zealand politicians’ attitude to the many and various wars of our era is “inconsistent” is also incorrect. It would be inconsistent if they were guided by humanitarian concerns, but they are not. They are colonialists and they make a very clear distinction between “good wars” which are wars which Anglo-American imperialism wages against those nations which are hostile or insubordinate and the “outrageous wars” which are those waged against the imperial powers or their subordinate states.
    Because Ukraine has been moving out of the Russian sphere of influence and into the Anglo-American sphere, the Russian invasion is met with outrage. Nothing to do with violation of international law or general anti-war sentiment. The reaction of the Realm of New Zealand is an expression of pure unadulterated colonialism.

    • Pope Punctilious 11. “ She just confirmed her own shallowness and ignorance.” Correct. And to those who say she only meant a nuclear war, Putin did not enter Ukraine with any nuclear threats, they have come more latterly. The wars listed here by others, are predominantly against persons with darker skin tones, so perhaps only white on white is a war in the current government’s eyes.

      Attending my local primary school are Kiwi children whose parents are ex-participants in other people’s wars, quite young people – one totally splendid community helper is a stay-at-home dad retired from the NZDF. If PM Ardern’s advisers lived in the same sorts of communities as the rest of us, then they would know that her and previous generations have known wars in their lifetimes. This is may be what happens when the teaching of history gets censored for spurious political reasons, and the National library burns books.

  18. It tells us a lot about the shallowness of her knowledge and experience. Basically she’s never been anywhere or done anything.

    • Andrew. And John Key was even worse in spite of having been all over the place.

      Key said that New Zealand was settled peacefully, but I suppose he could have meant that his immigrant whanau settled here peacefully and that he wasn’t thinking of the tangata whenua, but you would think that he would have at least learnt to pronounce this country’s name properly, but that seemed to be beyond him too, and he once made a throat-slitting gesture right inside our Parliament which was not peaceful at all and very disrespectful, and I didn’t like the way that he shouted either, so it takes all sorts, doesn’t it.

  19. The Ukrainians are calling it their “Yom Kippur war” thus acknowledging how democratic Israel, too, has had to endure brutal unprovoked attacks from tyrannical Arab regimes.

  20. yes gaby the ukrainian neo-nazis who installed a jewish comedian as president have suddenly discovered a jewish holiday/war and that wipes out years of murdering jews…it’s amazing the twists rightard zionists will go to to defend their rightwing mates…even ones that would prefer to see them in gas chambers…sheeeet

  21. Its Labour and Jacinda’s fault. Would the hopeless Luxon and the looney Seymore have stopped the war.

    • Nikorima. Luxon ? Luxon ? The bald guy who couldn’t even manage to walk a few hundred yards up the road to Parliament ? The Kiwi bloke who uses power tools wearing jandals ? That Luxon ? Look at my shiny big car Luxon ? Nope not a chance. Not sure who the other bloke is apart from being a dancer on television in tight pants keen to keep pensioners cold in winter. Odd.

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