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Another dark day for NZ in Afghanistan

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, August 20th, 2012 - 220 comments
Categories: afghanistan - Tags:

3 New Zealand soldiers have been killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. 5 dead in a fortnight. That’s a big cost. All in the same area of Bamiyan Province. John Key has used American chickenhawk language saying “we won’t cut and run”. Actually, we’re leaving in 2013 anyway. The question is whether its worth the cost of hanging around another year.

220 comments on “Another dark day for NZ in Afghanistan”

  1. Carol 1

    Yes, I can see no reason for NZ troops being there, except because our government didn’t want to say “no” to the US government.

    It’s never too late to say “NO”.

  2. freedom 2

    small thing but i saw on TV3 that Shearer also said ‘we should not cut and run’

    It was interesting on TVOne that Petrapology almost looked like she had had enough of Key’s bs

    There is no reason for NZ to be there, there never was a reason for NZ to be there, and there are a growing number of reasons why we should not be there, The list of reasons now stands at ten.

    • Gosman 2.1

      Ummmm…. wasn’t one of the reasons to go supporting a United Nations effort at reconstructing a UN member? It had little to do with the US engagement in the country beyond that this kicked started the reconstructing efforts.

      Do you agree that the NZ Military should be involved in this sort of work ? If you are against it are you also against the similar efforts in Solomon Islands and East Timor?

      • crashcart 2.1.1

        Nice red herring man. As someone who has served in both the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste I can tell you they are completely different environments and reasons for being there. Both of those were basically policing actions. I am not saying the work we are doing in Afghanistahn isn’t worth doing and shouldn’t be done just stop comparing apples with oranges.

        • Gosman 2.1.1.1

          No, you missed the point. All those operations were sanctioned by the UN and all involved reconstruction and security work after a period of civil disorder. In this regard they are pretty much similar in nature.

          • crashcart 2.1.1.1.1

            If sanctioned by the UN was the reason we decided to go places then we would be in a shit of a state. It is one of the ticks in the boxes that need to be made before we will go any where however every single military deployment is individual and decided upon based upon its own merits. It is pointless to try and compare them and say one justifies another. Real life and WAR are just not like that. Although I suppose it is easy to look at it that way when you are sitting on your couch watching war on TV.

            • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1.1

              That is pretty much the main reason, (coupled with what Public opinion wants), that drives NZ involvement in overseas engagements. What other reason were we in Bosnia in the mid 1990’s?

      • freedom 2.1.2

        The UN involvement was is and always will be nothing more than window dressing for the warehouse wars of oil and opium.

        The Solomon Islands and East Timor are vastly different scenarios than the Afghanistan situation. They are also large cans of worms that this Government has pushed well to the back of the cupboard in case the public remember they exist and begin to ask why we have allowed the Indonesian Government to effectively resume its oppressive and dangerous attacks on a Nation’s desire for Independance.

        The only common element to all three is the use of a military machine to control resources.

        ( Gosman, when you do not get any reply to your next comment, know i am not running from the dialogue, I simply do not have full time access to a computer at the moment. My machine died a few weeks back and i do not have the resources to replace it, so once i leave work in about ten minutes and return to the studio, it may be days before i am next near a machine. I try to post from my phone but that always seems more like a roulette game than an assured action. On the plus side, life without FT access to the web is proving most interesting )

        • Gosman 2.1.2.1

          Whether or not the Western military engagement in Afghanistan is being driven by oil and opium is a matter of opinion. I have also seen arguments that the East Timor enagagement is also similarly affected by Oil. In fact there is more oil being pumped out of East Timor than there seems to be from Afghanistan.

          Regardless of this the UN sanctioned the deployment in all these places and asked for assistance. NZ responded. To argue there is NO reason for the deployment is plainly not accurate.

          • Jackal 2.1.2.1.1

            There are many reasons for the deployment Gosman, whether these are justifiable is a matter of opinion. The problem here is that New Zealand’s reconstruction team has been put in a situation where they simply cannot undertake their primary objective. In war, if you have no ability to achieve your primary objective, any secondary objectives become less achievable as well. The sooner the government wakes up to this and gets a bit more advice on what exactly is happening on the ground, the better. Without the government doing the right thing, and withdrawing our troops from United States’ lost war in Afghanistan, we will continue to have a pointless loss of life, and we will continue to have a country in mourning.

      • Bastables 2.1.3

        More canards from the plastic hero.

        Solomon Islands was conducted with initially unarmed troops from 5 Signals Sqn, there were no reconstruction teams. It was an operation planned to defuse tribal/government tensions through interposing unarmed NZ soldiers between the parties. 5signals/5log was based in Hobsonville airforcebase and could be deployed from whenuapai airforcebase faster than units based in Waioru/Linton or Burnham, being unarmed there was no requirement for Infantry coy’s. As there was no reconstruction there was no requirement for engineers.

        Tim Tim included NZ landing an entire infantry battalion (1RNZIR) with RAN/ support Australian infantry regts and associated support in order to halt Milita violence and insure no TNI interference. Reconstruction was not a NZ army role as the most we had was a Engineer platoon that was to support the battalion. A Pakistani engineer battalion in our AO kept a spotless vehicle park and engaged in desultory attempts at repairing bridges when some one yelled at them long enough.

        Banyman was initially mixed detachments of Army, Navy and Airforce, (logistics, engineers, spare ruperts/officers) driving around conducting various forms of CMA in hi lux’s. Infantry platoon/coy/battalion was unworkable the Timor operational tempo had pretty much burnt out our battalions (1 RNZIR and 2nd/1st) and were supposed to be switching over to Mounted rifles with the new LAV III as opposed to pure “leg” infantry.
        This has changed to mounted infantry patrols/QRF in borrowed armoured US Humvees and our own LAV III ‘s. There are no NZ engineer units conducting “reconstruction” in the gan similar to our experience in Iraq.

        Stop talking about shit you don’t know chickenhawk.

        • Gosman 2.1.3.1

          You are focused on ireelevant detail and not the overall concept behind the deployments. The point being all forces were sanctioned via some form of international agreement and that the forces deployed were involved in reconstruction and security work. In the Solomon Islands the Australian military even lost a soldier to an ambush. I do not see why that is any different to NZ soldiers involved in security and reconstruction work in Afghanistan also coming under attacks from anti-Afghan Government elements.

          • crashcart 2.1.3.1.1

            Sorry the guy who has military service on the ground in both arena’s you are talking about is talking irelivant detail and your TV3 news analysis is more relevant? Holy shit man do you believe the stuff you write or are you a troll.

          • Bastables 2.1.3.1.2

            Jesus really Gos, do you have any operational service medals and associated operational medals? No because you are a plastic hero. Do you even have/had a regt number?

            Overall concept behind deployments. . . go sod yourself you filthy chickenhawk.

            • The Baron 2.1.3.1.2.1

              People under pseudonym don’t get to claim to be war heroes either, guys, so you can all get your hand off it as far as I’m concerned.

                • The Baron

                  Good for you, Bastables – happy now?

                  Tip for next time – establish your credentials before you claim them, or alternatively structure an argument that doesn’t need them.

                  • Bastables

                    Pro tip, don’t go calling out people, get proved wrong and then continue to be a condescending jackarse after the fact.

                    • Gosman

                      It is an irrelevant argument. The fact that you may have been, or may still be, a person in the military gives you no more rights in discussing this matter than anyone else. Just as I wouldn’t argue that my working in banking gives me more rights over you in discussing banking. It might give me more information about the subject however that can be determined during a discussion.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The chickenhawk armchair warrior speaks!

                    • Jackal

                      I seem to recall you trying to close down a debate precisely because of your banking experience Gosman… Yep! Here’s what you wrote:

                      I have 15 years experience in banking Jackal. What is your experience of the subject? Perhaps you read a book on the subject once?

                      Contradicting yourself much Gosman?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nice work Jackal. Gosman is such a dick.

                    • Gosman

                      You were calling into question my facts regarding banking. As such I was right to point out that I had a lot more experience than you in the area. That is different to stating that someone can’t even discuss the issue because they have no experience. I have no problem with you discussing banking. I have a problem with you trying to state you know more than I do on the subject. I have never stated I know more than Bastables about Military matters.

                  • Akldnut

                    The Baron *facepalm* Ssssssmmmack

          • Bastables 2.1.3.1.3

            You are a chickenhawk.

            Your lack of knowledge concerning actual details and context of our deployments is a direct result of you being a chickenhawk. (aka you don’t know wtf you are talking about) You are a example of the Dunning–Kruger effect, as described by C. Darwin : Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.

            Your input and discussion is offensive due to being specious and ignorant of even the basic details. American movies sum up my reactions to your appeals to schoolboy debating form and argument pedantry.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

            (could not reply to your latest post as the reply button is missing).

            • Gosman 2.1.3.1.3.1

              Resorting to ad hominem attacks tends to support the view that your case is merely one of I’m in/been in the military therefore my view is more valid than yours.

            • IrishBill 2.1.3.1.3.2

              Hi Bastables, I’ve emailed you.

              • Bastables

                I’ve emailed you back mate.

                • vto

                  Gidday Mr Bastables. Tell me, how do you think military commentary should fit within a national debate about the role of the military and its deployment, outside of technical and operational parameters?

                  • Bastables

                    I’m not sure I understand your question or purpose? Is it about opsec breeches by serving soldiers?

                    Can you explain “military commentary.” Or are you alluding to the fact that the Defence forces are instruments of the crown and in particular the elected parliament ( NZ army is not titled Royal NZ army for a reason) and therefore are ineligible to publicly speak against crown policy?

