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NZ sending troops to Iraq

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, February 23rd, 2015 - 227 comments
Categories: iraq, making shit up, us politics, war - Tags: , ,

New Zealand will be sending troops to Iraq, and you read it first on The Standard.

October last year, ISIS Talks with Obama May Signal New Zealand’s Imminent Decision to Join Fight.

The Defence Force revealed that military leaders from various countries do not meet regularly and admitted that it was not just a “normal” meeting. It was the first time a meeting with high-ranking military officials from different countries was conducted after a coalition was formed to fight the extremist group.

Security analyst Paul Buchanan said that the presence of New Zealand’s defence chief in the meeting with Mr Obama strongly suggests that the country will join the campaign against ISIS. He said if it was only a negotiation for a possible role, a diplomat would have been sent instead. Since the head of New Zealand’s military forces was sent to the meeting, it may mean the government has “already agreed to some role.”

Phil Goff from December last year, Time for Govt to come clean on deployment.

The National Government is refusing to come clean about pre-deployment training for Iraq because they cannot justify their decision to deploy our troops, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.

“John Key and Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee have already decided to commit our Defence Force; that is why training is underway. “It is time they fessed up and admitted that.

Earlier this year, NZ Defence Force in training for Iraq deployment.

The Defence Force is now training for an Iraq deployment, the Government says, after batting away suggestions the army was training as early as last year.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee today announced the defence force could undertake “special contingency training” for a deployment that could be announced as early as the end of the month.

Further confirmation this morning – Iraq troop deployment decision may have already been made.

The official call on sending New Zealand troops to Iraq will be made today – but an Australian report says the decision may have already been made.

It’s understood Cabinet will today agree in principle to a deployment to help in the fight against Islamic State, after concerns were eased over the Iraqi Government’s refusal to sign a “status of forces” agreement setting out the legal status of the New Zealand troops.

But according to a report by The Australian newspaper during the weekend, a decision between the two countries has already been made and today’s announcement will formalise that agreement.

Labour under Clark allowed a vote in Parliament about deployment. Key is not allowing that scrutiny, Iraq vote not required – Key.

Cabinet will decide today whether New Zealand will send a deployment of about 100 troops on a training mission to assist in the US-led coalition’s fight against Islamic State.

The decision, due to be announced today or tommorrow, will then be taken to Parliament for a debate only. Mr Key told Morning Report it did not need to go to a vote as the proposal was for training forces not combat troops.

Why don’t we stop pretending? – this decision was made months ago.

Update: Russel Norman

227 comments on “NZ sending troops to Iraq ”

  1. Chooky 1

    New Zealand should only go into Iraq as part of a UN force…not support for US and Israel agenda in the Middle East.

    Americans are desperate for support on the ground in Iraq against ISIS…New Zealand soldiers will be pawns in a war which is NOT New Zealanders’ ( Helen Clark kept us from the illegitimate invasion of Iraq) .

    The Iraq war debacle was initiated by United States and Israel….they should be the ones cleaning up their own mess on the ground against ISIS. John Key will be responsible for repercussions on New Zealand and New Zealanders .

    Americans now admit their invasion of Iraq was an absolute disaster

    ‘Americans have to die on battlefield to destroy ISIS – US military strategist’


    John Nagl , Counterinsurgency Expert:

    “The invasion of Iraq in 2003 I think was not just a mistake, but perhaps a biggest mistake the U.S. has ever made in foreign policy. It’s a four trillion dollar mistake, it caused enormous damage in the region, to the people of Iraq and certainly to my army and very-very many of my friends. So, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a disaster, a fiasco, unnecessary and poorly conducted. We played the endgame very-very badly and that failure of American foreign policy in 2011 necessitates today America returning to Iraq in force.”

    • exStatic 1.1

      Come on Chooky, what do you really think? Is ISIS an evil force that needs to be eradicated? Do you really want to see Islamic state consolidate and expand, bringing with it extreme Sharia law and all that implies?

      • adam 1.1.1

        wow exStatic – rational discussion lost on you? Leading questions much? Narrow the debate to your own limited agenda? Any chance you could write to enter a discussion? Annoying style of writing ‘ant it?

        • exStatic

          Focus is good. Others like you just want to lose any opinion in a sea of waffle.

          • freedom

            exStatic, you said -“Do you really want to see Islamic state consolidate and expand, bringing with it extreme Sharia law and all that implies?”

            What are your focused views on Saudi Arabia’s laws then?

            Shouldn’t we also send Kiwis there to fight for apple pie barbeques and hotdogs hokeypokey ice cream ?

            • exStatic

              Ah! Nail on head time – what about Saudi Arabia then??? The main enabler of ISIS and best mates with the Bush family?
              Who would know?

              • freedom

                “Shouldn’t we also send Kiwis there to fight…? ” was a question.

                You don’t want to answer the question, or, was “who would know?” your answer?

                • exStatic

                  I would prefer the Red Button used to take out Saudi. If we fight ISIS, we are also fighting Saudi, one may lead to the other but the US has had a close relationship with them which seems odd?

                  • freedom

                    you want to nuke Saudi Arabia? 😯

                    Any other parts of the world you think should be cinderized?

                    • exStatic

                      Nope, just the Saudi’s! Seriously, I don’t really mean it but if we had to choose one country to get the Big Bang, then Saudi would be it.

            • GregJ

              What are your focused views on Saudi Arabia’s laws then?

              Hey – let’s not leave the Persians out as well!

      • Bill 1.1.2

        ISIS and other such religious based movements are what results when genuine political opposition is oppressed and extinguished by dictatorships lauded, supported and in some cases installed by ‘the west’… Sadam in Iraq, the Shah in Iran, Assad in Syria…

        You know the only exception is the PKK and the people in the Syrian Autonomous zones, right? And you know that the PKK is marked down as a terrorist organisation meaning that the people in the Autonomous zones are getting precisely zero aid and assistance from ‘the west’, yes?

        • te reo putake

          Actually Bill, the west has been air dropping aid to the Kurdish regions for some time now and even the Turks are reluctantly softening their stance towards the forces resisting ISIS. And, of course, American air strikes were of considerable assistance in the liberation of Kobani.

          • adam

            But some air drops and air support for strategically important town – does not make a change in policy. Indeed I can not see a wholesale change in policy towards the PKK or an increase of support for the PKK by the west.

            Indeed the only time they seem to get into the media, is if they have stunning victories against ISIS.

            Would we not be better leading a wholesale change in western policy towards the Kurds – than running off into war?

            • exStatic

              You are almost right but probably have no idea how you got there. The “West” would like to be mates with PKK but can’t because they really, really want to be friends with Turkey – who are “almost European”…..and PKK are seen as Turkey’s enemies.
              Turkey are also having a bit of a “bob each way” (a bit like your debating skills), and give a bit of behind the scenes to ISIS, not because they like them but because they are killing PKK.
              ….and that’s just Turkey that is only sitting on the sidelines.

              • adam

                exStatic, thinking is way above your pay grade I see.

                A bob each way – nope I know who and what I’m supporting.

