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The Standard

Climb the mountain of conflict

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 pm, April 8th, 2013 - 54 comments
Categories: Minister for International Embarrassment, Minister for Overseas Holidays, war - Tags:

North Korea is playing nuclear brinksmanship at the moment. Its leadership probably doesn’t want war but the constant threat of war is how it get concessions from the West, gains mana, and keeps its people in line. The West is trying to defuse this situation by talking down the prospects of war, while showing its readiness. Into this delicate, high stakes game stumbled John Key.

The leaders of South Korea and the US have carefully avoided saying that they would go to war with North Korea. They’ve said they will respond strongly to any attack, which is envisioned as small and isolated but purposely not spoken of any kind of full-scale war of the kind that distant allies could get involved in. The choice of language is not accidental. South Korea doesn’t want a full-scale war (they’re realists and wouldn’t exchange their own blood and treasury for ending a regime that’s murdering their cousins), nor does the US.

And in comes Key saying ‘if there’s a war, we’ll be in, we’ll fight you, North Korea’.

You could practically hear foreheads being slapped from the Pentagon to Seoul. The last thing the West needs is one of its members saying it would join in a full-on war with North Korea. That kind of provocative talk increases the risk of a miscalculation that could tip the whole Korean peninsula over the edge and into the fire.

Some people are saying ‘well, Key just gave the frank and honest answer’. To which I sigh and say ‘when did frankness and honesty ever have anything to do with diplomacy?’ It’s not in anyone’s interest for people to be talking up their will for a war at this point, even if that will might exist.

Key was surely briefed on this before he went to China. If not by his mates in the spy services, then surely by his media people when they realised that the ‘knuckleheads’ would be itching to put him embarrassingly on the spot when in China. Surely. the line he was told to give was ‘we see no need for conflict on the Korean Peninsula and support all efforts to ease tensions’.

Maybe, he went off script. That’s what I thought when I heard him… it kind of reminded me of this:

54 comments on “Climb the mountain of conflict”

  1. chris73 1

    This is a smart play by Key, hes stated that we are allied with the USA and to be honest no ones all that bothered by what NZ says, militarily speaking

    • The Al1en 1.1

      “a smart play by Key”

      Paid to write stuff like that, or totally clueless. You decide.

      If John ever wants to make use of his complimentary Sky city platinum card and sign me in as a guest, I’d be quite happy to to get back some of the 1K pw tax cut he gave himself and share a few hands of poker with him.
      I’m all in on his first bluff and every time after. He has so many tells.

      Good job people like chris can’t see them or he’d be really screwed.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1

        Yep, totally clueless.

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.2

        Key would have the GCSB filming your cards. I wouldn’t play poker with him. Breathing the same air as him is distasteful enough for me.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      You do know it’s your service mates who are going to get fucked over by this right, chris73? Defence force budget cuts all round, but then suddenly Gung Ho Key starts talking tough.

      • Tim 1.2.1

        Ahhhhhh! flash flash flash goes the lightbulb in Tim’s cluttered mind (re C73!)
        Christ! It ain’t God defend NuZullun, it’s God save us!
        I am correct in assuming the 73 is your birth year aye Chris?
        Pardon y’all the diversion

    • So what is important is not world piece but local political points …

      I could never ever imagine Helen making such a crass and stupid statement.

      • ghostrider888 1.3.1

        “peace” Brother, peace. :)

        • mickysavage 1.3.1.1

          He dunno what happened there …

          Safari what did you do?

          • ghostrider888 1.3.1.1.1

            sorry Mickey, but I was on my way to do the groceries and I stumbled across a cafe…and then there was that spelling mistake…Gee, I hope there is a soft Australian Red who is not a political time-bomb on sale. :)

            • mickysavage 1.3.1.1.1.1

              It might have been a subconscious expression of what I think Key wants to end up with after his reign as PM has finished …

    • emergency mike 1.4

      chris you are fucking clueless. Look at it from the North Korean govt perspective. A crux of their internal propaganda is that they are a major, nuclear armed, military powerhouse. The whole world shakes in awe of their might and other world leaders beg Kim Jong-un for advice on how to run their country.

      So when the country they are officially at war with conducts extensive mililtary exercises with the great satan involving nuclear capable bombers and F-22’s and more within spitting distance of their border, they can’t exactly just slink back their offices and shuffle paper. Their own propaganda narrative demands that they react. Thus they do in the only way they really can, with the usual big bluff war talk. Who else would release a photo casually showing their nuclear attack plan for the US mainland, (which analysts believe they don’t have the missle tech for)? When people pointed out that there had been no troop movements as per claimed war preparations, they moved a missile.

