web analytics

Collision course Syria

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, December 5th, 2015 - 81 comments
Categories: International, Syria, war - Tags: , , , , ,

Pepe Escobar is a writer with a sharp perspective of Eurasian affairs that you won’t often read in the mainstream media.

In a piece entitled “How Russia is Smashing the Turkish Game in Syria” he makes it very clear why the shoot down of Russia’s Su-24 happened, and why Turkish and Russian interests in Syria are on a direct collision course, with the USA and its intelligence services playing some kind of complex double game in the region. Not surprisingly, much of it centres around oil.

The oil operation the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) runs to Turkey is virtually illegal; stolen state-owned oil as far as Baghdad is concerned.

Daesh stolen oil can’t flow through Damascus-controlled territory. Can’t flow though Shi’ite-dominated Iraq. Can’t go east to Iran. It’s Turkey or nothing. Turkey is the easternmost arm of NATO. The US and NATO “support” Turkey. So a case can be made that the US and NATO ultimately support Daesh.

What’s certain is that illegal Daesh oil and illegal KRG oil fit the same pattern; energy interests by the usual suspects playing a very long game.

That “very long game” is the eventual control of the oil fields of both Syria and Iraq, including the ones currently controlled by the Kurds.

And we are told that both Turkish and American intelligence interests need supply lines through the region of Turkmen Mountain – where Russia’s jet was shot down – to stay open.

The key reason why Washington always solemnly ignored Ankara’s array of shady deals in Syria, through its fifth column Turkmen jihadis, is because a key CIA “rat line” runs exactly through the region known as Turkmen Mountain.

These Turkmen supplied by Ankara’s “humanitarian” convoys got American TOW-2As for their role in preserving prime weaponizing/ smuggling routes. Their advisers, predictably, are Xe/Academi types, formerly Blackwater. Russia happened to identify the whole scam and started bombing the Turkmen. Thus the downing of the Su-24

The advanced arm of the “4+1” alliance – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – is taking no prisoners trying to re-conquer these two key corridors.

And there is no way that Turkey will want to lose control of these areas because it means that the Kurds will be able to form a united contiguous Kurdish territory. The stakes are high for Turkey which explains the escalating rhetoric from Ankara. The synopsis of the situation:

So no matter which way we look, Turkey and Russia are on a serious collision course in Syria. Moscow will support Syrian Kurds no holds barred as they push to link the three major Kurdish cantons in northern Syria into a unified Rojava.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Prime Minister has declared the decision to place American boots on the ground as an unfriendly and unwelcome act, just as Putin has declared that Russian action against those in Turkey responsible for killing its servicemen definitely won’t be limited to just sanctions on tomatoes and construction:

“But if anyone thinks that having committed this awful war crime, the murder of our people, that they are going to get away with some measures concerning their tomatoes or some limits on construction and other sectors, they are sorely mistaken.”

Turkey would have cause to regret its actions “more than once,” he said, promising Russia’s retaliatory actions would be neither hysterical nor dangerous…

“It appears that Allah decided to punish the ruling clique of Turkey by depriving them of wisdom and judgement,” he said.

And on top of all of this, both Germany and the UK are going to send their military forces into Syria. And UK Labour MPs are speaking glowingly of bombing places that they have little understanding of.

What could go wrong?

 

81 comments on “Collision course Syria”

  1. barry 1

    Everybody hates Daesh.

    The problem is that there are so many players that everybody wants to keep their powder dry while others deal to Daesh. In the meantime the other parties and their supporters are not missing any opportunity to deal to each other, and it actually suits them to have Daesh to keep the others busy so they can’t concentrate their attacks back.

    It is a mess and the NZ army doesn’t have any idea who the people they are training will be fighting next week.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      In essence I agree with everything you say, except that perhaps everybody SAYS that they hate Daesh.

      But for an outfit people say that they hate, they seem to get an awful lot of money, arms, supplies, people and logistical support.

  2. Chooky 2

    Seems like the lines are already being drawn

    ‘Incursion’: Baghdad demands Turkey withdraw ‘training’ troops from northern Iraq

    https://www.rt.com/news/324787-turkish-troops-deployed-iraq/

    “The Iraqi government has demanded that Ankara withdraw the more than 100 Turkish forces that entered Iraq with tanks and artillery for alleged “training” of troops near Islamic State-occupied Mosul. Baghdad stressed the unsanctioned move was a breach of its sovereignty…

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Baghdad stressed the unsanctioned move was a breach of its sovereignty…

      Actually, it’s an act of war.

      • Mike the Savage One 2.1.1

        The old colonial time drawn borders were never natural borders and are no longer valid, and there has for many years already been a de-facto independent Kurdish state in Northern Iraq. This may not be in line with strict interpretation of UN conventions, but who does now care about those anyway, as Israel got away with much over decades, always enjoying the veto of the US in the Security Council. Same have Russia and China, and France and the UK used their vetoes to block moves to hold various powers and governments to account.

        What we have now is a new age, similar to the time the first League of Nations was by many considered irrelevant. It is indeed a free for all, it seems, as we already have the US bomb not only Iraqi territory ISIS hold, they do the same in Syria, so do the French and UK now, besides of the Russians, and only they are accepted for doing so by the still in place Syrian government.

        The Turks have had issues with Iraqi Kurdistan and the Peshmerga for years, as they simply do not wish to have any kind of autonomous Kurdish state, which will only encourage Kurds within Turkey to demand to have the same, or to join the Kurds in Iraq and Syria. So the Turks are doing the same as the US and Russians do, they ignore international law, and take advantage.

        As we may remember, similar developments happened in WW2, or the lead up to it, where the Nazis simply marched into parts of Bohemia, of the Czech Republic, then Poland, simply “claiming their nationals living there to be given a chance to join other ethnic Germans in their homeland”.

        The borders in the Middle East will be redrawn, and ISIS is exploiting the foolishness of the west and Russia insisting former colonial borders of states should be protected. Now other states join ISIS in ignoring borders.

        I say, prepare for the worst, we may well be heading into open conflict between Turkey and Russia, and with that NATO and Russia’s possible other major Eurasian ally China further down the timeline.

        China’s slowing economic growth may tempt the government to exploit nationalist feelings, and start talking tough against the US and west, and we will have Pandora’s Box opened wide, heading into WW3. WW1 started on a small scale of conflict, if we remember, then allies were drawn in, and it got out of hand, in the end killing millions on the planet. WW2 was more or less the consequence of a stuffed up Versailles Treaty, that only nurtured anger among Germans, who later fell for Hitler, and we know the rest.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          +1

          I’d say that many borders are no longer valid and that we’re going to see a major shuffle of nations via conflict.

  3. Pascals bookie 3

    Everyone is in on the oil trade, that’s how it works

    http://www.businessinsider.com/revealed-the-oil-middleman-between-the-syrian-regime-and-isis-2015-3

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-isis-oil-trade-from-the-ground-up?mbid=social_twitter

    ISIS has control of oil fields, they sell it cheap to whoever can get it out, those middle men get it out however they can, working with whoever they can.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    So we have the Afghan heroin rat line. The Libyan oil racket (now over). The Ukraine fascist rat line. The Libya to Syria weapon rat line. The stolen Syrian oil trade. The northern Syrian rat lines. Let’s call them UEBA: Unregulated Exceptionalist Business Activities. What’s not to like? There’s no business like war business.

    And that’s the wrap.

  5. acrophobic 5

    It shows just how complex world affairs are today, and how difficult it will be to eliminate daesh. Russia is an enigma, for sure, but perhaps their direct approach, unhindered by cares and concerns for world opinion, will be successful, as opposed to the self limiting posturing of the western alliances.

    • Craig H 5.1

      Whatever I might think of Russian politics at times, they really are straight shooters internationally – they’ve identified the bad guys and they’re not afraid to go after them.

      • Chooky 5.1.1

        +100…yes seems that way

      • nadis 5.1.2

        are these the bad guys?

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/04/killed-after-posing-for-pictures-the-five-year-old-victim-of-russias-airstrikes-on-syria

        Russia is bombing civilian areas with no rules of engagement. And if the bad guys are ISIS, then clearly Russia has not gone after them. they seem to be bombing everyone else, and in particular civilians.

        Remember, for the Russians this is not about oil, or democracy or anything aprt from preserving their naval base on the Mediterranean. Its the only one they’ve got. Assad is their first choice, their second choice is probably ISIS, they might be able to keep their base if ISIS ran Syria, but certainly wouldn’t if a more western aligned govt was in power.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          nonsense: as Trump said, ISIS destroyed a Russian airliner, Putin cannot be in love with those guys.

          • nadis 5.1.2.1.1

            his actions on the ground would beg to differ. Politically and domestically sure he hates them, but also appears he is happy to use them as a tool on the ground in Syria to achieve his strategic aim.

  6. Anne 6

    Please excuse the simplicity CV but what you are saying is:

    Nothing has really changed since the first Iraq War in Jan/Feb of 1991 – just a rearrangement of the players.

    IT’S THE OIL MAN… THE OIL.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      yes indeed…and some of the players want Assad gone so that they can put their own oil and gas pipelines across Syria to the Med.

    • infused 6.2

      Yes. Yhis isnt news. The iraq feilds are already us controlled.

  7. So a case can be made that the US and NATO ultimately support Daesh.

    Not using that trail of unconnected points it can’t. Is the rest of the article also built out of non-sequiturs?

    • northshoredoc 7.1

      This site is looking more and more like an RT troll farm.

      CV should be billing Vlad for the hours he’s putting in.

      • Chooky 7.1.1

        “RT troll farm”?…a bit simplistic …you are conveniently forgetting that RT uses some of the most knowledgeable commentators and analysts in the Western world

        …many of whom are experienced American academics , diplomats, heads of think tanks, writers, journalists, soldiers , CIA intelligence officers ….from Washington, New York …and British …as well as European

        • Mike the Savage One 7.1.1.1

          Imo RT is biased, without any doubt, who finances them? Yes, of course they love to have western dissenters express their views there too, also maybe Snowden and so, and some of what we get is the truth, but it is also prone to be “spun” to serve the Russian government’s interests.

          I would warn from giving blind reliance and preference to any media from any super power, whether it is the US, Russia or China, they are all not quite kosher.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RT_%28TV_network%29

          “RT, originally Russia Today, is a Russian government-funded television network which runs cable and satellite television channels, as well as Internet content directed to audiences outside the Russian Federation. RT International, which is based in Moscow, presents around-the-clock news bulletins, documentaries, talk shows, and debates, as well as sports news and cultural programmes about Russia.”

      • gnomic 7.1.2

        You’re having a laugh right? Where were you for the last few years by the way? Or have you changed your dickname?

    • ropata 7.2

      The point is that NATO has extremely mixed motives and is playing a dirty game, yes they are “at war” with Daesh but their supposed mates in Saudi and Turkey have dodgy side deals going.

      Where there is money to be made, a deal can be found with any evil regime, apparently

      • Psycho Milt 7.2.1

        So, the point is that different governments act in different national interests (or what they claim to be the national interest), and these interests aren’t always in alignment within any large alliance? Well, yeah. It’s a fairly obvious point. My dispute is the yawning logical chasm between that obvious point and “the US and NATO ultimately support Da’esh.”

  8. johnm 8

    Right! Collision course between International Criminal U$ Nato and Turkey and the only decent human operator in Syria : Russia. Putin is a great man there’s no bullshit anywhere in this man!

    Bombshell: The Turkish Assault on Russia’s SU-24 was Guided by U.S. Air Force [Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS radar plane]

    Warshington will get us all incinerated eventually they’re fing mad neocon zionist maniacs.

    https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/usa-guided-su-24-attack/

    • johnm 8.1

      PUTIN is a great man! He’s tried to bring peace everywhere. But rubbish U$ and rubbish EU have not cooperated. The Anglo Zionist crimanility is plain to see for anyone who cares to look. The UK government is total rubbish full of bullshit in their Rubbish parliament.

  9. Tory 9

    Pepe Escobar, conspiracy theorist of the highest degree, obviously sits well with writers at this site.
    http://everyday.antisemitism.uk/2015/11/13/russia-today-correspondent-posts-claim-that-russian-airliner-was-downed-by-israel-on-orders-from-jewish-oligarchs/
    Roll out the tin foil….

  10. ropata 10

    John Michael Greer: A Landscape of Dreams

    For well over a decade now, the US government has been vaporizing assorted groups of people all over the Middle East via drone strikes, and according to everybody but the paid flacks of the US government, a very large fraction of the people blown to bits in these attacks have been civilians. Here again, Washington DC treats this as a public relations problem, and simply denies that anything of the sort has happened.

    The difficulty with this strategy, though, is that sooner or later you run up against an opponent that isn’t stuck on the level of abstractions, isn’t greatly interested in public relations, and intends to do you real, rather than abstract, harm. To some extent that’s what has sown the whirlwind that the US and its allies are now reaping in the Middle East. In many of the tribal cultures of the Middle East, vengeance against the killers of one’s family members is an imperative duty, and it doesn’t matter how airily the flacks in Washington DC dismiss the possibility that the latest drone strike annihilated a Yemeni wedding party, or what have you. The relatives of the dead know better, and the young men among them are going to do something about it, whether that involves hiking to Afghanistan or, say, joining the current mass migration into Europe, lying low for a while, and then looking for suitable targets.

    The same difficulty has shifted into overdrive over the last few weeks, though, with Russia’s entry into the Syrian civil war. Russia’s current leaders are realists, which is to say, they assign abstractions the limited importance they deserve. The Russian presence in Syria, accordingly, isn’t a mere gesture, it’s the efficient deployment of an expeditionary force that’s clearly intended to wage war, and is in the early stages of turning that intention into hard reality. In an impressively short time, the Russians have built, staffed, and stocked a forward air base at Latakia, and begun systematic air strikes against rebel positions; work has gotten under way on two other bases; weapons and munitions are flooding into Syria to rearm the beleaguered Syrian army; the first detachments of Revolutionary Guard soldiers from Russia’s ally Iran have arrived. Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) and airborne units are en route to Syrian soil, where they and the Iranians will doubtless have something to do besides soak up rays on Latakia’s once-famous Mediterranean beaches.

    Apologies for the long quote. I think I will go outside now

    • Pascals bookie 10.1

      Putin is funny beast, but no, he’s not a ‘realist’ in that sense. he loves abstractions.

      Consider for example “sovereign democracy” an early phrase he used to describe what he was developing. the sovereign part appears on the one hand to about ‘protecting the independence of holy mother Russia’, but on the other hand it’s about how that protection os to be made, through sovereignty of strong leadership. the democracy part softens that. Working together the words rob each other of meaning, it’s democracy, but sovereign democracy.

      He’s post modern as fuck.

      Some good reading;

      http://schumatsky.de/Russia-is-a-lie.htm

      http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/11/hidden-author-putinism-russia-vladislav-surkov/382489/

      even Trotter gets in on it, but he can’t help himself from saying key is the same, but he really isn’t, Putin is on a whole nother level:

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/03/24/very-different-personages-vladislav-surkov-putins-post-modern-puppet-master/

      • ropata 10.1.1

        Wow, the Trotter link is a total mind job

      • johnm 10.1.2

        Pascals bookie

        You’re a fing idiot mate. stew in your shit you stupid f*ck!

        [lprent: The rule is that abuse may not be pointless. I don’t see a point in this comment. If you want to continue commenting, I’d suggest strongly that you explain clearly why the abuse is appropiate. ]

        • Pascals bookie 10.1.2.1

          You seem a bit mad mate. Did someone question the awesomeness of your little mastabatory mindbank?

          • johnm 10.1.2.1.1

            You are an idiot f off with your patronising superior rubbish. you stupid piece of sh*t. Have a wank yourself you wanker.

            • Pascals bookie 10.1.2.1.1.1

              lol, I love tough little bastards.

              All aggro and robust, supporting big tough guy Putin who hunts bear in his underpants or whatever, but can’t quite bring themselves to type out ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’.

              Grow the fuck up son.

              • johnm

                LOL 🙂 The truth is free for those who have the simple bravery to see it. I’m probably older than you Pascal, I grew up a long time ago. Again Putin is the only true straight man there. End of collision! 🙂

                • Colonial Viper

                  PB doesnt quite get it. Putin uses extremely restrained and diplomatic language, but it is language with meaning that he follows up on with congruent -and some times devastating- action.

                  Restrained language doesn’t equate to being soft as it does in modern western culture. Neither Putin nor Xi Jin Ping feel any need to talk about “shirtfronting” anyone.

                  • Mike the Savage One

                    Putin is really soft on gays in Russia too, I suppose, is he not? I fear that you and some others have some past romantic impressions of Russia and its leader, he is not quite the humane man that some of you think. Le t us also not forget the terror dished out in Chechniya and some other places, hence thousands willing Chechen fighters in Syria right now, Russia is not the working man’s and woman’s paradise, believe you me.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Russia’s attitude towards homosexuality is tegressive but fits within its broader culture of conservative orthodox Christianity and is similar to Western attitudes of 40-50 years ago.

                      Re: Chechnya. Thats where a weakened economically crushed Russia got brutal first hand experience of fighting militant jihadi Islamism on home soil. And that was after the Soviet Union was totally humiliated by CIA trained Islamic fighters in Afghanistan.

                    • Mike the Savage One

                      I can tell you that Chechen fighters are among the most formidable and ferocious fighters out there, and also on the front line in Syria, Russia’s military and secret service brutality ensured they are the strongest to survive. To beat them in Syria will be damned hard not just for the Russians, for all fighters involved there!

        • johnm 10.1.2.2

          ” Putin is funny beast, ” This is 100% rubbish and if the standard entertains this rubbish: well it’s just a pathetic provincial rag on line that’s why.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.3

        Putin is realising in physical reality what he means by his term “sovereign democracy.” Watch and learn: where the US and Europe talk endlessly, Russia does.

        • Pascals bookie 10.1.3.1

          I have been CV, you should actually try doing the same with your eyes open.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.3.1.1

            Putin’s home popularity keeps rising and rising, while Obama’s popularity keeps sinking and the US Congress has a 10% approval rating, partly due to how responsive it is to big money corporate interests and not to citizens interests.

            Thats neither sovereign nor democratic; that I think is one of the contrasts that Putin wanted to draw.

            • Grindlebottom 10.1.3.1.1.1

              It’s true Putin’s popularity at home keeps rising, because he’s firmly in control of domestic media messaging. It follows a consistent pro-Putin line, it supports & encourages police/security service harrassment & public thuggery against opponents & “radicals” vilified as threatening “security”. He’s portrayed as a strong leader because he is, in a country whose historical experience is being led by strong leaders. And he’s appealing to popular sentiment that wants to see Russia’s humiliation by its collapse revenged & to be restored to its former Soviet-era great power status.

              Obama on the other hand is forever dissected & portrayed as weak, or devious, a failure and a generally flawed leader by US media, and he is. To much of the rest of the world on diplomatic issues & international relations he’s either a blatant hypocrite or a fool led by the nose by the backroom power brokers and intelligence communities. US society is flooded with blatantly jingoistic propaganda of its own, much of it completely ignorant, and when you study it actually has one of the world’s least democratic systems of government. The ordinary people don’t even directly vote to elect their own president.

              The two countries have much more in common than most people think, but Putin definitely delivers the most clear-sighted, popular, and firm leadership. In their own ways both the US and Russia are ruthless in pursuit of their foreign policy objecives.

            • Pascals bookie 10.1.3.1.1.2

              Because Putinism isn’t corporatist eh?

              God you talk some shit.

              Any luck finding eveidence of a helicopter ever being shot down with a TOW?
              Seeing you doubled down on your claim it could be done easily.

  11. Mike the Savage One 11

    “Iraqi Kurds refute Russia’s claims on Turkey-Daesh oil trade, say tankers belong to KRG”

    http://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2015/12/03/iraqi-kurds-refute-russias-claims-on-turkey-daesh-oil-trade-say-tankers-belong-to-krg

    Who do we believe, the Russians, the US, the Arab Gulf states involved, the jihadist groups, or perhaps some people from Europe that try to fathom in that region, what is really going on? Maybe some human rights and NGO groups talk more sense than media releases and propaganda coming from all sides now. Only those that closely follow all the developments may be able to dissect truth from misinformation.

    The oil trade from Iraqi Kurdistan has been going on for years, and it is possible that there was a “mix up” or even an attempt by the Russians to use propaganda, to claim that ISIS is trading with Turkey, i.e. selling oil it has its hands on to people or businesses in Turkey. The Turks or their government rather claim it is a Syrian with a Russian pass port, who is involved in buying oil from ISIS and selling it even to the Assad Regime and others in need of petroleum.

    The first victim of war is the truth, let us not forget that.

    But CV is right, there is endless potential for a major conflict to develop out of the fighting in Syria and Northern and Western Iraq.

    Let us get real, the clinging to old borders is a lost cause, the first Gulf War, that the Senior US President Bush the fought to push Saddam’s forces out of Kuwait and to keep them out of Saudi Arabia ended in a stalemate, and since then, Iraq has already been cut into territories of vested interests, the Kurds enjoying the US and some other western support to basically create their own state. They had a tough time under Saddam, and no love was lost, so they claim they are entitled to oil on their territories, which again are partly disputed, e.g. Kerkuk.

    The Second Gulf or Iraq War dealt the rest to the former state called that, Iraq, and basically allowed it to be split into interest spheres, along ethnic and religious lines, and the Shiites, who also suffered badly under a Sunni Saddam Hussein regime, they had no love lost for Sunnis.

    Hence we have endless tribalism, and division and the Old Testament style an eye for an eye dishing out of revenge.

    I think we may have to start accepting, that borders around Iraq and Syria will never be quite the same again, those states will change, or cease to exist. It is the heritage of colonialism, and now some try to redraw the borders, the worst players are IS of course, but others not much better.

    What may be needed is a Marshall Plan kind of rebuilding and reformation effort, that helped rebuild much of Europe, but it will only happen after more fighting and much blood letting.

    I despair about the whole situation, as the French and now UK and even also indirectly Germany have rushed in to play military games in Syria, where the government does not want them, and where indeed Russia and Turkey, and Iran and some others have very great strategic interests, we can indeed fall into another trap, a kind of escalation, and the beginning of WW3, I am not kidding you.

  12. Mike the Savage One 12

    Who speaks the truth now? There may indeed be some truth to illegal dealings in Turkey, but it is all rather murky:

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-isis-oil-trade-from-the-ground-up

    “Syria’s most potent oilfields are in the Deir Ezzor province, largely under ISIS control. The group earns most of its money by taxing locals and confiscating valuables at checkpoints, but oil sales still account for hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against George Haswani, a Syrian businessman who allegedly acted as a middleman for sales between ISIS and the beleaguered Assad regime. Hours after Antonov’s announcement in Moscow, the U.S. rejected the Russian claim against Erdoğan.”

    Maybe some more useful info:
    http://ig.ft.com/sites/2015/isis-oil/

    It seems to be very diversified and involve many players in that “market”, surely not only ISIS and Turks.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      note: Turkish authorities would never buy Kurdish oil. Lots of Iraqi Kurdish oil ends up being bought by Israel, according to FT.

      Turkey would have no problem with Islamist oil however.

      • Mike the Savage One 12.1.1

        Erdogan is not against islamists as we know, he is just against chopping non believer’s heads off, as that is not a good look while Turkey tries to get membership in the EU, I suppose.

  13. Pasupial 14

    Turks claim that their invasion of Iraq is to train the Kurdish militia!

    Iraq has told Turkey to “immediately” withdraw forces, including tanks and artillery, it has deployed in the country’s north without Baghdad’s consent…

    Turkish media reported that about 150 Turkish soldiers backed by 20 to 25 tanks had been sent by road to the Bashiqa area north-east of Mosul, the city that is Islamic State’s main hub in Iraq.

    Peshmerga forces from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region are deployed in the area, and Turkey’s Anatolia news agency said the troops were there to train them.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/05/iraq-orders-turkey-to-immediately-withdraw-troops-sent-across-border

    I imagine that this training will focus mainly on how to avoid being shot by Turkish soldiers and tanks.

    • Mike the Savage One 14.1

      Yes, for sure, they will train their enemies, next the YPG, which the US now claims to support to fight ISIS. The whole scenario is a total mess, beyond belief, we should not put any trust in any of our so called leaders, they are idiots or dangerous mafiosis, they all deserve to be sacked right now.

    • Grindlebottom 14.2

      Jesus it’s madness. I have this picture in my mind of senior military commanders getting up every morning & moving coloured pins & labels constantly around on large maps of Syria & Iraq & scratching their heads trying to keep track of who’s shooting at who and who’s bombing who and where the hell everybody is right at any given moment.

      Turks invading Iraq (to train Kurdish fighters – the Peshmerga didn’t seem to need training?) is yet another completely unexpected development that’s going to piss off the Iraqi government & all its allies as well as the Sunnis, maybe the US & coalition partners, and God knows who else. What’s going on now? What a maelstrom.

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        you can be damn sure the Turks are not actually assisting the Kurds.

        • Grindlebottom 14.2.1.1

          “[A] senior Turkish official said the soldiers in the region were there to train Kurdish peshmerga fighters. Turkey has close relations with the Kurdish autonomous zone of northern Iraq, though it views Syrian Kurdish groups across the border as hostile to its interests.

          ‘This is part of the fight against Daesh [Isis],’ he said, adding that there were about 20 armoured vehicles accompanying them as protection.

          …On Tuesday, the United States said it was deploying a new force of special operations troops to Iraq to conduct raids against Isis there and in neighbouring Syria, ratcheting up its campaign against the group.

          The office of the Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has said it welcomed foreign assistance but Iraq’s government would need to approve any deployment of special operations forces anywhere in Iraq.

          Abadi reiterated that foreign ground combat troops were not needed in Iraq. Powerful Iraqi Shia Muslim armed groups have pledged to fight any such deployment of US forces to the country. It was unclear how they viewed the presence of Turkish soldiers.”
          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/04/turkish-troops-iraq-train-forces-fighting-isis

          Well, seems to be clear at 14. above that the Iraqi PM wants the Turks out of there, and he also doesn’t sound keen on more US special forces being there either.

  14. Mike the Savage One 15

    Different times and wars, but the same questions remain:

  15. Mike the Savage One 16

    To add a bit of cynicism and “spice”, why not ask this:

    Let us wait for a miracle, we get promised it every day in advertising, do we not?

  16. Mike the Savage One 17

    CV I have just come across this probably propagandistic website, what is your view and comment?

    http://www.khilafah.com/

    http://www.khilafah.com/message-to-mr-cameron-bomb-us-or-ban-us-we-wont-reform-or-give-up-our-islam/

    I would appreciate your position, as there is also other stuff coming through the line right now, challenging the UK position.

    https://emmejihad.wordpress.com/tag/islamic-state-of-iraq-and-sham/

    What there is BS and true, you reckon?

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/04/chechen-jihadists-leave-syria-join-the-fight-in-urkaine.html

    http://www.bbc.com/news/30476381

    I see and note the emphasis in the Ummah, that is the wider Islam community, to make so to say the Islamic world, if that is the understanding that we in the west are supposed to make room for that, I fear we will head for a full blown cultural war.

  17. Mike the Savage One 18

    So can anyone “trump” this idiocy?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html

    And I thought most Kiwis were struggling with common sense.

  18. Tautuhi 19

    The whole Middle East thing sounds like a buggers muddle to me.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    14 hours ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    16 hours ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    17 hours ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    19 hours ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    19 hours ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    2 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    3 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    3 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    4 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    4 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    4 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    5 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    6 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    7 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago

  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago