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Key adopts Bush foreign policy

Written By: - Date published: 12:12 pm, January 11th, 2010 - 36 comments
Categories: afghanistan, International - Tags:

“We’ve got no intention of cutting and running from Afghanistan,” the Prime Minister said from his holiday home in Hawaii.*

If you’re a keen watcher of political rhetoric, you might recognise that phrase – Bush used to accuse Democrats of wanting to ‘cut and run’ from Iraq.

It’s not just rhetoric, John Key’s foreign policy thinking resembles the worst of the US Right. “We need to suppress their desires to increase global terrorism” he said in reference to the attack on the CIA in Afghanistan and that laughable underwear bomb plot. Like the American Right, Key seems to think that people who participate in these attacks are inherently evil and want to carry out attacks for the hell out it. With the 19th century colonial view still predominant in the US Right, he seems to think you can bash people into submission. He fails to understand that violence begets violence, and that “suppression” always begets resistance.

Maybe John needs to spend less time in the US watching Fox and more in New Zealand thinking about our interests and doing his job.

PS.We only have about 40 embassies worldwide, only two in Africa. So why the hell would we establish one in Kabul, when we have nil relations or trade with Afghanistan?  Talk about wasteful government spending. But worse, it looks like the government is willing to put Kiwi diplomats’ lives in serious peril to kiss up to the US.

36 comments on “Key adopts Bush foreign policy”

  1. Neil 1

    Key agrees with Obama’s foreign policy and some how you can see that as him adopting Bush’s?

    • snoozer 1.1

      I dont’ really see how Obama’s foreign policy has differed that much from Bush’s. But Marty’s right, Key is adopting the langauge and outlook of the American Right.

      I wonder who is visiting him during his three weeks in Hawaii? A few close friends from the Heritage Foundation, Project for the New American Century, maybe some of those mining companies keen on getting what’s under our national parks?

      • Neil 1.1.1

        “Key is adopting the langauge and outlook of the American Right.”

        by agreeing with Obama??

        • snoozer

          “We need to suppress their desires to increase global terrorism”

          “We’ve got no intention of cutting and running”

          these are the words of the American Right, not Obama.

          Not that I’m defending Obama, his foreign policy is virtually the same as Bush’s.

      • gitmo 1.1.2

        I thought he was meeting with both the local chapter of the Illuminati and the Esteemed Society of Baby Eaters.

        • Jewish Kiwi

          Plus, he is a Jew, after all

          • gitmo

            I think there is a hint of ginga there as well ….. terrifying !

          • snoozer

            funny, because he’s also a christian and an agnostic when it suits him.

            But seriously, that’s a pretty pathetic defence, basically accusing those who disagree with you of being anti-semitic when no-one else has even mentioned anything to do with religion or ethnicity.

            • Jewish Kiwi

              I wasn’t accusing anyone of antisemitism at all, I was being sarcastic. Maybe the irony filters my browser were turned on.


  2. tsmithfield 2

    Rightly or wrongly, the west did intervene in Afganistan.

    Now that this step has been taken, I don’t think it is right to leave the population there in a vulnerable state where they can easily be over-run by the Taliban again. Neither should anyone on this site if they are concerned about basic human rights such as females getting an education etc, religious freedom, etc. Afganistan needs to be strong enough to resist the Taliban themselves before Western nations can responsibly leave.

    Also, by intervening, the west has now assumed responsibility for making things better for the Afgan people. In order to do this safely, there needs to be some military support in place.

    • Bill 2.1


      First time around, womens rights improved under the Taliban. Nothing flash mind. But they could walk the streets unlike when the Northern Alliance held sway. Read RAWA for a perspective.

      Womens’ rights are going backwards at the moment in Afghanistan.Remember that law “stipulating that women cannot refuse to have sex with their husbands, and can only seek work, education or visit the doctor with their husbands’ permission”?

      At the end of the day the occupying forces will negotiate with the Taliban, in just the same way that they were sitting down to do before they invaded. And the Taliban will strike a decent deal with regards royalties from gas and oil flowing over their territory.

      Meanwhile a whole generation has been traumatised and blow back will go awalking through US malls and down British high streets in the shape of ex-soldiers with PTS.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      Just a wee thing smithy, those talibans; they’re Afghans.

      The thing that renders the whole thing all a bit silly is that the plan is to beef up the ‘government’s’ army and police to the point where they can defeat a significant part of their own population. Ok whatevs. Could be justifiable.

      What’s dumb is that estimates for the size of Army/police needed for the task, will cost more to operate than the so called country’s gdp.

      If you read Obama’s big speech, too, and also, you’ll note that the whole freedom sexy whiskey liberal rights side of things is downplayed. That is not an achievable mission.

  3. Bill 3

    Bush was a War Pig, Obama is a War Pig and Key’s a squealing runt.

    Anyway. What’s this about an embassy in Kabul? That got a source?

    Meanwhile, Afghanistan is still an illegal occupation. The UN has never sanctioned it in any way whatsoever. But how many liberals here as well as the US approved the shifting of armed aggression from the ‘bad’ war in Iraq to the ‘good’ war in Afghanistan?

    That, and what Neil is saying. All these bastard elites are thinking and saying the same shit. There is no discernible ‘left’ and ‘right’ because the parties of the liberal left abandoned any pretence of being to the left some 20 to 30 years back.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      “A New Zealand Embassy will soon be established in Kabul.

      Yesterday Mr McCully confirmed a “shortlist of two” for the ambassador’s job. There are two other positions open – a leader for New Zealand’s provincial reconstruction effort will be appointed and a “development person” to run the aid programme.”


      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        “shortlist of two’

        Richard Worth.
        Melissa Lee.

      • Bill 3.1.2

        Cheers. The first para cracked me up first time. By the time I got to he ad I was feeling nauseous and stopped assuming the article had ended, so I missed that bit.

        Anyway. There is a well discerned pattern for this bullshit. Somewhere I have the quotes from various US El Presidente’s proclaiming their intention to get out of a particular war while escalating it for security reasons and then escalating again under the guise of transferring responsibility to the locals.

        I’ll post them if/when I find them.

        The fact that this government is keen to jump aboard is simply a mark of intense stupidity. Has nobody enlightened them to the fact that China, not the US are our neighbours; that China, not the US is successfully tying up the oil and gas flows from the region and that China, not the US will be the major power in this region?

  4. Do you have the numbers on how many hoildays Aunty Helen took when she was PM, and how many of her family that she took?

    • lprent 4.1

      She only ever went away with Peter and usually only at the end of the year vacation, which was usually about 4 weeks. It was a great relief to us all – especially when she went places that the cellphone coverage was spotty and we couldn’t get the txt’s from the bloody blackberry.

      On occasion she’d managed to pry Peter away from his work and drag him with her on the overseas working trips. His penalty cost was to sit around and look uncomfortable at the speeches. However I’m pretty sure that there was no holiday during those for Helen. The damn blackberry kept going.

      But you should be able to find out the detail from parliamentary services?

      However she did have capable hands to leave things in when she was out of coverage. Cullen usually, but sometimes Anderton. Key has to leave it to Double D

      • gitmo 4.1.1

        Anderton . capable hands bwa ha ha ha …….. his troughing over the years make Blinglish look like an amateur.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5


    ABC has a story from Afghanistan right now about a female Major on a PRT team who, after the local malevillagers cancelled a meeting about a new girl’s school, went ahead and had a secret meeting about a secret school with the women of the village anyway.

    The entire story, by embaed Karen Russo, is presented through a lens of women’s rights and children’s education = good. And that’s fair enough. But there’s no mention whatsoever of the long-term consequences of the Major’s decision to go behind the menfolks’ backs. This is an area that the U.S. military is trying to wrest from Taliban control, and the menfolk are the ones with the guns. What’s going to be their reaction when they discover that their American would-be-friends have deceived them and undermined their wishes in this way?

    COIN is hard.

    What would folks suggest in this situation?

    Does the PRT Team have the resources to protect the women here? Will doing so help the COIN mission, or lend support to insurgents?

    If they cannot protect the women, would any repercussions get reported in the west?

    • Bill 5.1

      The piece you link strikes me as smacking of the ‘We know better than the natives’ b/s that used to prevail among anthropological social do gooders. Lording it over people is never a good idea in my book.

      Anyway, here’s one Afghan womans perspective for what it’s worth. I suspect her standpoint isn’t altogether uncommon.

      She (Malalai Joya) has survived multiple assassination attempts for her outspoken advocacy of women’s rights and withdrawal of U.S., Canadian, and other NATO armed forces. She believes the people of Afghanistan, especially the women, can organize the struggle for fundamental rights such as health care, education, control of their bodies and their lives but only when the foreign occupiers leave their country.

  6. ben 6

    Key uses turns of phrase similar to Bush, and this is news at the Standard? I suppose a smear is better than outright lying. Assuming you didn’t make up the bit about what Key and Bush said.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      “Assuming you didn’t make up the bit about what Key and Bush said.”

