After Homs

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, March 5th, 2012 - 39 comments
Categories: human rights, war - Tags:

In my previous post I laid out the reasons why a NATO/US intervention in Syria is unlikely, even though the alternative will almost certainly be defeat of the freedom fighters and even more mass murder by the regime. There’s no strategic gain from the Right’s perspective and many on the Left would rather see a massacre than US military action. Homs has fallen. So, what next for the rebels?

The fracturing of a regime’s monopoly on violence is a necessary precursor to a successful revolution. Often, particularly in modern times, this will mean part of the security forces will go over to the other side or refuses to fight. Syria has that with the mass desertion of Sunni conscripts, many of whom have joined the Free Syrian Army or other local groups.

Sometimes, that is enough to break the regime’s resolve (eg Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and the overthrow of Milosevic) if the regime is decrepit and can’t face an internal military confrontation. The Syrain people weren’t so lucky – their tyrant has plenty of fight in him.

The Free Syrian Army’s initial strategy was very sound, classic guerrilla warfare. They launched hit and run attacks on elements of the special security forces and left the regular army alone, apart from some ambushes where they shot officers and invited the conscripts to join them or desert. They didn’t seek to hold land or cities, they sought to do damage and then disappear. And they didn’t bring the wrath of the regime on civilians

It’s a good strategy. One that’s worked numerous times over thousands of years – slowly ebbing away the regime’s strength and isolating it, while keeping the population onside and gaining their trust. Like Mao says, the guerrilla must swim in the people as the fish swims in the sea.

But there’s a classic counter-strategy to this that a regime which is willing to play sufficiently hardball will employ: identify a civilian well-spring of the rebellion and pound the shit out of it. Unless they are extraordinarily disciplined and well-led (eg the Viet Cong), the rebels can be drawn into trying to defend their civilians and fighting in the regime’s terms – a classic face-to-face battle where heavy weapons excel, rather than light infantry shoot and scoot, which is where the rebels have a natural advantage.

That’s what happened at Homs. The deployment of the regime army around what was already a centre of the rebellion drew in more and more rebel fighters. Satellite imagery compiled from Human Rights Watch shows 1000s of shells were fired into the Baba Amr quarter killing hundreds of rebel fighters and civilians before the Free Syrian Army withdrew. In the aftermath, there are reports of summary executions and the Red Cross/Red Crescent has been denied access (hey, conspiracy theorists – I’m sure they’re all part of the conspiracy that is inventing this whole thing for no reason too).

So the Free Syrian Army as been given a hiding. What now? It could well be that the groundswell of support for overthrowing the regime will diminish now that the rebel fighters have been seen to be defeated, and as word of the regime’s atrocities spreads with the clear rider: you could be next. That’s what happened after Assad’s daddy did the same thing to Hama 30 years ago.

But, if we want to see the murderer Assad gone, then the Free Syrian Army could still pull it off, if they go back to the tactics that work. They will need to be disciplined about refusing to take the regime forces on in front-on combat. Instead, fight by ambush and gradually weaken until the regime’s ability to project its power and enforce its rule fades. Don’t try to take or hold land, just make it impossible for the regime to do so. It’s a long-term strategy and it means not being drawn into defending cities – when the Vietnamese did it the cost was appalling.

But, if the rest of the world is going to sit on its chuff and let Assad murder his people, slow and bloody is the only way that the Syrian people will win their freedom.

Frankly, it looks like Assad’s going to crush the rebels now and Syrians will suffer greatly without gaining self-determination. I understand the realpolitik of letting these people die but let’s not pretend that we aren’t turning our backs on them.

39 comments on “After Homs”

  1. Conal 1

    I can’t help feeling that another motive for the rebel strategy was to provoke a decisive NATO intervention on their side as was done in Kosovo and Libya.

  2. muzza 2

    Can anyone from The Standard please explain why the site is letting this unblanced writing about such a sentitive topic, continue to be published with seemingly no QA, or factual research by the author?

    Can the author at least list the sources he is using to substantiate his views?

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      The posts are intended to start discussion, Muzza. It’s an opinion, which we’re all free to counter (or agree with).

      • muzza 2.1.1

        So you think that opinion pieces are appropiate when talking about a war zone Voice?

        While I concur about the discussions part relating to the articles on the site, those written about the ME, have been heavily lacking in any attempt to bring balance for such subject matter.