                That is helping people in the region to find solutions to their problems with out western interference. As we seem to have this wonderful ability of making the problems worse, every time we put our foot in our mouth.

                As to debating skills – I’m not the gossy clone exStatic. Remove your ideological blinkers for five minutes – it might do you some good.

                • exStatic

                  “..every time we put our foot in our mouth..”
                  Speak for yourself.
                  “..That is helping people in the region to find solutions to their problems with out western interference.”
                  Let us know how you get on.

                  • adam

                    “Speak for yourself.”

                    Because you want a nuke solution – how very unkiwi of you. Actually, are you a Yank? – your thinking and language seem to say you are. As does your sub-par rhetoric style.

                    • exStatic

                      Did I say that?
                      We live at a time when we send a warship to the Antarctic but they are not allowed to use force to arrest pirates, we have an army that we send to fight wars that nobody is allowed to be injured in.
                      Makes nukes the only option – eh?

              • GregJ

                Folks – just to clarify the PKK is the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party – its paramilitary arm is the People’s Defence Force (HPG), which was formerly called the Kurdistan National Liberty Army (ARGK).

                The fighting in and around Kobani and the Northern Syrian Kurdish areas is being conducted by the the People’s Protection Units commonly known as the YPG which is the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) of Syrian Kurdistan aided by the Peshmerga, the semi-official armed forces/militia of Iraqi Kurdistan.

                This is not to deny the possibility former HPG fighters are fighting with the YPG or the Peshmerga.

                It pays to keep your acronyms clear in Syria, Iraq & Turkey.

          • Bill

            Are these Kurdish regions the nascent Kurdish state within Iraq, or the Autonomous Regions within Syria?

            The point about air strikes helping with the liberation of Kobani and the airstrikes that helped establish a corridor down from Mount Sinjar are acknowledged by those building the Rojava Revolution.

            What I’m picking when people talk of the Kurds, is that the Rojavans are being lumped in with the nascent liberal state within Iraq. The two are not the same.

            I’ll pick that when the west has no more need for any ‘alliances of convenience’ with the Rojavans, that they will be left to the tender mercies of Turkey and whatever forces come to the fore in Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan (?)

        • exStatic

          “ISIS and other such religious based movements are what results when genuine political opposition is oppressed and extinguished by dictatorships lauded, supported and in some cases installed by ‘the west’… Sadam in Iraq, the Shah in Iran, Assad in Syria…”
          Who could argue with that?

          • Bill

            Well, no-one with any sense would put up an argument there.

            The question then is, if most forces in the region are in one way or another ‘undesirable’, then why isn’t ‘the west’ giving wholesale backing to the only people in the region building truly democratic structures of governance and who are entrenching women’s rights, the progressive nature of which, puts ‘the west’ to shame?

            • exStatic

              You mean, apart from Israel right?

              • Bill

                Not understanding your comment. Care to expand on it a little?

                edit – Ah – do you simply mean that Israel was a state predicated on a religious idea…well, more or less ‘just because’?

                • exStatic

                  The Kurds are building up a remarkably progressive (for the region) infrastructure. The older democratic, egalitarian people are, of course, Israel. Just wondering which you were referring to.

                  • Bill

                    I’m not picking too much in the way of either progressive or democratic about Israel. At best it has liberal democratic institutions deeply embedded (buried) within the backwards concept of Zionism.

                    And can we move away from referring to the diverse peoples and cultures of the Autonomous regions as Kurds please?

                    Here’s a link to what I keep referring to http://www.biehlonbookchin.com/

                    • exStatic

                      It always seems so much nicer when saying anything negative about Jews, to refer to Zionism………don’t ya think?

                    • Bill

                      At this point, I’m merely going to point out that you’re treading a line.

                      I have nothing negative to say about Jews. I have nothing positive to say about Zionism.

                      Don’t pursue the line you’re taking. end

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      And the vicious behaviour of the state of Israel is another issue again.

                    • thatguynz

                      Wow, exStatic’s lines are straight outta the JDL’s playbook. Who would have thought….

      • scotty 1.1.3

        Yeah exstatic and his boneheaded mates are going to eradicate evil – again

        just like they did in 1992 and 2003 ,04,05,06,07,08 —2014!
        better luck in 2015
        Ona exstatic – a true patriot.

        • exStatic

          Nah, exStatic reckons the average Kiwi bloke can easily just convert to Islam. We don’t really care about religion and those clothes look pretty neat, especially the black ones! Also, they seem to have an endless supply of late model Toyota Hi Lux utes and Landcruisers. Bit of bad luck about beer and bacon, but I’m sure we can cope with it.
          Bit sorry for the gays and women though but – hey – we could have stopped them early.

      • Tracey 1.1.4

        When are we sending people into Nigeria exStatic. I have googled but can’t find the PM’s statements on this.

      • KJT 1.1.5

        Yeah, lets pour more petrol on the fire and give the extremists even more reasons to fight.

        Lets shoot and bomb even more, formerly moderate, Islamic people so they will fight us.


    • Rosie 1.2

      Onya Chooky

    • Rodel 1.3

      It is disgusting that Key will not put this issue to the vote of our political representatives because he hasn’t a majority. It is the negation of democracy by someone who thinks his judgement overrides democracy. There is a word for such people.We thought it couldn’t happen in New Zealand.

      It is bad that the deployment of NZ soldiers it is not a UN agreed force but a coalition of the obsequious sycophants of Bush, Chaney Abbot and I hate to say it but Obama.

  2. shorts 2

    Nats signed everything off last year before the election – thats how bloody efficient they are, now they only have to manage the fallout from their ambitious plans

  3. saveNZ 3

    +1000 Chooky

    • exStatic 3.1

      What do you mean “+1000 Chooky”? Do we actually have that many extra soldiers in the NZ Army? No, just stick to the original 150 thanks.

      • adam 3.1.1

        exStatic wins the irrational debater of the day award!

        Just an ideologue wiff away from dogma – an iconoclast in need of some more wargasm.

  4. Colonial Rawshark 4

    We’ve been lied to about this deployment, the nature of the situation on the ground and the chances of success, and we continue to be lied to.

    Latest estimates I have seen say that ISIS has approx 30,000 fighters (unsure whether this is Syria + Iraq or just Iraq).

    The Jordanians – who are already active in fighting ISIS – have 90,000 men in land forces. The Iraqis are supposed to have 300,000 men in their regular army plus Shite militia and other security forces. Turkey (a NATO member) has 315,000 men in their army. Then you have maybe 10,000 Kurdish fighters of various descriptions and factions.

    That’s a force of over 700,000 men who could be deployed against the 30,000 of ISIS, PLUS the US would be helping out with intelligence and airstrikes.

    Whatever is going on in Iraq – and basically it is a sectarian civil war with many regional and tribal complexities – once again sending in western Christian troops into the meat grinder in a Muslim land will make zero positive difference.

    • exStatic 4.1

      Should be over pretty quickly then….eh?

      • adam 4.1.1

        Your not as good as Gossy mate.

        • exStatic

          Don’t you mean “Goffy”?, in which case I disgreee.

          • adam

            Nope sorry Gosman – your not as good as him. Sorry, I was hoping you’d understand.

            • exStatic

              No, my name is not Gosman, (a highly respected commentator on this site by the way).
              Do you have any opinions or do you just throw stupid comments into the wind to see what happens?

              • freedom

                “a highly respected commentator on this site by the way”
                in many ways he is, and it is a well earned respect one might say

                if you’re hoping for a mighty oak from collecting his acorns there is a small problem … it appears they weren’t acorns you picked up by the sheep race

              • David

                Is that you Steven Joyce?

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.2

        Should be over pretty quickly then….eh?

        If you read my comment, I actually implied the opposite conclusion.

        • exStatic

          CV, I always read your comments and I am absolutely aware of your implication (which I tend to agree with). Seriously, if all the assembled “Anti – ISIS” forces haven’t cleaned them up by now, either ISIS is seriously underestimated, the assembled allies are useless or someone really wants ISIS left alone.
          But at the moment, I am dealing with a moron, sorry to drag you into this 🙂

  5. Wow, we heard it on the Standard first!

    Well, here is something I wrote in June 2012. It was perfectly clear NZ was being roped into war from that moment on.

    In fact we hosted the biggest war crime training exercise in 2013 when we allowed 10 NATO members/partners to train for an invasion of a country not engaged in military action against us or any of the countries participating merely to depose of a leader we didn’t like. Here is a link to an interview I gave to Kevin Barrett of no lies radio on his show Truth Jihad in 2013.

    If you’re only catching on that John Key has every intention of sending troops to Iraq you have not been paying attention!

  6. Sable 6

    This government are US puppets, of course they will send our people to risk their lives to clean up the US’s mess (once again). When is this nation going to stop being a vassal state of the US/UK and start thinking for itself.

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.1

      Is there another FVEYs anti-terrorism bill that we can sign up to. And then there’s the upcoming TTPA.

  7. infused 7

    We didn’t read it here first. It’s obvious.

  8. And you heard it here first that IS is not the real target; that is the Arab Revolution.
    So NZ continues to be the US deputy dog who can travel to wars anywhere near you to scavenge for scraps.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      If Fiji can boost its coffers sending its men to wars for the UN, so NZ can get benefit from going at the behest of the USA to the Middle East. Of course behest is an obsolete word!

  9. Colonial Rawshark 9

    Future planned oil and gas pipelines to Europe.

    Always something to keep in mind.

  10. Old Mickey 10

    Nice tweet Rusell ! Keep on showing NZ you are a nutter…..
    Send troops, fight hard to stop these ISIS dogs.

    • thatguynz 10.1

      We need better wingnuts..

    • freedom 10.2

      Estimates of IS forces range up to the twenty thousand mark. We are sending a hundred trainers, which includes command and intelligence staff and their protection so what does that leave …. twenty trainers?

      These twenty trainers, (who might not be allowed to handle guns ) what exactly are they going to achieve in that theatre that billions and billions of US $, US manpower and US ‘ability’ has so far failed to deliver?

      Or should the forces we send be even higher? Will that change the odds?
      A thousand maybe?
      Ten thousand?

      How many will it take to stop this year’s bad guy?

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.2.1

        Iraq is supposed to have 300,000 regular forces troops. Plus Shite militia men. Plus US intel and airstrikes. Plus up to 10K Kurdish fighters of various descriptions.

        How they cannot handle 20K to 30K ISIS fighters is a mystery.

        Basically, we are being lied to.

        • exStatic

          Wrong! What you mean is the the Iraqi army has 300,000 men on it’s books, that the US is no doubt paying for and the Generals making very good use of that money.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            So why are we trying to train these paper soldiers?

            • exStatic

              As you and others have pointed out, with the huge numbers theoretically lined up against ISIS there should be no need for training.
              Anyone who thinks that is all we are doing is unhinged.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Indeed – my original point – we are being lied to as to what our troops will be doing, and what the facts on the ground are.

                • exStatic

                  Of course. The difference between us is that I am much more comfortable with our SAS doing what they are good at than being set up in a shooting gallery to be killed by “friendly fire”.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    With orders to do what? Leave no Sunni left alive? Are they going to head up the diplomatic effort too?

                    Speaking of diplomacy, the credible forces in the region are calling for weapons, not soldiers. Have you thought this through?

                  • Pascals bookie

                    ” The difference between us is that I am much more comfortable with our SAS doing what they are good at than being set up in a shooting gallery to be killed by “friendly fire”.”

                    Good oh.

                    tell me what you think about the lack of a SOFA with Iraq, combined with Key’s statements today that we would stand by and watch the troops we are training lose to ISIS of it was happening down the road from the base.

    • Rosie 10.3

      🙄 @ Old Mickey

    • Chooky 10.4

      Old Mickey the Mouse …..you are the “nutter”

  11. exStatic 11

    This is a wierd topic when I can believe that both CV/CR and Old Mickey are right.

  12. Ennui 12

    Shonkey should lead the detachment….suspect he would shoot himself in the foot to get out (S.I.wound). Cowardly p***k.

  13. Sabine 13

    Interesting Dairy up on daily kos


    what are we up against?

    who knows,…..someone is going to make a lot of cash, but there will be no peace, nor safety, nor stability. Just lots of blood and gore..but all the warmongers that are happy to send the armed forces into the meat grinder….as long as it is not them. I think the us americans call them chicken hawks….:)

  14. Ennui 14

    How to deal to ISIS? Easy. Recognise their territory, fence it in and allow no commerce. Drop off any disaffected Jihaddis from elsewhere gratis. The two camels and five sesame seeds won’t last long before the Jihaddis start missing their gyro and a feed at a Bradford chip shop.

    Problem solved.

    • greywarshark 14.1

      Those jihaddi laddies might miss their vindaloos toos and come to the conclusion they aren’t desert storm troopers, just camel pooper scoopers. And in a blinding flash realise that they know very little about the meaning of the serious conflict around them, which would be a true desert revelation.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.2

      Recognise their territory, fence it in and allow no commerce.

      You might as well try and fence off and guard the entirety of the coastline of NZ.

      • Chooky 14.2.1

        yup…it is an attitude and it is viral….and the more the Americans and Israelis get involved the more the fever will be fueled and the war cries pitched ….one reason why we should not go in with them …but only as a part of a UN peace keeping force

    • GregJ 14.3

      That would ignore the religious and apocalyptic nature of Da’ish though. One thing they actually despise is the “modern world”. This analysis kind of got missed as we we were having too much fun baiting Pete “Mr Beige” George himself when he posted the link but it is actually worth having a read of as an insight into their objectives and thinking and rationale.

  15. Philip Ferguson 15

    There are already NZ airforce personnel in the UAE and they seem to be involved in some way in Iraq.