                    • vto

                      Perhaps if I put it another way by way of example.

                      Should the defence force have a say in whether or not NZ should be in Afghanistan? Clearly it needs to regarding what it could or could not do and the risks etc, but outside of those operational matters, should the military have a say? I suspect not.

                      It is an important issue, and with your military status it affects your own view and its value in the debate, which you and others were arguning over above.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Should the defence force have a say in whether or not NZ should be in Afghanistan?

                      If one is talking about internal deliberations with Government, certainly the defence force has a say. How the Government of the day chooses to recognise that advice, is another matter.

                    • Bastables

                      Can’t reply button you Vto:

                      So you’re alluding to if or should the defence force tell the Parliament to take a running jump or conduct it’s own separate foreign/ domestic policy? Obviously not, NZ defence force serves the Crown. This is not a military Junta or a second shadow military government like historical 20th century Turkey/Egypt/Indonesia Brazil ect.

                      It’s a democracy, the military should always be beholden to it’s people/civilian Government. It should never be a constitutionally 4th independent tier of government along side the Judiciary/Crown/Parliament. Utterly horrid idea.

                      Can it advise minsters, can individuals legally voice their opinions both professional and personal at the appropriate time and place; I believe yes.

              • Akldnut

                Guest Post pending?

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      small thing but i saw on TV3 that Shearer also said ‘we should not cut and run’

      That is USA style political wording. It is unconsidered and not helpful to NZ. Someone needs to assess if Kiwis are now being deliberately (and successfully) targetted as enemy in Afghanistan. If so, that is a major change and the consequences need to be thought through carefully. Has Shearer based his comments on such a formal report.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Its more than ‘being there’ the current deaths are a result of a recent extension of the patrolling area.

      So its even more absurd than ‘staying the course’

      • Kiplingesque 2.3.1

        It sounds like an escalation. All parties are well aware of the history. Afghans will try to make the best of the situation, and the US has stated they intend to stay indefinitely in well-fortified enclaves in Bagram, Kandahar, and Herat. Many countries are heading for the exits. It will be interesting to watch how priorities change with increasing attention to internal affairs during the northern winter.

        • Bastables 2.3.1.1

          Fully agree, It seems to be ramping up, increased ambush, more so called green on blue incidents. This is not a war/police action we are winning.

    • Vicky32 2.4

      small thing but i saw on TV3 that Shearer also said ‘we should not cut and run

      According to Radio NZ it was Key who said that…

      • McFlock 2.4.1

        The quote from TV3:  “The question really is how do we get out, I think as soon as practicable, without cutting and running and leaving more instability behind us.”
             

         
         

  3. Gosman 3

    “Yes, I can see no reason for NZ troops being there, except because our government didn’t want to say “no” to the US government.”

    Weren’t they sent to Afghanistan under the last Labour led Government?

    Wasn’t this Government the same one that did say no to the US Government over involvement in Iraq?

    • crashcart 3.1

      No Gosman those troops who died weren’t sent there by the last Labour government. Labour stopped sending anyone anywhere in 2008. Thats when National took over. I thought you would at least be aware of who won the last 2 elections.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        That’s not how it works as I suspect you realise. The miltary is committed to an operation up front. It takes a conscious decision from the political leadership to stop this operation before it was due to end. National may well have extended the operation beyond the planned end date but I am unaware this is the case. Essentially Labour committed the troops and National have just gone along with this decision.

        • crashcart 3.1.1.1

          You do realise National took a concious decision to extend the deployment. You are also talking out your ass. Military deployments are very fliud operations that have to react to changing environments. It is very rare that you book a time to go in and come out. Each new deployment (they change out every 6 months) requires governmet sign off to go. So sorry Gosman. Every 6 months National has sent a new batch of troops.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            I think you will find that the Government reviews the decision based on the original deployment decision and if nothing major has altetred and the mission they went in for is still regarded as valid they will stick with the status quo. It isn’t as if the country is getting involved in Afghanistan all over again every six months.

            • Dr Terry 3.1.1.1.1.1

              A tragedy such as this happens for the nation, and all we get is the heartless rationalising of Gosman. I sincerely hope Key’s son has no little baseball games scheduled this time.

              • Dr Terry

                Apologies for the personal words re Key family, above. Am not well, and they were made without thought.

              • Gosman

                Equally others could argue that we have a tragedy like this and we get people politicising this for their own purposes so they can attack the Government. It is equally a nonsensical emotionally based argument.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Equally others could argue that we have a tragedy like this and we get people politicising this for their own purposes so they can attack the Government.

                  Sounds like you don’t think the Government should be questioned over NZ’s military goals of being over there, and whether or not they are achievable.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.2

          It doesn’t really run on auto pilot Gosman, and nor should it. If circumstances change, as they always do, the govt of the day is the one that is responsible. Continuuing to do something, is a decision a government is just as responsible for as any other.

          The govt realises this, kind of odd that you don’t.

          http://johnkey.co.nz/index.php?/archives/778-Afghanistan-review-decisions-announced.html

          • Gosman 3.1.1.2.1

            Ummmmm…. What part of my statement below is not consistent with the point you are making?

            “I think you will find that the Government reviews the decision based on the original deployment decision and if nothing major has altetred and the mission they went in for is still regarded as valid they will stick with the status quo”

            • crashcart 3.1.1.2.1.1

              The part where you tried saying Labour sent these troops. Or have you forgotten that? National took responsability for every deployment and the decision to send it the day they took hold of the purse strings. You keep flopping arguments between should they be there and who is responsable. I don’t wish to get into the should as I am a serving member of the Defence force but as to who is responsable well that is easy. The government of the day has final say on every deployment that goes. Simply saying they decided not to end it early doesn’t change the fact that they decided.

    • Eddie 3.2

      Labour, not National, chose not to send soldiers to Iraq.

      It was Labour policy in 2011 to withdraw from Afghanistan this year.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        That’s right, they did say no to the US over Iraq. So to argue the Government can’t say no to the US over troop deployments is plainly wrong.

        • felix 3.2.1.1

          Who said they can’t?

          I saw someone earlier point out that the gov’t didn’t appear to want to say no. Haven’t seen anyone say they couldn’t if they did want to.

          Who are you going to war with on this point Gen. Armchair?

    • alex 3.3

      It doesn’t make a blind bit of difference which party sent the troops in, it matters that the government should pull them out now.

  4. Carol 4

    David Shearer, pay attention. Read the Maoriland Worker

    http://www.natlib.govt.nz/about-us/news/media-releases/maoriland-worker

    Seditious, libellous and blasphemous: read the Maoriland Worker on Papers Past
    The Maoriland Worker was a leading voice – and recorder – of the development of the labour movement in New Zealand in the first half of the 20th century.

    Capitalism and War by H. Carll

    Maoriland Worker, Volume 4, Issue 111, 2 May 1913, Page 8

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=MW19130502.2.33&cl=CL1.MW&e=——-10-TS-1—-2%2522burlington+street%2522–

    Modern capitalism cannot prosper without war. These two are twin brothers. Heaped-up capital in the hands of the few is a product sought for profit and the accompanying accumulation of surplus value. To find markets for its surplus values, Capitalism must thrust itself upon defenceless lands. And it rends its territory just where development is backward and the consequent gain greater.

    Imperialism is closely united to that madness which buries the people’s well-being under a policy of preparations for war…

    • Gosman 4.1

      I think you are mistaking causation with corelation.

      I could equally argue that Communism requires wars and highlight all the Communist countries involved in wars.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        I think you are mistaken full stop.

        • Gosman 4.1.1.1

          That’s nice.

          Nothing further to add though beyond your personal opinion on whether I am mistaken?

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Please describe to me all the communist countries who started wars in the last 10 years then. I don’t think there are any.

            • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Nice try but as you are well aware the age of imperial communism died back in the early 1990’s.

              However if you want to look at Communist involvement in foreign wars post 1917 I can give you a list pretty much as long as any involving the US during the same period.

              • Zorr

                Okay, go for it Gosman. Feel free to actually prove your point by listing them.

                • Gosman

                  Fine –

                  Countries with outside Communist military involvement during periods of conflict

                  Mongolia 1921
                  Poland 1939
                  Estonia 1939
                  Latvia 1939
                  Lithuania 1939
                  Finland 1939
                  Iran 1941
                  Eastern Europe 1944
                  Japan 1945
                  China 1945
                  Korea 1950
                  Egypt 1955
                  Hungary 1956
                  Vietnam 1960
                  Cuba 1962
                  Czechoslavakia 1968
                  Cambodia 1970
                  Angola 1974
                  Ethiopia 1978
                  Afghanistan 1979
                  Grenada 1983

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Poland 1939
                    Estonia 1939
                    Latvia 1939
                    Lithuania 1939
                    Finland 1939

                    Take these out for starters…the U.S.S.R. weren’t the aggressor here, if you remember.

                    And several more of the ones you list weren’t “wars” at all (eg Cuba, where the US initiated the Bay of Pigs fiasco), or were primarily escalated by the West during their “Reds under the Bed” campaigns.

                    Gawd you are full of it today.

                    • Gosman

                      Not to up on your history are you CV?

                      Please tell me exactly when and over what Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland attacked the Soviet Union in 1939.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah thanks for this history lesson. (I mean it). I see now the U.S.S.R. and the Germans decided to carve Europe up between them in an early agreement. But you know, they did make it look like there was sort of a basis in law for their actions haha…

                • joe90

                  Attempts involving the US to overthrow foreign governments, most of which had been democratically elected.