        The readers on this site are possible rather more decerning than say the NZH, where I have seen a more balanced point of view than this drivel!

        I do not buy your rationale on this at all!

        • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.1

          Yes, muzza, I do think opinion pieces are appropriate when talking about war zones. It would be very strange if that were not the case! Indeed, the anti-war movement have used opinion pieces to make their point since at least the Vietnam war, to my certain knowlege.
           
          Opinion pieces are not required to be internally balanced, because they represent an individual’s view of a subject. They can, however, be externally balanced by having an alternative POV also presented, if the publisher feels that is appropriate. That works in, say, Time magazine, or the Listener, but it’s hardly needed on a blog.
           
          In this case, MV’s opinion seems to have some substance. It’s a well presented picture of the situation there, as he sees it. I don’t agree with all he says, but I haven’t seen any serious rebuttal of it yet, either. If their needs to be balance, then by all means provide it. But I would still encourage MV to continue posting, because these are issues that need to be talked about.
           
          My quick summary of the Syrian situation: Assad should be captured or killed as soon as possible. But that won’t happen because the Syrians don’t have much oil.

    • Conal 2.2

      Yes It’s interesting how completely this toes the official NATO line, albeit with a “left” tinge. It’s not something isolated though; I’ve seen the same thing on social-democratic blogs a number of times, backing NATO against the governments of Yugoslavia and Libya, in particular. Let’s not underestimate the ideological power of the mass media to justify wars!

      A couple of major points to note:

      There’s an absolute dichotomy presented between Assad the Tyrant on the one hand, and the entire Syrian People on the other, apparently fully represented by the FSA Freedom Fighters. Does Assad’s regime not have considerable popular support? Actually it does, but you would never guess it from this article. It’s very much a cardboard cut-out picture of Syria.

      Another interesting point is how it identifies with Western imperialism. The talk about “getting off your chuff” is I suppose code for a NATO bombing campaign or even invasion. The identification of “us” with NATO is astonishing. Are “we” really turning our backs on the Syrian people? I don’t even have a single drone, fighter bomber, or cruise missile (and NZ as a whole is not much better equipped in that respect, actually). Am I in charge of NATO? Is NZ? Are the populations of the countries who actually make up NATO? Hardly. So hho exactly is this “we”?

      Note also that other countries (in the Arab League for instance, and also Russia) got “off their chuffs” to try to organise peace talks between the warring sides. Isn’t that a commendable effort? Why is war apparently the only option? And why did the Syrian opposition refuse to negotiate with Assad? They thought they could triumph militarily by themselves? Unlikely! They thought NATO would intervene to assure their victory? Perhaps if NATO had been less bellicose they might have considered a negotiated solution instead.

      • Blighty 2.2.1

        Assad represents the ruling Alawite elite, which maintains its power through secret police, repression and bombardment of cities that rise up. If you call that ‘popular support’, well, good for you.

    • Blighty 2.3

      write a guest post if you want to offer a counter view.

      You could title it: Why the Syrian rebels deserve to die

      • Conal 2.3.1

        Yes, because what I really want to do is to buy into a mirror image of the same simplistic and naive view presented here.

        This isn’t “Cowboys and Indians”, Blighty.

        [edit] whoops I think Blighty’s snide comment was actually to someone else.

    • lprent 2.4

      All posts written by our authors are their opinions. That is why their names or pseudonyms are attached to the posts. There is no editorial policy (apart from “I don’t want to be sued” or “all the other authors are up in arms”) for authors that we give logins to. Neither is the case with these posts. Commentators are up in arms usually doesn’t rate because you usually find a wider range of opinion…

      If you disagree then comment on why you disagree (just don’t personally attack the author because I grant holidays from commenting for that). If you want to make it more prominent then write a guest post and send it in. We will usually post anything that is coherent and argues an opinion.

      BTW: It is reasonably comment to find other authors disagreeing in comments, and sometimes even getting wound up enough to write opposing posts. The most recent I remember is Zet? writing something sarcastic about Shearer, and then Mike writing something complimentary.

  3. coolas 3

    A link to The Independent and Robert Fisk – thanks to NoRightTurn – gives a broader point of view

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-fearful-realities-keeping-the-assad-regime-in-power-7534769.html

    Sickening to read the comments about Falluja in 2004 where US forces killed thousands of civilians and left a toxic legacy by using white phosphorous. The US target weren’t ‘freedom fighters’, of course. They were ‘rebels’ or ‘terrorists.’ So that’s okay!