    Here’s the text of a leaflet put out by Peace Action Wellington in 2011 about NZ/Afghanistan, but remains relevant: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/nzs-bloody-ten-years-in-afghanistan/

    We have been too passive and trusting: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/we-have-been-too-passive-and-trusting/

    Looking inside John Key’s ‘club’: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/looking-inside-john-keys-club/

    Afghanistan – no, it’s not the good war: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/afghanistan-no-its-not-the-good-war/

    NZ troops leaving Afghanistan: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/new-zealand-troops-leaving-afghanistan/

    Towards an anti-imperialist movement: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/towards-an-anti-imperialist-movement-a-manifesto/

    and lastly:
    Iraq – a powder keg stoked and primed by imperialist power games: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/iraq-a-powder-keg-stoked-and-primed-by-imperialist-power-games/


  16. Philip Ferguson 16

    Plus, we really couldn’t be mixed up with a nicer bunch of people, could we?

    Killing people and pissing on their corpses: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/killing-people-and-pissing-on-their-corpses-all-in-a-days-work-for-imperialism/

    God bless America!


    • Wayne 16.1

      And you may recall they all got prosecuted for that.

      • framu 16.1.1

        whos “they”?

        • Wayne

          As should be obvious from my comment, the soldiers urinating on the bodies, which was the the specific issue raised by Philip Ferguson.

          • KJT

            Still waiting for the prosecutions for rendition, water-boarding, torture, and handing over prisoners to those that are known to have no respect for human rights of prisoners, such as the USA.

            I believe you were in our Government when some of these took place.

          • framu

            so nothing to do with the entire chain of command that allowed, and some would say encouraged such behaviour to become commonplace then?

            These arent the only “bad egg” cases are they

            It was a trick question wayne

      • Pascals bookie 16.1.3

        Well yeah, they got prosecuted, they’re grunts.

        Colonel James Steele hasn’t been prosecuted. Nor has Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, or any one at all for torture.

        • freedom

          There is one person from the CIA in prison on torture related charges ….
          Sadly it is the guy who was the whistle blower on the torture itself 🙁

          • joe90

            Kiriakou has been released.

            Open mike 22/02/2015

            • freedom

              It was good news that he is no longer kept in a cinderblock cell but released is a far cry from “completing the rest of his sentence under house arrest.”

              Maybe the pardon will eventuate before Obama leaves office.
              “I’ve got my fingers crossed that something good will happen,” he says. “I’ve lost the right to vote. I’ve lost the right to own a firearm, and I’ve even lost my federal pension. The cost has been very high for me.”

              It’s a messed up world.

          • Anne

            There’s an NSA whistle blower currently hiding in Russia because its the only place where he is currently safe.

            Shades of NZ whistleblowers, Rawshark and Nicky Hager eh? Police still hunting for one, and ransacked the house of the other while the guilty parties get off scot-free…

            • freedom

              Right up there with Brian Williams getting a six month suspension from NBC for lying about his reporting on the War. I mean, really ! What were the rest of the MSM doing if not lying about the War

              this sums it up for me

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Just like wikileaks editor Sarah Harrison who is forced to stay in Germany as she will likely be arrested if she goes home to the UK.

              Freedom of press eh. No wonder the rest of the world looks at the west promulgating its liberal democratic values like they are hypocrites.

    • GregJ 16.2

      They were convicted though and they wouldn’t be the first troops (including other Western troops from other wars) to humiliate & desecrate dead enemy – and don’t for a moment think that NZ soldiers haven’t done their share of the same thing. It’s happening right now by both sides in Ukraine as well and Afghan soldiers last year with Taliban militants.

      Even though the first modern codification of prohibition of mutilation of dead enemy was I think in 1880 (Oxford Manual aka The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880) there is a long history of it (think of Homer and the Trojan War for example).

      It should be condemned as barbarous but let’s not get precious and single out the US as they only perpetrators. War is a nasty, brutal and dehumanizing act – for all involved.

  17. Rosie 17

    Make up your mind Key. Are we going to Iraq to train troops for The Club (gotta be in to win eh?) or because of some kind of weird revenge fantasy you have?

    Check out this bizarre argument for military intervention from the link in Natwatchs’ post.

    “He said New Zealanders had lost their lives in every terrorist event around the world from “9/11 to the Bali bombings” so it was right to send help in the fight against the Islamic State group.”

    Not interested in finding solutions, just interested in being the little kid that gets in with the big school yard bullies to throw sticks at that foreign kid everyone hates.

    What a shameful time to be an NZer.

  18. Skinny 18

    Let these idiots go fight or do whatever America tells them. It will end in a blood bath and a few will come home in body bags. Regrettably such is the price of war.

  19. Barbara 19

    All I want to say is, can we please spare a thought to the families – wives, husbands, mums and dads of the personnel who will be going to Iraq and how they must be feeling. Worried out of their minds their kin might come home in a body bag – if ISIS, that is, want to give up the bodies when the deed is done. Also, do these military personnel have a conscience vote on this and can they turn down the offer to go if they believe their effort won’t make a a valid contribution to the mess out there.

    Yes, its a shameful day in our history – I don’t know how Key sleeps at night.

  20. Tracey 20

    Funny piece on national radio this morning.

    Key denied we were sending an ANZAC force to Iraq.

    Then he said if we sent troops, which we probably would, they would go with another country, probably Australia.


    So we are forming an ANZAC force to go to Iraq.

  21. linda 22

    iam sure Max key will be heading to Iraq surely shonkey will send Max to dj to the troops

  22. Paul 23

    To enter a war without the assent of parliament = tyranny.
    This will be an illegal war.

    • What law will be broken, Paul?

      • Anne 23.1.1

        If this military action had been sanctioned by the UN I would say “lets go”. But it hasn’t been. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps someone can explain?

        In the meantime its time to dust off Nicky Hager’s book “Other People’s Wars”. Remember? Helen Clark sent military personnel to help with the reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq. What she didn’t know (because the info was withheld from her and her government) is that certain NZ military officers were working with and taking part in hostile activity alongside US personnel – in contravention of Helen Clark’s strict instructions they were only to take up arms for the purpose of defending the NZ contingent in the event of a direct attack on them. That was indefensible and in my view treasonous, yet not one of those officers faced disciplinary action of any kind.

        • te reo putake

          What difference would it make if it was under the UN flag, Anne? I’ve seen that comment or ones like it a few times on TS and I’m not sure what its meant to signify.

          • GregJ

            Aside from the fact that most resolutions by the Security Council (the only UN resolutions that actually have any real force) on Syria tend to be blocked by Russia and China. The US and coalition air attacks are being justified under UN Charter Article 51 – Self Defence.

            The Iraqi Government has requested assistance which means it doesn’t require a UN Resolution for action in Iraq but the recognised government of Syria hasn’t made such a request (not surprisingly perhaps 😈 ) so it would require a UN Security Council Resolution.

          • Anne

            If it came under the auspices of the UN, that would give the hostilities an air of legitimacy. I don’t trust the US or the UK when it comes to the Middle East. It’s really all about oil for them – nothing else. They are also largely responsible for the shambles in the Middle East (or so it seems to me) and it is likely that the rise of ISIS is directly attributable to them.

            So let them sort out the mess of their own making. I don’t see why we have to help pick up the pieces and thus open up our country to possible terrorist retaliation some time down the track.