      I live in South Korea and here it’s business as usual. South Koreans have heard this same all bets are off/we’re ripping up all agreements/we’re gonna war u maybe next week talk from the North their whole lives. But the real fear is that NK will feel they have to do something along the sink a boat or bomb an island line, just to save face. Then there is the fact that they are known to possess chemical weapons, and a crude nuke is still a nuke. Who knows what goes on in paranoid internal upper level politics in that most messed up of all countries. Everyone knows this is how real wars do start. South Korea elected their first female president in November. She will be keen to show that she isn’t going to be intimidated by NK bully talk.

      China doesn’t want NK to get flattened by the US and have to deal with the multidutes of refugees and suddenly have a fully US controlled Korea on it’s border. And as much as SK hopes for reunification, the prospect of adopting one of the poorest countries in the world isn’t exactly a mouth-watering prospect economically.

      So John Key, our so-called leader, flies over to China. On Friday he told us that he’s realized he has issues figuring out the whole ‘thinking and opening his gob which comes first’ thing. But of course, even though it’s true, he doesn’t really believe it – that was just the best line he could come up with to explain his latest round of casual off the cuff lying.

      “If there’s a war, we’ll fight with our US bros against ’em North Koreans just like always.”

      Yeah, while everyone else is trying to use words that talk down the prospect of war, John “I think I should stop answering questions” Key wades into this delicate mess and talks it up. I can see the NK propaganda now, “Immoral allies of the imperialist dogs announce their war plans against us!”

      What an idiot. John Key just embarrased himself in front of the international diplomatic community, showing all that he is rank amateur when it comes to foreign relations. He can add China to the regularly growing list of countries that he has insulted. And he’s done the people who live in South Korea no favours in terms of trying to discourage someone in the NK from having a brain-fart and killing a bunch of people one way or another. Please go home and stick to flogging off NZ to your rich mates and making jokes about Davis Shearer’s bank accounts John Key you fucking clown.

  2. Michael Valley 2

    So, what’s the gain for New Zealand in that?

    If he had wanted to say we’re allied to the US, then he could have said that in some other context, rather than saying we are ready to go to war with North Korea.

    And allying ourselves with the US isn’t a gain, we’re trying to run an independent foreign policy because our priority is trade and to do that we want to cuddle up with China too

    • idlegus 2.1

      & get a seat on the UN council, saying we will follow & support any move the USA makes surely makes that less likely.

      • Michael Valley 2.1.1

        a good point. Apart from risking Chinese support, it’ll make some question whether they want such a hothead directing a vote on the security council.

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Its also rather silly when you think that the last Korean war was under UN and not US control. Saying that we will follow the US is actually historically not correct. Details details …

        • freedom 2.1.1.2

          i may be mistaken but i thought it was a non-voting seat on the security council

          • McFlock 2.1.1.2.1

            No, it’s just that the 5 permanent members can veto any resolution by the 15 members of the council (5 permanent, 10 non-permanent).

    • AmaKiwi 2.2

      @ Michael Valley

      Precisely. If you are a small fry and want to get as much as you can from the big guys you KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT and play at being neutral.

      Mr. Key, in case it escaped your notice, the USA is NOT allied with China. The USA and China are the two bullies in town, each vying to be king of the hill.

      So you go to China and tell them you are best mates with their opponent. How stupid can you get!

      Also in case it escaped your notice, TPPA is about the USA creating its own trading block (exclusive economic network) in China’s backyard.

      He lost his cool, he can’t remember, and now we know he’s clueless in the international arena.

      Worse. Under our system of rotating dictatorships Mr. “So what” – “Can’t recall” has the power to drag all 4.5 million of us into war all by himself.

    • ghostrider888 2.3

      well, at least we have the “diplomacy” to stay schtumm about our sharing of intellectual property via the wire with the Motherland; what did 3 News say it was last year? Oh, that’s right
      63 Private Companies, hacked
      21 Govt Agencies, hacked
      8 Infrastructure Organizations,hacked
      in fact, NZ is more hacked by China than Japan, apparently.

      Excellent. When the UFB roll-out is finished in our street, we’ll be able to phone home!

  3. freedom 3

    ‘when did frankness and honesty ever have anything to do with diplomacy?’

    💡 yeah, but wouldn’t it be great if it did one day 😉

  4. mr valley..are you aware of what america has been doing for the past months..?