    • SpaceMonkey 3.1

      Add to the white phosphorous the copius amounts of DU the US have littered around Iraq (some 1,000 tons within the first 3 weeks) and now Libya.

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=3116
      http://www.voltairenet.org/NATO-War-Crimes-Depleted-Uranium

      • coolas 3.1.1

        Thanks for links. But shocking, eh. I just can’t get my head around how this is allowed to happen.

        • Conal 3.1.1.1

          It’s shocking alright. But to drag the topic of conversation back to this post about the Syrian conflict, I would argue that this kind of post is itself very much part of how Western aggression is allowed to happen. Western imperialists have learned from the failure of their war against Vietnam that they need to exert more effective ideological control over their own populations when waging wars overseas. Especially in left forums like the Standard, actually, since this is the kind of place where anti-war positions might be expected. The ideology of “humanitarian intervention” is a useful tool for war-mongers who are happy to use it as a fig-leaf for wars which they actually wage for very different reasons, and with very different results.

          There’s a standard pattern in psyops of this type: firsts demonise the enemy-of-the-day, white-wash their opposition, and hand-wringingly ask “why won’t someone intervene for humanitarian reasons?” There’s a lot of talk about law and morality and responsibility to protect.

          Then when the imperial powers start their military campaign, there’s a psyops campaign to white-wash it; all ordnance used are “smart bombs” incapable of killing civilians; all the dead are deemed to have been legitimate targets; all the country’s destroyed infrastructure turns out to have been military in nature; enemy journalists killed were actually propagandists who deserved death; etc. Contradictory reports are deemed to be enemy propaganda. Contradictory reports that are too well-attested to be denied are deemed to be highly exceptional “collateral damage” which is regretted but sacrifices have to be made, etc.

          A few weeks later the whole thing can be forgotten. The new rulers can commit all kinds of crimes, including ethnic cleansing, torture and assassination. The gaze of the world’s media has moved on to yet another benighted third world country ruled by an “evil tyrant” who must be killed for the sake of humanity. “Mission Accomplished”.

          • Morrissey 3.1.1.1.1

            The ideology of “humanitarian intervention” is a useful tool for war-mongers…

            Quite true. The call for “humanitarian intervention” might carry some moral weight if it were not led by the likes of Hillary Clinton, William Hague and Nicholas Sarkozy. Not one of these human rights champions uttered a single word in favour of “humanitarian intervention” during Israel’s bloody invasions of Lebanon or Gaza. In fact, they all applauded the killing.

          • coolas 3.1.1.1.2

            Interesting – Evil Saddam v’s the Liberators, Evil Gaddafi v’s Democracy warriors, Evil Mubarak v’s People Power .. now .. Evil Assad v’s the Freedom Army. It reads like advertising (and comics) which is what you’re saying it is really. And I get your point that this post panders to that simplistic idea. Good v’s Evil. Got it. Where’s the remote?

  4. Kevin 4

    Assad has a lot of external support from Iran and also has been materially equipped with weapons and munitions from Russia and to a lesser degree China.
    Without that support Assad’s regime would struggle in a long drawn out civil war where the opposing forces, the Free Syria Army, with support from Nato, could mount a sustained and co ordinated response to the brutal regimes crackdown on democratic reforms.
    Assad realises that he is a marked man, and will always be a potential assassination target, a dead man walking. He won’t be able to maintain his hard line position over the long term.
    The Free Syria Army looks to have lost this initial battle, no doubt the recriminations against the organisers will be severe and brutal, however the seed of democracy has been planted and will grow over time especially with support from Nato agencies.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      however the seed of democracy has been planted and will grow over time especially with support from Nato agencies.

      Sure, every time NATO gets involved this is exactly what happens. What’s happening now in Libya BTW after NATO involvement? Any more Al Qaeda flags appearing on the government buildings there + declarations of Sharia law?

      You guys gotta be dreaming. Look how well the installment of the Shah of Iran or supporting the ‘freedom fighters’ in Afghanistan has gone for the west. Its like everyone has memories like sandflies.

  5. house 5

    Whilst I don’t want the Free Syrian Army to die (moreover I don’t want the civilians surrounding them to die), I’m not sure I want them to win either. Too often for the past 200 years Westerners have assumed the position of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. As the current mess in Libya illustrates (as equally messy situations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, etc have in the past) sometimes overthrowing bad results in worse.

