web analytics

Auf Wiedersehen Iraq

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, May 16th, 2019 - 30 comments
Categories: Iran, iraq, labour, national, nz first, Ron Mark, us politics, war - Tags:

The Germans and the Dutch have suspended training Iraqi soldiers citing increased tensions in the area. What do they know that Ron Mark doesn’t? Cabinet is due to  make a decision shortly on our long-planned decision to withdraw, and Ron seems to want us to stay. Labour’s policy at the election was to withdraw, it should prevail.

Recent sabre-rattling by the US has undoubtedly made the region much more unstable. The US has also ordered all bar emergency staff to leave their embassy in Baghdad immediately.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton has advocated war with Iran previously. Should he get his way now, the consequences for all of us would be catastrophic.

National’s Mark Mitchell is another one who want us to stay till the last remnants of ISIS have been defeated. The caliphate is no longer a reality, and the remnants of ISIS have retreated to the desert. Stamping them out completely could take decades, and is not a task for us.

Increasingly there are also signs that the Iraquis would prefer to co-operate with Iran.

Job done – its time for us to say goodbye.

30 comments on “Auf Wiedersehen Iraq ”

  1. Adrian Thornton 1

    I agree completely agree,pull them out.

    Mark Mitchell is of course talking nonsense, he never defines exactly what stamping ISIS out completely actually means, because he knows as well as the rest of us that idea is just a fantasy.

    • ianmac 1.1

      Mark Mitchell made millions from his Private Operation in Iraq. Wonder just what that entails. The Private operations carried out by some US teams were very unethical and murderous.

      Wonder just what did Mitchell do in Iraq?

      • Rob 1.1.1

        Well , at least he was actually in the place and on the ground, a lot more than most of the commentators on this site have done.

  2. Gosman 2

    I remember some people (maybe not here) arguing that the threat of ISIS attacking the trainers when they were first deployed should mean we don't send them. Now it is the fact that there is no threat of ISIS that means we should immediately remove them. How about we ask the Iraqis themselves if they want us to stay and then see what we can do?

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      Sounds good in principle, but if it amounts in practice to asking a small bunch of exploiters currently exercising a semblance of control over a country in anarchy, why bother? On this point, I'm happy to defer to anyone who knows what is actually happening there!

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.2

      If there's now no ISIS threat, why not bring them home (as planned) on 30 June 2019.

      "Up to 121 NZDF personnel are deployed to the Middle East in roles associated with the Defeat-ISIS Coalition in Iraq." http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/operations/iraq.htm

    • SpaceMonkey 2.3

      If there is no longer any threat from ISIS, it's job done. Time to bring them home.

    • Morrissey 2.4

      Will you be going, Gosman? With your gun?

      Thought not.

    • Muttonbird 2.5

      How about we ask the Iraqis themselves if they want us to stay and then see what we can do?

      Why would we do that? We didn't ask them if we could invade.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    I totally agree. The Bush-era democracy delusion fizzled as soon as Iraqis demonstrated that it was too foreign a notion to transplant there, the nation-building rationale has likewise proceeded so long without visible success that only true-believers still cling to it as if it were a religious icon.

    That leaves peacekeeping. Why would anyone do that in a country that assumes civil war is endemic, and a natural part of political culture? Likewise Afghanistan. Call time on covert US imperialism masked as a do-gooder thing, I reckon.

    If the United Nations were serious about nurse-maiding Iraq in the general direction of civilisation, I could support our troops being part of a credible result. Instead, all we ever seem to get is an ongoing sham.

    • Morrissey 3.1

      Interesting logic there, Dennis: illegally invade, bomb, terrorize and effectively destroy a nation, then vapour on about the way "they" don't take to democracy, assuming as "they" do—according to your no doubt profound research on the topic— that "civil war is endemic."

      The bit about "nurse-maiding Iraq in the general direction of civilisation" is beyond satire.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        We're talking about the land where the first civilisation in recorded history arose: Sumeria. Where the fertility of the delta was combined with irrigation systems using the Tigris & Euphrates as perpetual sources of water from the mountainous regions in the west. The climate change around six millennia back that made the Sahara arid seems to have had a flow-on effect in the middle east. As the bible says, Israel was a land of milk & honey, promised to the refugees from Egypt so long as they took it by killing all the indigenous occupants as per God's command.

        Cedars from Lebanon built Solomon's palace, although he may have used some of that massive stone block-work of Baalbek as well. But the Lebanese forests fell to make ships for Phoenician explorers. Similar forest destruction in Iraq would have produced erosion like it does here, clogging up water-ways. Such economic analysis can be used as a rationale for why the people in the region lost faith in civilisation.

        I'd rate mass psychology higher: us vs them. Tribal rivalry fosters a culture in which warfare is business as usual. Three millennia of that seems a sufficient antidote to the original civilisation. An ethos based on the commons, sharing, and peaceful coexistence can only take root where the people agree it's a better way of life, and band together in solidarity to make it happen.

        There's a paradox of course: violence has to be used as part of defending the culture from attackers. Recall the fate of the Morioris. The trick is use of strict control to limit it. It's how the British Empire became relatively peaceful within (using controlled violence on the periphery).

        So what's missing in Iraq is a belief amongst the people that a return to civilisation is better than anarchy, and a popular will to collaborate to make the transition that expresses itself through political organisation. They have a natural right to collective self-determination. The reasons they don't choose to use that right lie in mass psychology. You'll be dead keen to excuse them by reference to imperialism, eh? It's a factor, but no excuse. Gandhi proved that. If India can do it, so can Iraq.

        • solkta

          They have a natural right to collective self-determination.

