ISIS. Crowdsourcing a solution.

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, February 24th, 2015 - 172 comments
Categories: david shearer, defence, International, iraq, Syria, war - Tags: , ,

Kiwi troops are going to help in the fight against ISIS. We will apparently be part of an ANZAC training group upskilling Iraqi soldiers. No doubt the SAS will also be involved as, at the very least, protection for the ground forces.

There is a lot of disquiet about this engagement. Of real concern is the open ended nature of the mission. What is the exit strategy? What will success look like? Many will agree with David Shearer when he talks of the risk our soldiers are taking, saying “we need to be able to tell their families they died making a difference; I’m not sure what we’ll be doing will make any difference.”

But one disappointing aspect of the criticism of the decision is the lack of alternatives being put forward. We all agree ISIS are doing awful things in their conquered territories and that their very existence is an encouragement to acts of terror by other nominally Islamic groups and egotistical individuals. And it is wishful thinking to say that confronting them might make us a target. We already are a target in a real sense. It’s probably only our geographical isolation and relatively small population that has spared us so far, but let’s not kid ourselves that a Lindt café siege can’t happen here. The French Secret Service have already shown us what a soft target we are.

ISIS are not inclined toward diplomacy and they are not going to attend peace talks or pose for photos with UN negotiators in front of a lush buffet table at Camp David. They are financially solid and resource rich. But letting them establish a fascist, misogynist and homophobic pseudo-Caliphate in the Levant is not a realistic option. But how do we in the West stop them, if not by taking them on militarily?

What alternatives are there? And how can New Zealand play a part, if not by sending troops?

 

UPDATE: Key has just made the announcement in Parliament. A joint force with Australia, but not badged as ANZAC. Deployment in May, maximum two years. Up to 143 personnel, plus support staff.

172 comments on “ISIS. Crowdsourcing a solution.”

  1. Conal Tuohy 1

    Why not let the Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, etc. sort them out?

    Is it a coincidence that it’s precisely these countries, targeted by Western imperialism under various humanitarian smokescreens, where ISIS has blossomed?

  2. weka 2

    And it is wishful thinking to say that confronting them might make us a target. We already are a target in a real sense. It’s probably only our geographical isolation and relatively small population that has spared us so far, but let’s not kid ourselves that a Lindt café siege can’t happen here

    Of course confronting them makes us a target. Maybe it’s more of a target, but you can’t expect to send soldiers to another country that practices globalised terrorism and for that not to make us more at risk.

    The comparison with the Rainbow Warrior is ridiculous. Or maybe it’s entirely pertinent. Did we not provoke the French by challenging what they were doing? See what happens in a world where we make it all about the person with the biggest stick?

    If the choice is between supporting the US and a cafe terrorism once a decade, I think we should take the cafe.

    • Chooky 2.1

      +100 …”Of course confronting them makes us a target”

      …and the guy that did that in the Aussie cafe was mentally emotionally deranged( he had been for years and the authorities knew it)…he should have been in jail on other matters eg i think for domestic assault….if anyone should have been watched and secured as a risk it was him….but no they let him out of jail!….and Jesuit warmongering idiot Abbot prefers surveillance on ordinary Australians…. for other reasons

      ….really the whole thing is a set up imo….it is an attack on democracy in the West by our own oligarchies

  3. Bill 3

    Our glorious leaders went to great pains to inform us they were supporting democracy and women’s rights.

    We should hold them to that and insist they drop the terrorist designation they’ve placed on the PKK, insist the economic embargo of the Autonomous Regions is lifted, recognise their legitimacy and lift the travel ban that’s been imposed with threats of ten year jail sentences (Australia). Then give comprehensive aid and support to the Rojava Revolution unfolding in the cantons of Afrin, Jazira and Kobani located within Syria. (Note – the Autonomous Regions within Syria are not the same, and shouldn’t be confused with the nascent liberal democracy in Kurdish Iraq.)

    The alternative is to take a punt and back one pack of bastards against other packs of bastards and have people die promoting a pack of bastards.

    Of course, all western liberal democracies would rather, given their antipathy for democracy, pursue that alternative. (eg – Spain 1930s, Italy post WW2, Venezuela…)

    Fairly comprehensive links to the situation in Rojava… https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2015/02/ and http://www.biehlonbookchin.com/

    edit – and what the fuck is it with bringing the Lindt Cafe into the argument for war? That sad episode had absolutely nothing to do with anything beyond an unhinged individual reacting to a fucking awful domestic situation of their own making.

    • GregJ 3.1

      Essentially the use and support of proxies rather than Western troops (“Crusaders”) to reduce Da’ish’s territorial gains and thus destroy the basis of their claim to be a Caliphate is Graeme Woods’ argument in the Atlantic. That is going to require some heavy diplomatic work on the Turks to back off over the various Kurdish entities and autonomous cantons in Northern Syria and Northern Iraq. It also runs the risk of empowering both the Assad regime in the South and West and the Al-Nusrah Front (Al Qaeda in Syria) in central Syria. The various Kurdish entities in Northern Syria have been fighting Al-Nusrah as well remember. As well any targeting of Da’ish (& Al-Nusrah for that matter) requires the cutting off of financial support from Turkey, rich Saudis, Kuwaitis and Qataris.

      In the case of Iraq somehow trying to convince the Sunni tribes of the North and West to abandon support for Da’ish seems and important step to avoid a sectarian bloodbath. That implies a diplomatic/political solution should be a top priority while strengthening the Iraqi forces defences (as well as the Kurds in the North) and keeping them out of the way of attacking Da’ish in those Sunni tribal areas while that process is underway. Again the risk is that training and re-equipping the Iraqi Armed Forces is creating a defacto Shia armed force that continues to seek revenge over the Sunnis for decades of Baathist repression and persecution.

      Then something needs to be done to get a coherent approach from the Gulf Arab states as well as Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon into finding solutions and working together. How you do that I don’t know. It is bloody complex though.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        If there was a will to stem funding and arming, it would be done. I just think there isn’t a will given that ‘the west’ has so much invested in remaining ‘on-side’ with the Saudis and others.

        Just a side note to ‘the complexity’. In one of those links, the claims are made that Turkish forces and Al Nusrah cooperated with one another in attacks against the Autonomous Regions and that the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party based in Iraq) had a hand in the withdrawal of 12 thousand Peshmerga and Zêrevan from Sengal that left the Yezidis to ‘twist in the breeze’ before an ISIS onslaught.

        nice stuff if true 🙁

    • weka 3.2

      Bill at 11:36, Yes, which would of course mean that the West give up its interests in the region and just do the right things because they’re the right things to do.

  4. rational thinker 4

    I dont think anyone is arrogant enough to confess to having the answer but as Confucius said an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. I dont think the answer to violence is more violence. I learnt as a five year old boy if two people are having a fight dont get in the middle unless you want a punch on the nose. There has been no evidence presented or any rational discussion with a vote of confidence that leads me to believe we should enter into this argument or that they present enough of a threat to new zealand to justify intervention. There are many other atrocities happening around the world why have we chosen to participate in this one, are we to become a nation that meddles in everyone else s affairs or just those that gain media coverage?? Due to our poor warfare capabilities i BELIEVE we would be best suited to remain neutral and could offer the most input by trying our hardest to bring all parties to the table to have discussions of possible outcomes. Although this may or may not be practical I am not aware of anyone attempting to do so. While some of you will think me naive I feel violence should only be applied when all other forms of resolving the issue have been completely exhausted. The more people we kill the more people we will offend and give cause to take arms to those who lose their family and friends. There will be many civilian casualties which will just incite more violence. We dont even know the people we will be fighting and i just cant see anyway of ending this with bloodshed

  5. weka 5

    btw, Isis is the old Egyptian goddess. An important one, and she predates Islam in the sense that she’s part of the pre-monotheistic religions that existed for millenia before the one true god religions came with the arrival of partriarchy. The symbolism of Islamic extremists using this name seems largely lost on Westerners, but I suggest we stop using the it. There are others that can be used instead.