                  Albania 1949-53
                  East Germany 1950s
                  Iran 1953 *
                  Guatemala 1954 *
                  Costa Rica mid-1950s
                  Syria 1956-7
                  Egypt 1957
                  Indonesia 1957-8
                  British Guiana 1953-64 *
                  Iraq 1963 *
                  North Vietnam 1945-73
                  Cambodia 1955-70 *
                  Laos 1958-60 *
                  Ecuador 1960-63 *
                  Congo 1960 *
                  France 1965
                  Brazil 1962-64 *
                  Dominican Republic 1963 *
                  Cuba 1959 to present
                  Bolivia 1964 *
                  Indonesia 1965 *
                  Ghana 1966 *
                  Chile 1964-73 *
                  Greece 1967 *
                  Costa Rica 1970-71
                  Bolivia 1971 *
                  Australia 1973-75 *
                  Angola 1975, 1980s
                  Zaire 1975
                  Portugal 1974-76 *
                  Jamaica 1976-80 *
                  Seychelles 1979-81
                  Chad 1981-82 *
                  Grenada 1983 *
                  South Yemen 1982-84
                  Suriname 1982-84
                  Fiji 1987 *
                  Libya 1980s
                  Nicaragua 1981-90 *
                  Panama 1989 *
                  Bulgaria 1990 *
                  Albania 1991 *
                  Iraq 1991
                  Afghanistan 1980s *
                  Somalia 1993
                  Yugoslavia 1999
                  Ecuador 2000 *
                  Afghanistan 2001 *
                  Venezuela 2002 *
                  Iraq 2003 *

                  (* successful ousting of a government.)

                  • Gosman

                    Ummmm… we are discusssing military intervention not overthrowing governments. If we were to include those the list would be much longer on the Communist side as well.

                    However you don’t seem to be smart enought to realise the point being made.

                  • joe90

                    If we were to include those the list would be much longer on the Communist side as well

                    http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175442/

                    However you don’t seem to be smart enought to realise the point being made

                    If providing material help to ensure regime change isn’t military intervention the WTF is it?.

              • KJT

                Name me a communist country.

                Cuba. A lot of wars?

                Russia was communist for about two weeks before they were taken over by a totalitarian dictatorship.

                I thought you RWNJ’s think China is capitalist.

                Wasn’t that the basis of a comparison with India not long ago.
                How it was better to be poor in China than India because China is becoming capitalist. LOL.

                • Gosman

                  Cuba has been involved in a lot of military conflicts over the years.

                • The Baron

                  This argument is so banal.

                  But to play this idiotic game, it was Cuba that was going to host the short range nukes on behalf of the Soviets, that lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis and nearly the start of WW3, wasn’t it?

                  Very pacifist, aren’t they.

                  • Gosman

                    I agree it is banal. That was my point, which seems to have flown over the heads of many of the leftists here. It is silly to try and argue one politicial ideology is more inclined to military action than others.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Fuck, next they’ll be trying to defend Stalin.

                      Where exactly does it say that being left wing means you have to defend all the atrocious crap as well?

                    • Gosman

                      I do find it amazing that so many leftists miss the point here.

                      I am not interested in seeing a defence of these military interventions by communists countries. I merely highlighted them to show that it is not just Capitalist countries that engage in military action.

                      I believe military intervention is far less a result of the system a society is run under than part and parcel of human interaction at a international level.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    That’s the Cold War for you. In the decade before that Turkey hosted Jupiter missiles for the USA, which were 10 minutes flight time from the Eastern Bloc.

                  • lostinsuburbia

                    Yep they hosted them after being invaded the previous year by an invasion force sponsored by the United States and also after suffering a number of sabotage missions by forces hosted and trained by the United States.

                    They also had to put up with a hostile US base on their own territory at Guantanemo Bay.

                    And don’t forget that the United States had ringed the Soviet Union with military bases and was undertaking agressive flyovers of Soviet air space. The Soviets were trying to achieve some degree of strategic paraity, but seriously overestimated the US response. Similar to the NATO deployment of intermediate range missiles in Europe during the early 80s and the Soviet fears that they would be used in a pre-emptive strike (which lead to the Soviets increasing their war prepareness footings during the Able Archer exercise in 1983).

                    I’m not calling Castro a perfect by any means, but by blindly thinking the USA is a good guy all the time is a poor position to take.

                    While “Communist” regimes are guilty of taking unilateral action against their enemies and suppressing their own people, the realpolitik of the Cold War, Gulf War, and the War on Terror has left a lot of blood on the hands of the United States.

                    • The Baron

                      Not sure who you’re claiming was “blindly thinking the USA is a good guy all the time”. I was merely challenging the earlier statement that Cuba was/is a good guy all the time, which I attribute to KJT.

                    • lostinsuburbia

                      Sorry Baron, trying to do too many things at once, but yes I agree that in international relations there is rarely “innocent parties” at a nation state level (as opposed to the many innocent civilian casualities in wars, diplomatic incidents etc).

                      I’m no where as anti-american as I was when I was younger, but do feel that a lot of the sabre rattling types need to take off their rose tinted glasses – international relations are seldom ethically or morally guided.

                      Robert Fisk’s Great War of Civilisaton demonstrates this quite well, no one has come out of international relations in the Middle East over the past 100 years with clean hands.

                    • McFlock

                      “I was merely challenging the earlier statement that Cuba was/is a good guy all the time, which I attribute to KJT.”
                         
                      Link, then… 

                  • Morrissey

                    But to play this idiotic game, it was Cuba that was going to host the short range nukes on behalf of the Soviets, that lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis and nearly the start of WW3, wasn’t it?

                    Cuba was being (illegally) blockaded by the U.S., and the Soviet Union was prepared to help it. Blame the U.S. for driving Cuba into the Soviet umbrella. Of course, you would know that, if you knew anything about this topic.

                    Why on earth are you posting about something you clearly know nothing about?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Do kindly explain then how the capitalist blockade of Cuba forced Castro to round up all his homosexuals and herd them onto a boat?
                      Or for that matter forbid freedom of speech and supress the Catholic Church?
                      Etc? Etc?

      • Polish Pride 4.1.2

        So then both systems are no good and we need to move to one that doesn’t need war to survive and prosper.

        • Gosman 4.1.2.1

          Or perhaps it isn’t the system which causes the problem but how humans interact at a inter-societal level which is the problem.

          • Polish Pride 4.1.2.1.1

            “Or perhaps it isn’t the system which causes the problem but how humans interact at a inter-societal level which is the problem.”

            It is in my view both. where we have a system that enables and in many cases encourages the darker side of human behaviour to flourish then the problem is both the system and the resultant behaviour.
            Under Capitalism….. a system which is predominantly about the aquisition of capital and profit above all else. We find ourselves in a world where companies such as Lockheed Martin and Halliburton maximise their profits when there is a war.
            Where companies like Johnson & Johnson, Roche & Glaxo Smith Kline make far more money from treating the side effects of illnesses such as Cancer than they would make if they provided the cures.
            Where free energy tech is suppressed to protect economies and the profits of big oil companies.
            Where media cartels no longer report the news in a ‘fair and balanced’ manner but instead decide what to report and what not to based on the propaganda that they want the masses to receive and thus believe to be the truth.

            Don’t worry though Gos, Communism too is a failed system as are all systems throughout history that have ended with a hierarchical structure for ruling the people.

            and that is my soap box speech for today.

  5. Kiplingesque 5

    Thanks ‘freedom’. I was there long before Shearer.

    In Afghan eyes foreign troops are the latest bunch of invaders since George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, GCB, PC (25 August 1784 – 1 January 1849), Governor-General of India between 1836 and 1842, decided on war, and on 1 October 1838 in Simla published the Simla Manifesto dethroning Dost Mahommed Khan. After successful early operations he was created Baron Eden, of Norwood in the County of Surrey, and Earl of Auckland. However the Afghan campaign ultimately ended in disaster

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dost_Mohammad_and_the_British_in_Afghanistan

    .. with only one survivor stumbling down the Khyber Pass.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dost_Mohammad_and_the_British_in_Afghanistan#First_Anglo-Afghan_War.2C_1838-1842

    Shearer’s language does not strike me as being consistent with that of a UN representative in Afghanistan.

    • Gosman 5.1

      The British had at least three major engagements involving Afghanistan. Onlt one ended in defeat. The other operations they achieved their aims, (which was to create a complient buffer state between British India and the Russian empire). It is a rather tired argument to make that Afghanistan is somehow some sort of graveyard for foreign intervention.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        And yet after those “successful” (gufffaw) interventions, Imperial Britain still ended.

        (which was to create a complient buffer state between British India and the Russian empire)

        Afghanistan didn’t stay compliant for long, did it.

        • Gosman 5.1.1.1

          I wouldn’t state the British had any real problems with the country post the last time they involved themselves militarily and up till the end of the Raj.

          Miltary operations are always short to medium term in terms of their success. Taking a different view would be like trying to argue the Prussian’s lost the War of 1870 against France because they ultimately lost WWI 40 years later.

          • Strategos 5.1.1.1.1

            “I wouldn’t state the British had any real problems with the country post the last time they involved themselves militarily and up till the end of the Raj.”

            Regrettably, this statement only goes to prove your ignorance.

            I would suggest you study

            “The Anglo_Afghan wars 1838-1919″, by Gregory Fremont-Barnes, Osprey ‘Essential Histories’ series, 2009, Osprey Publishing Ltd., ISBN 978 1 84603 446 6

          • henry olongo 5.1.1.1.2

            Gosman I am another ex-NZDF person who is getting sick of your bogus pronouncements on things military. I had to draw the line at the crap you are talking about military interventions in Afghanistan- the idea that Great Britain has had successful military campaigns is ridiculous.

