Key still wishes we had invaded Iraq

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, September 18th, 2008 - 157 comments
Categories: election 2008, International, john key, same old national - Tags:

Helen Clark made foreign policy judgement a campaign issue today when she told a Grey Power meeting that if New Zealand had invaded Iraq with the US as John Key wanted we would have lost up to 60 soldiers*. Through a spokesman, John Key said “the claim of 60 dead is hysterical and desperate”.

I can’t help noticing that Key isn’t denying that if he had his way we would be in Iraq and soldiers would have died. Instead, he made a misogynist personal attack (yes, it is misogynist, look up hysteria).

Remember, Key is the man who cried we were ‘missing in action in Iraq’. He is the man who said the “war in Iraq is over” a year ago (since then at the very least 7000 people have been killed and tens of thousands maimed). His caucus is stacked with pro-US hardliners like Lockwood Smith and Simon Power, who said we should go to war wherever the US and UK lead and pay our ‘fair share’ in soldiers’ lives. Can we trust Key and this mob not to lead us into the US’s next military disaster?

*[Clark got 60 by calculating our population compared to the US and the US’s losses in Iraq – nearly every nation that helped invade Iraq has lost soldiers, some at much higher rates than the US. Australia got off light with one non-combat death because they didn’t have many combat troops there. Full Iraq causality numbers here]

157 comments on “Key still wishes we had invaded Iraq”

  1. monkey boy 1

    I’m confused. Does this fall under ‘negative’ or ‘dirty’ campaigning?

  2. Billy 2

    Steve, you’re sounding a bit hysterical yourself. And I do not mean that in a sexist way.

  3. monkey boy 3

    At the risk of you coming across all ‘Elaiane Showalter’, I think when the PM can make up a number of dead ‘on the back of an envelope’ as an accusation against the opposition and then you can run a headline supporting that fantasy number, purporting to have an inner knowledge of Key’s ‘wishes’.
    That’s just making stuff up as you go along, isn’t it?

  4. “I can’t help noticing that Key isn’t denying that if he had his way ”

    Reaching Steve, reaching. Clearly the left must really fear the popularity that John Key has in the electorate.

    DPF has an excellent repudiation of Helen Clark’s calculation and demonstrates the likely number is 1 death and even less likely if we had been involved only in the invasion. American deaths were very low during the invasion, around 140 I believe.

  5. higherstandard 5

    You’ve got to give the PM credit.

    She knows WP’s vote base is wavering and she’s working their fears and prejudices hard. I wonder if she’s prepared to go down the “yellow peril” route as well.

    By the way your misogynist line’s getting a bit tired.

  6. vto 6

    Clark is deceptively clever at deception.

    IMO her calculation ‘on the back of the envelope’ and coming up with 60 was dishonest and deceitful. There are many ways in which such a ‘back of the envelope’ calculation could be made. example – her calculation compared to troops employed had NZ then sending 15,000 troops to Iraq. Ha, what a freaking joke. She just knew it would make a good headline.

    Just like her deceit over Winston Bjeikle-Peterson and his own deceit, this again paints her as absolutely no different to most any other politician who makes up shit to grab a headline.

    Oh well, at least she’s consistent – in under-estimating the smarts of most NZers who would call it for the bullshit it was. Maybe that has something to do with the longish term decline in her fortunes.

    She is a deceiver of the most deceptive kind.

  7. Andrew 7

    For goodness sake, Labour sent troups to Iraq and there were no deaths. Now before you say that was because it was after the initial invasion force, the inital invasion was the safest time to be there. In the time that NZ was there was one of the most dangerous times to be there.

    please stop your hysterical spin campain and get your facts right.

    We have had 4 soldiers killed in east teamor, one or which, leonard manning, was a close personal friend of mine from Te Kauwhata!

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics. You spin them the way you want without looking at all the facts! grow up!

  8. Ted 8

    Is Helen Clark on large doses of psychotropic medications?

  9. max 9

    [Tane: We’re not going to host that kind of homophobic bile.]

  10. John 10

    The smell of desperation is overwhelming.

    “Key still wishes’? where has he said that?- oh, no denial. That proves it then?

    “misogynist personal attack’. Well I took you invitation and looked it up. Is this the reference you are referring to in your link?

    “The term hysteria was coined by Hippocrates, who thought that suffocation and madness arose in women whose uteri had become too light and dry from lack of sexual intercourse and, as a result, wandered upward, compressing the heart, lungs, and diaphragm.’

    “60 dead’? Aussies casuality ratio is .01% -assuming NZ sent 8% of our armed forces (or 770 troops) we may just be treating one of them for a broken arm.

    The poor oldies having to hear all that BS, when all they should care about is the 400 deaths per annum on NZ hospital waiting lists

  11. max 11

    Nice one Tane: THere was NO homophobic bile there, but if it makes you feel better about censoring a valid point of view buddy.

  12. max 12

    You care to replace the post with the ‘homophobic bile’ blanked out so everyone can see the ‘homophobic’ context?

    LOL – you people are jokes.

  13. max 13

    Bt I forgot, the new anti-key ‘strategy’ (big word for a bully boy tactic) is to brand him a mysoginist homophobe.

  14. Tane 14

    Max. Other commenters write dissenting points of view here without being moderated, and there is clearly no shortage of right-wing points of view on this site. Your overstepped the mark with your homophobic filth. Stop acting like you’re a free speech martyr.

  15. max 15

    There wasnt one iota of ‘homophobic’ filth in my post – if there was you would have reprinted it.

    You just didnt like how close to the bone my analysis was.

    [Tane: There will be no more correspondence on this matter. Clean up your act or you will be banned.]

  16. Stephen 16

    “Key still wishes we had invaded Iraq”

    Where the hell did he say that? Did he even say it?!

  17. vto 17

    good bit of biffo there

  18. ak 18

    No wonder the frothers are sensitive over this one: there is no doubt whatsoever that if Key had been PM at the time, New Zealand would have become part of the “coalition of the willing” and our country indelibly branded on the lists of various fanatics.

    The brutal deaths of family members is remembered for generations: but for Helen Clark’s maturity and principle, our children and their children’s children would have been potential targets of terrorism forever.

    In an uncertain world the last person we want in charge is a green, hollow, flip-flopping money trader with the gravitas of a wet tissue.

  19. monkey-boy 19

    Oh, I get it now. Thanks ak.

  20. vto 20

    but ak how does clark sending our troops to both iraq and afghanistan with consequent risk of becoming a more high profile terrorism target fit in your partisan summation?

  21. Pascal's bookie 21

    vto, I think most can see the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Most can also tell the difference between the invasion of Iraq, the UN authorised window that we were in there for, and the later occupation that flared up seriously in 06.

    Hope that’s not too partisan.

  22. Andrew 22

    ak – according to the United Nations we are on a list of contries that have been fighting the war in Iraq.

    What do you have to say to that? … once again, please get your facts right before sprouting off about a subject you know nothing about.

    [lprent: Not quite. We are on the list of countries that are doing work in Iraq. In this case after the UN requested help (post-invasion) with critical infrastructure, we sent over EME’s (engineers). I think (from memory) they were repairing water systems.

    We did not help invade or occupy Iraq as part of the coalition of the terminal brown noses.

    “please get your facts right before sprouting off about a subject you know nothing about.”
    Yes well…..]

  23. First off it was disgusting that she used fear tactics and an insult to anyone who has fought for their country.

    Secondly to make up a number by population is just bad math. The American troops have been doing most of the fighting, thats why their death toll is around 4000.

    Taking Aunty Helen’s attempt at math’s, the Australian death toll should be at around 240?

    How many Australians have been killed in Iraq?

  24. Scribe 24

    The smell of desperation is overwhelming.

    ‘Nuff said.

    captcha: arrested $50,000 (no, it was $100k)

  25. brett you can haggle over the numbers if you like. the Aussies lost 1 would that be ok with you? The Estonians two, Denmark 7… how many dead is ok by you brett? Because, like Key, you seem fixated on the number, not the idea we should have sent soldiers to die.

  26. Ignoring the fact that John Key wouldn’t have been PM had National won in 2005, do you have the actual quote of Key saying this Steve? Or are you using the back of an envelope as well?

    Meanwhile, who said “This is an election about trust”? The same person who makes up figures on the hoof.

  27. Felix 27

    Are the special needs schools having a day off today or something?

    You all know very well Key would have had us join the invasion of Iraq. You all know he’ll have us join the next international disaster too.

    It’s not a case of reading between the lines either – he said it and he’s never revised that wish (except to say it’s no longer an issue).

    So why don’t you all just come out and say you agree with him that we should have been in Iraq all along?

  28. vto 28

    the invasion of iraq sukked. humanity at its worst.

  29. Good to see all the trollers out in full force and showing their ignorance in its full glory once again.

    I would love to know the contents of John Key’s portfolio. I wonder if he has Halliburton, Raetheon or Boeing shares to name a few of the profitable war crime corporations.

    Of course little footsoldier to the privatly owned banking elite John Key would have loved to partake in both wars. That’s how bankers make most of their profits.
    They financed both sides in WW I and II and it is very much the MO of the international privately owned banking cartel.

    Helen Clark’s number of casualties is of course purely speculative but chances are that the number she mentions is actually on the low side.
    Helen Clark makes a case for this number but what she does not acknowledge is the contamination with “Depleted” Uranium which is making tens of thousands of US troops ill while their casualties do not appear in the official figures.

    Both Iraq and Afghanistan are contaminated with more than 2000 tons each of ceramic DU nanoparticles causing massive increases in cancer, Leukaemia and child deformities. It isn’t just humans but animals and plant life is affected and will be for the next ooh 4.5 billion years. Ooops, that is as long as the earth has existed so that would mean until the end of times. And don’t worry guys it will come home to NZ with our troops. Wait for the first rapports of deformities. I have heard of one already.

  30. travellerev said “And don’t worry guys it will come home to NZ with our troops. Wait for the first rapports of deformities. I have heard of one already.”

    So it’s true then – Helen Clark did send troops to Iraq?

  31. Tim Ellis 31

    Good on you SP. I do like a good wind-up in the morning.

    Helen Clark’s claim was silly and preposterous. It was as close to your own definition of dirty campaigning that you can get. The numbers were a bald-faced lie. It’s as credible as John Key saying: “If aliens had invaded New Zealand during Helen Clark’s term of office, then she would have welcomed them, and they would have infected the population with disease and wiped out half of New Zealand. If aliens had arrived, Helen Clark would have the blood of millions on her hands.”

    That claim is as credible as Helen Clark’s yesterday. I think it is just filthy to go to a Grey Power meeting and scare-monger elderly like that. Elderly people have an expectation that when the Prime Minister turns up, she is going to put forward the truth. They treat her with respect, as they do all visitors. There isn’t a shred of truth to what Helen Clark said yesterday. Not a single media report gave her credit for it. I suspect if she continues to behave like that, she is going to lose even more credibility with the media.

    SP, there is also no evidence that John Key was being mysogynist. That is an hysterical argument from you. It was very, very weak. That John Key didn’t deny it is not confirmation. Plenty of authors of the Standard have been accused of things, which has not been confirmed or denied. I suspect that is because the accusations have been so baseless that they aren’t worthy of the dignity of a response.

    Helen Clark’s claim was so baseless, John Key didn’t need to dignify it with a response.

  32. Tim Ellis 32

    SP said:

    brett you can haggle over the numbers if you like. the Aussies lost 1 would that be ok with you? The Estonians two, Denmark 7 how many dead is ok by you brett? Because, like Key, you seem fixated on the number, not the idea we should have sent soldiers to die.

    Are you saying SP that we shouldn’t send soldiers anywhere? It is inevitable that if we send soldiers into conflict, there is a risk of death. We’ve lost soldiers in Timor. Helen Clark willingly committed soldiers to Timor, where we still have troops. Does that mean Helen Clark has blood on her hands SP?