            That’s the way I see it trp.

            PS. The claim by JK that our soldiers are just going to train the locals is balderdash of course. Within weeks of arrival they’ll be in the thick of it and JK knows it.

            • te reo putake

              Sort of agree with you about what are soldiers will be doing. The 100 may well be training, but the SAS will be fighting. Possibly already are, or at least are there already scoping it out.

              The reason I asked about the UN is because some folk seem to have used that as a cover for not wanting to do anything at all. Not meaning yourself, there, you’ve given a perfectly valid reason. But as, GregJ points out, this proposed action is sanctioned by the UN. Its covered in the UN articles, so is mandated by the UN. As a reason not to go, it doesn’t carry much weight.

              • GregJ

                Not so much sanctioned by the UN – more it is the right of every country under the Charter to exercise self-defence and to call for assistance in the case of self defence. A subtle distinction perhaps.

                • Anne

                  Thanks Gregj and trp. That’s what I wanted to know. I asked about it on this site the other day but got no answer. I presumed it was not sanctioned because I’ve seen nothing in the MSM which isn’t surprising. To rely on them to give all the info. is to live in a fool’s paradise.

                  I can appreciate the self defence angle given the horror of recent weeks, but still consider the problem belongs to the US, UK and maybe Europe. We could do what the Clark government did by all means, but we are going to be part of the hostilities – that is a given – and I don’t believe we have any “moral obligation” to put our troops into the modern equivalent of the front line.

                  • Bill

                    Self defense (article 51) can only be pleaded in a state to state situation. That, btw, is why the invasion of Afghanistan was illegal. Afghanistan did not attack or threaten the territorial integrity of the USA (or Australia or the UK).

                    But, y’know, play the card, blow a country to pieces and then have NATO shuffle the resultant and necessary UN reconstruction/peace keeping mission aside. (sigh)

                    • GregJ

                      Bill – read the article in the link I posted above and how the argument around Article 51 is being made (spun?).

                      Iraq would argue the trans-national threat of Da’ish over rides the State to State provisions with some support from the International Law Commission’s (ILC) Articles on State Responsibility.

                    • Bill

                      I realise, that unlike Afghanistan, the puppet regime in Iraq will ‘request’ the puppet master pull that string there and dances will be danced around international law to create a facade of legitimacy.

              • Murray Rawshark

                Being covered in the UN articles is hardly the same as sanctioned by the UN. At most you can stretch things to say it is not inconsistent with the UN articles. Personally, I think even that would be wrong.

                The ISIL conflict is closer to civil war than an attack on a legitimately governed nation. On one side we have some largely Iraqi religious lunatics not backed by the US and A while on the other we have some Iraqi religious lunatics backed and put in place by the US and A. Helping the government aligned militias is nowhere near the same as helping a nation defend itself.

                • SMILIN

                  Absolutely it is a civil war between the people of that region and that is exactly why it is none of our business
                  People who come to live in NZ should do it like my forebears from Scotland and do like any other refugee which in essence they were and make your life where you find it
                  It was no use crying about what they lost in the clearances
                  Its where you live now and what you make of it that counts

              • Pascals bookie

                I have no reason to believe they will be doing anything other than what we are being told.

                There is no SOFA.

                The Iraqi PM has said he has no desire for western troops to be fighting.

                Moqtada al-Sadr has said that he wants his militia (some 50K troops) folded into the army. He’s also said that should foreign troops get too involved, he’ll go back to war against them and the government.

                Key was explicit today that even if the troops we are training are losing to ISIS in a firefight up the road from the base, they will stand by and watch unless the base is attacked.

                This is all about the green on blue problem. The main problem there isn’t ISIS infiltration of the army, or Sunni ISIS sympathisers, it’s the fact that the Shia do not trust the west any more than the Sunni trust the government.

                We are joining their fight, they are not joining ours. We will be training sectarian forces to go and fight in a sectarian war. We will be arriving at around the time Mosul is being assaulted. Based about 50k from Falluja.

                The amount the west is committing on the ground is symbolic. Short fresher courses for various Iraqi units so that we can say we are ‘doing something’. The potential for that something to get real ugly real fast are pretty high.

      • Paul 23.1.2

        Pardon me.
        An amoral war where nether the approval of parliament and the approval of the populace was asked.
        And please don’t say people who voted for Key gave him a mandate for military adventurism in the Middle East.

        • GregJ

          NZ entered WW2 without a vote in Parliament. I believe under our “constitutional” arrangements the decision is made by Cabinet and a formal declaration of war signed by the Governor-General (if required). This is how it happened in 1939 (and also in 1914 I think). Obviously a debate in the House and general support is preferable (National would probably get it and possibly even with Labour support) but not necessary or required.

          • Murray Rawshark

            We entered WW2 75 years ago. I had hoped we’d learned something about sending our kids off to kill other people’s kids and be killed by them in those 75 years. It seems not.

            • GregJ

              We clearly haven’t taken the opportunity to pass legislation to require it so you are right!

            • Wayne


              Are you seriously suggesting we were wrong to oppose Hitler?

              Of course we could have taken the South American approach and stayed out of WW2. But South America is largely derived from Spain and Portugal, neither of whom could claim a virtuous position vis a vis the struggle against Hitler.

              Our history is different.

              Now I appreciate that many on the Left would like NZ to be like say Chile, perhaps the most highly regarded country (Pinochet not withstanding). After Chile is a modern sophisticated country, it is hardly a Venezuela.

              Nevertheless that would be a radical change in New Zealand foreign policy and more importantly our self identification. It would be keenly contested, and not just be the right. Many in Labour would not find that an easy shift.

              I appreciate that around 25 to 30% of the population would be happy with such a shift, but that means at least 70% would not be.

              So Murray, you have to work to do if you want to get to more than 50% support on changing how NZ positions itself.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Shall we start more simply. Like not sending our troops away for no workable reason, in a theatre where there is no plan to win, and where the training that they deliver will make zero positive difference.

              • Stuart Munro

                It’s astonishing how much you care about public support Wayne, because when it came to the asset thefts, every poll and the referendum showed an overwhelming majority were opposed. But the Gnat scum stole the assets anyway.

                It’s almost as if public support only matters to you when it suits you…

              • Murray Rawshark

                “Are you seriously suggesting we were wrong to oppose Hitler?”

                If I had wanted to say that, I would have. I was saying that the process of making a decision to send our kids to fight, kill, and die with other people’s kids should not be made in 2015 in the same manner that it was made in 1939. It should be more fully discussed and voted on by the whole of parliament. “Where she goes, we go; where she stands, we stand” is no longer good enough.

                The rest of what you wrote just displays your total lack of comprehension. How the hell did you ever become a minsta? Oops, I forgot. It was a Tory government and slavishly following the leader is genetically ingrained into the lot of you.

                And Brazil did fight in WW2, sometimes alongside Kiwis in Italy.

          • Paul

            Do you agree with our involvement in war in Iraq?