            • Gosman 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Explain why they weren’t successful then?

              As stated, I don’t doubt your knowledge on this area. I do have a problem if you attempt to state others cannot discuss matters around this though. It would be like me trying to argue you can’t discuss anking because you don’t work in a bank.

        • Populuxe1 5.1.1.2

          And yet after those “successful” (gufffaw) interventions, Imperial Britain still ended.

          Yes. Because Britain chose to end it and devolved authority to its former colonies with the exception of the 14 overseas territories. 

          Afghanistan didn’t stay compliant for long, did it.

          Perhaps not, but did the Russians get through it?

      • Morrissey 5.1.2

        Afghanistan is “a compliant buffer state”?

        Congratulations, Gosman—that little gem means you’re a contender for this week’s John Banks award.

  6. IrishBill 6

    I’m really hoping that Key’s armchair warrior bullshit is just empty spin rather than honestly held thought informing our policy on deployment. That said, even if it is just spin it makes it politically harder to withdraw if that’s deemed necessary.

    • felix 6.1

      I think it’s worse than either of those scenarios Irish.

      My sense is that the empty armchair warrior bullshit spin is his honestly held thought informing our deployment policy.

      • Jackal 6.1.1

        I do hope you’re wrong felix… I also hope that it’s not ultimately a decision Key makes. Surely politics should take second place to the safety of our soldiers?

        • felix 6.1.1.1

          Of course it should. Let me know when you see Key start to make decisions based on evidence, and also when he starts taking the impact on people other than himself into consideration.

  7. vto 7

    So very sad. Heartfelt condolences to the families.

    But on a political note … I heard one of the earlier deceased soldiers family saying that he died for his country. I don’t understand this, in this Afghan, war-on-terror, post-9-11, imperialist stroom trooper US, middle east invasions by the English and French and Italians and US, context. How have they died for NZ? From what I can see they have died for something but quite what that is is quite unclear.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      It is natural to have to assign reasons to such violent and untimely deaths.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      It’s a genuine sentiment V. The oath they give is to serve the country and follow their orders.

      When ordered to deploy, they go because the country has asked them to. The point, or pointlessness, of the mission is for the country to decide. Either way, they died doing what we, as a country, told them to do.

      • chris73 7.2.1

        Nicely put.

      • bad12 7.2.2

        Nah sorry i reject that, our troops are in Afghanistan on behalf of the New Zealand Government, i had no say in that decision and take no responsibility for what befalls them there…

        • chris73 7.2.2.1

          No ones asking you to take personal responsibility

        • Gosman 7.2.2.2

          Did you not get the opportunity to vote between 2001 and now?

          • bad12 7.2.2.2.1

            To suggest that voting in an election makes me in some way responsible for any action a Government undertakes is spurious…

            • Gosman 7.2.2.2.1.1

              I didn’t state you were personally responsible. I am pointing out that you are wrong to claim you had no say in the matter to deploy troops. You had a say at the election. If enough people like you voted for parties that wanted to cut and run then your views on the subject would have been achieved. Unfortunately for you this did not happen. It is called democracy.

              • Polish Pride

                Bubble its not Democracy – Its Representative Democracy. There is a massive difference. Representative Democracy merely provides you with the illusion of having democracy because you get to have a vote once every 3 years..

            • Polish Pride 7.2.2.2.1.2

              Sorry Bad12 it does in my new book of political responsibility – This is why unless its a vote on changing the whole damn system. I will no longer vote. That way I am in no way responsible for the idiotic decisions that the government makes and the state the country ends up in as a result. If you voted for the idiots then you share some responsibility in my book.
              But take heart this is my new rule on understanding who bad things are getting. So as I voted last time I too am responsible right now but never again!

              • Jackal

                I don’t accept that reason for not voting Polish Pride, mainly because it discounts group responsibility no-matter who’s in power.

                Firstly by way of example… Do you think the Taliban care if you voted or not when our soldiers are killing them? No! They just see a New Zealand soldier and want revenge on New Zealand. The fact that you’re a non-voter has no bearing on the way they see you. In the eyes of the world, a country and its entire people are responsible for its actions.

                Secondly your non-vote only reinforces the dictatorial aspect to our so-called democracy. If enough people fail to vote, the powers that be will have less reason to care about and understanding of what the public wants. It might be that they even take away everybody’s right to vote, because not enough people would care about that right anyway.

                Thirdly your non-vote will mean there’s no change to the system. Therefore the protest of not voting means absolutely nothing at all. The government of the day will simply not give a damn.

                Lastly working to change the system from within or voting for people who share your ideas is far more likely to work than wanting the entire system to change all at once.

                It takes a long time for systemic dysfunction to become entrenched in the system, and there’s no doubt that it also takes a long time to change that dysfunction, but to forgo the democratic process in hope that change will somehow miraculously happen just ensures that dysfunction remains. Therefore I think you should reconsider your decision not to vote.

                • Polish Pride

                  I don’t accept that reason for not voting Polish Pride, mainly because it discounts group responsibility no-matter who’s in power.

                  I’d disagree (provided I have understood your response correctly) there is still group responsibility. on 3 seperate levels
                  1. Those voted into power making the decisions.
                  2. Those who voted them into power.
                  3. Those who gave consent for the system (that voted them in) by voting and actively taking part in the system thereby continuing the argument for its validity.

                  “Firstly by way of example… Do you think the Taliban care if you voted or not when our soldiers are killing them? No! They just see a New Zealand soldier and want revenge on New Zealand. The fact that you’re a non-voter has no bearing on the way they see you. In the eyes of the world, a country and its entire people are responsible for its actions.”

                  The fact that I am a non voter would mean that I am in no way shape or form responsible for those in power deciding to send our troops there in the first instance.
                  A better way to think about this is what happens if no one votes or if that is too abstract if only 500,000 people vote. Does any party then have a mandate to govern? Does the system still have validity? Do the troops still get sent to fight wars that are for the benefit of American big business and America?

                  “Secondly your non-vote only reinforces the dictatorial aspect to our so-called democracy. If enough people fail to vote, the powers that be will have less reason to care about and understanding of what the public wants. It might be that they even take away everybody’s right to vote, because not enough people would care about that right anyway.”

                  I disagree the less people who vote the less validity the (sham of a) democracy has. The Party governs effectively by the consent of the people (as are laws enacted by parliament) through their active participation in the system by voting. If the people do not vote, consent is being withdrawn.

                  Thirdly your non-vote will mean there’s no change to the system. Therefore the protest of not voting means absolutely nothing at all. The government of the day will simply not give a damn.

                  Again if I were to vote I am giving my consent to the system. In effect saying that I believe the system works….. I do not.

                  “Lastly working to change the system from within or voting for people who share your ideas is far more likely to work than wanting the entire system to change all at once.”

                  Those in power have no motivation to give me the system I want as in doing so they are no longer needed. They lose their power, their perks, their paychecks. The vote and decisions would belong where it should, with the people.

                  “It takes a long time for systemic dysfunction to become entrenched in the system, and there’s no doubt that it also takes a long time to change that dysfunction, but to forgo the democratic process in hope that change will somehow miraculously happen just ensures that dysfunction remains. Therefore I think you should reconsider your decision not to vote.”

                  Again I disagree and my non vote is my exercising of this view. If you want me to vote simple put the option ‘None of the above’ on the ballot paper. I am sure that there would then be record numbers voting and I am sure that ‘Non of the above’ would win by a landslide!

                  But I also very much like the fact that by making the decision to not even take part in the system I am in no way shape or form responsible for anything that those in power screw up. I can have a go at you lot, afterall you are (unless like me you elected not to vote) responsible.

          • Carol 7.2.2.2.2

            Yep, voted for a party that didn’t support sending the troops. And I also have been on demonstrations protesting about our government sending troops to Afghanistan and asking them to reverse that decision.

      • Morrissey 7.2.3

        Either way, they died doing what we, as a country, told them to do.

        No they didn’t. They died because our governments (Labour and National) have been browbeaten into sending a token force to lend a fig-leaf of “international backing” to the United States’ confused adventure.

        Polls show that most New Zealanders are opposed to our troops being in Afghanistan. And polls in Afghanistan show that almost all citizens there want the foreign troops to leave immediately.

        The resistance is only getting stronger and bolder—even Mr Key had to acknowledge that on TV One this morning.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.2.3.1

          The fact remains that our elected Governments gave them orders, and they followed them.

          If we, as citizens, collectively dont like the orders our government is giving to our armed forces, the solution has been in our hands.

      • KJT 7.2.4

        Exactly. I know many members of the NZDF.

        They consider they are doing good things in Afghanistan.

        In Fact, knowing what most of the NZDF are actually doing daily, they are. The same as in Timor Lest and other operations.

        Whether we should be supporting the USA in Afghanistan is another matter. One for the politicians and people of NZ to decide, not the troops.

        I don’t think we should be in Afghanistan any longer, but that does not take away from the fact our soldiers work for us.

        It is the politicians who are OK about them dying for little gain that are at fault.

        • Morrissey 7.2.4.1

          “They consider they are doing good things in Afghanistan.”

          Most of our soldiers are decent fellows. So were most of the Germans in Poland and Russia in the 1940s.

          • Populuxe1 7.2.4.1.1

            You are a fuckin nasty horrible little man who has obviously never had much to do with our armed forces to even suggest that sort of crap.