    [i’m not arguing all military action is wrong or that it is never worth risking soldiers’ lives, but the vast majority of kiwis didn’t think that iraq was one of those times. SP]

  33. Andrew 33

    “Helen Clark willingly committed soldiers to Timor, where we still have troops. Does that mean Helen Clark has blood on her hands SP”

    Game, Set …. Match!

  34. vto 34

    Tim Ellis, clark and labour have a history of putting fear into the vulnerable. witness the ‘eviction notices’ to tenants last election. Now this to scare the elderly. Disgusting.

    Keep the public in fear ay. Keeps them on side. Interesting to see clark following bush’s lead.

  35. Inventory2,

    The US bombed the hell out of Afghanistan with some 2000 tons of DU in October 2001 before going in and has continued to do so during the entire war. The official story is that New Zealand only send troops to Afghanistan but according to Iprent New Zealand also send civilians to Iraq to help with the rebuilding of the country.

    I have also been told by an ex-military New Zealander that about three hundred ex military have been send to Iraq to train alongside US marines in the recent détente between NZ and the US. He also told me that he knew some 60 of those personally.

    I don’t know about the validity of that claim but I referred to the Afghanistan based troops only.

    Helen Clark has no real control over that part of the NZ foreign policy though. She gets her orders from London and the crown on that one. At least that’s my take on it.

    [lprent: we sent military. The EME’s are the army engineers. Easy enough to lookup I’d guess look around http://army.mil.nz. We sent them in about 2003 ? They were under the protection of the Brits in the south. They were sent afte rthe UN asked for assistance in getting critical infrastructure up and running again after it’d been bombed.]

  36. Andrew. my argument is not a pacifist one. i don’t believe all military action is wrong by definition and with miitary action comes the liklihod of loss of life. that’s actually what most people think – sometimes sending our boys in is the right thing to do and fingers crossed they all come back but key is happy to lose lives for the US invasion of iraq, and that’s where he parts ways with most kiwis.

  37. Pascal's bookie 37

    Tim you seem very defensive.

    I understand that you would far rather that this campaign not be fought on issues of judgement, and that the National parties judgemnet with regard to this issue was appalling, but Helen Clark did not lie.

    You can’t lie about hypotheticals, you can hypothesise though. Which is all she did

    So, not surprisingly, your sophistry once again is dishonest, and it is you that is lying.

    Your mad arse counter theory about aliens falls flat because there was, in fact, an invasion of Iraq, and if we had of had a National government we would have been there, and in all likelyhood stayed there throughout the occupation.

    We know this, because that is what the National party said.

    They said we were ‘missing in action’ and that ‘where America goes, we should go’.

    That is not a popular position these days and so you don’t like people talking about it, but untill the National party explain why they have changed their minds and give us reason to trust their judgement, which is what this is about, then your bluster remains just a diversionary tactic that everyone sees through like a in hole a ladder.

  38. bill brown 38

    Tim,

    I’d be interested to know what your ratio of number of NZ troops killed in Iraq would be to the security of supply of oil into US refineries.

    Would 1 NZ soldier dead to no increase in security be OK?

    Would 1 NZ soldier “with a broken arm” to no increase in security be OK?

  39. vto 39

    P’s B clark deceived those grey power folk (or rather tried to deceive) with her ridiculous assumption. And she knows it. That is as close to lying as you can get without strictly ‘lying’.

    dirty. negative. deceptive.

  40. the sprout 40

    “Key still wishes we had invaded Iraq’

    He must think there’s some short-term profit to be made.
    And who said he was more like Bush than Obama?

  41. Steve:

    Because Aunty Helen gave a false number as a estimate to shock people and get more votes, it was a sick thing to do just to garner more votes.

  42. Dom 42

    Tim, you cannot compare Iraq and Timor. Those of us who have lost relatives in this US led invasion of Iraq find that comparison vile.

  43. RedLogix 43

    Again travellerev hits a vital point; the fact that HC’s ‘back of envelope’ calculation uses an artificially low figure for US Iraqi war casualties in the first place. The US have been using a range of dishonest methods to downplay the real number right from the outset; but alongside this is even more wrenching tragedy of those who return home severely crippled and maimed.

    One aspect of the Iraq war is that soldiers who would have died on their injuries in WW2 or even Vietnam, are now because of the new body armour, improved evacutation and treatment options, are ‘surviving’ to return home alive, but profoundly brain damaged.

    Another astounding aspect has been the suicide rates among returned Iraqi vets. How deeply traumatic must it be to realise that was your tour of service in Iraq was legally and morally wrong; that far from being of any use, you were hated by the Iraqi people.

    And again as trav reminds us, the whole DU issue will not go away. There is just far too much evidence that something very evil has happened here, and one day we will no longer be able to deny it.

  44. Pascal's bookie 44

    vto, It’s about judgement. I think those “grey power folk ” understand that. Whose judgement was right, whose was wrong, and whose can we trust. The National party has given me no reason to trust theirs.

  45. Andrew 45

    “lprent: we sent military. The EME’s are the army engineers”

    Yes we did send engineers as well as soldiers. The point i was trying to make to ak, was that Islamic fundamentalists will not see the difference between other troops and our ‘engineers’ as we are foreign soldiers on thier soil. They obviously don’t hate us as much as the americans or brits, but we were still there in their country. So that makes us a target as well … a very, very unlikely target, but a target in the eyes of some all the same.

    I know a few soldiers that were in Iraq and as well as engineers, they did in fact engage in direct fighting when the need arose. they were by no means on the front line, but fighting and shooting at people none the less.

    So all i was trying to say was it is disgusting that Helen used our brave troops as pawns in her political campaign of fear against John Key.

    Negative, or dirty? you decide.

  46. r0b 46

    It’s as credible as John Key saying: “If aliens had invaded New Zealand during Helen Clark’s term of office, then she would have welcomed them, and they would have infected the population with disease and wiped out half of New Zealand. If aliens had arrived, Helen Clark would have the blood of millions on her hands.’ That claim is as credible as Helen Clark’s yesterday.

    Is it Tim? Perhaps you should buy yourself a tinfoil hat. Those aliens might be out to get you.

    Meanwhile back in the real world Iraq is a moral, social, military (and for the US financial) fiasco that NZ did very well to stay out of.

    I think it is just filthy to go to a Grey Power meeting and scare-monger elderly like that.

    She was very well received Tim, with applause for her comments on Iraq. Nice of you to get all upset on their behalf, but I think Grey Power can make up their own minds, don’t you? Or perhaps your aliens are using their mind control beams on them?

  47. RedLogix 47

    So all i was trying to say was it is disgusting that Helen used our brave troops as pawns in her political campaign of fear against John Key.

    Why? The simple fact is that if New Zealand had sent a useful sized contingent of combat troops into Iraq… as John Key said he would have done…. we would have had combat deaths. If we had sent say 1000 troops, simple calculations suggest maybe 30 to 60 body bags, depending on the range of assumptions you make. There is no denying this. It was a perfectly reasonable thing to point out, that Mr Key’s stated position on Iraq had a logical consequence.

    Or are you merely uncomfortable at having this pointed out to you?

  48. rave 48

    Is this statement by Clark ‘negative or dirty’?
    Neither. The war is dirty, pointing that out is positive.
    The Nats are dirty for wanting to fight in wars for oil for profits. Even Greenspan acknowledged that the war in Iraq was for oil.
    That statement is not negative, its positive, because its advancing the position that this is a dirty war and should be stopped.
    What’s positive? That US invaders are getting killed. What would be more positive? That the US ruling class that profits from this war should be conscripted to put their lives and their money where their mouths are.
    If Key, Power and Co want NZ to get involved in wars for oil for profit, they should be the first to be taxed to pay for them and the first to be drafted.

  49. vto 49

    rave for once i agree with one of your points. those who make a decision to go to war must go and fight the war themselves as well.

  50. Tim Ellis 50

    RedLogix, we didn’t have a thousand troops available to send to Iraq. It is beyond ludicrous to assume that our troops would have faced monumentally higher risks than Australia. We’ve lost more soldiers in Timor than Australia has in Iraq.

  51. gobsmacked 51

    Of course a National government would have had blood on their hands, in an illegal, insane war. Innocent civilian blood.

    I know, them Eye-raqis with funny names don’t count as human, but there you go.

  52. r0b 52

    It is beyond ludicrous to assume that our troops would have faced monumentally higher risks than Australia.

    Tell it to Denmark – they lost 7 times what Australia lost.

    Risks depend on where troops are and how they are deployed. In previous wars NZ has had higher per capita death rates than other Commonwealth countries.

  53. You know my father in law is 82 and completely up and running with politics and 911 etc. He doesn’t scare easily and takes his time researching topics we talk about on the internet and while he has a very respectable age his brain is in excellent shape.

    What gets me on this thread is that the obvious Helen haters all claim that she scared witless semi senile oldies for political reasons.

    From what I gather the people united in the Grey power group are astute, politically savvy and intend on having something to say on how this country is run and making sure their rights are protected.

    To paint them as easily scared senile old sweeties is just disingenuous and patronising.

    Andrew,

    If what you say is true than Helen Clark and Phil Goff are involved in War crimes and an illegal war of aggression.

    Let me make myself clear: Based on the fact that it was scientifically impossible for three steel framed buildings to have collapsed in freefall (11, 10 and 6.5 sec) speed due to the impact of just two Airplanes and based on the fact that the military grade incendiary explosive Nano Thermite has been found in ample amounts in dust of all three buildings that collapse on 911 I am of the opinion that 19 young Arabs (some of whom are still alive and whose “leader” Mohamed Atta loved cocaine, booze and lapdances, in fact he lived with a stripper for two months while “training” in Venice) could not have brought the three buildings down.

    And with that the whole reason for being in Afghanistan is moot because it was after all Osama bin Laden we entered Afghanistan for, remember?

  54. Tim Ellis 54

    Risks depend on where troops are and how they are deployed. In previous wars NZ has had higher per capita death rates than other Commonwealth countries.

    That isn’t true, r0b. Our last major commitment, in Vietnam, saw NZ lose 40 soldiers to Australia’s 436. In the Korean War, NZ lost 43 to Australia’s 339. We lost more people as a proportion to Australia during the First and Second world wars, when we were under British command, but not since.

    [come on Tim, you can do better than haggle over numbers. 6, 60, 600, the first question is whether risking anyone’s life would have been worth it – Key says yes and that’s got to be a worry for Kiwis who oppose these kinds of interventions. SP[

  55. Billy 55

    Ev,

    Can we have one thread where you mention neither 911 nor depleted uranium? Try starting with a thread where you mention only one and work your down from there.

  56. John Stevens 56

    How many NZ soldiers have died in non combat areas since 1999? Must be somewhere around the 5-8 mark, remember the Unimog accident etc?
    Clark is a liar on this and she knows it. It is more relavant to compare to Australian deaths, not USA deaths.
    Lies, lies and statistics.

    [the question is not whether soldiers die but whether it would have been worth sending soldiers to kill and die in Iraq. Key still says yes. SP]

  57. lukas 57

    Billy- thats like asking HC to hold all her ministers to the same standard… never going to happen

  58. Matthew Pilott 58

    Tim obviously forgot Gallipoli. Because there’s clearly no way losses in a war wouldn’t be in exact proportion to the number of troops deployed. Right? It goes like a pretty bell-curve, with perfectly normal distribution.

    At least we’ve all moved past the point of disputing whether people would have died because John Key is ambitious for the US and their oil dependency. Sad that we have to haggle on the numbers that would probably have died for Key’s ‘abmition’.

    I think Clark’s number was high – instead of basing it upon a NZ comparison of US deaths per-capita, a look at the deaths based upon a probable deployed New Zealand force would have been more appropriate. I.e. US 150,000 troops and 4,000 dead. So if we sent 500 troops, fighting where America fought, an approximation would be 13 dead.

    A lot of assumptions there – equal duties, equal risk, and so on. It could easily be far lower, or far higher. Casualties would certainly be well over 60 – as RedLogix pointed out death isn’t the only outcome.

    Interestingly, a comment above stated that most deaths occurred after the conflict. Numerically that is true, because the ‘mission’ was ‘accomplished’ a bit prematurely. 4.13 deaths a day during the conflict, and around 2 a day afterwards.

    http://icasualties.org/oif/

    Ah, found it: AndrewNow before you say that was because it was after the initial invasion force, the inital invasion was the safest time to be there.

    What was that about facts, buddy? Get ’em right.

  59. gobsmacked 59

    What a scary, depressing debate. I suppose this is what happens when people live war through Hollywood and computer games.

    Old “pro-war” argument: “We will send our soldiers to fight and kill and die and get maimed, because that’s what happens in wars, so just deal with it”.

    Not very nice, but honest.

    Modern “pro-war” argument: “We will send our soldiers to war, but nobody will get hurt, at least not in front of the cameras, it will be a nice war, and if anybody does die we’ll have lots of cliched Anzac Day-type coverage and and pretend that it’s all noble and has a great movie soundtrack.”

    And then – obscenely – spin doctors will argue about casualty figures, knowing that they are mere bloodless numbers, a world away from the reality of the war.

    John Key supported the war. The war is a crime against humanity. And any fucking chicken-hawks who support it should be on the front line. After all, if nobody would have died, they would be perfectly safe, wouldn’t they?

    Don’t bother responding unless you’ve got a plane ticket to Baghdad, heroes. The occupation needs you, and you’ve told us how safe it is, so off you go.

  60. Matthew Pilott 60

    Clark is a liar on this and she knows it.

    Given that you, in making the statement, can’t even beging to attempt to articulate it, I can’t see that being the case.

    It is more relavant to compare to Australian deaths, not USA deaths.

    Ahh, it’s where America goes, we should go, not Australia.

    Or are you telling us that you, John Stevens, would have been responsible for the internal deployment of NZ troops in Iraq, and that you know we’d be fighting where Australia was, and not the hotspots the US and UK were?

    Lies, lies, and lies. Not even a statistic. Or an attempt at an argument.

  61. To Bryan Spondre and his readers..

    nice to see you confirming that US intervention in Iraq was, as you say, “the invasion”.

    Democracies as I am sure you know, can be very vulnerable to popular figures.. indeed New Zealand fell under the Rob Muldoon spell several decades back..

  62. rave 62

    Well if the probability was that “up to…how many?..1,2,3…60” would have been killed had National deployed troops to Iraq, remembering that National would have been brown-nosing to recapture their lost ally, then that would have taken care of at at least Williamson, Key and Power and many of the rightwing warmongers who want NZ bristling with arms so “we pay our way”.

    VTO: Of course if the arseholes fought their own wars there would be none.

  63. r0b 63

    That isn’t true, r0b.

    I didn’t say all previous was Tim, or recent previous wars, though to be clear yes I should have said some previous wars.

    Fact remains, as the case of Denmark shows, the risks of a country with troops in Iraq is difficult to predict. And comparing such risks to the risks of invading aliens from outer space, as you did, is to trivialise a life and death matter.

  64. lprent 64

    Andrew:

    Yes we did send engineers as well as soldiers.

    What a puzzling statement.

    EME’s are soldiers first, engineers second. Just as all army medics like I was are soldiers first and medics second. If attacked then they’d defend. But they would not be doing active campaigning.

    So all i was trying to say was it is disgusting that Helen used our brave troops as pawns in her political campaign of fear against John Key.

    Negative, or dirty? you decide.

    The thing that soldiers fear above all else are idiot politicians who put them in harms way for their own stupid political positions. It doesn’t matter if it is Lange with his idiotic ideas about going into Fiji in the 1980’s, or Key’s position on Iraq. Neither appeared to have a point in terms of NZ strategic position. There were no benefits in terms of the international multilaterism from the UN that we usually support.

    I’d say that Helen was making a clear distinction between a politician who looked at the cost-benefits to NZ, and an idiot who wanted to do it because “everyone else was”.

    Now people that talk the way you do about “brave troops” probably should do a course on the politicians bullshit compared to the reality in world war one. Using that kind of approach is not just dirty, it is also moronic because it ignores military history. It is the language of idiot aristrocrats and their braying minions. Damn I started to talk about talkback radio again.

  65. Tim Ellis 65

    Matthew said:

    “Tim obviously forgot Gallipoli. Because there’s clearly no way losses in a war wouldn’t be in exact proportion to the number of troops deployed. Right? It goes like a pretty bell-curve, with perfectly normal distribution.”

    I didn’t forget Gallipoli, Matthew. I conceded that NZ lost more troops in the First World War than other Commonwealth countries. I noted that we were under British command at that stage. We were basically cannon-fodder for the British army, both at Gallipoli and in Flanders.

    In error, I did concede that NZ appears to have lost more troops in WW2 than other Commonwealth countries. In fact, as a proportion of troops deployed, we had fewer casualties during WW2 than Britain did.

    It is also true that many countries who have deployed troops in Iraq have had no casualties in conflict. South Korea has 600 troops there, without a single casualty. Albania has 240 troops under US command, without a single casualty. Mongolia has 100 under Polish command, without a single casualty. Tonga has 55 without a casualty. Norway had 150 troops, without a single casualty. In fact, of the 40 countries that have deployed troops to Iraq, 32 have lost fewer troops than New Zealand has in Timor.

    As for Helen Clark’s claim of 60 New Zealanders returning home in body bags, consider this. Of the the 40 countries deployed to Iraq since the invasion, only two countries have had more than 60 deaths.

  66. bill brown 66

    So Tim, how many NZ soldiers dead in Iraq would be OK for you then?

  67. Pascal's bookie 67

    Tim, stop masticating.

    Which party showed better judgement about Iraq?

    Why did the stupid party get it so wrong, and how can we trust that their judgement has improved?

    Simple questions for a simple sophist.

  68. lprent 68

    Tim: It is hardly the point. Why should have we committed combat troops in an aggressive invasion with no point.

    There was no point for NZ apart from brown-nosing George W Bush. All of the origional rationales for going into Iraq were just wrong, and were known to be wrong at the time. We’d have been sending troops into a war with no military point, no political objectives, and basically for no reason. Any deaths or risk of death would have been unacceptable.

    I find it hard to understand why anyone rational would support John Key in his insistence that it would have been a good idea to follow the yankee republicians into Iraq

  69. Tim Ellis 69

    None, Bill, and if you had spent any time in the army then you wouldn’t dare use soldiers as political cannon fodder the way Helen Clark has.

    There is a real issue about New Zealand’s involvement in Iraq, which Helen Clark is deliberately blurring. New Zealand was involved in reconstruction. New Zealand could have committed further troops, which would have led to an increased risk to those soldiers. Would John Key have done so? Well, he said a few years ago that he might, but he didn’t have any professional military advisers at the time. My instinct is that the advice he would have received, had he been PM, from Foreign Affairs and Defence advisers would have been not to commit troops to Iraq. We were already stretched to capacity in Afghanistan and Timor. Foreign Affairs would have advised him, in response to the US request for troops, to say: “We support you in your efforts. We’re already committed in Afghanistan and Timor. We will send reconstruction troops after the invasion is over.”

    We don’t know what decision John Key would have actually made. Would a Labour Prime Minister have committed troops to Korea? Or Vietnam? Or to Bosnia? It’s pointless to speculate on that.

    What is likely is that John Key would not have criticised the US publicly the way Helen Clark did. She did that, no doubt, because she believed what she was saying. But there was a considerable domestic cost to criticising the US, in terms of our chances of gaining a free trade agreement with the US.

    In my view, the best outcome would have been to make no more military commitment than we did, refuse to criticise the US in the way Helen Clark did, and achieve a free trade agreement. Would John Key have achieved this? Possibly. It wouldn’t have made him the darling of the Left, but the outcomes for New Zealand would have been much better than what we got.

    Helen Clark had no basis for making the claim of 60 deaths in Iraq under John Key, except for scare-mongering vulnerable elderly voters. That is dirty campaigning.

  70. gobsmacked 70

    FFS. This isn’t hard.

    1) You support the invasion and are prepared to inflict and accept casualties – even be one yourself.

    or

    2) You don’t support the invasion.

    Those are the two positions on this issue. Not:

    You support the invasion, but just as long as nobody on your side dies, because that would be like, all gross and icky, and if it did happen you would bring everybody home.

  71. higherstandard 71

    Rather bizarre thread… the PM was just understandably doing some politicing and it all seems to have caused a bit of a storm in a teacup.

    All the theorising and second guessing is as useful as trying to imagine what would have happened if the USA hadn’t gone into Iraq – honestly who really knows ?

  72. higherstandard 72

    Lynn

    Hasn’t the government just “brown-nosed” W over the nuclear issue with India ?

    [just because Farrar said it doesn’t make it so. NZ, Ireland, and Austria formed a core group that would have blocked the US-India nuke deal without getting a list of measures as safeguards to insure the nuke material wouldn’t go to the military program. We got most of our conditions met and dropped our opposition to the deal – politics, especially diplomacy, is the art of the possible, and we did damn well in this instance. SP]

  73. r0b 73

    None, Bill

    Good. Labour achieved this, National would probably not.

    and if you had spent any time in the army then you wouldn’t dare use soldiers as political cannon fodder the way Helen Clark has.

    Because it’s better to use them as real cannon fodder? Oh Please. As Lynn commented above “The thing that soldiers fear above all else are idiot politicians who put them in harms way for their own stupid political positions”.

  74. Billy,

    50.000 first responders (you know the heroes who went to that pile everyday) are dying as a result of the buildings collapsing into dust and them breathing the dust in 20.000 New Yorkers are dying because of the same. The survivors and widows and families of people who died in those towers want a new and independent investigation.

    1.2 million or more Iraqis have died as a result of the events and we don’t even know how many Afghanis have died. New Zealand has troops in Afghanistan who probably would much rather be home because we were going in to “catch” Osama bin Laden whose family has profiteered hugely from the wars byt the way. Around the world including NZ laws have been implemented that curb our freedoms in the name of fighting terror. So if it is all the same to you I will keep on talking about it and to get back to the thread and it’s relevance: According to the US we need to send many more soldiers to Afghanistan. Not to help build up the country but to kill more “Taliban” and “al Qaeda”.

    By the way did you know that the CIA paid Mujahedeen to train as guerrilla’s and that it was the CIA who paid for the Afghani and Pakistani Madrassas (Islamic fundamentalist schools) and that from those Mujahedeen a data base was compiled (Al Qaeda means “the base”) of no more than some 500 names who provoked the Russians to attack Afghanistan in order to get the Russians embroiled in a long protracted unwinnable war. A bit like the US and the Coalition of the w(k)illing is involved in now.

    If we have been lied to in order to get us to go to war than I want to know about it.

    Oh one last titillating little nugget: the bin Laden family is part of the Carlyle group George W. Bush is very good friends with the bin Laden family. In fact he was in the white house while his son was in Florida on the night preceding the events of 911. it is the annual Carlyle investors meeting. Guess who he had dinner with the night before 911; With none other than the guest off honour Safiq bin Laden. Osama’s brother. The Carlyle group is one of the biggest profiteers of both the Afghan and Iraq war.

    Billy do you still think that ordinary New Zealanders should be risking their lives in Afghanistan for big oil and the military industrial complex?

  75. hs. there will be decisions like the decision whether to join the invasion of Iraq to be made in the future as well.. Key’s position on Iraq indicates how we can expect him to behave in the future, just as Clark’s opposition to the Vietnam war presaged her opposition to Iraq.

  76. lprent 77

    hs: I’m still not sure exactly what went on, indeed I’m having problems understanding exactly what are the issues (lack of time).

    The best stuff I’ve read has been at http://addingnoughts.blogspot.com/ and I’m planning to go back there for a closer look.

    So far it looks to me like the US was going to get its way anyway, and we and the other countries agreed on the basis that there were better safeguards (but I could be wrong). I’d point out that I’m highly pragmatic – not green or act supporter (too doctrinaire) or a talkbacker (too ignorant). I don’t make opinions without getting some feel about the facts.

    BTW: the hire car I’m driving seems to only have talkback radio stations. It is like diving into a world of make-believe where people make up ‘facts’ on the fly based on how good they sound. Urgghhhh…

  77. higherstandard 78

    “BTW: the hire car I’m driving seems to only have talkback radio stations. It is like diving into a world of make-believe where people make up ‘facts’ on the fly based on how good they sound. Urgghhhh ”

    Yeech .. sounds like a combination of parliamentary question time and a Privileges committee hearing !

  78. vto 79

    like clark making up her number of 60 dead. maybe she has been spending too much time listening to talkback herself.

  79. higherstandard 80

    SP

    Spin it any way you like – there is nothing to stop India from utilising the Uranium to make more nuclear weapons.

    According to the NY Times we along with a few other countries were leaned on quite heavily.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/world/asia/07india.html?_r=1&em&oref=slogin

    I suspect the NZ Greens have a very different viewpoint to you and Labour and National on this one.

  80. Oh and Billy,

    I forgot all those patriotic American kids that joined after 911 and died and got hurt and are now killing themselves at a rate of some 18 a day because they can’t live with themselves any more after three, four or five gruelling tours, killing Iraqis and getting killed by road side bombs.

    And the hundreds of thousands of those men and women who came back with debilitating diseases caused by DEPLETED URANIUM.

    All because of 911

    In fact one of the brave young men who worked on “Loose chance” had done tours in Afghanistan and two in Iraq. I reckon he felt pretty pissed off when he started looking properly at all the video material.

    You should try it yourself one time.

  81. Matthew Pilott 82

    Tim, those nice warm fuzzy guesses of yours are completely worthless, I’m afraid. Here’s an equally (more in my books) likely scenario:

    My instinct is that the advice he would have received, had he been PM, from Foreign Affairs and Defence advisers would have been not to commit troops to Iraq. We were already stretched to capacity in Afghanistan and Timor. Foreign Affairs would have advised him, in response to the US request for troops, to say: “We support you in your efforts. We’re already committed in Afghanistan and Timor. We will send reconstruction troops after the invasion is over.’

    Key would have replied that where America goes, we go, and that we aren’t about to be MIA in Iraq. He would have withdrawn our peacekeeping forces from East Timor, and our PRT from Afghanistan, and sent them, plus everyone else he could muster, to Iraq.

    As for Helen Clark’s claim of 60 New Zealanders returning home in body bags, consider this. Of the the 40 countries deployed to Iraq since the invasion, only two countries have had more than 60 deaths.

    Yes, Tim, and it’s because we were not fighting there that we didn’t have the chance to be one of them. I already said this:

    I think Clark’s number was high – instead of basing it upon a NZ comparison of US deaths per-capita, a look at the deaths based upon a probable deployed New Zealand force would have been more appropriate. I.e. US 150,000 troops and 4,000 dead. So if we sent 500 troops, fighting where America fought, an approximation would be 13 dead.

    Nice of you to reiterate Clark’s claim, after I had also disputed it. Does 13 dead sound like enough to support Key being ambitious to support US depencence on oil? I’ve already stated it’s sad we’re haggling over the numbers.

    None, Bill, and if you had spent any time in the army then you wouldn’t dare use soldiers as political cannon fodder the way Helen Clark has.

    How so? Looks to me like she’s refrained from doing so, unlike Key, whou would have done so in order to suck up to the US. You’ve got it right backwards.

  82. higherstandard 83

    MP

    In the what if games that are being played why do you think Key would have ignored the advice from foreign affairs and defense ?

  83. lprent 84

    vto: Granny herald in one of the political columns checked her numbers. They said on the basis that she was using (relative to the US troops casualties) that she was wrong. It should have been 55 rather than 60.

    Still far too high for a war that has no point.

    captcha: SAILS Siberia
    JK could do with a little tour… He likes his holidays

  84. Pascal's bookie 85

    HS, do you remember that article a while back with Brash having a wee cry to a journo? He said one of his biggest regrets was not standing up enough for his pacifist beliefs and opposing the Iraq war?

    Why didn’t he? There’s your answer.

  85. Matthew Pilott 86

    It wasn’t ignoring it – according to Tim’s hypothetical advice he would realise that we can’t be in all three theatres (Iraq, East Timor and Afghanistan) and Iraq is the more important one. Can’t be MIA, remember. Where America goes, we’d go.

    What do you think caused the regression in Afghanistan?

  86. lprent 87

    hs: I miss the national programme. It often seems inane when you’re listening to some obscure author waffling about their latest book. But when you hear the alternatives.

    Oh well I stop driving for 2 weeks after friday, and my car will be back at the end.

  87. vto 88

    Iprent, I agree that the Iraq war is wrong on many many fronts, but Clark has just acted like exactly the typical politician – you know, the type that the people know is just making bullshit up to grab a headline. Does nix for the rep of her or any politician.

    Anyways, the Press did a comparison based on US troops employed and said on the basis og 60 dead we would have to have sent 15,000 troops! ha ha, we dont even have anything like that number in total.

    Why do politicians keep taking the public for fools? Is it because the public take the politicians for fools?

    [that’s a totally dishonest comparison that Espiner makes.. The US has cycled a million people through Iraq (actually far fewer, but most of them more than once), it has never had a million there at any one time, most of the time it has had about 100,000. Likewise any NZ deployment would have cycled thousands of troops through but only a smaller number there at any one time. And once again, implicit in what you’re saying vto is that you believe casualties would have been lower and that would have been ok,.. how many dead would have been ok by you? SP]

  88. higherstandard 89

    MP

    That’s one alternative – the other alternative is that after receiving that advice from foreign affairs and defence he would have taken it.

  89. Matthew Pilott 90

    Yes HS, that is a possilibility. I was more pointing out that the nice warm fuzzy picture Tim was trying to paint of Key could very well be a figment of his imagination, and that I could paint a nasty picture that is equally plausible. Which makes his comment that there was no basis for Helen’s comment wrong – you can’t say someone else is lying when you’ve made the number of warm fuzzy suppositions Tim had.

    And what about the next time the US launches an immoral war for oil supply?

    I hope we’re MIA again, but can’t see in under National.

  90. Nomad 91

    Anyways, the Press did a comparison based on US troops employed and said on the basis og 60 dead we would have to have sent 15,000 troops!

    How did they get to that?

    Total Foreign Troop levels in Iraq = about 180,000

    Total casualties = about 5,000

    Gives a casualty rate = about 3%

    3% of 15,000 is 450.

    Someone cannot do some basic arithmetic here.

  91. vto 92

    oh nomad, don’t ask me. i just mindlessly believe and repeat everything i read and hear.

  92. Matthew Pilott 93

    Nomad – Clark’s estimates were based upon a per capita sum. The main flaw being that we don’t have the same number, per capita, in the armed forces as the US. The sums from The Press were based upon the US casualty rate I believe – 4,000 from about 150,000.

    Those sums you’ve put forward are interesting though. It would mean NZ would have to deploy 2000 troops to make Clark’s observation accurate. Still pretty high, but not as wildly inaccurate as some would believe.

  93. Tim Ellis 94

    Nomad, those numbers are the total deployed at any one time. Far more than 180,000 people have been deployed to Iraq over that time.

    Matthew, let’s break it down. The reality is that when the PM has these requests, they then look at their military options. Let’s say that John Key is the Prime Minister, it is 2003, and George Bush rings him up asking if he can commit troops to Iraq.

    He then goes to his Defence Chiefs, and says: “George W wants us to make a contribution. Give me some options.”

    His Defence advisors put forward several options:

    1. Do nothing. Refuse to commit assistance of any kind, either as part of the coalition of the willing, or the later multinational force.

    2. Do nothing now. Remain open to the possibility of committing engineers at a later point as part of a multinational force. Point out our current commitments under UN mandate in Afghanistan and Timor.

    3. Commit to deploying committing engineers at a later point as part of a multinational force. Point out our current commitments under UN mandate in Afghanistan and Timor. (The Clark option).

    4. Commit to removing the special forces unit from Afghanistan, and redeploying it in Iraq, as well as engineers for reconstruction later. Moving special forces from one theatre to another, doesn’t create greater risk for those soldiers. It just moves the geography. A clear commitment of NZ support to the US on the Iraqi front, but removes its commitment in Afghanistan, to no net benefit to the US. I very much doubt Key would have taken this option. Had he done so, there was a possible risk of an extra five soldiers killed in action, at the absolute maximum. Given they were deployed in a similar threat situation in Afghanistan throughout this time, I think to say even five body bags is stretching credibility.

    5. Redeploy an infantry batallion from Timor to Iraq. 400 soldiers. An enormous gesture of support to the US. Yet that leaves Timor abandoned. You say John Key could have done that. I agree, it was possible. Yet Timor has been the biggest commitment New Zealand defence forces have made to any conflict since Vietnam. It is in our sphere of influence. Not even Australia pared back its Timor commitment to put forces into Iraq. Had John Key chosen this option, then maybe ten of them might have been at risk, at the absolute maximum, although even this would have been a far greater fatality rate than any of the other forces deployed by other nations in Iraq.

    6. Commit far more than an infantry batallion to Iraq. Make it our single defence policy goal. Send the entire army and the air force. Put our frigates in the Persian Gulf to support them. If Key had done that, then we might see thirty fatalities.

    Next, separate from the deployment options, had Key been Prime Minister, he would have had several foreign policy options:

    a: Condemn US military action in Iraq. Insult George Bush, and pledge support to Saddam Hussein.

    b: Criticise US military action. Refuse to pledge support to Hussein. Express concern on post-invasion reconstruction (The Clark option).

    c: Remain neutral on US military action. Express concern about post-invasion reconstruction.

    d: Publicly support the US invasion (the Blair/Howard option).

    That latter set of foreign policy options are about gestures and signals. There is little doubt that Australia’s free trade agreement with the US was significantly advanced by taking option (d). There’s also little doubt that New Zealand’s free trade prospects with the US were hindered because Helen Clark took option (b).

    If John Key had been Prime Minister, it is clear he would have taken foreign policy options (c) or (d). If he had taken the former, then New Zealand would have been in a neutral position on free trade negotiations. If he had taken option (d), then we would have been in a positive position.

    Neither of those options involved a threat to New Zealand soldiers in Iraq. They could have been made totally independently of troop commitments.

    Helen Clark pulled her numbers out of nowhere. She chose to do it through scare-mongering. Her much-lauded judgement, in my view, was not flawless over the Iraq War. It cost us a free trade agreement. It meant no loss of soldiers’ lives, but I think there was a perfectly feasible approach to limit risks to New Zealand servicemen, as well as achieving foreign policy and trade outcomes.

  94. Matthew Pilott 95

    So you have to ask yourself, Tim, what would Key have done, what would his preferred option be? I’d say somewhere between 5 and 6. Missing in Action is a very strong statement. It’s virtually saying we’re abandoning our allies, and has implications of desertion.

    b: Criticise US military action. Refuse to pledge support to Hussein. Express concern on post-invasion reconstruction (The Clark option).

    What’s this about Clark refusing to pledge support to Hussein? I’m not aware that she, or New Zealand was asked to do so.

    Your further analysis of this completely ignores the negative consequences of (c) or (d). We are not considered part of the ‘coalition of the willing’. We all know what that means. Australia recently arrested an ‘Islamic terror cell’. Over-hyped perhaps, I don’t know the details, but there were also the Kuta Beach bombings, even though they were prior to Iraq. I bet a lot of people sleep a little bit easier knowing that we’re not considered a target, here or abroad.

    You’re over-stating the effect of Clark’s single comment that the war wouldn’t have happened if Gore won the election. Is there something else to which you refer when you mention that Clark criticised US action in Iraq? It was not a major gaffe (refreshingly honest to some, here and abroad). Our relations with the US have significantly improved over the last 9 years; it is fatuous to claim one comment cost us an FTA with the US.