            • GregJ

              No. I live in the Middle East. I manage & work with as Arabs of different nationalities and religious backgrounds (Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Tunisia, Emirates & an Iraqi). I live in a building that has Qataris, Jordanians & a Shia/Alawite Syrian family that fled Damascus to give their kids a normal life rather than take 2 hours each way, each day to travel 2km to school (so they could avoid the mortar fire).

              They can’t understand why NZ would want to get involved (although humanitarian aid they would agree with). There is begrudging acceptance that the US (and the UK) should because they are at least partially responsible for the present mess.

          • Anne

            Labour, Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party have all registered they are against sending combat troops. Only the pipsqueak from Epsom has offered his support. So, without Sabin (ha ha) the vote for sending them would be lost. That’s why JK isn’t going to call for a vote.

  23. Paul 24

    Is there way one of the following can be organised.
    A march against the war organised by all the leading opposition parties – united
    A nationwide petition launched by all the leading opposition parties – united
    A boycott of parliament by all the leading opposition parties – united

    Time for action.

    • Murray Rawshark 24.1

      “A march against the war organised by all the leading opposition parties – united”

      Not likely. Heaps of Labour people support marching off to war. Labour is not much of an opposition to Key on his mishandling of national security and his implanting of a surveillance state.

      • te reo putake 24.1.1

        We knew you were going to say that, Murray. But I can’t tell you who tipped us off.

        • Murray Rawshark

          My making an antiwar/mass surveillance statement is something that happens about once a day. You hardly needed your vast network of informants to catch me out. Sack them and use the money saved to build state houses.

      • Paul 24.1.2

        Labour then are a shadow of the party that opposed Vietnam and opposed nuclear weapons. Helen Clarke refused to go to Iraq last time.

        • te reo putake

          Iraq last time was a different situation. We were right not send troops then, just as we were right to send them to Afghanistan.

          • Paul

            Yes invading Iraq in 2003 really worked, didn’t it?
            Amazing so many people are going to get played a second time.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Iraq last time was a different situation. We were right not send troops then, just as we were right to send them to Afghanistan.


            Because Afghanistan is now such a win??? With a democratic, non-sectarian, low corruption government trusted by the people throughout the nation???

            Because the Taliban won’t be back in charge of most of the country within 12 months of the Americans leaving???

          • Wynston

            And we would be right if we didn’t send them this time! As I’ve said before it’s not our battle!

          • Bill

            How was participating in the occupation of Afghanistan off the back of an internationally illegal invasion the right thing to do?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              It’s the might makes right philosophy. Which is a close cousin of the money makes right philosophy.

            • Wayne

              It was not an illegal invasion. It was in fact sanctioned by the UN.

              • Pascals bookie

                Wayne. Was the torture legal?

                How about the death squads in Iraq? Were they legal?

                I know it;s awkward to talk about, but it doesn’t really help if we ignore it. we can’t make the Sunni in Iraq forget it, an those are the hearts and minds we have to win of ISIS eh.

                The more we lie about what happened, and what role the west played in it, the harder it is to win.

        • Nick

          Labour also went to war with a just cause in 1939 against people who industrialised the killing of a group who did not fit into their view of heaven on earth. I would suggest that any bunch that want you dead, beheaded and straight to hell just because you don’t believe the weird ramblings of some 6th century “prophet” might represent a sufficient threat if allowed to grow. The question is really the best way to prevent that growth?

        • gsays

          here here paul,
          ‘Labour then are a shadow of the party that opposed Vietnam and opposed nuclear weapons.’

          i was bought up being told that the labour party was for the working person.
          my, my, how that has changed.

          a shadow of the shadow of what they were.
          here is a wonderful oppurtunity for labour to be relevant again.
          come out loud and hard and articulate opposition to this bs.

          unless of course they agree with the nats …

      • Chooky 24.1.3

        +100 MR …. “Labour is not much of an opposition to Key on his mishandling of national security and his implanting of a surveillance state.”

        ….Labour is becoming more and more like Nactional ( signified by the likes of right wing journalist David Cohen as a paid adviser to Little)…Labour should form a formal coalition with Nactional and then there would be no misunderstandings as to who the real Left is…actually i think Little doesnt even like Left/Right distinctions.

        ..Winston is more to the Left than Labour and better in Opposition

      • Anne 24.1.4

        I don’t agree with you MR. According to RNZ this morning Labour is opposed to sending the troops. I’ve been around Labour on and off for many years and I don’t think anyone I know is supporting the govt. over the sending of troops.

        If you are referring to Labour voting people as opposed to members and activists then you may be right. But the parliamentary team and the majority of the members? I would say they are against going to war.


        Brent Edwards – starts 1:30 mins in.

        • Murray Rawshark

          In that case, I wish they’d come out more strongly against it. About all I’ve heard is that Little wishes we could do something more effective.

          • Anne

            Funnily enough the only one who has come out very strongly is Peter Dunne. I agree the other parties have been quite reticent about their opposition.

            • Chooky

              Winston Peters has come out very strongly that it must be put to a democratic vote in the House…not just a decision made by John Key Nactional.

              The Greens have always been the most strongly opposed

            • freedom

              I doubt there is anything any of them could do at this time.
              Troops are heading over. It is what it is.
              What it is going to be though, depends upon the people of Aotearoa.

              Few protest actions resonate across the diversity of New Zealand so effectively and respectfully as Anti-War actions. The inevitably of mission creep will evolve. The realities will unfold. The public reaction will intensify.

              There is already discussion regarding a number of marches. Plenty of chances for the elected representatives of New Zealand to put their boots on the ground.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            By passing the latest surveillance/anti-terrorism legislation, Labour has already agreed that Islamic terrorism is a real and present danger to NZ.

            So Little is stuck with having to agree that Daesh/ISIS in Iraq presents a real problem for NZ, limiting disagreement to what Key plans to do about it.

            • Murray Rawshark

              That’s exactly the problem. He agrees with Washington/five eyes whatever about the ISIL (a friend of mine has a daughter called ISIS) problem and therefore his position comes down to debating tactics. We badly need a party that asks a few hard questions, such as how are 100 troops going to train 300,000 already extensively trained troops not to run away from a rabble of 30,000? The whole story stinks and Labour does our people no favours by going along with it.

              Is this a deeper reason why the Greens were kept out of watching the watchers? They might have seen something that’s for five eyes only?

          • Chooky

            @ MR…agreed….Labour is a damp squib

  24. Paul 25

    Frankly, I cannot believe the number of apologists for war on this site.

    • Bill 25.1

      Aside from trp being rather vocal on that front, I’m not aware of much – besides a naive trust in ‘the rightness’ of (won’t happen btw) UN mandated action.

      Maybe UN bullets and shrapnel is more discerning than NATO bullets and shrapnel? I dunno. Maybe people get to feel a whole lot better if their children and family are eviscerated by UN sanctioned shards of metal? I guess that must be it.

      • Colonial Rawshark 25.1.1

        Tearing civilians limb from limb while incinerating them using GPS guided hellfire missiles all closely tracked by onboard battle damage assessment cameras is apparently civilised, while beheading people with a scimitar in front of a digital camcorders is apparently barbaric.

        Go figure.