    • Vicky32 7.3

      How have they died for NZ? From what I can see they have died for something but quite what that is is quite unclear.

      Agreed!

  8. Scott 8

    It’s good that The Standard is making this point. We’re told that our soldiers are in Afghanistan defending freedom, and yet chided for discussing the politics of their deployment in the wake of disasters like these deaths.

    Most folks on the left are opposed to the New Zealand deployment in Afghanistan, but this mission is only one a of a series of foreign ventures our forces have been involved in over the last thirteen years. I’ve argued that the template for Bamiyan was set in places like East Timor and the Solomons, where the humanitarian objectives of Kiwi troops were often thwarted by the big power politics of coalition led by Australia and advised by America:
    http://www.readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/the-real-reasons-for-mission-failure-in.html

    • Gosman 8.1

      I admire your consistency. I disagree with your position but think it is at least acknowledging the similarities in the other deployments the NZ military has been involved with recently.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    In the US politicians like John Key are sometimes referred to as “ChickenHawks”. They talk tough, i.e. no “cutting and running” and generally grease up the military command but have never served personally.

    There is no particular reason a leader should have a military background these days and it was probably more common in the past, Eisenhower, JFK ex colonial countries etc. But ShonKey’s rhetoric is really off putting coming from him the anti-statesman ‘prime mincer’.

    Just expressing condolonces to the dead soldiers families would do and leave it there unless he has something truly useful to add like “we are bringing the troops home forthwith and not propping up this women hating narco-theocracy a minute longer…” Dreams are free of course.

  10. Kiplingesque 10

    Some things don’t change ..

    A scrimmage in a Border Station —
    A canter down some dark defile —
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail —
    The Crammer’s boast, the Squadron’s pride,
    Shot like a rabbit in a ride!

    http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/arithmetic_on_frontier.html

    I would like to express my condolences to the familes of the deceased.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    Follow the money.

    Foreign wars are ALWAYS about money. I have read about this one being about an oil pipeline that avoids Pakistan and gives better access to nearby Central Asia oil fields. I’m no expert. But I do know this war has NOTHING to do with freedom or democracy or liberating women from oppression. For more than a century the USA has maintained ruthless dictatorships in its backyard (Latin America) so it could have cheap resources and captive markets. The British, French, Israelis, Russians, do precisely the same. Now its China’s turn.

    We humans have a very generous, self-sacrificing side of us. But our dark side is greedy and vicious. That’s how we stay at the top of the food chain.

    • Gosman 11.1

      I do find the hard left’s views on wars as being driven by money quite funny. I remember the early 1990’s and the Bolshevik’s at Uni attacking Western involvement in Yugoslavia as if the country was going to be some sort of major market for evil Western capitalist companies as soon as they got rid of the pesky commies. The fact that other motivations behind the conflict might be playing a part never really entered into these people’s heads.

      • Strategos 11.1.1

        So you were at Uni in the 1990’s. “Hard left” and “Bolsheviks” in Aotearoa/NZ ?

        How would you characterise the anti-apartheid movement, Te Whiti, Rua Kenana, and others ?

        Have a look at

        “The Collapse of Yugoslavia 1991-99″ by Alastair Finlan, Osprey Publishing (2004),
        ISBN 1 84176 805 7

        for a good overview.

        • Bored 11.1.1.1

          Gos at university in the early 90s…that just about confirms a couple of pet theories I have about the current state of universities…

          1. Neo lib concepts including Chicago school ideas have like prior orthodoxies been spoon fed to paying students with no counter views offered. The upshot is no dissent allowed, no contrary thought encouraged. Hence thousands of Gos like grads, neo lib automatons. Zombies akin to the “commissar” grads of Soviet “universities”.
          2. Satndards are dreadfully low…..enough said.

          • Gosman 11.1.1.1.1

            I had an Economics lecturer who made a point of teaching Economics from a Keynesian perspective for the very reasons you try and argue. She was trying to influence the people coming out of the University down a particular path. Funnily enough I didn’t come across too many lecturers pushing the alternative viewpoint so openly.

            • Bored 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Only a single Keynesian? Why am I not surprised, generally it pays to keep faith with the ideals of the person paying you (if you want to stay on the payroll).

              Hearing an alternative view does not appeared to have swayed you away from whatever “received wisdom” you were force fed (and eagerly ate). Nor to have given you even a flicker of the possibility that there are multiple views and all might possibly have some validity.

              Gos, you mirror the low standard of discourse that is the norm in zombie graduates of todays academic world, they the mere printer of meal tickets, you a mere buyer.

              • Gosman

                Ummmmm…. I believe I gave you an example of the only person I came across in Economics which was openly pushing some sort of politically motivated agenda was not a neo-liberal one. How you then turn that into some sort of affirmation about the failure of Universities to teach critical thinking is beyond me frankly.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Perhaps we can look at you as an example, then.

                • McFlock

                  Funnily enough, a few of the economics lecturers I had at around the same time were rabid neolibs. No Keynesians that I could see, but there were some who managed to make their beliefs not so obvious as the neolibs. Something about the deranged grin.
                                     
                  I guess we only see the biases that are contrary to our own.

          • Raa 11.1.1.1.2

            QED, +1

      • Polish Pride 11.1.2

        Any War initiated by America IS about money, resources be it oil, defence contracts or contruction contracts. When your economy is failing their ain’t nuthin better than a war. Wait for Iran to be next.

        • Vicky32 11.1.2.1

          Any War initiated by America IS about money, resources be it oil, defence contracts or contruction contracts.

          Sadly true…

  12. Hilary 12

    Very good interview with Phil Goff on RNZ just now. Authoritative, informed and committed to workable solution. Miss that quality of ministerial comment.

    • Carol 12.1

      Thought so too. Also, Goff pointed out that Key is now talking about withdrawing the troops by the beginning of 2013, whereas before he was saying the end of 2013.

      And the interviewer asked some pertinent questions about why the soldiers were traveling in a Humvee and not one of the available light armoured vehicles that provide a bit more protection.

    • deuto 12.2

      Agreed – Goff spoke with compassion while making his views very clear.

      Stuff’s latest report on the tragedy also reports Goff’s comments rather than anything from Shearer

      Goff, a former defence minister, said it was not a case of ”cutting and running”.

      ”It’s a case of managing an orderly transition out of Bamiyan which the Government should have been embarking on already.”

      New Zealand had done everything it could in the province.

      “There is nothing further we can do to influence outcomes in Bamiyan or in Afghanistan. To justify sacrifice, you’ve got to have obtainable objectives.

      “Things are going backwards in Afghanistan, not forwards. Not because of what our guys are doing but because the [Afghanistan] government has failed utterly to win the support of its own people.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/7507715/Woman-among-three-Kiwi-soldiers-killed

      Herald mentions Shearer very briefly rather than Goff

      Labour Party leader David Shearer said troops should be withdrawn as soon as practically possible.

      “We’re talking about the end of the year – I would like to think that we could bring that forward,” he told TV3’s Firstline.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828065

    • felix 12.3

      “Very good interview with Phil Goff on RNZ just now. Authoritative, informed and committed to workable solution. Miss that quality of ministerial comment.”

      I miss that quality of leader of the oppositionial comment too. Seems odd now that Phil was considered too wishy-washy and not a good enough communicator to lead the Labour Party.

      • deuto 12.3.1

        It does seem odd now to me also, Felix. Although I must say Goff looks so much more relaxed and 10 years younger these days, now that he is now leader.

      • Colonial Viper 12.3.2

        Yep, I liked Goff in the lead up to elections and still do.

    • Chris 12.4

      Heard that also and so do I.

    • TEA 12.5

      Yes – but useless as a leader

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    Holy sh*t.

    The NY Times is reporting that most of the recent attacks on NATO troops were by our “allies,” the Afghan army, NOT by the Taliban!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/world/asia/afghan-attacks-on-allied-troops-prompt-nato-to-shift-policy.html?ref=global-home

  14. shorts 14

    The Gunner’s Lament

    A Maori gunner lay dying
    In a paddyfield north of Saigon,
    And he said to his pakeha cobber,
    “I reckon I’ve had it, man!

    ‘And if I could fly like a bird
    To my old granny’s whare
    A truck and a winch would never drag
    Me back to the Army.

    ‘A coat and a cap and a well-paid job
    Looked better than shovelling metal,
    And they told me that Te Rauparaha
    Would have fought in the Vietnam battle.

    ‘On my last leave the town swung round
    Like a bucket full of eels.
    The girls liked the uniform
    And I liked the girls.

    ‘Like a bullock to the abattoirs
    In the name of liberty
    They flew me with a hangover
    Across the Tasman Sea,

    ‘And what I found in Vietnam
    Was mud and blood and fire,
    With the Yanks and the Reds taking turns
    At murdering the poor.

    ‘And I saw the reason for it
    In a Viet Cong’s blazing eyes –
    We fought for the crops of kumara
    And they are fighting for the rice.

    ‘So go tell my sweetheart
    To get another boy
    Who’ll cuddle her and marry her
    And laugh when the bugles blow,

    ‘And tell my youngest brother
    He can have my shotgun
    To fire at the ducks on the big lagoon,
    But not to aim it at a man,

    ‘And tell my granny to wear black
    And carry a willow leaf,
    Because the kid she kept from the cold
    Has eaten a dead man’s loaf.

    ‘And go and tell Keith Holyoake
    Sitting in Wellington,
    However long he scrubs his hands
    He’ll never get them clean.’

    James K Baxter
    1965

    when will we learn?

