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Green Party criticises US strike on Syria

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, April 8th, 2017 - 140 comments
Categories: greens, International, Syria, war - Tags: , ,

The Green Party has criticised the United States for acting unilaterally in its cruise missile attack on Shayrat airfield in Syria.

That attack was launched following the reported use of chemical weapons against civilians in a town in northern Syria several days ago.

“This hasty military action by the US, without consultation with other major powers, threatens global security,” said Green global affairs spokesperson Kennedy Graham.

“We expect and deserve cooler heads than this from our global leaders. No wrong has ever been righted, no child has ever been protected and no conflict has ever been solved by launching missiles.

“We absolutely condemn the use of chemical weapons, but the UN Security Council has that matter under discussion, with an investigation underway and due to report back.

“This is not the moment for a military action by the US against a country where a Russian military presence already exists. The US President should recognise that precautionary multilateral measures, not precipitate unilateral actions, are the appropriate way to proceed in today’s dangerous world.

“There is a strengthening norm in favour of the protection of civilians in international relations today, but this is not the way to enforce it.

“We are aware of the frustration with Russian and Chinese vetoes over Syria. But the answer is not unilateral action. The answer is to curb the use of the veto in situations of ‘atrocity crimes’, as France, a permanent member of the Security Council, has been proposing,” said Dr Graham.

140 comments on “Green Party criticises US strike on Syria”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Reuters tweeted 10 minutes ago:

    JUST IN: Syrian warplanes take off from air base hit by U.S., carry out strikes in Homs countryside – Syrian observatory for human rights

    Cooler heads were definitely needed.

    • dv 1.1

      30 missiles and the airfield is still operational!!!!

      Can some one explain how that works?

      • Carolyn_nth 1.1.1

        I have yet to find confirmation from any other news organisation that Reuters’ report is correct.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Cruise missiles are great at destroying buildings and other similar structures (Large, built up, hollow). Not so good at doing the same to runways (Large, flat, solid). To stop aircraft from taking off/landing on runways you use things like this.

        • Carolyn_nth

          But there must also have been some planes left in tact.

          The latest report on the NZ Herald site:

          The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says two Sukhoi warplanes took off from the Shayrat air base in central Syria and attacked positions of the Islamic State group.

          Osama Abu Zeid of the Homs Media Center says a number of warplanes took off from the Shayrat air base and landed in the nearby T4 air base. He says they did not carry out any attacks.

          It was not immediately clear why the two gave different accounts of the events.

          The Kremlin said earlier yesterday that just 23 of 59 cruise missiles fired from American warships reached the air base, leaving the runway intact.

          It’s not been said whether the missiles that didn’t reach the base hit somewhere else, or if they were hit by anti-missile weapons.

          • Draco T Bastard

            But there must also have been some planes left in tact.

            Yep, they obviously didn’t get all the buildings either.

        • dv

          Thanks Draco. I saw a pic that shows the runway sort of intact, but many buildings damaged.
          Can find it again!!!

          • dv

            Can’t find it again!!!

          • Carolyn_nth

            Just saw an “expert” on the relevant technologies, analyse the images of the airbase after the US missile attack. He said the hangars that were hit were obviously empty and did not house any aircraft. He estimates that this is because of the warnings given to the Russians – the Syrians would have had time to get the aircraft away from the base.

            He also commented that the runways don’t seem to have been hit, and that, surprisingly, some major missile launchers had not been hit. He says this could have been because the Syrian forces were able to successfully launch some anti-missile attacks against some of the US missiles.

            He also reckons that the Russian response will be to beef up their supply of airforce capability to Syria.

            • WILD KATIPO

              Think its more the case that Trump gave fair warnings to both the Russians and the Syrians , and that the tomahawk attack was more a token political gesture to make Trump look tough.

              It would serve Trump well to be looking like he is taking on even the Russians to allay the criticisms at home about Russian interference with Trumps election.

              It would also serve a dual purpose in reinforcing Trumps strong arm stance on the South China sea. And at the same time giving the message to China to reel in the excesses of North Korea.

              All done in the interests of USA hegemony.

              It would not surprise me one bit if the whole exercise was pre- organised and that both the Assad govt and Russia were willing participants. I would say it wasn’t Assad at all who used those chemical weapons.

              I would say it was Saudi Arabian backed rebel forces to destabilize negotiations .

              The bombing ( as I said on another post here on TS , was on a basically empty airfield ) is a token gesture for political purposes.

              Bear in mind the USA backs the Sunni majority Saudi Arabia, – and the rebels , – particularly ISIS , – are Sunni. The USA needs the Saudis and so they back them. Russia backs Shiite Iran , and secular Syria.

              I think you will find that all the rantings by diplomats and the frenetic media coverage is a ruse.

              It is and was a staged set up for all the various political interests involved.