    • Roflcopter 5.1

      Ummmm ISIS stands for “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”, and was self-designated, not labelled as such by others.

      • weka 5.1.1

        Of course. What does that have to do with what I just said?

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1.1

          The symbolism of Islamic extremists using this name seems largely lost on Westerners

          I can see absolutely NO WAY that the Islamic fundamentalist Daesh leadership deliberately referred to an Egyptian goddess in the naming of their Takfiri organisation.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            I suspect they used Arabic to name themselves and the acronym that we use comes the translation of that.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.2

            don’t worry, I think my point has largely been missed. It’s now just a distraction.

          • Chooky 5.1.1.1.3

            +100 CR…the idea is ludicrous…no connection what so ever between feminism, old polytheistic matriarchal religions and ISIS …(.ISIS which has its origins in Saudi Sunni Wahibbism …which is patriarchal ,monotheistic , fundamentalist , macho, anti-women’s rights and war mongering ) …to suggest such a thing is mischievious or dumb or obfusicatory

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      Its an acronym Weka. And in Arabic another name is used Daesh. The so called significance you allude to is non existant.
      You could have found that out if you realised the word Isis is greek, ( using a latin alphabet!!) the Egyptians used the word Aset or Eset.

      • weka 5.2.1

        I’m aware of the origins of the word Isis, thanks.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2.1.1

          So then the use of greek/latin name for pre islam historical figure by a muslim insurgency has no equivalence, other than to those sitting at their keyboards in the west.

      • GregJ 5.2.2

        Arabs here use Da’ish (sometimes Daesh). It uses the Arabic letters dāl, alif, ʻayn, and shīn as an acronym for the Arabic name for the group al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil ’Iraq wal-Sham or ad-Dawlah al-Islāmīyah fī al-‘Irāq wash-Shām

        I’m used to using it here even speaking in English. It has the advantage of also being something Da’ish dislike (mainly because it sounds similar to the Arabic words Daes – “one who crushes something underfoot”, and Dahes – “one who sows discord”) and tends to be used almost like a curse.

    • The Murphey 5.3

      Nicely observed Weka

      Globally there are many examples using acronyms as well as symbology which trace back to ancient mythology

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    There is a lot of disquiet about this engagement. Of real concern is the open ended nature of the mission. What is the exit strategy? What will success look like?

    What will success look like??? Why are you asking this question now, after you declared support for sending Kiwi troops into an operational theatre with no workable or realistic plan for victory.

    I think it’s a bit late for you to be raising concerns of this nature after you said it was a good idea to get involved in Iraq militarily.

    • Bill 6.1

      Reference and links to Lindt Cafe hostage siege, Rainbow Warrior bombing and Westfield shopping malls. Fantastic premises for war and sincerely insincere hand wringing.

      It’s the kind of depressing shit (minus the sincerely insincere hand wringing) that I’d expect to see laid out on a rabid right wing blog/rag…or maybe coming from major news sources eager to echo the official government line.

      I guess I’ve nothing more to say on this front and so can only offer up an internet shrug and an accompanying ‘pffft’ that carries a degree of depression over the fact I’m reading it here.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        TRP is supporting an utterly bogus and dangerous no-plan which will see our troops stuck in Iraq for years, and definitely past the 2017 elections.

        We are being lied to re: the situation on the ground in Iraq. I think it is turning into a complex sectarian/tribal/ethnic civil war aimed against the Baghdad authorities. UK, French, US, Jordanian planes are all bombing ISIS who are supposed to have no more than 20K to 30K fighting men mostly with light arms only against the hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers that Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and the Kurds can muster.

        None of this adds up and posts like this just demonstrate how naive Kiwis are being on this issue.

        • Jones 6.1.1.1

          It already is a sectarian conflict… has been since the US started spraying their freedom over Iraq in 2003, and the new predominantly-Shia Iraqi parliament seized the opportunity to exact retribution on the Sunni population for all the nasty stuff done to the Shia under Saddam.

          As for the exit strategy… the only one I can see is body bags. And success…? None that a military solution can deliver. Dialogue is likely to lead to the most successful outcome and probably where NZ could have contributed the best.

    • CV, I’m not directly asking those questions, they are simply examples of the questions being asked as part of the ‘disquiet’ mentioned a sentence earlier.

      And I’ve never “declared support for sending Kiwi troops into an operational theatre with no workable or realistic plan for victory.” What I have done is write in support of our involvement in the current strategy, which seems to me to be the only plan on the table. You may not think it’s workable or realistic, but don’t put words in my mouth, ta.

      The OP asks for alternatives to that engagement strategy. What are yours?

      Same question to you, Bill: the post asks for alternatives to going. Do you see any other way of stopping ISIS?

      • Bill 6.2.1

        I did a post on it. /revolutionary-spain-revolutionary-syria-and-the-bastards-we-vote-for/

        And I’ve made numerous comments to the same effect on various threads, including this thread. /isis-crowdsourcing-a-solution/#comment-974660

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.2

        What I have done is write in support of our involvement in the current strategy, which seems to me to be the only plan on the table. You may not think it’s workable or realistic, but don’t put words in my mouth, ta.

        OK then. I’ll give you a chance to clarify, and try not to tap dance while you do so .

        Do you really think the current strategy, which you support NZ troops being involved with, is workable and realistic for defeating ISIS.

        Basically I expect you to be distancing yourself from our military involvement in Iraq within the next 12 months as the Iraq situation turns to deeper and deeper shit.

      • Tom Jackson 6.2.3

        The current strategy is not a realistic plan for victory. No strategy politically amenable to the US is a realistic plan for victory.

        How many countries do they have to completely fuck up in order for this to be obvious?

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.3.1

          TRP’s position is that since it’s the only non-plan currently “on the table”, we should go for it.

          What could possibly go wrong with this approach.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2.3.1.1

            If indeed it was really the ‘strategy’ at all and not the first step to full on involvement.

            if training was really the answer, why not bring the Iraqi soldiers to some desert area in Australia for a month, NZ and Australia could maybe do a better job and not be at any risk.

            • Scintilla 6.2.3.1.1.1

              Yes, i believe our army already does this with Singapore and Malaysia – they come here for training at Linton and Waiouru. Kinda like international students, they pay to come here for training. Seems a more sensible idea to train them here.

              • lprent

                That kind of thing is likely to already happen, not just here, but also in aussie and a lot of other places. However it might help with those officers and NCOs who participate. It doesn’t help with the troops or the way that the officers and troops learn to work with them.

                The US did a whole lot of that and managed to produce a well armed disintegrating army. Probably because they needed to run the damn politicians through some training as well (and teach them not to put useless cousins into the officer corp to skim the profit).

                The way that it operates right now is that Iraq is effectively an even bigger mess than Afghanistan got to be after the 90s as a ungoverned state. Like there and for much the same reasons (an external force destroying governance structures – Russia in the Afghan state, US in Iraq), they pose a threat to everywhere else in the world. From their neighbours to NZ.

                The question is how to deal with such a state. Like TRP, I can’t see that just leaving it to fester is likely to help. I also can’t see a lot of point in us or anyone else in the west sending troops in or even training their army. I can’t see Iraq managing to pull themselves out of it because of the daft boundaries

                As it stands, I’m starting to think that it would be an interesting case for an old imperialistic solution. Let their stable neighbours (ie not Syria) partition it along more rational lines and occupy it under a UN protectorate for a decade or so to stabilize the society. Charge the cost and a large profit to the US and UK taxpayers who were stupid enough to cause the problem.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  As it stands, I’m starting to think that it would be an interesting case for an old imperialistic solution. Let their stable neighbours (ie not Syria) partition it along more rational lines and occupy it under a UN protectorate for a decade or so to stabilize the society. Charge the cost and a large profit to the US and UK taxpayers who were stupid enough to cause the problem.

                  I’ve been thinking along those lines as well. It’s obvious that the current borders just don’t work so we need to get them all to sit down at a table and discuss borders. That will get rid of the majority of the sectarian tension in the areas but won’t do anything about groups like ISIS who want to rule the entire region themselves.

                • Containment is the least worst option.

                  There’ll be a few terror attacks, but IS doesn’t have the ability to go much beyond where they are now. In time the people there will get fed up of them, and that will be that.

          • Murray Rawshark 6.2.3.1.2

            Shall I name all the things that can go wrong, or stop at 200?

          • Macro 6.2.3.1.3

            What TRP fails to acknowledge is that our (and any other nations) involvement in this conflict is totally against the current rules of war as laid down by the UN. We are not going at the invitation of the Iraqi government (the only time our troops can legitimately be there) – but only at the invitation of a faction of it. In other words we are technically invading Iraq! We have no business being there.
            Furthermore, he is being naive in the extreme if he thinks that our troops involvement will be restricted to “training” or “advisory” – as the Canadians have just found out!

            Canada’s top general says he didn’t foresee that Canadian special forces troops would be directing air strikes in Iraq when he publicly ruled out this role during interviews last fall.
            General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, told MPs at a House of Commons committee Thursday that “we’re seeing an evolution in the mission” for 70 military advisers in Iraq.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.4

        And I’ve never “declared support for sending Kiwi troops into an operational theatre with no workable or realistic plan for victory.”

        War HUH

        This is not about being in the ‘club’ or the ‘family’, it’s about doing the right thing when the opportunity arises. We should be proud we are being asked and even prouder that we are going.

        That looks remarkably like you declaring “support for sending Kiwi troops into an operational theatre with no workable or realistic plan for victory.”

        [No mention of “no workable or realistic plan” in my words, DTB, so not like it at all. TRP.]

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.4.1

          You support the present strategy which is neither workable nor realistic.

          BTW, CV didn’t quote you with those words nor did suggest that you had made them so you really should be going round trying to claim them as your own. He pretty much made the same point I did – you produced a blog post on this blog where you supported the present strategy of the US/UK and our government.[Read CV’s sentence again. That’s exactly what he did. By all means argue your POV, but don’t attribute it to me]

          • Colonial Rawshark 6.2.4.1.1

            You’ll notice that TRP refuses to stand by the current strategy that he wants NZ troops involved in as being either “workable” or “realistic” plans for victory against ISIS.

            12 months after first sending “advisors” to South Vietnam, they were asking for more and more troops to head over.

            • te reo putake 6.2.4.1.1.1

              CV, that’s the exact opposite of my stance. I’m fine with training the Iraqi army and them taking ISIS on and defeating them. It’s pretty much the only military option that will work, because sending foreign troops in will alienate the local population. Combined with helping the Kurdish forces, it’s a reasonably good option.

              What is with you and getting things arse backwards lately? You used to be so on to it.

              • Pascals bookie

                So you think the army being used to retake Mosul in (apparently) about a month will not ‘alienate the local population’?

                Have you looked at the composition of the ISF? have you noticed the reluctance to actually get the Sunni ‘national gaurd’ off the ground, let alone arm them?

                Have you had a squizz at the forces currently, as in right now, getting ready to hit Tikrit? Do you think they will not ‘alienate the local population’?

                Genuine questions, about the plan on the ground, which you support. let’s be clear about what this military option actually is.

                ‘Sunni Iraqi; know your place!’

                • It’ll alienate them a lot less than having foreign troops. I have faith that the vast majority don’t want a bar of ISIS even if they are nominally from the same branch of Islamic belief. They way they have been treated under ISIS rule will make any liberators seem a reasonable option.

                  Militarily, the fight isn’t actually that hard. ISIS have long supply lines in Iraq, don’t have the hearts and minds of the locals and can be forced back to at least the Syrian border by sheer force of arms and numbers of boots on the ground. The latter is where our ‘train the trainer’ strategy is meant to assist.

                  I don’t think it will be easy, but liberating Mosul in May will be a benchmark in the fight. Once ISIS lose control of the battleground in the east, their patchy control of the west (pockets from Baghdad to the border) can be degraded and the supply line there disrupted. They’ll be forced to either fight to the death in Iraq (and lose) or retreat to the areas in Syria where they have relatively uncontested control and maintain their so called caliphate.

                  In simple terms, once the tide turns, they will be forced back into Syria, where they can operate with relative freedom.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Why bother?

                    Are they worse than the Ophthalmologist?

                    Are they worse than Saddam was purported to be?

                    I hear they burned a bunch of prisoners of war alive the other day. I hear about the effects of drone strikes on weddings. I’m struggling to see why the solution isn’t to strangle the Caliph with Obama’s entrails.

                    Obviously that would be wrong, and bad, and so on.

                    What was the mission again?

                  • Pascals bookie

                    I guess we’ll see what it looks like in a year.

                    If the Sunni welcome the Badr brigades and the Iranian Quds forces with open arms, and IS don’t just stash their weapons and turn it it into an insurgency that sucks forces into ‘maintaining order’, I’ll be overjoyed to say you were right.

                    This though, “Militarily, the fight isn’t actually that hard.” Did you see Kobane? They had to fucking flatten it to see ISIS off, and it’s not, (yakkitty yak aside), even that strategic. It was symbolic. Mosul is way more symbolic. And way more strategic.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      This though, “Militarily, the fight isn’t actually that hard.” Did you see Kobane? They had to fucking flatten it to see ISIS off, and it’s not, (yakkitty yak aside), even that strategic.

                      Fucking chicken-hawks are dreaming. AFAIK it took over 500 US air strikes to secure Kobani. It is utterly terrifying the level of fantasy la-la-land these chicken-hawks live in.

                      The US, UK and others tried to train the Iraqi army for over 10 long years and expended tens of billions of dollars on it. Utter total fucking collapsing failure.

                      Again it’s fucking chicken hawk fantasy land to think that NZ troops with no Iraqi experience can pop in for 6 months and do better.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Seems that we have got our very own fucking Armchair General Westmoreland here on The Standard. All we need is a little more guts and resolve and we are certain to beat back the enemy like clockwork.

                      Utter fantasy land.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’m fine with training the Iraqi army and them taking ISIS on and defeating them.

                The reason why we’re training (yeah, right) the Iraqi army is so that the US/UK and few other European nations can go bomb ISIS. This won’t work any better than invading Iraq did.

                Thus you are supporting “sending Kiwi troops into an operational theatre with no workable or realistic plan for victory.”

                [Strawman. Any further comments are going into purgatory. TRP]

      • Anno1701 6.2.5

        They are inevitably going to fall apart any way

  7. adam 7

    So silly question TE REO PUTAKE – Obama only asking congress for the use of military force against ISIS as of Friday. If he had, been booming them 6 months? And why is the bill – so broad? Why is load with a post ISIS clause? Why is it an open ended document for the President to define associated forces?

    So war again so full of lies, and no clear objectives, is this perpetual war that Orwell warned us about?

    So Obama won a Nobel Peace prize – seems like a very sick joke now.