        • Chooky

          both equally barbaric, one just more technologically advanced and can cause much more damage to many more people…and those using tracked GPS missiles call themselves civilised !

          …as the other side gets more technologically advanced…will the ‘favours’ be returned back…?

  25. greywarshark 26

    No Left/Right distinction. Is that a political form of ‘flexibility’ used in the workplace? Ready to take advantage of any opportunity with a bit of fuzzing round the edges so Labour doesn’t need to stick to priniples in a hard-nosed way.?

  26. Paul 27

    What a coincidence this story comes out the day before Key announces he’s sending troops to Iraq!
    How people are played.


    • Bill 27.1

      So, wouldn’t it be prudent to remove the threat by banning Westfield from NZ? While we’re at it, can we not go a step further and retro engineer or retro fit all shopping malls so the buildings serve a useful function in society? 😉

      • Externally, the monolithic nuclear bunker design philosophy of the shopping mall is an offence against urban planning and the human spirit.

        Internally, the lack of windows and the maze like design that forces you to endure maximum advertising is consumerism by force. The provision of playgrounds is a grotesque attempt to turn children into mindless avaricious zombies.

        The artifice and rampant greed of consumer culture is destroying the soul of western civilization.

      • halfcrown 27.1.2

        “So, wouldn’t it be prudent to remove the threat by banning Westfield from NZ? While we’re at it, can we not go a step further and retro engineer or retro fit all shopping malls so the buildings serve a useful function in society? ;-)”

        I like that and possibly a return to proper towns High Streets that have died because of these horrible places.

      • greywarshark 27.1.3

        Re Malls
        You do not seem to like malls or think they have use in society. But they are marvellous places for people to come together under cover. The local farmers market stall holders stand miserably in the rain under their tent roofs, waiting for customers who are not interested in shopping and getting soaked.. Malls are weather proof. They charge their shop tenants a lot for their premises though.

        They could be centres of community, some no doubt are. What would be an advantage to a small town is to have an investment fund for spending locally, and build their own mall with room for events inside in the main concourse.

  27. Ennui 28

    Paul, you can’t believe the number of apologists for war on this site: might I suggest that we are at war with a fundamentalist form of religious zealotry whether we wish it or not. Even were we to allow whatever ISIS demanded it would not be enough. The Koran demands more until we apostates cease to exist.

    I don’t really care who let the genie out of the bottle: how do you suggest we put it back in?

    • Bill 28.1

      Soooo much wrong with that comment Ennui!

      We aren’t at war with anyone (at least I’m not).

      Fundamentalist religious zeal would be nothing apart from over bearing love for fellow creatures. (And you’re at war with that?)

      ISIS isn’t making demands of us (at least, not of me)

      If the Koran (allegedly) demands ‘we’ are not to exist, I’m picking the bible says similar somewhere of who-ever ‘they’ might be in biblical lore.

      As for genies and bottles, that’s just a childish echo of the ‘oh, it’s all so incomprehensible’ meme played by western war mongers.

      If you really want to support what’s right, then don’t excuse guns and bombs. Support people attempting to do the right thing. (link again)


      • Colonial Rawshark 28.1.1

        Ennui has conveniently forgotten that it is western Christian crusaders who have been killing – directly and indirectly – Muslims in Muslim lands by the hundreds of thousands over the last decade.

        Yet somehow, it’s the Muslims who are threatening us, and we have to go back into their lands to fuck them up with even more depleted uranium, in order to defend ourselves.

        Sounds great.

        These righteous, warmongering lefties make me wanna puke.

        • Paul

          Middle Eastern countries the US has invaded or intervened in since 1945.

          1) Libya 1981; 1986; 1989; 2011
          2) Egypt 1956; 1967; 1973; 2013,
          3) Iran 1946; 1953; 1980; 1984; 1987-1988;
          4) Lebanon 1958; 1982-1984
          5) Iraq 1958; 1963; 1990-1991; 1990-2003; 1998; 2003-2011
          6) Oman 1970
          7) Saudi Arabia 1990-1991
          8) Kuwait 1991
          9) Afghanistan 1998; 2001-
          10) Yemen 2000; 2002-
          11) Pakistan 2005-


          • Colonial Rawshark

            And the list of oppressive ME governments that the USA supports is also extensive.

            • Paul

              It set up half of them against the democratic will of their people.
              And people wonder why many people don’t like the west.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                I’m pretty sure that they hate us for our freedoms and our Hollywood movies, not any of this other stuff. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.

          • Wayne

            A pretty long bow on some of these. Egypt for instance. I am pretty sure Kuwait and Saudi were keen on the US involvement in 1991. Oman – that was the UK.

            • Pascals bookie

              Hi Wayne.

              Wondering if you have a response to this?

              NZ sending troops to Iraq

              Also, if you would, your thoughts on the lack of a SOFA and what that tells us about the political support inside Iraq for foreign troops.

              And please not to be weasel about it. This stuff is serious, as you know.

    • Colonial Rawshark 28.2

      Paul, you can’t believe the number of apologists for war on this site: might I suggest that we are at war with a fundamentalist form of religious zealotry whether we wish it or not.

      Yeah, well dumb us: firstly we help install and fund a Wahabi state in Saudi Arabia, then our good friends Israel cultivate and grow outfits like Hamas, then the CIA ships and trains Islamic fighters in Afghanistan how to take down a super power, then we create a massive governmental power vacuum in Libya, Syria and Iraq combined with years of bombing, incarcerating, torturing, oppressing and humiliating the poorest Muslims all over the world


      it’s THEY who are the zealots, while we can’t believe that us nice civilised people could be so hated for nothing.

      I can say sincerely however that it is we who definitely has the best propaganda.

      • Paul 28.2.1

        When you say dumb ‘us’, I feel I need to say that none of these wars were done in my name.
        The folk who vote for and support tyrants and war criminals like Bush, Blair are the problem. Lazy, ignorant, sheeple who worry about sport, reality TV and celebrity nonsense and just want a quiet life. They are complicit in these wars.

    • Paul 28.3

      Solution – stop invading other people’s countries.
      Quite simple really.
      Desperate people resort to desperate measures.
      Al Qaeda, ISIS all stem from previous foreign invasions of these countries.
      Suggest you watch Adam Curtis’s Bitter Lake..all about Afghanistan.
      It’s a lesson in what mistakes have been made.
      And yet some people never learn.


    • gsays 28.4

      hi ennui,
      ‘..might I suggest that we are at war with a fundamentalist form of religious zealotry whether we wish it or not.’

      i take it you are not describing capatilism/consumerism and the worship of the almighty $?

  28. Ennui 29

    Bill / CR, don’t disagree with you that we ( as in the US / West) have created a problem whose manifestation is a religious fundamentalist group. And leaving the same people and solutions to cure the issue won’t help.

    What I contend is that this form of apocalyptic fundamentalism is necessarily going to give us war regardless. It’s their stated dogma. A religious group who send teenage girls as suicide bombers don’t give a funk about your life whether you are nice to them or not.

    Our response needs to understand what we are up against. To ignore the problem just because the US has funked us over yet again is not helpful.