              And though lives may have been lost ,- these are viewed as expendable by these types. I do not have to remind you of the euphemisms used in describing civilian deaths as ‘ collateral damage’ ,… to which , we even have a local example now with the failed raids by the SAS in Afghanistan in 2010.

              • Oh, and there’s a reason Russia backs Syria ,- an oil pipeline to Europe.

                Both the USA and Russia have vested interests in ensuring their oil / energy supply’s. Their whole economy’s depend on it.

                And whether you find it palatable or not , – the facts are that the Clinton Foundation was being used as a conduit for Saudi Arabian , Qatar and Bahrain money to purchase arms to be redistributed back to ISIS. This let Obama off the hook ,- and relegated him to drone strikes rather than offending the Russian military presence by the presence of American troops on the ground. And it also led to criticism of Obama he was not taking on ISIS.

                He didn’t because that would have offended the Saudi Arabians who back ISIS.

                Follow the money trail. Always.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.3

        Can some one explain how that works?

        Simple: you put emergency teams onto repairing the runways so you can fly in more planes and keep fighting while you repair the rest of the damage. Air forces plan for attacks on their air bases.

      • lprent 1.1.4

        Can some one explain how that works?

        Military airbases are subject to possible enemy attacks from the air and are therefore hardened for everything from having warplanes stored in underground hangers, to the landing surfaces being very thick reinforced concrete slabs, the fuel and ammunition bunkers being also underground and overhead hardened. They also usually have any air missiles and other weapons to shoot down missiles and planes.

        About the only thing that would be normally above surface would be replaceable like fuel browsers and some workshops.

        Cruise missiles are pretty good at causing surface explosions, leaving scattered mines, and causing general mayhem of surface defences. Bad for people in unhardened buildings – but they tend to have bunkers close at hand so if they get any warning they tend to be safe.. But you really need specialised toughened weapons fired or dropped from a high angle at speed to really cause damage to a military airfield.

        Even then, military airfields are meant to be able to be put back into operation rapidly. So repair gear is also stored where it can’t be easily damaged and the damage control crews spend time practising how to put the field back into operation fast.

        How would you build a military site otherwise?

  2. Andre 2

    Expect more of this kind of zero-impulse-control shit with no back-up plan. Because cable news pundits love it, and the Chump loves his cable news.


  3. wyndham 3

    It does not make sense for Assad to use chemical weapons at this late stage of his war against rebels who are not in an exactly strong position. Assad gave up his arsenal of chemical weapons under U N supervision some time ago. Peace talks are in the offing.

    It seems more likely that , as Assad claims, bombs have hit an arsenal containing such weapons in rebel held territory. Or that more sinister motives on the part of another party lie behind it.

    Who gains from this? Not Assad. Not Russia.

    • It does not make sense for Assad to use chemical weapons…


      Assad gave up his arsenal of chemical weapons under U N supervision some time ago.

      Well, some of them, anyway. Still plenty left.

      It seems more likely that , as Assad claims, bombs have hit an arsenal containing such weapons in rebel held territory.

      Actually, it doesn’t. It seems wildly implausible, as shown here and here. Assad and Putin are playing you for a sucker.

      • adam 3.1.1

        For a whole day you have said it was Assad Psycho Milt, and have not given a definite piece of evidence, no smoking gun. Nothing but superstition and hearsay.

        If that is enough for you to start a war, may God have mercy on you soul.

        • Skeptic

          Actually Adam there’s an overwhelming body of evidence proving beyond a shadow of a doubt the (a) Assad does possess Chemical Weapons, (b) he has and is using them and (c) the rebels do not possess the tools and ingredients for making such weapons. Please check your facts before allowing fingers to wander on the keyboard.

        • Psycho Milt

          For a whole day you have said it was Assad Psycho Milt, and have not given a definite piece of evidence, no smoking gun.

          This isn’t some courtroom drama where we’re obliged to give the alleged offender the benefit of the doubt. The deaths were caused by chemical weapons released by air strikes. The symptoms were consistent with a nerve agent, the spread consistent with the attacker having a plentiful supply of the nerve agent, and the delivery mechanism was available only to the regime or its patron. There may be no “smoking gun,” but the evidence all points towards the regime having done this.

          If that is enough for you to start a war, may God have mercy on you soul.

          Leaving aside for a moment the fact that God is a figment of your imagination, this particular war started six years ago – it’s a bit late to not start it now.

          • adam

            No, the need for proof is higher than a court of law, because peoples lives are on the line here.

            Chemical weapons don’t need to be dropped by air, again with the spin. The lies and misdirection. Remember WW1 were this rubbish really took off? How did the deploy them again?

            So the justification for and escalation of violence is all circumstantial, and you happy with that. You are happy to resort to violence because then you can feel smug.