    • adam 7.1

      Reason #1 why you don’t write in a white hot rage – Damn I can’t understand what I wrote.

      1. Last Friday President Obama finally asked congress for the right to wage war against ISIS -even whilst he he has been bombing them for the last six months.

      2. The proposal before congress is a scary document which has some very worrying clauses. These included, but are not limited to.

      a) 3 year licence for the President to wage war as he see fit

      b) Broad opened ended powers for the President to set and decided policy and running of the war

      c) This is not a formal deceleration of war

      d) It has clause devoted to empowering the President, beyond/post ISIS in dealing with new terrorist organisations as he see fit.

      e) The President being given the power to define associated forces – then declare them terrorists – thus an enemy of the United States.

      And we signed up along side this – This is not a democratic approach to war – This is handing power to an emperor. This is some truly scary power to hand to one individual – when Mao and Stalin had this kind of power – a lot of people were murdered 50 million – we OK with that figure again?

  8. ghostwhowalksnz 8

    Im not sure were are even looking at the real problem, which is a centuries old clash between Sunni and Shia.

    The US invasion of Iraq basically upended the Shia control of the area largely populated by Shia and Kurds ( who are Sunni but different ethnicity).

    The Shia government in Baghdad is close with the Shia theocracy in Tehran who are even hated more, being Persians.

    You can see the civil war in Syria against the Alawite ( Shia offshoot) government and can instantly the see ISIS rebellion is aimed at Shia and its allies.

    The west is mainly there for oil reasons, the barbourous nature of ISIS is nothing new.

    Do we now have a hatred of the Germans under the Kaiser who started WW1 by invading their neighbours, mass shooting of civilians ( up to 20,000) in occupied France and Belgium, then moved on to unrestricted submarine warfare against passenger ships and the use of poison gas.

    • Im not sure were are even looking at the real problem, which is a centuries old clash between Sunni and Shia.

      Yes. This is just nuts – we’re poking our noses into a dispute we know nothing about and with no plan beyond killing as many as possible of one lot of participants. To what extent can helping to ensure that people in these countries are repressed by murderous Shia militias rather than a murderous Sunni one really be described as “helping?” As in the Iran/Iraq war, or the Third Reich vs the Soviet Union, it would be great if there was a way they could both lose, but we really aren’t in a position to achieve that.

      In terms of a “solution,” there isn’t one to provide. However, we could make a good start by stopping messing with them. If your continued interference has resulted in progression from various small-scale messes to a large scale clusterfuck, maybe it’s time to stop interfering.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1

        Regrettably, I think that escalation of western intervention cluster fucks in the ME is unavoidable at this stage, because our leadership class has no fucking clue.

      • Pascals bookie 8.1.2

        I think the ‘stopping messing with them’ plan has the benefit of not getting sucked into the endless rounds of Saudi’s “let’s you and him fight” games.

        The more we do to protect these shit regimes, the less they have to do to protect themselves; and the worse and more detested they get.

        • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.2.1

          I think the ‘stopping messing with them’ plan has the benefit of not getting sucked into the endless rounds of Saudi’s “let’s you and him fight” games.

          I believe that’s also Israel’s game. A divided and disintegrating Iraq and Syria, Iran involved and distracted, plus all eyes off the Palestinians.

          • Pascals bookie 8.1.2.1.1

            nah. Israel fights.

            Saudi encourages others to fight. Big diff.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Israel fights and it encourages other to fight. The House of Saud plays a dangerous game, f’sure.

              Who would New Zealand bomb?

            • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.2.1.1.2

              nah. Israel fights.

              Sometimes. But the very latest leak of Mossad documents shows that Israel has got very many tricks up its sleeve, especially when it comes to pushing back on Iran/Shite influence. Which by the way parallels the House of Saud’s strategic objectives.

    • Bastables 8.2

      Centuries old clash between Sunni and Shia? what are you talking about the iraq civil war did not begin till after the coalition of the righteous upended the entire country on the pretext of non existent WMD’s. The ethnic clensing was direct result of US setting communities against each other in the age old colonial trick of divide and rule.

      Iran are the only persians? What are you talking about? Prior to Ali only ethnic arabs could be converted to “Muslims” parts of what are considered Iraq now were part of the defeated and occupied Sassanid empire. Baghdad is the outgrowth of the Abbasid need to have their own capital after the over throw of the Umayyads. And get this the Abbasids were Shia because they continued to rely on including non arabs, in particular persian bureaucracy, which is why they moved their capital from Damascus right next to the old Persian capital of Ctesiphon. (Persians and other non arabs could only convert due to innovations under Ali’s reign as Caliph).

      The abbasids are considered a “Sunni” caliphate now, but not their actual military support for their coup came from non arab “shia” parts of the Islamic empire: the province of Khorasan, Iran and the Shi’i Arabs. The historical irony is that the old shia’s were kept as gilded birds by the Seljuk Turks who purported to fight in the name of Sunni Islam, which is ridiculous as the Umayyads had already been over thrown (except for the Caliphate in Spain) which allowed non arabs like the turks to convert.

      The current sunni shia thing in iraq has nothing to do with the actual history. The only time it’s been leveled up as a thing is when the Seljuk’s turks fought vs the Fatimids in egypt and the Ottomans and the Persian shah dug the idea up in their little wars of political fuckwittery during the gunpowder era.

      You are intimating a unbroken simmering war between Sunni and Shia “sects” that does not exist as a unbroken constant form.

      The very fact that Yusf Saladin a Kurd (by this time “sunni” (aka nomadic persians) was the one to end the Fatimid Shia Caliphate (at the behest of Turkish Sultan Nur al din) should indicate how much “sunni” and “shia” don’t mean the same thing across time/history.

  9. vto 9

    “But one disappointing aspect of the criticism of the decision is the lack of alternatives being put forward”

    Why? That doesn’t follow te reo putake and your implication that the lack of a so-called alternative weakens the criticism is nonsensical. It lacks wisdom. This is not usually your style (which raises questions about your m.o. here)

    People can see very easily the reasons why we should not be going…

    as for who has a solution to the middle east problems? problems which go back centuries and which are complicated in the extreme? seriously? you expect that from us?

    You are conflating two entirely separate matters. Your point here is most definitely not accepted.

    If anything, the lack of an alternative is yet another reason to not go.

    Fail.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1

      We have seen these ‘no alternative’ lines before.

      The bank says you are behind in your payments so there is no alternative to a mortgagee sale.
      Homeowner says you could extend the period of loan so that payments are lower and its affordable. ( it costs more in long run though)

      Bank then says, cough… our real reason is that it makes our accounts look bad, not whether you can afford to keep paying. Our needs trump yours, so get out.

  10. Ennui 10

    TR sums up the Caliphates nature nicely…its not a good place to be a woman or gay or Shia or apostate. These people are dangerous and don’t want to play by rational rules but they are very modern in their application of media etc.

    Anonymous are shutting down IS Web sites and social media. (Operation Ice IS). Unlike our government they understand how to address this evil. And unlike most on this site they recognise an enemy that needs to be stopped. They don’t care who caused the evil. They are cleaning up a problem that is a result of the actions of governments Anonymous oppose daily.

    • vto 10.1

      Your points there Ennui can be applied to countless situations currently in existence around the globe and as such, as a reason, fail. You are too simple mr simple.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.2

      TR sums up the Caliphates nature nicely…its not a good place to be a woman or gay or Shia or apostate. These people are dangerous and don’t want to play by rational rules but they are very modern in their application of media etc.

      Sorry mate, once you start talking about “evil” you’ve either lost the plot, or decided to become a supporter of western crusaders riding in on white stallions to save the day.