    An FTA isn’t based upon who said what and to whom, it’s pretty far-fetched to think it would have had any real effect.

    New Zealand’s positive contribution to stability in the Pacific, willingness to work with the US where our goals are mutual (i.e. reconstruction in Iraq), improved defence ties and usefully independent foreign policy under Labour will have had a far greater bearing that a single comment from Clark, or a refusal to send in front-line combat troops.

    Helen Clark pulled her numbers out of nowhere. She chose to do it through scare-mongering.

    Totally false. She used a per-capita calculation. You must know that, must have read that. As I have said above, it was not the best way to work out the cost of defending the US’ access to foreign oil. Nor is it impossible, with a large contribution.

    That you think this is primarily about foreign policy and trade outcomes says much. I disagree even on that though. Our foreign policy has not been affected negatively, and our various contributions have been welcomed over the last 5 years. It will take a lot more to get an FTA with the US, that much is clear. Let’s not forget Australia is still part of ANZUS…

  95. Draco T Bastard 96

    Her much-lauded judgement, in my view, was not flawless over the Iraq War. It cost us a free trade agreement.

    I prefer it having cost us a FTA with the US than having cost our morality for a FTA with the US. Some things shouldn’t be up for sale to the highest bidder.

  96. randal 97

    somehow johhny boy doesnt look like the type to volunteer himself!

  97. Billy 98

    Billy do you still think that ordinary New Zealanders should be risking their lives in Afghanistan for big oil and the military industrial complex?

    I just asked you to stop banging on quite so much about your pet kooky theories. They do not have universal application to any topic we may want to discuss.

    I did not say anything about New Zealanders risking their lives. You have made an assumption about me based on your prejudices. Now that’s not very lefty of you, is it?

  98. Tim Ellis 99

    Matthew said:

    What’s this about Clark refusing to pledge support to Hussein? I’m not aware that she, or New Zealand was asked to do so.

    No, perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I could have been. I used that point to differentiate between options (1) and (2). My point is that there was a scale of options for the Prime Minister to take. Helen Clark did not take the most extreme option. There are a range of measures Helen Clark could have taken, which are probably still in option (1), such as expelling the US ambassador, recalling the New Zealand ambassador, putting in place trade embargoes, ceasing diplomatic relations, declaring war on the US.

    I don’t like to make assumptions about what other people think, Matthew, but I think we’ve agreed that there were a range of military options available to the Prime Minister in 2003. We can assume that the advice John Key would have received from officials would have been the same that Helen Clark did receive.

    Even if there was a strong political will for New Zealand involvement in Iraq, the viable military options were few: we were already deployed heavily in Timor, our largest involvement in 35 years, and in Afghanistan. We simply couldn’t send a batallion to Iraq. Would John Key have changed military priorities so drastically to do so? I don’t think so.

    Could we have sent special forces to Iraq, by redeploying them from Afghanistan? Possibly, but that wouldn’t have been a net benefit to the US. Would John Key have done that? Possibly, as a gesture, but it would not have increased the risk of New Zealand forces, because it simply would have moved their activities from one place to another. I believe John Key’s real military options remained somewhere between points (3) and (4).

    Next, when John Key made those statements, he was not the leader of the National Party. He didn’t have the advisers that Helen Clark had. From memory he was the associate Finance spokesman. You can get away with a lot more hyperbole as a backbench opposition MP about what the country should be doing, than you can as Prime Minister when you’re actually in a position to do it. In the mid-90s Phil Goff was calling on New Zealand to cease diplomatic relations with both Indonesia and France. He was the Foreign Affairs spokesperson at the time. The diplomatic consequences of saying those things as an opposition MP are far less serious than if you’re the PM.

    In retrospect, I think John Key was wrong to say that we should have committed substantially more troops to Iraq than we did. We just didn’t have the military capacity to do it without drastically changing our military priorities. Had John Key been the Prime Minister at the time, with the advisers around him, and the ability to actually carry things out, I very much doubt he would have made the same claim.

    Key’s criticism of Helen Clark’s decision to criticise the US for the invasion was a valid point. You say you don’t think it cost us a trade deal with the US. Maybe it didn’t. It certainly didn’t help improve relations with Washington. In my view, it had a negative impact on those prospects.

    I also disagree that Helen Clark did not criticise the US-led invasion. From memory, it was not just a one-off statement about Al Gore’s decision, had he been President. It was quite consistent. For example, in 2003, on the eve of the invasion, Clark said to Parliament

    It is a matter of profound regret to us that some of our closest friends have chosen to stand outside the Security Council at this point.

    A new and dangerous precedent is being set. It may be possible to justify one’s friends taking such action, but where then is our moral authority when other nations use the precedent which is being set?

  99. randal 100

    is keys still getting hysterical about it. I suppose the thought of actually standing up for your beliefs has unhinged the man?

  100. the sprout 101

    well randal, it would be a lot for a man of his character to deal with.

  101. vto 102

    Mr Pierson, way back up there you asked me how many dead would be a suitable number. I never said or even intimated any such number would be acceptable. All of my points in this thread have been about Clark’s deceiving nature in this matter over numbers. Not about the actual war.

    She was right not to go in with the US. She is not right to deceive in her comment yesterday to Grey Power.

    [lprent: Chris Trotter popped up the calc http://www.policy.net.nz/blog/?p=808

    (The calculation is very simple BTW: US population of 305,149,000 divided by 4,159 US soldiers KIA = 1 fatality for every 73,371 Americans; NZ population of 4,276,100 divided by 73,371= 58 NZ soldiers KIA.)

    So she didn’t. You can argue with the factors in the calculation but there was a basis for the value. I wouldn’t called that deceitful. ]

  102. Billy,

    you are speaking in the royal “we”.
    Every day my blog grows in unique visitors. Apparently there are a lot of people who do want to learn more about what happened on that day.

    The fact that you call scientific evidence kooky theories without informing yourself says more about you than about me.

    I’m sure you don’t go to the links that discredit John Key as a liar and an opportunist either.

    This thread is about war and about whether we should be involved or not. Based on my reality I would have to say both wars are illegal, based on lies and to stay in them is a war crime. In fact it is the ultimate war crime; An unprovoked war of aggression.

    You may not like what I’m writing but it is pertinent to the topic. My reality is what it is. I personally think you are a dimwit with a very poor grasp of reality but I don’t tell you to shut up with your trolling comments and your typical pakeha middle class bloke remarks. Irritating, ignorant and stupid though they may seem to me.

  103. Billy 104

    My reality is what it is.

    Apparently so.

  104. gobsmacked 105

    This was the view of the National Party, as expressed in the Parliamentary debate on Iraq, on the eve of war (March 18, 2003). No National MP dissented, in Parliament or outside.

    Defence spokesman Wayne Mapp:

    “Today I say this: to support the action led by the United States and Britain is the right course for New Zealand. We do so in National because, in the first instance, that ensures that international law is upheld, even when the United Nations fails to act. But in the second instance, our own interests should tell us to support our traditional friends and allies. Those relationships matter most on the tough issues, and this is assuredly one of the toughest of them all. Our position as a nation will be remembered long after Iraq has a new Government, and we will be judged accordingly.

    I conclude by saying that there are times in politics and in the life of a nation when clear decisions have to be made. This is one of those times. Our Government did have the opportunity — which it did not take — to make the right decision, in which enforcing international law would have coincided with defending our national interests. That is the path of failure.” (Hansard)

    (emphasis added)

    National supported the invasion. John Key supported the invasion. The real falsehood is not Clark’s hypothetical numbers, but National’s blatant rewriting of history.

  105. Tim Ellis 106

    Gobsmacked, you have highlighted exactly what I’ve said. National did support the US. I haven’t read the Hansard, but there’s nothing in the quote you’ve given us that says National formally committed large numbers of troops to Iraq. They were simply responding to Helen Clark’s opposition to the invasion.

    This debate is about how accurate Helen Clark’s claim yesterday, of 60 soldiers returning to New Zealand in body bags. There is nothing I have seen that remotely justifies such an hysterical claim.

  106. Billy,

    Yep, your typical pakeha middle class male ignoramus.

  107. vto 108

    travellerev, your last comment exposes you as a complete and utter bigot.

    i am pakeha (mostly), middle class, male, and proud. so get fucked.

  108. Pascal's bookie 109

    No Tim, The debate remains around judgment, and none of your sophistry changes that.

    It’s kind of hilarious though, that you think that our not joining in, and our mild criticisms, were a lost opportunity on the trade front. The war wasn’t about us Tim, and it wasn’t a negotiating tactic on the US’ part. There were other issues involved.

    The fact that the whole WMD thing and the international law business, and the Bush doctrine of preventative war, the neocon theories about transforming the ME through democratic reform via enhanced interrogation and high explosive, and a myriad of other considerations pay absolutely no role in your analysis, not a skerrick, nary a sentence, tells me all I need to know about your judgment on the matter.

    Jesus wept mate. Helen got it wrong because we didn’t get a trade deal, which you admit anyway was unlikely. Is that it?

    You say that the National party wouldn’t have said what they said if they knew better. It wasn’t a bloody secret that we had troops in those other places Tim. It’s not hard to work out what we would have needed to do to fill the promises the Nat’s were making. But they made them anyway. So unless you are saying that they were just politicising the situation for domestic reasons, and that they didn’t really mean it, then that dog won’t hunt.

    You quote Clark thus:

    It is a matter of profound regret to us that some of our closest friends have chosen to stand outside the Security Council at this point.

    A new and dangerous precedent is being set. It may be possible to justify one’s friends taking such action, but where then is our moral authority when other nations use the precedent which is being set?

    It’s a good quote. Where do you stand on it’s content Tim? Not the sophistry. Not the domestic politics of it. Not the bloody meagre effect on our non existent free trade negotiations with the US. The content of what Clark said. Agree or disagree?

  109. This is my primary reason for being utterly unable to vote for the National party.

    1. They swallowed Bush’s lies whole.

    2. They kept them down.

    3. They wanted to whore the lives of Kiwis in Iraq for a possible FTA with the USA….as Wayne Mapp and Simon Power made VERY clear when the PM said we weren’t going to join Bush’s crony capitalist Mid-east gang-bang.

    Those two are still on National’s front bench.

    They are still the same party. They haven’t changed. Your kids could die so they can better trade arrangements.

    Against all the petty smears National throws at Labour, nothing comes close to being as monstrous as the National Party’s actions with respect to Iraq.

    It’s laughable watching National try to play the victim in the “dirty campaign” pantomime. They have been smearing Clark about her sexuality, her marriage and every other thing since 2002 non-stop.

  110. dave 111

    [lprent: dave (previously known as max) we dislike trolling behavior, attempts to incite flamewars and attacks on the site – you have just done all three. Apart from that people take their chances with other commentators.

    This is an attempt to run a re-litigation style flame. It is a classic flamewar starter technique and it wastes my bandwidth. Oh we are not ‘labour’, we support the general labour movement (read the About). That is just a smear that Whale and other fools like to put around because they are incapable of participating in discussion here. It is a excuse and a figleaf for their lack of debating abilities.

    You are now banned for a week. Argue and I’ll happily increase it and I like increasing it rapidly.

    For the benefit of anyone who’d like to know, the moron repeated his entire previous comment stream. Obviously couldn’t find anything new in that tiny mind to write about. ]

  111. T-rex 112

    Dear. Sweet. Christ.

    1) Clarks numbers: It is beyond contestation that the METHODOLOGY was sh*t. No one with a vague grasp of… well… anything really, can debate that. Calling her desperately misleading and disingenious is just basic mudslinging though – do you really think she came up with them herself? Late at night in the office calculating away? Don’t be ridiculous.

    You can take it as a given that someone, quite rightly, decided it would be good to draw attention to the fact that Key supported the iraq invasion (as distinct from the subsequent UN sanctioned intervention) on account of how it provides damning evidence of his total failure to grasp the important elements of the situation. In highlighting the numerous follies of Keys would-have-been decision, someone (may well even have been Clark) said “hey, how many soliders might we have lost if we HAD gone for it?”. So someone who should never have been left anywhere near a calculator went away and performed some fundamentally flawed maths, and came up with 60 or whatever.