            • Psycho Milt

              Chemical weapons don’t have to be dropped by air, no. However, in this case we know they were dropped by military aircraft because we have plenty of eye-witness testimony saying so, and the regime has effectively admitted that the gas cloud followed a strike by its aircraft (by claiming the strike hit a rebel chemical weapons store). It’s up to the people wanting to believe the witnesses are wrong or lying to come up with some evidence.

              As to people’s lives on the line here, this strike hit an air force base full of aircraft that have spent the last six years killing civilians on a regular basis. If some of the people operating those aircraft were killed, good.

              • adam

                But you have rejected many witnesses in this civil war, can think of a place called Aleppo. Where you called witnesses statements, and accounts – if not questionable, down right wrong.

                Just an observation.

                As for killing, I see you are comfortable with – I am not. Evil is not beaten by evil.

                • I’ve pointed out that witness statements of enthusiastic support for the Syrian government don’t count for much when there’s a government minder standing there keeping track of who’s saying what. This doesn’t really fall into that category.

                  Evil is not beaten by evil.

                  Simply untrue. The Axis forces were defeated by Soviet forces in WW2 – sometimes evil does a pretty good job of beating evil.

                  • adam

                    It’s outstanding watching people who twist and turn to justify violence.

                    • No twisting and turning’s needed to justify violence, just a good case for it.

                    • adam

                      And you don’t have one, hence the twisting and turning.

                    • I can see “I know you are, but what am I” coming up soon…

                    • adam

                      Would that make you happy?

                      Is that becasue you lack an intelligent and considered argument?

                      It so much easier for you to hate, and want peoples death – rather than consider you are being lied to, and that Assad is not the devil, the Syrian government is not Satan, and people can talk through issues to resolution.

                      But then again a peaceful solution would take away your chance for you to put your smug superiority on display.

                    • Is that becasue you lack an intelligent and considered argument?

                      That’s pretty funny, considering that our correspondence on this threat has largely consisted of me presenting arguments and you replying with assessments of my personality.

                      …consider you are being lied to, and that Assad is not the devil, the Syrian government is not Satan, and people can talk through issues to resolution.

                      I’m well aware people rarely tell the truth, and that Assad is not Satan but a fairly ordinary dictator in the Ba’ath mould. However, I’m also aware that for six years he’s preferred to kill people rather than negotiate with “terrorists” and when it comes to people, past performance is a fairly good predictor of future performance. If you’re postulating some fantasy in which peace was just about to break out if only those damned Americans hadn’t chosen the path of violence, it’s not one that’s going to be widely shared.

                      …your smug superiority…

                      A few months’ back weka wrote a very good post on the subject of no you’re not entitled to your opinion when it comes to disputed facts, you’re entitled to what you can argue for. There are plenty of authors and commenters on this blog who are capable of handing my arse to me on a plate when I’m wrong – if you’re feeling incapable of doing that, look to your arguments, not my personality.

                    • adam

                      Funny you taking it personally when I say you are justifying murder. With little or no evidence to justify killing.

                      I take a moral stance, and you get offended.

                      As for your america good, everyone else bad stance – it really does not hold water. So of us have memories and can recall the USA making many mistakes. Not forgetting that they have fabricating stories about weapons of mass destruction before. Did you miss that peace talks were actually under way?

                      Thrilling arguing with you as always Psycho Milt, as for the personal attacks – you do your fair shear. So a bit lame playing the poor me card don’t you think?

                    • As for your america good, everyone else bad stance – it really does not hold water.

                      Straw men never are very good at holding water, no.

                    • adam


                      That’s more like it, we should be saying no to machismo that sees violence as the solution to anything.

          • Spikeyboy

            Wrong. See above

        • WILD KATIPO

          Take heart . It wasn’t Assad.

          See comment my comments above . Cant be bothered repeating myself over and over again just for tribalist’s to keep replaying their monotone scripts and party lines.

          Gets boring after a while.

        • reason

          To right Adam …… evidence of the repeated lies by the u.s.a Govt over and over and over again in the past is not to be mentioned …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7MBv9FixxE

          And if you criticize the killing of children and civilians by u.s.a political decisions …. its makes you anti American.

          Anyway good on the Greens for speaking out against needless wars ……

          We should also note that their ethical tax policies ……. against tax havens like John Key turned NZ into ….. would stop New Zealand participating in weapons smuggling …. and propping up warlords, corrupt Governments or multitude other evils.