      “These people are dangerous” FFS the west has killed perhaps 2M people in Iraq over the last 20 years. Roughly a million due to sanctions in the 90’s and then roughly a million in deaths since 2002. It’s the west who are fucking “dangerous” to Iraqis.

      20K to 30K ISIS fighters can’t control an area bigger than the size of NZ and with around 8M population – many of whom have their own AK47 and military experience – unless they have a lot of local support.

      And that local support for ISIS is because of the long standing incompetent, Shia militia compromised, corrupt, sectarian government which rules out of Baghdad.

      • Chooky 10.2.1

        +100

      • ghostwhowalksnz 10.2.2

        I saw a story about military drone strikes that was written in 2010. It said about 1400 people had been killed, one third of them civilians.
        Its all a horrible way to die, whether by an ISIS knife or someone at a computer console just outside Las Vegas

        • Ennui 10.2.2.1

          Too right, horrible and evil (yes CR, killing is in my book evil). I happen to want both sides shut down. I don’t want our troops and US drones in Iraq, I don’t want religious fundamentalist terrorism on the streets of the rest of the world. I wont back one side over the other. Bad guys all round.

  11. TheContrarian 11

    NZ should be providing humanitarian support to the affected areas, helping governments and organisations committed to fighting ISIS with logistical and moral support. We should also be educating our citizens about the dangers of such a twisted ideology to stop any homegrown copy cats or people heading over there.

    There is no need for ground troops at all.

    • Cheers, TC, they’re the sort of ideas I was hoping for in response to the OP.

      • TheContrarian 11.1.1

        Thing is ISIS have no interest in fighting the West – they are trying to provoke the West into a battle which will legitimise their propaganda. If we, the West, pulled and provided support to those actually at risk in the region we’d have more success.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          @metiria
          ‏The alternative – build international support support for humanitarian aid and reconstruction, stop the flow of arms and cash to ISIL

          Metiria Turei @metiria
          NZ should lead in promoting genuine justice and peace not creating further justification for radicalisation.

    • David 11.2

      Not infantry no, but sending a PRT like we started off with in Afghanistan, might be a better option?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 11.2.1

        Reconstruction ? After US and allies bombs have wrecked their schools, hospitals, water supply?
        Of course logical isnt it !!

    • Ennui 11.3

      Well said Contrarian.

  12. b waghorn 12

    For arguments sake let’s assume the yanks didn’t cause this and there motives are entirely humanitarian.
    If the objective is to squash I S then fusking around with a few troops here and some trainers here a couple of spys/SAS types spotting for planes,you’re just going to prolong the suffering for the locals and have our forces in harms way for longer.
    We should either be sending enough troops (by we I mean all US’s allies)
    to deal to I S quickly and ruthlessly or not be going at all.

  13. Ennui 13

    Yes VTO I could have simply listed lots of simply awful scenarios. But being simple means you can see things that professed complex people can’t. As they say none so blind…

    • vto 13.1

      So what can you see other than what you wrote above?

      • Ennui 13.1.1

        In words of one bit (I am as you said not hard) I see some good code hack guys who do not like bad guys and will shut down their sites. The hack guys are at war with both sets of bad guys. They do not have a name. Can you see them?

  14. jaybo 14

    The UN (or new planetary body) needs a vast increase in capital as well as fine tuning in organization so that it can contribute to a solution in the Middle East/North Africa as well as other areas of concern on this planet of ours.
    A multiple approach might be required – involving;
    a powerful containing force to restrain atrocity on the ground (as well as moderating any funding toward atrocity)
    massive non political aid program to the needy
    more sophisticated discussion mechanisms between conflicted parties angled ultimately toward common human rights goals.
    Peace to all
    That is success

    • Chooky 14.1

      +100…as part of a UN contingent is the only legitimate way for New Zealand to have a military force in that region…certainly not as part of a US/Israeli contingent /agenda

      Chomsky: ‘US-led anti-ISIS coalition meaningless, apart from being illegal’

      US actions in the Middle East region, including the invasion in Iraq, have created the circumstances, under which ISIS emerged, Chomsky believes. “What happened is the US basically hit Iraq with a kind of sledgehammer,” instituting a governmental structure, which was sectarian in nature.

      “All of this came together to create sectarian conflicts, which had not existed before… That has since expanded, and now it’s tearing the whole region apart. Syria is one element of it.”

      “A law-abiding state would go to the Security Council, ask for a declaration by the Security Council of a threat to peace, and request the Security Council to organize direct response to it. And that could be done. The US could then participate in it, but so could Iran,” which is a major military force and would probably wipe out ISIS in no time, if it was allowed to join the fight on the ground, Chomsky believes.”

      http://rt.com/news/203055-us-russia-war-chomsky/

    • Ron 14.2

      Well of course if USA paid its back dues to UN they might have sufficient funds

  15. Ennui 15

    Also C Rawshark. ..making comparison of the scale of what IS does by stating the vicious crimes of the West in the region is a deplorable. Terror homicide and indiscriminate violence does not justify the same by anybody. If I describe this violence as “evil”, well I am proud to be as you say “losing it”.

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.1

      Also C Rawshark. ..making comparison of the scale of what IS does by stating the vicious crimes of the West in the region is a deplorable.

      Stop being naive. It’s utterly relevant because on the ground where Kiwis will be, American troops are still seen by many Shia AND Sunni militia fighters as being legitimate enemy targets.

      • Chooky 15.1.1

        if not the main target…there are not a few who have suggested ISIS atrocities are designed to lure USA troops and their friends boots on the ground for a revenge slaughter

        • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.1.1

          It’s a recruitment drive by ISIS. The tag line being: Come fight and kill American soldiers desecrating Muslim holy lands. Al Qaeda have done exactly the same previously.

          Notice how ISIS numbers are now said to be 20,000 to 30,000. That’s MORE than when the US started their airstrikes 6 months ago. Figure that.

  16. Pascals bookie 16

    But one disappointing aspect of the criticism of the decision is the lack of alternatives being put forward

    Why are you disppointed at the lack of irrelevant stuff?

    The alternative to supporting a plan is to not support it. It is the plan on the table.

    If we came up with a better plan, that better plan would not be on the table.

    The thing on the table would still be the current plan, and the decision faced would still be “Support it or not’.

    • That doesn’t make any logical sense, P’s B. It’s not an either or situation, because there can be alternative suggestions. If the current plan is not a runner, what would be a better alternative in your eyes?

      • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1

        This is bullshit and designed to waste the time of people who oppose Kiwi military involvement in Iraq. Our idiot leadership class have already fixed their minds on god knows what for their own reasons – but they certainly aren’t telling us.

      • Pascals bookie 16.1.2

        That doesn’t make any logical sense, P’s B.

        Yeah it does. read it again.

        It’s not an either or situation, because there can be alternative suggestions.

        Deciding to support this plan is an either/or decision. You vote yea, or nay.

        Other plans are not, in fact, on the table. Given that, what logical role do they play. If you have a better plan, that is not on the table, does that mean you should support this deployment, or not?

        If the current plan is not a runner, what would be a better alternative in your eyes?

        I could come up with something, but I don’t see the point in doing so. It’s an irrelevant question TRP, completely beside the point of whether or not to support the war that is actually existing.

        EDIT: I just realised that there is a logical way in which other plans might be relevant. Are you Obama, or somewhere in CentCom? Otherwise, not relevant.

        • Murray Rawshark 16.1.2.1

          +1 PB.
          TRP’s sad contribution just serves to muddy the waters. TINA used to be confined to the vocabulary of the lunatic right wing deniers of society. Now its use has spread to the pages of The Standard. Where O’Bomber goes, we go. TINA. Pffft.