    RIP

  15. Carol 15

    Posted by a new Labour MP, David Goff:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/labour-mourns-the-loss-of-kiwi-soldiers-in-afghanistan

    Labour mourns the loss of Kiwi soldiers in Afghanistan

    David ShearerPhil Goff | Monday, August 20, 2012 – 10:02

    Labour is offering its heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends and colleagues of the three New Zealand soldiers killed in Afghanistan when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.

    “These soldiers gave their lives in the service of their country. Their sacrifice will always be respected and remembered.

    “New Zealand can be proud of the contribution it has made in the Bamyan province to assist the lives of the local people. However the ability of our troops to continue to make a real difference there is undermined by the corruption of the Karzai regime.

    “We have done our best over nine years but without a government that can win the support of its own people we cannot win the war there.

    “We must bring our troops home as soon as practicable,” said David Shearer.

    Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff says that staying longer in Bamyan will not achieve any significant purpose.

    • Bored 15.1

      Goff and Shearer might have been more credible if they had stated that Labour had sent the troops into Afghanistan, and that the decision they made was WRONG!

      Is nobody in Labour ever going to state any personal responsibility? These guys lack credibility, to admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness might be a bloody good start for them torecover our faith in them.

      • Te Reo Putake 15.1.1

        They have nothing to apologise for, Bored. The original decision was perfectly sound, particularly as it involved recontruction work rather than gung ho soldiering. I’m glad we went, sad about the deaths, but proud we played our part in ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban Government.

        • Bored 15.1.1.1

          Te, I am on record as objecting when our troops were first deployed on the basis that if it required military personnel to do a civilian job then it was too dangerous. So respectfully I wont agree with you on this issue.

          With regard to forgiveness Labour might take that more generally, there’s the whole neo-lib legacy for starters.

          • Te Reo Putake 15.1.1.1.1

            Fair enough, Bored, you articulate your position well. However, I think you may have missed that armies regularly do construction work in combat zones. Reparing roads, building bridges and digging wells is just part of the job.
             
            As for the neo lib thang, it’s ancient history and of no relevance to voters these days, so I doubt we will ever hear an apology from Labour. Most of the main players left and formed ACT anyway and it’ll be a cold day in hell when Roger “I’m entitled’ Douglas apologises!

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1.1

              However, I think you may have missed that armies regularly do construction work in combat zones. Reparing roads, building bridges and digging wells is just part of the job.

              Bamiyan province was never considered so insecure as to be a “combat zone”, IIRC. They are not a majority Pashtun province, for starters. However, the security situation there has deteriorated, not got better, over the last 12 months.

  16. felix 16

    Chicken John must be feeling a right wally now. He’s going to have to either:

    a) attend the memorial services, suggesting that they’re more important than the last ones were,

    or

    b) same as last time: pretend that a personal event scheduled for 4 days after the services prevents him from attending, exposing himself as a cheap liar and a con-man,

    or

    c) refuse to attend, having played armchair warrior in the media, and look a callous prick.

    • The Baron 16.1

      Pretty tasteless felix, but don’t let a tragedy prevent you from trying to score points.

      Unless JK’s son has yet another tournament scheduled, I would imagine he would be there.

      • felix 16.1.1

        The Baron picks option (a), these deaths are more important than the others and the PM should be expected to show.

        (as long as there are no urgent sporting events, dog shows, dinner parties, or romantic walks scheduled for any time 4 days either side of the services of course, in which case option (b) should apply)

      • pukeko 16.1.2

        Kaua koe e whai atu i ngā mahi a te hukehuke rā, kei raru kōrua tahi.

  17. AmaKiwi 17

    Hello?

    Am I the only one who thinks it is significant that the Afghan army has turned against us and is killing our soldiers? This is what NATO commanders are saying!

    For God’s sake, and the sake of our remaining troops in Afghanistan, READ IT.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/world/asia/afghan-attacks-on-allied-troops-prompt-nato-to-shift-policy.html?ref=global-home

    The people we thought we are helping are MURDERING our soldiers!

  18. AmaKiwi 18

    Thank you, Carol. But as usual the NZ version pretends this is “a problem that can be solved.”

    If MOST of the attacks on NATO troops are from the Afghan army (NY Times article), the Afghan army has been thoroughly infiltrated. Or maybe not “infiltrated” so much as outraged about European armies causing civilian deaths and destruction of their homeland. Either way, European military involvement in Afghanistan is rapidly coming to an end.

    • Carol 18.1

      Well, yes, it’s a pretty sanitised version from within NZ. The NYT article is from the perspective of the US military. The Guardian story on it more directly claims it is likely to be due to infiltration:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/17/afghanistan-insider-attacks-us-soldiers

      An Afghan soldier and police officer have turned their guns on foreign troops they work with, killing two and injuring several others, hours after the Taliban’s leader boasted about his fighters’ infiltration of government security forces and called for more attacks.

  19. Johnm 19

    I haven’t been following Afghanistan but it seems to me that when our soldiers were just doing reconstruction work, no fighting except in self-defence, there were no casualties. Then the SAS get involved and start fighting to assist the allies and that’s when the casualties begin
    My 10 cents worth it’s very hard to beat an enemy whose “way of life” is war compared with our people for whom its just a profession and that enemy can disappear effortlessly back into the civilian population when retreating in their war of the flea. Also if they’re killed they get to go to Paradise with 70 virgins waiting for them- hard to beat that! :-D

    • shorts 19.1

      its very hard if not impossible to successfully occupy a country when you’ve not actually won the war from the get go – we’re part of an occupying force

      for some strange reason there are elements in Afghanistan who don’t take kindly to being invaded, occupied and targeted for death

      so they fight back… and all occupying forces are targeted as and when they have the means to

      we should be ashamed of our involvement in this war

      • Populuxe1 19.1.1

        As the Soviets found out, you could be building them schools and swimming pools and they’ll still try to kill you in big numbers

    • lprent 19.2

      The SAS (as far as we can tell) have largely been deployed in Kabul in this current mission and quite a way from the rest of our troops. Your idea is quite unlikely.

      What appears to be happening is what can only be described as a political positioning prior to the removal of the occupation forces. Afghan political manoeuvres often bear a striking similarity to military manoeuvres, and have done so for as long as I have been able to see in the history of the area. That is why it is a hell of place for all of their neighbouring states because they’re usually in the spillover of politics there.

  20. AmaKiwi 20

    People defending their families and homes have an immeasurable psychological advantage over an invading army who “lay waste to the land and call it peace.” (Tacitus, 117 A.D.)

  21. Steve Wrathall 21

    The attempt by many here to declare that the Taleban will be ultimately victorious is sickening. These thugs are slaughtered whenever they engage with coalition troops. They have no hope of defeating large enemy formations, capturing large stocks of enemy hardware or occupying major strategic positions. These roadside bombs have no military value in and of themself. Their “added value” is when useful idiots in the coalition countries react to such tragedies by advocating policies that will make the world safe for theocratic terrorism. In this case, to cut and run, and leave Afghanistan to their tender mercies. Reacting in this way only rewards and encourages terrorism. We can fight such vermin in the hills of Afghanistan with professional volunteers, or we can fight them in the aisles of aircraft with fire extinguishers. Which do you prefer?

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      The attempt by many here to declare that the Taleban will be ultimately victorious is sickening. These thugs are slaughtered whenever they engage with coalition troops. They have no hope of defeating large enemy formations, capturing large stocks of enemy hardware or occupying major strategic positions.

      The Taleban are highly effective users of assymetric warfare. A $100 road side bomb takes out a $75,000 Hummer. And 3 NZ troopers.

      Reacting in this way only rewards and encourages terrorism. We can fight such vermin in the hills of Afghanistan with professional volunteers, or we can fight them in the aisles of aircraft with fire extinguishers. Which do you prefer?

      You do know that the “vermin” are in their own homeland, and we are the foreign occupying force, right? You do know that every Pashtun killed by Western fighters will generally rally 5-10 family members against us? Do the math for a sec.

    • lostinsuburbia 21.2

      Hmm, it was Saudi Arabians that piloted the planes on 9/11, not Afghanis.

      If you want to avoid terror attacks, there are plenty of targets other than mountain sheppards and truck drivers.

      And given the likely fluid movement of weapons from the Afghani National Army to warlords and insurgents, I doubt any of them would need to be on a plane to bring it down. And don’t forget the Americans gave the same folks stinger missiles in the 80s (though I imagine that they haven’t been stored correctly and may not be all useable now).

      • Colonial Viper 21.2.1

        And don’t forget the Americans gave the same folks stinger missiles in the 80s (though I imagine that they haven’t been stored correctly and may not be all useable now).

        And much more than that. Including funding, and training in guerilla warfare tactics against superior military forces (the U.S.S.R. at the time).

      • Polish Pride 21.2.2

        Hmmm interesting want to check something around censorship….
        and it was Mossad Agents that ‘pulled’ the twin towers and building 7 on 9-11. They were then seen celebrating moments after the collapse and were arrested by NYPD after calls from members of the public but were later released.
        But you’l never see the US invading Israel over 9-11

        • Populuxe1 21.2.2.1

          But you’ll never see the US invading Israel over 9-11

          Mainly because everything you’ve just said is a big pile of bullshit

          • Polish Pride 21.2.2.1.1

            Then you need to educate yourself further around the events of 9-11!
            perhaps you’d like to start by doing a google search on ‘Mossad agents 9-11′
            Then educate yourself on ‘Susan Lindauer’ the ex CIA agent that they imprisoned and wanted to chemically lobotomise to stop her speaking out.