          “The global arms-smuggling network feeds on this frailty, just as it feeds on the cast-off planes and pilots of the former Soviet Union. Adding to the intrigue over the seized flight 4L-AWA in Bangkok was that the Ilyushin-76 transport plane once belonged to a number of notorious international weapons dealers …”

          …” The plane’s current owner was an entity with headquarters in the United Arab Emirates but operated by Air West Ltd, based in Georgia. Air West had leased the aircraft to a New Zealand firm called SP Trading through a series of bank accounts in Estonia and New York.” https://www.icij.org/offshore/geoffrey-taylor

          More context from history … “A veritable fleet of aircraft, including planes provided by Noriega and some paid for through a BCCI account, made the circuitous journey from secret runway to secret runway, dropping off weapons in Honduras and Costa Rica, cocaine in the southern United States, and large stacks of small-denomination bills in Panamanian bank vaults”…. https://newrepublic.com/article/132502/covert-roots-panama-papers

      • Brigid 3.1.2

        I think it is you that is being taken for a sucker.
        The Guardian report says
        ‘The victims’ symptoms are consistent with sarin,’
        and further down it says
        ‘ Abdulhamid al-Yousef, one of the few survivors in the family, was receiving condolences at his home in Khan Sheikhun, a day after burying his wife and nine-month-old twins, Ahmed and Aya, fighting back tears.
        That evening at the cemetery, he insisted on carrying his two infants in his arms to bury them himself’
        Abdulhamid al-Yousef himself wouldn’t be alive to report anything after carrying his infants anywhere if his family had died of Sarin poisoning.

        At one time I had high regard for the Guardian.
        No longer.
        This is sloppy reporting and it wickedly uses the death of this man’s family and his grief to support their gratuitous false reporting

        • joe90

          Abdulhamid al-Yousef himself wouldn’t be alive to report anything after carrying his infants anywhere if his family had died of Sarin poisoning.

          Yet here we have victims of the 1995 Tokyo sarin attack being attended to by medicos without protective kit.

        • Psycho Milt

          Abdulhamid al-Yousef himself wouldn’t be alive to report anything after carrying his infants anywhere if his family had died of Sarin poisoning.

          Well, we could choose to rely on your personal opinions about the properties of sarin, or we could choose to rely on the experts who’ve said the victims’ symptoms were consistent with sarin poisoning and the Turkish medical authorities who found evidence of sarin poisoning in the autopsies they carried out. Hmmm… which to choose, which to choose…

          • Brigid

            Experts? What experts.

            ffs you bloody ignoramus read this:
            Sarin has a high volatility (ease with which a liquid can turn into a gas)

            relative to similar nerve agents, therefore inhalation can be very

            dangerous and even vapor concentrations may immediately

            penetrate the skin. A person’s clothing can release sarin for about 30

            minutes after it has come in contact with sarin gas, which can lead to

            exposure of other people.


            Double spacing, especially for you.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Abdulhamid al-Yousef is being treated for exposure to Sarin.

              • Brigid

                “They were conscious at first, but 10 minutes later we could smell the odour.”
                Being treated for exposure to sarin was he?
                Are you sure?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “Abdel Hameed is in very bad shape,” said his cousin, Alaa Alyousef. He’s being treated for exposure to the toxin, “but he’s especially broken down over his massive loss.”

                  No, I’m not sure; I have precisely as much evidence as you do, which is to say none, other than media reports. If you are foolish enough to be certain of your reckons, good for you.

            • Psycho Milt

              “Experts? We don’t need no steenking experts!”

              To expand on my earlier comment: we have your remote diagnosis of the victims based on your reading of Wikipedia, and we have a report by a Medicins sans Frontieres medical team on-site in Idlib. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in assigning somewhat more credibility to the MSF report.

        • J'™Accuse


      • J'€™Accuse 3.1.3


    • joe90 3.2

      Assad gave up his arsenal of chemical weapons under U N supervision some time ago.

      “that’s the lot, If I search the house I won’t find anything else, will I?”

      would I lie to you, officer, of course that’s the lot….

      (nervous wait, plods rummage around….fingers tap the table)

      “…..’áha …, what do we have here…..”


      Jul 24, 2015, 1:40pm EDT


      The CIA believes that Syria may have kept some of its chemical weapons after all, unnamed US officials told Wall Street Journal. That would overturn the CIA’s earlier conclusion that the US-negotiated international effort in 2013 had succeeded in removing Syria’s entire chemical arsenal.

      The Journal’s investigation recounts the often frustrating mission to remove the chemical weapons in riveting detail. Please do read the entire thing. Here is the key point:

      In recent weeks, the CIA concluded that the intelligence picture had changed and that there was a growing body of evidence Mr. Assad kept caches of banned chemicals, according to U.S. officials.

      Inspectors and U.S. officials say recent battlefield gains by Islamic State militants and rival al Qaeda-linked fighters have made it even more urgent to determine what Syria held back from last year’s mass disposal, and where it might be hidden. A new intelligence assessment says Mr. Assad may be poised to use his secret chemical reserves to defend regime strongholds. Another danger is that he could lose control of the chemicals, or give them to Hezbollah.


      • Spikeyboy 3.2.1

        That would be the same CIA that determined Iraq had WMD. Since when has ” the CIA believe…” been worth quoting?