      • The Murphey 16.1.3

        Q. How does it not make sense ?

        Doing nothing is always a legitimate option

      • Tom Jackson 16.1.4

        You still don’t get it. All politically feasible plans are crap. Therefore, it’s a dumb idea, no matter what you suggest.

        Here’s an analogy:

        An old friend asks you to invest in his new company, appealing to your sense of friendship and producing a glossy prospectus detailing all the great things the company is going to do.

        So you reply: “That’s nice, but all of your last three companies failed miserably and cost investors their shirts, as well as screwing over employees with unpaid wages and service providers with unpaid debts”.

        The friend retorts: “It’s OK, I’ve got lots of other co-directors”.

        To which you reply: “Yeah, I know. Most of them were in on your last few disasters, which gives me absolutely no confidence that any of you understand basic business principles or your target market. Some of them appear to suffer from delusions of grandeur, paranoia and other low grade mental illnesses. You’re effectively asking me to make a bonfire of my own money. I advise you to find a new line of work.”

        He replies: “But look at all the great things we’re going to do.”

        You: “Based on past experience, none of that is ever going to happen. This is going to be nothing but a money pit”.

        So would you invest in such a company, TRP?

        • te reo putake 16.1.4.1

          Tom, the post asks the readers to come up with their own alternatives, if they can. The OP is an attempt to see what TS readers can contribute that isn’t “crap”. Some have been able to and I thank them for their thoughts. I note Andrew Little, Russel Norman, Winston Peters, and even the Hairdo came up with realistic alternate strategies in Parliament.

          • Tom Jackson 16.1.4.1.1

            That’s the old sophist’s trick of “artificially restricting the terms of debate”. You must think we’re a pack of melons to fall for that.

            • te reo putake 16.1.4.1.1.1

              Mate, I wrote the post! I know what it asks. Perhaps you should read it again or if it’ll save time, just focus on the very open question I put right at the end:

              “What alternatives are there? And how can New Zealand play a part, if not by sending troops?”

              • Pascals bookie

                Why? To what end? None of our solutions would be on the table, so how do they help decide whether or not the actually existing plan is a good one?

                They don’t. It’s simply illogical, eh TRP?

              • Wynston

                But why should “New Zealand play a part”?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Because we already are. Who targets the missiles? Who determines Waihopai’s job sheet?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Correct. We are part of the FVEY group of countries. That means that the content and metadata that NZ helps to collect for the global surveillance system goes into things like kill lists and helping Predator drones acquire their targets.

  17. The only rational thing to do is to do nothing, because there’s no hope of winning.

    The reason there is no hope of winning is that the people in charge are incompetent. It’s Gallipolli all over again. If we asked ourselves who is going to be in charge of this enterprise and looked at their level of success in recent, similar enterprises, it becomes immediately obvious that it’s a bum deal and that we should stay out of it.

    Talk of the rights and wrongs of confronting IS is irrelevant, because it assumes that such confrontations are capable of making a meaningful difference. Domestic political considerations in the US, make it impossible for any action to be prosecuted successfully – what the American public need a war to look like and what it would actually have to be like to have a chance of success are poles apart.

    This whole thing is a placeholder operation. Something must be done, this is something, therefore we must do this…

    • exStatic 17.1

      Very good point. If we send our troops we need to know they arer going to be well led and not be subjected to added risk by having unduly restrictive Rules of Engagement.
      If our army is going there under restrictive conditions, they should not go at all, in fact, if they are not allowed to fight, the army are the wrong people to send!

  18. thatguynz 18

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again..

    Our “allies” need to:

    STOP funding ISIS
    STOP arming ISIS
    STOP training ISIS
    STOP indiscriminate bombing of Middle Eastern nations to breed further martyrs

    Does anybody of rational mind think they will continue to exist when these elements are ceased? Talk about a manufactured problem…

  19. Ennui 19

    Naive am I Rawshark? I don’t want our troops deployed. Western involvement in the region is a disaster for all parties. Seems to align with what you are saying.

    Is it naive of me, simple even as VTO says to see an ongoing danger to my culture posed by Islamic fundamentalism? Tell that to the relatives of decapitated aid workers and people shot in Paris and Copenhagen.

    • Colonial Rawshark 19.1

      You know what, you’re right. These militant fundamentalist ragheads are evil barbarians and a threat to western culture and civilisation. It’s time we showed them who is boss and the superior peoples around here.

      No doubt it would also be wise to keep a closer eye on immigrants from these parts of the world, and probably, to limit the threat they pose to “our culture” by ensuring that there are not too many of them in NZ.

      • Ennui 19.1.1

        Ouch, the slice of a wooden razor. Nice kind assumptions too which I will treat as unworthy of a retort.

        • Colonial Rawshark 19.1.1.1

          Simply drawing the very simple and logical follow ons from – we must defend our culture against these Muslim barbarians and terrorists.

          The cry of right wing parties throughout Europe, incidentally.

  20. shorts 20

    I think the best thing NZ can do is to focus on our allies – pressure them to be honest and transparent about what they see their role as being and how they propose to accomplish their aims – the coalition is as much a problem in the region than ISIS will ever be

    Pressure the US and co to seek UN resolutions for those aims and engage in diplomatic means in which to address the issues, concerns and problems of the region

    There will be no end to conflict nor peaceful resolution if we engage in and support war for no reason except “its what everyones doing” notions

  21. greywarshark 21

    When I look at the Christian Crusades and how long they continued I shudder to think of it being repeated the other way. They started in 1095 and did not finish until 1291! OMG. This is an excerpt from a fact filled page from Wikipedia.

    Some historians see the Crusades as confident, aggressive, papal-led expansion attempts by Western Christendom; some see them as part of long-running conflict at the frontiers of Europe; and others see them as part of a purely defensive war against Islamic conquest.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades
    It all seems as wrong headed as anything going on in the Muslim world today.

    • Phil 21.1

      When I look at the Christian Crusades and how long they continued I shudder to think of it being repeated the other way. They started in 1095 and did not finish until 1291!

      The comparison to the Crusades has always bugged me. It’s an altogether unhelpful comparison.

      The crusades were not one continuous campaign for two centuries; they were a series of individual military actions for geopolitical power that we think of collectively today, solely because they occurred 1000 years ago and we mentally aggregate history. I’d wager that the movement of borders and ownership of territory that occurred in the region over that period of time was not materially different to the rise and fall of, say, European kingdoms and empires in the same period.

      In a similar vein, the 100 years war was neither 100 years long nor one war in any meaningful sense.

      Bottom line is; comparing the current middle east situation with the crusades is about as useful as calling the Franco-Prussian War, WWI, WWII, and the Cold War one single conflict.

  22. Kriss X 22

    If Western intervention and war was the way to fix Iraq, then it would be the best place on earth by now.

    Key is too cozy with the AIPAC controlled USA.

    • Conal Tuohy 22.1

      If Western intervention and war was the way to fix Iraq, then it would be the best place on earth by now.

      This absolutely nails it.

      How supposed leftists can think that further Western attacks on Arab nations are justifiable, given the results of all the previous ones, is beyond me. It’s beyond gullible. It’s way past naive. It’s wilful blindness – what Orwell called doublethink.

  23. greywarshark 23

    Then there are all the different philosophies that have been thought up by our agile human minds.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_philosophy#Western_philosophy

    Bloody awe inspiring to see how smart we are and yet we can hardly work out how to get on with anyone else without coming to blows or sticking something into them somewhere in their bodies destructively. Fascinating internet games often have people roaming through beautifully crafted landscapes shooting, spearing, bombing the people in the stories.