    Who the F*CK cares? Some people probably would have died, and whether it is 60 or 6 or ZERO makes no damn difference to the folly of the decision. It just helps give an immediately personal sense of the possible tragedy, which DOES help when trying to gauge the magnitude of something that happened on the other side of the earth.

    All of the debate over how best to calculate the number of likely deaths is essentially just a distraction from the fact that…

    2) KEY SUPPORTED THE WAR, AND BY IMPLICATION THE INTENT OF THE WAR, AND WANTED NZ TROOPS IN THE THICK OF IT.

    Unless someone wants to argue that he didn’t support the intent of the war, but was supporting the war anyway because he has no scruples or standards and didn’t really care whether it was right or wrong because he just wanted in on the old boys club.

    If being involved in the war was right, it would have been right even if we’d lost 100 soldiers (as was illustrated in WW2). If it was wrong, it would be wrong even if we’d lost no soldiers.

    It is safe to say it’s wrong considering it was:
    1) Not sanctioned by the UN
    2) Based on flaky evidence that later proved to be complete fabrication
    3) Undertaken against the advice of even top ranking US generals.
    4) Lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths, expected to total in the millions by the time externalities are completed

    The wannabe sidekick who would be our Prime Minister thought it was a good idea anyway.
    Not because of moral imperatives, global security, likelyhood of a net benefit for the countries involved, or ANY of the REAL reasons a country should go to war.
    Just because he wanted to be best-friends-forever with the USA and, to a lesser extent, the UK. He would effectively have sacrificed our autonomy on the basis of THAT.
    I can just imagine him in the principals office after school.

    Principal: Ok John, beating up Danny Parker doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a smiling young man such as yourself would be into – what’s going on? What’d he do to make you jump in with the other guys like that?

    JK: His name was Danny? Interesting. Well anyway, he bought some lollies at the canteen and wouldn’t give any to Barry Whitmore, because Barry Whitmore beat him up LAST week, so Barry Whitmore and Andrew Lowell decided to beat him up to teach him a lesson, and Andrew Lowell’s dad has a REALLY nice boat and so I thought maybe if I helped then Andrew would invite me on it at Christmas. So, you see, I didn’t want to but really I had to!

    That’s all that matters.
    Key would have got in a fight for no real reason other than he wanted to be friends with the instigator. That makes him a morally bankrupt coward.

    I IMPLORE you to stop debating Clarks numbers. Lets accept the methodology that delivered them sucked and move on.
    Considering the flawed reasoning in some of the above “corrections” I don’t think it’s a good thing to dwell on. It’s what happens when you give a calculator and some basic data to someone who understands neither the problem nor statistical analysis and demand that they produce an answer. I see it at least twice a week in mainstream news and have just got over it.

  112. T-rex 113

    Matt: “An FTA isn’t based upon who said what and to whom,”

    Ironically, however, that’s basically how National hope to get one. “Please pretty please give us an FTA, it won’t cost you very much and we’ll be your best friends and it’ll make everyone else think you’re easy going and cool”.

    Tim: You’re presenting the fact that it might have cost us an FTA as an argument against. I’d say;
    1) So what? If that’s the case, it’s a price I’ll gladly pay – anything else is bloody money (or blood deferred-expense if you prefer).
    2) You really think so? We weren’t going to get an FTA before the end of 2008 anyway, and it’s very possible Obama will be the next president. Black guy, talks well… opposed the Iraq War.

    Frankly, it makes me sad that you don’t feel pride when you read Clarks comments to parliament on the eve of the invasion. I think she was spot on.

  113. T-rex 114

    Oh, and finally (again – Tim)
    “My instinct is that the advice he would have received, had he been PM, from Foreign Affairs and Defence advisers would have been not to commit troops to Iraq. We were already stretched to capacity in Afghanistan and Timor.”

    That is, again, totally irrelevant. Desire to go to war and ability to go to war may lead to totally different outcomes, but the only one that’s relevant in the context of assessing fitness to govern is desire.

    Surely it doesn’t bring you any comfort that we might not have gone anyway because we were committed elsewhere? I mean is that what you’re banking on – that we’ll be so heavily committed elsewhere that the ambitions (heheh) resulting from Keys incompetence and bad judgement will go unrealised? Maybe Labour should commit to UN sanctioned missions throughout Africa over the next 3 years in advance just in case…

    And FINALLY – Vto. With you 100%.

  114. vto and T-rex,

    I count you among the same typical pakeha middle class blokes as Billy so like wise with the “get fucked” (you wish probably) and as far as bigoted is concerned I think you guys and Billy of course invented it. Close minded, ignorant and firmly embedded in the white male supremacy paradigm. LOL.

    Oh, and as far as the FTA is concerned, why would you want a FTA with a bankrupt country?

    Perhaps Helen Clark knew something when she decided to go with China.

    And hey T-rex,

    did you know that thermal expansion of one beam in a building reinforced twice to withstand a nuclear blast can bring it down into its own footprint in 6.5 seconds according to NIST?

    Yep, a little office fire, a little thermal expansion of one big fat steel beam and gabamba gone, 47 floors of steel reinforced concrete turns into powder in just 6.5 seconds.

    Completely new phenomenon. NIST just found it; thermal expansion. Awesome eh?

    This is of course the same NIST involved in the development of a military demolition explosive called Nano-thermite prior to 2001.

    But no, no, no don’t tell me there might be a slight conflict of interest there.

    NIST is a sacred, all good institute which will always deliver an impartial scientific judgement even though they are a government institute and that government by your own standards is a corrupt, lying, warmongering bunch of thugs, hell bent on getting control over the oil fields in the middle east.

    NIST would never give in to their thuggish murdering scum bosses.

    Mate, you believe that you’ll believe anything and I have a couple of bridges you might want to buy.

  115. higherstandard 117

    Eve if there’s someone who’ll believe anything it’s your fine self tulip.

    Too many of those cakes in Amsterdam methinks.

  116. HS,

    Yep. Another pakeha middle class closed minded bloke firmly embedded in the white supremacy paradigm. Sleep on mate. Oh no, make that dream on and let’s hope it doesn’t turn into a nightmare, what with the Western worlds Finance collapsing around your tender sunburn prone ears, eh?

    I wear the name Tulip with immense pride coming from thicko’s like you and just about the only people who smoke dope or eat funny cakes are tourists didn’t you know?

  117. higherstandard 119

    Yes we’re all white middle class supremacists quite right.

    Have a nice day dear.

  118. HS,

    Let me narrow that down to Anglo-Saxon supremacist.
    Like in the Anglo-Saxon western world were the white male descendants of the mongrel nation England think that a world ruled by them is the only world worth living in and everybody else is there to serve the big Anglo-Saxon empire and if they don’t you just bomb the shit out of them and call it “democratising” and “liberating”. Moron.

  119. randal 121

    tell me hs if you would be the first to go?

  120. Matthew Pilott 122

    Trav, at risk of being another bigoted white middle class idiot with my head in the sand, I’m also getting mighty sick of your threadjacking and abuse.

    What you are doing is basically rude – insisting that the debate be on your terms. Guess what – this debate isn’t about thermite, 9/11, the collapse of the US’ financial system or DU. Please have the decency to leave us to it; if it’s not what you want to talk about, talk elsewhere.

    For the record I find some of what you say interesting, and the first few times I was willing to read it, we even had a chat about DU at one stage. But the 40th time…

  121. Vanilla Eis 123

    Eve: Thermite is hardly new to the world of science (For military purposes, perhaps you’re thinking of Thermate?) Neither is thermal expansion. In fact… no, I can’t be bothered.

    Did you even read T-Rex’s last couple of posts before telling him so eloquently to fuck off? He made an excellent and, importantly, on-topic point about why we shouldn’t go to war, but you’re so mired in the fact that he disagrees with you about 9/11 that you don’t even take the time to address his post.

    You’re showing Rex considerably less respect than he gave you when he took the time to debate (at great length) the 9/11 collapses.

    Stop trying to drag threads off topic, it’s frustating to watch and doesn’t get you anywhere either.

    p.s: As a lower-class pakeha, I’m also offended when you start labelling us broadly. vto is right – just because it’s aimed at white people doesn’t mean it isn’t bigotry.

  122. higherstandard 124

    Randal

    In Eve’s delightful little world ……. Yes Randal I would be happy to be the first to go.

    The poor dear is nuttier than squirrel poo !

    [lprent: I’ve never seen a squirrel, let alone their crap – relevance?]

  123. Vanilla Eis 125

    And MP beat me to it…

  124. higherstandard 126

    Lynn

    Nuttier …… than squirrel poo.

    Feck I give up and Tane accused righties of not having a sense of humour !

  125. coge 127

    Hey Trav, (to quote Owen Glenn), what time is your flight leaving?

  126. Matthew Pilot,

    It takes a long time for me to call someone a bigot or an idiot. It usually happens when people like Billy or HS troll without actually adding to the debate. I am white myself and I don’t judge every pakeha. In fact most of my friends are pakeha while as a maori friend of mine explained to me in fine detail pakeha’s are part of the NZ human landscape I am just a toa iwi. (foreigner) LOL.

    So please, don’t feel offended if I single out a small group of bigoted commentators here whom I feel are patronising and act as if they have the right to decide who engages here and how.

    This thread is about war; should we be involved and with how many and whether John Key would have us taken to Iraq.
    While I have no doubt about the fact that John Key would have done exactly that, what bothers me is that for some reason most of you seem to think that the Iraq war is bad and the Afghanistan war is good.

    I just happen to have a different outlook on both wars.

    I think they are both bad, illegal and genocidal.

    I do so because after three long years of 8 hours a day study I have come to the conclusion that it would have been impossible for three buildings to have come down in freefall speed into their own footprint just because they were hit by two planes in the two towers designed to take the impact of just such a hit.

    Which means that perhaps we have been conned into an illegal war of aggression.

    I don’t want to force a 911 discussion as such but I am entitled to that opinion and if someone challenges me I think that within reason I’m entitled to meet that challenge because if I’m correct than Afghanistan is also an illegal war of aggression and New Zealand should not be involved in that one either. In fact it would make Helen Clark and Phil Goff eligible for their day in court in the Haque.

    Added to that I have questions about the use of DU in both countries.
    For example if we are in Afghanistan to catch Osama bin Laden (the big baddy in the 911 myth after all) or to help the country rebuild or to free the poor oppressed women then why is New Zealand (fervently anti nuclear if I remember correctly) involved in this war while our coalition partner the US is bombing the country back to the stone age with more than 2000 tons of DU.

    What is so liberating or good about that and why are you guys not asking those same questions?
    Why is nobody asking what the heck we are still in Afghanistan for. Osama only shows up when the US government needs to scare the shit out of its citizens. Nobody is looking for him and in fact he is not even on the FBI most wanted list because there is not enough evidence.
    The plight of women is even worse than under the Taliban and in fact the Taliban is resurging and stronger than ever.

    I am all for putting the Iraq war on the election agenda but while we’re at it let’s have a second look at the Afghan war as well, eh.

    Matthew, I think I am entitled to engage in the discussion from this point of view. To tell me not to engage in a discussion based on the fact that my world view is different to yours because I introduce elements in the discussion you don’t like to look at is, excuse me, insisting the debate is on your terms.

    Now most of the people debating or commenting here are from Anglo- Saxon descent. You probably all have a strong sense of bonding with the US, Australia and the UK. You share your ancestry with these countries after all but I don’t.

    My history books were different from yours. Where I grew up I was taught that while archduke Franz Ferdinand was indeed shot in Sarajevo this was not the real reason for the beginning of the second world war. One of the real reasons was the fact that Germany was building an oil pipeline to the middle east and that had to be stopped.
    We were also taught that Germany instigated “False flag” incidents to get into war with Poland and to get the German people ready for war.
    So the Dutch having lived through the second WW are very aware of the deviousness of governments. You see the difference?