    Anyway Fisk wrote a reasonable piece on the issue of the Free Syrian Army:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-could-there-be-some-bad-guys-among-the-rebels-too-6719999.html

  6. prism 6

    Conal and muzza are against the post it seems. But I still don’t understand what they think are the problems facing Syrian anti-government fighters. Are they wrong to oppose the government?
    Are they unreasonable malcontents?

    And why does each theatre of war have to drag all the others along on its back – Syria seen in connection with Gaddafi, with Saddam, with Israel etc. Almost the USA domino theory relating to Vietnam over again. It will be easy to say crushingly to me, that all these ME conflicts are related, but Syrians still have their own nation to contend with. Lecturing commenters isn’t talking about Syrians and why a significant group might, do, want to change governance.

    What role does religion play? There was a mention that Sunni fighters withdrew from the government army. Is there a split along these lines? I’ll see what Robert Fisk says from house link above.

    • Conal 6.1

      Just a quick answer, from my perspective.

      I deliberately didn’t give an opinion on the rights and wrongs of the Syrian uprising. I’m absolutely sure that the opposition has valid reasons for discontent with the Baath Party regime. No doubt about it. But I’m not going to presume to lecture them on how to carry out their political struggle. That’s their business.

      Which brings me to the crux of my opposition to this post. The key point of this post, it seems to me, is to attempt to justify Western military attacks on a sovereign state, through a spurious appeal to humanitarianism, whereas in fact the benefits of these attacks flow primarily to elite sectors within the Western powers themselves.

      I say “spurious” because the military establishments of the Western “great powers” don’t intervene for humanitarian reasons. That’s just not how they roll. If that were the real motive, then they would have intervened in a much larger number of dire humanitarian crises, which I’m not going to list; suffice to say that if you look at the record, it’s more than a bit patchy.

      When the Western powers do intervene, there’s typically another rather obvious self-serving motive to be seen. In the Middle East, strategic control of the world’s major oil reserves is the most obvious consideration. Imperialism is a real phenomenon in world politics; the elites of the Great Powers know what they want and they’ll lie and bully and go to war at the drop of a hat if it looks necessary.

      That’s the thread that links all these wars together.

      • MValley 6.1.1

        the rebels are asking for help to stop them being slaughtered by the regime’s heavy weapons so that they can win their freedom. We would ask for (and get because most of us are white) the same help if it was us.

        As for ‘you can’t a attack a sovereign state no matter what they do to their people’, that’s a notion that I would have hoped went out in 1945.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Starting an unwinnable and widespread war against a regime with heavy weapons and then asking for help afterwards from outside is a low quality, untenable, non-military strategy.

        • Con 6.1.1.2

          So if NZ was languishing under some cruel tyranny, NATO would come to our aid because we’re white? Like how NATO came to the aid of those Chileans during the years of Pinochet’s dictatorship? Or how NATO overthrew the fascist regime of Generalissimo Franco? No, because NATO doesn’t work like that. They’re not some kind of international humanitarian aid agency, no matter what they’d like you to think.

          It beggars belief the illusions some people harbour about NATO and US imperialism generally! You only have to look at what they actually do. If they invade a country, it’s to subordinate it to their rule. That’s what they’re paying good money for; not to make the world a happy place. And that’s why, if NATO were to attack Syria, no matter what high-sounding motives and goals they claimed to have, it would not produce a good outcome for Syrians, or for other countries in the region.

    • muzza 6.2

      My isue is with the article at this stage, as the author is IMO responsible for propagating a so called point of view which reads as ignortantly unresearched. Some seem to think that opinion pieces are ok on such suvject matter, but that is weak and a cop out! When you are talking about war, at least have the depth to give it some serious balanced thought. Yes its a blog, but what is the difference between this space or a similar piece of nonsene in the MSM? Actually the difference is that I would expect better from this site!

      Writing from an angle which seems to want to induce the thoughts of the reader into reasons why the west should intervene, is simply not good enough. If the writer gave some sort of balance then came up with the conclusions the west should intervene, I would still disagree., but at least it would be balanced.

      Syria is a complicated situation, and that is why I am have not given opinions, as I have not spent the time researching it enough. So far as events in Libya which is did comment on in the authors Iran piece, as I had taken time to try to understand the happenings, and also had first hand information from people who were inside Libya, and who are from that country.

      An article like this should have links, and so far Michaels writings have not given a single one! Having read Fisks articles, it is clear that MV would do well do leave this subject matter alone until he has some very sound knowledge on the situation, either that or just simple ak for peoples opinions, instead of writing his own, which looks to be very wrong!

      • MValley 6.2.1

        yeah. you got me. it’s all made up. I’m listening to audio of refugees from Homs on Radio NZ now about how their men are being executed. But it’s clearly all a fabrication. The ‘refugees’ are in on it. So is the BBC. So’s Radio NZ.

        Why would they all conspire to invent this? Don’t ask stupid questions. ‘They’ want to slander that nice man Assad and justify an intervention.

        But everyone knows Assad and his father have ruled by murder and terror for 45 years, there’s no strategic value in Syria for the West and they clearly don’t want to intervene or they would have done so already.

        Trust me. I’ve done plenty of research on the Middle East.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Trust me. I’ve done plenty of research on the Middle East.

          I mean, this is the nub of the issue. Chechnya, Tibet, Sudan, East Timor plenty of places in the world where govts oppress and kill civilians via secret police and military means for years and decades, yet its whoever the “Allies” are interested in for whatever particular geopolitical priorities they have on a particular day which are deemed important.

      • lprent 6.2.2

        It doesn’t indicate unresearched to me. It sounds like a continuation of the depressing pattern that Syria has displayed over the last 30 years that I have watched and read about it. The main difference this time is how widespread the rebellion is. That will constrain the regime on their usual divide and conquer tactics and require occupation forces across much of the country. But they probably don’t have enough supporting populations to do it this time.

        I think that this time there is going to be enough porosity on neighboring borders to sustain a internal guerrilla war. And an unwillingness on the part of conscripts to get conscripted.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Not entirely sure if I can be bothered engaging with this, (particulary on a dodgy connection the back up PC), but it really is some pretty superficial and intellectually dishonest dreck.

    Rather than just characterising the opinions of those with whom you disagree, why don’t you link to them?

    I’ve read pretty widely on this, and I’ve not seen anyone say that the west shouldn’t charge in because “America”. Maybe I don’t read the things you read, but you clearly don’t read what I’ve been reading either, so we are at a match there.

    The case against intervention is based on realism. The regime is much better equiped than that in Libya was. They are not going to be running short on heavy armour, artillery, or missiles for a long time unless we are prepared to go with some very heavy bombardment with all that entails.

    You just can’t wave your hands around the question of what our intervention will do in terms of the regime’s reaction. If we intervene, we will be bound to the ongoing conflict, we will be bound to react to the reaction from the regime’s supporters in Iran, and so on. We will be responsible for the regimes reaction insofar that if/when they step up their response in terms of death squads summary executions and what not, we will have to do something about that. Boots on the ground cannot be taken off the table. If you take them off the table, you give the regime obvious moves to make.

    On the self determination question, it’s apple pie. But to be worth eating, it has to be cooked right. If the regime has lost the monopoly on the use of force, and a civil war is in place that will result in the fall of the regime, then good, as far as I’m concerned. But that is a far call from saying that any and every uprising against tyrants is something we should get involved in. Civil wars are awful business. Making them worse is not a liberal thing to do unless you are very clear about the chances for victory, the nature of the opposition, the depth of it’s support, and the brittleness of the regime’s domestic and international support.

    Everything I’ve seen, (and I read mostly from places like Foreign Policy, hardly hotbeds of handwringing leftist anti americanism) indicates that it really is a lot more complicated than supporters of intervention make out. The results in Libya should at least give some pause. Our responsibility 2 protect seems to have stopped somehow, though I’ve not had it explained to me why.

    Afghanistan and Iraq also give us lessons about self determination, if we care to look.

    One lesson is that when countries, any countries, jump in to0 deliver self determination to struggl;ing people, they seem to have a feeling that they should get a say in what the determination looks like. That’s only natural, and also, in many respects fair.

    You say that I need to front to the fact that I’m just letting people die. fairly haevy shit, but fair enough if you accept certain presuppositions.

    You need to explain though why you are so certain that intervention does not have a high chance of making things worse, if only because that’s the argument that actually out there. The argument is that a high chance of many casualties and a slim chance of victory, is better than a high chance of many many more casualties, a broadened conflict, cross border refugees and paramilitary action with only an arguably better chance of victory.

    You might dispute that ‘arguably’, but would you support NZ troops on the ground fighting hizbollah cells in two years time? If not then define victory, and define at which points you’d cut and run.

    Sorry about the rantish nature, but throw stones, get blowback 😉

  8. MValley 8

    yeah. I know there’s a realist argument against intervention in Syria. Realism is inherently about self-interest and there’s more self-interest for the West’s elites in letting the people of Syria be murdered than answering their cries for help.

    It’s some on the Left’s position I have more trouble with. Like I say, only a neo-con thinks you go around ‘saving’ every country from dictatorship and we’ve seen the results when they try. But that’s a very different situation from when a people are trying to overthrow their tyrant but are getting slaughtered (willing slaughtered, which tells you something about their determination) because only one side has the heavy weapons.

    I don’t know why some in the Left (and you can see the comments in the Syria post) are willing to turn a blind eye to people fighting for the rights we have who are just asking for a bit of help. We would expect the same.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      Realism is inherently about self-interest and there’s more self-interest for the West’s elites in letting the people of Syria be murdered than answering their cries for help.

      Well, it’s about self interest insofar that a realist approach says that nations will tend to act towards their self percieved best interests. It’s an decsriptive idea, not a normative statement about what nations ought to do.

      Frinstance, if the west believed that the opposition in Syria were democratically minded types likely to move Syria away from it’s confrontational stance towards the west say, or likely to be less problematic in Lebanon, or likely to otherwise being democracy sexy freedom to the area, and likely to win if we just gave them a little help; then it would be ‘realistic’ to predict that they would indeed help them.

      If your analysis of what is happenning in Syria is correct, then it would be in the wests interests to help the opposition out.

      And just to be a tad snide, you can’t really talk about murder when you are also talking about the brave revolutionary. Declare war; get warred on. You don’t get to cry murder at the same time you are challenging the state’s monopoly on the use of force.

      • MValley 8.1.1

        assad was a murderer long before this. that’s why there’s an uprising. people don’t mind benevolent dictatorships, and they certainly don’t have to die fighting to overthrow them.

        The point is the realist analysis for intervention doesn’t stack up because of the regional and military complications. Democracy for Syrians, and their lives, just don’t factor high enough in the ‘West’s’ calculations.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Using phrases like “freedom fighters” smacks of propaganda scripting.

          Avoiding discussions on the geopolitical self-interest of NATO and the US in the region (and hence their motivation to get involved now when Assad has been a killer for many years already – you said so yourself) while focussing purely in-country on Syria removes context. Also smacks of propaganda scripting.

          Would you call on NATO and the US to threaten Israel if Israel was bombing and shelling civilian houses in Palestine? Israel has done that before and I didn’t hear nary a peep from the US President or the UK PM. Because it wasn’t in the geopolitical interests of NATO and the US to get involved, of course.

          Basically Syria would be better off with true democratic rule for the people and by the people, and Assad gone, out of the picture. But your narrative scripting is rubbish.

          • rosy 8.1.1.1.1

            Avoiding discussions on the geopolitical self-interest of NATO and the US in the region …and hence their motivation to get involved

            From where I am, in Europe, there doesn’t seem to be an official appetite for involvement in Syria. There is no high value reason – no grudge against the leader, like Gaddafi, for example. But there are high value losses – like annoying the Russians (who do have naval base in Tartus). I just can’t see a NATO intervention happening. I think they’ll be leaving this to the regional powers. While hoping that Russia and China take on some of the diplomatic talks.

  9. Quay 9

    “There’s no strategic gain from the Right’s perspective and many on the Left would rather see a massacre than US military action.” ?

    There’s a massive gain for the right, bombing Iran’s only real ally would be hugely advantageous in the current climate, hence the rhetoric coming from Iraq war architects. That the left would rather see a massacre is an absurd comment, unless you’re referring to conspiracy-driven leftists.

  10. Rich 10

    I suspect that one issue behind this is that one thing Israel is really scared of is the outbreak of legitimate Arab governments. Despots like Assad can be dealt with secretly, maintain their countries in relative poverty, don’t have international support and have a military focused on internal repression.

    If Assad were deposed and replaced by a democratic government which ran a sound economy, had popular and international support and a military that could fight if called on, that would be bad news for Israel.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    23 hours ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.