    ..despite the compliant media message..it is not north korea that is the aggressor here..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2013/washington%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cplaybook%E2%80%9D-on-provoking-north-korea/

    phillip ure..

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Oh dear, you even failed to provide the link to the source that you copied.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    I’d like the MSM to run a survey:

    “If there is open warfare in Korea, should we send our defense forces to:

    1. fight on the side of the USA;
    2. fight on the side of China;
    3. keep them home and stay neutral.

    • The Al1en 5.1

      3

      • ghostrider888 5.1.1

        hey, do you have the url / link for your internet entry that begins something like, “well, I was doing my usual gaze over The Standard…” where you planted your music, about the time you showed up on the planet, or have you beamed it back home through a warp in the space-time continuum?

        • The Al1en 5.1.1.1

          Again, pleasantly at a loss :)

          If for once I should have gone literal, you’ll have to forgive me.
          Is that a request? Would be my first, so humour me if it isn’t, I’d be devastated 😆
          Could be https://soundcloud.com/theal1en/first-contact-i-come-in-peace

          Had a version up a couple of days ago, but the madness of mediocrity got the better of me and I pulled it.
          Must be a short circuit in the ‘ego’ chip, but that’s company men for you – Skimp on the important stuff just as long as the facial regrowth system functions at 110% efficiency.

          • ghostrider888 5.1.1.1.1

            Beards are the new gel. Will listen apopo. (Nothin’s Fancy, important, ‘cept those ya choose to love).
            Meteora, that is an OK album,

            anyway, gotta fly-“Hey Adam! Sergio Leone called! He wants his look back!”

            -Jonathon Blaze (Earth-616)

    • Tim 5.2

      Sorry Ama, but the MSM is busy watching Captain America and singing I’m so rone…ry.
      For any political analysis, you’ll need to wait for what the OZ MSM says, wait an hour or so till some lazy NuZuln MSM journo reads, assimilates, and then re-interprets

  6. One Anonymous Knucklehead 6

    Question for all the happy little authoritarians gagging for Key to declare war:

    Why do you suppose the Lying Prime Minister is now back-pedalling as fast as he can? Is it because he wants to look like a lightweight tool, or because he is a lightweight tool?

  7. muzza 7

    North Korea is playing nuclear brinksmanship at the moment. Its leadership probably doesn’t want war but the constant threat of war is how it get concessions from the West, gains mana, and keeps its people in line.

    While the talking points around John Key later in the article is appropriate, Michael Valley shows that he as NFI about who the protagonists are, nor has he been paying attention to how the imperialists have been operating in recent history!

    NK is not the constant threat of war, in case you hadn’t noticed how the western (zionists) conduct their business the past however many decades!

    Axis of evil – Thats called laying out the agenda in advance!

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      Yeah, nah, bro. MV’s got this one spot on. And the warmongering of other countries doesn’t excuse the NK leadership one iota for their grotesque enslavement of a nation. North Korea: when social experiments go bad.

      • muzza 7.1.1

        Remind me, how, why and by whom North Korea was formed again!

        In any case I’m speaking to the current protagonations, being played out via the media, through the US/SK war exercises!

        North Korea, serves certain interests very nicely thanks bro, geopolitically, its a diamond!

        So other than the references to Key. whom I suspect had been instructed to say what he did (or he is actually suffering mental illness), the opening para of the article is backwards, inverted and ill-informed!

  8. Mysterious Dave 8

    Is anyone else worried that we have a Prime Minister who on Sunday says New Zealand could go to war with North Korea – Then on the following Monday, has to turn around and retract his statement, because he is officially visiting China, North Korea’s only ally, and a nation with which John Key wants to improve trade with?

    It is as if John Key makes statements that sound good to him right then, while literally not thinking about tomorrow.

    What a clown. Traditionally Prime Ministers require foresight…

    • rosy 8.1

      “Is anyone else worried that we have a Prime Minister who on Sunday says New Zealand could go to war with North Korea”

      Yes, I’m also worried he feels he can volunteer New Zealanders for war duties without asking parliament what the people’s representatives think about this first.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.2

      He’s just rôle-playing.

  9. tinfoilhat 9

    Vote green and avoid these brainfarts from national and Labour morons

  10. ochocinco 10

    How far has the left fallen, really?

    Back in the 1920s and 1930s, Leftist thought was key to the establishment of the League of Nations, based on the simplest tenet of collective security: an attack on any of us, is an attack on all of us.