    We learned to take a step back from our rulers and became a lot more distrustful of them.

    Now let’s take another step back; The Bush family financed Hitler and made money from the slave labour in Auschwitz
    In fact Prescott Bush Georges grandfather actively sought to perpetrate a fascist coup on the USA in 1933.

    I’m sure that was not in your history books either.

    So to get back to the thread; Helen Clark upset a great many people by suggesting that John Key would have taken NZ to Iraq because the NZ population thinks that Iraq is a bad war.

    Knowing what I know and assuming people want to learn all there is to learn to make a sound judgement I inserted my point of view based on that knowledge into the debate.

    The debate about Iraq is good but Helen can not debate Iraq only because it gives her political advantage over John Key without some people (like me) saying, “Hang on Helen while we are discussing Iraq what about the other one “the forgotten one” the one we are officially involved in, the one were our coalition partners are shooting the crap out civilians with more than 2000 tonnes of DU contaminating that country for the next 4.5 billion years while we the NZ punters are told that we are good little partners of our big brother who just happen to be ruled by a family of Nazi sympathisers.”

    You see were I’m coming from?

  127. Vanilla Eis,

    Did you check the link about NIST and their connection to Nanothermite?

    Yes, thermate is old news but with the development of Nano technology NIST scientists have come up with incendiaries that are so volatile, hot and explosive that even mixed in a gel and sprayed on steel it can cause the steel to melt instantly when ignited.
    And that was developed prior to 911 by them and they did not even entertain the notion that an explosion might be the cause of the collapse. Why? because nobody witnessed explosions loud enough. How is that for a scientific approach? The fact of the matter is there was ample evidence of explosions just before the collapse nd even before the first tower collapsed. Check out my blog if your interested.

    Yes, thermal expansion is as old as the world. In fact I use it to open jam jars etc. by holding the jar under the hot tap. What is new about it though is that a relatively small office fire was able to heat up one massive beam in a structure reinforced to withstand a nuclear blast and to cause it’s collapse in 6.5 seconds into a pyroclastic flow of dust into it’s own footprint.

    And yes, I read T-rex’s complete post and I agree with him on this topic. But I did not tell him to get fucked. I just returned the pleasure because he agreed with vto about me getting fucked.

    T-rex claims he’s a Physicist which means he should understand the laws of Newton and should be able to distinguish when they are violated. Buildings don’t collapse in freefall speed into their own footprint due to thermal expansion after a relatively cold office fire. The fires burned in different places all day warming some places up and cooling in other places never heating up the steel more than a couple of hundred degrees not enough to cause the collapse but making it impossible to place explosives to be placed that Larry Silverstein claimed they “pulled” the with.

    So, if 19 young Arabs could not have done this no matter how crazed they were than why are we attacking oil rich Arab countries?

    Why is it easier for us to believe 19 young Arabs were able to do the impossible and it is OK for us to destroy their countries than take the time and ask for a new and independent investigation?

    Why do I write here? I want to debate with the people here because this is a political site with people trying to make sense out of the political landscape they live in. We are heading for one of the most important elections this country has ever seen and I want to get things on the political agenda.
    For example I want this country out of Afghanistan. I want the NZ troops save and home.
    I don’t want politicians like Helen Clark or John Key making political hay out of the destruction of any country and I want to have the Afghanistan debacle and monstrosity of DU on the political agenda and if you have any decency you should too.

  128. lukas 130

    for those of you wanting a readers digest version of the above two comments… Bush blew up the towers then dumped uranium on his own troops.

    John Key is to blame for all of this as he has a holiday home in a small island in the Pacific.

  129. Vanilla Eis 131

    Eve: no, I didn’t check out the NIST site, because I came to this thread looking for a discussion about NZ’s political motivations for entering or avoiding the Iraq war. I’m not terribly interested in 9/11, and I’m certain that many do not share your unbridled enthusiasm. This is why they do not appreciate your thread-jacking as much as you might like, and leads to frayed tempers and name calling.

    Please, leave the 9/11 stuff to threads about 9/11 (Amazingly, I don’t think I’ve seen a single one, but I know I’ve read maybe close to 100 posts from you on the topic) and post relevant political things in the relevant political threads.

    Lynn appears to be far more tolerant than many of the other posters here.

  130. OK VE,

    We’ll just take a few minor events like two bloody great big wars totally out of context and discuss them shall we.

    In blissful ignorance about the historical context and firmly believing that all Arabs are our enemies and deserve what they get because Oh, wait a minute yeah, they attacked us on 911. So it’s ok to use 911 as an excuse to destroy ancient countries and their peoples under the guise of bringing freedom and democracy while bombing the fuck out off them with DU but we will not examine that day to make sure that what we are doing is actually justified.

    Sounds like a plan mate.

    And while you lot do that a little under 1300 people visited my site yesterday and what did they want to learn most about? Ooh oops, New Zealand’s role in Afghanistan and the events of 911. And many of them came via this site. So perhaps you don’t give a fuck but there are plenty who actually do. On sites like this only a handful of people actually bother to comment but trust me this site has plenty of lurkers and they are curious and it seems pretty open minded.

    And who knows VE (your name always conjures up that bland white rapper from way back) perhaps Lynn is one of them.

    And thank you for reading all my posts who knows something might actually stick one day.

  131. lukas 133

    Eve- how did VE’s comment say that at all? Way to read something into it thats not there

  132. higherstandard 134

    Danger danger don’t engage don’t engage !

  133. Neh, HS

    Can’t be bothered. He’s such a runt. Just like I won’t bother with you.

  134. lukas 136

    ….how do you know that? Are they watching me and feeding you information? Maybe I should head to the cafe downstairs and borrow their stash of tin foil and wrap the walls of my office in it?

    sigh.

  135. Vanilla Eis 137

    Eve: … and you totally missed my point.

    If you want people to read your site, then link to it in your name (which you do) and make partial posts here, with a link to the rest of the post. It’s still threadjacking, but it’s a bit less intrusive.

    This post was not about 9/11, or even related. It was about whether or not it is right for NZ to follow the US into a war to strengthen our relationship. The justification for Iraq was never that Saddam supported the 9/11 bombers, so there’s no need for you to bring it up.

    Instead, you could perhaps write a post about how the US continually fuck over any country they sign a FTA with, and why the hell would we want one anyway?

    vto, HS and Rex told you to ‘fuck off’ because you’re distracting from the debate. They’re frustrated that we cannot even broach a topic like this without a barrage from you. You might notice that they don’t manage to agree with each other on anything other than the fact that your 9/11 conspiracy posts are annoying.

    So, please, just stop ramming this stuff down our throats. Fine, make small posts occasionally to get your site some traffic, but I don’t even want to count the number of words you’ve left behind on this page that most people will skip as soon as they see your name.

  136. rave 138

    Trav:
    Yeah I bet Key would have used the same arguments, that war with Iraq in the last analysis was necessary as part of the war on terror. 9/11 gave them the moral high ground to get into genocide. Hypocrites.
    And Key would have been in like Saakashvili with thousands of troops to suck up to Bush. That historical scenario precedes any debate about how many body bags might have eventuated.

    The righties here while backing Key know that the body count is what turns people against wars. They don’t ask questions when a few almost accidental deaths occur (like the Aussie who shot himself) or about wars authorised by the UN, but 60 body bags, that’s embarrassing, that has to be explained.

    OK so let’s work back in history from today cause that’s when the election is. Key’s now ambivalent on the war, he even thinks its over. Therefore, he probably wouldve been advised not to go (he might have listened to Rodney). Anyway, if he did go, it would have been proportional to Aust, therefore our body count would have to be proportional, i.e. none.

    So thanks for the history lesson. Especially Franz Ferdinand. They were wars for oil even then.

  137. Lucas,

    What a strange thing to be contemplating, I use tinfoil for BBQ’s and covering food etc.

    VE

    VE, HS, Lucas, vto and to a somewhat lesser extend T-rex, yeah you really represent the Standard and it’s readers. A bunch of self-righteous pendantic twits who can barely manage one sentence and who slam on anyone with a different point of view. Not.

    Read my answer to Matthew Pilot as to why I write here and it’s not because I want people to read my blogs. That is just a bonus.

    I find the energy you put in trying to shut me up equally annoying but since some readers here actually think that my research and links count for something I hope that you don’t mind that for the time being I’ll just continue what I’m doing and ignore your bullying.

    vto and T-rex told me to get fucked because I dared to call Billy a typical pakeha middle class bloke and vto took offence to that and so did T-rex.

    What is it with guys like you and Billy that keeps you talking in the royal “we” anyway. I don’t know anybody on this site so I won’t presume there is many of “we” on my side. I just write and sometimes I get good feedback and sometimes bad but you guys always make it about we the many and you the lone nut to shut people up.

    I approach our involvement in the Afghan and Iraq war from the point of view that 911 wasn’t committed by 19 Arabs because it was scientifically impossible and therefore both wars are illegal and genocidal and all who partake are committing the ultimate war crime; Both wars are illegal first strike wars of aggression and the perpetrators should therefore be send to the Hague and tried accordingly. That was what the Nuremberg trials were all about.

    Since according to my point of view the responsible ones probably were part of the Pentagon and criminal factions within the US government, cooperation with them is criminal and whether we do so for personal gain in free trade agreements (with a bankrupt country?) or idealism is neither here nor there.

    The wars play out as for profit and we should therefore pull back our troops. To continue to cooperate with parties who destroy and kill for personal gain is criminal in it self and for Helen Clark to use the war in Iraq to gain political points on John Key is disingenuous and dishonest but she can only do so because Kiwi’s generally still believe that we are the good guys in Afghanistan.

    You may or may not like my point of view but to tell me to not speak from that point of view just because you don’t believe it or because you don’t care or you don’t want to be confronted by the fact that millions of people everyday wake up to the inconsistencies in the official version because their governments allow documentaries to be shown on TV or their media are more independent than ours(20 million Russians saw Zero 911, and Italian documentary on the 11th of this month for example Italians have produced many 911 documentaries but than they had the CIA organise Gladio and bomb attacks in their country to content with) and are given information about the deceit on that day world wide via their TV’s and media except in the Anglo-Saxon countries, is asking me to censor myself.

    It’s like saying you can only talk if you talk in my paradigm and that means you are behaving like a little boy with fingers in his ears and yelling at the top of his voice, “I can’t hear you” when told something you don’t want to hear.
    Nobody is forcing you to read what I write so just get over yourself OK and stop behaving like a child.

    Thanks Rave,

    McCain and that creepy Palin were chosen to run with a video of the towers burning in the background. Sick, absolutely sick.
    And John Key’s remark about the Iraq war being over just shows what a political debacle his foreign policy would be. Yuk.

  138. T-Rex 140

    “I do so because after three long years of 8 hours a day study”

    I can’t decide if that’s more hillarious or depressing. I think it’s depressing.

    To others above – thanks for the support. HS is on the mark though, refusal to engage is the only thing that works, ALL attempts to reason have, thus far, been TOTALLY ignored. I could make a list as long as my arm of insults and denial of established facts. And that’s if I used some sort of microfiche – in #8 font it would stretch the length of a street.

    Don’t play with the tantrum child! It will bring no good to your soul or sanity! Learn from my incredibly ill-advised sacrifice of time and energy! Follow the teachings of the great and wise Bill Brown who did say unto me “T-Rex : Zip it”.

    Bill: I’m a-zippin’. One day I may acheive Zen 🙂

  139. T-rex,

    Buildings reinforced to withstand a nuclear blast do not collapse in 6.5 sec due to an office fire, it is that simple.

    Established facts my ass. deuh, Thermal expansion?

    You claim to be a physicist do the math, do your job, you dimwit.

  140. higherstandard 142

    Dear Tulip

    Very few office fires have been started by airliners flying into buildings while loaded with fuel.

    Have you ever heard of gravity apparently it exists.