    • Foreign waka 3.3

      How about Saudia Arabia and their friends, the oil barons? BTW Saudi Arabia is the source of the radical Wahhabi teaching of the ISS.

    • Barfly 3.4

      I agree with your summation Wyndham

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    Study history and learn something, Number Forty-five. Civil wars are the bloodiest types of wars.

    In other types of wars a country will almost always quit if 20% or more of its population is killed. In civil wars 50% of the population can die before it ends.

    Let’s see what the imperial toddler does next.

  5. Rightly or Wrongly 5

    Hmmm relying on the UN Security Council to do anything apart from waffle, pontificate, and do nothing is setting yourself up for a fail.

    They didn’t do anything about the Rwanda massacres in the 90’s where millions died so why would they galvanize into action over a few more dead in Syria?

    The fact that Russia has an absolute veto over UN Security Council Resolutions means that nothing will happen.

    The UN is a feeble, hypocritical, arena for spouting hot air and little else. Their irrelevancy is shown in the number of conflicts around the world that it was supposedly set up to prevent.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The fact that Russia has an absolute veto over UN Security Council Resolutions means that nothing will happen.

      And the same applies to the US which is why Israel has never been held to account for it’s atrocities against Palestine.

      The UN is a feeble, hypocritical, arena for spouting hot air and little else.

      No it’s not. It actually does a hell of a lot of good in the world. The problem is the security council where a few members get veto power and use it to protect their client states.

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    Unsurprising to see that extreme war hawk Hillary Clinton endorse the US in it’s usual and frequent rouge state international actions…

  7. Fisiani 7

    Tells you what the Greens would do if they were in government. Hold hands and sing peace songs.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      And that is worse than just simply attacking and killing people because…?

    • Adrian Thornton 7.2

      @Fisiani…Well maybe stopping to rationally consider all the evidence before responding to an international incident is ‘airy fairy’ in your twisted view of the world, however most critical thinkers would encourage this reasoned response.

    • …and you have a problem with giving peace a chance before resorting to war, Fisi?

      That aside, you don’t have to be a pacifist or even a pacificist to oppose this intervention or how it was executed. It’s illegal under both international and domestic US law- Trump doesn’t have a valid congressional approval for strikes on Syria, and yes, I am aware of the blanket 2011 anti-terrorism approval that republicans thought didn’t count under President Obama, and that’s not how authorisation to use force is treated under the US constitution, it must be specific to a certain conflict, and needs to be renewed if the parameters of the original authorization expire.

      I accept that we’re now at the point where there’s probably no more non-military solutions to this issue. That doesn’t mean I think the US getting involved is a good idea, however, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I think we should be touching that disaster of a war with a ten-foot pole in terms of New Zealand foreign policy.

  8. Nope 8

    “No wrong has ever been righted, no child has ever been protected and no conflict has ever been solved by launching missiles.”

    That’s how we defeated Hitler, liberated Europe and dismantled the death camps of the holocaust. Not saying I agree with Trump (I don’t), but Jesus mate, get a grip.

    • Chess Player 8.1

      I agree.

    • Rather different context mate. Hitler started a war of aggression, sides were set, and at that point everyone needed to keep fighting in order to have a chance to stay alive.

      We didn’t even know about the holocaust at the start of the war and it wasn’t part of the justification. New Zealand was in it because we viewed ourselves as part of Britain, and Britain joined because they knew that the war would spread to them even if it started on the continent.

      It’s also worth noting that even if you accept every single jew would have died if the war never happened, the war itself killed more people than that. So while maybe some specific lives were protected, it cost more lives than it saved to do so. War is always a tragedy, even World War 2.

    • Spikeyboy 8.3

      Hitler invaded many countries. Syria none. The only country doing any invading at the moment is Usa and its allies

  9. Skeptic 9

    There seems to be two schools of thought on this – the realists and the idealists. Sadly the Greens are in the latter camp. Unfortunately for the idealists in this instance, the weight of history is very much against you.
    Standing up to bullies and sadists is exactly why you’re free to pontificate today – your freedom to spout idealism – and it is your right to do so – which I’ll defend to my last breath – was bought at vast expense and blood and misery by your ancestors – so don’t you ever, for one second forget that.
    Nope is exactly right – Hitler and Putin’s state (USSR) were both defeated by superior intelligence, force of arms and economic superiority – ie Ultra/Echelon, Allied military co-ordination and better economic flexibility (not the best – just better than state controlled command economy).
    The same goes for Assad – he needs to be stopped, so if it takes another egomaniac to do so, I can live with that. Not that I like Trump – it’s just he’s the lesser of two evils.

    • The Chairman 9.1

      Standing up to bullies doesn’t necessarily mean dropping missiles on them. One can also stand up to them diplomatically. There is a time for fighting and this wasn’t it.