  29. Paul 30

    As ever, No Right Turn succinctly nails the point.

    ‘Sending soldiers overseas to die is one of the most important decisions a government can make. That decision needs demonstrable democratic legitimacy – and the only way of doing that is by winning a vote in Parliament. If they can’t win such a vote, the troops shouldn’t go – it’s that simple (and if this government is concerned, they should make it a matter of confidence, and stand or fall on the result).

    Meanwhile, ponder this: under our constitutional system, spending money requires the government to demonstrate that it has the confidence of the House (and the government falls if it can not). Sending soldiers overseas to die does not. That seems… odd.’


  30. Ennui 31

    Paul, that is so correct. Key won’t put a vote to the House. He and his cronies are part of the problem….them sending our troops will only inflame issues.

    I might sound hawkish in wanting a halt to Islamic fundamentalism. …you can’t stop it with troops. We have to offer something better to win the hearts and minds.

    • Chooky 31.1


    • Colonial Rawshark 31.2

      Yes we do have to offer something better, but at the moment all we are doing is offering poverty to Algerians in the slums of Paris, and hellfire missiles to Muslim villagers in Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Not to mention torture of innocents at Guantanamo Bay.

      Not really the best designed ‘hearts and minds’ package.

  31. Colonial Rawshark 32

    So now France and the UK are launching airstrikes against Daesh. France has sailed an aircraft carrier into the region to help it do so. The US has the Carl Vinson in the area assisting in airstrike operations.

    So we have at least two full aircraft carrier groups and billions of dollars worth of hardware, engaged in taking out Daesh – an amateur unprofessional militia force of between 20K and 30K men. They are predominantly armed with AK47s, RPGs and other Soviet era weapons, supplemented by captured US equipment.

    There are also another few hundred thousand Iraqi Army and Iraqi militia forces, plus Kurdish fighters arrayed against this enemy. Iranian jets and troops are also involved, as well as Jordanian armed forces.

    Against just 20,000 to 30,000 Daesh fighters mostly wielding light arms.

    None of this adds up. This is taking a jack hammer to crush a walnut.

    We are being so utterly lied to as to what is happening on the ground, it’s not even funny.

    • Murray Rawshark 32.1

      I think you’re right. I think this is why FAL kept Metiria off the squirrel committee. Only members of the club/family are allowed to know what’s actually going on, and FAL has proved to be one of them.

      • Colonial Rawshark 32.1.1

        I’m guessing part of the situation is that Iraq is breaking down into a sectarian/tribal civil war against the Baghdad authorities. NZers would never accept our getting involved in something like that.

        Our new Labour leader is likely being given the VIP treatment by the intelligence types and appears to be loving the few crumbs of privileged detail he is being allowed.

        • Chooky

          +100 CR

        • adam

          So working stiffs get shafted by the labour party again. I hope Little and co. remember there games they played with working peoples lives, when the body parts come back.

          • Scintilla

            Yes, let’s remember that NZ governments have made the army an attractive “career option” for our young men – pretty much the only place they can get job security (if they live that long), health benefits (ditto), free training, no student loan and a whole lotta identity-building in the army “family”.

            My son joined up last year. He says he won’t have to go until his 2 year trade training is done. Right. Do I believe that? No.

            You can’t imagine the horror I feel, like I’ve swallowed a large, grey stone. Just sits inside and weighs me down. Can’t shit it out, can’t spit it out. My fine young man who’s been sucked in by the “care and protect” mantra, he believes he’s doing it all “for us.” Sure he likes the money and security – and the compulsory life insurance, hahaha – pardon me while I have hysterics – beyond that, he truly does believe he is doing good, serving us.

            I’ve never loathed Key as much as I do now. He is a National Disgrace.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Think of how many hot spots the NZDF has gone to over the last few decades, think of how many troops have been there and now divide that by the amount of soldiers deaths in those hot spots

              Its not very many, in fact I’d say it’d be comparable to the amount of soldiers deaths that happen in NZ during training, exercises, going out on the town, on the roads etc etc

              *Disclaimer I’ve been to one hot spot, my brother been to two, sister in law was actually in a war so yes theres danger but its not nearly as bad as you’re thinking (might help to stop watching Hollywood movies)

              • Scintilla

                You presume to know what I watch?? Trust me, it’s not war movies or hostage killing videos. Or fecking Army Wives.

                I’m going to assume that you meant to offer me a way of looking at it that puts the risks into a more palatable perspective. I appreciate that. As someone said to me recently, the army is a great place to be until you have to go to war.

  32. Upnorth 33

    we have obligations on the world stage – I am sorry but we can not stand by.

    I am on doing what is right – if anything happens in NZ we should hold our head i shame when we had a opportunity to stop this dreadful stuff

    • Colonial Rawshark 33.1

      Please explain what the plan to “stop this dreadful stuff” is, and why the US is going to be any better at it this time around in Iraq compared to last time around in Iraq.

      Are you not aware that having western Christian soldiers in a Muslim land actually aids terrorist recruitment? Why do you want to aid terrorist recruitment?

      If you can’t provide an explanation of the above, please explain why you are so blindly for sending our troops into an operational situation where there is no plan for victory.

      These are simple questions.

      we have obligations on the world stage – I am sorry but we can not stand by.

      We are not actors. And morally, we must stand aside if getting involved is going to make the life of Iraqis even worse, just as western intervention in Iraq over the last decade plus has done.

  33. philj 34

    Who would”ve thought that a game of golf with the Pres would lead Kiwi soldiers into a whirlpool of war in the Middle East?

  34. tricledrown 35

    A bunker mentality.
    Getting into bed with the Emprical Colonialists.
    Bunk was the original word for bonk a place to bonk is a bunker.
    GWH Bush warned his drug addict alcholic son not to invade Iraq as it would open up a hornets nest.
    Now the Hornets Nest has spread across North Africa,the.the Middle East,southern Asia etc.
    Now we have been asked to clean up the US’s mess as their is no political appetite to put boots on the ground fromOrdinary Americans.

  35. freedom 36

    Parliament is a theatre.
    One whose performances relay a script driven by protocol, performance and symbolism.

    Solidarity is also driven by protocol, performance and symbolism.

    To all members of all Parties who sit in the House in opposition to the Government’s decision to send our nation to war, I have a question –

    Would it have been so terrible for your Party’s Elected Representatives to applaud at the conclusion of all the statements opposing the Prime Ministers Statement?

    • Anne 36.1

      Exactly what I thought freedom. When Little finished I expected NZ1st and the Greens to also applaud him. Likewise Norman, Peters, Flavell and Dunne to be applauded. Especially given they were all saying the same thing only in slightly different ways.

  36. SMILIN 37

    Well just watched an impassioned summation by Key on the Iraq deployment .What a misguided fool, Ron Marks list of the serious actual threats to the defence force going, far out ways boy Key and his attempt to justify the lack of democratic process in the folding to the wishes of the club
    What a sad day for NZ we would be better spending our time and resources upping our game at home with the threat that this whole global mess will undoubtedly bring to our shores

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