    So we need to attempt to try to achieve something better rather than just continuing in this madness of keeping doing the same failing actions over and over again and then agreeing that the bozos who have got into power are doing the right thing by repeating this punishing regime. Who is it hurting – them obviously on the other side. But also us.

    Time to think and gather a band of good countries together to bring about a positive outcome and then a sustainable peace. Can we get a group known colloquially as the White Hats who will hold talks and present a reasonable plan to the UN and demand that hostilities be stopped, hearings about grievances be held, and concessions be made. And concessions and reparations in exchange for changed behaviour from the belligerents I think would be an inevitable requirement for peace.

  24. Tiger Mountain 24

    this has been a textbook example of “manufacturing consent” at the behest of 5 Eyes and Uncle Sam, from snooping law changes, front page/TV news leading with gruesome IS videos, increased passport sanctions, a visiting Iraqi politician, to even the Westfield mall video that has been around for some time apparently, surfacing in msm on the very day cabinet was firming up a position!

    The answer is to not participate in or support imperialist wars. To put diplomatic pressure on via the Security Council and trading partners to not support IS in any shape or form. To run a truly independent foreign and trading policy. To lavish aid on the vulnerable including various stripes of Kurds.

    IS is centre stage on purpose thanks to ShonKeys strategy, but even he admitted yesterday support for military involvement among kiwis was “not a slam dunk”.
    Plus what about the numerous other hell holes well worthy of intervention of some kind–West Papua for instance?

    • Colonial Rawshark 24.1

      this has been a textbook example of “manufacturing consent” at the behest of 5 Eyes and Uncle Sam

      Yep, glad that others can see it too. As we have observed, it’s not hard to get lefty liberals onboard with war. We’re doing it for the good of the people, for democracy, for civilisation, for human rights for women and children, etc. Someone quick, drop a few more $200,000 warheads so we can really make the world a better place.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 24.1.1

        You forgot the Sunni muslim supremacy.

        A lot of people remember ‘one of the reasons’ for the Iraq invasion was to help the poor Shia who were badly treated by Sadaam.

        The best propaganda stories are ones that are recycled. Over and Over, just change the faces.

    • Sable 24.2

      Well said. Glad to hear common sense and intellect prevailing over sensationalism and fear mongering.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 24.3

      “Manufacturing consent”

      I’m not sure they’ve actually manufactured any – they’ve gone through the motions, f’sure, and is there a great upswelling of public enthusiasm as a result?

      • Colonial Rawshark 24.3.1

        I suspect that what we’re going to notice over the next few years is that governments are going to cease even pretending that they are seeking a democratic mandate and approval from their citizens on security state/surveillance/anti-terrorism styled issues like this.

  25. Sable 25

    First off the Lindt cafe incident was not connected to ISIS but was instead the work of a man who can best be described as mentally unstable with criminal proclivities. To use that as an excuse is to buy into Key’s clumsy rhetoric.

    Secondly why is it every time US imperialism turns to shit its New Zealand’s duty to go help clean up the mess? ISIS has an estimated 200,000 troops and has a habit of beheading or burning alive people it captures. Is that what we want for our people?

    The best thing we can do is stay well out of it. As to NZ being a soft target why the hell would they want to bother coming to this tiny place unless we did something to antagonize them like getting into bed with the US.

    Its all bullshit designed to soften up the sheeples to accept our role as the US’s servants. Just wait til the TPPA is signed by the quisling National government and then you will see what the US really think of us. Not to mention our own disloyal politicians.

  26. Draco T Bastard 26

    But how do we in the West stop them, if not by taking them on militarily?

    The only people who should be taking on ISIS militarily are the people who actually live there. We should give support to the crushing if ISIS so that a new civilisation, based upon their own culture, arises in the area. But this, to, is fraught with danger as the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIS from Western support shows.

    I think the best option at this time is that we stop arms and funding flowing to ISIS from outside of the region.

    • Colonial Rawshark 26.1

      The only people who should be taking on ISIS militarily are the people who actually live there

      Correct.

      Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran collectively have many hundreds of thousands of troops, just by themselves. Add In the Kurdish fighters and support from US intelligence + hundreds of western airstrikes a month: they should have the capacity to take out ISIS all by themselves.

      ISIS are 20K to 30K fighters mostly with light arms, AK47s and RPGs.

      And there are a bunch of NATO countries within 90 minutes plane flight FFS.

      Basically we are being lied to as to what is actually happening on the ground over there.

    • weka 26.2

      +1 Draco. And aid money/resources. It’s about taking our agenda out of the frame and giving up control.

  27. Poission 27

    ISIS are not inclined toward diplomacy.

    A strong letter from the Zaporozhian host perhaps.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reply_of_the_Zaporozhian_Cossacks

  28. Bill 29

    Oh well. 143 New Zealand Defence Force personnel being sent about 500 miles away from where they should be being sent, to back the wrong people in the wrong country.

    Meanwhile, a travel ban carrying a mandatory 10 years in jail should you break it is was laid down by Australia (no doubt to be adopted here any day now) over the area 500 miles away in the other country where the people we should be helping live.

    And John Key bangs on about ‘standing up for values’. Well seeing he doesn’t outline what those values are…

  29. If ISIS did not exist it would be necessary to invent it. The 1% are scared of what is coming and how we are all going to behave. They need as much draconian control in place as they can get in the dying days of democracy.

  30. One Anonymous Bloke 31

    “A solution”.

    What’s the solution to criminal sadism and human rights abuses?

    How about we stop perpetrating them? That would be a start. Then we’d be in a position to help other people deal with them in their own back yard.

    As it is, and PB, and Bill have articulated this far better than I, we’re lying to one another about the motives and the ethics we pay lip service to don’t come into it.

    Jane Fonda on the screen today,
    Convinced the Liberals it’s ok,
    So let’s get pissed and dance away the night…

  31. Anne 32

    John Key has upset John Armstrong:
    Key is losing the debate

    …the deployment becomes nothing more than a manufactured exercise in flag-waving designed to satisfy the Americans, rather than dealing to Isis. Surely the days when New Zealand was so compliant and so submissive to Washington’s wishes are long over. But it seems not.

    So that’s why Key is obsessed with the bloody flag.

  32. Well, if John Key decided this on his own, without allowing our representatives a vote, then it’s reasonable to point out that any terrorists or disgruntled family members of dead servicepersons who might at some future point want to take revenge should leave the rest of us alone.

  33. This comment does not present an alternative solution to the ISIS problem – there are only bad outcomes in all the choices.

    It’s about John Keys war.

    John Key wanted his little war to show the big boys that he’s one of them.
    That we are part of the “club”

    Every atrocity later found to be made by allied forces – that’s what John Key stands for.
    Every civilian killed by allied forces – John Key is responsible
    Every Drone attack that kills a child (it’s our signals intelligence that tracks the targets).
    John Key that is responsible for those childrens deaths

    This is now “John Key’s War
    Make him own the fuckin thing!

  34. Conal Tuohy 35

    Who is this “we in the West”? (as in “how do we in the West stop them, if not by taking them on militarily?”)

    Does it mean anyone in the West at all? Does it include warmongers like Rumsfeld, Kissinger, GW Bush, Tony Abbott and John Key. etc? Does it include Westerm muslims? Does it include Western jihadi militants? Does it include anti-imperialists in the West? Communists? Anarchists? Does this “we” include people like you and me?

    It makes no sense to ask what “we” should do, when the “we” includes both me and you and also a bunch of neo-con war-mongerers. The question doesn’t make any sense because its premise is not coherent.