      • Skeptic 9.1.1

        Sorry mate but diplomacy hasn’t and will not work against Assad – especially when he has Putin’s support and veto power. The only end game to this is the removal of Assad’s DNA from the human species – just like Hitler’s was removed. There’s only one way to stop a murderous bully – kill it.

        • adam

          So now you going to glorify killing, and purposing murder skeptic. This equating everything to Hitler does not help discussion either. Assad is not even on the same page.

          • Skeptic

            Are you saying Assad’s use of chemical weapons is justified and you wouldn’t do anything to stop it? Are you also saying Assad is not another Hitler in the making if he’s allowed to get away with it. Get off the fence adam – you get sore balls sitting there all day long.

            • adam

              One, you are down playing Hitler by your remarks. Two, show the proof that Assad used chemical weapons. Three, there are ways to stop dictators and we should use every option we have none violently, before we resort to violence. Because unlike you I’m not breaking out with a woody at the prospect of killing.

              • jcuknz

                People have been trying o get rid of Assad for years now and but for the mutually agreed “don’t kill the leaders” mantra he would have been gone long ago. Now is the time for action .. just a shame a few of the cruise missiles didn’t go astray and explode on his palace …. trouble with that of course is that it would mean no leader anywhere in the world would be safe .. so maybe the mantra has a point. Kill the civilians and soldiers but never the king. YUK!

                • adam

                  What explode and kill his children or other peoples children who may be visiting.

                  Don’t you think that this escalation of violence just means more women and children get killed? Because that all modern war has become, the killing of civilian populations to score political points.

                  I’m not defending Assad no matter how hard people may want to spin that. I’m saying machismo and the use of violence without look for lasting solutions, in a calm and dignified manner – is the stuff of a bratty two year old.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Has the death of Muammar Gaddafi brought peace in Libya?

                  That’s a rhetorical question.

            • Tui

              who says chemical weapons were used? could be all a set up and cover up like 911! false flag anyone?

              ~ Tui

        • The Chairman

          Clearly diplomacy to date hasn’t pursued all avenues. The Russians don’t support chemical attacks, thus I’m sure they would be willing to come to some agreement to identify those responsible and hold them to account.

          At this stage taking out Assad will only exacerbate the problem. Moreover, we’re not a 100% clear if he was responsible for this deplorable act.

          • Skeptic

            The Russians have had ample opportunity recently to use diplomacy to stop Assad’s use of chemical weapons, however their duplicity is there for all to see. Diplomacy along the appeasement lines never worked historically and won’t in this case. Taking Assad out of play – along with is sycophants will change the game over there.

            • The Chairman

              The Russians have intervened before in this regard and as we don’t know who exactly was responsible in this latest attack, who’s to say it hasn’t worked?

              Diplomacy settled down the IRA.

              • dukeofurl

                “Diplomacy settled down the IRA”

                Thats because the British targeted [killed] all the leaders except McGuiness as he was identified early as a possible future leader who could be capable of negotiated settlement.

                • The Chairman

                  Leaders alone don’t make negotiation settlements, terms have to be acceptable to the majority of their followers. And at the end of the day it was diplomacy that won them over.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Taking Assad out of play?

              Does that mean replacing him as head of state or what? Is Syria so easily repaired? Who’s going to choose his replacement?

              The only good solution I can think of is a ‘truth and reconciliation commission’, but that’s what the UN is supposed to be, and you can see how well that’s going.

        • Foreign waka

          Skeptic – The issues involved in that conflict are far more complex and deserve reading up before any of these propaganda statements you espouse are made. In the end it was and is always will be the people with hardly any influence that are fighting the wars of the rulers. If you dig deeper you need to ask the question – who is winning out of this conflict. The answer might not always be obvious.

    • Adrian Thornton 9.2

      @Skeptic…Man really on your high horse there aren’t you pal…how about this, how about a considered international response after all the information has been properly assessed, and btw I will fight your stupid half assed hyper aggressive one state egomaniacal response to complex international situations to my dying breath.

      • Skeptic 9.2.1

        The international response – among civilised nations at least – is one of support. I don’t think “realism’ is a high horse any more than “idealism”. AND btw “realism isn’t “stupid half assed hyper aggressive one state egomaniacal response to complex international situations” – if you’d bothered to educate yourself, you wouldn’t label a valid and accepted branch of political science in such terms – you only demonstrate you own ignorance. AT – do try to keep on topic without resorting to personal attacks please.

        • Bob (Northland)

          “The international response – among civilised nations at least……”
          Are these the same ‘civilized nations” that carpet-bombed neutral countries such as Laos and Cambodia to attack their “enemy” Viet Nam and fight the “scourge” of communism but now happily engage in “free” (read “unfair”) trade?

          The same “civilised nations” that invaded and destroyed a sovereign nation and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians including children and women on the pretext of finding “Weapons of Mass Destruction” that could never be found after they had invaded?

          Who are the Civilized nations and Who are the terrorists?

          Get a Grip Man, and Grow Up!

          • In Vino

            I wonder why Skeptic gives himself that name when he so naively swallows the party line.

    • Spikeyboy 9.3

      Hitler was defeated by Russia.
      One of the key things that I try to stress is this idea that you mentioned that the Americans won the war in Europe. That is such nonsense. Throughout most of the war the United States and the British faced ten German divisions combined. The Soviets were facing 200 German divisions during that time. The United States lost about 310,000 in combat, a little more than 400,000 overall. The Soviet Union lost 27 million. Do you know what that 27 million figure represents? It is hard to even conceptualize. 27 million is the equivalent of one 9-11 a day every day for 24 years. That’s what the Soviets suffered in World War II.

      • Incognito 9.3.1

        Roughly 6 times the population of New Zealand.

      • Foreign waka 9.3.2

        And I thought that NZ has seriously no one having some sort of historical knowledge, thank you for giving me some hope.

      • Psycho Milt 9.3.3

        The Soviet Union lost 27 million.

        Well, it claimed to, but Stalin took the opportunity to ascribe all the people the CPSU had killed to the Nazis, so it’s actually impossible to say how many they lost as war casualties. My money would be on Stalin having caused more Soviet deaths than Hitler. In any case, as one of the aggressors in WW2, who cares what the Soviet Union suffered? It’s actually a pity it wasn’t left a lot weaker afterwards.

        • Foreign waka

          OMG – a warmonger! So uncivilized and unethical at the same time. You are a despicable human being by saying that 27 million peoples death doesn’t matter.

          • Morrissey

            Careful Foreign waka, you’re tangling with someone who describes himself as “quite good at arguing.”

            You have been warned.

          • Psycho Milt

            You are a despicable human being by saying that 27 million peoples death doesn’t matter.

            Millions of Germans died too. I don’t see any hand-wringing about it here, nor any denunciations of being a despicable person for failing to lament all those dead Germans in a sufficiently public fashion. Wars kill people, it’s a given – best not start them in the first place.

            • Spikeyboy

              Ansolutely agree on the not starting wars bit and would go further to not escalating them. Also on the usa missile strike I would quote a bumper sticker on my neighbours car:
              An eye for an eye makes the world go blind.

        • Spikeyboy

          The psycho bit is definitely for real. Russia was invaded which is the opposite from being an aggressor

          • joe90

            Russia was invaded which is the opposite from being an aggressor

            More falling out between thieves than invasion.

          • Psycho Milt

            The war in Europe started in 1939, not 1941. The USSR was one of the aggressors (as agreed in its pact with Germany), and invaded and occupied more countries than Germany in the first year of the war. The fact that the conspirators later ended up fighting each other was good news for us but otherwise irrelevant.

        • Spikeyboy

          The fact remains that they soaked up 20 times the number of German divisions than the west. Youre not grateful for that I can see. Or is it jealousy or envy or what?

          • Psycho Milt

            I suppose I’m grateful to the USSR for saving us from the fascists, but then I’m also grateful to Germany for saving us from the communists. It’s not really “gratitude,” just a feeling of being glad that we got lucky.

  10. The Chairman 10

    I support the Greens in taking this stance.

  11. piper 11

    The Donald,rockets in hand at his ok coral with The Putin.

  12. saveNZ 12

    Good on the Greens for being clear on their position.

    • jcuknz 12.1

      Just another reason to be fearful of a Grelab govt come 23/9.

      • Spikeyboy 12.1.1

        Say what? Fearful? Do you find war fun? Remember, its not a video game. When youre desd you get to stay dead

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.2


        Because everyone remembers when Lab5 had a policy of acting according to UN resolutions and the sky fell on your head.

  13. Skeptic 13

    @adam and @The Chairman
    Back now after having some lunch – don’t think well on an empty stomach.
    Let’s get back to the article guys. I disagree with Dr Graham’s stance for good and solid defensible reasons grounded in Realist Political Science.
    Firstly, who are the victims of the chemical attacks – yep the Syrian rebels – who are trying to achieve in their country something we take for granted over her. More, from their manifesto they are left wing rebels – that is, people who are trying to achieve in their country the same goals that we, contributors to this left wing website, are trying to do over here.
    Secondly, the perpetrator – Assad – is a ruthless right wing dictator in the same mold as Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin and Hussein (I term them all dictators even if they used left wing ideology to achieve and misuse their power) has twice used chemical weapons on the rebels. All reports saying they were rebel caches of weapons have long since been debunked as outright propaganda (which some dear souls have bought hook, line & sinker).
    So if you guys are genuine left-wing supporters, why are you defending the indefensible – defending a right wing dictator trying to wipe out our left wing comrades?
    If on the other hand you’re both RWNJ or RW trolls – then go find another website – preferably one that supports your political stance.