          And that is what most of them are trying to do, it is just that they are using a different collective than that which is being forced on them by the West insisting that Iraq remain a country with borders created by Britain and France.

          • Dennis Frank

            Part of the solution is to grant the Kurds a homeland. They've had a defacto homeland for ages in the territories they have occupied, why not recognise that? I'd support any govt of Aotearoa doing so. It's an interesting situation where the tribe is spread across national boundaries. Brings the credibility of such artificial constructs into question (as you suggest).

    • KJT 3.2

      If the US were at all concerned about Iraq, they wouldn't have fucking invaded in the first place.

      And, who originally armed ISIS, the Taliban, Saudi Arabia and various other flavours of baby killers?

  4. Stuart Munro. 4

    We should never have been involved.

    I appreciate our armed forces want to work with and remain up to date with other contemporary forces – but as a country we should not do that at the cost of having to participate in morally repugnant occupations. The same problem applies in Afghanistan.

    There's plenty of disaster relief work for our forces in our own backyard, and likely to be more in the years to come. And it might be better to develop some doctrine independent of the major armament manufacturers, whose interests and presumptions are based on large US style forces.

  5. Exkiwiforces 5

    While I agree with your post Mike, but the problem we facing is that NZDF is embedded in with ADF. So if the GoD wants to pop smoke (withdraw) out of Iraq its going to leave the ADF training team in a spot of bother either way if NZDF has the lead on this ROTO or if the ADF has the lead.

    The best course of action is for the CoL would be to call it quits when the renewal for the current mission ends in 30 Jun as pointed out by Drowsy M. Kram. This means NZ can withdraw without losing face in the MEAO and upsetting the Australian Government at the same time.

    The other point I would like to make is that since 1991 and until now, the NZDF as result of cut backs in Defence in both equipment and manpower. The NZDF has struggle to maintain any independent operations because of these cuts. A good case study the NZDF deployment of the equipment and troops to Timor-Leste during INTERFET and the follow up UN Peacekeeping Mission there should’ve rang alarm bells on both sides of the at the state of the NZDF. But no it didn’t and as a result of this NZDF now has to work in a coalition/ embedded in with the likes of the ADF or likeminded countries, because of the self serving/ self licking ice creams called NZ Politicians have now got themselves into this mess because they and Joe public don’t want to properly fund the NZDF in order to mount a independent deployment of equipment and troops.

    There is UN Peacekeeping requirement (if anyone is bother to read the fine print for Nations donating/ supplying troops for Peacekeeping) that member states if deploying troops on a Peacekeeping operation must at minimum a self deployment of a battalion size group (800- 1500 this is not including additional Air or Naval assets, Army only) for the duration of the UN Peacekeeping Mission.

    The after action report and lessons learnt from the NZDF deployment from Timor-Leste were quietly kick into touch by Government and Treasury ever since. The only thing that has in acted from those two reports is the Southern Katipo Exercises which are held every 2nd in the South Islands West Coast/ Golden- Tasman Bay Regions due to its lack of key access points, population string out everywhere and changeable weather/ terrain conditions which is very similar to what you would find in the Pacific/ Southern Asia region ie West Papua, Timor-Leste, PNG and the Solly’s etc.

    • Macro 5.1

      Totally agree EKF

      Regrettably it is not looking good in the Gulf. If the US had any sense they would get their ships out of there in order to ease tensions, but I don't see that happening. Bolton/Pompeo are fixing for a fight. The US are very slow learners. It will not end well.


      As for the run down of NZ forces, this has almost always been the case, as far as I can remember and I joined in 1974. On the other hand I do not advocate the expenditure that Trump wants in his latest budget – 62 cents in every dollar on the military!

      • Exkiwiforces 5.1.1

        The Yanks have always wanted utu ever since 1979 with Iran over running of their embassy and the resulting shit fight of Op Eagle Claw. Yes its not going to end well for awful lot of people/ nations within the greater Middle East Region and it may even spill over to other regions such as Europe or the Asian region as China and Russia are very good mates with Iran.

        Trumps budget for the US military is quite eye watering, but from my obs and having work along side my USAF counterparts in ground defence of Airbases/ Forward Operating Bases etc and the USMC. I've seen an awful lot of waste from equipment, training, use of manpower including to even bring in food (including basic food stuffs) via Airlift into their main bases from the States and its case of having more money than they know what to with it. Its quite shocking to see it when you know whats happening with health care etc, back in the States.

  6. mosa 6

    What do they know that Ron Mark doesn’t?

    The U.S Iranian stand off.

  7. JohnSelway 7

    Never mind Iraq – on-wards to Iran!

  8. SPC 8

    We should leave in June, it is a mission already beyond due to end.

    One hopes the Iraqi government is wise enough to invite all western forces to leave and thus avoid being part of the US vs Iran conflict.

  9. esoteric pineapples 9

    The New Zealand government should bring NZ troops home and fund the Kurd in Syria instead, since they are the ones who have actually been fighting ISIS

  10. vto 10

    The whole thing had nothing to do with us until John Key got us involved. Wonder if he sent Max ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  11. Can you tell Mark Mitchell et al that it's ok. Russia, Hezbollah, SAA, Iran and Iraq did most of the heavy lifting in getting rid of ISIS and other 'moderate' rebels such as Al Qaeda, in the area. I don't think New Zealand's contribution made much difference. The US of course, came later, bombing this area and that area, leaving total devastation with no offers of assistance afterwards. And after initially bombing important infrastructure items in Syria and supporting ISIS to steal and sell Syria's oil through Turkey. The US took the gold though, all on their own. The Iraqi parliament has just passed a resolution requesting that the US and its troops leave. That's means NZ as well. We ie the US and its allies bring nothing but instability to the region.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago