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Get some guts

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, February 26th, 2015 - 114 comments
Categories: iraq, john key, war - Tags: ,

After the formal speeches on the Iraq deployment John Key set off on an extraordinary spittle-flecked rant against Labour. Watch it if you can:

It ends with Key telling Little to “get some guts” (something that armchair generals are well known for of course). Key was trying for his own “cut the crap” moment, but it hasn’t worked out the way he planned. From the Twitter tag #johnkeygetsomeguts

https://twitter.com/joeystation7/status/570446275142815744

https://twitter.com/rogerdodgernz/status/570128346169761793

And so on…

114 comments on “Get some guts”

  1. Colonial Rawshark 1

    Plenty of old men round these parts cheering the young men on into a futile mission in the meat grinder of an Iraqi sectarian civil war.

    • Chooky 1.1

      +100…John Key did not have the guts to put it to Parliament for a democratic vote….

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        yeah, he had the numbers until Sabin… ..goes to show how indecision over Sabin, led to him having to rage now. And then raging about sending teachers, I mean, military trainers like those in a charter school, oops, Key going all hot about military teachers, finally he supports our teachers. Our PM what a absurdity, as he goes to the cricket with his gun ho m,ate from across the ditch, yet clears say no sas troops. Where’s the guts Abbott has? Just teachers John.

  2. whateva next? 2

    What a performance, reminiscent of “….You want the truth….you can’t handle the truth” Except that Jack Nicholson was far more convincing, and Key demeans the role of a statesman by thinking he is in Hollywood.
    Poor show. Thank God for Little, Norman Flavell and Peters.

  3. lprent 3

    Nice post.

    From this ex-soldier, John Key looks like the usual arsehole armchair generals. Unwilling to divert from making money to go into service himself, but quite willing to send the sons and daughters of others to do his dirty work.

    John Key, a spittle spraying hypocrite who really understands little about the military and those who serve in it.

    I suspect even the supporters of this deployment inside the military would agree with that.

    • Bastables 3.2

      The very fact that the NZ Army’s ROE can appear to break Iraq law (apparently the allies we’re helping) make this old soldier pretty disturbed. Our chicken hawk PM can’t even get a agreement that safe guards Kiwi soldiers right to defend themselves.

      I presume the logic is colonial in regards to: lol Iraq/brown peoples laws.

      Note that the term “Guts” is very Public school boy/British officer class.

      Dixon noted “guts” this in his work on military incompetence http://www.amazon.com/Psychology-Military-Incompetence-Norman-Dixon/dp/0712658890

      • Enough is Enough 3.2.1

        The vast majority of our parliament was unwilling to divert from making money to going into service themselves.

        There are many many reasons why we should not be involving ourselves in a foreign civil war. However decisions relating to military deployment should be made by the PM and parliament. It should not be a military decision or reserved to former soldiers within parliament.

        • Bastables 3.2.1.1

          Why are you citing that in a democracy “war” should be a civil decision when the PM did not even bother with gathering parliamentary consensus/majority for marching off to war. Instead we’ve been shanghaied to it because like the 20th and 19th centuries we’re apparently still just a dominion of empire.

          You also miss the point that John Key’s “get some guts” muppettery is hypocritically cloaking him self in old military/macho jargon even though he him self has never been in uniform. And this self smearing of tough guy patriotism is in order to avoid the fact this has not been a decision arrived by democratic debate or process.

          • Enough is Enough 3.2.1.1.1

            The PM not gathering parliamentary consensus/majority for marching off to war is one of the very reasons I was referring to in my comment.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2

          However decisions relating to military deployment should be made by the PM and parliament.

          Nope. Decisions on going to war should be left with the people through a referendum. Only that way can we balance the country’s need for defense and a government’s tendency to act for empire.

    • infused 3.3

      plenty of them saying the opposite as well. We can sit here all day doing this.

      • lprent 3.3.1

        Yeah?

        Link me some. It is so much more effective than simply making bullshit up.

        When I have been looking in the last few days, all I have managed to see are similar pompous armchair generals to you, John Key, and other pathetic idiots like Farrar, Slater, Mike Hoskings, and whoever did the anonymous Herald editorial.

        The soldiers I have seen have been people like Ron Marks (against) to Wayne Mapp (tepid).

        The “patriotic” spittle spraying idiots have uniformly been people who are wannabe a long way away rather than doers when it comes to military service.

  4. No surprise there. The only difference is that he is doing it from the front bench instead of the back bench. He is a nasty little warmonger!

    Here he is in 2003! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIXgJ7r2vU

    And while he is sending troops to Iraq the British are sending weapons to ISIS/ISIL!

  5. Nick 5

    My son recently left the military…there’s a space to replace him available right now. Hands up John Key and your fellow MPs, are you going to volunteer your children to sign up?

    • Ffloyd 5.1

      Well, I’m sure young Max would go like a shot but he has already committed to a six month internship at a bank in Sydney. Can’t let *poppa j* down.
      [r0b: Please let’s not have any more specifically on Key’s kids]

  6. vto 6

    That is the second time Key has tried to feign passion about something other than taking the piss out of someone, and money.

    That is the second time he has failed spectacularly. He just can’t do it. He is incapable of gravitas, statesmanship and other important characteristics because he simply does not possess them. As Eleanor Catton famously put it – he is just a profit-driven, short term, neo-liberal, shallow fool.

    • wyndham 6.1

      vto, you neglect to use the term “arrogant”. For a Prime Minister to label his opposition ‘muppets’, ‘sunshine’, ‘boy’ etc. Otherwise you and Eleanor are right on the button ! Well said.

  7. Andrew R 7

    Through the get some guts speech Key smiles at the reaction he gets. Just a small minded bully in action.

    If I follow his 2003 rant about missing out sending troops to Itaq his concern is that it will screw up the chance of a free trade agreement with USA.

    Nice standards Mr Key.

    • Ecosse_Maidy 7.1

      Yes Andrew. It isn’t the first time we have seen Keys in action…The Great Decider..who knows better..and doesn’t need to enquire as to your opinion, or for that matter, the opinion of others representing us on any matters ,including sending troops into a war zone.

      He did have the nickname of the smiling assassin in banking i hear.Perhaps he can put that to use and lead the troops in..pop on a uniform and give himself a load of medals and a staff to flail around.

      He forgets he’s elected to represent us.Not his ego

      The power has gone to its head..if only he’d left it to getting a new flag.

  8. Hami Shearlie 8

    John Key will surely be up for the best actor award in this year’s Razzies Ceremony with that “impassioned” (yeah right) speech in the House this week. I burst out laughing – never seen such bad acting in my life! I am looking forward to wee Max Key being marched down to the recruitment office by Daddy!! Maybe Steffie too!!! Have some guts Mr Key – Put your money or, in this case, your children where your mouth is!!

  9. idlegus 9

    “You fasten all the triggers
    For the others to fire
    Then you set back and watch
    When the death count gets higher
    You hide in your mansion’
    As young people’s blood
    Flows out of their bodies
    And is buried in the mud.”

    bob dylan. odetta powerful version here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38dOYW7-B0E

  10. tricledrown 10

    Not one Iraqi or specialist security advisor is in favour of having any military presence.
    A mouth piece for imperialism the US made and was entirely responsible for
    One the dumb Idea to invade 2 getting rid of all the sunni hairachy!
    Now after all the US’s medling the US want some else to wipe their arse.
    Enter butt kisser Key.

  11. scotty 11

    Us and them
    And after all we’re only ordinary men.
    Me and you
    God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do.

    ‘Forward’ he cried from the rear
    And the front rank died.
    The general is sat and the lines on the map
    Move from side to side.

    Pink Floyd Us and them.

    • swordfish 11.1

      Blackadder Goes Forth

      General Melchett (to Baldrick): “Don’t worry, my boy, if you should falter, remember that Captain Darling and I are behind you”.

      Captain Blackadder: “About 35 Miles behind you, to be exact.”

      In Key’s case, probably closer to 10,000.

  12. r0b 12

    I have no problem with observations about politicians’ kids in the general case, but please let’s not target anyone specific. They aren’t to blame.

  13. fisiani 13

    I suppose through the distorted prism of the Key haters this will is seen as an own goal. Everything John Key says is seen here as an own goal. Pyschologists call this phenomenon mislabelling. Look at some of the abuse above. Such a viewpoint merely shows how seriously out of touch you are with real New Zealand.
    John Key knows that if Labour were the government they would have made the same decision and is disgusted by the petty political game that Little is playing to stave off his caucus, His fake abdication of moral responsibility is pathetic and cowardly. John Key is correct. Andrew Little needs to grow some guts.

    [lprent: That second paragraph looks to me to be exactly the same as the second paragraph in other comment you have made yesterday. Use your own words or I’m likely to boot you off for astroturfing National’s spin lines. ]

    • rarely do i agree with the fizzy-anus…but..

      “..John Key knows that if Labour were the government they would have made the same decision..”

      ..given their history – hard to argue with that one..

      • Old Mickey 13.1.1

        Indeed, I for one…applauded when Helen committed the troops last time. It is a test of character to make the call to go to war (yes, war is bad, no winners….we all get that).

        Disppoited to hear that Little would have been happy to supply air-support (Radio Live w/Sainsbury) and bomb the sh*t out of ISIS. Politics be dammed, and political pointscoring not necessary now.

    • Chch_chiquita 13.2

      Key is angry because once this whole thing blows in our face he will not be able to blame Labour for supporting it, or doing the same.

      There is nothing gutsy about sending people to fight a war before you have tried every other possible way. Take a look at Israel and learn the lesson. Years of doing the same only brought more and more extreme violence.

      It doesn’t take guts to decide on sending troops to war. It will take guts to stand in front of the families of the dead soldiers and say their death made a difference. But he might be too busy to do that.

    • Sabine 13.3

      it does not matter if Labour does it or does it not. Labour is not running the country and Labour is not taking the decision.

      National is taking the decision to send troops with out a mandate from the UN, without being asked for by the Iraqi Government and without a democratic vote in Parliament.

      Fact is, that those that oppose going to war in Iraq – like me – opposed going to war in Iraq in 1991 – Operation Desert Storm under Bush the elder, opposed the sanctions on Iraq following Operation Desert Storm, opposed the going to war in 2003 under Bush the younger and are now again opposing to going to war under Key I can’t remember what i had for breakfast, in the most fucked over region on this planet for the gain of so few and the detriment of so many.

      this dear Fisiani, and it might surprise you, goes above Party Membership or Likes and Dislikes, it is a stance of principle.

      We should not send Troops to Iraq. We should have never send troops to Iraq.

      It is the western world that has meddled in this region for the last 100 odd years, and still we are not happy with the mess we have created.
      Go grow a spine, some guts, a heart and a brain….because clearly you have none.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.3.1

        this dear Fisiani, and it might surprise you, goes above Party Membership or Likes and Dislikes, it is a stance of principle.

        We should not send Troops to Iraq. We should have never send troops to Iraq.

        QFT

  14. Ennui 14

    You will get a roasting for that Fis. That’s because I think there is a hint of truth or uncertainty as to how Labour would have played if in government. Either way they would show far more backbone than the Meryll Lynch lapdog.

    • KJS0ne 14.1

      Ennui from /fit/?

    • “..Either way they would show far more backbone than the Meryll Lynch lapdog…”

      ..really..?

      ..what wd show/prove that in any way..?

      ..little almost fell over himself to extend spooking-powers…

      ..what makes you think he/labour wd grow a spine for this one…?

  15. Rodel 15

    jk -Hi CT How do you think I’m doing?
    ct- Not so good John. Andrew out did you with his CTC comment.
    jk- CTC ?
    ct-Sorry John .That’s PR speak for ‘cut the crap’. That’s what he said to you.
    jk- Oh..he did? Wasn’t listening..Quick,tell me what to do.
    ct- Well. You’ll have to counter it with something similar.We’ll think of something clever and terse that will catch the public’s attention. It’ll cost you though.
    jk- That’s OK we Nats have big donors
    ct-You mean Donhuis ha ha!
    jk. I don’t get it?
    ct- Don’t worry John. Just an in house joke. Oh I’ve got it…. CSG… ‘Get some guts’
    jk- Who me?
    ct-No John.Let me explain. That’s what you have to say to Andrew.’Get some guts’.
    JK- When do I say it?
    ct-…(sigh).. Let me explain again….

    By the way-Great photo of JK and BE.Would be a good caption competition.
    I suggest- the ventriloquist and his dummy

    • Funny, and a good point. I clutched my forehead through Goff’s endless me-toos ( (“Yeah, I’d totally fuck Liz Hurley too, but after I’d done my wife first – that’s how manly I am!”), and finally it’s CT-Nat that’s on the backlit, reacting and ham-fistedly imitating.

      Good PR is getting in first and defining the tone and terms. In style at least, they’re losing the initiative.

  16. Ennui 16

    There’s a story out there on the interweb that a British plane was shot down carrying arms for ISIS (can’t link on phone but do Google. It looks plausible).

    Raises the question who the he’ll are our lads going to die for?

    • r0b 16.1

      The source of the story is not even remotely reliable.

      • Bill 16.1.1

        Are you saying that solely on the basis that Fars news is an Iranian news outlet?

        Or are you saying that Hakem al-Zameli, head of the Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee isn’t reliable?

        Or that the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq that reported al-Zameli’s claims isn’t remotely reliable?

        Or all of the above?

        • Bill 16.2.1.1

          But Rob, you could replace Fars with Reuters and find similar links back to government and the establishment there too.

          edit. Having just had a quick look at the front page of Fars, there are definitely newsworthy stories and articles in there. http://english.farsnews.com/Default.aspx

          • r0b 16.2.1.1.1

            I’m saying that an news agency that runs stories about time machines and tall white aliens running the US government is not even remotely reliable.

            http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921021000393

            • Bill 16.2.1.1.1.1

              That’s a news piece reporting on other medias stories!

              First para “some media reports said”

              Second para “whatdoesitmean (dot) com reported”

              And then there’s the multi-paragraph disclaimer on the foot of the article???

              The thing about propaganda Rob, is that it rubs both ways and everyone – even your favourite ‘go to’ rag/news outlet – employs it.

              Late edit. Been trying to source the FSB (Russian Security Service) report that ‘whatdoesitmean’ references. No joy. Wouldn’t be a piece of misinformation spread by western intelligence seeking to simultaneously discredit the FSB and Snowden?

              • r0b

                Headline: “Snowden Documents Proving “US-Alien-Hitler” Link Stun Russia”

                Why report other stories that are obvious nonsense? Nazi aliens – really? Sorry, if such a source comes up with a story that is unbelievable, then I don’t believe it. To each their own of course.

                • Bill

                  And since The Telegraph uncritically reported the ‘time machine’ story…?

                  Or what about Netanyahu with his Iranian bomb stuff that was reported in serious tones all over western media?

                  Or Nessie?

                  Or what about all the uncritical reporting of supposed WMDs in Iraq?

                  Unbelievable stories are par for the course, day in and day out in all major news outlets.

                  It requires critical reading…separating the wheat and chaff Rob or, if you prefer, not throwing out the baby with the bath water. That becomes far more informative than inhabiting a silo due to routinely dismissing everything any given source is reporting because some chaff has been detected. (Yes, many sources are nothing but chaff, but they’re pretty easy to identify, no?)

                  • r0b

                    It requires critical reading…separating the wheat and chaff Rob

                    Agreed, which is why I say that if such a source comes up with a story that is unbelievable, then I don’t believe it.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      I think the interesting thing about that Fars story is that it exists.

                      I’d say it’s 99.whatever % likely to be BS, but the fact that Fars is running it now, and that the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq guy is pushing it says what it’s about.

                      ISCI is the most closely linked party to Iran. Iran has many troops on the ground etc etc.

                      This is, to me, them signalling that although they are accepting western ‘aid’ in the IS fight, it is still their fight. They are telling their peeps not to trust the west. That ‘their interests are not ours, and that ours come first, and watch your backs’.

                    • r0b []

                      Interesting interpretation.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Bear in mind that many of the Shia militias (“our allies against ISIS”) were ambushing, attacking and killing US servicemen in 2010-2012. They don’t regard the Americans as friends. Far from it.

  17. Bill 17

    So if Labour should have voted ‘Yes’ because the UK, Canada and Australian Labour Parties voted ‘Yes’, doesn’t that imply that John only wanted to be involved because the Tories in the UK, Canada and Australia were getting involved?

    So what was he referring to with his guts comment then? Maybe John’s favourite stewed pork intestines feature on the menu at get-togethers of ‘the club’ and he was simply delivering a passionate gastronomical recommendation? (shrug)

  18. adam 18

    And the whole Gallipoli chestnut is now being tossed around. Well folks just in case you don’t know – the Gallipoli misadventure led directly to the first genocide of the twenty century.

    http://www.armenian-genocide.org/genocide.html

    If you think I’m some leftist making this up – Here is what the great conservative hero Winston Churchill had to say about it.

    http://www.armenian-genocide.org/churchill.html

  19. KJS0ne 19

    I don’t know where I actually stand on this whole ISIS troop thing. On the one hand, ISIS if fought conventionally, are going to slink away into the shadows and come straight back out once the West once again extricates itself from the hell that is the Middle East.

    But those who need to fight ISIS, i.e. the Nation states that ISIS poses an existential risk to, DO need our support. I don’t know much about the new Iraqi government except to say the previous government was totally corrupt, and pushed the Sunnis into the arms of ISIS by excluding them from government and discriminating against them. Has the Iraqi government really changed that much since Malaki was forced out? More importantly, the USA has already tried to train the Iraqi army, and it has to admit it was an abject failure, because as soon as the USA withdrew, the corrupt officers started selling off the equipment, and deserting their posts as soon as ISIS rolled into town. What makes Key think our troops are going to be any more successful.

    If we are going to support and train anyone, it really should be the Kurds, who are pro western, relatively secular, democratic by nature, and generally good sorts.

    But the biggest concern I have with all this, is that New Zealand can still be dragged into war without a democratic vote. This shows the need for a constitution, where one of the clauses is that a conscience vote by ALL MPs must take place and succeed before any troops are deployed overseas.

    Our ‘democracy’ as it stands, is really a series of 3 year dictatorships acceded to by a general vote for which group of politicians should be the dictators.

    • Colonial Rawshark 19.1

      Exactly. Notwithstanding the fact that a vote by 121 MPs is only marginally democratic anyway, it would be far better than the big nothing that Key has given the nation so far.

      Iraq is degenerating into a civil war with the northern part of the country set against the Baghdad authorities and militia whom we have chosen to side with.

      This is not going to go well.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      But those who need to fight ISIS, i.e. the Nation states that ISIS poses an existential risk to, DO need our support.

      I’m not even sure about that. They’re all quite capable of providing the training and equipment needed to bring ISIS down.

  20. weka 20

    “John Key set off on an extraordinary spittle-flecked rant against Labour.”

    The thing that’s really creepy about that is that it’s not like he actually believes what he is ranting. It’s just a put on. Disingenuous as fuck and highly crafted by a sociopath and his advisors.

  21. Sabine 21

    And last but least, when the first soldier comes home in a body bag will the PM be bothered to attend the funeral? Or will the gutless wonder go watch a game?

    And when the first soldier comes home maimed and unfit for work, will WINZ stand them down? Will WINZ provide them with a house for themselves and their families or will they just say ….Sorry mate, you don’t apply?

    • adam 21.1

      As we are becoming more like the US – we will probably start treating our veterans like scum as well.

      I hope not, because I have to say – the treatment of veterans in NZ is at present is reasonably good. My worry – is for the families of those killed. In the US – it’s appalling to say the least. I hope we don’t go down that path.

    • saveNZ 21.2

      @Sabine

      When the body bags start coming JK probably can’t wait for the photo opportunity. In the usual spin, he will say how important it is to rid the world of ISIL and how he, (hand on heart) took the hard decision and he is comfortable with that.

      Although after JK ‘get some guts’ comment, he may need more acting lessons. Unless it is about money, sport or BBQ JK can’t be convincing.

  22. Murray Simmonds 22

    I love it. Thanks for the post – the screenshots provided almost tempt me to join Twitter or revive my now defunct Facebook link. Or even to consider buying a mobile phone.

    I watched it “live” on Parliament TV. Still wondering what the tirade was all about and what precisely it was that triggered it. But anyway, definitely not a good look for a PM of any country on THIS planet in my opinion.

  23. Ad 23

    A Prime Minister can never lose it like that.

    Not because it feels bad for Andrew Little. He’s a big boy.

    But because it gets replayed at inconvenient times – like when he will have to salute the body bags coming back the other way.

    He needs to treat his demands upon serving soldiers and their families with more respect. Dignity.

    • freedom 23.1

      “…respect. Dignity.”
      John Key never discovered those words. Reading the dictionary once, he got to avarice and discovered all he ever wanted from the world.

      • Ad 23.1.1

        Even an old peacenik like Helen Clark learnt to respect the military, and what is entailed when calling for real intervention.

        Key just doesn’t have statesman in his repertoire. He will have all of the three terms as his record, but he will never be a complete Prime Minister without that sustained and serious mantle of dignified leadership..

  24. logie97 24

    John Key doesn’t appear to really know why the troops are going or to do what.
    This is simply driven by his M.I.A. speech in the house 2003.
    By putting this 2 year limit the “boys” will be home before the next election.
    Meanwhile The Australians are suggesting a minimum of 3 years to achieve what JK believes (what ever it is) will take just two.

    Now if he wants to demonstrate to the Iraqis what a relatively peaceful and secure country can look like, and one that they can tell their fellow countrymen is worth striving for, let him train the Iraqis here. (just as we have done for several South East Asian and Pacific nations’ military.) They will return having been well rested, well fed, and relatively stress free.

    Nah, he wants to be in the theatre.

    • Ad 24.1

      No, I don’t think he’s stupid.

      As Goering noted above, if at the time of the next election he could get people to salute the flag at the same time as he’s saluting the troops coming back, he is manufacturing an indomitable campaign platform…

      …For a fourth term of John Key.

      • Colonial Rawshark 24.1.1

        That could indeed be the plan. But I believe that it’s going to be a civil war quagmire in Iraq at the start of election year 2017, just 23 months from now.

        • Anne 24.1.1.1

          I’m sure Ad is right. When Key mentioned “2 yrs” my ‘rusting with age’ brain did a wee calculation… yeah that’s around mid-2017. Perfect timing – three months before another early election. Now I wonder what Andrew Little smear will rear it’s ugly head at the same time? Photos of Andrew Little (perhaps) during a clandestine rendezvous with a beautiful young woman? John Armstrong will call for his immediate resignation. Labour will lose the election and then it will transpire the pictures were fakes but John Armstrong won’t apologise. And Slater will get a knighthood?

          I mean it worked in 2014 so let’s try it again.

          • Ad 24.1.1.1.1

            Key will be able to wrap those coffins in a brand new flag.

            Even if Hagar hadn’t happened, Cunliffe wasn’t such a klutz, if the Greens had got to 15%, if Act had lost Epsom, etc etc etc … Key would not have fallen. The economy was doing fine, Auckland was stable, and the only votable topic of note was housing – not enough to mobilise Labour’s base.

            For Little to win, Key has to lose.
            There’s still no single reason yet that Key will lose his public.

      • Sable 24.1.2

        Maybe “El Presidente” by then. Mustache and a uniform with lots of fruit salad plus his own secret police. New flag with his mug on it. The whole banana republic look down pat.

  25. Sable 25

    Good to see Keys is copping some criticism,not that he cares.

  26. swordfish 26

    Vernon Small in today’s Dominion Post

    Key denied his outburst in the House was anger, “describing it as passion in his opposition to the Evils of ISIS…..However, that sits uncomfortably alongside his other sales pitch; that sending some trainers is the minimum New Zealand can do – short of doing nothing. Which is it, prime minister ? A passionate belief in the need to confront evil or as token a contribution as possible ?”

  27. Jo 27

    Everyone’s capable of improvement with plenty of inventive incentives…

    BAD SIR BRIAN BOTANY

    Sir Brian had a battleaxe with great big knobs on.
    He went among the villagers and blipped them on the head.
    On Wednesday and on Saturday,
    Especially on the latter day,
    He called on all the cottages and this is what he said:

    “I am Sir Brian!” (Ting-ling!)
    “I am Sir Brian!” (Rat-tat!)
    “I am Sir Brian,
    “As bold as a lion!
    “Take that, and that, and that!”

    Sir Brian had a pair of boots with great big spurs on;.
    A fighting pair of which he was particularly fond.
    On Tuesday and on Friday,
    Just to make the street look tidy,
    He’d collect the passing villagers and kick them in the pond.

    “I am Sir Brian!” (Sper-lash!)
    “I am Sir Brian!” (Sper-losh!)
    “I am Sir Brian,
    “As bold as a Lion!
    “Is anyone else for a wash?”

    Sir Brian woke one morning and he couldn’t find his battleaxe.
    He walked into the village in his second pair of boots.
    He had gone a hundred paces
    When the street was full of faces
    And the villagers were round him with ironical salutes.

    “You are Sir Brian? My, my.
    “You are Sir Brian? Dear, dear.
    “You are Sir Brian
    “As bold as a lion?
    “Delighted to meet you here!”

    Sir Brian went a journey and he found a lot of duckweed.
    They pulled him out and dried him and they blipped him on the head.
    They took him by the breeches
    And they hurled him into ditches
    And they pushed him under waterfalls and this is what they said:

    “You are Sir Brian — don’t laugh!
    “You are Sir Brian — don’t cry!
    “You are Sir Brian
    “As bold as a lion —
    “Sir Brian the Lion, goodbye!”

    Sir Brian struggled home again and chopped up his battleaxe.
    Sir Brian took his fighting boots and threw them in the fire.
    He is quite a different person
    Now he hasn’t got his spurs on,
    And he goes about the village as B. Botany, Esquire.

    “I am Sir Brian? Oh, no!
    “I am Sir Brian? Who’s he?
    “I haven’t any title, I’m Botany;
    “Plain Mr. Botany (B.)”

    A. A. Milne

  28. Jay 28

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs isn’t this just how alliances work? If we were being invaded, wouldn’t we ask for and expect help from the usa and australia etc etc.

    By the same token surely it would be a disgrace for us to refuse to help Iraq after they have told us they need it. Honestly, what could John Keys motive be other than to do what is right? He’s putting his political neck on the line here. And no he’s not a lizard dressed as a man, whether you like him or not he’s not Charles manson – this is not a conspiracy to get kiwi troops or nz citizens killed.

    Finally, we’re going, like it or not. Therefore why don’t we all put our support behind our troops and unite behind this decision. Our troops are volunteers not conscripts, and those who I know are excited for the opportunity not only to finally utilise all that training, but to stand up for what’s right and do their bit to knock this evil army on its arse.

    A lot of people are claiming they’re worried about them. If that’s the case why don’t we give them what they need – a country that is united and getting in behind them just as Canada, Australia etc apparently are behind their men and women. Instead we have a whole lot of sniping and political point scoring.

    I say again. They’re going. Some of us have said we disagree. If any die you’ll get to say I told you so. Now why don’t we move on and unite?

    • framu 28.1

      arrrgh!

      1) the irag govt is really corrupt
      2) more of the same vis a vis western military in the middle east WONT FIX ANYTHING

      the whole problem of isis is born from the mess that the US created last time round – thats the point

      isis, is al quaeda, is the taliban, is some other group before that. The actions of the west, economically, militarialy and politically is what brings all of these groups to life.

      Do you think more of the same in iraq is going to a) make the iraqis like the west or b) drive even more iraqis towards one extremist group or another?

      Yes we should want to help fix things – but whats being proposed wont do that, will make things worse – and isnt even designed to fix diddly

      move past the PR

      • Bill 28.1.1

        Isis is a bit different from Al Qaeda and both are different to the Taliban. But your point is taken nonetheless.

      • Weepus beard 28.1.2

        Yep. Jay seems to have forgotten that this exact same action failed miserably last time around and has made things worse over there.

        This action will make things worse again but Jay and friends just want to cuddle the troops.

        Time to try something different. Time for America to abandon its policy goal of complete global hegemony.

    • Economix 28.2

      Exactly right Jay.

      When people calm down and reflect on this situation (as sad as it is), they will come to the conclusion that this was a decision that had to be made. NZ doesn’t operate/exist in the world of NZ. We have alliances, so that one day if faced with the threat of war/extreme poverty etc. these allies will stand up to protect us. To renege on this alliance deal may have had little impact in the near future, but no one could accurately predict what impact this decision could have had in decades to come.

      Hell, we had better spend untold sums of money on improving our military capability if we think that each country around the world needs to fight their own fight, as we all know us kiwis would be lucky to survive a week protecting our own borders.

      This would have been the toughest decision Key would have had to make in his position so far (by a country mile), as it would have been for Clark. His comment on “get some guts” was hugely disappointing, but I think was more of a reference to that fact that Little ultimately knows he would have had to make this same decision if in power.

      Kia kaha NZ soldiers.

      • framu 28.2.1

        “but no one could accurately predict what impact this decision could have had in decades to come. ”

        actually its entirely predictable

        also – debating the decision and the actions of our PM in no way reflects how we may feel about, or how much we support, the actual people being sent there

        or did you miss all the ex-army people weighing in?

      • Bastables 28.2.2

        Im sure you rightwing stooges can point me to the military alliances NZ has tying us to the Iraq rump state? Or our formal agreement to always serve as military appendage to any of our allies wars in-spite of possessing our own soverignty and government?

        Kia Kaha kiwi soldiers when the national governments been busy underfunding them over three terms indeed. Tell me where your jingoism and pride and soldiers concern was when Kiwi soldiers have to pay market rates for their accommodations.

        Where were your care packages too Kiwi soldiers on overseas deployments the past two decades?
        Right wing always fair weather jingo’s and patriots, sod yeh.

        • Economix 28.2.2.1

          Mate, a part of me is really looking forward to Labour getting into government next time round (which I think is going to happen at the next election) as morons like you, who are so fixated on “the left would have done this vs. the right did that”, will then have to face the truth that the way of thinking/governing is not that different between Labour & National. And when another global conflict kicks off whilst Labour are in government, NZ soldiers will be on their way.

          Where are your food parcels to those living in “poverty” my friend? Jumping on that bandwagon but not doing a whole bunch eh? Christ, you are obviously sitting at a fucking computer, which by the sounds of it, our soldiers can barely afford, let alone those in poverty.

          Or are you only allowed to comment on here if you have attempted to save the world? Dickhead.

          • Bastables 28.2.2.1.1

            Yup ignore all the points against your odious fair weather right wing patriotism. Tell me were you concerned that Veterans pensions are being downgraded to being handled with WINZ? Care packages to soldiers are not food packages imbecile.

            Tell me about the time a non national Government was in charge and they allowed Nuclear weapons into NZ at the behest of our larger allies, how about our intervention into the Suez crisis, or our no show to either Iraq wars. Tell me again how National stooges such as your self seem to now remember a history and a future where NZ has and always will be mere low rent attack Chihuahua to what ever our english speaking fellow colonies and crown decide.

            We now can infer what the loyal opposition would have done if they were in government, they would have put the matter to a debate and then a vote as Helen Clarke govt did with sending SAS let’s to Afghanistan. That’s the difference you odious little jingo.

          • Bastables 28.2.2.1.2

            Ohh and I love your true right wing colours really come out when disagreed with. When a ex soldier calls you on your false patriotism you withdraw into your little persecution complex by crying about muh free speech is being oppressed and then belittle a soldiers service to Queen and Country. The always false right wing patriot ladies and gentleman, fine with soldiers if they don’t talk and just do what the right wing tells them to.

    • Bill 28.3

      Sunni lawmakers, who hold 73 seats in the 328-strong parliament, suspended their parliamentary activities on February 14 to protest against the abduction of fellow politician Zaid al-Janabi and the killing of his uncle, Qassim Swedan, a well-known tribal sheikh, his son and seven bodyguards in southern Baghdad.

      http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/sunni-boycott-threatens-reconciliation-efforts-iraq-150223091549767.html

      Not exactly the Iraqi parliament asking for aid and assistance then…

      Want to throw this (from the same link) into the mix?

      Iraqi Sunni lawmakers said they would reconsider an earlier decision to suspend all parliamentary activities if the government agrees to create a Sunni force to be in charge of security in Iraq’s Sunni-dominated provinces.

      Meanwhile, I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone not supporting soldiers who are unfortunate enough to have been sent on an un-mandated and hopeless (perhaps deeply cynical) mission.

      You also might want to mull over the possibility that ISIL are being air dropped supplies by the US led forces http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931204001534 and claims made by fighters in Northern Syria that Turkey has been aiding and abetting Al Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda) there.

      Then there is the apparent reality that no adherent to the ideology of ISIL can logically leave the territory of the Caliphate to fight elsewhere without being charged with apostasy or whatever and being regarded as a coward and traitor… which kind of blows a hole in the entire ‘ISIL will attack you in your home during the night if we don’t do this’ line we’re being fed.

      • Colonial Rawshark 28.3.1

        We’re being lied to, basically. It’s degenerating into a civil war and the central government is both sectarian and unstable. Best case scenario appears to be an Iraq which is federalised with semi-autonomous Sunni areas. Worst case…who knows.

        You also might want to mull over the possibility that ISIL are being air dropped supplies by the US led forces

        It takes a lot of air drops to keep a several thousand man army supplied. It would be very noticeable, even if it was just supplementing normal land deliveries. Ongoing combat operations for a brigade of 5,000 troops requires the equivalent of a couple of dozen train wagon loads of supplies to be delivered – every day! Someone would notice.

        I almost think the real question is – would Saudi Arabia/Qatar etc. keep supplying funding and logistics to ISIS without at least the tacit approval of the USA.

        Note how the UAE has just agreed to sell a whole lot of modern arms to Ukraine. That would not have happened without some nod from the USA.

        • Bill 28.3.1.1

          It takes a lot of air drops to keep a several thousand man army supplied. It would be very noticeable, even if it was just supplementing normal land deliveries.

          And if the drops were essentially military hardware? If you read the article (and yes, I understand the named spokespeople have definite agendas), the claim is that the drops are widespread and very noticed.

          The question I’m asking myself is what are the pros and cons for (principally) the US in having the region in a constant state of chaotic flux as opposed to it being stable?

          Chaos = strategic military bases? Exclusive access to fossil? Huge private profits (paid by US tax payers) off the back of defense/ rebuilding contracts?

          Stability = well, I must admit to coming up blank.

          • Colonial Rawshark 28.3.1.1.1

            Israel, who yanks the US chain frequently enough, loves having the area in turmoil so that no state actors can act cohesively against its own interests.

    • Murray Rawshark 28.4

      “If we were being invaded, wouldn’t we ask for and expect help from the usa and australia etc etc.”

      If we were being invaded, it would be by the US. As for the rest of your authoritarian diatribe, you can stick it where the sun don’t shine. Save it for the next lot of Nuremberg Rallies.

  29. infused 29

    So a bunch of nobodies write a few twitter messages and it hasn’t worked out for National?

    Ok.

    • Weepus beard 29.1

      It hasn’t worked out for National. It is an unpopular decision both with the public, and the house. The prime minister knows that which is why he was too cowardly to put it to a vote in parliament.

      • tc 29.1.1

        And tries to spin it into an attack on Labour rather than justify his decision as its a tough sell paying your club membership fees with kiwi lives.

        Good to see his mates in the media are helping out with diversions and diffusion as per usual, Trevitt goes hard on page 3 in granny today. Sooooo obvious I saw a blue blood even mentioning wtf is wrong with this paper…..where does one start.

  30. Scintilla 30

    How is it gutsy to send our boys without a Status of Forces Agreement? What legal protections do our boys have if they need to defend themselves and shock, horror blow some bodies to smithereens? Will they be charged with war crimes? Will the Iraqi government (as it morphs into who-knows-what blend of ideologies) protect them or turn on them?

    You really think a diplomatic passport will save them, stuck out there in the desert with some mad-as-hell militia who hate western troops just marginally less than Isil?

  31. peter h 31

    Who are the gutless ones. The large %, of Nat members, who just say its right,because Key says they have to

  32. johnm 32

    Some Backgound: IRAQ’s AGONY

    1980s The Iran-Iraq war which goodness knows how many men on both sides were killed in.
    1991 The First Gulf War. This could have been avoided by the US by giving Saddam an ultimatum to leave Kuwait. The airborne massacre of retreating Iraqi forces along the highway of death. The bombing of vital civilian infrastructure by coalitian forces: water, sewage and other a war crime not that the US gives a sh*t.

    1991 to 2003 a medieval genocidal regime of sanctions was imposed on Iraq which led to the preventable deaths of 500,000 children by the denial of medical assistance. Also a no fly zone was imposed over southern Iraq with occasional bombing.

    2003. Despite weapons inspectors clearing Iraq of having any weapons of mass destruction The US and Tony Blair lied they had and began a completely illegal invasion which under the Nuremburg Convention is a war crime. Say that again a war crime!
    Up to a million civilians died as a result due to no social support infrastructure. More than a million became refugees and homeless many moving to other countries. The traumatised and still living and emotionally shattered people are without number.
    Iraq was contaminated with depleted uranium a legacy that will stunt and crucify Iraq’s children for generations. The lucky adults just die of cancer.
    The assault on Fallujah white phosperus was used as in Gaza last year. Civilians in the way were shot they’d been given fair warning to get out.
    Is it any wonder that young Iraqi men recruited into the army are totally demoralised? They’ve grown up in a land crucified in the agony of hell.

    Disintegration and ISIS appears to fill the void and threatens the US’s corporate control of Iraq’s oil fields. That’s why Mosul must be retaken there’s a lot of oil fields up that way. Of course the Iraqi government gets its cut
    OIL OIL OIL that is why the US invaded Iraq. They have control now with the puppet Iraqi government but ISIS needs to be evicted from the US’s OIL assets in IRAQ.

    Enter John Key: The small number of kiwi soldiers won’t make a scrap of difference to this tortured agonised land and its people. But the agony goes on as young Iraqi men are dragooned into a 20,000 army to assault ISIS controlled Mosul in the North and liberate the US’s OIL interests.

    • johnm 32.1

      ” In reality, the war has nothing to do with combating Islamist extremism. Washington’s aim is to strengthen its grip on Iraq and its oil, while intervening directly in Syria, where the US has funded militias like ISIS and used them as proxy forces in an attempt to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. The rise of ISIS, the by-product of Bush’s 2003 US invasion of Iraq and Obama’s bloody interventions in Libya and Syria, is being used as the pretext for unending war across the Middle East. ”

      http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/26/nziq-f26.html

      ” Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia. This highly valuable resource has been handed over mainly to the U.S. companies ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum, to British Petroleum from England, and to Royal Dutch Shell from Holland and England. Iraq’s oil has not yet been formally privatized due to massive public opposition, but a de facto privatization has taken place. ”

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/iraq-nation-destroyed-oil-riches-confiscated-surviving-iraqi-population-impoverished/5375905

      Key’s right about one thing! There’s been a lot of human guts war’s offal strewn round Iraq from all the bombing and destruction. New supplies of guts are required.

      • johnm 32.1.1

        ” The major reason for the U.S. invasion in March 2003 was to get control of Iraq’s oil. A related factor was the intention of the ruler of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, to sell Iraq’s oil in Euros rather than U.S. dollars, which would have encouraged other oil producers to do the same, thereby endangering the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency, which is crucial to the U.S.’s economic viability. The genocidal invasion and preceding sanctions killed three million Iraqis, including half a million children, and totally destroyed a relatively advanced developing country whose people were largely prosperous.

        Close to five million Iraqis were displaced by the invasion out of a population of 31 million, and five million Iraqi children became orphans. Women suffered the greatest losses in education, professions, child care, nutrition, and safety. More than one-fourth of Iraq’s population died, became disabled, or fled the country as refugees. ”

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/iraq-nation-destroyed-oil-riches-confiscated-surviving-iraqi-population-impoverished/5375905

        • johnm 32.1.1.1

          Basically Key is making New Zealand party to the most horrific war crime of the 21st century so far! How can this abomination reflect well on the kiwi symbol on our soldier’s uniforms?

  33. Kriss X 33

    Key needs to ‘get some guts’ and tell America and Israel to fight their own enemies.

  34. Andrea 34

    Thanks a million to Ron Mark. Does his homework and speaks his mind.

  35. Scintilla 35

    @ Bill; Hiya! The quotes are from the Public Address “Haphazardly to war” post, p.3. (Can’t be arsed linking.) Also reported on tv3 late news Tuesday I think. Apparently it is usual for an outside army to sign this agreement, a SOFA, and the US has one with Iraq. It means the Iraqis take responsibility for everything that happens in the warzone that the outsider army does. The reporter referred to it as the gold standard that you want to have when you are going to war in someone else’s country. We do not have one. Neither is the Iraqi parliament stable, so ….. where do we stand?
    from PA:
    RB: “Someone with armed forces insight has pointed out to me that New Zealand will be going in with no Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqis. And without a SOFA, you don’t know what your Rules of Engagement are.

    I gather there are a few people troubled by this.”

    Reply: ” State of Forces Agreement with the Iraqis.

    Is that why they will go in with diplomatic passports also?

    Yes. Because when they kill someone without such an agreement they come under local legal jurisdiction, essentially they can and should be charged with murder and sent to trial.*

    Since we can’t let that happen we then pull them out with diplomatic immunity.

    It is deceitful.

    *At least I think so, I am not an international lawyer, but that is my understanding.”

    • Bill 35.1

      ta for the background to your comment. You know, btw, that if you hit the ‘reply’ button on the bottom right hand side of a given comment before typing your follow on comment, then comments stay in sequential order….?

      edit – duh – hadn’t originally noticed you’d already mentioned diplomatic passports in your original comment up yonder.

    • Murray Rawshark 35.2

      Giving soldiers diplomatic passports will probably put all our diplomats in danger as well. They won’t protect the soldiers because angry Iraqis won’t give a shit about them. FJK is just making more and more of a mess.

      The idea of giving your forces immunity from local prosecution is also used by Australia, who pulled Federal Police out of PNG after the government denied them immunity from criminal prosecution. It is the height of imperial arrogance.

  36. Carwyn 36

    “One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting” George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia..

  37. Ad 37

    Personally I like propaganda, louder the better. They’re honest about what emotion they want from us.

    War is a great test of opposition parties’ skill – National has little upside beyond its base on troop deployment at all.

    Whereas Little needs to start his own messaging in preparation for ANZAC Day, because Key is well ahead with it already.

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