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Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, September 9th, 2009 - 21 comments
Categories: afghanistan - Tags:

John Key has admitted he didn’t bother to get detailed briefings before sending our SAS to kill and possibly die for a corrupt regime in Afghanistan:

Hon Phil Goff: Was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, John Allen, correct in stating on Q+A  on Television New Zealand on Sunday that ‘we didn’t advise the Government to send the SAS to Afghanistan’; if so, what was the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade?
Hon JOHN KEY: Mr Allen was quite correct: no specific view was ever provided to me by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on whether to redeploy the SAS. That decision was left to Ministers.

Hon Phil Goff: What heed did the Prime Minister pay to the warnings given to him surrounding the deployment of combat forces, such as the inadvertent killing of civilians—like the death of 95 civilians near Kunduz just last week—which has led to the growing alienation of Afghan people from the international forces there?
Hon JOHN KEY: The advice was frank on the security situation; it was not specific to civilians; it was just generalised advice about security.

Hon Phil Goff: What advice was given to him in respect of whether most Taliban combatants were local groups operating independent of any international influence, and to what extent the Taliban was under the influence of al-Qaeda?
Hon JOHN KEY: I do not recall any specific advice in relation to that.

Hon Phil Goff: In his earlier answers, was the Prime Minister telling us that he made the decision to deploy SAS troops to Afghanistan without any information as to whether what was happening in Afghanistan today was relevant to international terrorism and as to whether there was a growing alienation of Afghan people against the presence of international troops?
Hon JOHN KEY: No. What I said earlier was that a range of advice was provided to me about the security situation in Afghanistan. Advice was also provided not just by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade but by my departments, the intelligence departments, and by the Ministry of Defence on a range of areas. In the end the decision on whether to deploy SAS troops to Afghanistan was made by the Government.

He just has no idea of the situation but he blithely makes the decision to send the SAS in nonetheless because the Right thinks war is a fun game.

21 comments on “Clueless ”

  1. Swimmer 1

    Good on Phil for getting that out of Key.

  2. grumpy 2

    While I agree that sending NZ troops to Afghanistan to prop up a corrupt government is stupid, it is a bit rich for Labour to criticise. The time for Goff to have reservations was before Labour sent the SAS in the first place.

    Having already sent SAS to Afghaniston before, it is now almost impossible for whatever government to refuse.

    • Maynard J 2.1

      So what you are saying is that the situation is exactly the same as it was eight years ago, and that it will never change.

      Why do you believe that is the case?

      • no leftie 2.1.1

        We get it, when Helen Clark does it, it’s OK. When John Key does it, it’s bad.

      • John 2.1.2

        Maynard J, Afghanistan is arguably worse than it was eight years ago and so if it was right for Labour to send troops in, why not now?

        I am no fan of war and neither do I think “war is a fun game,” but unless you can think of a better way to keep terrorists at bay, I don’t think we have an option.

        • Pascal's bookie

          terrorism wise, the worst outcome is a failed, underwhelming, and resented foreign presence in Afghanistan defending an unpopular government.

      • grumpy 2.1.3

        No, it’s got worse. the cause has gone from getting rid of the Taleban to propping up a corrupt regime. This should come as no surprise to those who first sent troops there.

        On the other hand, the SAS is about the only part of the Defence Force which is worthwhile. There is an argument that sending it to trouble spots keeps it that way.

        The Greens have a big problem with Afghanistan as Keith Locke supported the Russian invasion.

        • Pascal's bookie

          This shit pisses me off. There are arguments for sending the SAS, but these are not them.

          Citizens have an absolute duty to our military. They are not toys, nor are they pawns for partisan bickering. These people have sworn oaths to obey orders given them by civilian leadership. That leadership is elected by us as citizens. It is up to us as citizens to make sure that our polical leadership only give good orders.

          I might swamp this thread later with a whole bunch of links, time permitting, but there is a lot of stuff out there about the situation in af/pak and whether or not the curent plan is workable.

          If it isn’t workable though grumpy, should we be a part of it?

    • snoozer 2.2

      “Having already sent SAS to Afghaniston before, it is now almost impossible for whatever government to refuse.”

      Labour refused three times

  3. Swimmer 3

    New Zealand stopped sending troops in that capacity in 2005.

  4. JohnDee 4

    As grumpy appears to be no smarter than John Key, he along with Key is incapable of seeing that things have significantly change.
    Helen Clark and Labour at the time they deployed the SAS, did so under the sanction of the UN were as John Keys is just kissing int US’s ass.

  5. Nick 5

    From today’s Granny:

    The review shows the operatives were sent under the Labour Government. Labour leader Phil Goff, a former Defence and Foreign Affairs Minister, did not respond to the Herald last night.


    • Pascal's bookie 5.1


      I can has syllogism pleez?

      Is it something like

      Phil Goff isn’t talking about secret spy shit done/being done.
      Key is sending the SAS.


      The SAS will be doing secret spy shit that Key shouldn’t be talking about either?

      or what?

    • snoozer 5.2

      Nick. SAS and SIS, different things, similiar names I know

  6. Nick 6

    I know my vowels Snoozer.

    It is obviously quite okay for Labour to send spies into a war-torn country in order for a war to be won and deaths to ensue but National cannot send in soldiers to fight in the same war.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      So your point is that somebody, somewhere, might be a hypocrite, if you squint?

      Think about the fact that you don’t know anything about who, how many and why the spy types got deployed or what they are doing.

      Second think about what else your argument ( if x is ok, then y must be ok if you are doing it for the same reason) would prove.

      • schrodigerscat 6.1.1

        There is actually nothing in that article that is convincing me that we have sent spies there, intelligence does not necessarily mean men with penthouses and meat pies in their briefcases.

        And what is grumpy on about

        On the other hand, the SAS is about the only part of the Defence Force which is worthwhile.

        The PRT have been getting a lot of good press internationally.

  7. It has been nagging me. I have just realised who John Key reminds me of – Peter Sellers in his role as Chauncey Gardiner in “Being There”

    Think about it ..

    “Chance (Sellers) is a middle-aged man who lives in the townhouse of a wealthy man in Washington D.C. Chance seems very simple-minded and has lived in the house his whole life, tending the garden, with virtually no contact with the outside world. His cultural and social education is derived entirely from what he watches on the television” …
    “After being offered alcohol for the first time in his life, Chance coughs over it while being asked his name which, instead of “Chance the Gardener” (which is what he said), is interpreted to be “Chauncey Gardiner.”
    “His simplistic, serious-sounding utterances, which mostly concern the garden, are interpreted as allegorical statements of deep wisdom and knowledge regarding business matters and the current state of the economy in America.”
    “Chance’s remarks about how the garden changes with the seasons are interpreted by the President as economic and political advice, relating to his concerns about the mid-term unpopularity that many administrations face while in office. Chance, as Chauncey Gardiner, quickly rises to national public prominence. He becomes a media celebrity with appearances on television talk shows, and is soon on the A-list of the most wanted in Washington society. Public opinion polls start to reflect just how much his “simple brand of wisdom” resonates with the jaded American public.”
    “Just days before his death Rand rewrites his will to include Chauncey. It can be assumed that both Chauncey and Eve will inherit Rand’s mansion as well as any final word in all his companies’ future business dealings. At his funeral, the President gives a long-winded read-out of various bon mots and quotes made by Rand over the years, which hardly impresses the pallbearers, who are members of the board of Rand’s companies. They hold a whispered discussion over potential replacements for the President in the next term of office. As Rand’s coffin is about to be interred in the family Masonic pyramid-like mausoleum, they unanimously agree on “Chauncey Gardiner.”

    Sellers view of the character was that of a “a simple gardener who has spent his entire life isolated from the world. Chance’s calm and seemingly highly intelligent demeanor is essentially a blank canvas on which each of the film’s characters paint their own picture, sometimes making Chance out to be much more than he really is. In most of his interactions with others, mostly prominent individuals, he pays rapt attention, nods appreciatively, and often restates their comments by way of agreement, all simply oblivious actions on his part, but the types of responses that cause them to be flattered and feel confirmed by this man who has recently entered their circle.”

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