    Now, instead, we have leftists talking like “great game” diplomats, with their talk of “subtlety” and care merely code for the sort of backroom diplomacy and secret deals we thought we had got rid of in the Treaty of Versailles. I would expect some bourgeois conservative to talk in such terms, but not a socialist. No.

    North Korea is a threat. Instead of constantly letting it bubble and boil away, it needs to be lanced. We cannot allow it to continue to bully its neighbours.

    Please note: I think the same about the United States i.e. its aggression should have been punished by the rest of the world. But let’s ignore that now. We’re focused on North Korea.

    John Key may be a filthy capitalist, but at least he had the guts to make a clear statement about doing the RIGHT thing. David Shearer will probably mumble and equivocate and we’ll never know what he would do.

    Churchill was right, Chamberlain was wrong. Same here.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      Then why did Key backtrack on his words ?

      He either said the right thing or he didnt. His change of tack to ‘walk away’ from his comments should leave you in no doubt how he thinks now

    • freedom 10.2

      the only right thing with regards to a War is not to have one.

      Anything else is simply the murder and oppression of people who are the same as you and me. Free people, lied to endlessly, who have had thousands and thousands of years of largely unwanted rulers engage in endless slaughters for temporary gains in power the theft of resources and the acquisition of yet more authority.

      No War has ever brought Peace.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      John Key may be a filthy capitalist, but at least he had the guts to make a clear statement about doing the RIGHT thing.

      Last time I looked starting a war was considered the supreme war crime.

    • Roy 10.4

      “North Korea is a threat. Instead of constantly letting it bubble and boil away, it needs to be lanced. We cannot allow it to continue to bully its neighbours.”

      Except that it doesn’t really bully its neighbours. It just engages in periodic willy-waving, and has done so for a long time. It does not need ‘to be lanced’. The best response is to sigh patiently and roll our eyes when it is not watching.

    • Murray Olsen 10.5

      How is NK bullying its neighbours? Sure it’s a hell hole and I’m happy to not be living there, but do SK, Japan and China really feel bullied by it? I think a much better case can be made for Australia bullying Timor Leste, so let’s lance that boil, shall we?

    • felix 10.6

      “John Key may be a filthy capitalist, but at least he had the guts to make a clear statement about doing the RIGHT thing.”

      Really? I thought he said we should go to war with North Korea because it’s a kiwi tradition. I can’t imagine a more wrong reason to go to war.

      “David Shearer will probably mumble and equivocate and we’ll never know what he would do.”

      Yeah, but just because Shearer is a giant douche doesn’t mean we have to put up with having a turd sandwich for a PM. There are plenty of other options.

      • Colonial Viper 10.6.1

        Come now. Would you just give Shearer 6 months to get it together. You can’t expect miracles.

        • felix 10.6.1.1

          Oh he’s definitely improving. Last time Thatcher died he really made a cock of himself, praising her service to the people.

          Next time she dies I reckon he’ll have it down.

  11. Blue 11

    It wasn’t so long ago that Fairfax journos were writing sycophantic puff pieces about how awesome Key is when it comes to international relations (just like Helen Clark but with the added bonus of his boyish charm, apparently).

    This was before he went to the UK to see the Queen for something or other. Guess there are a few knuckleheads who spoke too soon on Key’s fabulous diplomatic skillz.

  12. Matthew 12

    When Key was questioned on One NEws he looked like he had been on the opium. His “I dont agree with that” answer (given twice) was the ultimate display of ‘Im right, youre wrong’ arrogance.
    Hes a fucking dipshit, nothing more, nothing less.

  13. This has little to do with the DPRK; its about the US looking for an excuse to turn up the heat on China. Obama is not ‘playing down’ anything since it’s the US military strutting with its military exercises and other war preparations that produced the manifestly nutty reaction from the DPRK that it wanted. In other words this is exactly the overreaction that the US calculated on and it’s part of the ‘great game’ which is now focussed on the competition between the US a declining imperialist power, and China, the newly emerging Asian rival for US global hegemony.
    Key is balancing on a fence between the two. China is the ally that has the greatest economic reward for the NZ bourgeoisie, but the US has NZ locked into military and intelligence treaties and plans to throw away the key with the TPPA. No wonder Key behaves like an idiot drinking toasts to China while pissing down his leg on the red carpet at the same time.
    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/defeat-imperialist-war-drive-against.html

    • ghostrider888 13.1

      Yep, another Excellent.
      (they will succumb to our “worldview” eventually; after a few more thousand, or more, military deaths.)

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    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago

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