            I hate arrogance, what I hate even more is arrogance from someone who is uninformed Populuxe1. Educate yourself!

            [lprent: Starting to get way off topic which is on our role in Afghanistan and the troops killed there. If you want to start (yet) another of these discussions, then move it to OpenMike before I decide that you're trying to deliberately threadjack a post. You might want to educate yourself by reading the policy to avoid these pleasant wee warnings in the future. ]

            • Gosman 21.2.2.1.1.1

              You might very well be right in your views on this. I personally think the chances of you being right are very, very tiny indeed. However it is still a possibility.

              What I find interesting is that you don’t seem to acknowledge that your views could be wrong, or even that they are held by a very marginalised section of society. No mainstream politcian in the West would ever express such views for example.

              What I also find interesting is that all the ‘Truthers’ out there like you aren’tr very effective at changing the reality that their view is not accepted by the mainstream. Sure you could argue that some in positions of power are manipulating people against you but that only holds for a short while. Eventually I would expect someone in the mainstream to start pushing this view if it held up as much as you like to think it does.

              The fact that over ten years after September the 11th 2001 nothing much has changed on this front suggests there is something seriously wrong in the ‘Truther’ movements arguments or at least the approach they are taking.

              • Polish Pride

                Gos (and I have reverted back to calling you Gos because your posts of late have been intelligent).

                You might very well be right in your views on this. I personally think the chances of you being right are very, very tiny indeed. However it is still a possibility.

                It doesn’t matter if I am right on this… what matters is that you (or anyone else) look at the evidence and make up their own mind. Ask why?

                What I find interesting is that you don’t seem to acknowledge that your views could be wrong, or even that they are held by a very marginalised section of society.
                Actually the information on Mossads potential involvement has only started coming out recently in comparison to the rest of the information on 9-11
                As for believing the official story. There are a growing number of people even in America who don’t believe it. Anyone with an intelligent mind (and I know you have one Gos) would, on looking at the evidence not believe the official story.
                I have made up my mind about Mossad involvement based on a large number of sources and piecing together things from eye witness accounts. Things such as explosions in the basement powerful enough to through people against walls…..before the towers collapsed (one tiny piece btw)

                No mainstream politcian in the West would ever express such views for example.
                I don’t have a great deal of respect for politicians Gos – in my experience they often tend not to tell the truth on a number of things.

                What I also find interesting is that all the ‘Truthers’ out there like you aren’tr very effective at changing the reality that their view is not accepted by the mainstream. Sure you could argue that some in positions of power are manipulating people against you but that only holds for a short while. Eventually I would expect someone in the mainstream to start pushing this view if it held up as much as you like to think it does.
                Gos You clearly do have a level of intelligence but this statement says that you have a great deal to learn about how the world really works and who is in charge. The good thing for you is that if you become privy to the information that I have over the past 7 years you have the intelligence to put all the pieces together. I am not saying I have all the pieces btw, because everytime I used to think that something else comes along that needs to be added to the mix.
                I will say this given your level of intelligence (despite what many on here think about you) If you believe the official story on 9-11 then you haven’t looked deep enough.
                I suspect you will find you tube Vids on the ex CIA agent very interesting, especially given her role with Iraq and the part about Dick Cheney.

                The fact that over ten years after September the 11th 2001 nothing much has changed on this front suggests there is something seriously wrong in the ‘Truther’ movements arguments or at least the approach they are taking.
                Wrong Gos in light of overwhelming evidence it suggests that there is something seriously wrong with the system on a myriad of different levels.
                The question is did that University education of yours teach you ‘what to think’ or how to think for yourself with logic and reasoning even faced with something that seems illogical.

                I’m not a truther, this is just one tiny part of a much much bigger picture of the reality of our world.

    • gobsmacked 21.3

      We can fight such vermin in the hills of Afghanistan with professional volunteers, or we can fight them in the aisles of aircraft with fire extinguishers.

      Steve, are you proposing that the USA should invade Pakistan, with NZ support?

      Do you understand that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not the same?

      Do you understand that there have been terrorist killings in the last week alone, everywhere from Russia to Yemen? How are they being prevented by NZ troops in Bamiyan?

    • Strategos 21.4

      “We can fight such vermin in the hills of Afghanistan with professional volunteers, or we can fight them in the aisles of aircraft with fire extinguishers.”

      Are you volunteering ?

    • joe90 21.5

      These roadside bombs have no military value in and of themself.

      Really?.

      Of the 240 fatalities so far this year 108, 45%, by IED

      http://icasualties.org/OEF/Index.aspx

      • Colonial Viper 21.5.1

        maybe Steve Wrathall thinks that level of casualties is not militarily significant.

    • Morrissey 21.6

      Something called “Steve Wrathall” is as confused as it is angry….

      The attempt by many here to declare that the Taleban will be ultimately victorious is sickening.

      “Taleban” is a technical term for “anybody that shoots at us.” It’s used to discredit the resistance in the same way German propagandists used “Jewish communists” to describe partisan resistance fighters in World War II.

      These thugs are slaughtered…

      “Thugs” is a technical term for any women and children our brave occupation troops slaughter.

      ….useful idiots…theocratic terrorism… vermin….splutter…drool… curse…spit…

      Normally I’d advise someone as worked up and stressed as this bloke to take a break, but I think what he really needs is an education. Read a book, buddy, then another one.

      Then read some more.

      And please stop recycling what you’ve just heard on talkback radio.

    • Murray Olsen 21.7

      Gee Steve, that reads like a cut and paste from a 1960s Domino Theory speech, with a few words changed. How many countries need to be destroyed in order to save them? I seem to remember that the Vietcong/NVA also had no hope of winning and victory for the forces of freedom was just around the corner.
      Please also be kind enough to remember that it was Al Queda and not the Taleban who hijacked the planes. The same Al Queda who were in Libya helping fight for democracy there.

      • Gosman 21.7.1

        A few things you need to take into account when attempting to compare Afghanistan to Vietnam

        Vietnam was engaged in a struggle for full independence after a colonial war. The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were less fighting against foreign occupation than fighting for unification. The Afghan fighters have a less clear goal. Some are fighting against Foreign Troops, some are fighting for an Islamic Theocracy, and some are fighting for Pushtun tribal dominance.

        Vietnam had a secure territoryfrom which both regular and irregular troops could be trained and supplied from as well as planning for what they were going to do. Additionally they received material support in abundance from external nations like the Soviet Union. The anti-Afghan Government forces only have unofficial support from elements of the Pakistani regime and are often in conflict with the Pakistani state. No State is providing them with anything like the military arms that the Viet Cong, or even Mujhadeen, received.

        The Vietnam war was won via a convential invasion of South Vietnam by the North in 1975. The Afghan rebels have little chance of staging something similar.

  22. Kiplingesque 22

    Twas ever thus .. !

  23. Snakeoil 23

    Steve Wrathall: Are you proposing to fight the Taleban and Al-Qaida in Syria ?

    Seriously, have a look at

    http://physics911.net/

  24. Blue 24

    Let’s be honest – the war in Afghanistan is a complete failure. Afghanistan is not a jot better off now than it was before the US invaded, and once the invaders are gone it will revert to business as usual under Taleban control.

    Invading the country and killing the people has virtually ensured the next generation of suicide bombers and extremist governments.

    Why are we involved in this madness again? Oh, right. Sucking up to the US so they’ll give us a free trade deal.

    Somehow, I don’t think that’s the ideal those young soldiers have gone off to die for.

    • gobsmacked 24.1

      It would be really good to debate this with people who think the current policy makes sense.

      Unfortunately they just like to dump and disappear – they say “you lefties iz traytors” or some such well thought out argument, and then when asked to explain what our soldiers are dying for, they are silent.

      Still, worth one more try …

      What are our soldiers dying for? Why should they remain in Afghanistan? Do you support them leaving in 2013? If so, why? If Key brings the departure date forward (as currently speculated), is he “cutting and running”? Or do you just agree with whatever random date the PM happens to announce?

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        What are our soldiers dying for? Why should they remain in Afghanistan?

        We are simply paying our levies to obtain/retain the membership benefits of Pax Americana.

        • gobsmacked 24.1.2.1

          Yes, we can all Google a press release.

          What’s your point?

          • higherstandard 24.1.2.1.1

            That the NZDF are likely to be the most reliable on offering coherent reasoned opinion in relation to their activities rather than all of us anonymous critics on blogs.

            http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/operations/overseas-deployments/afghanistan/default.htm

            If we had any compassion we would simply offer the families and the NZDF our deepest sympathies and leave it at that for the moment.

            • Colonial Viper 24.1.2.1.1.1

              Of course, as is of no surprise, that link contains no assessment of the pros and cons of why we are over there.

            • gobsmacked 24.1.2.1.1.2

              If we had any compassion we would simply offer the families and the NZDF our deepest sympathies and leave it at that for the moment.

              Phil Goff has no compassion? He’s buried his nephew.

              He doesn’t seem to be “leaving it at that”, the scoundrel. I guess he believes in this “freedom” thing that people are supposed to be dying for.

            • felix 24.1.2.1.1.3

              “If we had any compassion we would simply offer the families and the NZDF our deepest sympathies and leave it at that for the moment.”

              Alright. What’s a reasonably compassionate amount of time to leave it for?

              • gobsmacked

                A couple of hours, according to Mark Sainsbury, John Campbell, and the rest of the NZ media. And they’re now being briefed on air strikes and the SAS and other matters, by … the NZDF. Do they have no compassion?

