Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, November 15th, 2017 - 337 comments
What’s with the academic panic epidemic about China? Two in our media in the same week, referencing each other with vague warnings about the Chinese bogey. It’s not quite Lionel Terry in Haining Street again; more likely in my view a case of singing to someones else’s geopolitical tune. No prizes for guessing whose.
Written By: - Date published: 8:23 pm, June 5th, 2017 - 13 comments
Nicky Hager will talk about his book Hit and Run, and the issues it raises about New Zealand’s values and role in the world at 5:30pm on Wednesday 7th June at Connolly Hall, Guildford Terrace, Wellington. The book is about important events and the incoherence of New Zealand fighting it’s longest ever war in Central Asia. This talk is particularly timely in view of this week’s visit of the American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, April 4th, 2017 - 89 comments
In ruling out an inquiry Bill English insults both our intelligence and our integrity. Next stop the International Criminal Court? (Alas the title is not mine, take a bow Finlay MacDonald.)
Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, February 14th, 2016 - 37 comments
Turkey has started shelling the US backed Kurdish forces that are fighting against ISIS. What could go wrong?
Written By: - Date published: 8:49 pm, November 27th, 2015 - 117 comments
Assuming the Russian jet did enter Turkish airspace for 17s, was there really no recourse for Turkey other than using lethal force?
Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, September 29th, 2015 - 115 comments
Christianity doesn’t compromise with other religions or has the World Finally Gone madder?
Written By: - Date published: 7:35 pm, February 8th, 2015 - 73 comments
There’s a fascinating article in the latest New Statesman titled “An Empire that speaks English: the right’s dream of a new world order.” Suddenly UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond’s recent visit here makes sense. So does John Key’s references to sending troops to Iraq on behalf of the “club” or the “family” – he’s at the heart of the Empire.
Written By: - Date published: 4:07 pm, January 11th, 2015 - 223 comments
You’d think that with all the WW1 commemorations going on at the moment it would make us more vigilant about our freedom and security, not sleep-walking towards another Holy Crusade (in the name of the God of Money and Father of Fossil Fuels), seduced by slick liars and the gods of commercialism and greed.
Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, July 11th, 2014 - 9 comments
The NZ Defense Force have been defending themselves in a defamation case against some grossly inaccurate claims that they made about reporter Jon Stephenson back in 2011 (and that John Key recklessly and foolishly chimed in on). They have been forced to concede that their claims were inaccurate. But a hung jury about how defamatory the claims were is causing it to proceeding to second trial. It looks like legal maneuvering by the NZDF has failed. My view is that the NZDF are being completely stupid about owning up to their screwup.
Written By: - Date published: 7:34 pm, June 17th, 2014 - 33 comments
No Right Turn points to potential unacceptable changes in the basis of our foreign policy and the deployment of our armed forces. A secret review of peacekeeping keeping roles revealed by an OIA request recommends that rather than going on UN missions to support peace and keep combatants apart, we’ll be taking an active and direct role in America’s wars, against the wishes of the international community and even against the wishes of our own citizens.
Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 31 comments
Two uncritical articles in Auckland’s local press, raise questions about the role of the NZ military, and the educational and cultural impact of a military charter school. Unstated and unquestioned, is the nature of NZ’s relationship with that of militaristic US imperialism.
Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, April 24th, 2013 - 10 comments
On the eve of ANZAC day, it is appropriate to read the reasons of a soldier for departing the Defense Force. There are few local organisations who spend as much resource and effort on training as the Defense Force does. It is ridiculous to expend the vast resources required to train modern non-commissioned soldiers and then to skimp on one of their primary medical needs – mental health.
Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, October 13th, 2011 - 22 comments
Perhaps Mr Key’s staff might like to explain to him what the implications of this development, in conjunction with the recent UN Report on NZ SAS rendering prisoners in Afghanistan and the housing of CIA operations at NZDF bases, might mean for the PM. Amnesty International (London) has issued a call to Canadian authorities to arrest […]
Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, June 30th, 2011 - 61 comments
New Zealand Defence Force staff are not covered by employment law. Hundreds of them are being sacked, so as to get “more work out of fewer people”. If they’re “lucky” some of those cast aside might get civilian versions of their old jobs back, with huge pay cuts as a sweetener. Welcome to the epitome of National’s flexible labour market.
Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, September 8th, 2010 - 4 comments
The latest Guardian Weekly had two interesting and seemingly unconnected stories about major shifts in aid priorities on both sides of the world after the advent of right-wing governments. More emphasis on security objectives, with aid delivered by the military, and less on humanitarian and poverty relief, with aid delivered by local groups and NGOs. […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:27 pm, August 27th, 2010 - 22 comments
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp must be desperate for publicity. He’s attacked the latest version of the Medal of Honour game set in Afghanistan. According to Mr Mapp, Medal of Honour â€œundermines the values of our nation, and the dedicated service of our men and women in uniformâ€. Okaaay…….
Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, May 8th, 2010 - 27 comments
Today, all the Herald’s political commentators talk about Key’s decision to come back from his Middle East trip after the ANZAC Day helicopter crash. My immediate impression was that it was right for the Prime Minister to come back after a national tragedy. But the revelation that Key’s return meant Tim Groser had to stay with the delegation despite his mother’s death changes things.
Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, May 5th, 2010 - 87 comments
Today’s Herald has a front page piece criticizing Key’s abandonment of his Middle East trade mission to return home for the funerals of the three airmen who crashed on their way to an ANZAC Day parade. Trade delegate Dr John Langley said the decision was not in New Zealand’s long-term interests and that Mr Key was […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, March 23rd, 2010 - 22 comments
Most of the world’s supply of the key rare earth metals comes from China. That’s a strategic problem for the US, which needs rare earths for high-tech military equipment. They don’t want to be dependent on the world’s other superpower, and potential adversary, for their military hardware. Is it a coincidence that the Nats are so keen to let foreigners mine for rare earths in our national parks?
Written By: - Date published: 3:59 pm, February 2nd, 2010 - 23 comments
Gordon Campbell has written in Werewolf an excellent pre-review about the Defense White Paper due for release in March. Needless to say whatever it returns with will be controversial because it helps to define the direction of the next few decades of expenditure and focus for our military.
Then we will not have some of the remarkably stupid ‘debate’ by the ossified that happened in the early 2000’s as the Labour government implemented the Quigley review of the armed forces. This pushed the army to the fore, and relegated the other two services to a support role.
It was clear that many in that debate never bothered to read the Quigley report.