    Is John Key going to listen to my opinion? Are he and I going to discuss it cordially and come together on a shared position? Hardly. In fact the decision is going to be made (indeed, it has already been made) not by well-meaning left liberal intellectuals on blogs, but by our US overlords, to be ratified by their local underlings, the NZ government, without any need to consult with the local population.

    Every time – every single time – that some dusky barbarians in far off lands are due to cop it from the armies of the civilised West, there is first a campaign of war propaganda for the Western masses to swallow, and part of that campaign is a flurry of anguished hand-wringing for the Western liberal intelligentsia, in which they are invited to “choose” from a menu of options consisting of (a) massive destruction of said barbarians, and (b) standing idly by in the face of whatever outrage against civilisation the barbarians are held to embody on this occasion.

    Naturally the actual powers that be will choose option (a) anyway, but there’s no harm in giving the chattering classes the chance to produce an intellectual rationalisation for it is there? Someone else in the thread called this the manufacturing of consent, and this is exactly right. It’s not about making a choice, but about rationalising a choice which has already been made for you.

    There is never a third option; to reject Western imperialism and stand up for the rights of foreign people to determine their own destiny. This option never appears on the menu because it is such a difficult thing to do that it’s hard even to conceive of it. It requires rejecting the comfortable “we” which binds ordinary people to the Western imperial project, which is a bit of a cognitive leap, for many. But it is in fact a necessary step on the road to peace and security for the Middle East, and for the world.

    • Wayne 35.1

      Conal Tuhoy

      In this instance your third option would mean agreeing that ISIS can have its Capilate, commit whatever atrocities it pleases, recruiting in the West and sending jihadists back.

      All in all quite a risk to take.

      On the other hand if ISIS had acted liked the Kurds, but of course with a fundamentalist Islam state, I guess that they would have been left alone.

      Your approach in fact does seem to be what the West has done in Syria. By and large they have been left alone to fight their civil war. We only really react if they use chemicals weapons. However, the establishment of ISIS has been one of the outcomes of this approach.

      So maybe the reality is that You (the west) is dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t.

  35. Upnorth 36

    See Catholic community now supports the sending in the troops. I agree with them. Time to get some guts and get on the right side.

    Christians will not take this lying down.

    • b waghorn 36.1

      Real Christian s would not go to war dumb Arse show were in the new testament it says killing other men is OK.

      • Bastables 36.1.1

        The only bible that was extent in Jesus time was the old testament note John 10:35 : “And the Scriptures cannot be broken.”

        “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures” (Matt. 22:29)

        Your attempt to limit discussion to the new testament, which did not exist until well after Jesus life time. Your no true scotsman/christian defence is inane.

        The usual pick and mix were old testament hate speech vs gays is acceptable but Leviticus injunctions against eating seafoods and pork are ignored because lol “old testament.”

        • Macro 36.1.1.1

          You do know what the words “New” and “testament” mean?
          I also suggest you might like to re read the sermon on the mount.

    • Anne 36.2

      So-called “Christians” are responsible for most of the mess in the first place. Why don’t you hop on a plane with JK and fight em yourself. No… I didn’t think so.

    • weka 36.3

      how about we not talk about Christians as if they all think the same?

      • b waghorn 36.3.1

        That’s why I put real Christians not Christians that have twisted jesus teachings to there own own agenda.

    • Colonial Rawshark 36.4

      Christians crusading into Muslim lands, what could go wrong. It’s like the American Christian Right is impatient for the end times.

  36. keepcalmcarryon 37

    The perspective on this is all wrong, the US coalition is just playing whack a mole, Iraq, afghanistan, Iraq again, syria, next yemen?
    You cant fix this kind of extremism by fighting it at the wrong end.

    Turn off the taps of disenfranchised young men, and money, pressure has to come to bear on Saudi Arabia and Jordan for reform. Wahabist hate preaching must be stopped (stick or carrot?), the USA has to change its policy towards in particular the Saudis but also Israel to prevent more excuses for radicalisation. USA is almost energy independent now is the time to lean on their wahabist sunni mates. Shut down any media used by ISIS. By all means report on but refuse to show any videos put out by ISIS. Starve them of publicity, religious backing, men and money.

    As an end game, some countries are going to be sitting around a table redrawing boundaries.

    Alternatively we could assist by sending in Gerry Brownlee as some sort of massive Trojan horse filled with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Bush jnr, and Blair armed with a pistol, 3 rounds each and righteous resolve.

  37. gsays 38

    kia ora trp,
    “What alternatives are there? And how can New Zealand play a part, if not by sending troops?”

    how about taking just 3 or5% or heck since we are serious, 10%, of us defence budget and drop food, water, medicine, and technology (solar panels, smart fones with health apps etc).
    nz can donate a few hundred pallets of corrugated iron.

  38. gsays 39

    michael franti
    “you can bomb the world to pieces
    but cant bomb it into peace”

  39. Huginn 40

    “What alternatives are there? And how can New Zealand play a part, if not by sending troops?”

    Sending troops is about showing support.

    NZ may be able to provide more effective support – logistics, inteligence, alleviating the suffering of refugees etc, but none of these send the message as clearly as sending troops.

    The questions are about whether we agree with the message being sent and if so, whether the message is clear.

    I think that we should send troops because Daiesh have openly re-introduced slavery; they are enemies of all mankind.

    & more practically, men (& women) at arms are the only option because the region is so dangerous at the moment.

  40. Conal Tuohy 41

    Troops are for killing people and blowing stuff up. If you just want to send a message, use Twitter.

    But yes, the government are indeed motivated to send a message; the message is to Obama and it reads “SIR, YES SIR!”

  41. A Voter 42

    ISIL are like every other criminal fundamentalist regime from the time of Hitler and there are many incidents of covert collusion happening now in this ISIL situation just as there was between the Zionists and the Nazis
    Syria you think about how long thats been happening 8 years plus Bin Laden gone whats the west doing playin politics because of Bush the US owe Iraq unconditionally
    The Kurds have got the least amount of military help ,the carnage the innocent are suffering is as bad as Pol Pot yet they are making gains which mean ISIL are not as powerful as the the warmongering news items led us to believe our leaders finding excuses to be pro active when in this situation we should not be ego bolstering like Key with his Blood an guts naivety shows how little he know about war
    This situation requires decisiveness on the scale of the 67 war in Palestine by Israel and now they need to be on the side of anyone fighting ISIL INDEPENDENT of the US foreign policy to be responsible in the area they live in and show a led in Religious reformation
    the communications of ISIL need to be identified as their most important weapon because if the Kurds are continuing to make gains the west either acts on their side or bloody wake up to the fact they are creating another Vietnam
    If the west doesnt stop pissing about like Key and accept that this is not about politics its about crime, ISIL ARE OUTLAWS and do some thing about like any other crime . the free world would accept the inevitable out come which will be an all out short decisive war thats if the west can get their head out of their arse and see the the fact that they Will Have to work with Syria and Turkey after this is over .Also Israel will have to be seen to be working with the people’s of the region instead of bein the US foreign policy staging post
    The west needs to help the Kurds not the Iraqi Govt because the Iraq govt has too many traitors and they are a puppet regime of US diplomacy
    As a friend said to me read the Art Of War, this situation is being talked up for politics the Kurds are showing the facts
    Key is I dont give a shit about democracy Im by passing a vote in parliament because I want to be in the club and be on tv everyday
    trying to scare the people into agreement
    Well Key you scare us alright cause you are so damn arrogant naive and you are giving the ISIL propaganda machine something to move next us you fuckwit and you think it cant happen
    You and all your 21 century knowledge is goin to get us in the shit because thats what youve always been good at Key you stupid ego centric twerp go and see for yourself you make me sick

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