                I’m not sure when “anonymous critics on blogs” are allowed to comment. Awaiting the green light from Higherstandard.

                • felix

                  Also, does one set of fatalities rule out all such discussion for the as yet unspecified time?

                  Or does it rule out only such discussion directly related to the specific fatalities which triggered the embargo?

                  i.e. if the time limit has been met for last week’s deaths (and I have no idea if it has), can we now discuss the political ramifications of those events or do these latest deaths reset that ban as well?

            • lprent 24.1.2.1.1.4

              Nope – I disagree.

              All deployments into combat zones are political issues and this one has been no exception from the initial decision to go in until now. Having casualties are a legitimate reason to question the reasons for being there, as do budgets, equipment upgrades to support the deployments, and who we’re associated with. Trying to muffle dissent on deployments with either the flag of patriotism or the burial shroud is just a irritating tactic that is unhelpful to avoid looking at the military and political choices. In my view it isn’t a particularly useful or legitimate debating technique.

              Deployments should always be questioned, and it is something that you’ll notice that military never comments on. They have more sense than to want to have an unthinking patriotism backing them because that usually increases their risks with foolish political direction. They’re always perfectly aware of the risks of their chosen profession.

              BTW: I’ve always supported having troops go to Afghanistan pretty much for the same reasons that the government gave at the time (and was heartily glad that we didn’t follow the jackass yanks into their mistaken invasion of Iraq). I also consider that the various deployments have not achieved their overall mission objectives but I think that is more of political problem in Afghanistan. My opinion is that both the Afghans and ourselves would have a far worse problem if we hadn’t deployed. However we’ve been there far too long now….

              • Morrissey

                My opinion is that both the Afghans and ourselves would have a far worse problem if we hadn’t deployed.

                Nonsense. That could have been written by an Army PR spokesperson. In what way has the presence of New Zealand troops improved anything in Afghanistan?

                (And handing a few sweets out and teaching the haka to some kids is not improving the lives of the locals in any meaningful fashion.)

                • Colonial Viper

                  The mission was a fail from the moment Afghan civilians became routine casualties of Allied action. You bomb a wedding, and thats a dozen extended families and 3 local tribes who are going to want payback.

  25. joe90 25

    A reminder about who the villain is.

    http://dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/sites/dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/files/afghan-ip.pdf

    Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

    Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

    Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

    Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

    Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

    Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

    Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

    Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

    Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

    Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn’t a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Nice interview. Good old superpower geopolitics in play. The Soviets apparently got sucked into it.

      Of course, none of this US/Russian/(Chinese) manouvering applies to Syria etc. today. Does it.

  26. bad12 26

    Listening to the Chief of Defense Reece Jones on RadioNZ i suspect that we are in for more body bags being flown home via Bagram in the future,

    Apparently permission has been given for the New Zealand contingent in Afghanistan to conduct operations in the neighbouring province,

    I would suggest that the latest deaths as a result of the road-side bomb have directly resulted from the fire-fight that killed and wounded a number of Kiwi soldiers earlier,

    The bomb in my opinion being a matter of Utu where the Afghan tribesmen involved suffered a number of casualties when the New Zealand troops intervened in a local issue,

    Being involved in ‘reconstruction’ is a totally different action than deliberately engaging in the factional fighting which is, and has been for decades, akin to a number of well armed gangs engaged in their own particular brand of gang warfare and in so doing the Kiwis have basically put their hands up to be in the fight,

    The Afhgani’s will happily oblige and i fear that the latest 3 to come home in a bag will not be the last in what will become an escalation into hostilities where ‘we’ have little chance of ‘winning’…

  27. Kia Ora

    There is nothing wrong with questioning why we are involved in the so-called “War on Terrorism”. I think the real “War on Terrorism” ended years ago, and this is something else. For ideological reasons it suited to have a campaign against terrorism only for as long as it suited the ambitions of the United States State Department and Pentagon. Their real focus was somewhere else.

    http://willsheberight.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/is-this-really-war-on-terrorism.html

    Rob

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    DimPost | 15-09
  • The cost of a bowl of Weet-Bix
    One of the most dishonest arguments the right ever put forward on the subject of poverty is around one of the simplest things in life: a bowl of Weet-Bix. Yesterday Nikki Kaye approvingly re-posted a letter to the editor which...
    Boots Theory | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The costs and trade-offs of free public transport in Auckland
    One perennial discussion in transport circles is whether we shouldn’t just do away with public transport fares completely and make the whole network free of charge. Why not fully subsidise the network as a public service using public monies as...
    Transport Blog | 15-09
  • OnPoint: “Project SPEARGUN underway”
    Let's get this out of the way: The Warner Bros email was a complete clusterfuck. Faced with claims that the emails were fake, TeamDotcom did a TeamKey - they got Hone to send it off to the Privileges Committee then...
    Public Address | 15-09
  • Beef + Lamb NZ Outlines Priorities Ahead of Election
    Press Release – Beef And Lamb NZ Beef + Lamb New Zealand has outlined what it sees as the policy priorities for the incoming government.16 SEPTEMBER 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Beef + Lamb New Zealand Outlines Priorities Ahead of General...
    Its our future | 15-09
  • Spies, education, finances, a star and a forecast
    John Key pulled the election date forward. He said it was to avoid clashes with likely global leaders’ visits after the G20 meeting in Australia in November. But clouds were looming too. One was John Banks’ conviction, widely expected. By...
    Colin James | 15-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the aftermath of the Greenwald/Snowden revelations
    The credibility issues have come down to two main ones: 1 The email. This has to do with whether Key knowingly agreed to use our immigration rules as a tool to ensnare and ultimately extradite Kim Dotcom, and do so...
    Gordon Campbell | 15-09
  • This government should (but probably won’t) be over
    The revelations last night (and leaked during the day) SHOULD end this government. In brief: 1) Even if Key is telling the truth (which is pretty far-fetched and increasingly unlikely given Snowden’s evidence), they still got a plan underway for illegal...
    Cut your hair | 15-09
  • Mass surveillance and sexual violence: Assange and Snowden
    Article – Fightback Mass surveillance and sexual violence: The difference between Snowden and Assange by Fightback Admin 16 September 2014Mass surveillance and sexual violence: The difference between Snowden and Assange by Fightback Admin 16 September 2014 Chelsea Manning and Edward...
    Its our future | 15-09
  • The Moment of Truth #2 – Humpty Dumpty words
    Words matter, never so much in New Zealand politics as they do right now. Remember Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass?'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose...
    Pundit | 15-09
  • The Moment of Truth #1
    Sitting in the Auckland Town Hall tonight – both in the hall meeting and the press conference after – two old sayings kept passing through my mind: "it's all about the timing" and "the devil's in the details". Both truisms...
    Pundit | 15-09
  • The meaning of John Key (reprise)
    I wrote the following essay on John Key and the politics of amnesia three years ago, in the lead-up to the last election. In preparation for writing it, I attempted to read, watch or listen to every one of Key’s...
    Bat bean beam | 15-09
  • But what is truth – if you follow me?
    There were some major revelations in the Internet Party’s ‘Moment of Truth’ event tonight, mostly from Glen Greenwald and Edward Snowden. But what there wasn’t was any reference to Kim Dotcom’s bombshell ‘proving’ that the Prime Minister had lied about...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • But what is truth – if you follow me?
    There were some major revelations in the Internet Party’s ‘Moment of Truth’ event tonight, mostly from Glen Greenwald and Edward Snowden. But what there wasn’t was any reference to Kim Dotcom’s bombshell ‘proving’ that the Prime Minister had lied about...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The Māori seats
    One of the pecularities of MMP is that because of the proportional representation provided by the party vote, there is virtually no electoral benefit to winning electorate seats (there are other political benefits, which I’ve touched on previously). So even...
    Progress report | 15-09
  • The 97% v the 3% – just how much global warming are humans causing?
    A pair of climate scientists recently had a dispute regarding how much global warming humans are responsible for. Gavin Schmidt from Nasa represented the consensus of 96–97% of climate experts in arguing that humans have been the dominant cause of...
    Skeptical Science | 15-09
  • The other option for the left
    While everyone was rightly paying attention to the Key / Dotcom / GCSB revelations today, Winston Peters made a modest proposal: another Labour-NZ First coalition:New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said today that voters should consider a Labour-New Zealand First...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Winning on the Economy
    One of the great tricks of the right over the past twenty years has been to desiccate debate about our economy. ‘The economy’ is spoken about as if it is an independent entity, divorced from the realm of democratic politics...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Conservatives Break through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Hundreds of Students Turn Out for Political Debate
    With only a few days left before the general election, over 500 Victoria students packed the central Hub space on campus today to listen to a political debate on student issues organised by the Students’ Association. Victoria University of Wellington...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Ex-prisoners make most of mentoring to make most of life
    It’s not every day that an organisation triples a programme in size, but PARS Inc (formerly known as the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society of the Auckland District Inc) has managed to do just that with their Community Mentoring Scheme,...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Unscrupulous worker highlights why 90-days works
    Federated Farmers believes the experience of a husband and wife farming team in Taranaki underscores why the 90-days provision is so important to small businesses. “Yesterday a member called 0800 FARMING to alert us to a guy doing the rounds...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eye to Eye Uploaded
    Leading Maori broadcaster and political commentator Willie Jackson previews Eye to Eye Uploaded, a multi-platform series of interviews that he’s aiming to put in front of media radars next year....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Party Rankings against Inequality
    Revealed: which party will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government
    The Maritime Union says a change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Detroit-based music publishing companies sue National Party for damages for unauthorised use of song in election campaign advertising...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
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