      You could always check the links. What’s the smear BTW?

      I see an implied smear in Key’s cut and run talk though, talk which is stupid for other reasons as well. Essentially it gives the enemy a free propaganda opportunity as Key has declared that not staying in theatre is ‘cutting and running’ which implies cowardice. Those guys aren’t going anywhere. That’s a fairly basic thing to remember, they have no where to run to. At some point we will leave, and they will still be there. Best not to give them quotes to throw at our arse on the way out.

      Also, here’s his quote, from the link in the OP:

      “We’ve got no intention of cutting and running from Afghanistan,” the Prime Minister said from his holiday home in Hawaii. “But we do want to see a transference to an honest Government and we do want to see that is put in place.”

      Think about that. We want to see certain results from Karzai, but our support for him isn’t conditional on those results because we won’t be cutting and running.

      • Neil 6.1.1

        “Clinton: We don’t intend to cut and run from Afghanistan”


        Still can’t see how you can get from agreeing with Obama to supporting Bush. Oh of course, there’s no difference between Obama and Bush. If that’s what you believe then why not adress what’s going on today – ie Key and Obama agreeing.

        Seems like an evasion of the real issue

        • Pascal's bookie

          Neil, wtf are you on about?

          Do you think it’s good/wise language to be using, whoever says it?

          I don’t, and said why. Your response is “Hey look! Obama/Clinton”

          • Neil

            title of post is –

            “Key adopts Bush foreign policy”

            pointing out that Obama is Pres, that his policy is not to cut an run and that Key in the article is talking about and agreeing with Obama’s policy.

            it’s quite a jump from that to “Key adopts Bush foreign policy”

            I think the impact on the Taliban of not cutting and running is the actual not cutting and running ie more troops.

            Now if you want to disagree with Obama’s policy then why not deal with that directly. He’s Pres, not Bush.

        • Pascal's bookie

          And suprise surprise.

          I check your link and guess what the first fucking para says?

          Brussels, Belgium (CNN) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejected suggestions Friday that the Obama administration plans to abruptly cut and run from Afghanistan.

          emph mine.

          ffs Neil. She was rejecting a suggestion that they were going to cut and run. Who made that sugestion? They are the ones using the language.

          If you’d be so kind as to offer what thoughts you have, if any, about my comment at
          January 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm. I’d be much obliged.

          That seems a little bit closer to the real issues than your ‘Key is like Obama, Helen supported Bush’ meme that you seem ever so proud of.

          • Neil

            re your post, that’s a very difficult issue.

            On the one hand there’s an obligation to help further womens’ rights but on the other hand the reality can be as in this instance male power structures that might not appreciate that.

            I suppose it takes good judgement on a case by case basis, which isn’t saying much.

            • Neil

              I wasn’t saying Key is like Obama, I was saying he currently agrees with this aspect of Obama’s foreign policy.

              and yes, I do find it hard not to point out how Labour responded to Bush on this issue with how they respond now to Obama.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Fair enough I suppose. It just strikes me as a bit weird.

                It’s not like labour’s approach to Afghanistan didn’t evolve over Bush’s term. We quietly stopped sending the SAS some time back, and neither us nor the US chose to highlight that, for undersyandable reasons. Key then changed NZ’s current policy of not sending thje SAS, (as is his right), and labour confirmed that they would stick with their policy of not sending them.

                There was no great change in Labour’s policy from them to greet Obama, so the distinction you draw seems artificial.

              • Neil

                I had no problem with Labour’s position at the time. But doesn’t it strike you as at least a little bit odd that Labour would send troops when Bush asked but not Obama?

                Things change and policies change accordingly but one significant change has been who’s in the White House.

                I would have thought Obama’s case for troops would be a lot stronger than Bush’s and I would have thought Obama would be a much more appealing partner for Labour if we have to get into these sorts of military conflicts.

              • Pascal's bookie

                No I don’t think it’s strange at all.

                The relevant factor I want to see NZ pollies consider when taking about deployment are related to the mission, not the name of the president doing the asking.

                The situation in Af/Pak hasn’t changed much since we stopped sending the SAS (and do you really think Bush stopped asking?), so your whole personality based scenario just seems bonkers to me. Every time you raise it I scratch my head and wonder why Neil is saying such silly stuff. It honestly looks to me more like anti-labour griping than analysis.

                Do you honestly think that Labour’s position is based on some sort of Anti-Obama feeling rather than the mission?

  7. gitmo 7

    Doesn’t this post make a bit of a liar out of the one regarding Key sitting on his arse doing nothing in Hawaii … just sayin ?

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