    • adam 13.1

      What are you trying say Skeptic, maybe you should eat some more, as it’s quite a waffle.

      Authoritarian yes, and some were left wing, like the Ba’ath Party.

      So again I’ll ask nicely, prove that the Assad Regime categorically used chemical weapons. This would be the minimum to justify the use of force – but even then I would say a negotiated resolution would be more effective for long term peace. Funny how history agrees with me on that one.

      As for calling the jihadist my left wing comrades – no thanks. I think if you call them your friend, you seriously need to have your head examined.

      • dukeofurl 13.1.1

        Back in 2013 even the BBC was skeptical about why and when Assad would do this at that particular time.


        The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen says many will ask why the government would want to use such weapons at a time when inspectors are in the country and the military has been doing well militarily in the area around Damascus.
        Some will suspect that the footage has been fabricated, but the videos that have been emerged would be difficult to fake, he adds.
        Prof Alexander Kekule, of the Institute for Medical Microbiology at Halle University in Germany, told the BBC that one of the videos – although of poor quality – was consistent with the aftermath of an attack with a chemical agent.
        But he added that none of the patients showed typical signs of sarin or other organophosphorous nerve agents, or signs of blistering agents.

        Another not understood situation: Why give up your chemical weapons AND then still use them.

  14. Skeptic 14

    @Adrian Thornton, @adam, @Adrian Thornton
    You’re quite entitled to your views, as much as I’m entitled to mine.
    From a historical perspective, there is now a very strong body of evidence that if Chamberlain had stood up to the Nazi bully, Adolf Hitler, in 1938, the German Generals would have removed him from power and WWII would not have happened. Thus the line of “Diplomacy works” and “Appeasement” is now a proven falsehood.
    The very same lesson of history applies here – if Assad is not faced down now, we’ll have a much harder time eliminating him later. Even worse, Putin will take this as a sign of weakness and will use it to expand his encroachment into Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania & Estonia. No sorry guys, but much as I hate Trump and all he stands for, to stop two despicable dictators – Putin & Assad – to misquote the words of Churchill – “I’d do a deal with the Devil himself”.
    In the words of a famous German cleric “Here I stand – I can do no other” and to also misquote another famous poet of Italian ancestry “The darkest place in Hell is reserved for those good people who, in the face to a moral dilemma, stay neutral.” – along the similar line of a notable English 18th century politician’s quote “For evil to succeed, all that is required is for good men to do nothing”.
    That’s my position gentlemen. I’ll make no further comment on this matter.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      You’re quite entitled to your views, as much as I’m entitled to mine.

      No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

      Firstly, who are the victims of the chemical attacks – yep the Syrian rebels – who are trying to achieve in their country something we take for granted over her. More, from their manifesto they are left wing rebels – that is, people who are trying to achieve in their country the same goals that we, contributors to this left wing website, are trying to do over here.

      [citation needed]

      And you also need to prove that Assad ordered the bombs dropped.

      Consider, if they were left-wing then the RWNJs in the fundamentalist rebel groups would be probably more likely to get rid of them than Assad.

      Secondly, the perpetrator – Assad – is a ruthless right wing dictator in the same mold as Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin and Hussein (I term them all dictators even if they used left wing ideology to achieve and misuse their power) has twice used chemical weapons on the rebels.

      There is no proof of that – just accusations.

      Thus the line of “Diplomacy works” and “Appeasement” is now a proven falsehood.

      Why are you conflating diplomacy and appeasement?

    • Spikeyboy 14.2

      I dont think Syria is quite up to a rampage through Europe just yet…

  15. Michael 15

    As always, the Greens only condemn violence when it’s the US using it, even when they take deliberate measures to limit the number of enemy combatants they kill by warning them what’s coming their way. AFAICS, the Greens never condemn Russia, irrespective of how many people they kill, combatants or otherwise.

    • adam 15.1

      Prove your statement Michael.

      Prove to me that the Greens did not condemn the Russians over the downed plane over Ukraine. That they also condemned the 2013 gas attacks. And the one I’m critical of the greens over, is their tacit support of the pivot to Asia by the last Obama administration. As I see it, you just got your head in the clouds of a ideological acid trip.

    • That’s patently untrue. The Greens have condemned violence by a lot of different countries as illegal use of force or simply immoral involvement in wars, not just the USA. (opposing re-deployment to Afghanistan comes to mind…)

  16. Paaparakauta 16

    Here is an alternative take .. even positive.


  17. I’m extremely unhappy.

    I told Bill’s office – and a few select others – about that. But they never head my warnings.

    Even statues might fall.

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  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
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  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
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  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
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  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
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  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
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  • Sport Recovery Package announced
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  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
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  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
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  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
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  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
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  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
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  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
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