    Danger danger don’t engage.

  141. Go The Right 143

    Great work done here by The Kiwiblog crew just showing how low Helen will go to remain in Power. We all expect her to dredge some of these up next.
    Why is Key so silent on that day in Dallas on the grassy knoll and what was he up to in Sarajevo in 1914?
    John Key disabled the warning signal at Tangiwai.
    John Key has been known to mix formula milk at home,
    Financing Osama BinLaden whilst at Merrill Lynch
    Members of the Manson cult are also known to have celebrated John Key’s 8th birthday by slaughtering Sharon Tate and others
    John Key was also seen leaving Cape Canaveral prior to the launch of Challenger, with an o-ring hanging out of his briefcase.
    He was smoking a cigar on the Hindenburg too.
    I understand he was seen near a hill outside Jerusalem one Easter over 2000 years ago carrying a hammer and three nails as well. However,
    He was also seen fiddling with the hatch of Apollo 1
    It was JK that gave Greg Chappell the idea
    Add up the Ascii values of the characters “John KEY’ and you get 664. makes John Key the neighbour of the Beast
    John Key shot Bambi’s mum
    Does he have an alibi for September 10 2001? Has anyone in the MSM thought to check?
    At the 1995 Rugby World Cup, dressed as a waitress called Suzie, John Key
    it was not the Grinch who stole Christmas. Indeed it was John Key.
    John Key is actually Elvis. He faked his own death to join the National Party.
    John Key dumped all his shares in Union Carbide in November 1984
    John Key framed Roger Rabbit. And Winston.
    A JohnKey stole my baby!’ not a dingo

    [lprent: Tell me – do you understand how to link? Read the FAQ. There is really no need to copy and paste except to illustrate a point. ]

  142. T-Rex 144

    “John Key shot Bambi’s mum”

    That one’s true – the rifling on the bullet matches the one pulled from JFK.

  143. HS,

    WTC 7 was not hit by an airplane you fuckwit.
    Gravity is actually a very weak force and can easily be withstood by a light weight bird.
    It does not collapse reinforced to withstand nuclear blasts buildings after an office fire. Oh, and these are the exlosions preceding the collapse and funny enough firemen apparently knowing that the building was being pulled.

    T-rex you’re a smart man, look at it and show me were you think I’m going wrong. You’re a physicist do your job.

    And guess what pathetically called “gotheright” your John Key was managing “debt” in 1999 when the subprime crisis was born and prepared and he was happily advising Alan Greenspan as a rep for Merrill Lynch together with guys from Citigroup, UBSWarburg, Lehman Bros, Ooh oops, the four banks most affected so far by the financial collapse of the western world.

  144. Oh HS,

    The planes were not fully loaded with Kerosene and most off it burned of in the first few seconds. HS I don’t expect you to understand you simply don’t possess enough brains but T-rex, black smoke, you physicist you, black smoke coming from a fire?

    Ever tried to cook on LPG on a LNG (Liqued natural gas) stove? Soot baby soot. Lots of soot.
    Black yukky stuff in the dish washing machine. A Cold fire. An inefficient fuel to air ratio, you numbskull.

    Office fires, even badly burning ones started by Kerosene, do not bring down steel reinforced skyscrapers in freefall (10 and 11 seconds) clouds of pyroclastic flows.

    And to get back to the thread: We should not be involved in the wars that were started as a result of 911 because it was an inside job. It was a false flag operation that killed two New Zealanders amongst others.

    Out fishing and whitebaiting today dear baiters, hope you can wait until sundown for more real world info. LOL.

  145. RedLogix 147

    Even when the 911 Commissioners themselves repudiated the very investigation they had presided over as “set up to fail”…. most people still could not bring themselves to admit to even the tiniest bit of doubt about the report and still refer to it as authoritative. Still to this day refuse to examine or even debate the hundreds of questions and contradictions in the official story.

    The hard, weird reality is that no matter what evidence comes to light, most people have too much psychologically invested in the official story to ever abandon it now.

  146. higherstandard 148

    Tulip

    I think you must have been smoking your own dung again.

    WTC7 was not hit by any airplanes but there does tend to be considerable damage caused when two of the worlds largest skyscrapers collapse next door – it’s a bugger that gravity !

    Add to that the fires that were going on and you get a recipe for a collapse.

    Black smoke is likely to have been caused by combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper.

    Red Logix I think you mistake healthy scepticism with over paranoia !

    In any situation one needs to ask what’s the more likely answer. A group of nuts who decided to hijack jet liners and fly them into buildings or a conspiracy which involved the US government being complicit in hijacking jet liners and murdering their own citizens.

    Eve has embedded herself in her own belief set which is fine but she should keep it to her own blog where people actually want to discuss it …. or not.

  147. randal 149

    hs is there any possibility that you could refrain from insulting everybody you disagree with?

  148. higherstandard 150

    Randal are you HS ?

  149. Felix 151

    We’re all pretty much accustomed to your condescending attitude Dr higherstandard, but why the racist slur “Tulip”?

    Bit off even for you isn’t it?

  150. HS,

    Your ignorance is truly staggering.

    According to NIST there was no damage to speak of and no steel framed building has ever before or after 911 collapsed due to fire even though there have been fires much hotter. According to NIST it was the thermal expansion of one beam which caused the building to collapse in freefall speed into pulverised concrete into it’s own footprint in 6.5 seconds. They usually pay millions to have this done with controlled demolition but I guess all we need is a little fossil fuel and a BIC lighter from now on.

    The Twin towers also collapsed into pulverised dust and WTC 7 was in the outer debris field with many other buildings which did not collapse. Some of these buildings are still standing and are to toxic to be taken down. Three years after the attacks bone fragments were found on the roof of Deutsche bank 60 meters away from were the towers had stood. Gravity does not blow bone fragments everywhere.

    A building twice reinforced to withstand a nuclear blast (Giuliani’s bunker was housed in the building) does not collapse into fine dust because some file cabinets caught on fire.
    Listen to Barry Jennings who died mysteriously two days before the NIST rapport was made public and who told the world of the explosions inside the WTC 7 before the either of the Towers collapsed. He was not alone that day. He was with Michael Hess on his way to Giuliani’s bunker who confirmed the story that Jennings told.

  151. RedLogic

    You know what is so surprising is the fact that most people now more than ever seem to wake up from the fear induced that day.

    Around the world there are huge groups going out the 11th of every month to give information and 80% of Americans now want a new and independent investigation.

    In New York activists have collected 30.000 signatures to get a new investigation going and they did so with the help of celebrities such a Governor Jesse Ventura, Willie Nelson, Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, Christine Ebersole, Sen. Mike Gravel, Daniel Sunjata(rescue me), State Senator Karen Johnson to name a few.

    We have been told by journalists that 911 is officially taboo on NZTV 1 and 2 and may not be discussed even though the journalists we spoke to want to put some of the documentaries on.

    On the 11th of September 20 million Russians watched a mainstream Italian documentary called Zero 911. this film has been shown to Italians on mainstream TV and a lot of European senders.

    It is just that in New Zealand all the major media is either foreign owned or state controlled and you have dimwits like HS who thinks he knows it all.

    By the way if you want to know how most of the families of those who perished in the towers feel about the 911 (all of whom had ties to the military industrial complex) commission you could watch 911 Press for truth about four republican Bush voting 911 widows and their heart wrenching quest to find out what happened on that day and how they had to fight to even get the 911 commission formed.

  152. T-Rex 154

    To clarify my position – I’m not claiming that no element or affiliate of the US government was involved in orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. It’s possible, motive and opportunity both exist, and it’s quite possible we’ll never know for sure.

    Trav, I’m not arguing with you, I’ve done so at great length before and got nowhere because you are completely close minded and have spent (as you say above) 3 years at 8 hours a day entrenching yourself in the mindset you’ve picked. In that time you could have done an engineering degree and would actually understand the arguments you are making (and their flaws) but instead you mindlessly recite mantras such as “6.4 seconds” and “pyroclastic flow” as though they somehow lend credibility to your argument – all the while ignoring the obvious (such as, especially in the case of wtc 1 and 2, video evidence). So, there’s nothing to be gained by arguing the point with you.

    So far, the only thing I agree on you about is DU, which is nasty shit (but that’s nothing unusual in war). However, the US has not “bombed the sh*t” out of anyone with it – DU is used for kinetic penetrators, rarely present in bombs. Just to be clear on the cause of gulf war syndrome though – it’s heavy metal toxicity, not radioactivity. I’m only mentioning this because radioactivity is what people usually associate with uranium.

    “Gravity does not blow bone fragments everywhere.”

    Please please just stop. You honestly have no idea what you’re talking about at all and it’s painful. Go back and read all that stuff I wrote so long ago about energy dissipated in the tower falling that far and dispute it if you can ON THAT THREAD. And with REASONING, not buzzwords and emotive rants.

    For what it’s worth, I think the lifestyle you’ve chosen sounds great and is probably good for the world, I just hope you stop spending so much time on a pointless web crusade one day. Especially in consideration of the fact that:
    1) Your car still doesn’t run on water,
    2) You’re becoming that which you claim to hate (you’re rude, you ignore facts, and you try to shout down and insult anyone who disagrees with you while using “oppressed persons” language to defend your actions).

    So far every single time I raise a valid point you just completely ignore the implications (and it’s happened often enough to be statistical certainty), so you must be able to understand my reluctance to try again.

    Especially since there are mountains to be explored.

    Adios

  153. higherstandard 155

    Felix can you tell me what other flowers are racist slurs so I can avoid hurting your delicate sensibilities.

  154. T-rex,

    About our fuel cell: On the 10th of September I drove with a full tank of gas from somewhere near Hamilton to Wellington. I arrived at Wellington with 620 km on the clock and still above the empty line.
    My car used to have a maximum range of 450km. That makes for a 170 km increase and I could have driven a lot longer. On the 12th I drove back and arrived at my home with 580 km on the clock and the day after we drove an additional 70 km before we filled her up again. The gauge had only just touched the empty mark. I don’t know about you but that is good mileage in my book and all that with the help of a little bit of water.

    About the closed mind thing on 911. I did not choose a mindset. it took me about a year and a half to accept that 19 young men could not have done what the US government claimed they had done and another 1.5 years to read watch whatever material I could find to be sure I had come to the right conclusion.

    About the you don’t know what your talking about bit the following. Whatever, you physicist you, the man who doesn’t comprehend Newtons laws of motion and believes that the amount of energy needed to pulverise three huge steel framed buildings in freefall speed of 6.5, 10 and 11 sec could come from two not fully fuelled planes.

    Regardless of what you think it is very important; the time it takes to pulverise buildings into their own footprint.
    People used to pay millions to have buildings blown up with that kind of precision. I guess they must feel pretty ripped off knowing now that all it really takes is a couple of office fires and and the thermal expansion of just one beam to collapse a 47 floor skyscraper reinforced twice to withstand a nuclear blast into a pile of dust into its own footprint in just 6.5 seconds. LOL.

    Any way you may think I’m stupid but I’m in bloody good company with scholars, architects and engineers, Fire fighters, pilots, militaryand other US patriots all wanting a new and independent investigation whereas you have to do with losers like HS and Billy, oh and that other nitwit, Lucas which is sad really because you are not entirely stupid and I like a lot of what you write.

    By the way DU is not just nasty stuff now but will be for the next 4.5 billion year. It used to be that the effects of war would wear of over a few decennia, but these wars will never, ever stop, and not just for the Iraqis and Afghans, but for the US soldiers and the soldiers of every country that has troops stationed in both countries and that includes the New Zealand troops. That is a huge difference.

    For the person still believing that DU is only used as a an armour piercing weapon: DU is now used in every form of projectile. from bullet to grenade to bomb.

    Hi Felix,

    The term Tulip, coming from a thoroughly pathetic character with the moniker Higherstandard (whatever) is a batch of honour to me but thanks for calling him on his condescending pratty behaviour.

  155. Bugger, in purgatory again. Help, Heeeelp.

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